Relapse and the hope not lost.

relapse

© RecoveryMaldives

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, I intentionally 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.

A glimpse of the road to recovery

The bridge to paradise

The bridge to paradise

I was ushered into the world of recovery by fellow addicts – literally dragged into the other side of addiction. I didn’t have any choice in the matter. It was not the lowest point in my life; in fact, I was totally convinced I could do drugs responsibly. The concept of powerlessness and surrender were totally foreign to me; contextually I had no inkling what they meant either.

To paint you a picture of how highly I held myself, I had just turned 20 and I was managing a small business, I had a full-time job as a draftsman and on the side, I was freelancing small drafting and quantity-based gigs; on top of it, I was attending a night college to do a management degree; and, for the cherry on top, I was doing heroin daily.

This was my awaited rising I thought. After an unsuccessful run at College abroad and dropping out after a couple of semesters, I had to get back home. Toward the end of my fateful stay there I had felt so bored and empty; mostly due to extreme partying, smoking pot, sniffing speed, popping up ecstasy, which all ultimately lead to falling back to heroin abroad. Now, that’s what heroin does for the best of us. After a while the real partying stops and you fall back into the gruesome world of heroin addiction.

After coming back home, I struggled through on and off heroin for more than a year. I even did quit for a year or so. This was before I heard of the word recovery. Slowly, I got into the passionate mode of achieving the all-planned goals. I landed in a job, and before I knew it, with all the proper contacts I had, mostly family oriented luck I started my own small company and the free-lancing I mentioned earlier (enough with the bragging).

This was the time I was earning quite a lot; till now I have never been able to earn that much. The high disposable income I had, guaranteed only one thing – a continuous supply of heroin. I never felt withdrawals those days. There was always stuff. I thought this could last forever. With all the money I was making, I was living a poor life. At the end of the day, my folks were fulfilling my basic needs; I just spent most of it on drugs.

As they say, with drugs it’s always a downward plunge. It all came crashing down on me. I was on my knees sooner than I anticipated. I lost track of the business, I was fired from my job and I was a total wreck. All my relationships were at an all-time low. Most of my friends were far-faraway.

Just a couple of months before the plunge, I met a couple of guys, who opened a new world of possibilities for me – the façade of ultimate resurrection from heroin. Now famous as the ‘Journey’ in Male’ these guys were the founding fathers. Back then, it was just a run-down building with no proper facilities. These guys literally talked me into going there with them. I still remember the exact words they told me: They have stumbled upon a formula to get out of drugs – To live clean and sober. It was called narcotics anonymous they said: A fellowship of addicts who are in a recovery journey. They said it was a simple program and we have to follow it one day at a time and it has worked wonders for millions of people. Without any dillydally, they just told me on my face I had no other choice but to adopt the program; otherwise, there was no hope for addicts like us.

Did I really listen? It didn’t make any sense to me back then. The more I went to those meetings, the more I was using; ironically, my usage sky-rocketed after I started attending those rooms. I had to stop both: going to “journey” and doing drugs.