Pubdate: Sun, 09 Jan 2005
Source: Eagle-Tribune, The (MA)
Copyright: 2005 The Eagle-Tribune
Author: Shawn Harnish
Note: Shawn Harnish, 23, is serving a one-year sentence in the Middleton 
jail for crimes related to his heroin addiction. He is a 1999 graduate of 
Bishop Fenwick  High School in Peabody.
Bookmark: (Heroin)


Lawrence House of Corrections. How did I get here?

As I sit here trying to think of things to say, it's hard because heroin 
taught me not to feel anything. It would have been easier to deal with this 
if I were high. Now that I am straight, it's hard to deal with my emotions 
because I've not dealt with them for so long. It's funny how you can fall 
in love with a  drug that gives you so much misery!

When you're getting high, you keep thinking you can stop, like this is the 
last time you're going to do this, but you can't. It's always, "Tomorrow 
I'll quit," but you don't. You put off everything in your life because 
tomorrow you'll do it. But once you stop, you have such a void in your 
life. You don't know what to do. And your mind tells you the only way you 
can cope is with the drug. You can't fill that void with anything else. 
Everything that you have done, you've done high. You have no way of knowing 
what is right because you went through all of this when you were high.

Pushing everyone in your life away is what you do on this drug, so you can 
keep doing it. Then, when you're straight, there is no one there for you. 
You are alone, vulnerable, and insecure. Unfortunately, these feelings are 
the only  ones I've had over the past year that I've been straight. I guess 
I can say they  are the best ones I've had because they are the only 
emotions I've experienced  since I've been straight. I will get through 
this. I have to. Counseling, AA meetings and family members will all have 
to play a part because I know I can't do it alone. I have failed miserably 
trying. It gets harder every time you try! You begin to lose hope. It's 
tough being a young  addict when you go to meetings and see older people 
still going through the same lifestyle and treatment 20 and 30 years of 
their life. I think to myself, "Is this what my life will be like?" Only 
time will tell. It's overwhelming to start from the beginning -- getting 
clean -- every time. All you've done and everyone you've hurt. All these 
thoughts come up. You want  to get high so you won't have to think about 
it. I want to stop. If I don't,  misery will return to me tenfold. The best 
advice I can give about doing heroin  is stay away from it. I can tell you 
from experience that if it's fun the first  time, that's the only fun -- 
the first time! Then the chase for that same high  is on and on and on. You 
never find it again. You can never do heroin once. If  you do, you're dead 
because you are already hooked and the drug doesn't discriminate. You don't 
have to have a bad childhood or any traumatic event. You  don't need to be 
depressed. All you need to do is try it once and you'll reap  the effects 
quicker than you can imagine. Lying, stealing, anything, to get the  drug.

Lawrence House of Corrections. How did I get here? My very first heroin high.
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