Lorelie Rozzano is a guest blogger for Vertava Health.
Every Addicted Person Needs To Know This.
There comes a defining moment in every addicted person’s life when they know they’re dependent. This wake-up call often occurs the morning after a binge. Reality hits in that in-between time, before the next toke, hit, injection or snort. Reality happened for me one morning lying in bed. I woke up sick and, for the very first time ever, realized I didn’t have the flu – as I always told myself and everyone else – but that I was dope-sick. My family was in the other room but they might as well have been a million miles away. My addiction was like an earthquake. It had fractured my family so that I stood on one side of the divide and they stood on the other. The only way back to them would mean giving up drugs. Giving up drugs… It sounds like an easy choice for a rational person. But that’s the thing. I wasn’t rational. And neither is any other addicted person. My family wanted me to do something I was incapable of doing. I tried to stop. I made many attempts. I smoked weed instead of snorting cocaine or using opiates. I drank beer instead of whiskey. I popped sleep medication when my curfew was up and I was flying high. My intentions were always good. But no matter what I did, once I started, I couldn’t stop. To complicate matters further, when I was dry I was miserable. I was not fun to be around. My misery was infectious. The people who were closest to me felt miserable too. It was a lose – or lose worse – situation. On the one hand I loved my family. I adored my children. I wanted to make them happy. On the other hand, I hated me. I felt anxious and different from everyone else. I had no self-worth. The thing that made me equal and comfortable, was destroying my life and the lives of the people I loved. When I was high I could breathe. I didn’t feel anxious or uptight. I could laugh and play. I believed using made me a better parent. I loved my kids more when I was relaxed and not so serious. I was a lot more fun to be around. There was this magical window of time where everything was perfect. For a few minutes, or hours, I was at peace. But then that window would close and all hell would break loose. If I didn’t bring myself down with weed or sleep medication I would stay up for days. During that time I wouldn’t eat, I wouldn’t come home, I wouldn’t think of my family or tomorrow. I wouldn’t care how much money I spent or where I went. I was on a quest for more. I wanted to get as much in me as fast as I could. I was like a starving person gorging at a buffet. I knew my party would end. If I was to suffer the consequences, it better be worth it. I’d use until there was nothing left to use and no other way to get it. When the drugs wore off I’d go home with my tail tucked between my legs, feeling ashamed and hating myself even more. It was a vicious cycle of sober, miserable, high, happy, crash, hopeless, sober, miserable, and repeat. I begged God to make me stop. It didn’t occur to me the consequences I was experiencing were his/her way of saying, enough! I didn’t know addiction was a disease, just like cancer. I never knew I wasn’t a horrible person, but a sick one who was worthy of love, compassion and support. I felt like a monster. When I was high I did things I would never have done sober. But I couldn’t turn my conscience off. Hurting the people I loved bothered me deeply. The only way to rid myself of pain was to get high, which resulted in more hurt and pain. I was so trapped. I couldn’t keep living like that. I didn’t want to die but I couldn’t give up drugs. When I entered rehab I thought it was the worst day of my life. In hindsight, it was really the best. If you’re struggling with addiction, you need to know this. Addiction messes with your head. It lies to you. I should never have trusted my thinking, yet it was all I ever trusted. I was delusional. Near death, I still believed I knew best. Addiction lied to me in the scariest voice of all; my own. You need to know it’s courageous and cool to reach out for help. Hope is intoxicating. You won’t believe how wonderful it feels to wake up with a clean conscience and a full heart. You need to know the first time you laugh a deep, deep, belly laugh in recovery, you will cry. You’ll be startled at the sound of your laughter. For it’s the sound of your childhood. Innocent, sweet and free. You need to know how much fun you’ll have being clean and sober. Watching clouds, listening to birdsong, sharing your story, it will fill you up in ways drugs never could. You need to know how deeply connected you’ll feel to this earth and the people you love and who love you. You need to know you will go on to do great things. By sharing your story of recovery you will change the world. You need to know you don’t have to do this alone. All you have to do to start your new life is pick up the phone and call the number below. But most of all you need to know you are worthy of love and you can get well. If you or someone you know needs support, please call this confidential support line for assistance. 844-451-0263.