recovering addict on first day sober smelling flowers

7 Success Factors to My Heroin Recovery Story

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Are you searching for help with your own heroin recovery story? Do you have a loved one battling this terrible addiction? Whatever your purpose in finding this article, I hope it helps—sending love, light, and peace.

My heroin story is your typical cautionary tale—prescribed Percocet for a car accident. A doctor gradually increased my dose for five years until I abused them. Which ultimately led me to try heroin due to severe opiate withdrawals.

Of course, it didn’t take long for that to spiral out of control. I went from smoking it off tinfoil to letting a stranger shoot it into my neck. 

Fortunately, I was only on the streets for a few months before deciding to get clean. After that, I left home for seven months and was able to allow my body to detox physically. As well as allow my mind to regain its clarity.

Of course, it became apparent that I needed to make changes before going back home. So I’ve decided to share what helped me recover—especially that first year of sobriety.

1. Relocating to a Different Place

A relocation was critical for my sobriety for a few reasons. First, it guaranteed that I would not run into my old dealers and addicted friends.

Second, it eliminated the daily anxiety of reliving moments. So, for example, I didn’t drive by the parking lots I was shooting up. Or the grocery lots where I wasted hours waiting on late dealers. Or the scum motels where I slept. If I managed to scrounge up enough money for a night.

addict moving to a new home to stay sober

Third, I was away from the police department that had become familiar with me and my vehicle. So there wasn’t fear of harassment around every corner.

The worst thing a person in recovery should do is revisit old hangout spots! It’s a set-up for relapse. So do whatever you can to move away from your stomping grounds.

What is more important? Your family, friends, or your job? Or sobriety? Fact is, statistics say you’re going to go home and relapse. So don’t put yourself in that environment.

Relapsing doesn’t do anything to benefit your established home life. Wait until you’re healthier. So you don’t become a statistic.

The first time I got clean, I made the mistake of picking up a friend from rehab. We were high as soon as we could score. So I highly encourage you not to stay connected with rehab friends. It rarely turns out well.

Related Post: What I’ve Learned After 6 Years Sober – Life After Heroin

2. Staying Home Majorly Factored in My Heroin Recovery Story

It wasn’t difficult for me to stay home. But it is relevant to my heroin recovery story. Because I worked from home, it was a natural occurrence. And it was vital to my sobriety.

working from home as recovering addict

Also, the pandemic created a plethora of work-from-home employment. So I’d advise that route for anyone new to recovery. It’s healing to spend time with yourself.

Staying home provided me the opportunity to reconnect with my daughter. To get in touch with knowing Hadme. To discover who I am. 

That first year is so important. Don’t place yourself in situations or environments that may be detrimental to your recovery.

3. Getting a Different Phone Number

This factor to a successful heroin recovery story is a no-brainer! But, seriously, new number, who dis? Get on it!

The only reason to keep phone numbers from anyone in your drug-using days is so that you can relapse. There is no purpose in holding onto the past. Your future begins with a new number.

Fortunately, I couldn’t remember my security pin when I received my iPhone back after rehab! So it wasn’t difficult for me to cut ties at all!

If you have to give your phone to a friend to scroll and delete the names that you deem deletable, do it! And don’t cheat yourself out of a fighting chance. Be honest about which numbers need to go.

change your phone number in early addiction recovery

4. Therapy is a Big Factor in My Heroin Recovery Story

There is no shame in the therapy game! Thankfully, many have overcome the stigma attached to mental health care. Hopefully, you have too?

Therapy is a game-changer for recovery. More often than not, trauma is the gateway to drug use and addiction. So exploring that trauma is crucial for overcoming and healing from it.

Having a mental health professional to speak with helped me recover. I felt heard. They acknowledged my pain. If you haven’t shared that experience, it’s time to find a new therapist.

Second, they diagnosed me. It turns out I have ADHD and BPD. Knowing these truths helps me understand myself better. I no longer feel immoral and alone. There is a psychological component behind poor behaviors and defense mechanisms.

therapy for addicts in recovery

Third, therapy allowed me to work with a mental health specialist with medication. Because of my history, they know better than to prescribe me certain substances.

