Tag Archives: lies

The Dangerous Lie Told About Heroin And Heroin Users

First of all, before I start this post, I want to explain why I haven’t posted in awhile. Back in June, the basement apartment that my husband and I rent flooded. We had to have ServePro out, waterproof it, rebuild the walls that ServePro ripped down, tear out the ceiling. We then put in new lighting to replace the old florecent lights. We repainted everything. Last weekend we finished everything. Put together all of the new furniture, painted everything.
Due to the flood, the trip that we had planned to Ocean City had to be postponed. We finally took the kids this weekend and are still there now. Now on to the post.
There are many lies that go around about drugs and drug addicts. These are usually horror stories meant to terrify kids into never trying drugs at all. The problem is that they portray drug addicts as monsters that are not worthy of any compassion or even worthy of being treated like humans. Also, convincing kids (and adults as well) that the propaganda put out in the media by D.A.R.E. is factual information can be incredibly dangerous.
Let me give an example. I can’t even begin to count how many times I have heard that you are addicted to heroin the very first time that you try it. This is of course not even close to being true. I think that I probably had done heroin on and off for almost a year before I started to get ill. I took a break for about a month or so in that time, and was slightly dope sick, but it was so mild that I just thought that my mattress was bad. (I couldn’t sleep and my back was aching. I never associated this to lack of heroin, and I didn’t get high during that period, so I never discovered that dope fixed it.) the reason hat this lie is so dangerous, deadly actually, is that it gives people a false sense that they are stronger than heroin. They do it once, twice, ten times, and they are fine. Hey are not sick, they don’t crave it, they are good. Since they have been told for as long as they can remember that heroin is some sort of Herculian drug put by Satan himself that hooks you after one bump, destroying your life, turning you into a drug addicted daemon, they feel like they are super-human to be able to do it and not get hooked.
Let me be very clear, you will not be addicted after one use. It tricks you. You get comfortable thinking that you are too strong to get hooked. You will though if you keep using. It is not a matter of some people are not able to get physically addicted. It is true that some people have addiction genes and will become addicted faster than others, but it is a drug that causes your body to become physically dependent to it. You need it to function.
Another lie is that people turn into some sort of Manson disciple, a Devil worshiper who will fuck anyone for cash, rob their mother, kill old ladies all for their next fix. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that there is an addict out there that does not regret things that they have done either while high, or more likely, in order to obtain said drugs. For example, I used to go boosting. I have a extensive criminal record to prove this. As a woman who has been both molested as a very young girl and then raped by my alleged best friend at the age of 16, I was simply not willing to sell my pussy for a high. I have been offered many, many times, but it was just something that I will not do, and I never did. Also, I never used guns ever. Never robbed a bank, held up a gas station or liquor store, never pulled a fun on someone. Actually, I don’t think that I have ever even touched a real gun (you know not a BB gun). Yes, we have a problem, but we don’t loose all traces of our moral compass.
Next lie, we do not leave our children home alone for days on end, left to cook their own dinners at the age of three. My children are almost nine and almost six. Neither of them have EVER been home alone. Also, neither of them can even heat up soup in the microwave let alon cook for themselves. I usually stayed home with them while my husband copped, unless we had a babysitter that we trusted, like my mom or his parents. This is not Breaking Bad. That is not the norm. I know of many addicts who gave custody of their kids to their parents if they knew that they were too addicted to properly care for their kids at that time. Ok, yeah, you can point out that they did not care for their kids themselves, but that is not a good way to look at the situation. It is far better to realize that you have a problem that would prevent you from giving your kids the kind of care that they are entitled to. Most of these parents are still very much involved in the lives of their children’s. They just are aware enough to know that their parents or siblings would care for their kids better at that time.
There seems to be a great deal of misinformation that comes out about recovering addicts. One is the idea that certain rehabs can “cure you” of addiction. This is a concept that is put out there by rehabs. For example, Passages in Malibu, the famed rehab of Lindsey Lohan and other stars. The commercial features the founder of Passages saying, “I used to be an addict, but now I’m not.” No, you are, sorry to break it to you. There is a reason we are called Recovering Addicts. Your brain has been forever changed by drugs. You will never not be an addict. You ca stay clean and sober for the rest of your life, but you will be a clean and sober addict for the rest if your life. It is noxious to make people think that they can spend $30,000 at a particular rehab and bam, be an addict no more. This is detrimental in the same vein as telling people that heroin hooks you after one use. It gives people a false sense of security. If you convince people that you rehab has rectified their “issues”, falsely allows addicts to think that they can get high once or twice without repercussion. Cured of your addiction would mean they the neuro transmitters in your brain have gone back to the way they were before the drugs changed your brain. Unfortunately, your brain never goes back to normal. You cannot be cured. Sorry.
On the flip side, there is far, far too many people who forger treat recovered addicts as though they are about to rob them at any second. I fully appreciate that it takes a little while for a loved one who battled addiction to earn back the trust of their family and friends. The thing is that perception far too often becomes reality. If three years after a person has been sober they are being treated like a criminal, like a “drug addict”, it can often take a person who is struggling with their sobriety and give them an excuse to use again. Basically, if everyone thinks that I am nothing more than a junkie, no matter what I do, I might as well be a junkie. We often give up trying to prove people wrong. Especially if nothing seems to convince them anyway. Especially if they are struggling with severe cravings.
Lies that are told over and over again seem to turn into truths. This is detrimental regardless if it is about addicts or about gender or race stereotypes.


