drug abuse recovery

As a child I was taught to believe addicts are somehow “bad people.” However, now that I am white-knuckling through my own sobriety and recovery, I am finding these so-called “bad people” are my soulmates. Addicts are remarkable people. Addicts fight a war within themselves every single day. Addicts are stereotyped and discriminated against. Addicts are beaten down and made to believe they are weak. With all odds against them, addicts do live healthy lives in recovery, and for that, I am grateful.
The Six Stages of Substance Use

Note: “Negative consequences” is defined as anything that would be considered non-pleasurable. Hangovers, for instance, are a negative consequence of drinking too much. 

Abstinence: Not using at all. All people start off abstinent. People can also return to abstinence after a period of experimentation or using. People who unknowingly ingest substances are also considered “abstinent” if they did not willingly take said substance. 

Experimentation: Becoming curious to use to see what a substance does/feels like. At this stage, substance is usually not sought after but provided either by friends or family. Negative consequences usually do not occur at this stage. 

Recreational or social use: At this stage, one is seeking out a substance to experience a desired effect, however, use is irregular and has no established pattern. Negative consequences usually do not occur at this stage. (Most people would consider themselves “recreational users,” but if there is any type of pattern to your use, you usually do not fall under this category!)

Habitual use: At this stage, a definite pattern of use has evolved (daily, every other day, every weekend, etc.) and a stronger craving for the drug is developed. Negative consequences at this stage may not occur, but is more likely. 

Abuse: Habitual use becomes abuse when negative consequences occur and yet use still continues. For example, if you are drinking alcohol every weekend and experience hangovers each time, you may fall under this category. 

Addiction: Abuse becomes addiction when there is an apparent compulsion to use. At this point, tolerance has developed (needing to take more of the drug in order to experience the same desire effect), withdrawal symptoms are present, attempts to moderate use or stop completely are ineffective, negative consequences are occurring, the drug has become a priority, anxiety is present when the substance is not available, and the substance is often needed to function (whether emotionally, physically, or other). 

“But I’m a functioning addict?” 

Congratulations, you’re in denial. 

Recovery is a conscious choice. It’s not something brought about by repeat hospital visits and pills and forced therapy sessions. Those things only supplement it. But what recovery really is, is a conscious choice to wake up tomorrow and want to live. It’s a choice to drive across a bridge and not want to jump into the water, but to admire the view.
—  anonymous
I don’t want to be sober today.

Honestly it’s exhausting to face physical and mental pain without narcotics. I feel so defeated. I’m so fed up with my screwed up sleep patterns. I desperately wish I could sleep for more than 2 hours at a time. I need a holiday from my chronic illness. Screw that I want a break from sobriety; on days like today it’s really hard to be sober. Every fiber of my being is crying for an escape.

As desperately as my mind wants to escape I don’t want to lose control of my life. I am powerless over drugs and alcohol. So instead I will rest and eat and take care of myself; effectively giving my body the energy it needs to keep fighting.

438 days clean and sober

December 12, 2016

No one sets out to be a heroin addict. It’s not a lifestyle choice…

I was a high-profile model and intravenous heroin addict. I copped on the street. Heroin doesn’t discriminate. It is unbearably wonderful for surpressing pain and generating a false sense of well-being. I loved heroin. Addicts who say “I hate heroin” are lying to themselves. We wouldn’t stick needles in our arms daily if we didn’t love the way it made us feel. But when it wears off, you’re in a hole so big its impossible to climb out. No one sets out to be a heroin addict. It’s not a lifestyle choice.

—  Janice, 6 years clean, from New Jersey
Stop addict shaming, rid the stigma and you will see more addicts in recovery.
—  without the shitty stigma surrounding addicts, more addicts would feel comfortable seeking help.