Mental health specialists are more qualified at finding the proper regimen than a traditional family doctor because it’s part of continued education. However, more often than not, it takes trying a few different pills before finding one that works for you.

Related Post: 7 Healthy Ways To Reduce Stress For Recovering Addicts

5. Stay Off Social Media

If you went to rehab, you didn’t have access to social media, and you survived. Right? Stay away from it for as long as you can. But commit to at least one month. You got this!

Scrolling through social media has been linked to poor self-image, self-esteem, and depression, even more so if you’re a woman.

heroin addicts in recovery using social media

Furthermore, you’re an addict! So it’s real easy to become addicted to scrolling. And no good can come of it. So before logging back into your social media accounts, ask a friend to be there with you. That will help with accountability as you delete and block old contacts.

6. Learning Something New

When I came home from rehab (that was a Scientology Camp. But that’s a different story), I found blogging.

Blogging is often unrecognized for the hard work that it is. And the long hours it takes to become successful.

I learned about WordPress, keyword research, and SEO. It was providing a distraction from thinking about getting high. It offered a new job skill set.

Not everybody wants to start a blog. What is your passion for learning? Because it’s crucial to find something you love. It distracts your mind from obsessing about getting high.

– If you’re just getting sober, check out this Survival Guide for Your First Days Sober.

7. Writing About My Heroin Recovery Story

Writing about my experiences on the street helped me unload the heaviness in my soul. My heroin addiction caused me to abandon my daughter with my parents.

Furthermore, I did wicked things while high on heroin. My moral compass shattered, and I was carrying enormous guilt and self-hate.

Writing about these things helped me to work through and release the guilt. At the same time, I rebuilt my confidence and self-esteem.

Blogging doesn’t have to be your avenue of writing about your heroin story. I’ve experienced immense success with journaling. Simply allowing yourself to confront your demons is the therapy behind the writing.

In addition to writing, I experience healing through prayer journaling. A prayer journal allows me to engage in an intimate relationship with God. Additionally, I include gratitude and manifestations within the journal.

It’s incredible to look back and see how God has answered your prayers and what you’ve manifested. I’m old-school and hand-write in my journal. However, you can journal online or in a journaling app. Do what works for you.

Remember, each heroin recovery story is different. Sometimes what works for some people won’t work for you, and vice versa. The important thing is to get clean and stay clean. We do recover!

Thank you for reading. I blog regularly about addiction and recovery at CrazygirlBlogger! Please let me know if you found anything valuable in reading my story in the comments below!

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Elizabeth Ervin

Hi, I'm Lizzy. I'm a former heroin addict and am passionate about helping others with recovery. I write regularly about addiction, sobriety, and personal growth.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Life Of An Addict

    Elizabeth, these tips are spot on for early recovery. The hardest one for me was deleting those dealer numbers. Even though I desperately wanted to be clean, I was scared to death to lose that connection “just in case”. That’s the broken active-addict brain thinking.
    Thanks for such a great post!

    1. Elizabeth Ervin

      Absolutely. After my first stint in rehab, I not only failed to delete old connects. But I gained new ones at the rehab center! And look, I relapsed immediately. So breaking that connection is vital. Thank you for sharing my story and advocating for recovery.

  2. Jelissa

    Thank you so much for being open with your recovery journey. You can touch so many peoples lives and not even know !

    1. Elizabeth Ervin

      Thank you for reading and for saying so. If it only ever helps one soul, it’s worth it!

  3. Loshane

    Staying off social media (for a fair bit) will be the biggest help and it helped me to stay on track too. Love this post! X

    1. Elizabeth Ervin

      That’s awesome! Congratulations on your recovery. I agree. Social media can wait! It’s not going anywhere.

  4. Nadalie Bardo

    I totally agree with Learning something new. You can get a good distraction and learning a new skillset. Great article!

    1. Elizabeth Ervin

      Absolutely. Blogging consumed some much of my time in my initial stages of recovery. I didn’t have to dwell on getting high. Thanks for reading!

  5. Elizabeth Ervin

    Thank you for reading and for your kind words. You made my day. Thank you.

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