Have you seen my other blog? (Jerome Viveiros programming blog)

I’m Jerome Viveiros. I was born in Mowbray, Cape Town, South Africa on the 22nd October 1971.

I had a more or less average life for a while until the age of 33… I had a good middle-class upbringing, in a loving family where I was the eldest of two brothers, and after school I studied Electrical Engineering. I became a software developer, and progressed fairly normally from junior, through intermediate level, and finally became a senior developer.

But around the same time I became a senior developer, due to several personal issues, I also became a drug addict, with methamphetamine as my drug of choice. This began a downward spiral which lasted for five years and at first only left me demoted from senior back to intermediate developer level, but eventually left me with nothing; no possessions, no car, no house, no job, nothing but a couple of pairs of shorts and t-shirts.

I then went to a treatment centre for three months, and relocated to Johannesburg, where I was fortunate enough to find employment in my first week. My girlfriend and I are still together more or less, which is also fortunate (to say the least) since most addicts lose their loved ones, and we have a beautiful son, who is a little over two and a half years old as I write this.

When I first started this blog, on 28/07/2010, I was a little over 8 months clean, having cleaned up on 20/11/2009. I made it to a little over 9 months clean, then my world fell apart again. Just two days before our son was to live with us for good, Megan, without telling me, packed her bags and ran away to Cape Town. I tried to cope, and remained in contact with her. Knowing that she had relapsed, I convinced her not to use again, and she returned a week later, testing negative in her drug test. I deceived myself into thinking that since she could remain clean again for a week after using once, that we could hide the relapse and carry on as though nothing had gone wrong. But I was wrong. After she returned, we relapsed together for a week.

Megan returned to Cape Town for a while, and after a little over 60 days, we were reunited. She is less stable than I, but is also clean. I try to be strong for both of us, and do my utmost to make a life of sobriety for both of us a reality, so that we are able to give our son the loving, stable home that he deserves, and maybe be capable of raising more children sometime down the line. I am counting my clean time from 13/09/2010.

This blog is about me, my struggles with addiction, my other half who I intend to eventually marry, our son, and maybe a little programming bits and bytes now and then. Mostly it is a place for me to exorcise my demons, and if I can help or inspire one or two other people along the way, that is a welcome side effect.

I’m also on Facebook:
Jerome Viveiros

18 Responses to About

  1. KennithB says:

    Hi J, your blog has been an interesting read to date. Keep going as you are doing yourself, and hopefully a few readers out there, a great service by sharing your experiences and learnings. Just one note on something you mentioned regards Recovered vs Recovering addict, the reason why you only have first timers and relapsed addicts at rehab is because the successful ones do not need to come back. So like you say, the “you can not recover until you have relapsed” story is total bull and a way of those people to justify their relapse to themselves. I can feel from your mindset that you are going to be one of the successful ones. Stay strong and have a good weekend. Kennith

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    • Jerome says:

      Thanks Kennith,
      I feel the same way, and yes, I plan to be one of the successful ones.

      I’ll keep writing as long as I have something to say – I didn’t realize how much I would have to say, but I’m not done yet, not by a long shot.

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  2. Jon says:

    FFS Jerome… Grow the fuck up already! You blame everyone but your self.. you too blind.. arrogant and childish to realize Megan is just not worth it.. and you neglect the most important thing in your life.. your son.

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    • mikeh says:

      hmm, harsh words jon. although i tend to agree with your underlying sentiment, your delivery has maybe been a little off. perhaps you know jerome personally? whichever…

      jerome, as jon so delicately put it :-p megan has to sort her own life out. you have to sort your life out. you cannot save both of you.

      i had a gf that i used with. she was a meth addict, i was a heroin addict… somewhere along the line she became a heroin addict too… anyway, we got clean. i stayed clean. she couldnt. it broke my heart to walk away, and it took a long time before i did… but i did. i had no choice.

      i’m still clean… and i think, she is now too – well, she is pregnant, so i sure hope she’s clean… but in the last 7 years while i’ve been clean, she’s written off a few cars, been in and out of numerous rehabs, and has not held down a single job.

      get clean for yourself and your son. if megan decides to do the same for herself, thats great news, but out of your control.

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      • Jerome says:


        Ja, I have responded argumentatively to Jon before, even though I knew his underlying sentiment was right, just because of the delivery.

        Hmmm, I must update this page at some point as well.

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  3. Hi Joreme

    I found your blog in a search for answer in itextsharp, I use your code in one of my project and it was a life saver for me, but I found another thing here, your story touch my heart, keep it up…I wish you good things from Puerto Rico…thanks

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    • Jerome says:

      Thanks. I’m glad the code helped you… even if it was written during a time when I was using again… We all have our ups and downs I suppose, but I hope to stay clean going forward.

