My story begins early in my childhood. As a child, I never truly fit in anywhere. I was a wanderer, a moving force without a set direction. I often felt alone and empty, sad even, but I had no idea how to cope with what I was feeling. Around the time of early middle school, I succumbed to clinical depression and anxiety. My parents had no idea what to do, so they didn’t talk about it. I didn’t talk about it. Nobody talked about it. A man in a white coat wrote a prescription and that was that. At the time, I didn’t know much about drugs, I didn’t know what pills people were always taking in the commercials you see on TV, and I knew that drugs like meth and heroin were “bad” and that nobody does those drugs. To this day I wish I could go back to that innocent mindset.
In the early summer of 2014, my grandfather underwent intensive surgery on his spinal cord and was prescribed oxycodone and hydrocodone: pharmaceutical heroin. When I was over at their house I was looking at the bottles of oxycodone and hydrocodone and they peaked my curiosity. I googled “recreational use of oxycodone” and became familiar with the drug, and decided it couldn’t hurt to just try one, “just one time”. That was my first mistake. Around a half-hour later, the drug started working its magic. My entire body felt like a long heatwave was running through it, sparking a comfortable numbness I had never felt before. It felt like literal heaven. Every ache or worry or feeling of depression was completely eliminated and replaced with joy and happiness and love. All I could do was smile and relax; their couch had never felt so comfortable before. I wanted to talk and dance and sing and take in every ounce of opiate-goodness. That was the beginning of the hurricane.
Fast forward two months to August of 2014. Looking back on it, I can safely say now is the time where I am hooked on pills. Uppers, downers, opiates, everything. While opiates were my favorite, I did a lot of Ritalin and Vyvanse. I don’t remember much from around July 2014 to January 2015, it comes in flashes. I strongly remember being addicted to drugs and I strongly remember that addiction was scary. Addiction was so much different from what I thought it was. I truly had lost control.
Flash: snorting Ritalin off the sink at our family vacation cabin.
Flash: smoking oxycodone off of tinfoil at the bus stop on my way to school, tripping and slurring my words in the hallway once I got to school.
Flash: stealing pills wherever I could find them.
Flash: doing too much oxycodone, Ritalin, and Xanax, throwing up in the tub and laying on the bathroom floor (I got high again the next day).
Flash: taking Ritalin at a party, taking special note to how confident the drug made me.
Flash: feeling the most suicidal I have ever felt in my entire life.
Flash: snorting Ritalin and oxycodone off
of my chemistry textbook. Yet another day lost in the fog.
Flash: snorting a random line of white powder that made my face numb at a party. “Guys, is this cocaine?”
Flash: what day is it..?
Flash: getting told at a party “dude, you snorted that line like you’re trying to fill some sort of hole. What are you running from?”
Flash: getting called down to the office and searched by a school resource officer. This is where things started to turn around for me. The resource officer found marijuana rolling papers and a bag containing crushed up Ritalin and a straw. I was facing third degree felonies. The officer told me that if I go to treatment, get clean, do community service, and clean up my act, she would drop the charges.
February 13th, 2015 is the day I stopped using drugs. February 13th is the day that I had finally had enough. February 13th, to quote my treatment counselor, is the day where “the only thing that changes once you start recovery, is everything”. I am a much happier person now. I’m no longer chasing highs, wondering where I am and who I am. I’m no longer living as an addict, but as a recovery addict. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past 8 months, it’s that you have to keep choosing recovery. Even on the bad days. By Danny S – Woodbury MN