10 Things You Learn As A Heroin Addict
Connor has had a problem connecting with people for almost as long as he can remember.
“I didn’t have any really close best friends – I didn’t fit in the way everybody else did,” Connor said.
Because of this, he felt disconnected from the kids in his school. The first couple times he got smoked Marijuana were his attempts to make that connection. He was in the 7th grade.
“I remember hitting it and nothing happened, I didn’t feel any different, I didn’t get high and they were all acting really dumb n the way to school … I remember watching them and they were having such a good time … I remember feeling that disconnect again and I knew it was something I wanted to be a part of.”
He didn’t have the same experience as the rest of the group, but he wanted to, he wanted a to have fun like they were. So he tried it again, and this time, he did get high.
“I remember all of this crazy shit going on in my head and my mom picked me up after that. I was worried [she would know] and I sprayed a bunch of AX spray on me.”
After she picked him up they went shopping, Connor was starting to get the munchies and he was throwing a bunch of random stuff in their cart. He could tell that she was starting to get suspicious; the next day she woke him up and took him to get a drug test.
Connor protested, telling her that he didn’t do anything but she took him anyway.
“I was freaking out for a couple of days waiting for the results, and they came back negative. She said she appreciated me telling her the truth, but I knew I lied to her.”
Connor felt bad about the lie but he continued to smoke.
The summer before freshman year Connor started hanging out with some older kids and drinking.
“Drinking was really like something I loved … It gave me the feeling I wanted, it got rid of all of those insecurities and all of that fear of being around people and talking to them and it got rid of the fear of not being able to connect with anybody.”
Drinking and smoking became the most important thing in Connors life, everything else fell to the wayside. He wasn’t going to school, or doing much else. His grades fell so low that he had to drop out.
A Mothers Attempt
At this point, Connor’s mom decided that he needed to go into a military-like program that lasted for 6 months. Not surprisingly, Connor was not happy about this. To qualify to go into the program he needed to pass a drug test, Connor knew right away that he wasn’t going to stop smoking that way when he failed the test the program would reject him.
“The time came for me to take the drug test and I failed it. I failed it right in front of these two officers who were like did you smoke week recently and I said no, and they asked if I was with anyone who was smoking?”
Connor told the officers that he might have been in a car with some people who were smoking. He knew that the officers saw right through his lie, but they took him into the program anyway.
Over the next 6 months Connor did extremely well, a part of the program had him taking online classes and he was even able to make up some of the classes that he had failed.
“I did really well in that structured environment and online school … I had ambitions again and I wanted to succeed in life, I wanted to graduate from college and get into a career.”
However, after he came home it wasn’t long before he was doing all of the things he swore to himself that he wouldn’t.
“I threw out all of the promises I made myself because I deserved it. I did something good and now a deserve it.”
Conner still had the ambitions that he had when he was in the program so he enrolled back into school, but he fell back into hanging out with the same people he was before. Only now they had moved passed just drinking and smoking weed.
One night they were all hanging out and Connor noticed that everyone else kept going to the bathroom, they would spend a couple minutes in there and come out, a while later they would go back in.
“I could see a difference in their eyes when they came out and they were falling asleep. They looked like they were higher than I was that’s for sure.”
Connor wanted to feel what they were, so he asked them what they were doing. That’s when he found out his friends were smoking Percocet.
“I just remember everything falling away. There wasn’t [any] worries, I didn’t think about anything else besides how good I felt. So I continued to do it, I started spending all of my money on pills and the consequences came back.”
Connor started failing classes again and started stealing to help pay for his addiction. Once again the high was the most important thing to him.
“I didn’t really care about the consequences or how my mom felt about me stealing her jewelry.”
He wasn’t just stealing from his mom but from friends and random people at parties as well. He was doing everything he could to get the pills he needed.
Getting in Deeper
Connor met up with some people who had moved even further and were no longer smoking Percocet. Just as before Connor asked them what they were smoking off of the tin foil. At first, they told him that what they were doing was probably not something that he would want.
It turned out that his friends were smoking Heroin and Connor started doing it too.
“The Heroin takes over completely; Immediately I’m stealing and going to jail. My family doesn’t really talk to me anymore; they know something’s going on, I avoid any kind of family outing.”
Connor was missing his family members’ birthdays and he dropped out of school. On top of all of this, he is in and out of jail. His mom gets to the point where she basically accepts it, she doesn’t condone his actions but she doesn’t know what else she can do to help him.
He’s living at her house but staying at friends houses and random people so she never knows what he’s doing or when or if he’s coming back.
Connor is hanging out with people he knows that he shouldn’t be.
“They’ve got guns and they’re selling drugs and I’m trying to sell drugs and that doesn’t work out; That never works out … I started going to jail more often, those one nights aren’t one night anymore.”
Connor absconded from probation when he does go to see his probation officer, he is arrested. While he’s in jail, this time, Connor comes under the belief that he’s going to get high no matter what.
