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I may not have cared about anything in my life besides drugs, and maybe Brian (although at this point, my love of heroin had far surpassed my love of my boyfriend), but my parents sure did.

They had noticed something was going on with me for a while, maybe because I sounded funny on the phone the rare times I answered their calls or didn’t talk about my friends anymore, or school, or any of the things I used to care about. When they found out I had failed out of college, they were livid (I only had a semester to go, and had always been a good student before), but also very concerned.

They showed up one day at Brian’s apartment, where, as usual, we were sitting on the couch, in a drug haze, surrounded by old takeout containers and our drug paraphernalia. We were staring at the TV, but it wasn’t even on.

My parents took one look at the situation and immediately realized what was going on.

My mom started bawling, and I’d never seen my dad so mad. I thought he might actually hit Brian. Instead, he screamed in his face to leave me alone and never speak to me again. Brian was surprised, but still high enough that what was happening wasn’t really registering. He even laughed a little.

My parents dragged me out of there, despite my weak protests. They took me to their house and immediately started researching rehab facilities.

By the time they had me had checked in somewhere the next day, I was really hurting for a hit. The nurses gave me medicine to help me through the detox phase, but it was still brutal. I would never wish pain like that on anyone, ever. Imagine the sickest you’ve ever felt in your life, then multiply that by 100. Then add mental and physical cravings so strong you want to crawl out of your skin. I wasn’t in the cloud anymore, I was miles underground in the pits of hell.

For years, I cycled through different rehabs. I tried in-patient, out-patient, group therapy, individual therapy, yoga, meditation. It felt like I had tried everything literally to get off that evil drug. At this point, I really didn’t want to be one it anymore, if for no other reason that I never wanted to have to go through detoxing again. But no matter how long I was able to stay sober, eventually I missed my comfortable, beautiful cloud. I thought I could just go back there for a little bit, only this one time, it would be fine. But the cycle would just start over again, and I’d end up back in rehab.