Note to Readers/Intro

Detox—September 2009

I don’t want you to think this is just another story of addiction—a cautionary tale about all the messed up things I had done or how messed up I had been. No matter what you hear from people, I will tell you now, it all is true and happened to me.

Of course my story does follow my addiction, but it’s about what had fueled it. The reason how I became an addict and how—when I discovered that drugs and alcohol weren’t my problem, but a solution I used for my real problems—I learned how to address and eliminate those flammable issues.

I thought it had been my social-anxiety and insecurities—which led to my depression—that had opened the manhole into the underground world of addiction. I was close, but not entirely correct. These teenage issues fall under a worldwide, adult epidemic that millions suffer from. I’m talking about my actual drug of choice—I had thought was heroin—is actually the strongest drug for a human being—

… another human.

Today, I’m back for another self-hating stay in detox to get all the heroin, xanax, and crack out of my system. Detox is a depressing place, no matter what you’re coming off of. You sit there, socialize with other men—not the women—if you like, but everyone has the same things in their mind. Do I really want to stop using/drinking? Or, Can I really stop? Those of them who give a confident Yes to both, are likely there for their first time. The others, like myself, struggle with the latter.

I want to stop using. I have to. I feel as though my luck has run out. I don’t have another ride on the dope train. There is a highly good chance, if I used again…

I.

Will.

Die.

On the other hand, maybe my life is meant to be spent in detoxes and rehabs.

I feel like I can’t live a normal life. My late teens and early twenties were nothing but me getting fucked up. I can’t even have a random conversation with someone without bringing up the fact that I’ve used heroin and other illegal drugs because they’ve played such a huge role in my life. Not to mention, find a decent job where I’m not surrounded by a girl who pops Valium, a man snorting cocaine in the back, or a kid shooting up dope in the bathroom. These were all in places I have previously worked at, two or more in the same place, most of the time.

Drugs are everywhere and now that I’ve lived in that world, my nose knows where to go, my eyes know what to look for, my ears can hear code words and slurs. I can even smell cocaine on someone’s breath. All of this happens particularly while I’m trying to recover, too. It’s inevitable.

Do I want to stop? Hell yes.

Can I stop? I don’t know, but I’ll sure as hell try.

This isn’t the gung-ho attitude counselors want to hear in detox, but it’s the actual truth. Which is something I need to work on now, as well as taking responsibility for my own actions.

It all starts with those three inescapable words when I’m using. The three words that torture me every time I am in tears from another relapse. The exact words I’d used years ago, which had begun my descent into the pain-staking world of addiction. It was three years ago—2006—when those simple words came out of my mouth for the first time…

“I need help.”

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