“As a junkie what are your darkness thoughts about using and do you believe, contrary popular belief, on the dark spirits having some control over a person and even blocking a person trying to quit? Also does using have more downfalls or up?”
I get a lot of different types of questions for Ask a Junky. Some are practical, some seek understanding, but this one was unique in its inquiry into the inner workings of the mind of a heroin addict. Any question that includes the metaphysical and spiritual beliefs of an individual can be very revealing, and controversial. As far as I know, there are no religions that condone heroin use. It’s generally a taboo activity that is rejected by all who seek spiritually and who live their life in a manner that modern religion has us believe will ensure eternal peace and an afterlife in the presence of our Higher Power. For those who subscribe to this generally accepted theory, the existence of dark sprits is nothing new. Demons, exorcisms, Lucifer himself are taken for granted by religions like Christianity. Dark spirits are thought to spend their existence in this earthly realm doing their part to aid Satan in tempting mortal beings into sins of the flesh, steering their focus away from righteousness and tempting them to succumb to earthly desires that will only hinder their path to eternal happiness and will ultimately prevent these souls from obtaining eternal peace in the presence of their Father. To anyone who attended Sunday School or had any amount of theological schooling, this will be a familiar scenario. But as our culture shifts away from classic Christianity and towards the more modern concepts of atheism or agnosticism, dark spirits are believed to be more legend than fact. This is a very touchy subject for me. In fact, I was seriously tempted not to answer it at all, because my deepest beliefs will probably seem in stark contrast to much of what I’ve previously written in this blog.
Let’s start with the first part of the question, “As a junkie what are your darkest thoughts about using?” To be completely honest with you, my darkest thoughts are that my use may prevent me from living an afterlife in total peace with my family who I love deeply. As you may know, I was raised Mormon. My entire family are practicing Mormons. I guess you could say I am the black sheep of the lot. Although I don’t fully practice the religion, my belief in the teachings of the church has not changed. I do believe in all the teaching of the Mormon faith and that includes the Word of Wisdom, which is the teaching that outlines what we should and should not put in our bodies. Of course, all illegal drugs are in the “Should Not” category. So my deepest fear is that because of my fondness of illegal substances, including heroin, I might be denied an ideal afterlife with my loved ones. Now, one of the good things about the Mormon faith is that they do not believe in a hell similar to most Christian religions. I’m not so much in fear of fire and brimstone as I am a denial of living in the presence of our Father and alongside the other members of my family. What that afterlife looks like, I can’t even begin to image, and believe me, after the passing of my beloved Greg, I have thought long and hard on the subject. I wonder what his afterlife is like and how I can be reunited with him when I pass. In fact, my brain is in constant turmoil over the question and I’m no closer to an answer than I was the day after his accident. I know that this is not the “coolest” belief system out there and many of my readers may very well be agnostic or atheist and may not understand how I could belief in a seemingly outlandish religion. And I’m sure many people may wonder why I continue to use drugs at all when it is in defiance of that religion if I really believed. Trust me, I battle with the question every single day. But I’ve always been very honest and straightforward with my readers, and as hard as it is for me to admit publicly, I didn’t want to give you some BS answer just to go along with generally modern accepted opinions.
“Do you believe, contrary popular belief, on the dark spirits having some control over a person and even blocking a person trying to quit?” Now that you have a little background on my spiritual beliefs, let’s move on to the second part of this question. In a word, yes. I do belief that dark spirits may be able to entice people to use drugs, as a means to stifle their ability to hear or understand the word of God and to prevent them from acting in accordance to His teachings. I don’t believe that all drug use is due to these evil spirits. But I don’t believe that it’s totally out of question either. Drugs can blur one’s ability to think clearly, receive spiritual blessings and possibly even prevent communication with one’s Higher Power. I believe that there are good spirits, along with the evil ones, that inhabit the earth on a separate plane, many of which are our ancestors and loved ones who have passed on. I like to think that they watch us diligently and, if possible, help guide us throughout the remainder of our lives. If one believes that good spirits can look over them and help keep them safe, it would seem inevitable that there would be a host of evil spirits doing the exact opposite, whispering appealing lies and tugging our souls away from the Light. There is too much evidence in evil spirits for me to believe any differently. And when one is under the influence of substances it seems to me they are probably much more susceptible to the presence of dark spirits. Addiction is very likely a tool to prevent us from achieving spiritual enlightenment. An addict tends to obsess over one thing, one worldly thing that prevents us from looking outward and seeing what good we can do in the world and how we might otherwise be of service to our fellow man. And it can be seemingly impossible to escape from. That seems like it could be the ideal tool of a dark leader to prevent us from seeing the truth or communing with our Higher Power.
This theory might be, just as the questioner states, contrary to popular belief. But I do believe that a battle between good and evil still rages on and our souls are the prize. This is not to say that I believe everyone who does drugs is evil and will go to whatever version of hell they believe in. But I do believe that addiction and drug use could certainly be used as an effective tool to win someone over and lead their soul astray. It’s up to each individual to live a life of integrity based on their own belief system. But I do believe it is important to leave a channel open to receive direction and blessings from the good spirits who are there to lead us towards the light and help us live a prosperous life, both here on earth and after we’ve passed on to the other side.
“Does using have more downfalls or up?” Every person who continues to use heroin after their first time has for some reason decided that the benefits outweighs the downfalls. I’ve come to believe there are more downfalls than there are benefits. But that isn’t always enough to get someone to quit. As I’ve stated in many blog posts in the past, being a heroin addict takes a lot of work. It’s a fulltime job to maintain an addiction. It can destroy relationships, tempt you to engage in illegal activity, possibly land you behind bars and bring you into association with many unscrupulous people who do not have your best interest in mind. Part of practicing harm reduction is to limit these negative aspects as much as possible and avoid dangerous, even life-threatening situations. What that benefit is varies with each person. The benefits are intangible and extremely personal. It must fill some void or enhance a part of your psyche that’s lacking in some area. For many it could simply be that the unpleasantness of quitting seems too much to bear, which I totally understand. The longer we use the harder it will be to rewire our brains to live happily without opiates. Some of us don’t have any idea what a life without heroin should look like and are afraid to put in the work and spend the years necessary to do the rewiring. We’ll never have lives like straight people. We’ve shared a body with heroin for so long, that separation feels like we’re half a person. We don’t know how to be complete without heroin. So we’re willing to put up with the downfalls and the risks involved in order to avoid the tremendous, seemingly endless amount of effort necessary to live happily alone in our bodies. To say that there is no benefit from using is foolish, every addict has decided that there is something beneficial about their use, that it is worth all the risk. But as one’s addiction grows and life circumstances begin to change and the amount of effort they have to put in to maintain their addiction increases, suddenly they may find the benefits now seem trivial to the downfalls and most ultimately quit. Many of those in recovery will tell you the rewards for putting in the work will be tenfold better than you could possibly imagine. Even still, statistics show many of them will still relapse somewhere down the line as well. I think it’s naive to say there are no rewards; we’re definitely getting something out of our use. It’s not simply a matter of avoiding withdraw. I think it would do every addict good to do some soul searching and figure out what those benefits are. In fact, I think it’s mandatory if you ever have a desire to quit. You’ll need to know what role heroin is playing so that you can find ways to fill that void when it’s gone. You won’t be successful until you find other ways to achieve the same benefits without drugs.
So, this was an extremely personal post to write. I feel like I’ve completely laid bare my soul for all my readers to judge and criticize. But I feel like it was an important question to answer, both as a means for personal reflection and to provide you with a full picture of who I am. If you look deep enough, we’re all complex, multi-leveled creatures with seemingly diametric standards at times.