Tag Archives: Drugs

My Drug: Indifference

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My apartment sits above a restaurant with a tacky fake fire pit outside.  Every night, the light flickers and bounces off the tree by my window, and I think there’s a fire.  This routine started when the building next to me burned down and I developed a fear of crazy, irresponsible neighbors who play with fire.  The night it burned down, I was away, but I received several calls from people who saw the fire on TV and informed me with complete certainty that it was my building that had burned.  I learned that when faced with the possibility of losing all my stuff, I didn’t really give a shit.  I knew everything would be okay, and that as long as no one was hurt, I was thankful and at ease with it.  But at the same time, I really didn’t care.  I was crushed at the thought of losing my treasured copy of Anna Karenina, but nothing else seemed to matter.  Well, that’s not entirely true…terrible prospects flashed through my mind of firefighters investigating the rubble and finding signs of drug use.  I wasn’t sure what the protocol on that would be.  But I found myself putting on an act for the friends who called me in order to feign concerned about losing everything in my apartment.  I had reached the perfect level of detachment I had been seeking. 

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I had a tidal wave dream last night.  Those are the worst.  I don’t know much about dreams, but something in the meaning of those dreams seems inherently obvious.  The few times I’ve managed it, quitting drugs has opened the door to things I don’t want to face.  It’s daunting.  I crawl out of my skin with thoughts and emotions and memories, and it’s like I’ve forgotten how to be human.  Even good emotions are hard to accept, because I don’t quite know how to regulate them.  During those sporadic periods of sobriety, I reflect on how badly I occasionally let my addiction get out of hand, and I wonder how I could become so indifferent.  It’s more of a removed and temperate curiosity though, because the indifference hasn’t actually left.  Now that I’ve done such a good job of perfecting it, I want to let it go a little, test what happens if I let out some slack.  How to begin the process of unlearning detachment? 

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Catching My Breath

“I have made the big decision…I’m gonna try to nullify my life…”

 

You know what’s funny about junkies is, they are so completely predictable.  They isolate, self-medicate, lie, bow out of anything and everything meaningful, rarely answer a call higher than drugs, and are generally completely and entirely irresponsible.  You don’t let them baby-sit or house-sit.  You don’t loan them your car.  You pray they won’t call, since it’s probably a crack at securing money or a safe place to use.  You lose sleep if they don’t call.  You eye them when they’re in your house.  Most of the time, you lose touch with them, whether you mean to or not.

 

It’s amusing how at the first sign of any confrontation, a junkie can instantly transform into the busiest, most reliable, and impressively hardworking person on earth.  When a junkie is faced with the prospect of something like inpatient rehab, there is no one alive who can compete with a junkie for first prize in responsibility, reliability, obligation, a sense of duty, and a full calendar.  “But I have to work!  “People rely on me!”  “I have responsibilities!”  “I can’t pay bills if I leave.”  “My life would fall apart!”  And the ever-conventional: “I just need time.”  Not hard to read in between the lines of why they really don’t want to go.

 

Of course, any junkie already knows his/her life has fallen apart.  Junkies suck at paying bills; they find employment difficult or impossible; they do a piss-poor job of attending to people and things in their life, including themselves; and they have this magical ability to ruin everything they touch.  The reality is, no one needs a junkie around.  It’s worse than wasted space, because it’s just a drain. 

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I can’t stay on track.  Every time I make progress, I lose it.  It’s like trying to hold onto water.  I can do it for a while, but the whole time, the water keeps seeping through hidden cracks in my hands until I’m left clutching air.  I keep trying to go back to where everything went so amiss, but every time I think I reach the inception, I find my mistakes are rooted still more deeply.  This is where I am now: whether or not to do methadone.

