From Existing To Living

When he shot me up for the first time, because I was too afraid to do it on my own; the needle and I began a love affair. Up until that point, IV drug use was a line I had vowed never to cross. I watched him mix up a concoction of Dilauded and water into a spoon and draw it up in a syringe. He then took his belt and tied it tightly around my arm. I was afraid to watch; but I did anyway. He inserted the needle, drew back and blood shot into the syringe; I watched frightened but fascinated. My heart was pounding heavily anxious and excited. Then the release, he untied the belt and I was hooked immediately.

For the first while, he had to shoot me up because I was too afraid but that didn’t last long. I didn’t want to wait for him to finish first, I was impatient. I wanted it as soon as it was in my hands; whether it was from my prescription that I just picked up or the dealer in the city. At this point I didn’t think twice, I knew always to use a clean syringe and I felt that’s all I needed to know. Like I have said in previous posts; you don’t only become addicted to the drug but to the whole ritual of shooting up. It absolutely sucked when I couldn’t find a vein; I would sit for however long it took; with blood everywhere, just a bloody mess. It wasn’t an option to just give up on finding one, without it I would be sick. Most of the time I just needed it to be normal, to go to the store, to wake up in the morning, to get dressed, simple things in my life depended on one thing; opiates.

This was just a regular part of my day like many other days; I did what I had to do. I did not think of anything but staying high. I was going through life just existing.

To an addict, there is nothing more difficult than managing a habit, and nothing more impossible than controlling its chaotic nature. I became delusional and afraid, I was thrown into a constant realization that I had to make the right choices, and feared that everyone was waiting and watching. For the first while every night I tried to fall asleep I was woken up by nightmares, some scary because they felt terrifying, some scary because I was high in my dream. For a while it was hard to find natural joy, it was difficult to sit or be still. I had to constantly try to distract myself but it was so hard to focus on the simplest things. It was hard to make small insignificant decisions. I was and still am learning how to live again; slowly but surely. After 10 years of constant abuse, it’s hard to ‘be normal’. It’s hard to find a job, hard to maintain it, hard to wake up in the morning, hard to know what to do next. It’s been roughly 7 and a half months that I have been sober and I am only beginning to get my life in order. I know it isn’t going to happen over night, and I also know that it will be a life long process to succeed and maintain my sobriety. It’s nice to finally have a sense of normality; whatever that may be.

I now wake up in the morning with a purpose, I can smile because I am finally living.

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