I heard a quote earlier today in a group therapy session I attended. It went something like this: “The best thing in life is to accomplish something that people said you couldn’t do.” That is very true, well some of it. It isn’t necessarily the “best” thing in life, but it sure does feel great to do something that people said you couldn’t do. With the help of God, I did something that many people thought I could never do. I got sober. I am in recovery from a heroin addiction.
I was labeled a junkie; a criminal; a drug addict; someone that would never quit; a lost cause; and even said by my judge: an “animal” and a person that will be in and out of prison my whole life. For a long time I believed every single one of those labels. After a while of repeatedly hearing a lot of different people call you the same name, it starts to engrave in your mind and you start to believe it. I started to believe that I would never be able to quit using heroin. “Loser” became a name I repeated in my mind a lot. I used to always say, “Well, if I’m not a loser then there is no such thing as a loser.” The only time I felt normal or felt love towards myself was when I was high on heroin. Heroin was my self-esteem boost, my courage, my love, my ability to create conversation and a lot of other emotions I could not feel without my dope. I now know that a lot of those feelings I thought I felt when I was high were not real. Having to shoot up heroin to love yourself cannot be real love. I mean, that’s insanity, right? How can you stick a needle in your arm and claim to love yourself? The point is, “heroin addict” and “loser” became my labels and I thought I would never quit because I believed that being high was the only way for me to function.
I know today that I was not a lost cause. My judge was wrong. I have not been back to jail since he said those nasty words to me during my sentencing. That was the last jail sentence I ever received. I am clean today. I am starting to love myself today-without drugs. I am not a loser today.
This blog is not meant to try to prove to the world that people were wrong, or to act like I am better than the people who once labeled me, or to get back at anybody. I am writing this to show the power of God. There are no labels in the eyes of God. He is stronger than any human can even imagine and can perform miracles-miracles that us humans would think were not possible. Even I didn’t believe it was possible for me to quit using dope. I had seen God perform miracles in the lives of others, but I was so addicted and so caught up in the lie that I couldn’t be fixed. I believed my own labels and the labels others put on me.
I have to say, though, it does feel good to know that I am in recovery and doing things that people said I would never do. It’s not even like I blame them for thinking I would never change, after all I did a lot of bad things and did drugs for quite a while. Maybe some of them didn’t think I COULDN’T quit necessarily, but maybe they thought I wouldn’t ever WANT to. There is a big difference. I didn’t want to quit for quite a while, and I remember how I used to pray quite often for God to help me get to the point of wanting to quit. As much as I knew that I was hurting myself and my family, I couldn’t figure out why I still didn’t have a desire to quit. I think that was because it was the only thing that brought me any type of joy. I hated life without drugs. I didn’t want to give up the only thing that I thought gave me some happiness-even if the high only lasted an hour. I didn’t want to quit, and I used to pray that God would give me that desire, because I knew that without any desire to want to change than I wasn’t going to be able to do it. I am blessed to say that God answered my prayers. I finally reached a point where I wanted to live a different life. I finally gained that desire to change.
God is so powerful. He can take a person that the world labels a lost cause and turn them into a good person and productive member of society. I went from a criminal and heroin addict to a youth leader. I now work with the youth group at New Life Fellowship. I am in college and working towards a degree that will help me expand New Life Recovery. I want to be able to offer professional counseling services. I want to run recovery houses. I have a lot of goals for this outreach, and I know they are all within reach because God can do anything when we are willing. I am not a lost cause anymore. I am now working to help other people who may be labeled like I once was and help them gain hope and find recovery. I keep what I have by giving it away. I am taking life one day at a time, and just for today, I am not a lost cause.