The Battleground

This is a piece I wrote in my journal during that time in London. I had never been so scared of anything in my life, and the only thing that gave me some peace was to write exactly how I felt. It was like a battle: my mind and spirit fighting against the desires of my body.

15 December 2004 – Wednesday

It’s been written so many times and so many films have been made, relating to this subject. I have read the books and seen the films, and they put fear in me. I always had an idea why the story had to be told, why survival was such a victory, but never in my life did I know exactly what it was all about. Now I know that no-one can really know unless they live through it themselves.

Only now do I really understand the need to share the experience, let all people know what it’s all about. Yet, somehow, no matter how raw the facts, how gruesome the images presented, it still doesn’t prevent people from taking a bite from the apple of all evil and destruction.

I’ve always been a believer in learning the hard way. Let a child fall out of a tree to see the danger of climbing it rather than trying to keep a child away from all trees. I learned much in life this way; the hard way. And it hurts, very deeply sometimes, but I learned, and it always made me better for it.

This, however, is the only thing I’ve done which makes me doubt that it will strengthen me; that I will land on my feet, in one piece. This is only a small doubt, and it doesn’t mean I believe that I’ve reached the end of the line, no more turning back. It doesn’t even mean that I believe I could never be saved even if I was way beyond the line.

The only difference is that when learning about any other walk of life, you are comforted in knowing there is hope, you face things with a certain confidence, convinced that the positive things will overshadow all else. There is no doubt, not a tiny bit. When faced with this however, that small scrap of doubt is what sets the warning bells off, always keeps you aware of the negative side.

It never lets you forget how evil it is and it doesn’t let you get away with trying to convince yourself of the opposite. I guess it’s thanks to that tiny doubt which allows some people to survive it and land on their feet.

People, including myself, always go on about willpower and choices and self-control when it comes to things like this, but I have to admit that I have been wrong in my thinking and accept the fact that this is something which you willingly choose – mostly innocently – but then it possesses you before you realise you’re not in control anymore. That is when willpower and self-control lose all power and you are simply helpless and a slave to heroin.


Why does Michelle say she was a slave to heroin? What do you think will give her the strength to get help?