I had fifteen months clean before I relapsed on May 11, 2011. My run lasted a little over a year. I thought I would only use one time so I could escape from the immediate situation and the hell inside my head, but heroin doesn’t work that way – certainly not for me. One night turned into a year and I still feel like I just woke up from some awful fever dream.
The first few months were not all that bad; in fact, they were rather pleasant. I still had a reasonable amount of money, a nice place to live, and a vibrant social life. A few times I caught myself thinking, “Alright. It has been a month, two months, and then three months. Maybe I should cut this shit out before it gets bad.” Someone hooked me up with a few Suboxone. Tried that for a day and said “fuck it.”
The needle had punctured into my life once more and I was in love with her again. Succumbing to it was second nature. It wasn’t long until the lease was up on my apartment and I would spend the next several months crashing on peoples’ couches and floors, selling or pawning anything I had of value and barely scraping by on a $20-40 a-day habit. The twisted thing about heroin is that when I’m in the throes of being sick, I reflect. I become painfully nostalgic. I remember lighter times, times where I wasn’t a slave to a chemical and I could indulge in a life free from that bondage.
Part of me wants to give it all up, but knows it can’t, and after the score and the search for a place to fix and finally getting well, the struggle and the hurt and the depravity and the madness all feel worth it. Those glittering memories disappear under a blanket of psychic anesthesia and the day ends like any other day. Under the spell of heroin, it is a lot easier to accept everything – even my own vapid, lifeless existence.
This was not my first relapse, but it was my longest run. People keep asking me, “What’s going to be different this time?” Maybe I should precede that by saying what was different about this time. By the end of my run, I had lost everything I cared about and really needed – my friends, my cat, my apartment, my money, my health, my family’s trust, my creativity. I had become buried up to my neck in addiction. Everything came second to getting money and getting well.
I spent months alone. My ambitions and goals laughed at me for fucking up so hard. It came down to two choices – get better or get worse. I lost the will to keep up what I was doing. The thought of one more trip to the pawn shop or a phone call looking for a place to crash or another hopeless search for a vein to penetrate gave me an existential headache. I gave up on dope and asked for help. That’s how all my runs end.
This time, I realized I might not have another run in me. This time, I truly saw how bad it can get. This time, I understand where I’ll end up if I decide to go out again. Using won’t be anything different, just a lot more hideous and drawn out. I am over choosing to fuck up my life because I cannot cope with reality. It is sometimes frightening knowing that somewhere in the depths of my brain, this monster is in remission, dormant and sleeping, but I refuse to let that knowledge influence my decisions or disturb my well-being.
I stopped using a bit over a month ago and already I have an amazing support system and the will to succeed. It is entirely my choice to take advantage of and implement the different tools I am acquiring in recovery to ensure that I never have to go back to that way of life. I’ve had a taste of sobriety before and know that everything can only improve so long as I do what is best for me and don’t use under any circumstance.
By Cameron C.
Filed under: Recovery · Tags: addict, Addiction, Alcohol and Drugs, chemicals, cope, coping, disease of addiction, dope, dope sick, Drug Abuse, drug addict, drug addiction, drug hook up, drug use, fear, fellowship, habit, Heroin, Heroin Addiction, heroin habit, hook up, hooking up, narcotic, narcotics, needle, needles, reality, Recovery, recovery addiction, relapse, relapse prevention, remission, run, score, score heroin, shooting up, sober, sobriety, Suboxone, support system, tools, tools to recover, Treatment, vein, well-being