I’m a MD who’s been to hell and back. Fentanyl destroyed my life, I’d thought. Despite losing almost everything, including my freedom, I found sobriety and then happiness from the embers.
I am here to help others get out of their isolation, anxiety or self-loathing of active addiction.
My life imploded in late 2014.
Surrendered to my fentanyl addiction after being arrested.
Taken off the ER work schedule at the local hospital.
Arrest #1 (the nice way): Notice to Appear in Court. Free to roam… into…
Rehab #1: 5 weeks intensive inpatient therapy
Relapsed on the day of my discharge but held in there despite continued use and and unintentional fentanyl overdose.
Arrest #2 (the not-so-nice way): Three weeks spent in jail.
Rehabs #2 and 3: Totalled over 6 months of inpatient care.
Lived two miserable years not knowing how long I’d be locked away for.
Attended over 360 12-step meetings in my first year of recovery, and then some.
Rivers of tears slowly became intermittent streams. A smile, then laughter slowly returned.
I came to realize that although I learned my lessons the hard way, brutal honesty was key to my healing. Stringing together some good decisions over time helped build a foundation of sobriety. The self-loathing eventually disappeared.
Incarcerated April to December, 2017. Went in strong minded, clean and proud.
Became “tennis boss” of Joyceville Prison. This little, middle-aged Jewish guy ran others around the court like children trying to catch butterflies with a net.
Haven’t looked back since.
Medical license discipline hearing (CPSO 2020): suspended 14 months.
Medical license reinstated (July 2021): Yay!
Return to medical practice imminent (early 2023)
Survived fentanyl addiction and found enduring happiness in the process.
To learn more about my story, check out these links:
- Toronto Life Magazine Article on Dr. Gebien
- Macleans Magazine Article on Dr. Gebien
You are not alone anymore!
Although licensed, I have not yet returned to medical practice. As such, I cannot give medical advice (i.e. no diagnoses, medical opinions or similar allowed). My biggest benefit is to listen to you, relate where possible and share what I’ve learned.
If a diagnosis is entertained, you will be referred to your doctor or healthcare providers in your community.
To meet with me, please send a message using Facebook
My Pearls of Recovery & Universal Keys to Happiness
How to survive fentanyl addiction or any other substance use disorder
The tools of drug recovery are also keys to happiness. All of us can practice them:
- The purpose of my life is to feel, learn, explore and to connect with and help others. Self-improvement follows.
- Play in puddles and snow but not for too long.
- My happiness depends on me.
- Integrity entails avoiding doing things I’d feel badly about, like lying, “bad-talking” or hiding a relapse. I sleep better this way. Also, honesty trumps “ghosting”.
- When I am wrong, admit it ASAP. Being humble rewards us both.
- When trying to fall asleep, minimize rumination over the day’s events.
- I am a social animal. I need others, especially when struggling. Find a mentor. Take solace in my supports and reciprocate. Listen better.
- Others may criticize my opinions but not my feelings.
- Receiving criticism is an opportunity for self-improvement.
- Being “open” (receptive and candid) takes guts but enhances communication and relationships.
- Share my worries with my supports and do so with brutal honesty.
- Speaking clarifies and rationalizes my thoughts.
- Coping with worry, stress and anxiety begins with recognizing what’s bothering me and creating a “stressor list”. Categorize the problems into:
- Ones I cannot control, and so, dismiss them.
- Those I can control. Focus my attention on these. Prioritize and try resolving the easiest ones first.
- Devise a 5-year plan with realistic goal(s) to find a sense of purpose and direction.
- Give more than I receive. Don’t be a “sink” (sap energy from others) or “truck” (domineering).
- Get involved and contribute to my community.