Addiction: Substance Abuse Community
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Avatar universal

Keeping clean

We're  am I going  wrong.  I get a clean then relapse.  I have  been  a addict For twenty  years  to  some  drug or another.  But my . D O. C is b
Heroin.  I was clean for  long time. But I suffered  at the  hands  of perpetrators of the  worst  kind.  You  see I was securely abused  at the  age of eleven that was bad..  Then my grandson at the age of, 14months died of  a genetic disorder how cruel and that tested my faith  in God. I know  that  is no excuse  for using drugs.  But it tore me apart  and  I wanted  to  die.  And wanted to  block  the  pain  hurt agony out. Well I have been  told a hundred  times I will  also  die if I don't  stop  the  drugs now.  Has anyone  had any similar  experiences if so how did  you  get  through it.  I seem to  get  so far  and  then my world  collapses round about  me.  Please  help  me  any  info  would help. And now my family  don't want  to  know  me.  I'm not allowed  to see me or even speak to me. I guess it's all my  fault  for  being  a good  for  nothing junkie.  Please don't  hold back with  your  answers. Just  tell me  the  truth.  What  do you  guys  think am I worth trying  to help  or do you  think  how I feel worthless army family  think....
9 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi, I think I remember you. Okay, here is no holding back: If you are NOT in aftercare, you will not make it. You MUST immerse yourself in recovery, that is the only way. Get into a program now. 90 meetings in 90 days minimum and get a sponsor asap.

Get rid of your connection/supplier. Block your ph # and change your ph # is that doesn't work. You have to be ready to do anything.
4522800 tn?1470325834
James..I responded in your Journal.

As far as always relapsing. Have you been getting that outside Support? There are a few things that had helped me out over 3 yrs now. The BIG one is Church!!!One is sticking close to this site. Two..is both AA/NA..Three..is going to some Grieving groups off & on now since it has been a few yrs. The MOST that really sticks in my head is all I have learned about Addiction in a more Scientific way. Why we can become Addicts, what it does to all those Brain Chems, and SO much more. My inner voice has got me staying strong these days because of all the info I have picked up by reading everything I can about drugs and the Brain and listening to them at those meetings..It is really harder for us who had been using Recreational for most of our lives. I started at the age 13, off and on until I hit 56 back in 2012 and came clean. Drinking days where gone a long time ago. WE have to really work hard at staying clean min by min and day to day..Detoxing can be the easy part and Staying drug free over a long term is the harder Challenge. Many things will happen in Life and we like to run away. No More running and hiding. These drugs have really altered our Brain Chemistry and some of us will never balance back right. WE will always want something to change our brain to a Happy mode!! It takes WORK not Willpower but hard ash Work!! We have to pick up on lots of new Behaviors and Coping skills in Life. It is NOT easy but it is SO worth it..WE can NOT do this Alone. James..PLZ reach out and get that Support. Like I said in your Journal..Listen with your Heart & Soul and your Grandson will send you a message. HE needs YOU to be clean & sober to get through to you. Think of what he would want you to be like. HE would want a clean & sober Grandfather that he could be proud of. YOU will get the rest of your Family back but this will take some Time & Patience, as you work on YOU. Take that step out of your comfort zone and Reach for HELP! I will be Praying for YOU!
4810126 tn?1503942735
My God, what a fantastic post, Vic!!

James, I've followed your story & I think I actually talked to you a long time ago (I'm the girl who lived in Edinburgh & worked @ Oddfellows & The Pelican. I was a heroin & M'done addict for 30 yrs. I kicked a little over 3 yrs ago.)

I was a heroin & then a M'done addict for 30 yrs. I kicked a little over 3 yrs ago.

Your agony & bewilderment are palpable & reading your journal & post was heartrending. I think (from personal experience & also from knowing the culture there) that the drink might be an even bigger demon than the dope. I think if we don't put the brakes on right away when we relapse that it's a special kind of hell because we beat ourselves up so much for it & because those around us who might have been willing to help before might no longer want to support us. Addiction is so hard for us to grasp -- so insidious & confusing -- that it's hard to imagine how 'straight' people could begin to comprehend it.

