So I have discussed a lot about myself over the last year, but one thing I don’t think I have discussed in detail is why I used drugs? What was I looking for?
The main reason I haven’t discussed it is because I don’t know the exact answer. But over the past couple of years, since I started treatment, I have a clearer picture.
In the beginning, I thought it was harmless fun. It’s what kids did, they experiment with alcohol and weed, some like it and keep doing it and some get past the phase and realize it wasn’t for them.
I wasn’t exactly coping with any problem in particular. I was certainly masking some insecurities that many teens have, but I didn’t have a terrible childhood full of problems that I had to escape from.
My parents were still together, my sister wasn’t a brat, my brother might have been a foot taller then me but he still wasn’t big enough to pick on me… so I wasn’t dealing with a broken home.
However, I felt a comfort in using the drugs.
I found the fun I was looking for, and eventually, it became a way to enhance my life, parties seemed more fun, and sex lasted longer. I thought as long as I maintained my grades at an acceptable level, and I didn’t kill anybody, there was no harm in a weekend of partying.
What I didn’t realize was that I was building a foundation of what I thought was socially acceptable behavior that I would keep pushing further and further. Eventually, I would rely on the drugs to get through my day or accept and mask the life I had created.
As life moved forward, things happened… friends died in car accidents or ended up mentally and physically handicapped, and I coped the only way I knew how and that was using.
Then, my dad died and instead of talking to someone about the way I was feeling I turned to whatever drugs I was using at the time.
Then failures came after college, and I turned to those same drugs to support me financially while I continued to use at alarming rates. At the time, there were no sirens going off in my head warning me of the dangers that were ahead.
I always felt like I was able to keep my addiction at arms length, like I was always strong enough to party hard, but not let it affect other aspects of my life. My grades didn’t slip, my work performance didn’t lack, and my relationships were remaining strong, or at least early on.
However, I was being delusional and only realize now that I was only functioning. I was nowhere near my full potential.
Over time I was barely able to meet minimal requirements at work as I became more and more unreliable because my use was starting to move from Friday through Sunday and into Monday and Tuesday. And before I knew it, I was using every day.
The drugs held me back from believing in myself, they kept my dreams small by not letting me think much further than the next use, and eventually, my next fix was all I thought about.
I have talked to people who became crack addicts overnight, but that wasn’t how it happened with me…it was a slow fade. It was this long drawn out progression of use that escalated gradually over ten years until there weren’t any new drugs to try.
I haven’t done them all, and I will talk about which ones I have and haven’t used in my next post, but once you have done crack, meth, and heroin, there isn’t much left.
I was looking for something in my drug use, and I still don’t think I have found out exactly what it was that still calls for me from time to time even now, almost five years from my last use.
I was sitting in a meeting the other day, and I was thinking about ten months from now and how I could drink if I wanted to, and I felt this moment of excitement, and it was a reminder that I am far from cured. Of course I know now there is probably no cure for what I have. I know that it will be a lifelong battle, and there will most likely be slips and stumbles along the way, but how I react to those occasions will determine if I have to come back for more or not.
I may not have the itch as bad as some people in here have, and I may have more opportunities waiting for me upon release, but bottom line is I have been to too many of the same depths that they have experienced, and all the support in the world wasn’t able to stop me from going there.
What I am doing now, though, is working to overcome or at least counteract some of the cognitive issues that come with addiction. If I can learn how my brain works, identify my triggers, and build a plan to help me stay clean than I am at least better off then when I came in.
Receiving the 10-year sentence wasn’t enough for me to want to stop using, but serving it certainly was. Somewhere along the way, I took a look at my life and said, alright, I don’t want to do live that same life over again. And once I made that decision, I was able to take a deeper look at why I did what I did.
I guess I thought I was better under the influence, I was cooler, better looking, and life was more entertaining. I thought life without drugs would suck. I didn’t want to be a square with a nine to five, have a nagging wife, annoying kids, and now all those things are looking pretty attractive from where I am sitting.
So many people are attracted to drugs for different reasons, and I think there will forever be a drug problem in this country because the demand will always be there. Drugs are addictive, and I will admit they were fun at first, but then somewhere along the way, the fun stopped, and I was left with a depressing and pathetic existence.
I remember the bad times like they were yesterday, and I don’t want to go back and experience that depressing life again.
Thanks for listening!