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Solidarnost Fracarita
Association “Fracarita Bulgaria”

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Just because it is possible

Just because it is possible

I am now 35 years old. I can say that I live well and I have no more problems than the usual norm for everyone. I have a job, a family, friends, opportunities, and I can deal with almost anything. That wasn’t so, however, more than four years ago, because I had the misfortune of becoming addicted to drugs.

For a long time people said to me that I`ve chosen this lifestyle myself and that I use drugs because I want to or because I like them. I did not agree with that, but I did not understand why I cannot stop. It took me 14 years to do so, and many things happened before it became clear to me what exactly had been happening.

I had just turned 17 years old when I was first introduced to heroin. I cannot say that I knew what that was. Back in 1992, information about drugs was not as easy to find as it is now. I only knew that almost all my friends have started to take it and they liked it. Why not try it too? What was the big deal? I tried, then again and again, and then everything else happened very quickly. It took just three months of using heroin and I found that I just couldn’t stop taking it. Not that I didn’t try. In fact, during all these years, I had stopped using heroin at least 50 times – once every 2-3 months. Sometimes I stayed clean for 5 or 10 days, sometimes one, two, three, six months, once even a whole year. But then I started again and still did not understand why. It is not easy for an addict to give this answer to themselves, not without help.

For a long time I believed in things that were very far from the truth. Myths that are believed by most other addicts, and not only by them. For example, that addiction is my own and personal problem and that I needed to solve it alone. Or maybe that to stop taking drugs would just be enough and all will be fine. Just like that – by itself. You wake up one morning and you’re a new man. Alas, that`s wrong. My beliefs during these many years took the best of me.

Time went by, I couldn’t stop using, I did things which made me feel shame and guilt, but I could not stop. I suffered all the time, from my inability to deal with my problem, from the neediness in which I had to live, the pain that did not leave me for even a moment. Somehow I lived on the outside of reality. I could only watch what people were doing, what was happening around me, but I could not really participate, even if I wanted. It`s like watching a movie. But along with that movies, my own life ran, without me noticing (maybe it was not important?).

I had many moments of despair and frustration. One thing sustained me all this time, however, even if sometimes it was the only one. I believed that one day I`ll be fine. That I will not spend my entire life like that and die like a drug addict. I could not let a substance control me until my dying breath, and I couldn’t believe that I was so helpless over it.

One desperate day in early 2006 suddenly I realized that I am now 30 years old. Almost half of my life was over. That thought was very hard for me. People live, do things, they fight, have achievements and all I did was drugs. Until then, I had thought that I had more time, and I had been putting things off, postponing them… for 14 years.

Eventually I made the decision to take my treatment seriously – this time there was no going back. And even though addiction is a chronic disease, I managed to regain control over myself and my life. I`m clean now and have been for over four years, and will continue to be as long as I`m alive.

The truth is that I did not do it all by myself. Finally I gave up the belief that I can overcome my addiction only through my own efforts. At last I turned to specialists and the only thing I could do was to trust them. I wasn’t wrong at least in this choice of mine.

I cannot say that my rehabilitation program with „Solidarnost“ was easy. But then it was not too difficult. I don’t know why I was so afraid of therapeutic programs before. This does not mean that I belittle my own efforts and struggle, my work, emotions and everything that I put toward my recovery. I dedicated one year of my life to recovery. This has been the only year that I used for something useful. It was well worth it.

There is no way to convey my experiences with addiction during the past 14 years in a short text. It is simply not possible, and it would also be very painful for me. The point of my story is to give you hope. The belief that anyone could tackle this problem and that everyone can find their own way to recovery. I found it and will I keep going that way. Just because it`s possible.

S., 2010