Vickie is so right, it's not about willpower. It's about hard, hard work for us & forming & maintaining new habits when everything in us is screaming to do otherwise. The abuse & the terrible blows you've suffered make it extra-necessary that you reach out for all the spiritual & therapeutic guidance you can get. I think that if you had faith before, Church is a very good place to start! Grief counseling is also a great idea as are meetings (you'll be able to talk & bond -- you need that -- you need to talk this out locally & get the benefit of other perspectives & most of all -- understanding & support!!). I know that you had a therapist of some kind that you valued highly. Is that still on the table? My intuition tells me you need to surround yourself in a blanket of support right now -- not just one kind but several. I know it hurts & that your first impulse is to just drown it all out @ the local or whatever & tell yourself you'll start clawing your way out of this tomorrow but 'Tomorrow never comes', right? Now is the time. Time & opportunities tend to pass swiftly when we're in a weakened condition & we're medicating, especially when there's so much lose. (So much to lose? Yes, you still have a chance to regain yourself & probably your family!)

It's a struggle but you've done it before. You-are-worth-it! (Start repeating that to yourself!) Even though your family may be upset with you & won't see you -- they love you. You can work on getting that back but you've got to love yourself first. Something I do during my darkest times when I can't see my way to loving myself is to see myself as the 4 year old that I was & to protect her -- as if I'm responsible for that precious child inside -- as if I'm responsible for a separate person that I wouldn't want to injure in the callous way that I'd habitually injured myself. We are all precious. We're all wounded but we don't have to be helpless no matter how low we feel we've fallen. First thing to solidify is that you're worth it & want to fight. Second thing might be to go to a Church where you've felt kinship or peace before.

Sending you heartfelt wishes for some peace & clarity.
Avatar universal
Hey James good to see you post.....as for a cure there is not one  but with working a progam you can recover....this means emerging yourself in a N/A progam  not only going to as many meetings as you can  but also getting a sponcer and working the steps I been clean a wile now and still hit 4 meetings a week + I have a service commitment at the local rehab twice a month   it may seam like a lot but it is still ezer the using 24/7  as a life long addict you can see what your doing is not working  please try the N/A progam  it will work for anybody that is willing to put the effort forward.........Gnarly
16660006 tn?1450148224
Sir, your a human like everyone else and everyone regardless deserves to be healthy and happy.  I do have a couple questions.  I too am in recovery for heroin.  Have you thought about the help of a maintenance medication? I first got clean with Suboxone then moved and had to use methadone.  But my children have never seen that side of me as the worthless used up junkie.  Instead, I'm a mother, a damn good one, and have a disease.  I also am curious if anyone has ever suggested cognitive behavioral therapy.  Addiction is the disease of behaviors and truly only therapy will aid in the destruction of the behaviors of why you use.  But while your in therapy,  that's where is suggest going to a clinic to aid in staying offhheroin.  Some think it's trading one addiction for another and I say let them.  But to look at my husband and I now after ten plus years and you'll agree there is a place of used correctly as a tool with the aid of therapy.  Good luck, and your never worthless,  just misunderstood without coping skills
Avatar universal
I have  just  got  past  day  one.  Withdrawing from alcohol and heroine addiction.  I have  never  felt pain  like  this  before I am vomiting  and  sweating  and hot.  Kim  says  iv been  fitting   and incoherent.  I'm really  scared  of what might  happen  to  me. I'm so  happy  I'm doing  this  at my mums  house  and Kim is with  me. I'm doing  this  cold turkey.  I Have  my  dieazepam but  Kim won't  give me  more. I'm only  on  day 1 but it  seems  like  iv been  withdrawing for days  but  it's only been  1. If this  gets  worse  then I will be on the  verge  of  caving.  Kim  and my mum say be  strong you can do it. Well I hope  they are right and I don't cave.  Be strong  James  you  can and will do it.  Failure  is not  an option  for  me. Live and I will  be happy continue to  use and I will  die.. May the Lord guide  me  on the path to recovery........ James
Avatar universal
Hang in there! I'm about to start Day 3 and I never thought I'd make it. I'm withdrawing from Oxycodone 40mgs.
52704 tn?1387020797
When i finally got to the point (5 years into active addiction) where the price of using far out weighed the benefit of using, i decided to quit. I was sure that i would do just that, because i had quit drinking 15 years before (after a 12 year struggle) and had never taken another drink.  Plus, i had so much more to quit for . . . at this point I had 3 kids, a career, a reputation, etc.

