HEROIN. STEALS. YOUR. SOUL.
Sure, at first it’s all a big party! There’s the thrill of the forbidden chase. If they sold heroin at Walmart I never would have found it so enticing. But, like they say in the movie “Candy” starring Heath Ledger (R.I.P.) “when you can quit, you don’t want to. When you want to quit, you cant.”
So, there you are, a few weeks into your new favorite hobby and suddenly your dealer won’t answer the phone, or you get sold a balloon of brown sugar, or you’re out of money… then the cramps start. You start puking green sludge. Your bowels loosen so much you better not trust the smallest fart. Or, worse, you’re farther in and you DO manage to score but your veins are so trashed that you can’t even get the relief you want. You count and look at all the blood and realize you’ve stabbed yourself over 100 time and now the rig is a clogged, coaguleted waste. Then you end up shitting your pants anyway.
Some party, right?
Welcome to the tip of the iceberg, my friend. You’ve become a slave to the chase. With that realization come the suicidal thoughts.
“I’ll never get off this merry-go-round” you think. “Maybe I can get enough in one syringe to just end it.”
Then come the attempts, because, “hey, if it doesn’t kill me at least I’ll get really high!”
You get really good at lying about your diabetic mother-in-law to get fresh needles.
You get really good at CPR watching your friends stop breathing and turn blue.
You get really good at self surgery to deal with the abscesses.
Honestly, if you try heroin and only land in jail… consider yourself lucky. It drives people to do things they never would have imagined.
It kills the rest.
I’d give every penny I’ve ever earned to go back and turn down that first shot.
But, here I am. I don’t blame God for making me the way that I am, but I was mad at Him for a long time. I don’t blame the girl for sticking me with that first shot. I was beyond willing. I don’t blame the judge or the prosecutors or the system for having landed in jail. I thank them.
The gratitude becomes overwhelming. Gratitude for the walls that keep the bad influences and bad substances out. Gratitude for the time to reshape a better version of you. Gratitude to God for keeping your heart beating long enough for you to learn a lesson.
After one of my failed suicide attempts involving 3 full bottles of pills chased down with half a gallon of whiskey and a sloppily scrawled “Sorry. Cremate the mess” on a napkin, the doctor said “if you don’t believe in God, you should start. What you took should’ve killed a rhino.”
Humility and a small shift in perspective bring HOPE. Hope has the power to transform you. It focuses you, cleanses you, makes you grateful for the little things, makes you feel reborn.
It’s such an amazing feeling, I really wish I could bottle it and sell it.
Just not at Walmart
What I’ve learned lately is that I am capable of surprising myself every day. I do deserve life, happiness, success, and most importantly… sobriety. We all do. It’s never too late to stop punishing yourself. If you’re still breathing, you’re still in a fight you can win.
I might not be religious these days, but I still pray. I need an outlet for the gratitude and have one more request: “Thanks for everything, Old Man. Please help me turn this story into a positive. Let me use my stupidity and failures to deter someone from this misery.”
You might never “beat” your addict brain, but you can make it work for you. It is a determined, stubborn little shit. Point it away from the dope and towards work, service, exercise, hobbies… whatever helps you keep the needle out of your arm.
Wonderful things will happen. I promise.
You might have 5 years clean. You might only have 5 minutes. But you matter. You are capable of beautiful things. And, if you’re reading this, it means you are probably at least toying with the idea of reaching out for support.
Do it. There’s light at the end of that tunnel… and you’re worth it.
Keep hoping people.