I just expected everybody to recognize that I needed help. I wanted to be taken care of and whisked away to get sober without doing any of the work. People always talk about “recognizing the warning signs” of an addicted love; but it took months before I let anyone know that I needed help. My addiction started with an extremely open mind and a disregard for my future. I thought I had all the time in the world to figure out what I wanted to do with my life and, in the meantime, I’d just have a good time. Little by little, as I tried to “figure out my life”, drugs became my life.
With the exception of heroin, I was into everything: weed, oxy, coke and toward the end, I was getting into meth. There was nothing I didn’t like and there was nothing that didn’t like me. I planted myself in the local drug culture of my hometown and was completely comfortable living my life among people who would see me dead if it meant they could line their pockets. Gradually, everything in my life started to collapse around me, but I hid everything really well. By the time my family realized that I was getting into meth, it was basically too late.
When I finally got help for drug addiction, I was flat broke, paranoid and in extremely poor health. The window was closing on how quickly my body could revert back to its normal function. I had become a prisoner of my own brain and would get locked in these spells where I would be constantly second-guessing myself and just running around in psychological circles. I couldn’t concentrate on anything and was always worried that something bad was going to happen. It was a complete nightmare. After a while, I didn’t know if I would ever be able to bounce back.
I entered treatment thinking my life was already over. Although I was constantly diluting myself about how bad my problem was, somewhere in the back of my mind was the notion that it was now or never. To say I was scared would be an understatement; I was petrified of entrusting my care to people who knew nothing about me, where I came from or why I did what I did. I was basically putting my life in their hands, and guess what—it was the best decision I could have possibly made in my life.
I left treatment realizing that I had been given a second chance and that I have a lot to make up for. I basically missed two important years of my late twenties and felt determined to get my life back on track. My therapist cautions me against moving too fast, but to me there is nothing more liberating or refreshing than knowing that my life is once again mine to do what I want with. The minute I got help for drug addiction was the minute the world opened up for me.