A Therapist with Quiet Secrets

I found myself giving in to Samantha, letting her shoot heroin into my arms every day after practicing therapy for students at a posh, Catholic college.

It all started when I graduated college and a man I loved deeply broke it off but told me, “I’m not going anywhere.” What that meant I’ll never know, because it felt like he was always just a little out of reach. He had become my addiction.

I know I loved him; I still love him…I’ve never loved anyone like him. I share this because it starts to explain my main triggers for addiction. He is the worst trigger I have for using pills and then eventually letting my best friend shoot me up with liquid dreams. He was and is my depression.

I’ve suffered from depression my entire life. Unfortunately, yes, that means suicidal thoughts. One attempt and a thousand ongoing, frightful and haunting thoughts and wishes for the courage to commit to my demons. Something always pulls me out of it, then I end up feeling tremendous guilt for my thoughts of suicide.

I’ve sought help and don’t play the victim card. Many days I put on a brave face and am known as the kindhearted girl who can make you laugh. Family members actually describe me as “extremely happy.”

I’ve grown to share my struggles with those close to me. I knew I had to get help after I was triggered by a mysterious death of a friend in college, along with desperate struggles in my relationship with him. That was my breaking point to help myself.

Unable to Move Forward

I’m a mental health therapist on my way to becoming licensed. This is terribly ridiculous because you would think I should have all the strength and tools to practice what I preach while sitting in that chair.

I’ve never fully healed by what I consider the biggest example of why I’m so scared and sad every day: I can’t handle feeling abandoned.

I decided to be a therapist when I was 14 and read “psychotherapist” in Webster’s dictionary one night. All I could picture was me helping people to make up for not being able to turn my childhood and parents around. I never doubted myself and career aspirations for a minute.

Eight years of school and here I am in my first year out of grad school, luckily employed to do what I thought would satisfy me. Instead, I found myself becoming impulsive and out of control all throughout grad school.

After we broke up a second time, I lost it. I drank alcohol everyday – alone in my apartment – looking at all the stuff he refused to move out until our lease was up. I’ve come a long way, but I’ve never fully healed by what I consider the biggest example of why I’m so scared and sad every day: I can’t handle feeling abandoned.

Lies, Shame and Dangerous Triggers

Next is a friend, “Samantha,” who is about as dangerous as the loaded gun you find in your father’s closet. She always used a lot of drugs and had been addicted to opiates long before me. I would partake here and there, but never felt myself become addicted until summer of 2014.

He and I had finally left the apartment, officially leaving us with no more ties. I blocked all contact with him to try and get over him. I moved home, only to start a relationship with a long-term friend from undergrad. I continued using more and more Percocet, thinking I was in control, until I found myself giving in to Samantha, letting her shoot heroin into my arms every day after practicing therapy for students at a posh, Catholic college.

First, I was snorting Percocet on my desk everyday and explaining to everyone that my nodding off was caused by numerous medical issues, “I have migraines and need to close my eyes. My Hashimoto’s makes me tired and I fall sleep. I have mono.” Second, and what others might call my rock bottom, I was using heroin daily. Sam says I never got addicted to “brown” because she always shot me up and I had no source besides her. I take full responsibility for my actions, but sometimes I could kill her for not only bringing me into this world, but for starting herself.

I had lied continuously to my boyfriend that whole year…until he found the needles and the track marks on my arm. I had no way out.

It wasn’t until months later, when I’d gone back to Percocet and buying my own daily, that I realized I had a problem. I had lied continuously to my boyfriend that whole year…until he found the needles and the track marks on my arm. I had no way out.

Eventually I was able to convince him (at least half way) that I was clean. That’s when I also learned drugs could turn even the most loyal person to lie and take actions you thought you’d never take. For example, I had done things I can’t even talk about here while I was using heroin. I wouldn’t give up lying and I could no longer pay my bills. I also shot up right before going to my friend’s funeral – a friend who had overdosed on heroin several nights prior. I remember calling Sam and saying, “Just one last time. I have to.” That turned into about 89 more times.

Ready for a Real Change

That leads me to now, Saturday, 4:30pm on March 22nd, 2016. I’m only twenty-six and the last thing I should add to my depression is drugs. I know I need to stop. I haven’t used in two days and am sick of the on-and-off using. Sick of not being able to pay my bills. Sick of lying to everyone. Sick of leaving work to score and waiting around on my dealer’s schedule. Sick of keeping this to myself. Sick of how it makes my depression and self-hate worse. Sick of how I choose drugs over everything/one else in my life.

I lost all confidence once I kept using. Professors and friends noticed me shut down and isolate. I want to stop. I need to stop. And most of all, I think I’m ready to stop. If there’s anyone who can relate or even made it this far reading my story, I would greatly appreciate any support. Mutual support. I’ll have anyone’s back and all I want is to stop so I can help others even more.

Thank you and God Bless.

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