" Karl you need a certain amount of discipline to maintain a healthy habit "
I was successfully exercising this discipline without realising it. Without employment the life of an addict can very quickly fall into chaos. I watched in horror as my friends and associates got involved with dealing, prostitution and crime, some came through it, some didn't .A life of crime was not for me.
The irony is now that my life is stable, my drug use being minimal and recreational, my methadone at a low dose which is slowly continuing to fall, I am poorer than I've ever been and I'm reliant on state benefits which are a pittance and an insult to anyone who's been working and paying taxes for most of their life. It's a daily struggle trying to legitimately survive these days.
I want to work, I've always wanted to work. Without work I don't have much of a life or the opportunity to build a life that is worth living. Sometimes I feel I had more of a life when I was on heroin.
A lot of people believe that an addict has to reach their lowest ebb in order to successfully turn their lives around. From my own experiences I think this line of thought is flawed. It was going through one of my lowest periods when I started using heroin daily in the first place. I haven't been actively using heroin for just over a year now, I've lapsed plenty but not relapsed. The lapses have been short and sweet, sometimes not so sweet, but they've never gone on for more than a day. I cannot envision myself going back to using day in, day out ever again. I didn't need to be destitute in order to reach this point, I've been on the brink of destitution many times over the years and it usually resulted in heavier use. What it took was for my life to get better and for me to realise it. I needed to realise that I had more to live for than my daily fix and that my daily fix was stopping me from doing what I actually wanted to do. It was a slow process that involved changing the way I thought. It couldn't be forced, it couldn't be brought on by guilt and it couldn't be brought on by being in a state of destitution, in fact those three things would only have encouraged more use and becoming more trapped in addiction if that is even possible.
My journey through addiction has been a long one but the worst of it now seems to be over. The biggest problem affecting my life now is unemployment and trying to find a job that pays a living wage. This is a problem I never had when I was an active junky, I feel like I have swapped one shitty life for another.