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Breaking Free from the Web of Addiction

— May 14, 2019

Addiction is like being caught in a spider’s web, only one we have spun for ourselves. However, it’s not a permanent trap.

One of the biggest problems I faced in active addiction was substituting one substance for another. I had an addictive personality by nature, so I would use any mind-altering substance I could get my hands on: painkillers, heroin, cocaine, MDMA, psychedelics, marijuana, or alcohol. My heroin addiction took off in my late teens after I got bored with marijuana. Heroin and opiates became my new drug of choice. If I was unable to find it, I always substituted it with something else such as alcohol. I found out the hard way that substituting one thing for another is never the answer. All substances cause harm and create problems. The only foolproof solution is sobriety when caught in the web of addiction.

The Web of Addiction
I thought I was capable of controlling my drinking and drug use. Every time I picked up a drink, I would tell myself I would limit it to “X amount”. Never happened. Every time I used up my drugs, I wanted more. As addicts and alcoholics, we are incapable of breaking the cycle on our own. It is the unfortunate nature of the beast. None of us is capable of drinking or using drugs successfully. I was terribly mistaken. I refused to see the patterns of addiction. I

Used syringes, soda bottles, and assorted trash; image by Jonathan Gonzalez, via
Used syringes, soda bottles, and assorted trash; image by Jonathan Gonzalez, via

refused to see my addiction was not the solution for my problems. My addiction was a catalyst for bigger problems. Academic success, financial stability, family, friends and romantic partners — I lost it all to addiction like many of us do. We become reminiscent of a spider spinning its web — only to get trapped in our own addiction. The only escape from it is finding the courage to admit we have a problem.

Breaking Free From The Web Of Addiction
Breaking free from addiction requires outside help and resources. I was never capable of quitting on my own even though I wanted to. I eventually reached a breaking point and my family offered me help. After spending half my life in the web of addiction, I agreed to go into a detox and treatment center. I was ashamed to admit I had a problem at first. I was ashamed to be labeled or identified as an addict or alcoholic. Over time, I would gain mental, emotional and spiritual clarity like never before. I made the realization that there was nothing to be ashamed of. It takes a lot of courage for us to take a step in the right direction. We should not let other people’s judgment affect us, for we know we are trying to better ourselves and our lives. Sobriety is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Those who have never walked the beaten path in our shoes will never know how liberating the freedom from addiction is. It is a newfound freedom that few will ever understand or feel. If I can break free from the web of addiction, I have faith that anyone can. 

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