History has a very peculiar way of repeating itself, in both good ways and bad. In my case, it has been more bad than good. One thing I realized today in my fourth year of sobriety is, it is almost unbearably hard not to repeat the cycle.
It takes true heart and determination not to fall victim. Many before me have done it, and many times I have been told that I can't. I've been told I won't make it past two years of sobriety, and you know what? I almost believed those naysayers. Today I stand before you all, four years clean of heroin. While she may still try to seduce me, I know that I can defeat her. She has no real power over me, only mind tricks.
I was ashamed for so long of my past. I would often lie and cover it up, only for the truth to be uncovered and for heroin to use this as a crutch to come back into my life. For so long I thought my story was worth nothing; I thought I was nothing, that I was just some addict who will eventually fall victim to the deceit and manipulations of something so powerful time and time again.
Now I'm committed to helping the population by showing people that defeating heroin is extremely hard, but extremely doable. The drug does not have to ravage and take away everything you have ever loved and known.
Normally I am immune to emotion; I do not cry or show sadness. Instead, I smile and act as if nothing is wrong, act as if I am peachy. But today, I am overrun by the very emotions that I have not felt in years. Four years away from heroin has been rewarding, but challenging. I have made many mistakes over my short time being clean, and one very recent one that has caused me one person that means the world to me.
One thing that I have learned over the course of my walk and fight for sobriety is that heroin has no sustenance, no lasting effect and provides no help. It is nothing short of a beautiful disaster.
For three years, I could not look at myself in the mirror. For three years, I would brush my teeth in the shower and turn the light off while I got dressed. As of late, I am able to look in the mirror and love what I see staring back at me.
This day is not only my victory, but the population's victory. We are all in this together and all have the potential to make it if we continue the fight.
Here are some ways that you can break into that warrior mentality:
1. Be intentional
Know what you are saying and mean every word. This is a make or break point in saving the population. We are all surrounded by liars, deceivers and people who sugarcoat. To be intentional is to be brave, and to be brave is to be a hero. We all have a calling, and we need to pay attention to it.
2. Be open and vulnerable
This is of upmost importance. So many people are taught to be closed up, never show any emotion and to keep it all bottled in. This could not be further from the truth. Being open is how changes are made.
By being open with your struggles and addictions, you give hope to the same people who are struggling with the same thing, or an addiction of their own. Fundamental vulnerability is the best thing about being human, and showing weakness is the ultimate sign of strength. Having others see your weaknesses and vulnerabilities in your struggle will motivate and captivate the population to become better in their own areas of life that they are weak in.
Being intentional is tough because you do not want to come off as insensitive or as if you are being condescending. Being open and vulnerable is tough as well; you do not want people to prey on your weaknesses. But despite all of this, getting the conversation going has the power to impact millions.
You may never know the power of heroin nor the head rush of cocaine, but I encourage you to be intentional and open with anything you are experiencing. You can and will save somebody.