“What is the difference this time?”

I started using heroin in 2008 and since 2008 I have tried to get clean. Everytime I spoke to anyone regarding addiction they would ask what makes this time different? For years, I never had an answer. I never felt different many of those times, and always seemed to keep reservations when it came to my using. I had wanted to be done for years, I just never felt done, and I could feel that. My addiction had such a hold of me, wanting it, wasn’t enough.

I always wanted to have an answer, but most of the time, I didn’t feel different. It took years of self awareness, being able to recognize where I failed in the past, and continuing to try what did work. Going to rehab over 30 times was me trying until it worked. I don’t think there is anything failure about that. Each one of those times I tried, I would learn something about myself and what might work for me to finally break free from the chains of addiction. I had to recognize what I was truly doing to myself, and why I was doing it. People say I use my past to justify my decision making which led to being on heroin for 13 years.It really is the age old battle between nature vs nurture. Was I genetically dispositioned to be an addict or was it because of how I felt about myself after the sadness I felt as a child. People tell me I chose my life. I don’t think anyone wants to be addicted to drugs. And drugs should never even have been an option, I was educated too, it didn’t matter. John Locke was the first to explain that humans get their behavioral traits from “nurture” rather than nature, and that was 1690.

The history is important because it shows that I am not making this all up just so I can use drugs. I didn’t want to be on them in the first place. Everything I say, about anything that has to do with me; I get told that everyone has problems and that I can’t use my past as a reason for why my life was out of control. Even though there really is plenty of legitimacy to what I have to say. I agree I can’t use my past forever, but I really just wanted to be understood. After self-destructing and being so misunderstood for so long. I take complete and full responsibility for dealing with my issues in the worst way possible. When I started using drugs, it wasn’t a conscious decision that I was doing the drugs to mask the pain I felt inside. I was never really angry or depressed, I was just sad, sad that the four year old boy that I remember being, got left behind and no one really showed they cared. Saying and doing are much different. I know that plenty with my own son now, people don’t understand that part of the getting clean forever process is selfishly focusing on oneself in order to accomplish a much larger goal. Taking time to get my life in order after struggling for 18 years, 16 of those being before my son was born, but the time it took to get away from my old life and finally put all the pieces together.

The difference this time is all the life experience I have, the self-discovery I have done over the last few years, and really changing my focus to what I want in my life. Since quitting cigarettes and heroin on the same day I have been full of life. I have so much friction with a lot of people; especially the one’s closest to me, and I thought me getting clean would fix it. It actually got worse because I’m not as passive as I use to be. All of my life I have been learning and trying to figure out how life works. I never was encouraged to do anything as a child so I really did lose all of my hobbies. People say, I should be able to create my own encouragement, which is what I did do. When you’re a kid it is kind of important for you to have the support of your parents in order to actually do things, I never saw support like that. By the time I became 17 I had already lost everything I was, and that’s when I found the wrong way for real. Self-discovery was really the most important part, I had such low self-esteem and never saw the same thing other people see. I really had to dig deep inside myself and figure out my strengths and weaknesses in order to address them accordingly. Work on the things I don’t do well, and that will start to build confidence which is really what has been lacking.

Changing my focus was the biggest thing and I have been fighting for my life forever and I finally found a medical doctor who is up to date and current on addiction. He explained to me that the opposite of addiction is connection. It is not that simple, but for someone as complex as me, sometimes I need things just simplified. Black and white heads or tails. Make a choice, and I can’t have both. Since then I have really connected with myself, first and foremost, and that has allowed me to really connect with my son. I will never let anything stop me from being able to see him when I finally allowed. Finding myself has also brought me closer to my brother and my cousins, which is absolutely great, the main four in my life have been a challenge, but I can’t dwell on what other people don’t do anymore. That shits dead. I’m moving forward and people will be left behind. I have also been able to reconnect with friends I had since before I was 18 which was 15 years ago. It really is like starting right where we left off, so that has been great. Lastly developing hobbies I love again, like I said I always was interested in everything, and now, without chasing drugs, I have time to do all the things that I love to do, like most recently, biking(spinner), downhill skiing, and I have been trying to teach myself new things like a foreign language and how to play guitar. I also started making candles, if anyone wants one. LOL. But that is the whole point. Finding out who and what I am and what I want to be. My whole life is different now.

I’ve been able to get and stay clean so that really is the first and most important part. Realising what is important and how I want to live my life. A very common misconception was is that I was living the life I wanted to, and that I chose to live. In second grade no one has ever picked addicted to drugs for what they wanted to be when they grew up. Such a ridiculous statement from people to try and create this idea that I was doing what I wanted to. It was more of a need, it was never a want. I have no more reservations, I created a new life for myself and I have goals for the future. Everything about this time, is different.

Published by SoberSteveRecovery

It was a home birth on the Eastside of Milwaukee on September, 11th 1987. I have lived all over Wisconsin, and even lived in Florida for a year. UW-MILWAUKEE is where I studied Journalism and History and I eventually switched my major to Environmental Science. My love for the planet equals my love for humanity and now I am focused on finishing up a degree in Addiction Counseling because I just want to help. Continuing school until I have a PhD so I can teach which is my long term goal. Everything I do is to be better for my son. Hopefully we can save some lives as well. ☮️ ❤️ ♾️

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