A Rainbow After The Storm: Battling with addiction


«Ε» confesses how his whole life completely changed when he was introduced to drugs

«I was born in the early ’90s, in a very far country. My parents divorced when I was very young, I don’t even remember the exact year. After a while, my mother met my stepfather, a Greek sailor, and when I became six years old, we all moved to Greece. Initially, we settled in his village, in a small region of northern Greece. It wasn’t easy for me to adjust, and I experienced racism for the first time in my life: the locals weren’t familiar with foreigners, so they treated me badly. Also, I couldn’t speak Greek at all. After a while, my mother decided to stop speaking our language to me, so I could learn proper Greek. It worked, but I completely forgot my mother tongue. In general, the rest of my childhood was pleasant. We moved to a small town and things started getting better ever since.

 I was first introduced to drugs when I went to high school. I wasn’t really interested in them, but as most of my friends were smoking weed, I decided to give it a try. I didn’t like it at all, plus I had a mini panic attack. In general, I was avoiding drugs as much as I could during my teenage years. My interests were very different back then, and dance was my main passion: break dance, electro, I loved all kinds of street dances, and I was practicing them daily! After I finished school, I joined a dance school, intending to become a professional.


 When I was 22, I went to a dance competition. The experience was amazing. Dancers from all around the world gathered, and we were having a great time! The vibe was immaculate. Everyone was dancing and having fun. Also, almost everyone was smoking weed, so, I smoked as well. Even though I had some sort of panic attack again, I really liked it this time. It felt different, mainly because of the environment I was in. When I returned to Greece, it gradually became a habit. It was extremely easy to find it, so every day, after finishing my dance classes, I would relax with some weed at my house.  I thought that I could control it, even though it didn’t take me long to notice some differences. I started withdrawing into myself. I didn’t want to socialize, and I even started skipping my dance classes. All I cared about was weed.

Around that time, I took the decision to claim a place at the National School of Dance. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it, and this led me to a very bad psychological state. I returned to my village, disappointed and sad. There, I reunited with my childhood friends, who had started taking heavier drugs: amphetamine, cocaine, and ecstasy. I couldn’t resist anymore, so I started taking them every time I went out with my friends.  I cannot really say that I got seriously addicted to them. With weed, things were different. I was smoking from the moment I opened my eyes until I fell asleep. I couldn’t even imagine going a day without it.

 After four years of drug abuse, I decided to quit, but in the worst way possible: I replaced drugs with alcohol. It was a terrible decision, that led me to the most catastrophic period of my life. I was in my house all day long, drinking. I didn’t work anymore, and my biggest passion, dance, was long forgotten. I wasn’t productive or creative anymore, my entire everyday life was based on alcohol. And the vicious circle didn’t stop there. In my attempt of quitting alcohol as well, I started the use of pills and heroin.

When you take drugs, you don’t really live. You don’t feel anything, you are completely out of touch with your emotions. All you care about is taking your dose, “getting high”, and once you are sober, you want to get high all over again. The only emotions you can truly feel are loneliness and emptiness. You are all alone, even if you are surrounded by many. Those years were very traumatizing. Even though I completely lost myself, I always believed that somehow, I would manage to bounce back. I never forgot my two great passions, dance, and music. I attempted to stop taking drugs on my own two times, both with a short duration of success. A few months ago, I finally found the courage to join a therapeutic community.

«Ε» working at the therapeutic community

To be honest, the beginning was quite difficult for me. My psychology was in a very bad state, and I barely even spoke to anyone. But gradually, things started changing. The rehabilitation program offers some very interesting activities, like football and theater, while we also work with some very important elements of our characters. I think it really helps me with the procedure of finding myself again and remembering all the things I loved before drugs. In the future, I am planning to start dancing and creating music again but also work on graphic design as well. This time, I am really determined to achieve my goal, mostly because for the first time after so many years, I am not alone. Life is truly beautiful, and we should live it with a clear head.

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