     So I was glad that my nightmare was ending. I was spending way too much money, I was tired of worrying about getting caught, tired of feeling like a worthless liar, thief and fraud, all too aware that my health and work were suffering. In short, every aspect of my life was going down the tubes because of my 'little secret,' which not so long ago had seemed like my special secret lover.
     And I did quit.  I QUIT.  I was surprised at the impact of quitting. I never got sick when I quit drinking.  So began a three-year roller coaster of quitting, withdrawal, briefly being clean, relapse, quitting, withdrawal, briefly being clean, relapse, quitting, withdrawal ........  

     Each time the using and the withdrawal got worse, and the impact of the addiction on every aspect of my life grew to levels that I would not have thought possible. I became mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially bankrupt. I accepted as FACT that I was hopeless and helpless and worthless.  I didn't so much WANT to die, but I KNEW it was the only way this nightmare could end, and I was SURE that it would be best for everyone who knew me and the world in general.

    I didn't know it back then, but by the time I perceived a slight problem, I was already in WAY over my head. Every time I relapsed all the problems got worse and my capacity to handle the situation got worse.  I was like a fire department that after finding itself unable to handle Fire-One, heads off to try 10% bigger Fire-Two, but with less equipment and fewer men. It was a losing battle and the odds kept getting worse and worse. But I couldn't see that.

    AND I REFUSED OR WAS UNABLE TO ASK FOR HELP OR TO SHARE MY SECRET WITH ANYONE THAT COULD HELP (why would I do that? if people found out how bad i was they would destroy me, right?)

     There were a lot of break-throughs that finally brought me into sustained and comfortable recovery. One that really stands out in my mind occurred toward the end of my first month in my second rehab.  I was meeting with a counselor (herself in recovery) and discussing life after rehab. The exchange flicked a switch in my addict-brain and changed everything:

Counselor:  Why are you so afraid of relapsing?

Me:  Because I always do.  Sooner or later I ALWAYS relapse. I don't know when, but sooner or ....

Counselor:  Are you going to use TODAY?

Me:  (sigh, here we go with this "today" crap) Noooo, I'm not going to use today, but ...

Counselor:  Are you sure?  How do you know you won't use TODAY.

Me:  Yes I'm sure. I don't know how I know, but I know I won't use today. But, you don't understand, sooner ...


Me:  (switch flipped) Oh My God, do you mean to tell me that when you guys say "one day at a time," you really mean ONE DAY AT A TIME.

Counselor: (smiling, cuz she could see the lightbulb over my head) Yeah, we REALLY mean it.

And that made a HUGE difference for me. I had heard "one day at a time," for years -- having been court-ordered to AA after each of three DUI's and even a few times on my own. But that, like all 'recovery slogans' just seemed dumb to me. Dumb slogans, for dumb people, which had no application to my (special) life.

Except, all of a sudden I got it. I got it. All I had to do was not-use TODAY (no matter what). If I didn't use today, that was all that mattered. TODAY was EVERYTHING - it was all that mattered and I wasn't allowed to even think about tomorrow. TODAY, TODAY, TODAY, TODAY.


     I had been walking around as a secret-failure. You might not see it, but I KNEW that sooner or later I was going to relapse. So, i was just a failure wanting to happen. Worse, I was a liar and a fraud, because I knew that a relapse was coming, but I was pretending to do this recovery-business.

And JUST LIKE THAT I quit being a walking-failure, and became a SUCCESS because I WAS NOT GOING TO USE TODAY (no matter what).

It was still hard to make it into sustained recovery. There were days when I had to go to bed at 7:30 because I didn't think I'd make it otherwise. There were days when I had to go to 5 meetings (and still go to bed early). There were days when I made it only by saying "I can't do this anymore, I'm using TOMORROW."

     But as if my life depended on it (and it did), I was not going to use today, at all, no matter what.  There were some days when the disease said to me "you've been fooling yourself - you can't do this - you've made it as far as you can go - you deserve a break (just for today)."  But I would tell that voice "no - I have already made it X days, I can finish out this one too."

     Eventually not-using became easy. No struggle at all. But now I work on my recovery one day at a time.


CATUF awesome post!
It's great to see you.
Just for today!
495284 tn?1333894042
Ditto what Deb said~
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495284 tn?1333894042
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