Is it about just life there is to it? Or, more than that? One may definitely wonder about the known and not-so-known things to life, but not the unseen aspect; just the other side of life where some of the addicts tread to. No longer content with their lives they go to unimaginable lengths to fulfill their basic need: to escape!
But, there is a different angle to it! A more positive line of thought where the feeling of need vanishes and the feeling of giving back dominates our train of thoughts. It’s no more just about me; It’s about those around me too. How can I come to truce, where you are no longer gonna do it just for yourself but for others around you too.
There is a line, it’s still finite. Once you fall of it, it’s going to be the end of it. That said, I find the comfort in not just getting to that line but a different, more positive line altogether!
Getting through addiction and climbing up the ladder of recovery is not an easy task. Personally, I find the stopping part (of drugs) easier, than the challenges in recovery. This is mostly due to the baggage of our past we have to carry. The problem is the moment we ditch the baggage, it comes back haunting us. If I’m not ready to face my past head-on, the task of staying away from drugs gets harder.
I carry a lot of baggage from my past. These include issues of trust, integrity, numerous relationship damages, to name a few. There are times, if I sit and start to ponder over my past, the feeling of guilt and shame overrides the feeling of self-worthiness. The trip is too bad for me to handle, I tend to shun it, at least for that moment. This in turn bottles it up and sometimes makes it worse too. However, what I’ve found is time helps. As they say, time is the best healer and I truly believe that from experience.
As the journey of life continues and recovery gets stronger, which I’ve yet to experience, my belief is it will make things much easier. Life is not easy. Addiction was not easy, but honestly, for me, life is much harder; and that’s the beauty of life, I guess. Recovery gets challenging for me in every aspect of my life. To mend the broken bones, is not quite an easy task in itself. Having a reality-check helps a lot. Assessing the present situation and doing a little mental comparison helps too.
As time goes by, the other side-effects of addiction — the mental and spiritual part — becomes a memory.
I was on a relapsing roll-out after nearly two years abstinent. The relapsing part was bad but the abstinent part was not so good either; although, I made meaningful and profound decisions in my life during the abstinent days. The question I ask myself is where I went wrong? Is being abstinent from all types of mood-altering substances not enough?
Getting abstinent was no piece of cake either. I struggled with on and off drugs for a long period. I did time in rehab for a countless number of times too. Not to mention, the NA meetings, and recovery literature I went through. The problem was not too much of not knowing but of not applying. I simply failed to apply the principles and tools I learned in rehab and from NA meetings. I even went through living in a sort-of-a-half-way house abroad for a long period of time too; it didn’t help me either.
After a long time struggling, I just quit for good; I simply stopped. There were a lot of things which happened in between which I’ll share in another story, hopefully. Quitting just happened out of the blue. I simply left all the recovery jargon and addiction associations from my life. I isolated myself and my life too. I was in it for nearly two years, which is not a long time in terms of clean time. During those days I had very low moments and very notable high moments of my life too.
Unfortunately, the abstinent years didn’t last long. My past came roaring towards me, the more I moved away from it. I didn’t intend to use, but it somehow happened; apparently, Iintentionally did it! I don’t blame the people around me or my surroundings for the relapse that was inevitable. Frankly, I was not happy inside during the abstinent times. Basically, I was not in recovery. I have tasted recovery, but during those days it tasted nothing like recovery.
What did I learn? To be in recovery is not just to be abstinent from all kinds of drugs and mood-altering substances. It is much more than that. It is to apply the tools we learn and to take action in our life. To be honest, open-minded and willing to change. To respect others and share my life with others and to give unconditionally. I have a lot to learn and I’m looking forward for the journey of life.
The darkness engulfed me. To the extent, the meaning of life, the daily struggles, the emotions and feelings were shunned to a corner. Nothing really mattered; to matter was also forgotten. Feeling numb is an understatement. These were just some of the lows I had to go through in my heroin addiction.
It is certainly a frame of mind addicts visit emotionally — at least I went through it. These are low-emotional levels I went through during the peak of my using and even after I slowed down. Heroin starts really taking over every aspect of life.
Recovery is challenging too. Despite all the lows there is always the insanely psychological feel-good associations with it. The rational and logical conclusions do sometimes not work for anyone who’s trapped in the drug addiction cycle.
I do get the encouragement and drive to stay on the course. Recovery is simply a journey. There are real highs and real lows too; but I never wish to go to that darkness again.
Not everybody who wanders around drugs get addicted. Some of my friends have abruptly quit heroin, with no major rock-bottoms. Although I feel happy for them, it has never motivated me to quit; in fact, it boosted my ego–if they can quit, I can do it any other day. There have been times I swore I’d never use but to pick up again. There have been couple of years clean time in my belt; but, I don’t want to categorize those years as particularly memorable–at least not in a recovery sense.
In fact, those were the worst times of my life I could recall; not merely because I was away from drugs, but because of the spiritual and mental bankruptcy. Once I came to learn about recovery and all the jargon associated with it, I became aware of so many things which I wish I never knew–ignorance is really bliss sometimes.
However, getting from an ignorant phase to an educated phase–not enlightening, I’m sure–granted me the opportunity to apply tools and principles in my life, if I were to change. That was the problem from the beginning. I failed to apply. Knowing something rarely helps. There are many ways of giving up using; surely, not just one! The more I get immersed in recovery literature, the more complicated things get. The disease concept, genetics of addiction and stuff like we are predisposed to getting addicted due to our brain make-up and what-not really gets me sometimes. I don’t get it–I don’t think those who promotes those slogans get it either! No offence, but that’s just my opinion, not necessarily the right one either.
Surprisingly, the best suggestion I got till date about rock-bottom is it’s not a requirement to get clean. It is a very relative term, indeed. The best way I have found to stop using is just stop using. Period! The problem is to just stop using doesn’t help me either. Getting abstinent is sometimes relatively easy for me, but staying on the course, maintaining my recovery day-by-day, that’s where the work gets tough for me. That’s what I’ve yet to master!
Where is the moment? The moment of happiness, serenity, fulfillment…It never seems to come. There are days I simply give up hope—the hope of a new life. There are days which pass so slowly, as if in slow motion, I can’t find anything fulfilling to do. Nothing seems to interest me anymore. The idea of bathing myself in heroin corners me from above and beyond. Do I simply give in to the fight? Or, as they say, surrender? Surrender to what? To the hole that is consuming me from inside; despite, all the movements in my life.
A ray of hope is all I need. I chuckle, and convince myself that, at least for the day.
The emptiness I have felt, I would never wish upon anyone. There is no way I can fully describe it to someone who has not experienced it. It’s like a part of me has left my body. The feeling of loneliness, although I’m surrounded by people, overwhelms me to the extent I feel loneliness in its raw sense, literally. It never seems to go away. The feeling of total uselessness, coupled with the utter meaninglessness of the world seizes me.
These are feelings I have to fight or surrender to, on a daily basis. Every time I stop after using for a period of time (days, weeks, or months), I get overwhelmed. Sometimes, it’s really hard to go through it; though over time, the feeling lessens. If I isolate myself during this period, – the most tempting thing to do – the emptiness doubles it’s grip on me. I try not to isolate, but sometimes that’s what I end up doing, making matters worse.
After experiencing this through out my journey it has become a part of my life now. I no longer sit and worry about it. If I hear a friend say he is bored, I chuckle to myself. I have gone beyond boredom. I mean, I still get bored sometimes, but that’s like heaven compared to the raw feelings I have gone through.