My Story Of Addiction And Recovery
Addiction is a powerful force. Unfortunately, there are people everywhere who know this fact all too well. At times, it can feel like you are headed down a tunnel that leads to your doom with no light in sight.
As a recovering addict, I am quite familiar with this feeling. My past was not perfect. In fact, it couldn’t have been any further from what most people would consider to be a dream life. I was stuck in a hole. The problem was, instead of trying to dig myself out, I just kept digging myself deeper and deeper.
I felt powerless over my addiction. Basically, it was like life was a movie and I wasn’t the producer, director, or even a main actor. Rather, I felt like someone merely in the shadows in the background.
The ironic thing about it all was the fact that the same drugs I was putting into my body to try and make myself feel better were doing nothing more than making everything worse. It literally felt like the world was crumbling around me.
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The worst part was that I was not the only one suffering. I was causing my family a great deal of pain and suffering, especially for my mother. After all, she was watching her son slowly kill himself and there wasn’t anything she could do about it.
I stole, I lied, and I did just about everything else that we are taught not to do as children. My main priority in life was to score my next hit. Eating, sleeping, and even the companionship of other people meant nothing to me. The only thing that mattered was the drugs.
My friends and family would try to talk to me all of the time. They wanted me to realize what I was doing to myself. Unfortunately, at that time in my life they might as well have been talking to a wall. I would give them the usual responses such as “I’m sorry”, “I’ll do better”, “I promise I will stop”. However, these statements were nothing more than statements, there was no truth behind them because I wasn’t ready to stop.
One of the most painful issues with addiction would be the fact that no matter how badly a person’s friends and family want them to stop, they aren’t going to stop until they are ready. When an addict goes into recovery for the sake of another person, it hardly ends up being long-term.
In order for an addict to move forward and begin a life of recovery, they have to want it with all of their heart.
The Moment Recovery Became A Reality In My Life
For most, it takes something drastic to happen before they are able to come to a point in life where they make the decision that enough is enough. Sadly, some people never reach this point before they reach their demise.
Luckily, I reached my point before it was too late. I was a young teenager, only sixteen years old. My addiction to methamphetamine had progressed so far that I was using needles. I had been using so much for so long that smoking and snorting the drug no longer had the effect that I desired. I was chasing the dragon and the only way to catch it was through my veins.
The choices I was making with my life kept digging that hole I mentioned before deeper and deeper. I was in trouble with law, had multiple felonies on my juvenile record, had already been in and out of juvenile detention centers, and was currently on probation and house arrest.
This still was not enough for me to change. I was so brainwashed by the toxins I was putting into my body that everything I was going through didn’t seem all that bad.
I continued leaving my house even though I was on house arrest and also continued using drugs, even though I was being tested on weekly basis. I was at a point in my life where I truly didn’t care anymore. Needless to say, it wasn’t long before my probation was revoked and I was on my way back to jail.
The night before I was once again arrested I had some so called “friends” over and we were doing what addicts do best with one another, using. I dropped my syringe on accident and it became clogged with carpet fibers.
The little bit of drugs that I had left were already in the syringe. I had already been up for days and I needed my fix. I handed it to one of the people at my house and asked them if they could fix it. I don’t remember anything after this until I woke up the next morning. Apparently, I had passed out.
Soon after waking up, there was a hard knock on my door. The distinctive pounding made it clear that it was the police. I knew my actions had caught up to me once again and I was getting ready to head back to jail.
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Sure enough I was arrested and taken to the place that I had learned to hate over the years. In the beginning, all I could think about was how I was going to get myself out of the jam that I was in and back out onto the streets so I could use again. I even tried guilt tripping my mother when she came to visit me.
However, all of that changed with a visit that I will remember for the rest of my life…
My mother explained to me that my sister had fallen on hard times and that she moved in to our house with my nephew who was only a toddler at the time. She then went on to tell me that she had found something hidden behind a lamp in the living room while she was cleaning one day.
My heart stopped for a moment because I knew exactly what she was speaking of, she had found my loaded syringe.
She saw the pain in my eyes and was quick to let me know that neither my sister or my nephew had found it and that they were completely unaware about it. That didn’t make anything better. I was completely heartbroken. Even though it’s not a good idea to cry in jail, especially in front of others, I couldn’t stop the tears. I couldn’t have cared less about the people who were staring at me.
Even though my nephew wasn’t the one who found the needle, the thoughts of what could have happened began racing through my mind. I would have never been able to live with myself if something bad happened. In all honesty, it likely would have been the end of my life.
While this event was terrifying for me, it also helped me open my eyes and see what others had been trying to get me to realize for so long. IT HAD TO STOP!
The Change Began
My attention shifted from trying to find a way out of jail to trying to make the most out of my time. I finally understood how deep of a hole I had dug for myself and I decided that it was time to begin digging out.
I ended up going to an in-patient treatment center for four months after being released from jail. Even though I could have easily ran, the thought never crossed my mind. I had finally reached a point in my life that I wanted things to be different.
Once my program ended, I was back on the streets only I wasn’t using this time. Instead, I was picking up the pieces of my broken life and trying to mend them back together.
I attended ninety CMA (Crystal Meth Anonymous) meeting in ninety days just as my therapist in treatment suggested. The process was working for me. My life was beginning to become a life worth living again.
As time went on, life got better and better. I was rediscovering myself and was beginning to remember how awesome the real me is, the me without drugs.
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Years have gone by, over a decade now, and I haven’t gone back to the drug that nearly ruined my life as well as the lives of those around me. I had a few slips but I jumped back on the horse and refused to surrender.
Some people may look at this as a sad story, but not me. I am a firm believer in the fact that everything happens for a reason. As far as I’m concerned, this is something that I had to go through in life in order to be able to help others.
I understand firsthand how difficult the battle of recovery can be. I’m living it. I’ve been there, done that, got the t shirt, and have the battle scars to prove it.
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My decision to change led me to a beautiful life. I’m now married with two beautiful children, have a great job, and know what true happiness is. I wouldn’t trade what I have now for the world. If I can do it, you can too!
Don’t allow yourself to become a statistic or another sad story on the news. Make the decision today that enough is enough, that drugs will no longer rule your life, and that you will make something great of yourself. You’re strong enough to do this. I believe in you. Now you need to believe in yourself.