People always ask me what it’s like to be a heroin addict. I guess it’s different for everyone so I wont speak on behalf of the entire addict population but I can sure as hell tell you what being a heroin addict was to me.
Being an addict in itself was me not knowing when to stop and quickly crossing that line of not being able to stop. Whether it was meth, xanax or coke, I did them all addictively. But when I found heroin, I fell in love.
At first, being a heroin addict was exciting.
It was meeting dealers, feelin like a bad ass lil white girl in the worst parts of saint louis. It was snorting lines of dope in the bathroom of Kirkwood just to go back to class high as fuck and know I was getting away with it. It was the rebellious side of me thinking that being a junior in high school and snorting meth and heroin made me tough.
6 months later, being a heroin addict had me on my hands and knees searching my car for chunks of dope that I may or may not have dropped. It was licking little gray pebbles to see if they tasted like dope. It was crushing up anything that could be broken down and snorting it hoping it would stop the withdrawals.
By the end of my senior year, a heroin addict was all I was.
Being a heroin addict was having my dealers give me some dope, warn me that this batch has caused numerous people to OD and me being excited cause that meant it was good.
Being a heroin addict turned into me snorting that line of dope because I had too, not because I wanted too.
Being a heroin addict was staying up all night debating on whether or not I should take my boyfriend to the hospital because he had been throwing up for 6 hours straight from withdrawals. But, being a heroin addict was also doing my last line of dope because I didn’t want to deal with him…. instead of just giving it to him so he’d go to bed.
When I moved to Colorado after high school, heroin had my soul and it wasn’t planning on ever giving it back.
Being a heroin addict was putting a needle in my arm for the first time. It was living in my best friends room for months, only coming out when we needed more dope. It was shooting up the second my eyes opened just so I could get out of bed and consider starting my day.
Being a heroin addict was having my own lil bag for my spoon, my needles, the mixer, tie, lighter and cottons. Being a heroin addict was having my boyfriend get me something small to keep fresh water in so I wouldn’t have to use puddle water or Gatorade when I shot up. Being a heroin addict was NEVER leaving without that bag.
Being a heroin addict became my first priority. I wouldn’t go to class or work unless I had dope to get me through it – I was useless as fuck when I was dopesick anyway.
Being a heroin addict was sleeping over at my nasty ass dope dealers house every night so I never had to pay for anything or get sick.
Being a heroin addict was stealing probably over 10 grand from my family but keeping up my life on the outside so they would never question me.
Being a heroin addict was constantly shooting meth and heroin together hoping my body would give out. It never did.
& When I thought I couldn’t turn into any nastier of a junkie, being a heroin addict put me on the streets of saint louis.
Being a heroin addict became putting my boyfriend completely in charge of my well-being because I was an ignorant little white bitch who thought she had street smarts. It became stealing over $30,000 from hardware stores to support our habit and him later getting arrested for it all.
Being a heroin addict became sleeping in vacos and on a bench in Forest Park. It became eating a pack of peanut butter crackers every other day so we wouldn’t starve. But more than anything, being a heroin addict had become us having the money for food and a motel room but choosing to spend every penny on dope.
Being a heroin addict became not contacting my family for days and not understanding why they were so concerned about me – like, im fine. Duh. Being a heroin addict was then being drugged up by my boyfriend so he could call my family and get us off the streets without me kicking and screaming.
I was shipped off to rehab with no intentions of getting sober.
Being a heroin addict was showing up to Florida with a heart almost as black as my veins. It was spending 70 pointless days in rehab.
Being a heroin addict was shooting up in my halfway house as soon as I got out of rehab. It was manipulating girls to give me their pee so I wouldn’t get caught. It was snorting lines in the bathroom of an NA meeting and thinking no one would notice.
Being a heroin addict was fucking some random ass dealer in West Palm because the money I had I needed for getting my nails done but I still wanted some dope. Priorities right there, my friends.
Being a heroin addict was calling my rehab begging to come back for the third time.
My recovery began December 11th, 2015.
Being a recovering heroin addict starts with, “this shit is either going to kill me or im going to get clean.” It’s having no idea how living without heroin is possible but being so broken that I had nothing to lose.
Being a recovering heroin addict is realizing I am not the fucking exception. It’s seeing how many people have stayed sober working this simple program and understanding I am no different than any of them.
Being a recovering heroin addict is nothing close to easy. Some days fucking suck. Things happen that are completely out of my control.
In sobriety, I’ve lost the most important person in my life to this drug. My boyfriend. My best friend. My other fucking half. The one person in this world who understood my addiction better than anyone ever will. The one person who stuck with me through the good, the bad, and the nasty. The only person who gave me a reason to keep living thru the depths of my addiction. The only person who has seen me at my worst and still loved me unconditionally. I lost the boy who is the ONLY reason I am alive today.
But, being a recovering heroin addict is living for those who no longer have the opportunity to do so. It’s not picking up no matter what life throws at me. It’s understanding that the second I put a needle in my arm, im gone and im more than likely never coming back. More importantly, it’s knowing damn well that it’s not fucking worth it and it never will be.
Being a recovering heroin addict is a privilege because most addicts will never get the chance to put “recovering” before heroin addict.
Kali Rosenberg is a 19 year old recovering heroin addict with a story to tell and a voice that needs to be heard for those who have been silenced.
RIP to my best friend, my boyfriend and my other half. 10/25/94 – 1/27/16
Kali can be reached at:
Since this posting, Kali has been interviewed on Big550 KTRS Radio in St. Louis Confessions of a Kirkwood High School Heroin Addict