An Open Letter to My Opiate Addiction (guest post by Leah G.)

This is probably going to be one of those Facebook posts you scroll by, but then ultimately won’t be able to put down. This is probably the hardest thing to try and open up about. It is an embarrassing and personal story, but I hope that my story will clear the air and help everyone that was caught in my wake to heal their hearts. There’s a horrible thing going on in Syracuse. Opiate use is steadily on the rise, and the worst of them all Heroin is stronger than it has been, and now being cut with the powerful opiate-based pain medicine called

Opiate use is steadily on the rise, and the worst of them all the heroin is stronger than it has been, and now being cut with the powerful opiate-based pain medicine called Fentanil, overdose deaths are on the rise as well. The reality of my life was heartbreaking back then and I hope my story may serve to help someone else out there dealing with the same problems and wrestling with the same demons. I know how alone I have felt over the last few years.

I barely drank until 21. Despite the rumors, I wasn’t sleeping around. I never was a bad kid nor cruel to my friends. I was always very loving, outgoing, and outspoken. I was not easily influenced either. Recreational drug use remained a stranger to me up until I was 21 and I was happy in my ignorance. I despised drugs at that period as I believed that they led to my parent’s divorce, and also their fighting made my childhood very hard to endure.

Don’t get me wrong, everyone experiments at some point but for me, it was when I became a bartender in downtown Syracuse. The late nights and long shifts were more than I was used to. The constant influence of bad decisions opened up a whole new world. It was fun and occasional at first. I could handle it, no problem!

When my doctor prescribed me Benzos for a bad toothache, I didn’t think much of it. I took and finished them as instructed and went on with my life. Shortly after that, a friend had a script on her she used for fun. I must have looked at her like, “What? I just had 20 of those.” Lol. For some

For some reason, I regret the turn life now took with her and her pills. They started becoming a habit, and at first they just made me happy very energetic. I can’t explain it. But I liked them. I continued taking them a few times a week but before I knew it I was like becoming dependent on them.

I never really was warned or knew ANYTHING about prescription pills. I just thought since they’re from a Dr. that they can’t be that bad, right? Ya right, till my first withdrawal. Omg dude! OK, anyone who has never been through an opiate withdrawal, you’ll probably never understand. Once you take these pills for a while, your body becomes dependent on them and you can’t feel normal without them. Like at all.

You can’t get out of bed. Your sweating while at the same time freezing. You become miserable because you can’t sleep, you can’t eat. You’re just sick as hell like the flu x100. So then, that’s why people addicted to pills or heroin feel they need it every day. Not to get high or feel good after a while, but rather, more like just to be normal! It’s horrible. So, for the last 5 years, I have been struggling with opiate addiction.

Today, I can proudly say I am clean and even though every day is still a struggle, at times. But, I will continue to go to meetings and strive to stay sober & strong. It’s not easy and if there is anyone out there that I hurt during this period over time and for that, I am truly sorry. For those people that have friends or family going through this with pills or worse yet, heroin I only have one word of advice for you. Don’t give up and be there for them. Read about it and try to begin to understand how hard it really is.

Some of my friends that I love to death and have thanked them so much for allowing me to let them in on my struggle and they love me still. They never ever doubted that I would recover and come out on top you know who you are. But then there are others. Friends I’ve known since my First Holy Communion, friends who knew more about this than I did and
chose to instead of calling me and lending me a helping hand. Some of them listened to the rumors, they listened to the lies and faulty-guilt snowballs from Syracuse’s finest drama club.

Oh my god, it really does still bother me because I never lied, cheated, or stole. I never shit on people or intentionally screwed anyone over. I was just a normal person, like any of you who somehow became addicted to pain pills. So, thank you to my real friends, family, and supporters who understand my struggle. To those people who felt the need to turn their backs or contribute to the rumors. And, I’m sure someday your house of cards will fall down and perhaps you’ll realize the error of your ways.

My goal is to try to spread my story and to help people get through this. Because in the last few months I have lost 6 very close friends to overdoses. This is the most senseless deaths and can be prevented. The numbers are staggering, millions and millions are addicted to painkillers and other hard drugs. Addiction is rampant and literally growing by millions and millions. It’s an epidemic in Syracuse, and in so many cities, and so many other states
too.

It literally took me so long to get help because of the waiting lists for treatment, and vast amounts of people and not nearly enough doctors. It makes me shake to actually post this. It’s so personal, but my hopes are that it will help someone somewhere sets out to change their mind and try to live healthier.

With a little luck, maybe it will cause people to think twice before they judge someone’s struggle without knowing what they’ve been through or how they really feel. Please, if you have nothing nice to say don’t post it! I’m trying to be positive with this and hope to help someone and have people open up and be a friend.

Sincerely,
Leah

3 Comments on “An Open Letter to My Opiate Addiction (guest post by Leah G.)

  1. Kevin,

    First I want to say congratulations on your sobriety, as well as being able to open up about your addiction. Those are two seemingly impossible mountains to climb as an addict. So kudos to you, my friend.

    I am an addict as well. I have found a little peace and sobriety, but it took me a long time to realize that being sober doesn’t mean you’ve stopped being an addict. I know now that I will be an addict for the rest of my life. The mental yearning for the opiates I took, sometimes, is so great that I feel I could go back to that life in a split second, no hesitation, and no regrets. It’s a weight, to say the least.

    My journey started late in life, and it started with benzos as well. I remember the first time I took them recreationally, for fun. It made things so much easier. Interation with people, getting through work day, etc. Then I moved on from going to doctors and just buying from the street. Two hundred to three hundred at the time. They wouldn’t last nearly as long as they should have.

    I moved on from there to prescription pain medication. Percocet, Darvocet, Hydrocodone, and finally Oxy. Sometimes mixing all four with benzos. I tell you now, man, I don’t know how I’m alive. At the height of my addiction, I was taking upwards of 35 to 40 pills a day. Mostly between the hours of 5pm to 3am. The more you take, the higher your threshold gets, the harder it is to chase that elusive high. Which is ultimately what leads to the overdose.

    The withdrawal is fucking brutal. I never hallucinated, thank god, but it felt like I had a million tiny little fingers scratching from the inside of my body, trying to get out. Endless sweat, no sleep. Worst time of my life. Absolute worst time of my life, but quite possibly could be the main reason I will not go back.

    My addiction also took me to some dark places. I done things I never would have done otherwise. Hurt people emotionally, stole from the people I loved to support my habit. Truly unforgivable things.

    So I just keep on trying to live in the light, and to never forget that I have that darkness within me. Because the day I forget it’s there is the day it comes back.

    Hope you don’t mind the long comment. It helps to talk and listen to someone that’s been through it. Thanks for sharing this.

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