I’ve learned a lot about drugs and addiction over the last several years. 12 step programs will tell you that this knowledge will not keep you clean and, by their standard, they’ve been correct (at least for me).
When I started using, if asked why I was doing it, I imagine I would have said that it made me “feel good” or was “fun”. Those answers were true, of course, but were very surface level manifestations of what was really going on. Upon reflection now, I was suffering from intense emotional and mental anguish and drugs, particularly heroin, were excellent, albeit temporary, pain relievers.
Since then, I’ve come to a much better understanding of where that pain originates and healthier ways of dealing with the pain. It’s still there and I’m still not very good at implementing those non-substance solutions. Hence, I’m still using (on a much more limited basis) while I continue to work those other methods.
I’m much more aware of why I put each substance in my body today. That, combined with a general distaste for being ‘high’, has made keeping my use under better control than it has in the past. I’m fairly certain that I would still find heroin very pleasurable and would rapidly spiral out of control, were I to ever use that again.
Of course, the ‘control’ of which I speak could still very well be and illusion. I know that. Holy shit. I think about that every single day. That’s the main reason I’m trying to tell as many people as I can what I’m doing. If I start to lose control, I need people to know what is going on with me and, hopefully, act as a check on my sanity. I do feel guilty that I’m leaning on people like this but I also know I would do the same for any of my friends.