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  4. Hope says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. Blogging seems like a really good idea and is probably therapeutic too. You give me some much needed inspiration and hope.


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    • Jerome says:

      You’re welcome. Glad I could give someone inspiration… given the off-topic rants I’ve written recently.
      Blogging, and I think writing generally, is therapeutic, but I do have a knack for pissing people off and getting myself into trouble.

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  5. Loral says:

    I’m a current health science student and I am looking for a recovered drug addict to interview via email (for a class project). Would you be up for something like this?

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  6. jdeangelis79 says:

    Jerome, I wish you luck on your journey may God keep you strong for you and your family.

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  7. Jerome,
    As a fellow traveler on the same road to staying clean, I wish you well. I am currently clean and sober 73 days and counting and finding it difficult to deal with the urge to run back to that safe zone. My sobriety wasn’t easy to achieve, having to move 800 miles from Oklahoma to Illinois in the US. It’s easier to stay clean being totally away from the environment and people that I was using with, however, my demons still claw at me and the past that I’ve left behind haunts me more and more. Reading through your blog is giving me the courage to continue on my journey, and I am bound and determined to hit my 365 days. I wish you strength, I wish you well, and I have faith in not only myself, but in you.

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    • Jerome says:

      Thanks. Yes, it is easier to stay clean at the beginning, due to being away from the environment you used in… It was for me but then as soon as I got out of rehab, I realized that my new environment, over 1000km away, was not that different to my old environment.

      Drugs and everything that go with it are everywhere, so you need to be strong, and have a good support system, or like myself, very strong motivation. I also had to face the fact that there is some part of me that loves to use, and not allow that part to make excuses to somehow justify it. It took me a long time to truly believe that I can never use again – not even once.

      Good luck. I hope you can continue to fight the good fight, and never give in.

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  8. Kelvin says:

    I stumbled across this blog whilst looking up the average life expectancy of a Meth user. I stopped using Meth 6 months ago but I’m still not clean a I’ve just switched to other amphetimine like drugs which, are probably less powerful ( i get high for a day as opposed to 3) but still fuck me up. Reading through it gives me a lot of hope

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    • Jerome says:

      I tried to quit by myself for a long time and it just doesn’t work. You need to get into some sort of program, whether it’s an in-patient program or an out-patient program, and be around other people who are also clean. You’ll be amazed how much you identify with them! But by yourself, it is just too difficult. Good luck… I hope you can make it. It is possible.

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      • Kelvin says:

        Thank you. Im currently doing a structured support out patient thing. The problem is that basically everyone else seems to be a heroin addict (out side of London, meth hasnt really hit the UK so much thank fuck), and when i talk about Crystal meth they go ‘ooooh nasty’ ( I got a really pitying look from an injecting heroin user,[whos now become a good friend] at first . Not that im judgeing [theres way too much of that about from users and non user alike] or trying to denial my problem away, but the worst ive done is smoke crystal meth 3 times [all the other times were snorted] i didnt think it was as bad as…well heroin, but clearly it was, as we’ve ended up in much the same place… but anyway) or they look at me (support workers included) with blank eyes when I talk to them about binging on mephedrone or serotoni. I would almost like another amphetimine addict to be there just to have some one to talk to. In away it’s a good thing because I’m just not tempted to try and score heroin. Anyway thanks again for the blog, its kind of the right mix of funny but serious. I can relate to so much of the stuff about tweaking and self delusion. All the best. K

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        • Jerome says:

          Glad you can relate. I don’t think it matters much what drugs we used – although the high is different and heroin addicts don’t tweak – so the psychological aspects of the high itself is different – but it does work on the same part of the brain. It effects our priorities in the same way and takes over our lives. People on all drugs end up doing the same to get their drugs and of course the end is much the same.

          Although it’s good in a way to talk to others who used the same drug, the danger is that you may end up reminiscing on the good times you had, and glorify the days when you used, before your life turned to shit… In a way its better not to talk about your substance of choice, but when talking to other recovering addicts, rather focus on the common problems in recovery… We do all have similar issues to deal with in the aftermath of our active addiction years – guilt, shame, self-loathing, self-judgement and the projection of some of those issues onto others, which effects our perception of what others may feel about us, and makes our relationships difficult to mend.

          We also all suffer with the difficulty in handling others often unrealistic expectations for us, and in a way it almost sets us up for failure.

          I really hope you do succeed in your recovery, and that this is the beginning of your much better, more meaningful and happier life.

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  9. ‘i am here. because there is no refuge. finally from myself. until i confront myself in the eyes ans hearts of others. i am running…’

    ~ the creed

    looking forward to your posts…


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