Yes, I’m an addict!!
Yes I’m an addict. My drug of choice… Heroin. However, that doesn’t mean I won’t do what I have to do to get high, even if it means doing other drugs when offered to me.
Yes, I was paid money for sex to support my habit. It was my daily ritual. Wake up, call a few people to see who was available, meet up at their favourite spot, do our thing, get paid. He would drop me off down the street from my dealers house.
Yes, I overdosed. I overdosed 11 times while being an addict.
Yes, I entered rehab countless times, would leave, and relapse the same day I left. The drugs owned me. Nothing in this world made me feel better than that needle going into my vein.
My addiction started when I was 15. Well, it started much earlier. I come from a family where my siblings were all much older than I am. My oldest brother is 12 years older than I am. When I was 5 he started abusing me. My parents would leave for weekend and week long trips. He would give me alcohol, normally obtained by breaking into my parents liquor cabinet. At first it was just touching. It didn’t become intercourse until I was 9. I tried to tell my parents several times, but he was so good at manipulating them into believing that I was lying and just mad because I wasn’t getting my way. The abuse continued. He started pimping me out to his friends when I was 13. My parents were often gone due to their jobs. I was in the sex trade and my brother was my trafficker. He was making money of his baby sister. At 15, he introduced me to heroin, told me it would be easier to do my job. I said no. He injected me for the first time by having a couple of his friends hold me down. I would go on to fight it for several more days before I enjoyed the fact that I was not conscious long enough to feel what the men were doing. My brother would rent hotel rooms when my parents were gone. I was sedated with the heroin and men would come and go at all hours of the day and night to enjoy their time with me and do what they need.
I finally managed to go to the cops and tell them what had been going on with I was 18. My brother was arrested and served 5 years in prison. But that didn’t stop my addiction. I was hurting on the inside. I was hurting because my own blood should have protected me from men like that. When you think of your older brother, you would think of someone who would protect you from anything. Who would do everything in his power to ensure your safety. But mine didn’t. Mine was my abuser and my trafficker.
I went on to suffer from my addiction until I heard of a great program out west. I decided to give sobriety one more try. And had decided that if I relapsed I was going to do what I needed to do to end my life. I had great counsellors and great people around me. They allowed me to stay for as long as I needed to get better. I spent a better part of a year there before venturing out on my own. I moved back to Ontario, got set up with a great therapist, NA and a sponsor. To this day, 4 years after entering treatment, I still need to talk to my sponsor. And I still need to see my therapist. I suffer from PTSD and have flashbacks to a dark time in my life.
I am putting my story out there because a lot of people are quick to judge us addicts. Yes, I made the decision to continue using drugs after I escaped my abuser. But the drugs allowed me to numb the pain of what happened to me.
I love heroin. But I love my life more. I may be sober today, but I will always be an addict. I will always crave my drug. And I will forever fight to maintain my sobriety.
Some people are not as strong as others. Some people can’t battle their addiction because they are so far in to it. And some are just not ready to face their demons so they continue to use drugs.
Stop judging us. We’re people battling a dark past