Twelve years ! I feel like I wasted so much of my life

I still remember the first time I tried drugs: sixth grade, back in Nepal.  My friends gave me an inhalant, some white-out paint to sniff.  Wow!  I felt so good!

Although I came as a Tibetan refugee to Nepal, I was still lucky in many ways.  I had a good family, a happy mother and father who loved me very much.  I had a good home.  You may not have looked at me and thought that I would grow up to become a drug addict.  But all it took was one taste of the highs I could get.

Soon, I was taking tablets with friends.  At first, it was all partying.  At age seventeen, I tried injecting brown sugar heroin.  My friends gave me my first shot.  I wasn’t depressed or in pain.  I just wanted to have a good time.  That first injection made me vomit, but still, I felt so good.

Within a short time period, I found that I couldn’t stop.  When I didn’t use heroin, I was in so much pain from withdrawal.  I was dizzy.  I was shaking.  I was sweating, vomiting profusely and kicking my legs without control.  Every single person seemed so annoying and I found that even if I could get past the week of hell called withdrawal, I would be blessed. I was very angry when I wasn’t using drugs.  Even if I stopped for some time, I would go back to drugs when I was bored.  Boredom turned to severe anxiety, and the only solution was more heroin.  It was automatic, like some sort of instinct or reflex.

I was lying to get money from my unsuspecting and ever-forgiving parents.  I always had a story for them, and they were always disappointed.  I was breaking their trust every day.  I loved them so much, but all I could think about was how to get my next high.  After I drained their money and trust, I began selling drugs.  This went on for years.  I was in and out of jail.  Nothing mattered except drugs.

Somehow, twelve years have gone by since my first injection, but it feels like only yesterday.  My friend told me about Kunphen Center while I was getting high in Delhi.  Now, I have been clean for almost two months.  I didn’t go to a detox center; I went through the withdrawals here in McLeod Ganj by myself at an apartment.  I even had several seizures as my body painfully withdrew from what it was so used to for almost half of my life.  Then I moved into the recovery center with the group.

I feel very lucky to be in Kunphen Center.  I have good food, and I am learning about addiction.  I practice yoga with the group every morning, and meditate in the evenings at meetings.  I like to share my feelings with our peer counselor, mentor and the Secretary Mr. Nima Tshering.

The road ahead will not be easy.  I still have problems sleeping.  I wake up with severe anxiety.  Twelve years! I feel like I wasted so much of my life.  My thoughts race and I feel disappointed in myself.  I often feel guilty for things I did while using drugs.  Still, whenever I am bored, I want to get high, but so far I am working as hard as I can to maintain sobriety.  This is my karma.

In the future, I would like to have a job and maybe my own business.  I want to be married and have a family.  I think that if I was married, my wife could help me stay sober too.  Still, I am afraid for what the future holds.  I am afraid for how my marriage will be.

I want to make amends with my family, but regaining their trust after breaking it so many times will be difficult.  I want be sober for longer before I try, so that they know that I am serious about it this time.  They are still in Nepal, and I lost contact with them.  I do have a sister living nearby, and I really want to reconnect with her and be an older brother that she can look up to.  I want to help other addicts one day.

Drugs are like chewing gum: at first it is very sweet, and then it tastes like rubber in your mouth.  Drugs break up families.  You will be left with no girlfriend, no friends, only drug partners, a very lonely existence.