Recovery from substance abuse and dependence is not an easy feat. Addiction is a disease. Not everyone develops an addiction. However, to the addict, the choice to use a certain drug is all it took to begin the abuse leading to the dependence. There was no precursor to this, there was no obvious warning that this drug was the one. But, here you are – you’re the one stuck with making a choice between perpetually using drugs or fighting back. Losing control to drug addiction does not leave you abandoned of all hope. However, recovery is also a choice. Luck won’t bring you there. It takes a commitment. It takes work. It will take the rest of your life. On the other hand, it won’t deplete you of your life. See the difference?
All people have faults. No one is perfect and the perfect world does not exist; knowing this is a key factor. Just because you have taken a different path does not mean you are any worse than the next guy. It just so happens that the other guy has different battles. But enough of him, let’s talk about you.
Consumed By Drug Addiction
So here you are, all wrapped up and consumed by your drug addiction. You wake up, and it wants to be fed. You try to fight it, and it screams louder. You try to ignore it, and it takes over. So what happens next? You feed it or it starves. When it starves, you hurt. (You’re sweating). You need it. (You’re starting to panic). Now your stuck in tracking it down. (Your hands are shaking, your head is pounding, your pulse increasing). You pay for it. (You’re irritable). You use it. (You cannot feel it fast enough). You feed it. (You’re numb). You are content from it. (Whatever you felt, it’s gone now). Then it ends. (It’s over). The moment has passed. (You know you’re going to need it again). Until that time comes again. (The time is now). And you repeat the process.
You hate yourself for what you’ve become. You hate that you no longer recognize yourself. You feel helpless while the drug addiction takes precedence over your life. You wish that you would’ve never started – that you can just erase its existence. You wonder who you would be without it. You think about why you started. You feel sad or angry…you feel. Then you remember the first time you didn’t feel. It was the best moment you’d ever had. It is the exact moment you want to get back. Not only that but you become physically ill without it. You can’t function. You’re taken over by pain. Physical pain. Why? Because you’re an addict.
Your drug addiction has taken control of your life. You’re the puppet, it’s the puppeteer: It tells you what to say and how to say it. It makes you do whatever it wants. At some point you wonder if you could just kill it off. If you could shake free from it. You know you can’t control it. You try but you lose. Each time. Every time. Even if you tell yourself it’s the last time. You know it’s the last time until the next time. There’s always the next time.
Your only friends are the ones that understand it. The ones that share it. The ones that deal it. The ones that use it. You shut the rest of them out. Besides, they don’t want you around. All you’ve done is take from them. You’ve stolen from them. You’ve apologized more times that there are seconds in a day. Of course they’re angry. You are, too. You can’t stop it. You’re hopeless.
“You will never win.” Why do you tell yourself that? Because you’ve tried to stop before and you couldn’t. It’s easier to just accept it. It’s who you are now. Besides, it’s been so long since it began, you have no idea who the person was before anyway. You have no idea how to go back to being you, because this is the person you’ve been, you’ve become. It’s pointless to fight it. It always wins. Each and very time. You’ve wasted so much money on trying. And using is so much cheaper.
The Light at the End of the Tunnel – Learning to Respect Yourself
You can’t help but wonder how other people are stopping. Do you want to know the secret?
They respect themselves. They love themselves. They care enough to make it work. They put in the work. They fight for sobriety every day. They put all of their effort towards it. They set boundaries. They make the commitment. And they do it.
Why them and not you? They create a life that is not user friendly. They made the choice and they were done. It doesn’t mean that it was easy. It doesn’t mean they are more successful. It doesn’t mean that you can’t do it.
When you make the choice to stop using and to stop feeding your drug addiction, you make the choice to live. There are steps involved. There are ways to help ensure that you will be more likely to not use. But you have to decide that you’re ready. You have to decide that the time has come to make that change. You have to say that it’s now or never.
We’ve talked to a lot of addicts who don’t respect and love themselves. That doesn’t mean you’re beyond hope. But part of the healing process will be learning how to respect and love yourself again…or for the first time.
