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A Walk in My Shoes: One Day in the Life of a Recovering Addict
After taking a walk in my shoes as a full-blown opiate addict, you’ve seen a small glimpse into the life of someone who’s chemically dependent. It’s an existence I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. In the end, my addiction robbed me of everything I had worked so hard to achieve and attain. And what’s worse, I stood idly by letting it happen. Instead of being the master of my own destiny, I had been reduced to a mere spectator.
I couldn’t keep fighting; I was in way over my head. In the end, I knew my addiction was a problem that I couldn’t fix on my own. Once I gave in and stopped trying to hide my disease, I was able to muster up the courage to seek help.
Treatment is the Answer
Statistics clearly show that rehab programs work, but the number of people who need treatment versus the number getting help is frighteningly unbalanced.
What I’d say to anyone who’s struggling with an addiction is this: Our disease wants nothing more than to convince us that we either can’t get help or we don’t deserve it. Don’t buy into that manipulation! If you put your heart into getting clean, things will get better. And to prove it, here’s a look at one day in the life of a recovering opiate addict.
Rise and Shine
I wake up to my dog licking me in the face; he’s ready for his morning walk. I love getting up early so I can take my time and enjoy each moment without being rushed.
Once we set out for our half-mile walk, I notice a million little things I missed while I was using drugs. From the sky’s seven shades of pink and blue to the family of chipmunks that have taken up residence in my yard…I soak it all in. I missed out on enough when I was in my addiction; I never want to miss out on those things again.
Once we set out for our half-mile walk, I notice a million little things I missed while I was using drugs.
Working and Living
It makes me sick to my stomach to think about all the money I blew on pills. In all likelihood, I probably could have bought a new car with the money I handed over to my drug dealer.
I spent a good deal of time trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life after getting clean. Luckily, when I got out of rehab, I began working with one of the best counselors in the world. She encouraged me to start keeping a journal and write in it each day. After a couple months of avid journaling, I was able to rekindle my passion for writing and marketing.
Today, I love working and having the ability to support myself. I learned how to properly manage money, save for rainy days and even take pride in getting my bills paid on time. I have the privilege of working with a group of wonderful people who have also become friends. I thrive on being held accountable for my work and proving I’m trustworthy.
I’ll be honest; earning back the trust of my loved ones was a process. While some people forgave me rather quickly, others weren’t as eager to let their guards down. And that was something I had to accept.
It was hard to own the pain I had caused my loved ones, but offering up my apologies also provided me with a sense of freedom. Once I took accountability for my actions, it was up to me to show them I had changed – and it was up to them to decide whether or not they wanted to be in my life.
It was hard to own the pain I had caused my loved ones, but offering up my apologies also provided me with a sense of freedom.
No More Masks
Without a doubt, one of the best things about being clean and sober is not having to hide.
As addicts, we spend so much time covering our tracks and trying desperately to convince everyone that nothing’s wrong. Living like that for extended periods of time can actually make you forget who you are, were or ever hoped to be.
As a recovering addict, I find it comforting to attend meetings and talk to other people in recovery. We all share a certain bond and, despite the different details, our stories are all remarkably similar at the core.
A Peaceful End to the Day
Recovery has given me a second chance and I intend to make the most of it. I have a wonderful family, a great group of friends, an amazing job and, ultimately, an opportunity to make a difference in this world.
Each and every night I lay down, I’m grateful for so many things. Despite everything I’ve been through and everything I’ve done, I am alive. Recovery is a wonderful feeling and we all deserve to experience it. If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, reach out and ask for help. It will be the best decision you ever make.
Additional Reading: A Walk in My Shoes: One Day in the Life of an Addict
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