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Drugs Stole Me from Myself

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Drugs Stole Me from Myself

Drugs Stole Me From Myself: My Opiate Addiction Story

I’m Sus, I’m an addict. My story up until 9 months ago consisted of years of continuous darkness. I picked up my first drug at the age of 12, in a desperate attempt to find a solution for the hatred I felt for myself. Drugs gave me a temporary answer – which I soon figured out, could be less temporary by letting it consume every piece of me and every moment that passed.

I became heavily addicted to opiates before graduating high school, and using became the only way I knew how to function. I thought it gave me a personality, charisma and confidence – I could talk to people. In reality, the drugs stole me from myself. I compromised every moral I had to get my next one. There was literally nothing I would not do for heroin.

Living almost 25 years wondering why I never felt “a part of” was maddening. Lying and manipulating my way through life only deepened the burning self-hatred. I could not grasp why I did these things. Did I enjoy inflicting pain on others? Why couldn’t I stop? My conclusion was that I was a bad person and that I was destined to be this way forever, and I was ok with that.

I came down to Florida from Connecticut in 2013 for court-mandated long term treatment. I have since been to 7 treatment centers – each time blaming my relapse on people, stress and situations. When I got to my most recent treatment center (for the second time) on December 17th, 2014, I had no energy left to point fingers at those people, places and things. I was defeated. I felt small and unimportant. I felt I was broken beyond repair. What got me into treatment that day was my desperation.

“What kept me here was the support I found and the comfort in knowing that it was NOT just me who felt distant from others. It was not just me who felt incapable of simple things like finishing what I started and making eye contact.”

I felt sickness and disgust within myself for the constant self-sabotage and indifference for life in general. I toyed with the idea of suicide, as I had countless times before – convincing myself that it would be better for everyone involved if I just ended it – but being surrounded by other sick addicts and feeling hope that they could be capable of getting clean is what gave me a push. Drugs stole me from myself but I was learning I could get my life back. 

What kept me here was the support I found and the comfort in knowing that it was NOT just me who felt distant from others. It was not just me who felt incapable of simple things like finishing what I started and making eye contact. In this program we are never alone. Building relationships on beautiful things like who we are as human beings as opposed to what we do in active addiction has been the ultimate gift. One of the most meaningful concepts I learned in treatment was that hurt people, hurt people. It was not until I accepted this truth that I could move forward and believe that I deserved to live.

“I have goals for myself. Most importantly, the light I thought I lost through years of destruction is actually still inside of me and brighter than ever.”

I am beyond grateful for treatment for believing in me when I could not believe in myself. I was taught that in order for change to occur I had to get uncomfortable. I needed to be open and honest and willing to put effort into saving my life. Being uncomfortable, to me, meant immediately getting a sponsor. It meant throwing myself into Narcotics Anonymous and reaching out when all I wanted to do was hide. It meant getting a service commitment and being held accountable at my home group. Being open and honest means sharing the good stuff, the bad stuff and everything in between.

The last 9 months I’ve been learning to trust myself – something I have never done. I am responsible today. I am able to show up for others. I have goals for myself. Most importantly, the light I thought I lost through years of destruction is actually still inside of me and brighter than ever.

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