Young William in the photo below had many dreams. Being an addict wasn’t one of them
Dear world, why do you hate me? Yes, I’m an addict, but I’m not who you perceive me to be. I’m not your stereotype and I cannot be stigmatized. You may hate me but you don’t know me. I suffer from the disease of addiction. You can tell me until you are blue in the face that it’s a choice, but it’s not. Nobody chooses addiction and no child I’ve ever known or heard of says “When I grow up, I want to be an addict!” You judge, condemn and ridicule what you don’t understand. But your judgments are hurting people. We are a lot more alike than you’d like to admit. Perhaps you judge me because it makes you feel better about the things you don’t like about yourself. But if you look at your pale reflection in a mirror, you will see that you’re just like me!
I’m a good person who’s done foolish things. . I am not a junkie, I am not a dope field, I am not an abuser. I am not worthless and I can (and have) be saved. What I have isn’t contagious, but it is a disease. I did not choose the cognitive compulsion and ubiquitous connection to heroin that drove me to continue using it despite logical reason and the fear of consequences. I didn’t choose to feel this way and I never wanted to grow up to be an addict.
William Takes Responsibility for His Choices of Using Drugs and Feeding His Disease
I suffer from addiction but I’m not a junkie. I have a disease that I didn’t chose. I deserve love, respect and compassion despite my affliction and bad choices as a result. You have no reason to hate me world. I’m just like everybody else.
My addiction is not my fault. But I do take responsibility for feeding it. I take responsibility for using drugs; I take responsibility for my broken promises; I take responsibility for hurting the ones I love and lying to their faces. But I never meant to hurt them. I tried to stop, it’s not like I want this. But addiction is a powerful force that’s beat me down and put my body, mind and soul in a weakened state. I was a slave to my chemically and structurally altered brain that yearned for more heroin. I had the power to say no, but it certainly didn’t feel like it.
When I was young, I had hopes and dreams. I wanted to be a veterinarian, then a doctor, then a teacher, then a lawyer, then a computer programmer, then a counselor and then a writer. I’ve gotten to do a number of these things before opioids and heroin took over my life. I obtained a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in counseling. I’ve been an Systems Administrator, IT (Information Technology) Manager and a website programmer for almost 20 years. I’ve been a writer and a website publisher for almost 10 years. In recovery, I’ve been able to get back to many of these things. But when I fed my addiction, all I cared about was heroin.
William’s Onset of Heroin Addiction
In my mid 30’s, after building a successful career and living what dreams are made of, I made a terrible mistake. I was going through a difficult time and I decided to try drugs – first, oxycodone and then, heroin. I was instantly hooked and the disease of addiction became a hook, line and sinker. Heroin was my drug of choice (DOC) and I couldn’t let go. And it sure as hell wouldn’t let go of me!
I was used to being respected, liked and honored for my achievements. But once addiction hooked me, I was ridiculed, chastised and often insulted. I’ve heard it all, most of all from people I didn’t even know so they had no reason to hate me. I was called “junkie”, “heroin addict”, “dope fiend”, “abuser”, “dirty”, etc. Less than educated individuals also liked to throw in my face that “addiction is a choice”. It’s interesting because I don’t recall ever saying as a child, “Mommy, daddy, when I grow up, I want to be an addict and lose everything I own and hold dear to my heart. I want to live on the streets and get high and get sick when I can’t get my drug.”.
But I did make the choice to “try” and use drugs, at first and every day. It only takes one use of a substance or drug to become addicted to it. As soon as I “tasted it, I felt like I was reacquainted with an old friend or the love of my life. I felt an inescapable connection, one of which I didn’t want to let go. I’ve heard of this feeling but never actually experienced it, that is, until I tried oxycodone for the first time. I felt really guilty when I tried it but that guilt was soon flooded by carelessness and euphoria. After awhile, using oxycodone became second nature. Due to increasing tolerance and expense, it soon became heroin. Heroin was less predictable because the mixture wasn’t always the same, but the “good batches” did the job I was looking for and soon, oxycodone no longer worked for me. Only heroin satisfied me.
Addiction is a Disease, Not a Choice
I never chose to be an addict, but I did choose to feed it. I’ve made mistakes but I’m just like you. I’m a human being with feelings and I care about people, especially those I have close, intimate relationships with. I have an education and I was highly involved in sports growing up. I fell hard for awhile, but I found addiction treatment and long-term recovery. Methadone was one of the tools I used, and yes, it helped to save my life. That in conjunction with desire, hard work and perseverance. I didn’t do it alone. I found that having a support system of loved ones is crucial to successful treatment and recovery. Being part of a community helped me start treatment and it helps me now in long-term recovery.
Recovering Addicts are Unsung Heroes
Recovering addicts are the unsung heroes of the world. We have fought battles and demons that your worst nightmares couldn’t conjure. We not only survived, but we won. No world, I didn’t chose to be an addict. But I did chose to fight back and chose recovery. We are recovering heroes and we are here to help those who are ready to join. As a good friend in recovery would say. We are the C.O.RE (Crusaders of Recovery). Who is ready to join us?
Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers
I always had a passion for helping people. When I was a teenager and in my early 20’s in particular, I would field phone calls from my friends, even in the late night hour and be that shoulder to cry on. I had a heart for those going through difficult times and my thirst to help my friends was unquenchable. This is what convinced me to pursue a master’s degree in counseling When I feel into addiction and entered into long-term recovery, I was convinced that God had prepared me for this moment…to use all my personal and professional experiences and skills to help people still suffering from addiction. Then came the birth of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers (NAATC).
Need Addiction Help?
If you are looking for addiction help, please contact us or view our list of top drug rehab facilities and addiction treatment centers. Regardless of your financial situation and/or whether or not you have insurance, we will bend over backwards to help those who are serious about getting addiction treatment.
Written and Published By,
William – Founder and Publisher For Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™
Visit our Free Heroin Addiction & Recovery Discussion Forum
We are a community for recovering heroin addicts providing support and recommending the best treatments and clinics to people interested in conquering their addiction.