Even though fear and anxiety had run my life back before I abused alcohol, it was better than being locked to this black, steel ball and chain. I’m not even into kinky S & M shit, yet I did what she told me to do and handcuffed my hands and legs together. Forever being a slave to heroin.
I hate waking up every morning sick, and not able to feel better until I find that inconspicuous person who’s always on the move, like having to find the tall, lanky nerd in the Where’s Waldo™️ books. Once I find the person, I pay him or her money I have no right spending because it’s not mine.
After that, I feel sicker than before and I struggle to hold back what two weeks of constipation has for me. Opiates constipate you but when off of them, everything inside decides it’s time to evacuate. I’d waste an hour or more sitting like this, poking myself with a dull needle. In my head, I know that one shot will take the sickness and abdominal agony away. All of this happens while I’m still looking for a working vein and covered in my own blood.
This is what it’s like being heroin’s bitch. It’s what they don’t show you in the movies. What they don’t teach you in your school’s D.A.R.E. program. Heroin has made my life more explicit than an R-rated movie. If my life were a film, it would have to be unrated.
There used to be NC-17 and X-ratings, but I believe those were reserved for more, “adult” films. And by that, I mean a film in which the starting credits play over a guy walking his dog in a nice neighborhood on a clear, sunny day, but when he comes up to his house, the starting credits end—
…and the sex begins.
Lots and lots of sex.
When it’s over, you feel the need to shame yourself for watching the entire flick, but you don’t because you just can’t stop wondering, “Where did the dog go?”
• • • •
While my Mom is in her room, upset about this whole situation, I’m still lying on the tan leather couch in front of the TV.
Nothing is on. I’m staring at a blank screen, thinking of the life ahead of me and how it will be without my dearest friend.
“My name is J., and I’m an addict.”
This is what I’ll be saying in every AA, Alcoholics Anonymous, meeting I will be obligated to attend. I stopped stepping foot in those places. In fact, I hate those rooms. It’s a damn cult. Don’t drink the coffee! But, I won’t have a choice now I’m most likely going to a detox and, God help me, another pointless rehab.
They don’t take kindly to people like me, a chronic relapser. Whenever someone like Yours Truly, relapses, they shun him/her, you’re frowned upon, and nobody treats you the same as before. You’re patronized beyond belief, treated like a damn child. But, they’re right, even though I’m 22-years old, I am still a child.
People in AA will say, once you become sober, mentally and emotionally, you reverse back to the age you were when you first abused whatever it was you were using.
I admit, I believe this.
But then, the poor AA saps will also try to tell you, “Your worst day sober is better than your best day high.”
I don’t believe this for a second. I guess they didn’t have friends or something. I had some great times while being drunk, stoned, or tripping with my friends. If you say your worst day sober is the better than best day high, you have my condolences.
Another thing I can’t stand is how they believe they in God but say they’re not religious. In AA, everybody meets at a certain place sacred to them where they pass a basket around for donations; they carry around and read from one book—written over 13 decades ago, for alcoholics; they’re required to confess all their wrongs to another person, figuring out their character defects, which their high power will then absolve them of; and, if one were to relapse, he/she would suffer degradation, patronization, and he/she will be treated as though they have leprosy.
Does this sound at all familiar to you? Do I have to go on? Just one more…
The word “God” is always capitalized—as well as, “He,” “Power,” and “Him”—as if someone had written it in the Bible, where they also mention it four times in the steps.
Anybody in the A.A. program will likely tell you I’m full of shit, but all of this is true.
In a Heroin Anonymous meeting, there was this guy in his twenties who was convinced that God had given him this new job and that if it wasn’t for God, he wouldn’t have this job. I had to leave the room. People were giving me weird looks whenever I shook my head holding a disgusted face while this kid was talking. I couldn’t help it! I wanted to just grab the guy and tell him the truth:
It was You who got that job! Did “God” call up the workplace asking for a job? Did “God” show up for an interview? Did he win over the boss with his work ethic and personality? No, he didn’t! It was you, you did it. Give yourself some credit.
You… Yes, you! Got yourself a job… while sober! … not God.
I didn’t say this though. More than likely, I would have had to deal with an angry mob of addicts and alcoholics. And ex-tweakers can still run fast.
Times have changed, and then they changed again. Yes, they have heroin, cocaine, and narcotics anonymous, but since they live by a hierarchy of chip status, if you relapse, you’re thrown back down to square one with the lower peasants. (they hand out plastic chips for periods of sobriety.) It’s basically a game where whoever has the most chips wins, or they receive the most respect. If they updated their antique book and threw away all of their chips, I’d reconsider my attendance at these meetings.
As you will come to see, I tried the program when I considered myself an alcoholic, and it worked… temporarily. I never received what they had promised me:
I had found that elsewhere, in my real drug of choice: another human being.
She became my heroine (mind the letter ‘e’ at the end of the word).
• • • •
Happiness has become a long-lost memory. My ways of seeking peace had run away before that, leading me to seek what I’ve lost, in outside relationships. If I find what I am looking for and am content with my partner, I will do everything I can to protect those pleasant feelings. The reason I do this stems from an insufficient self-esteem and not loving myself before I love them.
There’s a compulsive need to be with that person, thus most of the time I don’t take a minute to discover whether or not they are good for me. Instead, I put everything I have into the relationship, proving to myself I am truly the one deserving of their love. After investing my heart and soul into them, I have no time, or intention, to hang out with friends, play music, write, or read.
I am tired all the time which helps feed the deep depression and hopelessness living inside me. I want to be alone, away from everybody, because all they ever want to do is “help” me. I can’t stand that, so I isolate. These are the same feelings I hid from everyone back in school.
How did this happen?
As humans, we are all born helpless and dependent on our parents for nurturing. As we grow, we learn to mimic them which leads us to eat, speak, walk, and gradually become more independent. Being shaped by our genetics, our environment and community become part of who we are. Years down the road, we are more grown up and move into the community as we attend school and make friends. The environment we are in gathers us together and reflects who we are back to ourselves. The child needs to move forward from its family into the larger world. However, I had trouble learning all the proper skills to become independent.
Every time I moved out of their house to make it on my own, my addiction stepped in, destroying any independence I had—which wasn’t much. I relied on my parents for everything. Sure, they could help me till I did things on my own, including, how to pay bills, pay for gas, car, etc. But with the unwelcome addiction that was my ball and chain, when I tried to be on my own, it would shut me down. While, compared to my friends, I was falling behind.
I’m shaking. I close my eyes. Even if I become sober, I know I’ll just fuck up again. That’s just how I am. I am a walking, talking fuck-up. Recovery will never happen for me. It’s as if I have to reach out my arm and grab a star. I’ve become so accustomed to my habitual want and need of indulging in any mind-altering substance. However, I had heard a saying I’ve held onto since. I still believe in it today,
“In order to live a new identity…
“I must kill the old one.”