A Day in The Life…

An Addict on a Floor

I wake up with a crick in my neck. It’s 7:30 am, I passed out sitting up on my couch for the last 6 hours. I’m still fully dressed. There is a cigarette butt with a fresh burn on the carpet beside my feet along with fresh burn-holes in my shorts.

I see my dog and think to myself, “I need to be more careful with you in the house”. I still love and care about my dog, you see, but have no consideration for my safety.

I’m not withdrawing yet, but it will start before long. I go check to see if I can scrape anything out of the bag or find some crumbs off the table. I’ve already done that. Crap. I check my wallet, nothing left.

I’ve got 2 hours until my dealer will be ready, so I send him a text to set it up. Now I must find the money.

Yesterday I pawned the TV. My dad should be leaving for work soon, my parents only live a mile away. I’ll go do the pleasantries with my mom, wait for her to go to the gym, and then ‘borrow’ some of her jewelry. I’ll have it back before anyone notices. I just need to ‘get good’ first, then I’ll figure out how to get it back.

My plan works, I’m at the pawnshop. I have the cash. I meet the dealer. Now I feel better.

Minutes later I begin to cry. I’ve just broken yet another promise to never steal from my parents again. I wasn’t thinking straight. This is going to break their hearts all over again. I wonder how long before they notice it’s missing.

It’s the afternoon now. I planned to go to the poker room with the remaining cash to win back the money so I can buy my mom’s necklace back, but I’ve already gone through the drugs.

I text my dealer. Let’s meet at 4:00.

I spend the rest of the cash, then spend the rest of the night getting high, alone and sad, worried I’m going to get a phone call from my dad about the missing jewelry. It never comes. I think to myself, at least I got through the day without being sick.

I wake up with a crick in my neck. It’s 7:30 am. Rinse. Repeat.

My alarm goes off. It’s 8:15 am.

I need to be at work in an hour. I hit the snooze button, but I hear my dog stirring. I feel her tongue against my hand, it brings a reluctant smile to my face. “Ok, I’m up”. I give her some attention, then let her outside.

I throw on some music, brush my teeth, and hop in the shower. I’m humming to the music. I get dressed and ride into work with my co-worker. We make a few jokes on the way. My dog is in the back seat with her head out the window. She gets to come with me today and is excited.

I get to work and see a bunch of smiling faces, some of the students who are in the process of making changes to better their own lives, other co-workers who have similarly turned their own lives around and are now also dedicated to helping others.

The biggest complaint I’ll have about myself today is cheating on my diet again, one in which, if I’m being truthful, it has yet to begin.

I go about my day feeling good. I enjoy being around people, having connections again. I enjoy what I do for a living. I smile a lot. I’m able to be silly and be myself without feeling self-conscious. I feel alive. I’m truly happy.

I know I’ve finally made it to the other side, I no longer must worry about self-sabotaging my life or hurting the people I love. I don’t do those things anymore. For the people I care about, I simply love them. I go home, play with my dog. I catch an episode of the newest TV series I’m currently watching.

I lay my head down on my pillow, set my alarm, and drift peacefully to sleep.

My alarm goes off. It’s 8:15 am. It’s a brand-new day.

As you may have already gathered, the first story involved my routine as an addict, at least one in which I managed to scheme my way into getting high all day. There were many more where I would suffer through the endless pains of withdrawal and wish my life would end. The second story was yesterday. I used to sit around in self-pity about what my life had become. Now I reflect with pride on how far I’ve come. If you or anyone you know needs help, please reach out.



Justin has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 1 year. Justin earned his Bachelors's Degree in Finance from Florida State University. Having been an addict himself, he brings real-world experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Justin is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions.