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Powerlessness by Carolyn Smith

We admitted we were powerless over Heroin, that our lives had become unmanageable.

Seems easy enough, right? I’ll let you know how hard and crazy it really was.

The first time I admitted I was a heroin addict was about 2 weeks into using. I got horribly sick when I didn’t have any dope. I had to have someone else get it for me and bring to me ASAP. Once I got it, I felt better (physically, anyway).

That was a harsh reality to become an addict so quickly! I was just “using socially” at that time, just a few bags a day. Although, realizing this AND wanting to change it, well, that was still some time away from us.

I would pay the dealer first, then the bills, then the food. Luckily, I was fortunate enough to have a good job, and I was able to juggle this for almost 2 years. During this time, I would use around my parents, my kids, my job… whatever. My boyfriend, at the time, went to jail and said “don’t come to see me when you’re high, then I’ll want to get high. It will be harder for me.” I was like, “OK”. Only problem with that was by that time, I was ALWAYS high. So, I never visited him when he was in jail.

My young child would come sleep with me at nights sometimes, but when I got up, I still needed a “bump” – so, like a “good mom” I put the covers over her and did my heroin where my child couldn’t see me. I usually worked from home. There was a day that I needed to be in the office. I took Methadone in the morning (bought it from my dealer). And brought a few bags to work with me. Ended up doing some in the bathroom, some AT MY DESK, and back to the bathroom.

I was up for a promotion at work, and with the promotion, it may have required a drug test. I needed to go 4 days without using. I couldn’t do it. My plan was to take the test and then go to HR and ask for help. They didn’t end up drug testing me. I was supposedly lucky. Got the job, but also kept on using.

I would go to the doctor regularly for COPD (hard time breathing), and I’d be losing weight with each visit. I lost 60 lbs. in a year. They never asked why. I planned to tell them I was an addict and needed help. I was supposedly lucky, they didn’t ask, I didn’t tell, so I kept on using.

Then the money caught up with me. I was having a hard time juggling the bills with the drugs. Decisions would have to be made. Do I quit using heroin, or do I start stripping and selling my body? Seems another easy choice, right? Nope, I struggled with this. I didn’t want to strip or be a whore, but I was terrified to quit. The sickness was so REAL.

I tried the Xanax method… take enough Xanax to be unconscious for the whole time of being sick. Nope, didn’t work. Tried getting Methadone from the street. Nope, that didn’t work either. Then, I finally went to my doctor and admitted I am a heroin addict. They asked what I was using: Heroin, Coke, Crack, Methadone…. They said I needed Detox. But I couldn’t. The fear was there… what if I lost my kid, my house, my job? So, they also said I needed 24 hours clean. If it was going to kill me, I was going to do it. It took about 2 months, but I got to 24 hours clean! Yay, me! So, I walked to the doctor (about a mile down the road), dope sick as can be, puked & pooped in as many open restrooms that I could find. Finally, get to the doctor and I can’t pee in the stupid cup. So, I wait. In the waiting room. Falling off the chair. Sick as can be. No dignity left in me. I asked if I could wait in a room, they said no.

After 45 minutes of this, the nurse asked to speak with me. She asked if I went to detox, I said, “no, but I have 27 hours and 45 minutes clean”. She said that wasn’t good enough and they weren’t going to help me. I called my dealer IN FRONT OF THE NURSE & LEFT.

Back to the drawing board. A couple months later, on September 1, 2017, I walked into the Methadone Clinic. To get it prescribed. To, maybe, stop. I had to wait for the dose to increase until I wouldn’t get sick without using. In the beginning of October, I was there. I quit. I was clean for 24 days!

But I knew I wasn’t done using. And I didn’t want to get too much time clean before using again. So, back to heroin & methadone. Then, on November 22, 2017, I made a decision to stop again. November 23, 2017 is my sobriety date.

1 thought on “Powerlessness by Carolyn Smith”

  1. This touched my heart and soul. The story reminds me of the the struggle to get clean. I’ve heard it said in a meeting. It’s easier to stay clean then it is to get clean. I’m what people would call a chronic relapser.
    I’ve had 10 years, 7 years. Problem for me isn’t stopping. It’s staying stopped. This testimony gives me hope. That you get out recovery what you put into it. If I try half as hard to stay clean as I did to stay sick. I’ve got a chance. I realize I’m living on borrowed time. Each day is truly a gift. I receive it just as that. Cherish it with mind, body & spirit. It’s not easy. Yet what is in this world that is worth it. I am. Never give up. Just give in to a better life beyond imagination. Happy recovery. Frank

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