I spent years in denial about my addiction. “I can stop any time”, I would always tell myself.
Then one day, I overdosed. Even with a PICC line in my arm from a recent heart infection, caused by shooting up, I continued to use. And that was nearly my last time. My mother found me in my room, on my bed, clinging to life. EMS was able to arrive on scene and reverse the opiods in time to save my life. If my mom wouldn’t have found me, I wouldn’t be here today to tell my story.
Like nearly every addict, I relapsed a few weeks later. Instead of pills and fentanyl patches, I moved to heroin. I loved the rush I felt when shooting it up. It provided me such serenity and a mind-numbing experience. My family and partner at the time found out a few weeks later. I was so embarrassed of my addiction, I fled and hid for 4 days.
Upon returning home, law enforcement was called and I was committed to a local psychiatric facility for 5 days. There, they provided some medications to aide in my withdrawls. Still so, I had numerous days of body aches, cold sweats that would soak my bed sheets, and incessant, projectile vomiting. Upon my discharge, I went through months of grueling therapy, medications, and learning new ways to confront my emotions and fears, instead of numbing them.
I have been clean since October 6, 2015. 1,372 days of sobriety. 32,928 hours. 118,540,800 seconds of struggling and learning to cope with life without drugs.
In January of 2016, I acquired a new job where I am now a manager of a department. I have also taken up a passion for EMS, working as an EMT in a county with numerous heroin ODs since May 2016. I am now nearing the end of a 2 year paramedic program. As it has been since the day I got sober, my goal every day is to continue to find myself and help others in a similar position do the same.
I am, and always will be, an addict. Sobriety isn’t easy. Life isn’t easy. But my God, a life without drugs is surreal.