“From every wound there is a scar, and every scar tells a story. A story that says, “I survived”.”
My First Childhood “Best Friend”, Morphine.
If someone was to ask you who was your first best friend, chances are you could think back and remember a name. Perhaps it was a boy or girl you played tag with in school, or maybe someone that you built forts with during one of your many sleepovers. Regardless, there was at least one person you loved spending time with more so then anyone else. However, my first “best friend” was not human, it did not matter whether it was in liquid form or pill form as long as its name was Morphine.
As a young boy I suffered from a rare disease in which I was the only person in the world that had been diagnosed with. It all started when I was an infant, way too young for me to understand. I guess I would cry or hold my belly until the nurses noticed I needed something for relief. However, it was not long before the name Morphine was stuck in my brain. By the time I was 5 years old it become my number one request. I didn’t want gifts, I didn’t want food, I didn’t want visitors, I wanted “my Morphine.” Major abdominal surgeries became a common thing, surgeries that should have filled me with fear. Each time before they put me under anesthesia I asked, “will I get morphine when I wake up?” and the answer was always “yes” so I was happy. I remember a feeling of excitement for it to be over so I could feel the feeling I loved so much.
Obviously at the time I didn’t understand, but being older and looking back it’s almost nauseating. I say morphine was my first best friend because it was. Without it I was too sore to do anything, it made me miserable. My mother used to try and do anything she could to comfort me only to get screamed at by her little boy saying “I need my pain medicine!” I wanted it around always more than anything else. I hit the button on the Patient controlled analgesia pump more than the buttons on the Nintendo controller in my hospital room. It made me happy, it made me feel good, it put a smile on my face, and I was able to laugh and have conversations without wishing the person would just leave me alone. This was all at the beginning. Morphine at first gave me a lot of joy and happiness when it was around, very similar to when I’m surrounded by my current best friends. This started 24 years ago, little did I know what my first “best friend” was capable of. 17 years of dependence turning into a 5 year full blown opiate addiction.
3.5 years away from my “best friend” turned worst enemy, I was able to find the real friendships in life. People that care about my life, not a substance that certainly almost took this life away. The feeling of no longer having to live my life relying on these evil monsters is incredible. I have people in my life that I rely on and they rely on me as well. These same people loved me until I was able to love myself. Today, I can honestly say I do in fact love myself. Today, I can look in the mirror and not be disgusted with the person starring back at me, I can look at the “road map” on my abdomen and not feel insecure about myself. Regardless of what one goes through, change is possible.
I encourage those who judge addicts to remember my journey. Each addict has a story- if you were to see me at my worst you would assume I was nothing but a “junkie”. After reading this I hope you look at addiction differently- this is not a choice, but a disease.