Many people that have gone through addiction have also experienced early trauma in their lives, or some jarring experience that first led them to try a drug or drink. For me, it was just plain old curiosity.
I guess I was first introduced to drugs when I discovered a ziplock bag full of weed in my fathers car. I was only around 8 years old, and I remember asking “what is this?”, but I don’t recall getting any sort of real answer. Human memory is funny like that, I can’t remember any other part of being 8 years old quite as vividly as that moment.
Going through high school I was straight-edge, to the point that I actually made fun of the guys that were smoking weed or drinking, nevermind the ones that were doing anything beyond that. For whatever reason, curiosity finally got the best of me.
It was the summer heading into my senior year, and I decided I would try smoking weed. I met my friend behind the school, and we smoked out of his bowl. I sprayed some axe body spray, put a couple of drops of visine in my eyes, and went home.
That was it. But that was the problem.
I didn’t get caught, I didn’t get in trouble, I didn’t go to steal my mothers jewelry to get more weed, I didn’t rifle through my fathers clothing looking for loose money, I didn’t lie and scheme and manipulate for more. I got high, I went home, and everything was okay.
That experience gave me the courage to do it again, and again. That same courage led me to trying other things, until I fell in love with vicodin and percocet. When that couldn’t provide a good enough high, I found oxycontin. When oxy’s became too expensive, I found heroin.
There was no childhood abuse or trauma, there was no poverty or lack in my household, my parents are still happily married. Yet, I became a heroin addict. It doesn’t matter how you get to that point, it can be different for everyone.
Recovery is the same way, it doesn’t matter how you get there, it can be different for everyone; but make sure you find it.