My journey to recovery can be broken up into a two-part series. The first was my addiction to heroin. I was the anomaly—the child who wanted to be a heroin addict. I wanted to look “good” but be “bad”. But it was a long and draining life.
I tried so many times to get clean that I finally got to the point where I had the repetitive thought–“the only way to kill my addiction is to kill myself” –and that wore me down.
I set myself up to intentionally overdose, but with the caveat that if I lived, I would go to detox. I knew saying this to myself wasn’t enough, so I wrote the promise on a piece of paper and placed it on the bedside nightstand. I did that so if I opened my eyes, I could visualize what I needed to do. So that it was concrete. So that I couldn’t ignore what I wanted, what I needed. So that my first thought in the morning would be my journey to recovery.
The second part of my journey began after I moved back to my home state, to my family. I went to a 30-day treatment, finally graduating after 60 days, but had no idea what the next step of my life should be.
I didn’t take aftercare seriously. I began drinking, started running with someone from treatment, and started abusing prescription pills. I felt lost and lonely. I entered into unhealthy relationships. I had two children over four years and was coming close to losing them. I had no control, was out of control, burning even the strongest of bridges.
Every night I had a repetitive thought, –“I regret my today”–and that wore me down.
I wanted so much more for myself and my children. I didn’t want to be this version of myself anymore. I started going to outpatient, and really connected with my counselor. I was referred to the only Medication Assisted Treatment provider in my town. That first day at the clinic was amazing. I felt normal again, like I had potential. MAT helped clear my obsession and my counselor helped clear my old habits so I could start to move forward.
I understood I did not have to kill myself to kill the addiction, and I did not have to regret my daily choices.
I moved out of that town and went back to school to finish my degree. I reconnected with an old love, got married, bought my first house, got a great job, bought my second house, watched my kids flourish, felt relationships repair.
Today, I am healthy—and feel contented with looking “good” and being “good”.
And the most rewarding part is the fact that I now get to help those in a way in which I was helped.
1. an act of traveling from one place to another.
Photo is representative and does not show actual CMHS client