In the context of relating to one’s former self – the selves of childhood or teenage angst, the self that gave birth to one’s grown children, the self that used to care about one’s make-up, car or outfit, etc.

For me, it often comes back to the self of mine that spent over ten years as a strung-out, hopeless heroin addict; the one that ruined my hopes and dreams and left me perpetually feeling without. This is my most regrettable self. This is my most destructive and negatively effective self; this is the self that I have the hardest time relating to when I remember myself.


It’s challenging to accurately describe the profound differences between living as a practicing addict and a recovering addict, as the entirety of your existence as a practicing addict revolves around only one thing, in essence. Many of us lied to ourselves daily about what kind of addict we were, likely as a coping mechanism to deal with our self-loathing or whatever. Either way, I can literally recall with clarity (somehow), the notion that I was different from most heroin addicts because I was strong enough to stop if I chose to, or so I always used to tell people, including myself.


Of course, time proved a different truth, and my final kick was near-fatal and kept me confined to detox center for almost 8 entire months. Its residual, even now – 12 years later…I think I finally learned my lesson with that one; it scared the hell out of me to clean up. I never felt worse in life that during the physical detoxification of that drug, or even the first few breaths of a day in which I was going to without a fix. I remember being 110% certain that I was vomiting gnats up, and being angry as hell when the nurse’s laughed when I told them. My brain was fried so badly, I remember being sure that I could never be “normal” again without heroin, without being “well”.


But here I am…

One less crutch to lean on, one less escape method to use…



One thought on “Relativity

  1. JMC813 says:

    Strength in recovery is such a powerful and undeniable truth. Only those who have seen both sides will ever know the freedom of this type of overcoming, that is also accompanied by the HUGE shadow of relapse reality that hangs nearby. We are warriors of the strongest and bravest order my friend. And we all stand for one another.