I sometimes find myself envious of my still active drug addict acquaintances. That moment of peace they get to feel when they first wake up in the morning and that first shot flows through their veins. The calming feeling that comes over their body as it gets all warm. I have been on this search naturally since I stopped using. In the five years that I have been heroin free, I have felt it twice. Might I add, the natural high on life is far more peaceful than the needle. I have been chasing this natural high of peace since I first felt it. It sounds absurd, but I felt pain leave my body. Not the physical kind. The kind of pain that you mask for years, until suddenly you find yourself in a downward spiral resulting in a nervous breakdown. The kind you feel when you’re 15, pregnant, and your mother tells you to find a new place to live, you are no longer welcome in their house. The kind that causes night terrors in your adult life and a panic disorder whenever someone close to you leaves the room or even the house. The pain you felt as an 8 year old when they take the only person that ever stood up for you to jail. The kind of pain that you feel when everyone forgets that you’re 8 years old and you’re told, “You’re his daughter, and this is what he did.”Active drug users, get that moment of peace. They get that brief moment of silence and calmness. I thought spending a month back home would show my family my growth and how far I have worked to conquer demons. Except, it was the complete opposite. Their demons wanted to start a new war with mine. I was treated as if I had never moved away five years ago and I was still using. It caused a few setbacks, mentally. Not so much that I couldn’t catch it and start working on it immediately. I guess that was my confirmation. The confirmation that I was allowed to shut that door and open a new one. I think I would much rather have a loud head than be told that I am not loved. No matter how great the silence is while using, it will always be greater without using. I would not trade my life now for the life I had back then. That was my crutch when I didn’t realise I am worth loving. I am worthy of life no matter who says different. I am learning. I might not get things right on the first try, and I am okay with that. I know who is in my corner cheering me on and I love all of those people with every bit of love I have. I can be a sucker for codependent relationships even if I am not using. I am learning quality means more than quantity. Writing and painting is supposed to be my peace and the last few days I am having a hard time finding that peace.