One night, one of those endlessly long but incredibly rapid torturous evenings, after the blow ran out, I was reading “trip reports” on Erowid.org (a great site for rather-more-realistic portrayals of what “recreational” drug use is like, for pretty much every drug you can think of, in pretty near every possible combination you can think of, and many you haven’t, as well as medical and legal info on each drug and various other research) about cocaine addiction, hoping I’d find something to give me hope. I didn’t. And this was before I even ever was tricked into smoking crack or had tried meth (on purpose, not counting the powder I’d certainly gotten that was heavily stepped on with crystal and/or crank during my period of heavy use)…
I remember reading an article on the ecological, political, and inhuman implications of the production of cocaine and crack – how it is harvested by people who are basically (and often literally) enslaved, they’re forcibly caused to become addicted to heroin so that they can be worked these incredibly horrible hours bent over these low coca bushes at grows hidden out in the jungle, and then force-marched at gunpoint back to the processing location with these huge loads of coca leaves all night long (I guess so that planes can’t see them by flying overhead – the western world puts a lot of pressure on south-central and south american countries to make a show of coming down hard on the cartels).
How they extract the cocaine alkaloid with gasoline so that it can be consumed without the traditional whatever (betel leaf or ashes or something get chewed at the same time as the coca leaves by the aboriginals to release the alkaloid to get its stimulant properties – too tired to go re-read Wikipedia or Erowid right now).
How basically these locals, now slaves, are in very similar positions to the locals in Burma or Sudan or wherever they mine conflict jewels. It made me feel REALLY BAD about my habit… but then again, I was way too far in, even then, to have any real idea of how I might be able to get myself to stop. In my despair, and my desperation to express the yawning void I kept seeing widen beneath me as I kept falling, and falling, needing more and more stimulants all the time to keep myself from going insane, I decided to write my own trip report. It’s never actually been approved for listing among the trip reports, but it was listed in the database so, at one point when I did my yearly search for my name on Google, the database item on their site popped up.
I’d forgotten, completely, about the poem. I had forgotten that night, I have forgotten more than I can imagine, since that time – I’m not sure whether I’d really want to remember most of it, but it’s still disturbing to know that almost a decade went by without me really being present (except as a vampire or leech in regard to the people around me) for almost all of it.
Anyway, I wanted to share, since it sums up the point when I realized that I was no longer going up, the fall had begun, and there was no way to know how long the way down was, or how hard I’d crash.
Dancing with the White Bitch
powdered petroleum crushed blood diamonds
glitter stories of jungle backpacks at nightfall by gunpoint
infinitesimal indiscernable indiscriminating
illogical disinhibitory shards,
they dis-integrate like beatnik cut-up reels
on a powdery cream clean tile bathroom
floor, spattered with the inevitable crimson transparent
she smile so pretty
can’t help denying the
meaning o’ them sharpened
she eat you
with them hungry
ground crystal eyes
promising a taste of every passion
– and OH does she DELIVER!
a taste, a neverending
to more, to more
until the impeccably polished
proofs record each trail of her wistful
wishful fingers, torn red
stains upon your soul
If I’d known then how far I would fall, how hard I would crash (over and over and over), I am 99.999% certain I would have swiftly located a fast moving bus or mack truck to throw myself in front of without the driver being able to avoid it. Now that I’m past it, I’m very glad to have a chance to try again, to re-learn what it is to be alive, to slowly come back to experiencing joy (I’m loving the sunshine of summer so far, which rocks!) and hopefully to convey both a sense of empathy to those still caught up in that horrible downward spiral – that I do really get what it’s like in that non-stop fall – but also to pass on a message that there is, indeed, life after drugs – as long as I/we don’t ever stop actively seeking it out.
Not everyone has to become a filthy junkie whore like I did before I realized that I had to just STOP, some do, but not all. And those who do get out, many do it on their own, some get into religion/spirituality… I myself did the 12-step thing for a couple years, which helped some (gave me hope and several varying periods of abstinence) quit that, recently I’ve been working on some of the free material available on smartrecovery.org and reading books on well-researched psychological methods (CBT, REBT, ACT, DBT, etc – I have several lifelong mental health issues besides addiction so that’s been helpful) and thinking about starting a local recovery writer’s group.