While he was in jail he had family, friends, teachers and a lot of people he didn’t even realize that care about him coming to visit.
They all had the same question “Are you going to fix your life?”
Connors response to them was simple, “I don’t want to get high, but you don’t know what it’s like to be afraid of yourself. To know that no matter what you do you’re going to get high again and you’re going to burn down everything around you.”
After getting out of jail it took around 6 hours for him to find a bottle of wine in the fridge, drinks that and get on Facebook to get back in contact with the same people he promised himself he wouldn’t.
Connor starts smoking weed and the eventually escalated back into Heroin which leads to his mom kicking him out.
It gets Worse Before It Gets Better
After a night of acid trips in a hotel room, a friend of his finds Heroin and started to load up a spoon f
“He just puts a chunk of Heroin, way too big, I’m fresh out of jail my tolerance is super low … I don’t even think about it, not even a thought – I woke up in the hospital.”
His first thought is that he is going to go back to jail.
“I almost just dies right now and I don’t even care, I’m just worried about going back to jail.”
While he’s still in the hospital his doctor comes in and tries to get through to him, he tells him that he is still so young and that he needs to find something to help him because he’s worth it and God loves him.
Connor, still not completely coherent after his overdose, shrugs it off and goes back to sleep.
When he wakes up he takes off and goes to his mom’s house and she sees the hospital band. When he told her about the overdose, the look on her face said everything he needed to hear.
“I saw the fear in her eyes and I can tell that she believes that her son is going to die and there’s absolutely nothing she can do.”
She tells him that he needs to call his probation officer. His probation officer tells him to call a certain halfway house and at this point Connor is down to do anything, he knows he’s going to get high again so he doesn’t think that this is going to do anything but appease his probation officer.
When he gets there it’s a different story. They take his phone and ask him is he’s willing to do whatever it takes to stay sober.
Connor tells them, “I’ve tried. I’ve tried multiple times to stop getting high. I don’t know why you think that this is going to work, but I’ll do whatever it takes to stay sober,” Even though at this time he doesn’t really believe it.
As he’s walking in he notices there’s like 60 other guys here, they’re playing chess, cards, volleyball, basketball, and they’re having a good time.
“I’m like where am I at? Why did you send me here? I’m a drug addict, I don’t really fit in with these people.”
What he came to realize is that all of the people there were drug addicts.
“They get high and drink the same way I do. When consequences don’t matter they do the same things – and it was comforting.”
Being around people who had been and were going through the same thing he was, gave him that connection he was looking for, it helped him to realize that he wasn’t the only one.
“These people are like me, they look happy, they have smiles on their faces, they’re doing things, they aren’t getting high for whatever reason. And I wanted it.”
For Connor it was a crazy concept that these people were happy and sober at the same time, he had no clue that something like that was possible.
Connor wanted to have that.
“So I did those things. I went to a meeting every day, I got a sponsor, that man is still my sponsor today. I worked the 12-steps with him and he showed me how to be a man; to follow my word, to watch my behavior, to be a good friend.”
The steps and his sponsor help to guide him to look at his behavior’s and how he treats people and change them to fit what his goals are.
“They guide me into having an experience that has given me an incredible life. I have true friends and I don’t have to be afraid of what they think about me. I can go to them with anything. I have a connection with a power that is definitely greater than myself.”
Connors life has turned around completely he now has the thing that he felt like he could never have, he’s going to school and working; He’s doing regular everyday things like playing basketball or going to the movies without having to get high to do them.
“Now I’m a part of it, I have a family in recovery and these are people that I can tell anything to. I truly love them and I owe them my life. They [said] now you have experienced some of the gifts of recovery and they tell me now I have to give it back.”
And that’s what he did.
“They lead me into giving back and going back to those places where you went to meetings and you talked to these people that helped you out … and being that guy to other people.”
Connor did become that guy, even if that meant being the one the make coffee, bring cookies or leading the meetings.
“I try to reach my hand out wherever I can and to be someone who motivates somebody else to stay sober and to convey that you can be sober and happy at the same time.”
One of Connors biggest fears about being sober was that he was going be obsessed with not getting high.
“And I’m here to tell you that – I live a very normal life, I wake up I go to work, hey I go to meetings and I have a good time with my friends and I don’t experience that constant obsession of ‘I have to get high’ or ‘I have to not get high’ it’s just not there.”
More than anything Connor is grateful for everything that sobriety has brought him.
“I can’t give you any of the gifts I have been given, I can’t convey the feelings I’ve had. You just have to do the work and have your own experience.”
Connor emphasizes that a lot of the worries and fears that you have are not as big as you make them.
“These things are not as difficult as we make them. I just want to let you know that … these thoughts and crazy things that go on inside of our heads in our heads are not always real, you don’t have to be afraid.”
To Connor, it’s a life that comes out of positive action, and it increases the value of life.