Ch. 5: What Hell is Like…

May 2010

The week flew by. Time goes by fast when you’re doing nothing, Besides reading and binge-watching The Office. I can go out with my friends, but I am too depressed. I can’t stop thinking about Brianna.

The poor girl. Sure she was an addict too but she never was a heroin shooter. She had never even done heroin, to my knowledge. I know for a fact it was heroin that killed her. And it was approved once her parents had received the toxicology report to read that they had found heroin in her lungs. In her lungs? I didn’t get it. Did she snort it? That sounds too gross for her. Why wouldn’t she smoke it instead? It doesn’t matter anymore. What matters to me is who is the asshole who gave it to her. It was either my neighbor, Annie, or my roommate, Bubba.


This had to be his fault.

He would’ve been the one to give it to her.

I know I didn’t. I’d never let any of my friends do this horrible drug.

Bubba wasn’t just my roommate, he was moreover my drug dealer, which meant, I did nearly everything he wanted so I could have my fix. He’d supply me with dope—heroin/smack—for rent, while I was still one of his biggest customers. Spending whatever money my parents gave me for food and emergencies on more dope.

We had a nightly routine that we would never miss or forget: As I would come home from class at the Art Institute of Austin for audio engineering and production, he would come home from whatever it was he did—hustling, he said—then we would blast off into sweet serenity. He would always bring home a couple bars—or Xanax—with crack, and plenty of dope. We would first ingest two Xanax bars each then proceed to smoke all the crack we had. The crack would usually last about an hour at most. It would be enough to almost, but not entirely, cancel out the Xanax that we’d taken, which would take away the anxiety that the crack induced. I would be on top of the world, feeling just right until, the crack/cocaine feelings wore off.

When you run out of crack, or cocaine, depression begins to set in, next to the awful sensations of paranoia. The blinds were always kept closed, as well as the doors and windows locked, just in case the Feds outside couldn’t get in with or without a warrant.

Of course, there was never anybody outside watching us. But cocaine—and any other upper—will make you so delusional that you will think the feds were outside in the trees, behind the bushes, watching your every move. Like the ‘Neighborhood Watch’ families will have, you become the ‘Watch the Neighborhood.’ Addicts will go completely insane over this pulse-pounding paranoia.

That’s what the Xanax was for, to keep us grounded, but not all the way. So, when we finished all the crack we had—and yes we would always finish it, there’s no such thing as leftover crack—we’d both inject The Devil’s Juice… a.k.a. heroin.

It was the best drug to comedown from other drugs because—

1. There was no comedown from smack.

2. It overpowered any other drug that you took. And…

3. It was the best feeling one could ever experience.

It’s not just the drug alone that people fall addicted to, though. It is the whole process and ritual of cooking the dope, and then shooting it.

People who say they’re afraid of needles are far better off staying that way. But of course, I used to say the same thing.

I fell in love with sticking myself. I loved it so much, I even loved sticking other people if they couldn’t do it, but only if they had done it before. I was, in no way, going to let another person be addicted to this shit. Even when I was dope sick, I’d still inject myself with warm water. I wasn’t just addicted to the smack, but the needle too.

Scanning up, down and around the arm, looking for that thin bulge protruding up from the skin.


And once you find that sweet spot, you hit it with the needle. Once you see the blood jolt up and register into the chamber of the syringe…

There she blows!

Slam it all home.

Almost immediately, after the whole injection, you feel a ‘pins and needles’ reaction on the top of your head, streaming to the back of your neck. The euphoria is like no other thing you’ve experienced. The pure, vinegary taste crawls up your throat and exhausts through your mouth. This sweet, overwhelming sense of relief hits you and floods your veins like a warm blanket covering your previously cold body. You have not a care in the world now. It wraps you in its arms—better than any mother’s—and protects you from any and every negative thought you could possibly have. You are filled with breathtaking bliss and heart-stirring harmony. And that is just the rush.

After the rush hits, you’re stuck in a friendly dream-like state known as “the nod.” I’ve heard many people describe it as the feeling you get when you wake up ten minutes before your alarm goes off, knowing you have that little extra time to sleep. I believe it is a little like that, but more gratifying because you’re high and there is no alarm to wake up to. So you have the pleasure of feeling this way for hours. And like I said before, there is no awful comedown. This is why it is so damn addicting.

