What it was like for us - Matthew's story
“Stopping taking drugs is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. Just for today, I’m clean.”
My name’s Matthew and I’m 30 years of age.
Addiction? The heavy stuff started at the age of 24 or 25. I dabbled in most other drugs, but the big bang came when heroin started. A lot of things were going wrong in my life, and it was an easy escape. Heroin was the big warm love that I was missing. Early in my using, things were OK. I continued to work, and even continued in relationships.
But at some point whilst on the heroin, everything just fell apart. The withdrawals became immense, with great pain. It was like food in the end. I had to have heroin to survive. I was chasing the drug all the time, chasing the buzz. Constantly having to top up. Looking back on it now, it was madness.
Through my addiction and the madness that was going on I sold the house. My habit became sometimes £800 or £900 a week. The loss was immense. I lost myself in it all in the end. I was numb through heroin. Every time I’d wake up I’d have a boot or a hit and I’d carry on until I went to bed. I was like a zombie. At the age of 24 my mother had to feed me with a spoon sometimes, when I went back to see her. It just controlled me. I was possessed by heroin, or some other drug. And possessed is the word.
But I’m in recovery now. I’d never seen people come out of the other side. I never knew people could recover.
What’s a really good day for me without drugs? There’s actually so many doors opening up for me right now I’ve got to shut a few of them. A normal day for me now is going to college, where I’m doing a computer course. At night I might go to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, or take some exercise. There’s a lot of structure in my life now. I hardly have time to think about drugs and alcohol.
Stopping taking drugs is the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. Just for today, I’m clean.
I had a Christian faith as a young child, but turned my back on it until recently. Now, I hand my life over every day to God: not to my addiction. It’s still hard sometimes. The addict inside me still wants to use, and still wants to get up to mischief. I’ve got to discipline and tame my addict, with some sort of medicine, like Narcotics Anonymous, faith, church and people in recovery.
I always wanted to get there, even in my addiction. I knew there was a bit of hope, some light at the end of the tunnel. I knew that I would get out of this madness one day.
Now, my dream’s come true. It’s been no magic wand. It’s been a lot of hard work. I’ve got to say I feel alive now. I’m still a bit mixed up, but I feel alive.
I was lost but now I’m found. That’s the way it is. No bullshit. It’s just the way it is.