I’m a drug addict. Duh. I basically had 3 years CLEAN & SOBER, and also lived in/ worked at a halfway house BY CHOICE most of that time. Then a few months ago, I moved back to my hometown. About 1 month ago, I relapsed… I know more than enough about addiction, recovery, relapse, addict behavior and personality, character defects, using patterns, overdose… The list goes on and on.
But what I DONT understand… Is how the FUCK, so many RECOVERING FUCKING DRUG ADDICTS WORKING A GODDAMN PROGRAM, can put those of us struggling with active addiction down as hard as they do. Like, you are so fucking lucky. You should REALLY be praying and thanking your higher power EVERY DAY for even giving you this new chance at life.!! Instead of drowning us in an already deep pool of self-hate, throw us a fucking rope.
Keep your distance.? Of course. That’s where your rope comes in. I don’t expect you guys to put your all into trying to save someone, nor do I reccomend it. Don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation like that.

HOWEVER… Just because you decided to get clean does NOT erase your past, or your mistakes. You are STILL and ALWAYS WILL BE A DRUG ADDICT. That fact will NEVER change. The ONLY difference between us and you; Your addiction will only FOLLOW you to your grave as long as you remain practicing the 12 steps and principles through your recovery….. Our addiction, without that previously mentioned rope, could very possibly LEAD us to our graves…. All you have is TODAY.
You are by NO MEANS, ANY better of a person than those of us still suffering down in that hole. Stop sticking your nose up in the air every time you pass by. Smile. Wave. Ask them about their day. If they need to talk, listen. Do not drill them with quotes about recovery. When they see how the promises are coming true in your life, hopefully they will come to you with questions. Maybe not, but at least you did your part to show them that there is a way out, and a better life.

These people are tortured and suffering… Remember.? You were in that hole with us not too long ago… You have to learn to give back what you were given in order to grow.

Like I said before, all you have is today. There is no telling what will, or could happen tommorow.

Even castles built with the strongest walls can crumble.



The first picture was during my senior year in high school when I was strung out on painkillers during a photography class, around March of 2016. Let me make this more clear: this image was taken during class while I was high on painkillers. 

Apparently I was too addicted to even care about how I represent myself. My hair was never done, I was usually too high to actually show emotion through my face, and I never cared to actually put myself together for a single day. Of course, in high school no one really should care about their appearance to impress others, but looking decent was something I would usually prefer to do sober. Oh, and I guess I didn’t even care that I was obviously high in public.

At this point in my life I was letting my abusive ex back into my life and it influenced my substance abuse even more. Not only was I reliving the life that helped me get on the path of addiction in the first place, but I was also trying to diminish my similar path with substance abuse. I would come up with any excuse to take a few pills – whether I convinced myself that I had a headache or I needed to fall asleep/wake up in a decent state of mind, I always did it. I was weak.

The second picture is from seven months later November of 2016. From the first picture to the second, I’ve relapsed, made friends, lost friends, made memories, gained weight, lost a relationship due to the problems… and more. Life’s been a rollercoaster. I’m not perfect, but after graduation to now, I’ve focused on recovering and doing something about my problems, rather than letting them go away for a while. I’ve learned that drugs don’t make your problems go away, it will only create more.

It’s now January 2017 (no I don’t have an image, but I look around the same as the second image). I went to see my doctor the other day and learned that I am in poor health, and I need to make my life worth living. I am nineteen years old, and I am not overweight. I should not have high blood pressure and a resting heart rate of 98 bpm. Over my sobriety months I have sat and sulked, not being healthy at all. I ate a lot, and I never exercised. The traits I’ve picked up aren’t even a healthy alternate to being a strung out pill popper, it’s just another unhealthy habit. It’s not normal. I used to be a kick-ass athlete, and this is how I turned out to be. 

I also just looked at my grades from my first semester in college, and they are disappointing. I mean, I’ve never achieved worse grades in my life. Throughout the semester I’ve lived days to where I was so fucking depressed that I didn’t care to open a textbook and learn about something I’ve always had a strong passion to learn about.

Now I’ve never been much of a New Years resolution person, but I need something to drive on. I decided that this year I’m going to take one small step at a time to change my eating habits, and to exercise more. I will also give myself time to achieve good grades, and I will be kind to my body & mind this year. I also made it a resolution to speak to my ex not even once throughout 2017, I’ve already wasted 2013-2016 with him and his abuse. I refuse to let my depression get the best of me, and I refuse to let my past get to me. I will focus on nothing but my recovery this year. I can’t be hard on myself and I won’t, I need to be happy and well to live a life that i can wake up and look forward to living.