After the high wears off, you just want more; however, not in a cocaine or crack-fiending way. You just want to feel that awesome high again. So much, that you will want to do anything for it. Anything to feel that first high again, but you won’t. You will never feel as high as the first time. That’s why they call it “chasing the dragon.”‘ Perpetually, chasing that first high. Then, if you don’t end up dead in a decrepit ditch, you’ll discover yourself in jail or rehab. Both,

a hell of their own,

because there…

the dragon chases you.

But that was all in the past. I’m not on that shit anymore thankfully.

But my mom has me on Antabuse.

Antabuse is an alcohol medication that treats problem drinking. If you or a friend  has a bad drinking problem, have them go to the doctor and see if they can try it, if they dare. While on this terrifying white pill, one will become deathly ill, if he or she had a drink. You can’t even have Nyquil or mouthwash if they contain any trace of alcohol. I haven’t had the guts to experience this sickness, fortunately. I’ve been doing alright living with my mom in an apartment complex.

For now, I found a decent connect to Valium, which is treating me quite nicely. It keeps me mellow whenever I get into that really depressive state I tend to put myself into when I think about the past shit I’ve done that ultimately, brought me here, living with my mom at 25-years old.

“Welcome back, how are you doing?” Gail asks.

“Ehh, I’ve been better,” I lie to her, again. I was feeling great. But she cannot know about the three valium I popped on the car ride here. They were keeping me nice and chill, melting into the furry, purple monster that she called a couch. “How are you?”

She was wearing another pant suit this week, that matched my purple pallet, which I laid straight down on this time. No time to sit straight up. It’s crunch time.

“I’m doing fine, thank you—”

“Really? You know what that means, right?” I had to ask her. She has a puzzled look on her face. “Fucked up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional.”

“Oh,” she exclaims, while covering her mouth with her left hand. Her right hand already jotting down notes.

     What the hell could she be writing about only one minute into our session?

“Yea, there was a counselor in rehab that loved to use acronyms for everything, like—

“ALCOHOLICS: A Life Centered On Helping Others Live In Complete Society;

“ANONYMOUS: Actions Not Our Names Yield Maintenance Of Uninterrupted Society; Still doesn’t make sense to me. 

“DENIAL: Don’t Even Notice I Am Lying;

“EGO: Easing or Edging God Out;

“HOPE: Having Organized Priorities Everyday; and my personal favorite:

“KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid. She had an acronym for every damn word you could think of, and that’s how she counseled.”

Gail chuckles and shakes her head. “Well maybe they were running short on counselors.”

Ah, that’s funny,” I say. “God, If I had her now, as a counselor, I’d shoot myself in the face with a note attached saying I was feeling HALT.”

“And what does that mean?”

“Horny, Angry, Lonely, and Tragic.” I couldn’t help but laugh a little. Apparently, neither could she.

“I should have known.” She smiled. “Too funny.  So we left, last week, with you leaving for rehab. That’s what I put down in my notes, here.”

“You’re correct,” I assure her. “Are you ready? Things are gonna get kinda messy.”

“I’ve been planning for it all week,” she answers reassuringly.

I am actually starting to like her now. She is, definitely, the best counselor or therapist, shrink, whatever, that I’ve had, thus far.

“Ok, well, I first walked in and this guy, who looked a little older than me, probably 23…I am 19-years old, mind you, back then, came up to me.

‘Welcome to High School, dude,'”I say trying to mimic the guy’s frat-boy dialect.

“I’m not quite sure what he meant by that, but if he was insinuating that rehab was anything like high school, I was screwed. But don’t get me wrong, I ended up loving high school. It was the best years of my life. A friend of my family’s had told me that high school was ‘going to be fun and some of the best times you’ll have.’ So I had always kept that in the back of my head, and I tried to live it up as much as I could. I do believe I succeeded. Granted, I was drunk the whole time.”

I pause from my story and cross my legs. Right over left. Then continued.

“I drank just about everyday. And after my parent’s liquor cabinet was ‘86’ed,’ I stole from parents of my friends’, or I’d pay a bum downtown. On the days I didn’t have liquor, I’d be on pills, coke, or just stoned out of my gourd. I even took my SATs drunk, where I did fairly well. I must have killed it on the essay part, at the end. But I always imagine how well I would’ve done had I not drank and actually paid attention. But that’s neither here, nor there.”

“Do you see yourself doing that a lot? Wanting to go back and, sort of, redo things?” she interrupts, which is fine with me.

“All the time, honey. All the time.”



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