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An Accidental Addict

May 14, 2010
I didn’t mean to become an addict. It was an accident. I bet you are asking yourself how is this possible. How is it possible to accidentally become an addict?  After all, I’m the one who snorted that crap up my nose. I’m the one who chose to stick a needle in my arm. Nobody forced me to do it. I have free will. I could have chosen NOT to start using drugs.
The attitude of people who have never experienced addiction personally tends to be indifferent regarding how someone becomes an addict. The people I’ve encountered simply want to know why I don’t just stop using. In fact, my mother has never truly accepted addiction as a disease. Her core belief is that I chose to use. I chose it over having a normal life. Think about this? Would you purposely choose the use of a drug instead of a normal life if you knew where it would lead you?
I did not know where I would be 5 years down the road when I was snorting that first pill. I didn’t know the first thing about addiction at that point in my life. Sure, I had been a recreational drug user since high school. I had smoked pot, even taken ecstasy and snorted a line or two of cocaine during the past 5-6 years. But nothing on a regular basis, and usually  just something I did socially.
So, I snorted an oxycontin one weekend. And I liked the way it made me feel. The next week, I snorted another one because it gave me energy and made me feel good. I continued to do this more and more often without addiction ever entering my mind. I do not recall the time that I realized I was addicted. It was a gradual process. By the time I did realize it, I was already so far into the addiction, I could not get out without help. And, of course, I didn’t seek help immediately because I was in denial of even being an addict. I was also too ashamed to admit it to anyone. I tried to hide as long as possible. I think this is usually the case for most addicts which is why it takes hitting rock bottom before seeking help.
It took me 5 years to finally admit and seek help as an addict. I wish I had been educated about addiction before I ever snorted that first pill. If I had been, then perhaps this accident could have been avoided.
5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 14, 2010 11:33 pm

    At least you got smart and got clean. I wish my daughter had this much wisdom. She is so smart, yet when it comes to Oxy, she is in total denial, even though she had been to jail, rehab three or four times. I don’t know what it will take for her to wake up and smell the roses. Good for you to have enough sense to quit. I am pulling for you because I know it is not easy.

  2. May 15, 2010 2:05 am

    Thank you. You’re right, it’s not easy. I still have plenty of cravings and times when I think, “I could do just one.” But I know deep in my heart that one leads to many. Your daughter may not have hit her worst rock bottom yet. That’s what it took for me. I hit rock bottom a few times but the last one finally did it for me. I knew the next time that I would be dead. I pray your daughter will reach out for help before it’s too late. If only she could get a taste of how wonderful life can be drug free, then she just might want more of it. Living the “oxy life” is not living at all.

  3. May 24, 2010 2:32 pm

    I refuse to label myself an “addict” or a “recovering addict”. I USE TO use and now I don’t. When I did, it was bad. Very bad and when I wasn’t using, I was fighting the urges. the thoughts, the cravings and the rationalizations. My life was a mess then; I knew it and I knew that wasn’t the way I wanted to live. I fought every day with myself; the good, the bad and the ugly.

    I’m just amazed though that the once upon a time “nickle bag” has been pushed aside to accommodate the more intense, more addictive drug(s) handed to us on a piece of paper called a prescription by our very doctors.

    Because you’ve opened your door; I want you to know I encourage you, support you and celebrate you for allowing me to be a part of your life.

    Today I am clean from the narcotic street drugs that I used. I’ve been clean for well over 17 years. I don’t struggle with it any longer; I simply live or try to live the best that I can.

    And I’m on Xanax.

    • May 25, 2010 12:30 am

      Thank you for also sharing and congratulations for staying clean so long!!! That is something to be extremely proud of! If, I mean… WHEN I am sober 17 years, then perhaps I will no longer refer to myself as a “recovering addict.” However, I am still very much struggling with addiction. I’m not using but I do crave to use and at times these cravings are extremely strong. I’ve noticed that some of my cravings are triggered by areas of town (old playgrounds) and even people (old playmates). Thus, I try to avoid these triggers as much as humanly possible. Stress and the need for energy are my two biggest triggers, I think. Of course, I have not yet had counseling to get to the root of my need to self-medicate. One of my goals this year is to begin some sort of counseling/therapy sessions. I’m just scared I’ll find another “label” for myself.

  4. July 20, 2010 5:32 pm

    I have been around addicts for years (i was a tourist in the underworld of drug addicts- addicted myself, to self destruction, although not drugs strangely enough). While I think classifying it as a disease is helpful to those struggling with it, I do not personally think it is a ‘disease’. I think we don’t know enough about how the brain really functions, so our ways of dealing with addiction are limited, hence the need to call it a disease. No one sets out to become an addict. It all begins slowly and builds over time. So in essence, everyone is an accidental addict.

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