Heroin takes its toll. Aside from profoundly affecting your health and mental state, it drastically changes your appearance. You can become unrecognisable to the person you once were.
Resisting your addiction to the drug in an attempt to get clean is a difficult and traumatic process. Opening up to others about your experience can be hard too, but one woman was brave enough to share her story.
On Reddit, the woman known only by her username DisregardThisOrDont posted a side-by-side comparison of herself before and after quitting the drug. She previously uploaded a mugshot, but decided that it was unfair to pick a photo as unflattering as that:
“This time I wanted to share a “candid” photo of me getting pizza with my mom while going through withdrawl [sic], and a recent pic of my celebrating my anniversary with my significant other.”
The post, titled “1000 days free of heroin”, shows a jaw-dropping difference in the woman. It has amassed over 5000 comments from those inspired by her story or going through a similar struggle.
In a further comment, she explains her recovery story in more detail. Her “1000 days” is actually more than that, as she is not counting the drug-free days she spent unable to access any heroin. She refers to the 36 days she spent in rehab and jail as “cheat days”, so has made her anniversary about her personal choices.
She also gives a message to those who are still going through the withdrawal process or are still addicted:
“Please let us help you. We can’t help you until you ask. Getting help is fucking terrifying. But dying or living the rest of your life in jail is fucking terrifying too. We love you. The help you get won’t always be exactly as you imagine. But in the end we want you better. We love you. We want to help. Ask us for help.”
One user replied to this post to say:
“Nice! I get what you mean about celebrating from the day you chose to quit. The girl on the left looks so sad and lost, so glad she found her way!”
Then DisregardThisOrDont responded to the friendly comment:
“Thank you kind internet stranger-friend! I’m glad you understand! And rest assured, while she’s still carving her path, she’s certainly found her way! :)”
Later on, she added further details to her story, including how she had to deal with a drug-addicted loved one before she went through it herself. “I had to have a few hard slaps to the face to realize my happiness and my future was in my own hands,” she explained, “tough love is what it takes … Just don’t blame yourself for your loved ones disease”.
Among the thousands of comments, the top rated was from a fellow recovering addict, who said: “Ayy! 1626 days here! It gets better. But sometimes it doesn’t. But it is a fuckton easier than being loaded.” In a later comment they add: “I hope you have a wonderful journey ahead of you as well. Life has became something beyond what my wildest dreams ever could have imagined in the past 1626 days.”
This comment thread was full of replies from ex-addicts who wished to share their stories, each with more time spent clean than the last:
Hopefully, with the help of these supportive responses, she will make it another 1000 days, then another 1000 after that, and so on. We wish her all the best.