For most of my early adult life, I used heroin daily. From the time I would wake up until the moment I passed out, all I could think about how I could get another dose. Now that I’ve been clean for over a decade, these distant memories act as a constant reminder of what life could be like if I don’t keep my sobriety priority number one.
If you’re thinking about quitting heroin for good or you’re a parent to a person who struggles with opiate addiction, here’s what the average day in the life of a heroin abuser looks like. While it may be somewhat chilling or dreary, it’s the reality that millions of heroin addicts face regularly.
When heroin wasn’t coursing through my veins and arteries, my entire body ached with pain and agony. Have you ever had the flu before? You know, the strain of flu that forces your whole body to twist and contort with every passing minute from discomfort and inflammation. Heroin withdrawals are similar, but five to ten times worse!
For the first 4 or 5 hours after my intake, I felt like the world was pure and tolerable. I would often find myself saying how “this is the last time I do heroin” and “tomorrow, I’m going to start my new life. This last dosage is my jumping-off point.” but tomorrow never came.
So many heroin users live in this vicious cycle of abuse and hope, but the longer the addiction lasts, the moments of motivation and clarity become fleeting. Before long, you’re doing heroin to feel normal and fight off the nagging sensation of withdrawal settling in.
After years of battling the back-and-forth nature of heroin use, I decided it was time to get sober. But before you think the journey towards a clean life was easy, think again! In total, I visited rehab centers 12 times, and I can’t count how many instances I told myself I would “get sober once and for good.” But like most things in life, you keep trying until it sticks.
Struggling for Normality
For heroin users such as myself, the thought of leading a normal life became seductive. While many of us have grandiose schemes and dreams that we wish to attain, heroin users deep in the thralls of their addiction are desperate for a lifestyle that others would deem boring or dull.
I was 21 years old when I first decided to visit a rehabilitation facility. Although the staff working at the location went above and beyond their job requirements to help me become sober, I abused their trust and found ways to get out of my daily duties.
For readers who are on the fence about visiting a facility to get clean from heroin, listen up: no matter how tempting it may seem to leave the establishment and recover on your own, stick with the treatment plan. If I would have stayed the course and listened to the counselors and therapists working with me, I could’ve cut my recovery time in half.
Giving in to Routine
The catalyst for my sobriety was surrendering myself to the routines and frameworks that the treatment center crafted for me. For addicted patients, having a daily schedule and “to-do” list is essential. Although I always associated routine and structure as philosophical ideologies used to control people, I soon realized it gave patients the power to change their lives.
After years of struggling with basic tasks, such as brushing my teeth regularly, paying my bills, making my bed and cleaning my room, I felt like I could do a great deal more. Once I pieced together the power of productive habits, I realized that anything I wanted to do or accomplish was within my grasp. As long as I submitted to the daily routines that facilitated my goals, I could move mountains.
Even though going to bed on time and having menial chores and tasks to keep your mind preoccupied may seem trivial, the power these responsibilities have is life-changing. Once you develop the habit of trusting yourself and sticking to your word, sobriety becomes much easier to maintain.
Give Yourself a Fighting Chance
Listen to me: if you saw my physical appearance and behavior in my late teens and twenties, you would’ve never guessed I would’ve become a successful pillar of society later in my life. While I still have tasks to check off my bucket list, I’m gainfully employed, married to the person of my dreams, have healthy children and maintain an abundant financial lifestyle I could’ve never imagined possible. And to top it all off, I haven’t used heroin — or any form of substance — in almost 11 years.
While your dreams and aspirations may differ from mine, give yourself a chance to realize your potential by becoming sober. I won’t lie; it’s not an easy task to kick addiction once and for all, but it’s worth it in the long run. I believe in you, and so many individuals in your life would love to see you succeed. If you’re ready to get started, don’t hesitate. Call us at (833) 922-2653 and reach out today to say “yes” to your potential.