Merry Christmas to all once again!!! As some of you noticed, I thanked those of you who have been so helpful with my project in my previous post this morning. So I received some amazing and well-needed criticism from the #WritingCommunity’s own @NirakSyu, Karin and @bookauthor_56, Vickie Hughes!!! (Thank you two so much)
Of course this is NOT in any way a final draft, but I was able to hopefully structure my book in a more interesting manner. Hopefully not a way that is doesn’t seem too long. Initially I kept my book at 10 chapters but I’m going to start breaking everything down so its easier to handle! With that being said, my chapter one is also much different and was broken down into two chapters because of its initial length.
Please provide harsh feedback I will NOT GET OFFENDED. In fact you’re helping in a manner that is so amazing and I could never repay those who actually take the time to read my work!!
THANK YOU AND GOOD NIGHT
At some point addicts admit to themselves that they indeed have a problem. Some later than others, and few actually work on their issue to find a solution. Me? I didn’t realize I had a problem until I found myself spending almost double on pills so that my dealer would hopefully drive half hour to my job. I began noticing my own physical changes but it wasn’t to an extent where I’d feel the need to quit my habit of substance abuse.
I confessed to Lily that I was addicted to percs way before I even thought about cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, Xanax, kpins, etc. Even before our struggles truly began. Since my daily habit began to affect my performance at work so I assumed that quitting pills cold turkey would be easy. I didn’t see it as an addiction, I saw my dependence as an intense preference. Plus I strongly believed that I was unbelievably mentally tough so the mental aspect of addiction would be easy for me to withstand. Me mentally tough? That’s funny, I’m the same person who’d sob after any miscommunication with Lily. Aside from being a mentally and emotionally fragile person, I wasn’t aware of the hell behind physical withdrawals at all. That didn’t matter though.
Percocets, oxy, hydro, etc. If it ended with “condone”, my love for it was undeniable. In my mind I wasn’t addicted, I just loved the type of drug I had gotten into. From that one pill and that amazing feeling that came right after, chasing that demon was all I wanted to do. I never fully experienced withdrawals so this whole idea of “being addicted” and being controlled by drugs was laughable to me.
As much as I didn’t want to notice, I finally had to. Why am I getting mad so easily? Why is it that my body shakes really bad, I start to sweat profusely and I can’t stay still for the life of me until I pop a few pills? Is the love of my life really that upset that I haven’t given her much attention today? No, she’s not like that. She loves making me feel happy, she’d never make me feel mad or sick… well I hope not. Those “rumors” of addiction I refused to believe began making more and more sense until I finally needed someone to talk to. I can’t keep this to myself anymore, but who can I trust? I have my part-time friend Billy but can he keep his mouth shut and actually be a friend? Maybe but I’m not taking risks. Huh, I DO have a girlfriend… But I don’t want her to be mad at me, judge me then leave me. No, I shouldn’t think that way. She’s not like that… I have to tell her. I need to come clean.
To be completely honest, I remember that specific night like it was yesterday. I felt so guilty for lying to my Lily about my minor addiction that I finally confessed to her. No matter how much I denied the idea that I was an addict, it was time I faced the truth. I am a drug addict. Not as bad as others but I’m still an addict. Deep down I felt that because I only popped pills, my addiction wasn’t as severe as being addicted to heroin so I laughed at the idea that I would struggle with addiction. Before truly grasping the reality that my addiction was so much more serious than anticipated, I became aware of that idea that the worst of any withdrawal symptoms I’d face would be over after 72 hours. Commonly referred to as ”3 days.” With that being said, I had high hopes that this little issue would be temporary. Funny.
My one true love who I chased none stop, was only going to hurt me in the end. But Lily, with her promises to stand my side, faithfully accepted my fate the way I should have;
> I’m so proud of you for coming clean. I know it’s not easy but I’ll be here for you until you get clean.
That meant the world to me. It would have never processed in my mind that I was years away from actually getting clean. In fact, I was completely unaware that I would lose everything from chasing my demon. If I was told that I’d be responsible formy own failings and the hardships Lily and I faced as a couple, I would’ve laughed it off and applauded you for the creativity. Even though I was quickly losing control of my ever-growing demon, I still felt invincible.
