A conversation with myself, as written by an addict:
From the start of the day until the end of the day the only thing I can focus on is being high, or chasing that feeling. Using everything you could think of to justify sticking the needle in your arm over and over again. The first thought in my head when I would wake up, was when and how I was going to get my next fix?
“How was I going to pay for it? Who has better quality? The last supply I got did not have the same effect. Does that mean I need more? Or maybe I got ripped off? Should I test it when I buy it? Maybe I should find a new dealer. I should have a backup anyway just in case mine gets arrested. What happens if I show up and my dealer is dead? Good point Mike. Definitely get a backup, maybe two or three.
How do I continue to hide this from friends and family? I am out of money. I can’t ask anyone for it unless I tell them. But if I told them they would try to stop me. No, no Mike, they will not understand. They will tell you that you need help. They will tell you what you are doing is wrong. You do not need help. You are happy. Well as long as you stay high any way. Mental note – always stay high. Ok but that doesn’t solve my money problem. Maybe my dealer will loan it to me? Maybe I can offer to deal for him. Yes that could work. But what would I deal? I can’t deal Ice. I will just use it all. Pot? Pot, I can deal pot.
Should I get the same amount as last time? Maybe I will buy more just in case I need it. Was that a purple elephant? Where the fuck did that come from? I love elephants. I have never seen a purple one before. Man I am tired. When will I sleep? Sleep is important. But if I’m sleeping I can’t be high. I need to get high so I don’t fall asleep. If I fall asleep I won’t make it work. Where is my needle? Quick lock the door before someone comes in. Ahhhhh relief.
Am I hungry? Yes. I should eat. I need to eat to survive. But if I eat it will take time away from getting my next fix. If I get high I won’t be hungry any more. Fuck it I’ll get high instead. Where is my needle? Ok I am not hungry now. What should I do now? Maybe I will just walk around. Put your game face on. Look composed. No one can know you are high. What if they ask why I am so fidgety? ADD. That’s what I will tell them. They will fall for it.
What if I get caught buying drugs? I don’t want to go to jail. Wait. Maybe I can buy pills from my friends. ADD drugs can give me the same effect. I already told everyone I am ADD so they won’t question it. What if they ask why I do not have a prescription? Hmmmmm… No medical insurance. Perfect plan. “Shut the fuck up.” Stupid birds are affecting my thinking. They are strange looking birds. They do not have feathers. Am I in some kind of weird zoo? Mike, focus, you are coming down. Think about where your needle is. If you come down it will hurt. I don’t want to feel that pain. I would rather die than feel that pain.
Where are all my friends? They don’t talk to me anymore. I am lonely. Ice is my friend though. Ice will never leave me. When I am said he picks me up. Thank you Ice. You are a good friend. But Ice can’t talk to me. I could use some conversation. If I start talking to people they may realize I am high. I can’t have that. They will try to take Ice. Without him I will be in pain. I do not like pain. What is that guy looking at? Has he never seen another person before? Is there something on my face? (Gazes in to a mirror). Who the fuck installed a trick mirror in the bathroom? And who is the fake reflection? They chose an ugly man for this cruel joke. He should eat. Maybe someone should tell him he is too skinny. Hey look the elephant has a baby. Awe how cute. Purple just like mom.
If I close my eyes maybe I will fall asleep. No. No. No. That never works. I need something to help. Beer. Beer works. Beer and Ice fight though. That hurts. But it’s been a few days since I have slept. I need sleep. No Mike you can’t sleep. Remember the nightmares? Do you really want to have nightmares? No. You must get high. Shit I ran out. To the dealer.
Wait. Which house is my dealer’s? Am I on the right block? When did they build new houses? Man I am having trouble walking. Focus Mike. You need more of me before I wear off. That house. That is his house. Who is that on the couch Mike? Why is he looking at you? Ask him. Ask him. ASK HIM. What if he is here to arrest you? What if he is here to kill you? Where is your knife? Take your knife out. Show him you are not scared. What if he has a gun? Maybe I should just leave. No, you can’t. You need more Ice.
Ok this should be enough for a few days. Let’s go home. Wait. Where is home? I will just follow the purple elephant. Elephants never forget. Should I name the else… wait, what were we doing again? Oh, yes, we were going home. I think I am going to sit down for a few minutes. I need to rest. I can’t rest too long though. I need to get home. The ground is cold. I will close my eyes. Only for a few seconds though. WAKE UP! MIKE WAKE UP! I am getting weak. I need you to feed me. Why do my knuckles hurt? Did I break them? Why are they covered in blood? What did you do while I was sleeping? Wait, how did I get home?
