Heroin Addiction – How Shame Fuels Addiction

Matt:                     What’s going on everybody? This is Matt from Project Unbroken. Many of you who are going to be watching this video do not know me as Matt from Project Unbroken, but maybe Matt from Crossfit Wheelhouse, or Matt who posts all that annoying health shit on his Facebook feed.

Matt:                     But today I wanted to make a video explaining a little bit about Project Unbroken and what it is. Usually, my friend, Greg Morrison, is sitting right here to my right. And Project Unbroken is something that we started together about six months ago in an effort to bring some insight into the heroin epidemic, what addiction’s like, what we did, what we went through, just basically some insight for people to understand a little bit about what’s going on for themselves or maybe for a loved one, somebody’s who’s going through addiction and that someone they care about.

Matt:                     And we did this because, when we were going through our addiction, and we were trying to quit, and we were trying to figure a way out of the mess we got ourselves into, there was really nothing out there at all to help us. And we fumbled through it. And somehow along the way, we ended up coming out relatively unscathed on the other side.

Matt:                     And we have been trying to reverse engineer what we both did that brought us success in our recovery. And we don’t have any answers at all. But, again, we’re just trying to provide some insight or things that worked for us in hopes that it can help somebody else out there, maybe that’s going through addiction or somebody out there who has a loved one who’s going through addiction. Because as many of you may know, that is even a worse position to be in.

Matt:                     But I wanted to talk a little bit about the way we view addiction, as addicts and as loved ones of addicts, and as people looking from the outside. Unfortunately, the way the statistics go, you know somebody that is dealing with mental illness or addiction, whether you know it or not. So it’s important that you at least be somewhat a part of the conversation, even if it’s just listening to somebody talk about it, or looking for some warning signs from somebody that you may care about who’s going through this struggle.

Matt:                     I’m sure you guys know, at almost every day there’s an obituary or there’s some news of an overdose. And, unfortunately, many times if the person’s of a certain age, you can almost assume that it had something to do with drugs. And it’s unfortunate, because you don’t want to assume that, and many times it’s not the case. But the way that overdoses have been happening, as frequently as they have, it’s just almost become something that I feel like people are becoming numb to it.

Matt:                     And if you have somebody in your life that’s struggling with addiction, I want you to understand that you are not alone. I know that, and you know that this epidemic has found a way to creep into every socioeconomic demographic. It is impossible to keep out of anyone’s home, if it wants to work its way in there.

Matt:                     And what I’ve been seeing is almost there’s, well, there’s 100% of feeling of shame, because I went through it when I was an addict. And I know my family members definitely went through it when I was an addict. And I know that’s par for the course for a lot of people who don’t understand what’s going on or how their kid or their brother or sister or loved one could have fallen into heroin. Who does heroin? It’s the worst drug, pretty much, that we ever heard about growing up. And now, all of a sudden, somebody we care about has found their way into a deep hole with it.

Matt:                     And I think a lot of times this leads to a feeling of shame for both parties, the addict and the loved one of the addict. And it is a complete non-starter for any communication or conversation to help that person get out of the situation they’re in. And what ends up happening is that it just gets worse and worse and worse. And many times it just ends up leading to an overdose or some other terrible outcome.

Matt:                     So if you’re out there and you think, or you’re seeing signs that maybe somebody you care about is struggling with addiction … And you don’t have to look for concrete evidence. A lot of times people know in their gut that something’s going on. I encourage you to initiate the conversation, as absolutely difficult as that can be.

Matt:                     A lot of times the person, the addict who’s in trouble or in a bad place with the drug, they don’t want to be there. And, I think, any help would be very welcomed. I know that was the case for me. I know, sometimes, when we see these things, we want to think it’s just a phase, or maybe we even just want to deny that our loved one’s going through this at all, or that it’s a problem. And you can’t afford to do that because what happens, again, is it can turn into a deadly situation really quickly.

Matt:                     Everybody knows somebody that’s going through this. So please don’t feel ashamed if you are going through it. Don’t feel ashamed if your child’s going through it. Don’t be ashamed if anyone you care about’s going through it. It’s not a character flaw. It’s something that’s really difficult to control.

Matt:                     I know, for instance, when I was in the depths of my addiction, it’s just self perpetuating, but I really began to hate myself. And almost the only thing that could take that feeling away, even a little bit, was to do more heroin. And it just gets worse and worse and worse. And it becomes really difficult to dig yourself out of that situation. And I would say it’s next to impossible to do on your own.

Matt:                     So if you don’t know how to initiate that conversation, or if you’re uncomfortable with that conversation, I completely understand. I would encourage you to check out our YouTube channel. It’s Project Unbroken. And Greg and I talk a lot about that stuff. And, again, we’re not trying to provide any answers, we’re just talking a little bit about what we would do.

Matt:                     And just to give you some insight, we were talking the other day about, basically, a hypothetical question. What would you do if you woke up tomorrow and you were in the depths of your addiction? Just because, right now, we’re both fairly happy people. We’re married with children. We own businesses. We get to really do the things that we enjoy on a day-to-day basis, because we’ve been living in a way that’s in accordance with our success.

Matt:                     But if I woke up tomorrow and I was just in my addiction, what would I do? And I told Greg, “I think I would just call my wife or call my family, and be like, ‘Hey, I got myself into this predicament. I’m not really sure how it happened. And I need some help getting out of it.'”

Matt:                     And that thought never crossed my mind ten years ago when I was addicted to heroin, because I was so ashamed of the person that I had become and the way that I was living. But the fact of the matter is, is I did find myself in the depths of heroin addiction, and I didn’t really know how I got there. But I was still too ashamed to ask for help.

Matt:                     If this happened now, I have the hindsight to know that it’s okay to ask for help. You actually have to ask for help if you want to start working your way out of the situation that you found yourself in, that you got yourself into. Taking responsibility for your actions is definitely a big part of that whole thing. But I understand how these drugs can completely catch you off guard and then drag you down to a place that you didn’t expect to find yourself in.

Matt:                     So anyways, I’m kind of rambling on a little bit. But I want to encourage you guys. If you see any signs that make you feel like something might be going on or there’s an issue with mental health or substance abuse, especially with pills, or you find something that you don’t know what it is but it kind of looks like drug paraphernalia, I encourage you to initiate the conversation. I wouldn’t come to that person aggressively but more from a place where you can help.

Matt:                     And, again, you can reach out to me. You can reach out to Greg. We’ll do whatever we can do to provide some sort of advice or even some places that you can go to start that road down a maintenance program with Suboxone or whatever you think is going to be the best path for you. And we can help you with the resources to find that kind of stuff.

Matt:                     But, anyways, don’t be ashamed if you’re in addiction, if you have a loved one who’s in addiction. You are not alone. It’s a very common thing. So don’t try to bury it. Don’t try to cover it up and pretend it’s not there. Have the conversation, and things can improve very dramatically, very quickly. It’s not an easy road, but it’s very possible.

Matt:                     So thanks for watching, guys. I appreciate it. Please share this video if there’s anybody that you think might need to see it. And, again, we’re always available to talk or provide advice and help with resources and all that stuff. So I appreciate you watching. Have a great day. Bye.


In Category: Addiction

Greg Morrison

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