Lorelie Rozzano is a guest blogger for Vertava Health.
A Letter To Me Before I Became Addicted.
No one thinks addiction will happen to them. But it does. I write to the girl I once was, but this is a cautionary tale for all who dabble in substance.
Sometimes we get a message that changes our life. I hope this letter is like that for you. Have a seat and hold on tight, because I’m going to tell you something that will blow your mind. Don’t worry, no one’s looking. You can relax. This is just between you, me and Father Time. I’ve been watching you. I see you. I know you’re hurting. I know you’re lonely. And I know you don’t feel good about being you.
You’ve been thinking about that bottle again. It looks like fun. You see the adults drinking from it and watch how they change. That uptight aunt of yours gets downright hysterical when she sips from the glass. You’ve noticed what happens when your Mom drinks. Her lips curve upwards in the first real smile you’ve seen on her face in a long time. After a few drinks, her cheeks get all pink. She seems more relaxed and altered. You wonder what’s in the bottle, to make such a difference in the people you love. You smell it, and it’s gross! If it’s not the smell they like, it must be the way it makes them feel.
You picked up Aunt Sally’s drink once and almost took a sip, but you stopped. Now curiosity is getting the best of you. As you open your father’s liquor cabinet and reach for the vodka bottle, I beg you to stop! Don’t do it. Seriously, don’t do it. I’m not trying to ruin your fun. But you need to know this; once you drink it, everything will change. You don’t know it yet, but you’re one in seven who is predisposed to the disease of addiction.
Even one drink can ruin your life. I know it looks like fun. That’s how it gets you. But for you, fun is not in the cards. Let me play it out for you. Here’s how it will go…
Imagine picking up the drink. Now imagine this… you’re going to love it! I won’t lie. You will LOVE it. (Before everything and everyone). You will be so impacted by this one experience, you will build a lifestyle around it. Only you won’t know that’s what you’re doing. You won’t know addiction has altered your brain chemistry. Or that your ability to make sound, rational decisions is gone. Once you experience the euphoric high, you will chase that feeling for the rest of your life.
At first, it will be incredible! You’ll feel ten feet tall and bulletproof. The ugly you in the mirror will disappear. You will feel smart, sexy and powerful! The effects are so potent you’ll want to do it again, right away. Using will be all you ever think of. While your friends are forming relationships, you’ll be forming one too. Only it won’t be with people, it will be with your drug of choice (DOC).
Before long, you won’t be able to go anywhere without it. When you’re with your family, you’ll count down the minutes until you can make your escape. You’ll change friends. Your old ones aren’t as fun as they used to be.
Your new friends love using, too. It’s all they ever do. A word of caution, though. These friends, only look like friends. They’re not real friends. They’re using friends. You can’t trust them. They will steal your dope and money. And when you’re in trouble, they will run the other way.
Things are changing for you, fast now. Your addiction has worsened. The marijuana you smoked in your teens has been replaced by cocaine. You’re hanging out with drug dealers and watching other addicts smoke crack and put needles in their veins. You think you’ll never do that but just wait… you’re not finished yet.
You will get married and have a child. You stop using while pregnant but pick it up again when your baby is born. Only this time it’s worse. You go days without sleeping or eating. You give the barest care to your crying infant. You shove a bottle in his mouth and let him lay in soiled diapers. You’re angry when people want you to spend time with them. You even resent your child.
You don’t answer the phone unless it’s your drug dealer calling. You stop paying your bills. Your cupboards are bare. You fall behind on the rent. Your car payment is overdue. Your cell phone is cut off.
Your friends and family tell you they’re concerned. They try and help you, but you scream in their face.
And still… You keep using.
One day you notice there is nothing left. Your spouse is gone. Your children are gone. Your home is gone. You are a shallow grave, with a beating heart.
You consider death.
You consider life.
But you can’t do either.
Addiction has robbed you of everything good. You can’t believe this happened. As a child you had many dreams – being an addict wasn’t one of them. But all is not lost. Recovery is possible. You can still build those dreams. It’s not too late to live happily ever after. All you have to do to change the direction of your life is call the number below.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call this confidential support line for assistance. 1-888-614-2379.