When we’re operating in active heroin addiction, our destructive behavior is evident to everyone around us. Friends and family reach out in love, in frustration, and often in a combination of confusion and desperate anger.
It’s not as if we aren’t listening to what’s being said, but often our responses seem like lies to those who love us the most. We become labeled as “manipulators” and “schemers” as the trust of others erodes with each let-down.
But let’s take a look at these lies.
Before we ever started to lie and manipulate those around us, we were the first to be deceived. We began to operate in thought processes that seemed to make sense at the time, but led us down a path of denial, minimizing, and other unhealthy thoughts and self-talk. Until we get real with ourselves and understand that everything going on inside our own head isn’t healthy, we will never learn how to recognize and “kick out” the thoughts that produce destruction.
Maybe you’re reading this today and this is the first time you’ve ever heard anyone suggest that you have the power to recognize and serve an eviction notice on the unhealthy thoughts in your head. A lot of us go through years of guilt and shame for some of the thoughts that pop into our brains. Instead, let’s learn to rate them, either as lies or truth, healthy or unhealthy and quickly learn to keep them or give them the boot.
So, let’s take an honest look at some of the more typical lies you might be telling yourself…and believing.
The Lies We Tell Ourselves in Active Heroin Addiction
1. I could quit tomorrow if I wanted to.
23% of individuals who use heroin even one time progress to addiction according the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Heroin is not only one of the most addictive drugs in the world, but the process of getting it out of your system isn’t an easy one. While you might wake up in the morning and decide that today is the day you’re going to quit using forever, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen without some help. Withdrawal from heroin is difficult, painful and frightening. Many heroin addicts return to using because they can’t get past withdrawal.
2. It’s my life. They should just stay out of it. I’m not hurting them.
Consider what you put your loved ones through on a daily basis. Whether you’re coming to them for financial help or pushing them away and shutting them out, they are affected. As addicts, we can come up with a lot of creative lies, like, “I stay away from my family and loved ones when I’m high, so that I won’t affect them.” But days turn into weeks, turn into months, and the rejection factor alone can have long-term affects on loved ones, friends, and especially children.
3. It makes me more creative.
According to science, you’re half right. Heroin does, in fact, change your state of mind. This can lead to new ideas you might not have had if you were sober. As you continue to use, however, you develop a tolerance. This can make getting to that point of “uninhibited euphoria” and “creativity” increasingly difficult, and can make becoming inspired by every-day thoughts and experiences 100% more difficult. In addition, heroin can cut your creativity short; according to the CDC, there are 105 deaths from drug overdoses each day in the U.S. What good is a moment of inspiration if you’re not around to share it?
4. I don’t have a problem. I wouldn’t have my job, my family or be as focused as I am if I did.
Too many people today think of heroin addicts as individuals on the street willing to give up their last dollar for another hit. In reality, anyone can become addicted to heroin. Just because you have a high-paying job, support your family and clean the gutters every fall doesn’t mean you don’t have a problem. Whether you only use on the weekends, once in a while, or everyday, you have a problem and need help.
Weekend users are especially wrapping themselves up in a lie, because that weekend use will turn into a morning-to-evening habit as soon as a life crisis like divorce, death of a loved one or financial hardship hits. Remember, you’re training your brain to use heroin as an escape, a solution, and a reward.
5. Life just wouldn’t be fun anymore if I quit.
Heroin increases the amount of dopamine released in your brain, providing an instant (and false) sense of happiness and emotional freedom. This can, and does, lead to a skewed view of sober fun and self confidence. It also greatly reduces the emotional highs we are supposed to experience from accomplishments, goals met, the laughter of our children, falling in love, a kind word from a friend, a phone call, or even something as simple as enjoying a healthy meal.
Some of the most profound statements I’ve heard from those in treatment are things like, “It’s so good to really feel the wind on my face again,” or “I’m so thankful to enjoy this food and to really taste it.” The simplest, smallest life moments are lost during addiction. If you are grateful to return to a sense of true clarity and mental awareness, think about how thankful the people in your life will be.
Are you lying to yourself about heroin addiction? Have you believed the lie that you’re more productive, self confident, fun, or peaceful when you’re high? Give us a call at The Shores Treatment and Recovery today. We are here to help you take the next step to a life more fulfilling and free than you ever thought possible.