I am in several groups online that deal with addiction and recovery. Just because I openly despise the twelve-step program does not mean I shut out the idea of talking about the addiction and thinning out the need to a point where you don’t use that day. I am there for people who want to know what recovery looks like decades letter and for people who are still using and terrified of the horrors of detox. I am not judgmental, I do not preach, I listen and when I am asked I tell my story and hope that it gives some hope and support for someone out there who is still hopelessly chasing the unreachable dragon.

These groups have been a part of my life the entirety of my recovery, even as I struggled with, and failed at, resisting the urge to backslide, they were there for me and I count them amongst the bright tools that I utilized in order to finally get rid of the demons in me that made me want to use every drug that I could and could not pronounce. They never failed me, not a single time.

Not until yesterday.

“Hey Jamey, you were a heroin addict, what’s that shit like? Cool right? Tell her that shit was cool.”

Now, I get asked all the time was being an addict was and is like. I get asked questions that would make you cringe if you weren’t prepared to teach people some things about it so they would never have to go through things that you did. Learn from experience without having to experience it if you will.

This fucker though.

I have known this person, we’ll call him Bob for ease of conversational niceties, for about fifteen years. Well, I do not know him really at all. I met Bob in this group that I helped found and at least I thought, I had been helping with his recovery from opioid addiction for quite some time. As later conversation discovered, Bob slid about a year ago. That is okay, no one expects perfection. What Bob did wrong was both not tell people he had, and lie about being clean.

That makes me…very…mad.

The last thing that these fucking kids need, and yes most of them are these broken twenty-year-old babies, is to be lied to by someone they LOOKED UP TO as a sign that it was possible to get your life on the up and up and become a functional member of society again. As of now, there is an audit of the users to see who was affected by this cancerous fuck. I have multiple people lined up to talk to over the next few days who are scared and mad and hurt and so confused by something that should have simply never been.

I spoke the last words I plan on ever speaking to Bob just a few minutes ago. I never berated him, I never attacked. I asked him to please seek additional help and wished him nothing but success on his recovery if and when he decided to sit down and do the hard work of actually staying clean for a protracted amount of time.

This has really kind of kicked me in the teeth and I made a big announcement to the hundred or so kids in the group that there needed to be a shifting in the decision-making paradigm of all involved in their recovery or nothing good would ever come of it.

I am not a counselor, I am pretty sure I am bad at this, but goddamn it, I try as hard as I can to do the things that I need to do to stop people from dying.

Is that so wrong?

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