As it hit midnight on January 27th, I was cuddled up in bed on the phone with my boyfriend having one of our typical all night conversations. It was the only way we got through the days when I wasn’t in Saint Louis with him. He had a piece of shit phone so when 3am rolled around and silence took over on his end during the middle of our conversation, I figured his phone had cut out. I told him I loved him and hung up. The next morning he was found dead in his room from a heroin overdose. Two weeks later, one of our good friends reached out to me in desperation, wanting to understand what it’s like to be addicted to a drug, a slave to a substance. Without hesitation, I opened my notebook to a beautifully blank page and a half hour later, had a couple pages attempting to explain what being a heroin addict was to me. I posted it on my facebook for her to read and considering everyone on my page had already seen me go through some very dark times, my addiction was no secret. The next day I woke up to see my article going completely viral. Over a million views, thousands of emails and a handful of interviews later, I had gained quite the following. To say this was unexpected would be a complete understatement.
Now, keep in mind, I wrote that article with only a couple months clean and only 2 weeks after Dominic had passed. At the time, I really thought I was on top of my shit. I ignorantly believed I had a one up on my addiction. I had just gotten out of rehab for the third time and moved to Chicago. I was staying in a sober living house, going to at least two NA meetings a day and was working the steps with a sponsor. My boyfriends death hadn’t even registered with me at this point. I was just fine, right?
For maybe a month after the article was posted, I did good. I was on a high from all the attention and was still chillin on that cute little pink cloud you float on for the first couple months of sobriety. Life was beautiful… until it wasn’t, until the cravings hit, until I realized my baby was gone and never coming back, until I found myself cooking up dope in a White Castle bathroom on the west side. By the middle of March, I was back in full blown addiction. I was still living at the sober house, bullshitting my way through any drug tests or speculations from the other girls. I was still going to meetings to keep up appearances but getting high in the bathrooms just to make it through the hour. The girls in my house slowly watched me get worse and worse until I finally got caught and kicked out at the beginning of May.
I had been meaning to start a blog since my article went viral but the past 10 months have been filled with more chaos, drugs and darkness than I ever could have imagined. So here I am, once again, giving this sobriety thing a chance. Once again trying to stand on my own two feet, learning to take baby steps instead of leaps. Once again trying to use my darkness as someone else’s light.
I can’t promise this blog will be filled with laughter and sunshine because so rarely are those seen in the depths of addiction. I can’t promise the stories I tell will be easy to read. What I can promise, however, is hope and understanding because through 20 years of life, 6 years of using, 4 rehab centers and one gnarly overdose, I’m still fighting.
So whether you’re here trying to understand addiction or fighting like hell to beat one, you’re not alone. You’re worth fighting for, you’re worth being believed in and understood. Never give up. Never silence yourself. Your story is important.
Welcome to the heroin diaries.