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Last time I quit, I promised myself that if I landed here again, I would try it.  I’ve gone in circles so long that I’ve lost my bearings.  Conflicting thoughts about quitting are causing a raging battle inside my head that drowns everything else out.  Reasons for wanting to avoid methadone: inviting The Man into my life, potentially swapping one addiction for a less superior one, cost, and a lot of uncertainty.  I’ve been trying to learn about methadone, but I have so many questions.  I don’t know what it will be like to go down there every day.  I wouldn’t have a say in how much they give me, and what if I get a physician who decides to start lowering my dose quickly?  It seems there is always an introductory cutoff level, usually around 30 or 40 mg.  What if that’s not enough?  Even if it is, it doesn’t deliver the rush like smack.  Sure I could add some benzos or alcohol into the mix, but it’s not the same, and what if they test for those?  Reasons to give it a try: I’m feeling a little threadbare. I keep doing the same thing over and over, and the only thing that changes is that I feel a little more apathetic each go-around.  I need to distance myself from where I get drugs, and I don’t know any other way.  A lot to think about over the next few days.

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Ramblings

I needed to psych myself up for my appointment today, so I thought I would come on here and write a little.  I had good intentions.  Then I decided drinking, pills, and generous doses of daytime & nighttime cold medicine (always an interesting variable to any buzz) might be more effective, so I tried that out.  It worked reasonably well, but once again, I went through my counseling session a little foggy.  Holy shit, it was a nightmare.  It didn’t go well at all.  I think we were on completely different pages.

Now I’m home, and I’m so down.  I’m not sure why.  A lot of things were brought up during the meeting that I never wanted brought up.  So maybe I’m weak, and unable to keep secrets, and vulnerable to things that are so far removed from my daily life that they might as well belong to someone living in an alternate universe.  I don’t maintain boundaries very well, and I violated a boundary within myself that I’ve viewed as sacrosanct for the majority of my life.  No one touches it.  I don’t even touch it.  But I breached it today, and now I’m waiting for something along the lines of a lightning bolt from heaven to knock me over.  What does this mean for the future?  Maybe nothing as far as the whole therapy thing, but maybe everything in my own life.  How many times when we were kids did adults tell us…don’t pick old scabs.  Let them heal.  They can scar.  Leave them alone.  My kindergarten teacher must have said that to kids twice a day.  The lesson hasn’t changed.

I realized today that there is a word I have never said.  I’ve never even typed it.  Does anyone else have a word like that?  I figure everyone must.  I knew its meaning even before I knew the word, but it has been off-limits.  Say it to my face, and I will say, “Fuck you.”  Well, probably not, but I might think it.  The counselor said it in passing, and I wasn’t going to say that to him, obviously.  But I wasn’t prepared.  Couldn’t we have just talked about Christmas for an hour?

Then there’s the issue of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination today.  Grr.  Nothing like an opposition leader being assassinated to put piddley things into perspective.  Ah, yes, her government warned her against gathering publicly after she complained about their insufficient attempts at security…but maybe those insufficient attempts were more deliberate than they seemed…okay, I’m trailing.  Time to sign off, as I don’t want my blog to turn into a drunken rambling.

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Filed under Drinking, Drugs, My Life

Hanging In

I’m still holding out, but it’s getting so much harder.  Some moments bring reprieve, but most seem to amplify the frustration of trying to hang on to sobriety.  Grr.  It’s out of my system, but I have a long way to go before it’s out of my mind.  If I could take on sobriety with none of the associated shit, like stirred up emotions and physical paroxysms, I’d be completely gung-ho for it.  But therein lies the challenge.  How does anyone do it?  It’s a mystery.  Nothing is tiding me over adequately.  I mostly just think I’m cracking up, and the pain from every bump and bruise is excessively amplified.  I keep coming back to the obvious answer…duh, legalize smack…but maybe that’s asking for trouble. 

I sincerely admire anyone who’s kicked an addiction or bad habit of any sort and lived to tell about it.  So much of what life throws at us isn’t a choice, but addiction is a road that’s littered with choices along the way.  Those choices become increasingly entangled with desire, then compulsion, then force, until you risk losing yourself to the chink in your armor completely.  God give me the tools and know-how to repair this hole in myself.

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Fuuuck

Ha!  I blew it.  I debated about whether to post this, but I figure why not.  I won’t get it off my mind until I do.

