Sitting at my mom’s apartment, I start to nod-off into a dreamy state of bliss. The rush from the shot had just left my body. It usually makes me pretty hyper for some reason, but then I nod-out seemingly forever afterwards.
I was attempting to watch T.V., but every few seconds, a wave of sleepy euphoria would come along, making my eyelids grow heavy. My eyes would roll to the back of my head. I’m half-awake and half-asleep in my pie-shaped piece of personal nirvana. This must be what the Buddha was talking about; there can’t be anything better than this feeling. My central nervous system has depleted, so I merely can’t feel a thing. If someone came up punching me in the face, I couldn’t care less right now. I’m in another universe. Another dimension. A sort of Twilight Zone.
Just then, my mom opens the door with a bunch of groceries asking me to help her. I get up and grab a hand full of bags, then I—
“What is that?!” Her voice had escalated to a partial yell. What was she talking about? Oh shit! My—
“Oh God, not again!” Her voice raised. “How can you do this?!”
She was referring to the bruised track marks on the left inside of my arm. I had lost track of time and didn’t know she was coming home. Normally, I would use makeup or a tattoo concealer from the store to cover them up. It was too late now. They were out in mid-air for the world to see.
“Shit. I’m sorry ma’.”
“Why do you do this to yourself?” Her voice started to crack. She can’t hold it much longer. A tear drops down the right side of her face.
I can’t stand upsetting my mom and watching her cry over me; I love her more than anything, especially, more than I love myself.
At first I was pissed because I was caught yet again, but now my mind was starting to self-destruct. I break down mentally, and start to self-loathe. I yell at myself in my head, ‘why can’t you be normal!’ ‘How are you such a piece of shit?’ ‘You can’t do anything right!’
I was fucked once again. What a piece of shit I am. Why do I keep doing this to myself? It never ends up good. At least I didn’t end up dead or in jail this time. Just caught by the next worse thing, my mother.
I swear I’m addicted to my own self-destruction.
I never meant to be like this. I just wanted to escape reality for a little while. To feel comfortable in my own skin. But nobody—except other addicts—has any idea how easy it is to fall back into the darkness.
I felt even worse for my parents. They are convinced everything is all their fault, when, they had nothing to do with anything. Damn, if they had been more strict, or something, I probably would’ve ended up a lot worse.
Though, they still blame themselves. People in A.A. always say that addiction is a “family disease.” I may use, but the whole family suffers. And trust me, I have seen it happen. But it’s MY addiction, therefore it’s MY fault.
I know it took me awhile to see all the chaos I’ve created for them—and other people—but I was too selfish and strung-out to do anything about it. I know what I’ve done and I hate myself for it, but what can I do when I’m still suffering? Go back to rehab? I know my mom is probably going to send me to detox, but not another rehab. I had already been to four now and guess what? I’m still here, high and sitting on the couch, watching T.V.
The detox wouldn’t be so bad this time around though. At least my mom caught me before I had developed a really bad habit like my $200 a day habit, back when I had my own place. Right now, I am spending probably between $60-80, which comes out to about a gram a day. I was still going to be sick though. There was no denying that. I had to tell my mom this too.
She knew the withdrawal wasn’t pretty.
She is on the phone talking to my doctor right now, as I loathe myself.
I am in some other trouble though.
I have one shot left, but no needle. I had broken the tip of mine while being careless, forcing the orange cap back on too hard. So stupid. I couldn’t smoke or snort it because that would just be a waste—I would barely be high for no longer than an hour.
My mother finally gets off the phone and tells me something even worse: No detox can take me now, so I’d have to wait to see my doctor tomorrow. Shit. If I didn’t get this shot in me, I’d be sick while I tried to sleep. This whole ordeal sort of killed my high for the moment. I had no choice but to tell her my difficult situation.
I knew she wasn’t going to take me across town to buy new rigs. She was cool, but not like that. She hated this drug and what it has done to me. She blames Scarlett, of course. For screwing up her first-born’s life. But like a Mama Bear, she is going to take of her baby.
“Let me see if I have something,” she told me with tears dampening her eyes. I could tell she was torn inside.
“I’m so sorry Mom,” I say, but I don’t think she hears me.
I sit back on the tawny leather couch and stare at the t.v. screen, not paying attention to what was on. Just thinking about how this all happened.
It had been a month since Owen was in treatment. Taking some convincing on my part, he made the best decision he could have made: He stayed in Kerrville with us. However, he was put in a seriously shitty position by some of his roommates.
