A Better Life: Tips From A Recovering Heroin Addict (Formerly 30 Days of Recovery)
The book Description: Why You Should Read This Book
Drug addiction is plaguing our society from prescription drug abuse to the street junkie. Lives have been destroyed by all forms of mind altering substance abuse, prescription drugs abuse, street drugs and alcoholism. Possibly you or a loved one has been affected by drugs and alcohol and that is why you have picked up this book. The feeling of being a prisoner to the addiction, suffering from the chains that bind the addict to the drug, is debilitating but they can be broken. They can be broken today by the realization that you have a deadly disease and making the decision to get clean, for good.
The decision to flip through this book may cause the seed to be planted and the possibility of a solution. There is no known cure for addiction but there are treatments. It begins with a decision to get clean and to do something about your disease of addiction. Through coping exercises, skill building, goal setting and much more, a journey can begin through early recovery that will be the most important changes you will ever make in your life. This book is set up to give you some of the tools needed to start a successful road to the ultimate goal of freedom from active drug addiction and a better life.
Letter From The Author: Why I wrote This Book
I wrote this book several years ago before my relapse. A lot has changed since then. This book is not the same, there is much more information in this book if then there was when I originally wrote it. There is something that I want known before you read this. If there’s only one thing you take from this book, it is that addiction is an incurable disease. We cannot see it, we cannot operate on it and most importantly we cannot use sheer willpower alone to stop it. It has to be treated every day.
Addiction is much more than drugs, gambling, sex or alcohol (which is a drug), it is behaviors, obsessions and compulsions that even if you take away the drug or the gambling, etc., it will reemerge in other forms. For example, I am in a shoplifting class right now writing this on a Saturday morning, court mandated. Why? After my relapse last summer in 2012, I got on a methadone program and eventually needed to replace the void where my drugs and the lifestyle once lived. I avoided Narcotics Anonymous because I was embarrassed, and ashamed. I was lonely, depressed and secluded. The five finger urge began because I needed things for the kids but eventually became an obsession it gave me a high and filled the void.
Like many shoplifters, everyone gets caught on average after getting away with it about 50 times. After I was arrested, I stopped shoplifting but the void came back with a vengeance. That’s when I began to search for what I needed in a healthier outlets, group therapy, Narcotics Anonymous even though I crawled through the doors with my tail between my legs, they welcomed me back with love. Even walking the dog every day helped me and gave me a feeling of purpose. Sticking to a routine seems boring but it saved my life. It is monotonous and watering my plants every day is a huge difference from robbing some dealer, or getting into high speed chases with cops or stealing and getting away with it. It still gives me a purpose to accomplish these little things every day, finding gratitude and enjoyment in little things. I think because I know they are the steps and I need to take to maintain a healthy, balanced, clean life.
The reality though is the disease of addiction is not just the drug, which is a symptom, but deadly serious symptom, but a symptom nonetheless. So here’s the truth and rather harsh reality about getting clean and hitting bottom. Most anyone can quit using for short period of time. Maybe you buy yourself a few suboxones, and cut yourself off from some of the people you used was. The suboxone does take away some withdraw symptoms. You think after you get over that first few days, maybe a week or two of withdraw, and the physical addiction, you can stay clean for good. For those of us who have tried that a million times and know it does not last let’s move on.
Those of you who think that it will work, well all I can do is share my experience, every junkie I know, including myself, has tried this and it does not work. I am not saying suboxone does not work, quite the contrary, under a doctor’s care and in combination with a program of recovery, it can work for some people. I know for myself methadone and Narcotics Anonymous are the only things that can help me. Everyone is completely different and what helps one person may not another. What I am talking about is the street care for getting clean. Getting some suboxone from the street, stop answering the phone for people you used with and then sweating it out for a week or two. Then you consider yourself clean and swear you will never use again.
No one can quit addiction on their own without some sort of program of recovery and support. This is my hardcore advice. It comes from years of watching others try and trying myself many, many times. In fact I used to try to keep a small piece of suboxone on me at all times. If I could not find anything (opiates,) I would wait until it was so bad, and I was so sick, that I could not stand it anymore and I would reluctantly take the suboxone. I know some of you are rereading that sentence because you did the same thing. Suboxone has a blocker in it so once you take it, the withdraw will subside for or a bit, only now you have screwed yourself because Murphy ’s Law will kick you in the ass.
The phone rings, or someone stops by with a bundle. It always goes down that way and then what do you do? The drugs, why? You know you are not going to get as high, at least not as high as if you had not taken the suboxone. You do it anyway, yeah spend the money on something that is not going to get you high because you have a disease. It is the disease of addiction all wrapped up in its compulsions and obsessions that cause you to continuously repeat the same behaviors over and over again. Then you get sick of it. You don’t want to live like this anymore, so you decide to stop again, then stock up on suboxones, again to help with the withdraw. You stop answering the phone for people, stay away from all that stuff and throw out all your using paraphernalia which you kick yourself for later. Eventually you cave, usually when a pharmacy is not open to get the darts (needles) so you find yourself in someone’s home at 3:00 AM where you had previously stashed a sock full of paraphernalia for emergencies such as these. Meanwhile they are sleeping upstairs soundly. You unscrew the heating vent downstairs where you stashed the paraphernalia and carefully replace the vent. Jackpot for the moment, in reality the cycle of addiction has just begun again.
Until you get to a point where you really want help, where you are completely willing to do anything you can to stay clean, it won’t happen. That’s the sad truth for the family and friends who have watched it, heard it, prayed, begged, done interventions, and done everything they possibly could to save you. It will not work until the addict wants it more than the hell they are trapped in. There is no cure, there is no magic pill. Replacement therapy works, methadone or suboxone, when properly dispensed by a Dr. and monitored but not without back up, serious backup, support, counseling, self-help programs and their lives cut off from everything, everyone and anyway they were associated with drugs. It leaves a very dark, deep hole in the addict they may be clean, but the world they have lived in, everything they’ve known and everyone they thought they cared about in a twisted reality is gone. Emptiness, confusion and depression replace it. Most anyone who loves them, family and friends from the before, are gone, and refuse to believe it can actually happen, that a junkie can recover. They are desperate and the family that heard it all before and doesn’t want to get hurt, so they stick to their guns and they maintain their distances. They want to protect themselves from getting hurt again. Some are lucky and have family and friends that never give up and will not abandon them, those recovering addicts have no idea how fortunate they really are. For the rest of us, only we alone can claw our way out, get clean, build support networks and hang on no matter what life throws at us. Bottom line that emptiness, that void where the drugs and the lifestyle used to be will devour you if you don’t do anything about it. That is why I wrote this book. To give hope to the hopeless and to share what worked for me to fill the void, the emptiness and to learn a better way to live.
UPDATE: A Better Life:Tips From A Recovering Heroin Addict by Amy McCaister is now available for $2.99 on amazon
- 30 Days of Recovery ~ chapter 26: The Pink Cloud of Recovery (amylong1933.wordpress.com)
- An Integrated Model Approach To Recovery and Addiction (amylong1933.wordpress.com)
- There Is No Cure For Addiction, There Is Treatment (amylong1933.wordpress.com)
- Responsibility in Recovery (amylong1933.wordpress.com)
- Cookie Cutter Recovery (amylong1933.wordpress.com)
- A Better Life (Book Cover) (amylong1933.wordpress.com)
- When I open my eyes… (amylong1933.wordpress.com)
- An Addict’s Distorted Reality (amylong1933.wordpress.com)