- Politics and Social Issues
Life With a Family and A Heroin Addiction, How to Function
I paid my bills, and bought my drugs--in that order
The very first drug I ever used was heroin. I used it before I smoked cigarettes, smoked marijuana, or drank alcohol. I knew I was going to use heroin by the time I was 13 years old.
Why did I make up my mind at that young of an age? Was it because I was curious? or was it because I knew at that time that my life was so messed up, that I would need the self medication, and the peace, and the ease of my emotional pain that it would provide me, even before I ever tried it.
I came from a very disfunctional family. My mother married a preacher that she had only known for two weeks, and we packed up our house and moved four hundred miles north of the town where I was born, and also four hundred miles away from any family besides my siblings and mother. We moved onto a hundred and twenty acre ranch where there were no buildings, the house we had to build before the winter snows came. It was a very difficult situation, for at that time I was only about ten or eleven years old, and my two brothers were younger than I by four and six years.
The preacher that my mother married after knowing him for only two weeks, was a pedifile, but nobody knew that at this time. I was the first to find out, and that was a short six months after my mother married him.
I won't go any further into the story of my disfunctional life growing up, except to say that the preacher molested me, and beat my brothers without my mothers knowledge, and moved us all to Mexico to be missionaries for the last seven years that our family was together.
Yes, by the time I had been moved two and a half thousand miles from my hometown, and from any safety that I had known, I knew that I would use heroin, and that it would become my best friend, my comfort, and the only thing that I could find to ease my pain. I was only thirteen years old. I made a list of things that I wanted to experience in my life, and the list went like this. I wanted to be married. I wanted children. I wanted to go to australia. I wanted to experience jail for myself. I wanted to see New York. I wanted to use heroin.
I didn't use heroin until I was about 23 years old. I had just had my first child, and I was married to a man who had no self worth, therefore he beat me down constantly to make himself feel better about his life. I never used any drugs while I was pregnant. This was the beginning of my self discipline concerning drugs. I could not permit myself to get my unborn child high, therefore I was able to control the drugs. As soon as I was through nursing the baby though, I was right back on my road of pain killing. At the age of 26 I broke my neck, and this also gave me more reason to use.
I was able to use heroin, work, raise my kids, pay my bills, and the result of my experiences was that I found that I was able to control it all to the point of becoming a functioning addict. I was happy with the arrangement, for it cured my pain, physically, emotionally, and constantly. If I did not have money to buy my drug, I went without, and I never let the children do without anything they needed. I have to say that as far as being selfish, I was not, for I found it was part of the painfulness of the addiction that I disliked, but did just so that I would not have to give it up permanantly. It was how I functioned.
One Day at a Time
I used heroin everyday almost for approximatly 25 years. There were periods of time when I would substitute the heroin with Methadone, just because I did get tired of finding a supply that was easy to get to without losing my freedom, by chasing it in the streets. I found that I had friends that also used that would buy enough for both of us, therefore I didn't have to comprimise my freedom. I would reinburse the money they spent and give a tip to boot. It was a situation that worked out well for a number of years.
Also due to the fact that I lived in Mexico, and could speak spanish, this also helped me to be able to score my drugs more easily for most of the heroin in california came from mexico, and was sold by mexicans. This also made it easy for me to get quantities, for my language abilities made them trust me more.
I was preached to by my mom, for she became aware of my habit. I was told that I needed the twelve steps to quit. But I found that the twelve steps only made me crave the drug more, for I would go into the meetings clean, and by the time I was near the end, having listened to an hour or more of the war stories of others, I found I would make a beeline to the connections house as quickly as I could, sweating bullets thinking about what was said in the meetings. It definitely did not work for me, and I did try it more than several times.
Up until just recently, I continued to use heroin. My kids went through college, and became citizens that did not use drugs of any kind. They were aware of my habit, and at times were angry, but mostly did not have problems concerning this habit of mine. I am now 55 years old. I have used up until about eight months ago. I can not tell you why I quit, except that my life finally became a happy one for me. For the first time in my life I feel happy, therefore I did not feel the need to use, with the exception of a couple of times when my physical pain became overwhelming. But this has been a full eight months of no heroin in my life. I cannot say that I miss it, nor can I say that it was ever a problem that I felt I had to solve. As for today, I will not use heroin, maybe tomarrow, for I will not lie to myself and say never again. But today, I will not use.
Years Later- did this work for my family?
Well, I am now 62 yrs,. old and my children have long moved away from my house and all have their own families and lives. All of them are aware of my struggle throughout my life, and are able to look back at their childhood with a smile, and some questions which I will always try to answer for them as honestly as possible.
None of them seem to carry any animosity about my choices, and do not seem any worse for their experiences with me as a parent.