I constantly promised that I’d never commit any crimes to feed my addiction and I’d never sniff anything or pump narcotics into my veins. I promised that I’d stay away from the hard drugs. I even talked down on the kind of addict I would eventually become. Wishing the worst upon their very lives. I truly believed that I was unique and that I was fully capable of controlling my actions.
It’s not at all humorous but I find it ironic that I basically foreshadowed my life for the next 6 years and I didn’t just ruin my life, I ruined Lily’s life in the process. For that, I will never forgive myself, and I will always consider myself the word I hate the most. A “junkie”.
As addicts we forget about the importance of acceptance. Specifically, accepting the decision we made to poison our bodies with the drug we love the most which is what put us in this shitty predicament. If I knew that I’d be an addict for the rest of my life then I’d have stuck to the straight edge life I always preached about.
Unfortunately, life does not work that way so now I have to grow and learn from this experience. More importantly, I have to keep my chin up. I’m still likely to relapse and only God knows the hundreds of times I have already because, in all honesty, it’s too much for me to count.
> “3 days… just give me three days, that’s all I need to kick my habit.”
Was it true? Probably, just not for me. I kept that ridiculous idea in mind until I finally decided that it was time to stop doing drugs for a while. Forever? Absolutely not. I had finally found the love of my life and I am never letting go. We just need a short break.
I became obsessed with the idea that 3 days was all it took for me to supposedly get clean. No matter how unrealistic it sounded I quickly began to strongly believe it. I’d always tell myself, that it’ll only be 3 days of suffering which was something I thought could easily handle. Besides, at the time it seemed like days were moving so fast, I had no idea that when you go through withdrawals time drastically slows down. I eventually forgot how idiotic the idea of a whole addiction subsiding after 3 days sounded and would confidently give myself pep talks about being mentally tough and it would be easy for me.
> ” It’s only 3 days, I’ll easily quit doing percs and I’ll be back to my normal self! There’s no way I’d let myself stay addicted forever like some people.”
With that being said at one point I really did quit opiates. Not my drug habit but I was clean from pills before I had transitioned to dope. I traded out one addiction for a minor habit. I began sniffing coke and for a whole 3 months and I had not even thought about percs because of that one traumatizing experience. From time to time I still think about my first and worst experience with withdrawals.
My love and passion, Percocet’s, why would she do that to me? After only 24 hours of me trying to break up with her she punished me with so much pain. I was completely oblivious to the pain she’d put me through and it broke my heart knowing she’d do this to me. Not only mental but physical punishments as well. All I needed was to actually experience the full wrath of opiate withdrawals, which scared me straight. For a bit at least. Those first few days of excruciating body and stomach pain, explosive diarrhea, throwing up and crazy shaking leg syndrome. I was even sweating through my clothes and blankets but I felt so cold. I could barely walk, I couldn’t stop crying and I felt like I was trapped inside my own body. The fact that I had just lost my job was the only reason why I even made that decision to quit.
Like I said even with that being my first time to go through withdrawals, I was only told of what I would go through. Of course, major details were left out but I thought it to be a walk in the park. Before attempting my first time actually ”quitting” opiates I bought Xanax to keep me asleep for most of the experience and I bought weed to reduce the pain and help me focus on something else. I told Lily of my decision and she was fully supportive. Even she believed that “3 days” is all it would take for me to detox myself off of opiates. Lily was so cute, she’d give me little pep talks about how after those 3 days I’d behealthy once again and that she was so proud of me for making the decision to quit. Little did Lily know, she would see the absolute worst of me. You see, she had never seen me weak nor throwing up nor seen me cry from the pain I experienced. To her I was perfect and as much as I thought it, she also thought that I was unbelievably tough, that nothing could tear me down.
That image we both had of myself was destroyed in one night. Imagine trying to fall asleep at 11 and by 12 you begin to suffer from the worst flu-like symptoms ever known to man. It all started with an excruciating stomach pain which caused me to almost throw up all over myself. Luckily I managed to make it to the toilet and at that point my living nightmare began. That night Lily tried so hard to console me;
> Babe what can I do to help you? Should I hold you? Do you want me to make you soup?
Her innocent attempts to hopefully make me feel better meant the world to me but I had to be realistic. I had to save her from the hell of tending to me so I’d tell her;
> “Babe I did this to myself, you have work really early you need sleep.”
I convinced her to go back to bed but my ridiculously loud hollers and cries of pain kept her up whether I wanted her by my side or not. Even when I switched rooms, we both were up.
