I just couldn’t take it anymore. I had been on one type of drug or another since the mid-90s and just wanted to end this self-defeating cycle of suffering. Sure, I had managed to build some facsimile of a life, but that only made the lower points that much more painful. The fact that I now had something to lose (a family, a career, a house, etc.) scared me to death. I lost count a while back of how many promises of “last time” I made to myself and everyone around me, but it has to be somewhere in the hundreds.
When I was about 19, I started experimenting with weed and pills. I outgrew weed, but never managed to shake the oxy. It was like this dead weight around my neck that just grew and grew as time went on. It alienated me from my family and friends and made it impossible for me to live a normal life. At first I didn’t care. After all, what did I, at 21, need with a future, right? All the promise and light that was in my life was slipping away, until eventually there was just deception, hurt feelings and, of course, withdrawal.
This went on for about 15 years. Pills were my everything and I had no intention of letting them go. Then, during a longer period in which I found it hard to score pills, I started thinking about doing heroin and this scared me more than anything. Perhaps it was the stigma of the heroin addict that got to me: emaciated, desperate and impoverished with marks all over their arm. I couldn’t believe I was considering it. Whatever it was, it compelled me to enter treatment. Luckily I landed in one of the best drug rehab centers in Florida and never looked back.
If I would have transitioned to heroin, I don’t even think I’d be alive to write this, much less be in any shape to launch a recovery. My therapists and doctors helped me realign my thinking and pull me back from the brink of complete self-destruction. They exhibited a firm compassion that allowed me to reassert my independence and regain my strength. These virtues have been critical in helping me sustain my recovery. I think about where I was just a few short years ago and I can’t believe it. I saved my own life when I decided to enter rehab.
East Rochester, NY