COCAINE TOOK OVER MY LIFE, I HID IT FROM EVERYONE
I’d known I had a problem with drugs for years, but I never understood why. From the age of 18 to 28 I smoked a couple of spliffs every single night and the days I didn’t were probably because I was out on a bender with mates. Weed in itself is not an addictive substance but when I couldn’t pick up I became extremely anxious, intolerable and frustrated.I couldn’t understand why I couldn’t live without it, why I needed it so badly.
I came from a loving family, well educated, had a good job but I wasn’t a highflier, I’ve never had any serious trauma in my life.. basically I wasn’t who I thought an addict should be.
Weed gave me a sense of relief and made me relax, I justified it by likening it to a glass of red wine in the evenings. Eventually I managed to almost completely give up weed, reducing me intake significantly but I just replaced it with something even more dangerous.. cocaine and that nearly killed me.
For about 4 year previously, I had a recreational relationship with coke, being able to pick it up and put it down, holding onto a couple of grams for a month at a time, but slowly as I quit smoking weed, cocaine became a far more dominant factor in my life. I realised it had become a serious problem when I started picking up on weekdays and hiding it from my then girlfriend, lying and sneaking off to the toilet in the evenings to snort a few lines before coming back into the living room. I don’t know why I was doing it but it gave me a sense of relief. A similar sense that weed used to give me, even though they were very different drugs. They both had the same effect on me, they numbed me.
Cocaine took over my life and I hid it from everyone, lying to the people I loved the most, my then girlfriend, my family and my friends. Not one person knew the extent of my problem and how bad it had become. I realised I hated myself and the person I had become- a lying, coke addled addict and then a cycle started.. I hated myself for lying, so I would take coke to numb myself from the feelings, repeat.
This went on, on and off for about a year, in which time I broke with my girlfriend, not able to admit to her my problem, which released me from lying to her. Over the summer of 2019, at the age of 30 things got really bad, I was using daily and snorting up to 4 or 5 grams a week, I had lost all sense of control, I wanted to stop but couldn’t. I couldn’t see a way out and I was beginning to think about suicide on a daily basis. I had given up on life, thinking ‘is this it?’ either I was going to have a heart attack or kill myself.
That’s when I contacted a mutual friend of a friend who I knew was in recovery and had been sober for years and said three very small but very important and humbling words: I need help.
She put me in contact with a man from DAA who later became my sponsor and I went to my first meeting that very same evening.
I have not touched cocaine, alcohol or any other type of drug since the day after that first DAA meeting. That was over 4 months ago.
Not only did I get clean from drugs but I have come to understand why I was susceptible to drug addiction in the first place. I heard people share their experiences and I realised they weren’t just talking about themselves, they were talking about me!
Above I mentioned how weed gave me a sense of relief and made me relax and how inexplicably later cocaine had the same effect even though it is a stimulant, both numbed me. I came to realise I hated myself long before I had become a ‘proper drug addict’.
I was in a constant state on unease and discomfort my entire life, a feeling hard to describe when living with it daily. I used to get bored easily, feel uneasy around people, feel like I was never good enough, I was my own harshest critic and worst enemy.
Drugs took these feelings away on a temporary basis, they gave me comfort that I couldn’t find anywhere else. Taking myself out of self.
The gift DAA gave me wasn’t just getting clean from drugs but a way of staying clean from drugs, living a happy and fulfilling life, filled with ease and comfort the natural way. This is through spirituality and finding a higher power of your own understanding, which can sound strange to someone who is new or as borderline atheist as I was but it works.
Since entering the 12 Step programme I can hand on heart say my life has improved dramatically. I am happy, healthy, I love myself for probably the first time ever, I feel comfortable with who I am and live in the present.. but most importantly I have no desire to touch drugs or alcohol again, something I thought was impossible.