The next day came and I was left alone. I had heard of the methadone clinic before and decided I needed to pay a visit so the seemingly impossible task began. I tried with all my might to get dressed because getting in a shower was not even an option for me. I managed to look in the mirror and was truly frightened at what I had seen. I was a completely different shade, I was all sweaty and my face looked flushed.
> ”I can’t do this alone… I need help”
Before I take off, I call Lily in the hopes that she could hopefully leave work to help me get to the clinic but she reminds me that her manager, Wanda, wouldn’t just let her leave. See, Wanda was my old manager from when I worked at that given bank. I got Lily that job so I was already aware of how strict Wanda was.
> ”Okay well I guess I’m on my own”
I think to myself as I begin this unbearable journey to the methadone clinic. As I commence my walk down the stairs my legs give out and I plummet all the way to the lowermost step. If I was feeling myself I would’ve laughed it off but because pain is multiplied by 100 when you’re going through withdrawals, I sobbed again and laid there like an animal who was just ran over by a truck. After giving myself the “getup bitch” speech I manage to pick myself up and get in my car and struggle to drive myself to the clinic.
I go on to hit two cars on the way there. Fortunately, I wasn’t chased and the damage was minimal so my car was drivable. Of course, I wish I pulled over and admitted guilt but the physical state I was in would’ve left the victims with the same reaction. They were hit by a sick junkie.
After finally signing myself up and taking a drug test was required to make a payment because I didn’t have health insurance due to my recent unemployment.
> “Whatever I’ll pay the fee”
I thought as I was desperate for treatment. I could barely stand still because of the body pain so I’d dance around off one leg to the other trying to relieve the pain in my legs and back. They ladies that worked in the office noticed my distress and decided to warn me of the issue I had. First one being that they had to wait for my drug test to come in before they could let me meet with the doctor. On top of that they wouldn’t even be able to treat me until the following Tuesday because doctors only show up twice a week.
I don’t know how much more disappointment my heart could take but once again my heart dropped to the acids in my stomach. It was a Friday and the thought of dealing with that pain for 4 days was very unnerving for me. I was already trying to last those initial 3 days, but a 4th? No, I’m not doing it. On top of that, they wanted me to stay clean until that given day which something I was not willing to do. I quietly have a panic attack from the thought of having to suffer for not 3 but 4 days. What was I supposed to tell Lily? I couldn’t do it. I had no other options, I had to give up and buy some pills. I had barely lasted a day and I already gave up. I thought I would be strong enough to face my demon but she overpowered me and made me look like a bitch in front of Lily and anyone else who had seen me that day.
At that point I leave and I call my dealer and decide to get some pills to hold me over until I decide what I can do. On the way to my dealer I get into another accident in which I wasn’t able to drive away and had to suffer through another hour of excruciating pain because I actually had to exchange information with this victim. Finally, the time comes. I yearned for the feeling of satisfaction and for my suffering to gradually fade. Sometimes it felt as if the misery was worth the wait because the pleasure I’d experience after was unbelievably gratifying.
The second I had those pills in my hand I anxiously swallowed them and desperately waited for them to take effect. The “love” of my life convinced me to come running back to her like a little puppy, and she welcomed me back with open arms.
> “Why don’t you try sniffing dope? It’s a lot cheaper and gets you way higher that 6 perc 30s ever will.”
My dealer who had recently transitioned from sniffing pills to sniffing dope recommended as he prepared himself a line of fentanyl.
Just a friendly reminder to all, although I had just lost my job and had wasted most of my savings on percs, I still stood tall on my pedestal.
> “It’s just percs, who doesn’t do percs? But heroin? I’d quit percs before I resort to dope”
I thought to myself. Although deep down a curiosity to see if that’s true began to cultivate.
> “I’m good.”
He later suggests suboxones. Suboxone’s are a synthetic opiate which is used during the recovery process. But like every other drug, it can be abused and used to sell which is the habituated for the opposite of it’s purpose. Comprehending that, I decided that it would be good to have just in case I ever get put in that predicament. He sells me a few and explains how to use them. A month after that horrendous experience, and even more money wasted on pills, I try to quit pills again. With the help of those suboxones of course.
> “I can never let my baby see me that weak again, what kind of a man am I.”
After using suboxines to successfully trade opiates for cocaine, things began looking up for me. I did it, I kicked my addiction!
