My choices don’t affect anyone but me!

How many times have you heard someone say this? How many times have you said this? I know I have! Many times. No amount of evidence could have altered my belief that I was in control, I knew what I was doing, and that I wasn’t harming anyone but Mr. know-it-all Dustin. I wasn’t about to give up something that made me feel so good. I could smile again! I was pain-free and my social awkwardness had all but vanished. Because of that, I protected my addiction at all costs. It was like having my own personal fountain of youth and I wanted to keep it secret as long as I could. No one was going to spoil or poison my new found love. My love for opiates. If I had it my way, I would have never told anyone about my addiction. Thankfully, my using became so demanding and over-powering, I could no longer keep it a secret.

Early on, it was easy to justify my drug use. I thought “How could sniffing a pain-killer hurt any of my friends or family. It isn’t going up their nose!” Little did I know, my sister was crying herself to sleep at night trying to understand her little brothers self-defeating and deadly lifestyle. My addiction was also tearing my parents relationship apart. For me; trying to find empathy and reason through such a thick cloud of cravings and selfishness, was hardly possible.
I began to see myself as the victim. Everyone in my family was telling me how to live my life. My family’s early cries for an intervention was only fuel on the fire. I hadn’t demolished enough liveliness and spirit to even consider stopping my drug use.  It wasn’t even an option. I still had all my possessions. I still had a job. How could I possibly be hurting anybody?

At one point, I tried only using drugs on weekends and holidays. By Monday morning, I had added Mondays to my list and started wondering if I could count April fools day as a holiday. This didn’t stop. Eventually I was using for every reason I could think of. Many times I even celebrated a sobriety birthday by getting high. A complete lack of any self-control. That is what I do. That is how I roll. I am an addict.

Today I am grateful for understanding the truth about my addiction. Knowing that my choices can and do affect other people. Today I will continue to be aware of my selfish tendencies. I will make my decisions based on reason, virtue and empathy; rather than self. I will continually work towards building stronger family structures, rather than tearing them down.