Today was not a good day.  I was through withdrawals, and today was a counseling session, so I thought I was in like flint.  However, I got messed up beforehand on a brew of booze and substances…no heroin though.  No opiates of any kind.  Therefore, I thought I was doing quite well.  Never mind the fact that mentally, I was in a really dark place.  I was drowning, actually.  But I hadn’t relapsed, so I thought I was coasting on some grand path to realization.  I did, however, have a fantastic stash just sitting in the apartment tempting me with all of hell’s wrath.  I couldn’t bring myself to just get rid of it.  No way.  I might need it.

Round two: I got a ride to the counselor, feeling airy and blithe and indifferent to everything.  The counselor asked questions, and wouldn’t you know, I’m an easy target for straightforwardness when I get loopy.  I was candid and maybe a little frank, or maybe not.  It’s a little blurry.  I didn’t really care because I couldn’t be touched.  I was far removed from the earth, in a celestial realm called who-the-fuck-cares. 

Round three: I guess I could be touched.  Moments passed; my counselor was out of the room, then back with another counselor…both really sweet, genuine guys…and I nodded and agreed with everything they said.  I wasn’t just agreeing to be agreeable…I really saw things the same way.  At least, I think I did.  I had a hard time keeping my train of thought.  I watched their lips move to assist my brain in processing words and deciphering sentences.  Wait…did the second one just say he called the authorities?  Hmm.  Yep, my counselor’s expression seemed to verify what I had heard.  They were speaking quite clearly, but whether due to chemicals or shock (my guess is chemicals), it just wasn’t registering…I would have to go with them when they came?  Like now??  Surely they would give me an hour or two, maybe let me run home to take a shower and down a few beers and grab a six-pack for the journey.  I mean, that’s logical.

The Man came to escort me to the ER.  One of them explained standard procedure: handcuffs go on before departing the building, unless he could talk his partner into waiting until after we were out of the building.  Luckily, his partner was more benevolent, and perhaps after sizing up my 100 lbs, she said no handcuffs today.  I even sweet-talked them into letting me have a cigarette (a vice I succumb to during times of withdrawal), and I could tell their decision to indulge me was a begruding one.  That gave me some satisfaction.  I was still traveling in style through who-the-fuck-cares land, and I was feeling tremendous indifference to the whole situation.  I was being called a danger to myself, and I couldn’t disagree, but my more pressing concern was how I would succeed in maintaining my buzz for 72 hours.  Impossible.  Come on, how could they be so unfair as to deny me such a sacrosanct entitlement?

The ‘KO’ [thanks to Kevin Olsen for that one] came a few hours later, when I crashed.  I was in the guarded section of the ER, shivering and shaking, desperately trying to figure out how I could ask the guard to let me sneak out for a cigarette if I promised not to run.  I would even wear the breezy hospital gown as surety.  Maybe I could order a beer from the cafeteria.  I needed alcohol.  Surely between the two younger guards who were flirting with me, one of them would be willing to slip me some potent drugs.  There had to be a way around this…the reality of the situation grew beyond unsettling as it was compounded by increasing sobriety.  I tried various tactics on the nurses.  First I tried charm.  Then I tried reason.  Then I tried arguing my rights, which were apparently none at the moment.  These nurses were hardened veterans.

My primary goal was to convince the doctor and social worker that all was well, and I was safe to leave.  Unbelievably, I talked my way out of the 72-hour hold.  It took a healthy amount of deception and dishonesty.  However, I didn’t realize the social worker would call my counselor.  For this, I feel genuinely guilty.  I have no hard feelings, and it didn’t affect my trust.  However, I’ve worked hard to be honest with him, and now I’ve broken that.  I value honesty, but more importantly, my release from the hold was an implication that he either made a miscalculation or had the wrong idea.  It doesn’t sit well with me that I put him in a bad light.  If I could just be honest, I would tell him he did the right thing.  I’ll have to ponder that one.  However…for now, I’m just happy to be home.

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Gentle Sleep

Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing,

Beloved from pole to pole.

