Addiction is my disease. I experienced a relapse after a year of recovery. The relapse was not as I had expected — I never would have imagined that a former source of such joy would cause such pain.

I approached other addicts, two years after recovering from my own relapse, who had gone through a similar experience. I asked each of my subjects to express their most dominant emotion. I began with myself and my own feelings of fear and paranoia. Themes began to emerge: Isolation, grief, dissonance, denial, depression, pain, apathy, worthlessness, suicide.

My name is Fares and I’m a recovering addict.

My father once said that I would only come to appreciate his efforts to make he quit when he dies. He died, and soon after I realized he was right, I relapsed again.


I’m trapped, and it seems like this is the end.


I’m tired of this neverending pain.


Without hope, there’s only one way to go. You will never understand the hell I feel inside me.


Sinking into my fears.


I don't want to hurt myself anymore. I want to kill myself.


Just when I thought I'd made it back to the safety of sobriety, I found myself back at square one.


It’s better for broken things — like me — to be alone.

Fares Zaitoun 
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