The Dangers Of Hiding Our Scars

One time I read a quote about how there is no one stronger on the face of the Earth as an addict who has managed to achieve and maintain sobriety. I couldn’t agree more. I have gone through a lot in my life. Rape, near death (through overdose and guns drawn on me), jail, loss of friends and family, and more bullshit than I care to get into in this blog, but overcoming addiction and managing to stay sober to this date was (and is) by far the hardest thing that I have ever gone through.

My question then is if we as recovering addicts are the strongest people on Earth, why are we shunned by the rest of the world? In 2007, I came home from jail after I had spent Christmas and New Years Eve away from my daughter locked behind bars waiting for a bail to be granted so that I could get bailed out on four different warrants. I came home sober to a very different life than I had before I went to jail. My husband was also locked up on a no bail warrant. (Actually, our no bail warrants both arose from a charge in which we were co-defendants. We were charged with everything from first, second, and third degree assault, to theft, to conspiracy.) One of my best friends was locked up in the strict-as-fuck Commonwealth of Virginia.

I knew that going out boosting was simply not an option. First of all, my partners in crime (my husband and my best friend being held captive in Virginia) were both locked up and thus un-available. Second of all anyone who steals (or whores or deals) in order to receive drugs knows that you simply cannot continue that activity if you wish to remain clean and sober. 

Well, I was a single mother with a daughter for whom I was the sole provider of, I needed a job ASAP. I got a job at an UNO’s Pizzeria. I never told a sole there about my history. When I had court dates, I made up an excuse as to why I needed to miss work that day. I was in a women’s addiction group every Wednesday night that I told my managers was a photography class. I told co-workers that I was separated from my husband instead of saying that he was in jail (eventually I did say that he was in jail, I just didn’t tell them that it was drug related).

I lied. I hid my scars both physical and emotional. I wore long selves all the time in order to hide my track marks. I thought that if I just hid my past from everyone new that I met then I could just become a new person. It didn’t work. I was hiding from myself. When I relapsed, I kept lying and pretending that I was not an addict. Know what happened? I got high for three more years. 

We as addicts need to admit our truth. Maybe not to everyone, but we shouldn’t lie. We need to be honest with ourselves. We are and always will be addicts. Society is not going to just decide to accept addicts out of the blue. We have to force acceptance. This will be an uphill battle of course, but I believe that it can happen. When I was in high school and college and diagnosed with a whole slew of psychological disorders it was so very taboo. Being on anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medicines of any sort was something that you just did not admit to. Now it seems that every other person you meet is on some sort of psychiatric medication. 

Addiction is a disease that is both physical and mental. I think (I hope) that one day addicts can openly admit that they are addicts and that they need help. To that end, I hope that help is then readily available. Addicts (sort of like the homeless) are the forgotten. There is not an accurate picture of how many people suffer from this horrible affliction and so there is not enough resources out there for people to be able to help themselves.

