The title isn’t 100 percent true.
I will say that I had “fun” the first time I did heroin. And by “fun,” I mean that I had finally gotten high enough to forget about the clusterf*ck that was my life for a few hours. And after that beautiful and brief respite from my racing thoughts, I thought I had found a way around dealing with my problems.
I was wrong.
Being an addict isn’t fun. It quickly becomes a full-time job. A job whose only form of payment comes in misery and suffering. And that is something that most “normal” people just don’t understand.
No one has ever woken up, jumped out of bed, and proclaimed, “Today I will become a drug addict.” As stated above, I started doing drugs to escape. To this day, I’m not even sure what I was running from in the beginning. Maybe I just wasn’t prepared to face adulthood. Or, maybe I didn’t want to recognize how broken the world really is.
At any rate, I started using drugs the way most people do (at the beginning)—“socially.” But as things progressed, my inner guilt turned into full-blown self-hatred. I knew how bad my life had become and how I was hurting those I loved. And even still, I persisted in my relentless pursuit of my next high, for then I could temporarily pretend that things were anything but completely f*cked.
Being addicted to heroin means always looking disheveled because you can’t stand looking at yourself in the mirror long enough to put yourself together. Being on heroin means living in constant fear of everything and everyone. Being on heroin means that you always feel completely and utterly alone all day, every single day.
To put it another way, my relationship with my substances is akin to an abusive relationship. Things start off great (as they always do), but you quickly realize just how toxic your relationship is. They break you down, treat you like a subhuman, and control every single aspect of your life.
All of your friends and family become strangers amid a sea of strange faces. Everything that makes you yourself is stripped away and replaced with nothing but black. And throughout, you have moments of clarity, make big plans to escape and get help. But at the end of the day, it’s easier to fall asleep next to someone that you hate, rather than entirely alone.
That is what it feels like to be on heroin. You tell me if that sounds like “fun.”
People like to demonize drug addicts because, well, we are an easy target. We do all kinds of nasty sh*t in the name of acquiring our substances. And it’s so much easier for people to lump us all into the “scum of society” category, rather than acknowledging the truth. Which is—we are everyone. We are cops, musicians, doctors, lawyers. We are teachers and construction workers—family men and women.
We are good people whose biggest sin is trying not to feel the pain inflicted upon us by ourselves and the world. These are not excuses for us, rather just to show how addiction does not discriminate, and that it’s probably closer to the average person than they ever realize.
Heroin tried its best to take everything from me, including my life. It’s a black hole—hidden among us, always hungry, always consuming any and everyone who is unfortunate enough to come in contact with it. It will always be there.
But there is good news. It is possible to escape the oppressive, grabbing hands of substance abuse. No matter how bad things get. No matter how far you have fallen, you are always capable of coming back.
I know this to be true, as I have done it. Keep your heads up, friends. Tomorrow is always a brand new day, and with a new day comes unlimited possibilities. All we have to do is reach out and take it.