Trigger warning: this text deals with intoxication and drug addiction, suicidal thoughts and self-harm. For those affected, this can have a retraumatizing effect. If you need help, you can always contact a doctor. Help and advice is also available in telephone counseling and in the drug and drug direct line.
I have always been a behavioral child. I heard everything more intensely than the other children and I often had the feeling of not being enough and not being able to do anything right. In fifth grade, I made my first – ridiculous – attempted suicide due to a bad grade. Almost at the same time I secretly started scratching my forearms.
When I smoked my first cigarette, I was eight. For the first time, when I was nine or ten, I had the feeling of being dependent on nicotine. The first excesses of alcohol I had in the horse farm. Now, when I think about it, I just wanted to belong. Join. You are part of the group. At one point, soft drugs arrived at the age of the majority, hard drugs. In the beginning everything was fine: the intoxication, the freedom to renounce responsibility. But because of this need to preserve lightness as a permanent condition, consumption has become more and more. And then the biochemical processes started.
I only knew extremes, not mediocrity
My memory of happiness hormones was empty, after each trip I fell into a depressive hole. I could not see more differentiated that even the hormones would reform themselves. My goal was to completely avoid unpleasant feelings. I just wanted to be tall. Today I know I have already shown addictive behavior to the end. And I'm not even talking about drugs: I wanted endorphins. This also means that I wasn't in yoga three times a week when I was in doubt, but three times a day. Whether it's sports, sugar consumption or shows, I've lost the ability to know when it's enough.
Since then it has only become more dramatic. Either I was tall or I was depressed, suicidal and firmly convinced that my life was shitty. Then there were mostly crazy plans about how I could overthrow my whole life. There were only extremes, no mediocrity. From time to time at least I tried to quit smoking every day, but then again there was a little impulse or stress with my parents or a partner and so I had my justification for consuming again.
I have increasingly felt that I lost my dignity and self-esteem, and the desire to end everything and kill myself has become stronger and stronger. Here it is again, this feeling of not being good enough. Too weak to put my life on the chain. I thought that if my life was over, it would stop with drugs. My life didn't go because I took drugs. But this chain of causality I could not create in the intoxication.
So I told myself that I was too stupid to live and that I had no choice but to take drugs. At least I could do it. In order not to feel alone, I tried to convince my friends to consume with me.
Not just too stupid to live, but too stupid to die for
At one point I was so ashamed that I could no longer look at myself in the mirror. There were really only two options in my mind: continue to consume or commit suicide. But something stopped me from taking my life. First, there was the fear of being too weak to be. Not just too stupid to live, but too stupid to die for. The shame would have been so great that I didn't really dare. Drugs acted as a kind of death by installments.
And then there was a little of me whispering softly in my ear, "Hey, it's perfectly legitimate for you to think that, mostly I do the same, but try it once without drugs Give yourself a chance and if life is still shit then you can commit suicide. "
So I started communicating with friends who also took drugs, I felt I lost control. I know by now that I've never had control, but drug addicts always believe it. But only peacemaking came from my counterpart, after all, they were in the same boat. "Yes, maybe you take a little more, take a little less." Simple: put yourself a little together and then keep it up. It was exactly what my biggest fear was.
I didn't want to say anything about people close to me, because I didn't want to admit that I needed help, so I retired and went on as before.
Even with my plans for a new life, I knew only the extremes
At one point I passed – as I usually do – to another extreme and I started not making my consumption secret. Even in front of my parents. If they got on my nerves too much, I provocatively built a joint on the spot. I told them all that my drug career had brought with me and even made a drug screening – which resulted in a long, long list.
I also decided to get myself completely clean: no drugs, no cigarettes, no alcohol, no men, no sugar, sports every day – during the night. Of course, I exaggerated once again and set the level too high. All in order to prove to myself that I would no longer have to take drugs. I also spent a week – and then I fell again. Which also brought back the shame.
For a long time I was angry with my parents. They knew drugs: why didn't they have consequences? In the meantime I know it would never have worked. It had to work exactly as it was. The decision had to come from me.
My drug addiction clung to the last straw
The helping hand finally came from a friend of my mother, who herself has experience of having a dependent child. I told her everything. From drugs, from my fear, from my shame. That same evening, we registered for pharmacological counseling and hospital therapy. But it wasn't finished yet. Because while part of me was ready to give up the drug, my addiction clung to the last straw. For months, I pushed the therapy in front of me and the escalation got worse than ever. I spent several nights in bed, uncertain if I would wake up the next day. I thought of calling the ambulance and finally prayed every night to spend the night.
At the end of the summer of 2018, I came to hospital therapy – in the sheltered environment I needed. In which one explained to me the extent of the addiction. In which I was told that addiction is not a weakness of character, but a disease found in my Stammhirm and drugs just as important for survival as eating or sleeping. Meanwhile, I was cleaned for 14 months and I was out of the clinic for eleven months, but I continue to visit spiritual groups on a regular basis. This is the job I have to do. I have to face my addiction and realize that addiction is pathological thinking. That I tried to fill the empty feeling in me from the outside.
Addiction is transmitted in the family – until someone does the job
My father struggled with alcohol addiction for many years and now I know that addiction is a family disease. Not just for the genetic predisposition, but also for the trauma that is obtained as a child of a drug addict.
When I relate to someone today, it can still happen to me that something that this person says or does trigger emotions in me. Anger, sadness, fear of loss. But then I have to remind myself that this is a loss anxiety I felt 15 years ago – it's not real.
The addiction was there before the drugs
When I try to define my addiction, it is the sick part of me that wants to separate me from my environment and take it to my grave. And he was there before the drugs. In fact, I believe the drugs saved my life for many years. I never want to go back there and I never want to use drugs again, but if I hadn't used drugs for ten years, I probably would have killed myself one day. Drugs were a survival strategy when I had no others.
Many people believe that people become addicted to drugs because they have the wrong environment. But if you ask me, it's nonsense. If I had been mentally healthy, I would not have sought this environment. Search in the addiction. And now I know who I should go to again. But I'm not leaving, this is the crucial difference.
* Name changed by publisher