I started using when I was 11 although in my first stent I wasn’t addicted, that didn’t happen until I was 16. By 17 I was a full time cocaine addict but I got bored with that so I moved on to heroin. I locked onto heroin for the next six years. I remember the day I got clean from drugs. I was sitting in an alley that reeked of urine and was littered with trash and auto parts. I had on the only clothes I owned which was a pair of flip flops, a T shirt, and some shorts. They were passing around a needle with heroin in it and it was my turn. Suddenly out of the blue I looked at it and knew I didn’t want to do it. I said, there has got to be a better way to live and I walked away. I think some kind of fear or self preservation took over.
I ended up at my Mom’s house and she is a God-fearing woman. I was feeling bad because I was starting to go into withdrawal so she asked me if I was ready to stop all this and I knew that treatment was my best choice. She brought me to the treatment center and she was playing spiritual music in the car and praying for me. I am sure that the only reason I didn’t run off was because I knew she loved me.
The first few weeks in treatment were terrible. My thinking was foggy and I felt delusional but somehow I just did what people told me to do because I didn’t have a better place to go. After a few weeks things started to get better. It was a period of transformation, it felt like magic as I started thinking clearly and understanding why I was so gaga for heroin.
First and foremost I think I had to accept who I was and what my challenge in life was going to be. Knowing that my brain is different and suffers from addiction is important. I just had to accept that this is the way it is. To make sure I was going to be safe and stay safe I had to put a network of people together who were liked minded. People who are musicians like to be around musicians, athletes like being around other athletes, and that is why a person who is an addict needs to be around other people who are successful at beating the disease of addiction.
For me another important part of recovery is be humble and find a purpose that is greater than myself. Addiction is a very selfish disease and once I get the drug inside my brain I have a thousand reasons to use it. My best thinking will keep me going back to the same thing. I have been obsessed over heroin so I need to stay away from it by taking care of my real needs which don’t include heroin or any other drug or addiction.
I can’t be complacent and I need to stay strong because after eight years of recovery I relapsed when I was given Vicodin for a surgery. The next thing I knew I was drinking and using again. Just like that. I am not the same person when I use and that is why I have devoted the rest of my life to being the best version of me that is only possible when I am sober.