Waking up in the throes of addiction, usually between 8 and 9 in the morning, was a painful and agonizing ritual. The sensation of dopesickness gnawed at my bones, leaving me desperate for relief. In a bid to conceal my secret world from my roommates, I’d retreat to the bathroom and turn on the shower to muffle any suspicious sounds. There, with trembling hands, I’d inject heroin into my veins, chasing that elusive sense of euphoria that had become my cruel master. Often, I’d mix in meth or cocaine, hoping to summon a fleeting burst of energy to face the day.
As an ironic twist, my daytime job was as a salesman at a major cell phone retailer. The irony lay in the fact that my occupation was all about connecting people while I was disconnecting from my own life. Before stepping into the store, I’d shoot up again in my car, hoping to regain some semblance of functionality. But the grip of addiction was relentless, pushing me to commit acts I’m not proud of.
Some days, the desperation to feed my addiction would drive me to steal iPhones or Galaxy S3 phones from the store’s inventory, pawning them to sustain my high. The fact that they couldn’t prove it and chose to withhold my last paycheck felt like a miraculous escape from what could have been a prison sentence for theft exceeding $20,000.
My addiction was an insatiable beast, constantly demanding more. It led me to manipulate my own parents, fabricating reasons to extract money from them. Sometimes, I’d stoop even lower, stealing from people’s garages or selling off every possession I owned, including my own phone and computer.
To avoid the dreaded sickness that lurked in the shadows, I needed to consume at least a gram of heroin daily. But merely avoiding withdrawal wasn’t enough; I craved the intoxicating highs. To achieve that, I’d mix in Xanax, alcohol, meth, or cocaine, concocting a dangerous cocktail that further spiraled me into the abyss. Alongside my drug addiction, thoughts of suicide often swirled in my mind, with visions of driving off a bridge on the highway haunting my daily routine.
I injected every substance imaginable, excluding alcohol and Xanax, recognizing that there was no need to amplify their effects through needles. My life had been reduced to a series of injections, occurring roughly 7 to 9 times a day.
Now, as I reflect upon my journey, I’m six months clean, a milestone I couldn’t have fathomed during the darkest days of my addiction. Sharing this harrowing tale serves as a poignant reminder of why I chose recovery. Addiction is a relentless disease, but it can be arrested, and recovery becomes possible.
For those who read my story, remember that addiction affects people from all walks of life. My selfishness was a symptom of this disease, but I’ve learned that people can change. Every day, individuals battle their demons and emerge victorious, and I hope my story can serve as a beacon of hope to those still fighting their battles.
To all who’ve reached out for advice on helping friends and family dealing with addiction, know that your support can make a profound difference in their journey toward recovery. Thank you for taking the time to read my story and for being part of my ongoing recovery.