My heroin addiction would begin one fateful summer day. Me and one of my best friends at the time were hanging out with a friend of ours. He pulled out a small balloon and threw it on a piece of foil. He told us it was heroin. I took a hit and the feeling was like nothing I had ever felt before. It was euphoric. I wanted more. I needed more. I would soon begin to establish connections for heroin. I was spending at least $40 a day, if not more, to feed my addiction. I would eventually go broke and would have to resort to lying, cheating, manipulating and stealing to feed my drug addiction. To save money, it was suggested to me that I try shooting it to get more bang for my buck. I was hesitant but curious. Pretty soon I would find myself nodding out on a daily basis, wondering if, how or when I would be able to get my next fix to stop the withdrawals.
At this point in time, death would have been welcomed. I was caught in the vices of a plague that continues to sweep the nation and is only getting worse- the opioid epidemic. Me and my addict friends would resort to any means necessary to get our next fix. I was allowed to borrow my parents vehicle so me and my friends could pick up. I was given free drugs in exchange for providing the transportation. I was in denial that I was an addict. I believe my parents knew something was wrong. I was constantly bringing friends over that they had never seen before. I strongly believe they were afraid to intervene. I suppose I could not blame them. I was too stubborn and unwilling to admit I had a problem. I did not want to get help at the time, I just wanted to be left alone. I became distant and disconnected with family, friends and loved ones who cared about me, which is common behavior for addicts. Throughout my addiction, I treated my family as if they did not exist in my world. I felt as though I did not exist in theirs either. My sick, addict thought process was that if they don’t care, then why should I? I was not going to stop because I felt as though they did not care. The fear of overdosing or getting caught with drugs was certainly always there. I did not let it deter me. I had a “live fast, die young mentality” during my addiction. I felt an adrenaline rush and a strange euphoria every time I was on my way to pick up. It was like a high before the high. I would eventually receive a wake up call when I got caught and arrested for possession.
A Blessing In Disguise
I did not see it at the time, but my arrest was a blessing in disguise. I finally admitted in court that I was a heroin addict. My charge was dropped from a felony to a misdemeanor. I was diverted to a court-ordered medication assisted treatment program, an increasingly popular type of treatment which aids in opiate withdrawals. Through everything, I frequently question if some of the events in my life were even real. Our perception of reality definitely becomes altered and skewed in active addiction. We live and play by our own rules, regardless of consequence. I lived with my head in the clouds. Life after addiction brought me back down to reality. I have gained more clarity in life than I ever thought possible after overcoming my addiction. I love the life I live today. I have a higher sense of purpose. I am grateful to wake up every day not having to worry about withdrawals or if, how and when I will get my next fix. My addiction no longer controls me. I know from experience how easily addiction can happen to anyone. Being clean and sober can be lost as quickly as it is gained. Recovery is a gift that should never be taken for granted. Recovery is a matter of life and death. I am grateful to not have become another statistic. I made it my goal to be a part of the solution and not the problem by helping others who have been in my shoes.
Photo is pixabay creative commons
Guest Author Bio
Kyle Swanson is a freelance writer recovering from drug addiction and alcoholism. He has found purpose in writing and sharing about his experiences. In his free time, he works with his local recovery community in hopes of guiding others to a life of sobriety.