If anyone had told me when I was a child that I would end up a heroin addict, I would have laughed at them. You see, sport was my thrill. Football was how I got a rush. I was one of the best footballers in my area — better than all of the girls except for my sister Olivia, and certainly better than most of the blokes. Olivia and I would race home after school to change into our track suits so we could go down to the playground. I was always in goal and Olivia would lash the balls at me as fast as bullets. She was definitely the best footballer in the area, and we played football every single day as children. She’snow an international player on the Irish team.
I come from a working-class background, but I didn’t have a bad start in life. I had a structured childhood with set times for everything. I sometimes look back and wonder why I’ve led the life I have. I have to be honest and say I don’t have many answers for you. I don’t know where I lost myself but I know I did. I still wonder about the decisions I made, or if they were decisions at all. Was I even given choices about my life? I’m still tryingto figure that one out but I know one thing for sure. When I was young I never said to myself, ‘I want to be a drug addict when I grow up.’
Heroin wasn’t something that I planned to do. The drug was something that crossed my path. I never went looking for it and I don’t believe it came looking for me. My drug addiction was something that just happened. You have probably heard people say they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think I was one of those people.
by Julie O'Toole, author of 'Heroin; a true story of drug addiction, hope and triumph ...'.
For more see www.maverickhouse.com