Being a drug addict is like being insane. Drug addicts don’t think like normal people. Drug addicts don’t act like normal people either. We don’t know the difference though. To me, and other addicts, our day to day thoughts are normal as the sky being blue. It wasn’t until I had a nervous breakdown that I was told that a drug addict has different thought patterns then most people. That we have different reactions to situations then most people. I also learned how to begin recovering from this self-induced affliction.
Feelings where something that I feared most in this world for a long time. I was afraid to be happy, afraid to be sad, so I kept it all inside of me. The only emotions that ever came out of me where anger and laughter. I only allowed to let these out to keep the perceptions that I was “fine,” so no one would question me about my guarded secret. I knew I couldn’t keep up appearances like this for very long on my own. Then I found something that would help me not feel any more. I found drugs.
I started small, with a drug that some don’t consider a drug per say. The first time I smoked weed, I was thirteen. Instantly, I knew it was something worth having. Or so I thought. Like many kids lost in the suburban sprawl I was a D.A.R.E. graduate. I told everyone that I would “just say no,” but, that was the sixth grade. By the seventh grade I was stealing cigarettes from the local supermarkets, because I wanted to be “cool.” By eighth grade I was smoking weed out of coke cans and bongs made from pog containers and bic pens, so I could be popular. There is no rational explanation why I wanted to be cool, or popular, but I knew this was a way to go about it. Once I made a few new friends in high school, I should have known my habits would only worsen. As a drug addict, I could literally smell a fellow addict if I was close enough. I can smell the substances we abused through our sweat. My freshman year in high school I was stoned or drunk more often than I was sober in my classes. Needless to say I failed out of many of them. This brought upon my parents attention, which at the time I did not want . Their reaction of utter distain toward me drove me in to a downward spiral that would only worsen with time.
Their disappointment and hate in their eyes made me feel guilt. It made me feel something. These where feelings that I didn’t want to feel. A normal, sane person would apologize and perhaps make the effort to succeed in school. However, I’m not a normal, sane person, I am a drug addict, that plan of action never crossed my mind. The only thing that could possibly make me feel better was to get fucked up much as possible and never stay sober for more than the few hours I did sleep. It consumed me.
In the years that followed I fell deeper into the rabbit hole. With this addiction to feeling numb, would forego doing my studies for school. Before I knew what year it was, I had to tell my parents that I wasn’t going to graduate from high school with the rest of the Class of 2000. Telling them this made me feel guilt again. I started to fall again. I needed a way to destroy these feelings. Then something came that wasn’t a drug, however, it became an addiction. Sex.
The physiological changes in the body that happen during an orgasm became an addiction that nothing else could match. Once again I was consumed by the quest to receive my current drug of choice. The situation is not something that most people would want to be in. although I had a monogamous relationship; it was with a girl that was three years younger than myself. I was nineteen at the time, Jenny was sixteen. There was no way that this relationship was legal, but I couldn’t give her up; I was addicted to her - to the sex. This relationship lasted ten months. Once that ten months was done, the sex was gone. Again I was able to feel.
Over the years whenever feelings came back, they would come back stronger than ever. Every time there would be a flood of emotions I was not use to dealing with. I felt I was falling. I was on fire. Once again I turned to drugs to put out this fire. This was the first time I ever binged on alcohol. I was drunk everyday for four months. I didn’t have a job or a car. I didn’t need one, I made money off buying alcohol and cigarettes for under-aged kids. Toward the end of the binge I made the decision that should have changed my life. I knew that I needed to get outside of my life to fix it. So, I moved to Albuquerque New Mexico.
Sometimes a change of scenery isn’t a change at all. With in a month of living in Albuquerque I was doing the exact same thing that I was doing at home in suburban California. This time however, a new drug found me. Cocaine, a powerful drug in any form. It drove me even deeper in to the rabbit hole. It took me so far that I hit rock bottom. alienating my friends and family. My entire life became the pursuit of my next line. When I hit rock bottom, it wasn’t a metaphor, it was my face going through a plate glass window and a gun to my head. It wasn’t a surprised that I ended up in this situation. A normal, sane person would prevent this situation from happening. But I’m an addict.
I was an abstinent addict for a year until last October, when Jenny died of a drug overdose. My first love died for the same reason that I was nearly killed. As fate would have it, my girlfriend at the time cheated on me, which made me feel worse than ever before. I felt I was falling. I was on fire again. I was more afraid of living than dying. However, I didn’t turn to drugs this time. I turned to friends that I should have turned to before. I learned that I was I the middle of an anxiety attack that would last 24 hour, it also put me in the hospital. Eventually that hospital visit lead me to the therapy I needed.
Now armed with knowledge of my disease and the tools to help myself I can finally say that I’m recovering. Finally I am able to show emotions and not fear weakness. I can say that I do have the soundness of mind and understanding of how my actions affect others and myself.