Post Withdrawal

Memba Ben By Memba Ben, 13th Jun 2017 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Personal Experiences

In August, I’ll be a year clean of drugs and alcohol. This is a look back on the journey. To anyone on the road to recovery from ANY sort of substance abuse/addiction, big ups! I know all too well how bumpy that road can get.

Highway to Hell

At this point I had taken quite a few blows in life and was down for the count. Things not working out in my favour made me very morose in general. I was angry that other people were progressing whereas I was stuck in a string of rubbish jobs. Very negative about my life and the future in general, and those feelings only grew when I came to hang with a sketchy crowd. Gone was the fun loving, joyous, ever smiling Ben that people knew and in his place came a street hardened, cold, angry Ben who learnt that it’s a dog eat dog world out there.

With all these troubles weighing on my mind, I became more fucked up as time went on. Instead of looking for healthy ways to deal with my issues, I started drinking way more than usual (I’m talking about killing a bottle of Jack Daniels in a night) and just blacking out with no memory of the night before. I just wanted something (hell anything) that could get my mind off my troubles.

I worked in a dodgy area, had some scaly friends and the next thing I knew, I got introduced to heroin.

The years in Hell

It really is tough to say no to heroin once you've had a taste and when you start using, it will be the greatest thing on Earth. It gave me everything I needed and wanted out of life.

Things not working out? Heroin was there.

Boss on my case? Heroin calmed me down.

Having a bad day? H made it better.

It just kept giving and giving.

And then it stopped and once heroin stops giving, that's when the fun stops.

When it's no longer fun, you'll learn things about yourself and what you're capable of doing which depending on how you view things from a moral perspective, will either shock you or you will be too focused on your next fix to care

Personally, I felt like a rat in the Skinner box. For those folks who don’t know, in the 1930s; B. F. Skinner made a box in which a lever/button pressed by an animal either gave food or an electric shock. The rats put in the Skinner box kept on pushing the button in search of the reward, which turned it to a compulsion.

I just couldn’t get enough.

At that point, I used because I had to, I couldn't function without it. And honestly, why would I want to? It gave me happiness which I hadn’t felt in FOREVER. It was always nice to know that no matter what was going on, I could always turn to my girl H.

For R150 a gram, I was able to escape everything, and with all the problems, there was a ton of shit I wanted to hide from.

With all the money I was spending on heroin and alcohol and neglecting other aspects of my life, things were eventually going to come to a head and I soon found myself on the streets.

In all honestly, I thank myself for going broke, because God knows where I’d be had I continued.I knew I couldn’t continue living like this and made the decision to get my shit together.

It was probably the wisest thing my dumb ass ever did.

Making my way to the promised land

The hardest thing about living such as fast lifestyle is the comedown. Learning how to live sober and being happy with it is a nightmare as sobriety is boring as hell for the first six or so months.

The cravings were constant for a while, then I got depressed because I couldn’t get any more heroin, then I became disillusioned with life because being clean was not as advertised but above all else, I was fucken bored.

But despite all that, I was determined to see things through and that meant I had to adjust to my new lifestyle, letting go of my old ways and in some instances, ending some friendships because I knew if I continued with them, nothing good would come out of them.

Those months will turn into a year come the 8th of August

I do regret that I'm not able to drink like a normal person and be able to have more than a pint with the gents, but I know that when it comes to such, I don’t have that restraint. If I drink, I just keep drinking and Lord knows how that will end and with regards to heroin, there are days where I miss it (I get the feeling that nagging voice urging me to try it one more time will never go away) but for the most part, I don't think about getting high anymore.

Closing Words

Look folks, things like alcohol and drugs are going to be around forever. There’s no point in trying to preach their downfalls when people are going to be using them anyway. The best thing folks can do is to teach responsibility when it comes to usage. And while there is nothing wrong with using alcohol/drugs from time to time (depending on your stance on the issue), just make sure you keep yourself in control.

Don't get to a point where the usage is controlling you.


To the folks who haven’t given in to such temptations, keep doing what you were doing. You are straight gangsta.

To the folks who are thinking of starting out, I know using the goods will help you have more fun, relax and take the edge off and that may seem appealing but please exercise caution. Don’t be so eager to climb that rollercoaster because the fun and games can end very quickly.

To the folks who are beginning to get into the thick of things, the only advice I can give is to quit while you are ahead. Don’t get to a point where the fun turns into a full on addiction. I know we hear all these horror stories about substance abuse and think that we’ll be the exception but that’s not the way these things work.

To the folks in the midst of fighting addiction, keep going. Giving it up will be a daunting task seeing as it’s been a huge part of your life but if you push through the pain and the sorrow, you'll come to see that there is more to life than that temporary fix. It's tough but you can do it.

To the folks who’ve fallen off the recovery wagon, take pride in the fact that you recognised that something needed to change in your life and also that you lasted as long as you did. No substance abuser has ever quit on the first try (If you have, then I along with the rest of us salute you) but so as long as you are ready, willing and able to resume the fight against addiction, then view this as a lesson learnt and get ready for the next round.

And finally:

To the folks who find themselves well and truly on the road to recovery, give yourself a HUGE pat on the back. The fact that you’ve made it this far means that you have the drive, determination and desire to take your life from the hands of addiction and putting it back into your own hands. Take pride in the fact that you made it this far and be proud of your accomplishment. Try not to look at it as time wasted, but rather an opportunity to start afresh.


Drug Abuse, Drug Addiction, Personal Experience, Withdrawal

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author avatar Memba Ben
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