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An Addict’s Distorted Reality

April 17, 2013

[ Addiction ]

[ Addiction ] (Photo credit: αвву (definiytely NOT HERE ANYMORE, ya know?))

What we perceive as reality is a function of the mind…what creates your reality? What is in your reality, how you perceive the world?

A drug addict’s reality is distorted  I am sure we can all agree.  That reality is one in which life revolves around drugs and those who do not contribute in some way to that reality, that world of getting, using and selling drugs, are not included nor welcome.  Those outsiders are avoided, viewed as a threat in a sense.

Those outsiders are usually family, friends, and others that love and care about the addict.  Isolation quickly takes hold because to involve themselves in a simple, “How are you,” conversation can lead to a lecture, anger, and in some way make the addict feel as though they are wrong, what they are doing is wrong, they are hurting everybody by hurting themselves.  The disease of addiction tells the addict they can handle it, they can stop, my family does not get it, they need to leave me alone.

The more they push, the more the addict isolates, avoiding answering the phone, disappearing for months, not answering the door.  The family is left to wonder when will the phone ring at 2 am telling us she’s dead.  Is she dead already?  Have they just not found her body?  What if she’s in an abandoned house, what if no one knows she’s there?  What if she overdosed and those people just threw her in the river? What if we never know what happened to her?

The addict, so consumed with self-seeking and self-loathing motivators, could care less about the sleepless nights the family is going through.  When they are not high, they feel guilty, so they get high to get rid of the guilt.  This endless cycle of self destruction will not end until the addict ends it.  They must reach out and say I need help.  Sometimes, it is too late.  They have caused far too much harm and destruction to receive any help at least from their loved ones.  They have heard it before and they do not want to let their guard down and get hurt again.

Some addicts may go back out and say screw it because if they do not care, why should I?  Others may continue to seek help through other avenues, detox, outpatient, Narcotics Anonymous or other self-help groups.  They try to stay clean, they learn, they listen and some make it.  Some continue on a journey of recovery and change their way of life.

Sadly, an IV drug addict has to not only overcome the addiction to the drug, the lifestlye and the physical and mental addiction but they also have to battle the addiction to the needle.  Getting rid of one’s “works”, their paraphernalia, usually several needles and spoons in a special bag or case, can be a gut wrenching, heartbreaking experience.  They are loosing their best friend, their only friend.  Bet the farm that there is two or three needles stashed away somewhere, “just in case,” but the addict will not reveal this until months later when they are too afraid to get rid of them by themselves.  If they even see them it could trigger a relapse.  This is a reservation, a place we store in our subconscious to use again and we save some needles for that, “one more time.”

Sometimes, they do not say anything.  Months maybe years go by and things are going very well.  Then something happens, something that sets the addict into relapse mode.  They relapse before they actually pick up.  They think about it, they plan it, they isolate, stop going to meetings, and start shutting out the reality they have created without drugs.  Again, the only person who can stop this and prevent it, is the addict themselves.  Anyone who confronts them about it will be reassured and lie to.

Then it begins, months and years of recovery, everything they know is blocked out.  It is not what they thought it would be like and the remorse of using, the remorse of everyting takes hold and they use again, then again and eventually, the cycle has begun, a new reality created and some never make it back, some do not even get the chance because that first use, the first relapse, the tolerance has changed and they end up dying from an overdose because they thought they could handle that much.  So many awful things happen but I can promise this, relapsing is not fun…it is deadly, it begins a cycle of destruction and hell on Earth that one cannot even begin to imagine.

The addict has had time to learn a new way of life, the relapse brings so much shame and guilt that some cannot go back to recovery, they cannot face what they have done.  The guilt of what they have thrown away is too unbearable to deal with.  Some claw their way out, some make it.

The truth is that we addicts are all just a relapse away at any given moment.  We have to treat our disease daily in order to maintain our new way of life in recovery.  We have to fight everyday and it gets easier, it does but life comes barreling at us and we need to be taught the tools to deal with life without using.  We look to our Higher Power to guide us and pray for those who have gone back out, in the hope that they will return to us safely.

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