Semester Woes

This semester has been a bit tumultuous.  I slunk back to school after a long break (it’s been over two years with one failed attempt in between).  I jumped into the endeavor without any sensible precautions as to what I could reasonably take on.  It seemed like a breeze.  I was riding high on the fact that I had aced every test and paper, and it seemed perfectly manageable for a while.  To my shy embarrassment, I was the student my teachers were making exemplary examples of (although I was unintentionally acing some of their tests while on cocaine, for which I meekly apologize now).  I thought that if I could just keep going a little longer, I would have the semester successfully bagged.  I lost control a couple of weeks ago, and now I’m scrambling to keep my head afloat.  I hope I prove to be more bouyant than I feel.

I almost forgot to show up for a test when I was high.  Still moderately high, I walked in thirty minutes late and felt pressure to catch up so the rest of the class wouldn’t be waiting on me before all the tests were in and the lecture could begin.  I almost certainly set a new record for speed writing while on heroin.  [A word to the wise: if you find yourself taking a test while mentally compromised, use a pencil.  I did not.]  As it turned out, I flew through the damn thing and turned it in before half the class did.  I get that test back tomorrow.  It goes without saying that my hopes are gloomy.  I should rightfully be failed based simply on the number of times I scratched out my tell-all, ink-etched sentences and started over.

Tuesday is Judgment Day.  I have an hour-long presentation to give on a project that was assigned in early October, but that I’ve conveniently adjourned from my thoughts until this week.  Hmm.  It should be a disaster of colossal proportions, but in light of the worst case scenario, I’m game for offering my classmates an hour of spirited entertainment.

I seem to be at least the second generation in my family to embody this trend.  Well…I’ve dipped to new lows, but I’m not the first to dabble in scholastic debauchery.  My dad was the first that I know of.  He survived high school, college, and law school with perhaps the highest grades and lowest median average of sobriety of any student.  He was voted most outstanding senior by the junior class.  He was elected the head of a straight-laced and straight-faced pre-med fraternity that promptly became suspended after it rapidly deteriorated to the most scandalous party fraternity on campus.  To be fair, he put his nose to the grindstone in law school by working daily and attending classes nightly, but his weekends never lent themselves entirely to studying. 

The fundamental difference between my dad and I is that he was drinking then, and I’m doing drugs now.  However much I laugh at my situation, I cannot possibly continue for long like this.  Heroin and education are fundamentally opposed, not least because of the fact that I hardly remember portions of my life for the last two years.  Even if I continue to grasp course material, memorization is impossible, and I am therefore doomed to fail if I can’t quit.  I don’t think I will fail any classes this semester, which I consider that a bona fide miracle, but I can’t ask to get by on another semester of lucky breaks.  The question now is whether to enroll for any classes next semester or forget about school once again.



Filed under Drinking, Drugs, My Life

6 responses to “Semester Woes

  1. bottlecappie

    Hi – I always see your posts on the tag surfer, and I’ve been drawn in by your writing every time, very compelling, your tales of your life. I can relate to some of the situations you write about, but I won’t bore you with that here.

    I was just wondering – you sound ambivialent about your habit, and it seems like you ponder the inevitability of quitting, which I fully understand. (I wasn’t on heroin, but dilaudid took me to a bad place) Anyway, I didn’t stop by here to proselytize or anything, but I did wonder if you’ve heard of suboxone?

    I started it 30 days ago, and it’s nothing short of amazing. That’s all I’ll say, since I know exactly what I usually do with unsolicited advice, but god if I don’t wish that someone had told me about it a year ago.


  2. rhea

    You wouldn’t bore me. :) I’ve heard compelling things about suboxone. I don’t know as much about it as methadone, but I will look into it more. I have reservations about getting started on methadone, since despite hopes of quitting, I figure my tendency would be to hunt down some benzodiazepines and try shooting them together. From what I understand, suboxone contains naloxone, which counteracts the desired effect if you try to abuse it. I was given naloxone after an overdose, and I think it’s brilliant that it was added to suboxone to guard against abuse.

    I had forgotten about suboxone, so thanks for the reminder that it’s out there as an option for treatment. Do you take it through a physician or at a clinic? Thanks….

  3. bottlecappie

    I’m getting suboxone through a research study right now, but I’m switching to a suboxone drug-treatment program, and my prescriber will be a psychiatrist.

    I found the research study online, and chose that because it was free and would not become part of my medical records. The oral suboxone works great for me, but the study drug, Probuphine – a buprenorphine implant, kinda like Norplant, for junkies – either isn’t working or I got the placebo. So they’re keeping me comfortable with the suboxone until I can transfer into this other program.

    The naabt dot org website has a patient-doctor matching service, which is how I found the doctor I’ll be going to after the study.

    Methadone – I considered it, mostly because I liked using it when I could get it. It worked really well for controlling pain and was a big help when I was trying to wean myself off dilaudid. It seems like, at least in my area, suboxone is the favored treatment right now. It’s easier to get because any doctor who takes the 8 hr class can be a prescriber, no special clinics have to be involved.

    I hope you are hanging in there. It’s really hard, what you’re going through. My good friend got a hardship withdrawal from school because she went into treatment & she couldn’t make up all that she’d missed. Is that an option for you?

    A few months ago, I wouldn’t have believed that I could feel as well as I do right now. I have been on practically every psych drug on the market, and nothing has done for me what suboxone has in just a short time. Of course, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop – for it to stop working or my hair to fall out or something – but for now, I’m enjoying a much needed vacation from my insanity. It’s nice.

  4. rhea

    Hi Bottlecappie,

    It’s great that you got into a research program, and that it doesn’t go into your medical records. I can’t convince myself that it’s a good idea to voluntarily walk into a state-run clinic and hand over proof of drug abuse that could follow me forever. I went to a counselor the other day, and he brought up the subject of methadone. I promised I would call the numbers he gave me, which I did, but I’m still undecided. If I do pursue medical treatment, I would feel more comfortable with suboxone, but it’s a big decision.

    I think I will get through this semester with adequate grades. If I feel I can’t, then I would be comfortable about approaching my teachers and explaining the situation. Some teachers can be quite unforgiving, but this semester I have very understanding teachers. Lucky for me. :-)

    I’m glad you’re feeling so well. I think I read something about how suboxone is awaiting FDA approval as a treatment for addiction (maybe I’m wrong about that), but once it does, it will become much easier for addicts to access it and for physicans to prescribe it? It seems like it has potential to help a lot of people. I’m glad it’s working well for you. From what I’ve read, it’s suitable for long-term use, and there is no reason the other shoe would drop on you.

  5. zone91

    Ray, I think you’re on the right track, too. I don’t know a thing about these drugs but you’re not too far in that you can’t quit. EAsier said than done, I realize. And yeah, tell your teachers about the situation, and if you have to go for treatment and sipskip a semester for a wile, then do that. IT’s worth it, and you’ll have a higher chance of getting ahead instead of dropping behind under the drugs.

  6. Just browsing the internet. You have a very, very interesting blog.

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