The truth that recovering addicts can one day finally realize is that there is life after drugs.
It is absolute insanity to look back and realize that during my drug using days, I actually thought that my story was unique from everyone else. During my using days, I had often made excuses about how different my life story was and gave excuse after excuse about why that person could get sober and I couldn't. After numerous attempts, I had given up all together—like many other addicts so often do. I made myself honestly believe that there would be no reason to live if heroin was no longer a part of my life. I had made peace with myself and fully accepted my fate as a drug user. Then, one day, my life had changed. For no reason other than an Act of God, I had a moment of clarity. I finally realized that I was not willing to die. The best part was that I had actually followed through on my journey to sobriety. I got sober cold turkey, which I don't personally recommend, but whatever works is my theory.
A New Beginning
So there I was—free from wondering when I would get my next fix, ready to experience life through new eyes. I changed my phone number and moved out of town with my boyfriend to ensure my success. I had made it safely through the withdrawal symptoms and couldn't wait to get all of the things I remember the program had promised. Day after day, I waited, in anticipation that some magical force would bring me new, sober friends, exciting hobbies, a wonderful new job, etc. That day never came for me. I felt confused and lost, as if I had possibly done something wrong in choosing to get sober. It took weeks to finally realize that life, especially after drugs, is what you make it.
Please, don't get me wrong—there are some days I want to rip my hair out and I often ask myself how I am going to deal with life's issues sober. The truth is, nobody knows. It may take long to get back to the place you want to be during your recovery, but something that many addicts seem to forget is it is okay to sit at home all day long. One of the best moments I have finally learned to embrace, is having an uneventful day at the house—a plain, boring day consisting of lounging and watching TV. I don't have many friends. In fact, I couldn't name one person, aside from my family that I see frequently and you know what? I wouldn't have it any other way. I am utterly grateful that I traded the nonstop chaos, stealing, lying and fighting for consistency.
So, is there life after heroin? It may not happen right away for many recovering addicts, but, with time, your life will slowly develop once again. It may take longer to create your life than it did to destroy it, but the road to sobriety is a change I have never regretted.
Cassandra Huerta is a freelance writer who lives in an extremely small Michigan town and lives life one day at a time. She enjoys regularly entertaining her six-month-old daughter and can thank her wonderful fiance and coffee for all of her work.