                             ~Samuel Taylor Coleridge

I slept in a bed last night for the first time in a long time…at least three weeks.  I mostly crash out on the floor or fold up into an armchair, and I wake up feeling substantially less than stellar.  I never stay asleep for long.  Most nights, I never formulate the intent of going to sleep.  My best method for konking out is heavy drinking, so I’ve been doing quite a bit of that lately in the evenings.  However, both alcohol and drugs have an annoying chemical rebound effect, so before I know it, I’m awake and restless.  Once the sun is up and I’m effectively exhausted, I can usually catch a good nap.  I sleep best around 8 or 9AM (just in time for work).  

Last night was divine.  I put on pajamas, grabbed Grover (my faithful and steadfast companion), crawled into bed, stretched out on the soft mattress, and pulled the covers up to my chin.  I didn’t know I felt so rundown, but once I was laying down, I suddenly became indescribably exhausted and weary, as if I hadn’t slept in a year.  I don’t think I’ve ever been that tired before.  I melted into the mattress and my eyelids became like lead.  My bed was fit for a royal palace, and I was so completely grateful for it.  It felt heavenly to stretch out and just relax.  I let my mind drift where it pleased, but it was emptied of thoughts and distractions; it simply was.  I soaked up every minute of the experience until I blissfully fell asleep moments later.

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The Big Plunge

I’ve been navigating the last several weeks with the attitude that my using has to come to an end.  I keep gearing myself up to feeling more and more ready, and each time, I tell myself that I’ve had enough and it’s not going to bring me any more satisfaction.  While I’m not in love with the idea of quitting, I do feel more ready than I think I ever have.  In the past, I’ve tended to quit impulsively, and then I feel cheated and pissed off because I didn’t have long enough to say my goodbyes.  There’s no promise that quitting will work this time, but I’m giving it my best shot.

I’m trying to pilot this crack at sobriety logically rather than emotionally.  I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting, writing (especially here), and weighing the benefits and drawbacks to a future without heroin.  This morning, my body was causing me a lot of grief.  I’ve consistently trashed it, and I’m worn out.  I’ve been warned about the damage I’ve done to my brain and heart.  I’ve damaged my bones, because unless I have someone looking out for me, I don’t eat.  How can I contribute meaningfully to the world when I can’t take care of myself?  My period stopped a long time ago.  I’m tired all the time to the point where I feel like I move about in a twilight world, but my sleeping habits are deplorable, and I can’t sleep more than an hour at a time.  I used to run 50 miles a week, and now I get tired just walking.  I’m embarrassed writing this, but that’s the ugly side of drugs.  I’ve overdosed in public and by myself, and it’s terrifying.  On Halloween I got to play up the heroin chic look :-) but most of the time,  I don’t like getting looks from people.  I miss wearing short sleeves.

Socially, I’ve dropped out of anything meaningful.  I don’t contribute to causes or volunteer my time.  I’ve quite playing music, which I ache to have back.  I’m past the point where I have to make excuses to friends, because most of them have stopped calling, and they get tired of me always getting fall-down trashed when we go out or having to leave two hours into the evening.  The ones who know get offended when I use in public.  I’ve gotten myself into a lot of dangerous and stupid situations, because I forfeit all control when I’m high.  I never feel lonely with drugs, but sometimes I realize how much I miss what I used to have.  I survived this semester, but I didn’t learn very much, because it was a blur.  I’ve screwed up so badly at work that I don’t know where to begin fixing things.

Reasons to keep using…?  Fuck dependence and withdrawal.  I want to be free of that cycle.  It’s Sunday.  I’m going to finish up the rest of my schoolwork today so that I just have to show up to turn my work in, and by Tuesday I’ll be done with school.  By Thursday when I go to counseling, I will hopefully be on the tail end of being sick.  I can generally get clean on my own if I really try, but I can never maintain it.  I hope counseling will help.  I’m resolved to get on methadone if I relapse, but for now, I’m going to try to save the $70 per week and put it toward counseling and groceries.

Anyway…thanks to all who have been such a support here.  Your encouragement has made all the difference in helping me to feel ready.

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Filed under Drugs, My Life