I think one of the biggest misconceptions about drug users is that they are completely invested in drugs. To the outside world, the devotion to a substance seems fluid as if one day turns into the next without questions. In reality, there are moments in every day where they user questions themselves or their decisions. The addiction, the physical dependence, forces you forward towards another bag.
I don't think it is possible to wake up completely broke one morning after spending all your money on drugs without wondering what is going on in your life. I don't think it is possible to miss multiple family functions or have to cover up being high without some sort of "what the fuck am I doing" feeling. The mistake that loved ones and non users frequently make is the assumption that the user no longer cares. The user DOES care. The user cares to the point that the pain of disappointment needs to be buried deeply beneath the layer of depression, guilt, and occasional fits of desperation
Addiction is not the state of apathy. Addiction is the place where we lose the inability to find a solution to the broader problem. Yes, I was aware my arm was falling off from an abscess. Yes, I was aware I had not seen my family for years. Yes, I was aware that I was completely isolated by continued use of a substance. But solving those problems seemed completely beyond my daily abilities. I focused on my smaller realities- I am a junkie and I have a monkey on my back that needs feeding. I am in pain and I cannot manage my feelings. My life is a mess, so why try to fix it? My best efforts result in failure.
When a person gets beyond the experimentation phase, a subtle shift occurs in the life of the user. Success becomes measured in the short term. Could I score, could I get a hit, could I manage my limited resources? Could I function and still achieve the high that I desired? It is a delicate balance.
Did I think about quitting? Every day. All the time. But I was able to stop when I was finally prepared for that transition. Until that time, I am so thankful people were able to help me remain safe