Addiction is a life-altering event. My story with heroin addiction is not unique; the lying, cheating, and deceitfulness that landed me in rehab with no other options was a heartbreaking and lonely road to travel, but through recovery, I learned some things about myself and about heroin addiction that hopefully, I can impart to you as you begin your own journey to recovery and wellness.
Here is what learned from recovery as a heroin addict:
1. I learned how little possessions matter in the grand scheme of things In the middle of my struggle with addiction, I begged, borrowed, and stole. I sold things that I never thought I would in order to get my next high. I defaulted on loans, had a car repossessed, and almost lost my home due to a substance that is so seductive and powerful that it can rip families apart. When I was able to come to my senses, I did grieve the loss of those things for a short time, but what I realized I really needed to focus on was the repair and restoration of my relationships, which are the most precious things life has to offer.
2. I learned to let go of shame and start talking There is an incredible amount of shame that goes along with realizing one is addicted and then asking for help. Silence and secrecy are the things that will kill you during addiction; learning to ask for help was perhaps one of the most courageous things I have ever done in my life, but opening up and talking to people about my struggles saved me as I connected with others and learned to draw support from new and existing relationships.
3. I learned that a twelve step program doesn’t work for everyone We as a society still have a heartbreaking and archaic view of addiction—thinking that a twelve-step recovery program is sufficient to cover mental, emotional, and physical needs left behind due to addiction is counterproductive to healing. Finding practitioners who will personalize the recovery process beginning with your initial assessment will be key to your recovery; find a team that resonates with you on every level and that addresses all of your needs, and you will have much better chances of recovery success.
4. I learned that the responsible use of prescription drugs does help During recovery, there are sometimes of strong physical and emotional responses to detox, and the use of prescription drugs did help me. Being at risk for prescription drug abuse, I worked closely with doctors, counselors, and pharmacists to determine what my best course of action would be for total recovery. I kept my goal for total recovery at the forefront of my mind, making that my ultimate goal. I wanted to live life again and experience joy, and this is what I work toward every single day.
5. I learned that addiction is not discriminatory I fell victim to the clutches of heroin, and I consider myself to be an upstanding person. Your neighbor, the kid down the street, someone at your church or school could also be struggling with addiction. Quite often, the emotional and psychological issues that lead one to pursue an addiction to a substance are the root cause of the problem, and the addiction is merely to mask a deeper pain caused by life circumstances, mental and physical afflictions, and other suffering. Look beyond the addictive circumstances and see what caused the issue in the first place. Identifying the root is the first step in learning to find ways to overcome addiction. If I can successfully treat addiction, you can too.
6. I learned that recovery does not stop Recovery is a choice that you make every day. Abstaining from addictive behaviors is something that you prioritize for the rest of your life. You don’t master recovery, you live it each and every moment of every single day. When you start getting cocky about your process, you are at risk for going down that slippery slope toward some of the behaviors that brought you to addiction in the first place. Embrace where you are, create a new and joy-filled life for yourself, and choose recovery every day. Every step will bring you toward a higher and more ideal life. Best of luck to you on your recovery journey!
Call us today at 833-762-3739 for help getting on the path to sobriety.