Somewhere in between having fun and experimenting with alcohol and weed as a teenager, I found my true love, opiates. I started eating Percocet and Vicodin my senior year of high school.
I had no idea the journey that would take me on. By graduation, I was sniffing OxyContin daily. I would be lying if I said the first few years were not enjoyable. I mean isn’t that why we start using drugs, because they make us feel good?
But as we know this disease is progressive, and well, drug habits get expensive.
I switched to heroin because it was cheaper. Plus, I was never going to shoot it. I was never going to get THAT bad. I had complete control and I could stop if I wanted to. At the time, I truly believed that.
It took one time for that needle to enter my arm and that was it. Within weeks my “manageable” addiction turned into a mission of survival and death.
I remember each morning, waking up sick. Waking up dope sick is pure misery. But waking up dope sick without a wake up shot, is like waking up in hell. So the struggle would begin to try and get anything out of my cottons from the day before.
Even if I knew there was nothing on them, I would try anyways, I had to try and get some relief from the sickness.
There should have been a siren that would go off in the community when I was dope sick. Nothing, nobody, was off limits when it came to me scoring some dope money. I was hopelessly addicted to heroin, and my whole life revolved around finding that next shot. If you think nobody understands you or knows what it’s like, trust me I know what it’s like.
I know what it’s like to steal from your mother, rob strangers, and hustle just about anything you can think of.
I know what it’s like to get arrested and shame your family by making the front page of the paper.
I know what it’s like to sit in a jail cell, more concerned about how soon it was going to be before I start getting sick then the actual severity of the situation.
I know what it’s like to be found guilty and have to kick a serious dope habit in a prison cell. I know what it’s like to spend 18 months locked up, and truly believe that I would be clean when I was released.
I know what it’s like to relapse 2 weeks after being back on the streets.
I know what it’s like to be beaten but stay in the relationship because they keep you high. I know what it’s like to overdose and get high as soon as I get out of the hospital. I also know what it’s like to overdose few more times and not really be phased by it.
I know what it is like to go to detox more times than I can count and to attend 11 rehab facilities. I know what it’s like to use the day I get out of detox and the day I get out of rehab. I also know what it is like to have brief periods of sobriety and get your families hope up, only to let them down.
I know what it’s like to live in your car. I know what it’s like to not have a car to live in.
I know what’s like to have a dull needle be your only possession. I know what it is like to have nothing left inside you, no spark, no will to live. Trust me, I know what it’s like.