*Not her real name, obviously. What is this, Leave It to Beaver?
If it had gone on one more season ...
One day I woke up with what felt like a flu, and it wasn't until I got some more dope to "help my flu" that I realized I was "junk sick" -- the term users have for the early stages of withdrawal. It was after that -- after I was addicted -- that I turned to the needle. Once you're at the stage where you're even considering the needle, you long ago forgot about "squeamishness" right along with "work" and "everything else you ever wanted to accomplish in your life."
You have no trouble remembering where your spoons are, though.
The really bad part of heroin isn't the physical dependency -- it's the addiction, and there's a difference. Telling people heroin will get them "instantly addicted" is a fine scare tactic, but it disguises the real danger. I was using heroin daily not because I had jumped off the swings and accidentally touched a needle discarded on a playground, thus allowing the addiction-gremlins inside my brain, but because my firsthand experience with the drug told me that it was a risk-free way to escape from my problems. So when I realized I needed to kick, that meant facing not only the physical agony of withdrawal, but all the demons I had been running from in the first place. And I don't know if you've ever seen one run in the wild, but demons are fast.