Yes, I am a Drug Addict
The first step in successful recovery is admitting that you have a problem with addiction. You can’t keep lying to people around you. One of the worst behaviors developed in heroin and drug addiction is lying. Addicts are the best at lying to themselves and lying to others in order to maintain their addictions. If you avoid yourself you will maintain the addiction. Admitting you have a problem is necessary, yes. But words are not enough. As long as you know what you have to do but keep putting it off, the longer you lie to yourself and the longer your drug addiction thrives. The longer you spend lying, the more uncomfortable you’ll feel being honest. There is no shame in recovery. Be proud to face your drug addiction head on. Tell the people closest to you about your decision. See “Procrastinating Addiction Treatment and Avoiding a Premature Meeting with the Grim Reaper”
Steps Away From Drug Addiction and Into Recovery
You have to create a new life. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel, you are who you are. Just because you feel uncertain about who you are, doesn’t mean you’ll never figure it out. The most common reasons a substance user cannot escape the habit is because the habit is present in the addict’s life, it’s active. When the time comes to make the commitment, there are steps you can take to ensure you are more likely to succeed.
Tell the people closest to you that you are in recovery. Tell them you need their support. Tell them the time has come and you are ready to move out of active addiction and into a life of active recovery. If they can’t show you support, then do not put yourself around them.
Oh, and the friends you had while you were using? Get rid of them. If they are not ready to be in recovery themselves, they will not respect your choice to do so. The friends you had that were in some way associated with drugs and/or drug addiction are the friends you don’t keep. They’ll invite you to parties. They’ll use in front of you. They’ll bring you right back into active addiction.
Along with people, you will have to change the places you go. Do not go anywhere you have used before. It will bring the memory of the high back to you. It will give you cravings. Do not go near a part of town if you have used there or you know people there that use. You may not be able to resist the temptation. So, you stay away from the location. You also need to get rid of every item that reminds you of using. You don’t need to see those items. Seeing them will give you the urge to use them.
Developing New, Positive and Drug-Free Relationships
You will also need to develop positive relationships. Recovery groups are one place to find them. In these groups, whether online or in-person, you will find yourself surrounded with like minded individuals. They are addicts, too. They have also made horrible choices; some may not be as bad as yours, others may be worse. But they’ve also made the choice to recover. They won’t judge you. They won’t negate you. They won’t tell you that you aren’t good enough or good enough to survive. They won’t tell you that you’ve tried it before and this time isn’t any different. They want to see you succeed. They want you to be just as successful as they want to become. They know it’s a battle you are fighting every day. They know that you’ve left the old you behind. They’re scared, too. But, they’ll be there. Giving you positive reinforcement every day that you do it because they need the support as well. In recovery, every person is making the same changes you are. The big changes occur after you make the small, little changes. You have to respect yourself enough to make those changes. You cannot allow others to disrespect you in the meantime.
Drug Addiction Counseling and Therapy Can Help
However, this is not the only means at achieving successful sobriety. There is a high correlation with individuals suffering from traumatic events, depression, and abuse or neglect, that leads to the cortex, the brain’s control center undergoing interruptions. These interruptions stem from innate survival-oriented instincts. While you may or may not even realize it, there is more than likely an underlying reason why you chose to turn to alcohol or drugs. Addiction needs to be treated as a twofold disease; along with group support, you also need to be seen by a mental health professional. These are people that are trained in helping you realize how to address and resolve issues. They can help to provide you with new coping mechanisms and assist in the reduction of overwhelming feelings. While recovery groups can be supportive in many aspects, you also need to learn and heal from the underlying reasons that led you to using heroin or drugs in the first place.
Tips for Successful Recovery From Drug Addiction
Remembering that you will not be able to control of your drug addiction is an important realization when choosing sobriety. Just because you cannot imagine your life without your addiction, does not mean it is easier for you to keep using and staying numb to reality. While you may tell yourself that drug rehabilitation costs money, remind yourself that you are stealing to pay for your drugs. If you think rehab will take up too much of your time, figure out how much time each day is dedicated to your active addiction. The point is that trying to maintain your drug addiction is avoiding the problem all together. You can’t wish it away, you can’t ignore it, and you won’t wake up one day not being an addict. You can’t shut out the world and live in solitude. You can’t live in stressful environments without feeling the urge or need to use. You can’t blame other people for your choosing to stay active in your addiction. If you are scared of trying or fearful of failure, just remember that so are the people you’ll meet in recovery; and so were the 23 millions of people who are now living in active recovery.
Decide to stop. Find support. Beware of triggers. Learn how to relax. Surround yourself with positive people. Be honest. Understand that change is not easy. But as much as drug addiction has changed your life for the worse, the same dedication and effort can be made in recovery towards making your life better.
For more information or if you need help conquering addiction, feel free to contact us or visit our list of prescreened top drug rehab facilities and addiction treatment centers.
Written and Published By, Kristi Tullis – Writer/Blogger for Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™
Edited By, William – Publisher and Founder
We are a community for recovering heroin addicts providing support and recommending the best treatments and clinics to people interested in conquering their addiction.