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Can I Ever Be Happy Without Opiates?

Living your life as an addict is not something that you grow up thinking will happen to you. Somewhere along the path we call life, you make some bad decisions or did not understand the severity of taking opiate based prescription painkillers. This bad decision may have led you to abusing heroin and other opiate drugs. Over time, your drug starts to dominates your life.  Your whole day is based on getting your next fix. Your use becomes more important than your own family, friends, and even your own life. It consumes you entirely. You know that if you run out of pills or heroin, you will get sick from the withdrawals which just adds to the anxiety of being an addict.

I remember when I was addicted to Oxycodone like it was yesterday. The idea of looking into future was nonexistent. I could not imagine tomorrow let alone plan my life or goals. All that mattered to me was getting my pills for the day and figuring out how I was going to get more tomorrow. I feared running out of my pills and having to face withdrawals and I would have done anything possible to make sure that didn't happen. Looking back on the life I was living makes me wonder why I didn't get help sooner.

Being addicted to opiates changes the way you think, act and look. The most important thing that it changed for me was the way I thought. When you are addicted, you have no drive or hope. You are TERRIFIED that you can not be social or happy if you were to stop taking the pills. The pills provided me with a new personality and energy, but it was all fake. I knew that when I stopped taking the pills I would have to face reality and I didn't want to. You get so used to living a life handcuffed to pills or heroin that your brain actually starts to believe you need them to survive. Every second of every day I was consumed by my addiction.

My addiction made me lie to myself to the point of believing it. I needed my pills to survive, or so I thought.  Now I talk with thousands of people a year and it is a recurring question that is asked often, “Will I ever be happy again without opiates?” When I hear this my eyes light up and I plead with the individual to understand that it is your brain lying to you. It makes me want to reach through the phone and give the person a hug. I'd give anything to be able to show an addict what they will feel like after a few months of being clean. Show them that they will be happier than they ever have been before, but it's almost impossible to convey that message to an addict.

Recovery is a scary step in addiction. You are leaving behind a period of false comforts that the pills have provided you with, and you have relied so heavily on. Leaving that substance behind and traveling into the unknown is what life is all about. I promise you and swear to you from the bottom of my heart that it gets better. Life is worth living and if you give it your all, you will be successful in recovery.


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