Again, that first time quitting only lasted 3 months and in those three months, I developed a temporary taste for cocaine. I quickly learned that quitting on my own was impossible without a little help. Cocaine wasn’t the help I needed and I knew that but didn’t want to admit that yet. Those next 3 months I used any money I had on cocaine and began to use coke the same way I’d take pills.
Even after my first experience with withdrawals, I would make every possible excuse as to why I couldn’t go to rehab for so long. Throughout the duration that I was popping pills, there was the breakout of fake pills where people would replace Percocets with fentanyl with the primary goal being, having their clientele develop a robust addiction for their product rather than their competitor’s product. I would unknowingly take those pills which would pull me deeper into the curiosity for fentanyl. While pushing me towards withdrawals a lot quicker.
For the first half of my addiction to pills before I had experienced that initial hell, I was completely unaware that I was even going through withdrawals. I just assumed that I was having a bad night when Id have shaken leg syndrome or when I couldn’t sleep. Then eventually I would only take perks in the mornings because if I took them at night then I wouldn’t sleep all night which I thought was just a minor side effect of doing the pills but little did I know I was finally addicted. I was sweating at work, Id have horrible allergies all day and have bad diarrhea and crazy cravings for pills until I bought my next few pills to hold me throughout the next day. When experiencing these withdrawals, I would turn so pale and sweaty that whenever my mother or my manager would see me, I’d tell them it’s probably the flu.
Again fast forward back to my dealer telling me that I’m most likely addicted and going through withdrawals, I had become aware of my crisis being more than just a ”habit.” I knew needed to finally accept that I was an addict.
> “I’ll just buy some suboxones and stay clean for three days, that should kick my habit”
I would constantly tell myself this to avoid taking the necessary steps to get clean. I’d use that line and convince my beautiful extraordinary girlfriend Lily to give me money to buy a suboxone or two in the hopes that I actually follow my plan. For whatever reason, even after figuring out that even with enough suboxone to last me a week, 3 days wasn’t the extent of withdrawals. I’d only fully come to understand that after I’d try to quit years after my transition to dope.
I’d convince certain dealers and friends to go out of their way to find me and buy me suboxones with the same empty promise I told my girl,
> “I’ll pay you back, you know I’m good for it.”
In reality, the only thing I was good for at that point was buying and sniffing drugs anywhere I could. I can’t even count the times I’ve told my girl,
> “Baby I’m gonna try quitting this week so please understand if I’m sick or in a bad mood.”
That empty promise to stay clean gave her so much false hope that I needed to keep that lie going so that she would be as close to happy as she could possibly be while being in a growing abusive and toxic relationship with someone who did not want to change.
When you’re an addict, you’re most painful yet effective weapon is false promises. False promises goes hand in hand with lying because it’s essentially the same thing. Lying is something you do regularly to avoid getting in trouble or to fulfill whatever hidden agenda you have. False promises though. These are used to break the spirit of those you hold closely. Whenever I’d make a false promise, I usually had every intention of fulfilling it but deep down I knew my addict tendencies always get in the way.
I can’t remember how many times I tried to quit opiates without getting real help from professionals. As you know my addiction began with an unhealthy lustful and desire for pills. I’d take percs at home, at school (when I attended college), at work (when I worked at the bank), even at home in front of my son, in the bathroom in between domino games with my love Lily and our friends, even right next to Lily as she slept soundly. My decisions to “quit” always started with me telling myself
> “Okay this is my last batch so I gotta enjoy it.”
From trying to quit pain pills to cocaine and eventually harder opiates, that phrase quickly became my most told lie aside from,
> “No I didn’t take your money babe, I promise.”
As unintentional as my lie was, that’s the only way to define something that you know isn’t true. I had every intention of getting clean but something that required me to not be sick from opiate withdrawals always came up.
My parents want me over for dinner, I have to use.
Damn I have an interview, I’ll use one more time.
My friends want to play dominos with Lily and I. Okay give me one second I’ll be back. I need my dose of opiates.
I just didn’t want anyone seeing me go through the excruciating pain caused by withdrawals that I would manage to prevent. I’d even stay in bed for days at a time, no eating, drinking, showers, nothing. If I had to work, same thing, I wouldn’t eat and I wouldn’t shower.
I needed to accept that I can’t face this alone.
I needed to accept that I wouldn’t make it alone.