My love affair with heroin ended with recovery–by Honesty Liller

by Honesty Liller

I sit here today with 10 years of recovery from a Substance Use Disorder and I feel unbelievable gratitude of how my life has changed.

Starting drug use at age twelve wasn’t a typical twelve year old’s life in my hometown. The first time I used, I felt free, happy, and had no cares. And once I found heroin at age seventeen, my life spun out of control.

I fell in love with Heroin

It was the love that I needed to fill a void that was in my soul for years.

It was a warm, slow, and euphoric feeling that took over my mind and spirit. While using, I didn’t have to face reality. In the beginning I used because “everyone else was doing it.” That was the beginning of a long road of pain, heartache, and torture to my mind and my soul.

When I overdosed at seventeen years old, my family tried to step in. When I was revived with Narcan, it made me jump up off of the stretcher. Next came sickness and confusion. When my family came to the hospital ER to see me, my insides felt ripped open.

Fright and pain were etched on all of their faces. This was the first time I had really hurt them and it wasn’t the last. I received treatment again and again. I was thrown into all types of pathways to recovery. During this whirlwind, I continued to use, lie, steal, and harm those closest to me.

It was a cycle of waking up every day and plotting to get money or heroin.

After using it at the start of a day, I immediately started to brainstorm how I could get more. This took over my body physically. And mentally. I needed to use every day or I would go through withdrawal. That meant physical sickness like the flu. Times ten.

Refusing to deal with the agonizing pain, I would commit crimes, steal from my parents, and anyone else that came into my path of getting well. There would be a month here, a month there, when I was opiate free but every time I would run right back to the drug.

It had a hold on me and I always kept going back like I was returning home.

Throughout those nine years of using opiates I lived every day in this torturous cycle of disgust. Constantly hurting my family and my friends. I didn’t care, I wanted and needed to use heroin at whatever cost it took. I was sick.

During this time, I had my daughter who was addicted to heroin when she was born.

I really thought that would stop me from using

“This is it,” I said to God, “I am done.” Nope, I kept using different drugs and was unable to be a real mother to my daughter.

Finally, at 26 years of age, I found The McShin Foundation, a peer-to-peer Recovery Community Organization.

I was tired, gross and exhausted both emotionally and physically. McShin took me in with nothing and help guide me to the woman I am today, CEO of the McShin Foundation.

I am now a mom, wife, friend, sister, daughter, and someone who is dependable. And I won’t steal your things.

Recovery is the life that any person with a Substance Use Disorder can find. Don’t stop searching. Don’t give up.

Honesty Liller on ‘Face the Nation’

Dear Heroin, I F-ing HATE you!

5 thoughts on “My love affair with heroin ended with recovery–by Honesty Liller”

  1. Thank you, Honesty, for sharing your journey. It gives me hope for my loved one. Peace to you today.

  2. Your first name is perfect for your life story. Thanks for giving hope where many believe there is no hope.

  3. “I always kept going back like I was returning home.” That line is a connection I had not fully understood before. I have read about the emotional release felt when using drugs, but I had never heard it expressed as a sense of security, of that almost undefinable thing that makes home “home.” That’s both incredibly insightful and terrifying. No wonder programs that only address the physical addiction so often fail. It is so important to find a way to create a new sense of home, of security, for those in recovery. Thank you, Honesty, for your insight and for your work at McShin helping others find their new home…

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