Saturday, March 27, 2010


Reading old journals, I am struck with how different my perspective is today. I am thankful to be where I am, which is able to see and process things clearly again. I feel now much more like the person I used to be. The person I was before I started using. I am blessed to be where I am now.
In the previous posting, I included a piece from an old journal about the first time I tried heroin. In reading this, I see a stark contrast in there to the reality that I now know to be true. An active addiction, we tend to make these excuses for our behavior. There is always a legitimate reason in our minds to use. Often times, these reasons are merely delusions.
I remember hearing so many addicts claiming they never felt comfortable in their own skin until they tried heroin. In different treatments, I often heard stories of people who had been on many various antidepressants or antipsychotics or mood stabilizers. They claimed nothing made then feel as normal is heroin did. In this piece I wrote years ago, I claim to be one of these cases...whose quality of life was enhanced by using dope.
Looking back, this was all a crock of shit. I crock of shit that I apparently believed. And I believed that it happened to me. That was just another excuse to use. I may have not been using when I wrote this piece, and I may have written it during one of my clean times. ( I am not exactly sure when I wrote it, but I know it was after Katrina.)
The fact of the matter is that before I started using, I was pretty comfortable in my own skin. I was confident, and I was outgoing. I had dreams and goals. I was talented, and I was hardworking. I always had a lot of friends, and there were seldom times that I felt like an outcast. I had not been through any kind of trauma, and I had not experienced a lot of death or hardship. I was a pretty well balanced individual before I started using.
My mind never ran away with obsessive thoughts before I started using, and it mostly ran on a normal speed. I was not riddled with anxieties, as this old piece of writing seems to suggest. After reading this piece, I looked back at myself. I never remember being very uncomfortable in my own skin before I started using. Instead, I remember being a happy, well adjusted social butterfly.
I guess I made up this troubled persona just like I made up so many excuses to keep my addiction going. There was the pain excuse that all junkies use. I supposedly got in a car wreck and injured myself badly. It amazes me now how I was almost even able to convince myself that these lies were true. I truly believed I NEEDED heroin.
It is actions like this that make us question which came first sometimes, the mental illness or the addiction? Sometimes the addiction drives us insane. Sometimes we are already insane, and the addiction keeps us from really losing it. And then there are all the delusions in between. As an addict in active addiction, WE ARE ALL DELUDED. I am just thankful that we can get better.
Now that I am better, I realize how crazy it all really was.

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