I Love Life: A Sioux Falls Mother’s Secret Drug Addiction
Of all the I Love Life shows that I have aired over the past 35 years, this one really stands out!
Phyllis Bauerlee of Sioux Falls, mother of three children, knows first hand the power of an addiction.
"I was addicted to both alcohol and pain medication. I also did some cocaine," Phyllis tells me. "Alcohol started during my younger years. I didn't know anything about addiction. All of a sudden, here I was drinking way more than I should and creating a lot of problems in my home. Today the experts would call it alcohol poisoning. One night, I got scared and decided to stop drinking. Along the way, I began to experience migraine headaches. I was given medication at the time to cope with the pain. During that time I found that Tylenol 3 gave me a little more energy. I felt better about myself. Of course, as I progressed, the medicine didn't work anymore. I decided to go back to the doctor and they gave me Percocet. I really liked it."
That was the beginning of another addiction.
"If I needed a little boost I would take it whether I had a headache or not. In the beginning, the painkiller made me feel really good. I was more personable than what I was. It made me feel prettier than what I was. I had more energy and confidence to do whatever I wanted to do. But, as an addiction goes, it became my sole purpose of getting up in the morning. My body was totally addicted! In the end, I didn't have a high or good feeling. I took the pills just to stay from the withdrawal effects. My life quickly became hell."
It was then when Phyllis sought help and got it!
"I had a really good friend in town that had been through the Keystone Treatment Center. He had told me if I ever wanted help I should go to him because he could get me in the treatment center. I vividly recall my husband taking me to Keystone. I had one hit of the painkiller left. I took that when I got up. I was shaking. I couldn't focus."
Phyllis spent five grueling days in the hospital, followed by a month of rehab at Keysotne to become drug-free.
Now in recovery, the Sioux Falls woman loves life---moment by moment.
"Yes, I love life! I enjoy life. I love to be around people. I love to do what I am doing. I love my family! I have a good life. I have a good life."
No longer abusing drugs and alcohol, Phyllis Baurlee works at Keystone Treatment Center helping others that are battling addictions!