The guy on the couch. I knew you shouldn’t have trusted him. He probably abducted you and questioned you. When he was done he dropped you off at home. CIA. They are animals I tell you. You should warn your dealer. Wait? What if he arrested your dealer? You didn’t get a backup yet. What day is it? How long have I been sleeping? When did I make my bed? I was sleeping wasn’t I? I can remember. Tell me what happened. Fuck my knuckles hurt. If I go to the hospital they will lock me up. I’ll just take more Ice.
I can’t do this anymore. I am tired. I am weak. You need to leave me alone. But I am your friend. NO! Go away. You are not my friend. SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU STUPID ELEPHANT!!! Did you paint the elephant? He is yellow. Wasn’t the elephant female? Fuck, I can’t remember. See what you do to me. I can’t remember anything. But without you I hurt. I hurt real bad. But I need you to go away. I should ask for help. They say there are people that can make you go away. I am hungry. I have no food. Can you make me not hungry anymore? Then I can sleep. No, you are right, I can’t sleep. The nightmares. I can’t handle the nightmares anymore. Where is my needle? Just a little more. Then I will ask for help. I am the only one that wants to help you Mike. I am your best friend. Without me you are nothing. Where is your family? Where are your friends? Your boss fired you. You have no money. You sold almost everything you own. And guess what? I am still here. I am the only one who has ever been here for you. You need me. Fuck you are right. Where is my needle? I don’t want to be alone. You can stay.
Who are you? Yes I am Mike but who are you? What do you mean you want to help? I am fine. No I am not tired. No I am not hungry. Who are you calling skinny? Fuck you. I don’t even know who you are. Just leave. I am hanging out with my boy. Are you blind? He is sitting on the back of my elephant. Right there you moron. You can’t see the elephant either? This guy thinks I am crazy. Make the elephant make noise. Hey, back me up. Tell him I am not crazy. Talk to him. Wait!! Where are you taking my Ice? I need that. It hurts without that. You can take the pain away? Do you promise? But he is my best friend. I am going to miss him. But I am tired. I am hungry. I miss my family. Can you take me home? What do you mean I am home? Is my stomach ripped open? What do you mean I did that? My nails aren’t sharp. You must have done that. I thought you were going to help me. Instead you hurt me. I am scared. Someone please help me. Anyone? Please? Which one of you can help? I can’t do this anymore. Where did you go? I thought you were going to help. You have to help before he comes back. He is stronger then you. He won’t let you take me. Quick here he comes. Where is my needle? He gets mad when I don’t have my needle. He is dangerous mad. You do not want to be around when he is mad. He cares about no one but himself and his needle. He scares me. I need to listen to him. If he goes away I will hurt. I do not want to hurt anymore.
I am broken. They said it is your fault. They said you are the reason why I hurt. Why did you lie to me all these years? They are here to help me. No leave them alone. I do not want to hurt anymore. I know you can fix me. Yes you have done a very good job. But they are telling me that you are bad for me. I can’t think. Make them be quiet. I need to decide what is best. You have always helped. What if they are lying? I know what my life is like with you. You take away my hurt. They are lying. You are right. They aren’t here to help me. If they wanted to help me they would understand that I need you in my life, that you are my only friend. Without you I hurt. I do not like hurting. Promise to take away my hurt forever? You really are my best friend. Come, bring my needle. I will get rid of these people so we can go back to normal. They scare me anyway. They want me to hurt. Fuck them.”
This was right before I finally asked for help. What I didn’t tell you is that I never left the corner of my room. All of the above was in my head. I sat there crying. Hitting things, scratching myself, hurting myself. I kept falling asleep and waking up, choking on my own vomit, surrounded by a pile of empty beer bottles. Begging and pleading for my drugs. Or so I am told. The only thing I remember is what was in my head. I replayed every day over and over again. All of the above happened to me, my paranoia was just playing it over and over again like a movie. The voices were real. The hallucinations were real. The fear was ruthless. Not using was worse than dying. That is what you tell yourself every day. Those were my days. They were the only things I knew. Paranoia and drugs. No sleep, no food. I lived that way for years. My roommate became complacent. He was used to ignoring me. Used to checking my pulse. Used to making sure I was breathing when I was passed out.
So why don’t we stop? Fear. Fear of the pain we wanted to hide when we started using. Fear of the pain of withdraw. Fear that no one cares anymore. Fear that you are crazy. Fear that you can’t get back all you lost. Fear is the reason we can’t stop. I overcame that fear. I did have a lot of friends and family. They wanted nothing more but to help me. I just wish I did not have to look death in the eyes to realize that. They stood by me while I got sober. Staying clean is a constant battle. Never does a day go by that I do not wake up and yell at my addiction. It is a part of me that is permanent. The voice never goes away. When life gets tough the voice gets louder. Sometimes it is so strong I can’t help but obey it. Then I start all over. Addiction is not a choice. It is a disease. There is no cure, but there is hope. I am just happy I realized that before it was too late.
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