First, he couldn’t get into my house on account of we were full, as well as Randy’s nuthouse. He had to stay at, what I thought was one of the worst houses to be in.
All the sober houses had their own rules and chores but his was like its own community co-op. There were like 30 dudes living there. Plus, he was assigned a ton of chores that had to be done before he could do anything. There were just so many rules he had to abide by. I felt sorry for him. Not to mention the trouble he was in with a few of his more degenerate roommates.
Two guys that he was in treatment with had gone out drinking and they told Owen about it. He came to me, not knowing what to do. I asked my sponsor, Donnie, what he thought about it. He told me, “if it was hurting his recovery, having this knowledge, then he had to turn them in.” So that’s what he did.
The guys figured it out and had it out for him. And also for Randy and I. What did we do? They claim we “came to the Friday night meetings to convince chicks to stay in Kerrville so we could fuck them. Especially, the new, vulnerable ones” (Also known as thirteenth stepping). I was like, “Whoa! What? That’s actually genius.” But no, that was not our intention. Or maybe subconsciously it was. I mean, I did pick up and started to date Scarlett.
Yes, I was dating Scarlett, the girl who owned all of my attention for the past few weeks. Along with the rest of my previous relationships, it just sort of happened.
Owen, Dylan and she were out of rehab so we’d all hang out together. Until Dylan had told me that Scarlett thought I was cute and had a thing for me. I was shocked, but excited, so I told Dylan I had thought the same about her. And in no time, we were dating.
We had sealed the deal by hooking up at Dylan’s apartment. She had said she “normally doesn’t hook up with guys so quickly,” but you didn’t find me complaining. One thing about being sober is your hormones come back kicking in full-speed. Needless to say, the sex was good, but didn’t last long. It was sweet, slow, and intimate.
I remember our first kiss before that, with …And You Will Know Us the Trail of Dead’s “How Near, How Far” playing in the backdrop inside my car as I dropped her off at the women’s house.
Yeah, I got the car for that night.
However, I had no idea that our relationship was born based on false pretenses and lies. But I’ll get into that later. Right now, I was infatuated with a hot, tattooed, indie-punk girl. And it happened all while I was sober.
As for Owen and his new “friends,” one was arrested for drinking while on parole and the other went home, I believe. Even though they wanted to kick our asses. I think they realized I had Randy who was a six-foot tall, cowboy, crack addict. You didn’t want to mess with him and he always had my back. Even though, he was the friendliest guy.
After the whole fiasco ended, Owen then told me he wanted to go back home. He had a thing for Scarlett, I knew, and was upset I was dating her, when he knew her first. Does that contradict bro-code? I didn’t check. Plus, he couldn’t stand his house and was not a big fan of Kerrville. I saw it too. This just wasn’t his vibe, and so, I told him to do whatever he wanted to do. So he left…
Anyway, if I wasn’t working my ass off at Chili’s, the four of us—Randy, Callie, Scarlett, and I—were a hot, motley crew. Two alcoholics, a crack addict, and a newly joined heroin addict made up our inseparable gang. We did everything together including going to meetings, listening to music, swimming at the watering hole (God, that sounds so redneck), and working the twelve steps. Though, the more I hung out with Scarlett, the more I was slipping with my step work. I didn’t care though. I was sober and having a blast. Not to mention, Scarlett and I were on each other like rabbits who just got out of prison. Since, we couldn’t at our houses, we resorted to parking lots, parks, and a makeshift tent in the backyard.
Then, I called her up one night saying we needed to talk. She was confused and worried, but she needed not be. I was just calling to tell her I was falling for her…
And she felt the same.
Life couldn’t get better.
It was after a long day when I got the phone call. After Randy dropped Scarlett off at her house, her house manager had a surprise for her.
She then called to tell me that she had failed a drug test.
“What!…how how how did this happen,” I was so shocked, I was stuttering.
“And they’re kicking me out too..” I heard her start to cry.
“Oh shit, how did this happen? You were with me most of the day.”
There was a pause for a second. Looking back, this should’ve been a huge red flag. But, I was in love. Real love. I thought I had known love before with the girls I dated in school, but I was wrong. My feelings for her were so strong and pure, I even believed the next thing she told me….
“Well… Dylan got word that her place was gettin’ raided by cops so she called me telling me to go over there and flush her stash. But when I got there, I… just couldn’t resist. It was—” she then whispered, “heroin.”
I was so young and naive back then. I didn’t understand the mind of a real addict. A heroin addict, nonetheless.
I believed every word.