I know that it is not easy or fast to change the way the vast majority of society looks at any group that is perceived as a minority, but the issue is that there are far more addicts out there than people care to realize. If people can look past their prejudices and realize that recovered addicts are some of the smartest, strongest, compassionate people in the world, then we wouldn’t have to hide from our true selves and cause greater pyschological  damage to people that tend to have enough damage to overcome. Here’s to hope!

Lies We Tell, Lies We Accept

Recently, I was talking to an old friend. Someone whom with I have been friends since high school. This friend just also happened to be one of the people that I got high with for years as well. Since I have been clean, I don’t see him too much. Actually, the last time I saw this friend, he ripped me off for money. He needed money to get well and had a grocery store gift card. Since I have two kids, buying a discounted card for food will always come in handy. My husband and I met him and of course there was a story. “You can’t bullshit a bullshitter.” I gave him the benefit of the doubt as I have been close with him for fifteen years. He would drop the card off later and I would give him the rest of the money. Why would he fuck me for thirty dollars?

Well, he did. We as addicts, are able to become expert liars. We obtain such a fluency at deceiving that we are able to do it with out even thinking. They say that you are truly fluent in another language when you are able to actually think in that language. Us addicts, when we are using, we are able to think in lies. The come out with such fluidity that little to no thought is needed.

While I was using, I learned how to con everyone. You learn to play a role, to deceive. I became the quiet, rich girl when I was boosting to throw off suspicion. I was clean, when I was with my family. I never had a criminal record when I was at work. I easily morphed into who I needed to be in that current situation.

We lie to our families, our friends, our dealers, other addicts. The worst lies that we tell are to ourselves. Can we ever forgive ourselves for the lies that we tell, the pain that we cause? Can we forgive those who are close to us for the lies that have told to us?

While we hurt the people close to us, we hurt ourselves more. Most couples who use together are unable to continue a worthwhile relationship once they both get sober. Part of this is because they will often trigger each other to relapse. Part of this is because without the drugs, a good deal of the couple have little to nothing in common. Perhaps the largest issue is getting past all the lies and betrayals that the two have done to one another. I have seen couples do horrible things to each other. Boyfriends whoring out their girlfriends. Girls fucking every dealer that will let them. Both parties cheating on one another. It is hard enough to deal with this shit when ripped out of your mind, but sober it is usually too tough to bear.

At some point the lies catch up. Just because you don’t call someone out every time you are aware of the lies that are told to you doesn’t mean that you aren’t aware. I had a good feeling that my friend was lying about the gift cards, I was just hoping against hope that he wasn’t. A may be a lot if things, naive is not one of them.

It is interesting to note, however that the more adept we become at telling and discerning lies, the more we believe our own lies. Every dope head goes on and on, when they are high of course, about how we are going to get clean, tomorrow. Always tomorrow. We are going to do up all of these drugs and then we will get clean. Of course when we wake dope sick the next morning all of that changes. The need for drugs, the need to get well, to just not be sick takes over.

In order to really recover, to achieve lasting sobriety, is to stop lying to ourselves. We use these lies as an excuse to backslide. Before we even relapse, as soon as we start getting clean, we come up with reasons or excuses as to why we will fail. That way when we start using again, we are not heartbroken. How are we ever to succeed if we set ourselves up to fail? The answer is that we can’t.

We have to forgive ourselves for our lies. And stop the lies in order to achieve our ultimate goals of having and maintaining a healthy, substance free existence. In an earlier post I wrote about the need to let go. We have to forgive ourselves for the lies we have told, the sins we have committed. It is easy to want to throw ourselves in a self imposed purgatory, but for how long will this last? The refusal to let go of the past, the refusal to forgive ourselves ends up sending us back into a world of drug use.

That being said though, while it is important to forgive people who lie, do we ever forget? Can we ever trust someone who has repeatedly lied to us? Can we ever expect or people to forgive us for our past transgressions? If we can not or will not trust again, then should we feel worthy or deserving of peoples trust? I do not know, but I hope that the karmic retribution of forgiving ourselves and others transcends into making us, as recovering addicts, worthy of forgiveness. But first we must stop lying. Weather we are using or we are clean, we can not continually lie to,everyone around us (including the lies we tell ourselves) if we expect to ever get well.