I am a recovering addict. It took me years during my addiction to be able to call myself an addict, and to understand that I had a problem. Addiction is a disease, many will argue against calling it that, but for the sake of this post I am going to call it that. Addiction is a disease that affects many families. The one using isn’t the only one affected. From friends, family, coworkers and everyone you come into contact with, they all are affected. Friends and family are hurt the worst.
I was a liar, cheat, and a thief. Doing what I had to, to get my next fix became a top priority. Never did I stick a needle in my arm, but nor am I better than one who does. We are all equal. All of us know we’re hurting ourselves, we want to cure our addictions, but like me others’ out there do not believe there is a cure for ourselves. I was afflicted with an incurable unsurmountable disease, that God himself could not cure me of and redeem me from. However, I was wrong.
I don’t exactly remember when I started using, but I remember why. Self medication. Suffering from mental illness I could no longer bear the pain of my mental instabilities and suffering. It started with benzodiazepines and sleeping pills, moved to opiate pain killers, and lastly it moved to heroin and fentanyl. Heroin and Fentanyl, who would of thought that straight A student in high-school and college would grow up to be a strung out drug snorting addict.
The anxiety I suffered was overbearing, I feared everything. Death, unacceptance, coming out, driving cars, normal every day fears yes, but I excessively feared them. I couldn’t manage. My Bipolar Depression overwhelmed me, I had no courage to be the man I wanted be, no drive to do the things I enjoyed, I was overly tired, overwhelmed, and agitated. I didn’t think there was help for me with these symptoms. As I found help for my mental health, I began to fight for my right for an “addiction free life”. It’s in quotations because once you are an addict you are always an addict, that is why I always refer to myself as a recovering addict.
Getting clean wasn’t easy. I fell down and stood up many times. Through two treatment centers I went, and I had also overdosed and was hospitalized countless times. I thank the Lord for my forgiving family and friends. I thank parents who helped me get clean and never gave up. I also thank the family who took me on when I needed a place to stay. Getting clean wasn’t easy, and I did it by changing my surroundings. I was out of my comfort zone, with no drug dealers in site, no vehicle to find them, and I knew pretty much no body. A spiritual awakening also happened throughout my mind, soul, and body that told me, “This is not the life God intended for you to live.” To this day I have been clean 3 and a half years*.
There is help out there for everyone who suffers from addiction and their families too. You may think it will not help you, but it can. I have countless friends, countless family members who have gotten clean. Give it a shot, what do you have to lose? Your addiction?
*I still drink on occasion, but always in moderation. I mention this for all those that go to Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous who prefer to stop all substances whatsoever.