It was the morning after the night before. I could still feel it running through my veins. A mixture of regret and anticipation tangled together in the very pit of my stomach. Every time I pulled on a cigarette I could feel the warm feeling come back. It made the temptation even stronger to do it all over again.
Last night was the first night I took heroin. And it was all the cliché’s said it would be; warm fuzzy feeling, cotton wool, all my worries just disappeared. This day I visualised in my minds’ eye as though I was standing before two windows into the future. Behind each pane of glass I could see myself. The first window was clean and I could see a warm glow in which I was happy, healthy, laughing. I was among people who loved me and I loved them back. It was a happy scene. The second pane of glass was more difficult to see through, but as I wiped back the grime with my sleeve, I saw a pitiful creature lying down on a dirty concrete floor, thin and emaciated, discarded needles around her. It was then that I stepped back in shock, as I realised – that could be me.
As I stood at the fork of the two paths I knew deep down that if I took heroin again that path would lead to a life of desperate misery and pain. I foresaw the high chances of becoming homeless, destitute and turning to illicit methods to fund an addiction, maybe even becoming a prostitute. The time had come. The time had come for me to change. Now or never.
How did I get here? I asked myself how a young girl who was once so anti drugs could end up taking heroin. How many twists and turns in my life had I taken to come so far away from the girl I used to be? Was I just in the wrong place at the wrong time, in the wrong frame of mind? Was it so easy? Of course I spent so many years of my life blaming my upbringing. When I first got into drugs as a teenager, with that first spliff of cannabis, or the first cheap beer I convinced myself it was because no one loved me so I may as well destroy myself too.
My parents never showed me love or support. I never really knew my father because he left when I was a toddler. I always felt worthless, like what was the point in even trying to make a go of my life when no one ever told me they were proud of me. No one ever said “I love you”. So how could I love myself?
So my drugs journey worked it’s way up the classification scale from C to B to A. And with each rung of the ladder I convinced myself it wasn’t that bad. Everyone is sniffing coke right? From celebs to salesmen to high class brokers and bankers. That day I smoked heroin I was also offered crack. Though tempted to give it a go, the scared part of me held me back. I thank Allah for that because they say once you taste crack, it’s hard to turn back. The pull of heroin was strong enough but crack is something else. I have seen so many addicted from that first pipe and who are never able to just stop there and then.
So my stupidity woke me up to where I was going. I started questioning myself and I knew I was worth so much more. This life was worth so much more. I decided that day, the morning after the night before, that this would be the last day I would ever take drugs. And it was. I didn’t even drink alcohol ever again as I also considered this to be a drug, for many years I had battled it. Alhamdulillah – thank you Allah for helping me see where I was headed.
So I took myself into seclusion, switched off my phone, locked off from everyone. I closed every door possible to my old life, wherever I could. This lone time, it took me to a place of reflection. Being away from the people it brought me back to myself and then ultimately Allah. I praise Allah because I was not even looking for Him at first- though He wanted me to find Him. My willingness to change myself and my life around inevitably brought me back to my Creator. As one begins to listen to the soul yearning, one has to ask it “what are you yearning for?”. As a Muslim, I now know that the soul only yearns for one thing and one thing only – to have a relationship with God, whereby we only want to make Him happy with us.
So I started talking to him. Quietly at first, just a whisper, just a few words. Before I knew it, the tears were flowing and my heart was melting. Then I could do nothing but beg of Him for His Help and Guidance. I wanted signs, I wanted miracles and I begged for them.
Then one day I ventured out of my flat to town. Head down, not looking around so much, “in and out” I promised myself as I wanted to just pick up a few things and get back to my solitude. But then someone started talking to me. I tried to ignore it at first as I walked past, but then deep within myself I felt this urge to look up and see. As I lifted my head I saw a table with lots of leaflets and things on it. I dared to lift my head slightly higher as a smiling bearded man asked me “Hello sister, would you like to learn something new today about Islam?”
“No not really” I thought in my head, and honestly it was just out of politeness that my feet stopped walking and I shrugged my shoulders in reluctant compliance. Those reluctant feet did not move for another two hours. Day light began to fade, and along with it dimmed my sense of fragility and sadness. The bearded man told me he was going to pack up now as it was time for sunset prayers but he invited me to meet his wife the next day and I agreed. The story of my shahada (acceptance of Islam) is another story altogether but all you need to know is that becoming Muslim gave me life.
Without Islam I never loved myself, I was a lost soul wandering this earth looking for something or some one to fill the ever increasing hole within my soul. Islam made me a complete person, it gave me purpose, it gave me a reason to live – to wake up each day! It gave me structure. It gave me a routine that secured my recovery from substances. Islam gave me my soul back. Allah does not need all my prayers, my fasts, my charity, my deeds – I do! The minute I let go of any of this, I start feeling weak, I start getting cravings for something I shouldn’t. Islam keeps me clean and most of all happy and complete. Thank you Allah for guiding me to your Beautiful Path. I hope you are somehow inspired by my story. Any one looking to get clean must know that our dean will get you there.