As a kid growing up in a suburban middle class neighborhood, I always dreamed of being a professional baseball player. No kid ever grows up dreaming of being a drug addict. The thought of being a drug addict when I was younger never even crossed my mind. I knew better because it was drilled into my head from a young age that drugs were bad. I don't think it really crosses anyone's mind that one day they will become an addict. Even when I began taking Oxycodone recreationally, I never thought of myself as an addict or even the possibility of becoming addicted. I still remember the first time I ran out of pills and started going through withdrawal. I had no idea what was going on until I researched my symptoms. That's when I realized I had a problem, yet I didn't believe that it had control of me, as I still felt in control. I thought I could stop anytime I chose to. The problem was I didn't “feel” like stopping yet. This is when I started to lie to myself as many addicts can relate to.
The life of an addict is hard. You wake up each morning feeling sick, unable to think or function until you get your fix. Life has absolutely no meaning when you are craving your pills. The only thing that matters is to get some money, find your dealer, take some pills and start your day. If your connection is out of pills, you will call every person you know even if the possibility of them having some are slim to none. Your addiction controls everything and your addiction becomes everything. The whole process of being an addict becomes insanely tiring. For all of you who have never been addicted, imagine worrying every moment of your life if you will have air to breathe. This may sound like an extreme analogy but to an addict, it is the same feeling. They believe if they do not have their fix, they will die (or feel as though they are dying as withdrawal symptoms set in). This feeling makes you feel absolutely miserable, and so the vicious cycle of your opiate addiction continues to grow.
Your entire world becomes consumed by the drugs. Every dollar you see no longer has monetary value. You count how much of your drugs you can afford. I used to look at $20 bills and see a Roxicet (30mg immediate release oxycodone pill) because that was how much I paid for them at the time. My addiction changed my perception of life. I thought I needed my fix to live, to be social or productive. I started to believe that it was always going to control me, that this was something I had become. My addiction changed the way I viewed my life. Life was no longer good. It became more of a chore most of the time. It took a lot of effort to get out of bed and take a shower in the morning. My addiction turned me into a monster. I became something no child, no adult...no person would every expect, or want to become. I was a full blown addict, and my addiction nearly took my life.
The world of an addict is cold and miserable. You are lonely most of the time, and your best friend becomes your pills. When I would score my pills, they would make me happy knowing that I was going to be comfortable. They were my friends, my comfort, my life. These small little pills completely engulfed my life, and nearly killed me. In the beginning, your intake of prescription opiates comforts you and helps you through hard times. Over time though, this fix strips away all of what you were and are. It takes all of your money, belongings, friends, and family. Before you know it, you hate your addiction yet your fix is the only thing that keeps your going.
The good news is that it holds no power over you. Your perception of reality is foggy and the truth is that you can take your life back when you are ready. It's not going to be easy. The pills have altered your brain, your thinking, and your decision making, so get help! They say "there is never a good day to quit". If you continue to use, your tolerance is going to increase, and when you run out your withdrawals are going to be worse. If you are addicted to opiates, take a good hard look at your life. Realize that you are stronger than the pills. You can live a happy, productive life without opiates. I am living proof.