This is a guest post, written by “a girl I know who….”. She may or may not be my sister, but she definitely IS a good writer. And man, does she have a story. One day, we may write a book together. For now, here’s this…
My “mother-freaking” sister has this idea. She wants to interview me, and ask me questions about my heroin addiction. She says it will be titled something like, “How to Beat a Mother Freaking Hard Addiction”[side note from me, Hayley…it won’t be called that]. After reading that I immediately got qualms. For a lot of reasons. The first one that popped into my head is, “who am I to tell someone how to beat an addiction when only 6 months ago I was living IN a motel room?” But WHERE I was living didn’t matter. See, I would have been just as fine on the streets or under a bridge or in a car. What did matter six months ago is WHAT I was living for. What was I living for you ask? I was living for the needle. I was living for the euphoria that envelops your body in those few seconds after you push the plunger of the needle and that black, sticky substance became one with my veins again. I was living for the rush of putting heroin into your body that lasts for about 10 seconds….10 seconds of perfection that no one outside of an IV Heroin user will never know. I was living for the 30 minutes after that shot-you know, those 30 minutes where there is no pain. There is no anxiety, there’s no depression. Racing thoughts cease to exist. It’s just you and that high for that period of time…..and for an addict, no matter what your drug, the seconds and minutes after that shot are what you live for. Comfort, peace, happiness, and a break from the absolute madness and cruelness that awaits you when the high is over and it’s time to start figuring out how you can get high again.
You know, it doesn’t start like this. Early in my addiction, I would snort a little bit of China White (for those if you unfamiliar with this term, China White is basically one of the most pure forms of heroin. Let me tell you something really quick that is different between heroin addicts and normal people (different even from other addicts). In the world of a heroin addict, you lose your friends fast. I’m not talking about getting into some silly argument and deciding you aren’t friends anymore. I mean we lose our friends fast because they die fast (Hello, 2012) That’s the year that I had at least 12 close friends leave this world forever-all found with a needle in their arm. I’ve been present in a room with friends who have breathed their last breath, because of their addiction. And you want to know what the very first words are from the ones who witnessed it or heard about it and survived?
“Damn, where did he get his stuff from?? I want some shit that strong.” Yeah. It’s like that. For a heroin addict, the closer you get to finding the junk that is going to kill you, the closer you are to the best high you could imagine. Life and death swings on a pendulum for a junkie.
Pending how I feel about it all, once I start reading through these mother-freaking questions my sister sent, I may divulge a lot more to you in the next few days. But for now, the last thing I want to say is this: I listen to fellow alcoholics and addicts speak all the time on this YouTube channel. And every single one of the people (oh and this drives me insane!!!) say “If I can do it, you can do it.” Oh. You really think that? I think that every addict feels that they have just THE WORST story about how their addiction was just so awful so if they made it, well so can the rest of the world. And do you know what I want to say that? NO! No that’s not true at all. If I make it, maybe you can’t. And who knows? Maybe you’ll make it and I won’t…. Relapse is real ya’ll and I’ve experienced it many times. Some people who think they have made it for sure are going to relapse in the future and some people who think they will die an addict, are going to get clean and make it. Addiction is a tricky thing. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it. And sometimes, getting clean can sneak up on you just as fast. It’s a conscious decision you have to make every single day. So yeah, I have stayed clean for a while now. The longest I have ever stayed clean. But I don’t think I have all the answers. I know what has worked for me. I know my story and I know the low low places it brought me. I know about the shame and guilt I feel about the person I was. I know a lot of things… But I don’t know how to make YOU clean.
But..I THINK I would love to share my story with you. The good. The bad. The ugly. The highs (no pun intended) and the lows. And I hope it’s a story that may give some people hope. And a story to make someone feel not alone. Because as an addict you are never alone. This is for the addict still struggling and the ones that have made it…. Because no matter what stage of your addiction you are in there is hope in sharing with another addict. I can stay sober by sharing my story with a struggling addict. And a struggling addict can find hope in hearing the success story of another addict. And that is what I want to share. Maybe.