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…