mind of illness: a d d i c t i o n

If I’m being completely honest, drugs are the only reason why I haven’t killed myself. I’ve lived these past 6+ years as a junkie and I’ve come to accept who I am and who I will be for the rest of my life. When you’re an addict you gotta own that shit, because if you don’t, you’ll spend your remaining days lying to everyone you love and more importantly, you’ll be lying to yourself. Whenever I lay down and reminisce on what my life was before I allowed addiction to take over, I remember the feeling of genuine happiness. Yeah I’ve been happy since then, but it’s becoming more and more distant the deeper I walk this path.

I’ve been pursuing the path of recovery for almost 2 years now, and although I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it only feels like it gets father the closer I get. No matter how long I manage to stay clean, this is where the real addiction begins. It becomes a battle; a fight to see if I can die sober before I relapse…

Or if I relapse and start all over.

Sometimes I hear the whispers of my demon telling me;

“Once you give in to me, you’ll never get this far again.. just do it, one more taste! You know you miss it, baby…”

And she’s right, I do miss it. The taste of my favorite drug in the back of my throat is what kept me alive for so long.. My life has turned to shit, but I don’t know… I’m tired of feeling like the highs can’t balance out the lows. At one point they did, drugs were the missing ingredient to managing my emotions and my life, but after a while it does nothing. You become addicted to the process of using rather than actually using.

The thought of seeing my dealer, seeing a full bag of drugs, and tasting it behind my throat. The high itself though? My tolerance got to the point where I felt nothing, almost as if I wasn’t even using to begin with. It had become a necessity to avoid going through the withdrawals. Similar to hydrating your body, it becomes a source of nutrients. One that I couldn’t function without.

You’re not a piece of shit because you’re a drug addict, which is a common misconception. We all have our vices, and for those of us who just happened to use one day, got hooked right away because luck wasn’t on our side. It’s not whether or not we have the will power to avoid getting addicted, and it’s not because we’re weak minded. Our people were given drugs years ago as a means to nullify us, to control us, our “masters” put drugs in our ancestors’ hands thus plaguing our communities and our streets.

It’s the other way around, being a drug addict is what makes you “a piece of shit,” being a drug addict is what changes us as people. Pursuing that high and keeping that “by any means necessary” mentality to get that fix, is what corrupts those of us who are addicted. And when you start doing something you wouldn’t have done when you’re sober, you live with the idea that you are unforgivable. Not because someone told you that you’re unforgivable, but because you have certain standards and drew a line that you wouldn’t cross when you were sober; actually crossing that line is what makes you judge yourself for making that mistake.

An addict lives in a world where they isolate themselves and believes that any wrong they do is the worst thing anyone could ever do. The isolation addicts become accustomed to, keeps them from looking at the bigger picture, in turn, they believe that their sins define who they are. They accept that they are unforgivable so they just go ahead and keep doing shit they wouldn’t have done before and eventually, they realize they are now the people they were so scared of becoming.

“I stole from my mother… I’m unforgivable.”

“Now I stole from my job… I’m unforgivable.”

“I robbed a store at gun point and accidentally killed someone who wasn’t supposed to be there.. I am not worthy of any forgiveness, I’m too far gone at this point.”

This is why self-forgiveness is so crucial because without it, people will go around thinking they don’t deserve forgiveness. That’s the punishment they give themselves, and although they truly believe they deserve to be punished, they don’t realize that accepting it is the easy way out. Atonement would be too much work so at that point they don’t even care nor believe in redemption. This is who they become because they couldn’t find a higher power to guide them.

As humans, we become obsessed with questioning peoples motivations and intentions, and judge ourselves and others because it is easier to assume that someone who does wrong must mean they are shit.

I strong believe that humans are instinctively good. We are born with no evil tendencies. But as we grow up we become influenced by outside forces; by television, movies, video games, music, other people.

How did we even learn about drugs in the first place?

Why did we even use in the first place?

Why do we relapse?

Do we actually want to get clean?

That is the disease of addiction.

There is no cure,

There is only physical and mental pain,

You will be an addict for the rest of your life.

It doesn’t mean you don’t have the willpower, that you’re too vulnerable… Addiction is a losing game. For that people will hate you, they’ll look at you with disgust and think you’re cruel, selfish, a waste of space. Your friends, family, your sister, mother and father. Upon finding out and seeing how destructive you’ve become because of your disease, they’ll lose respect, they’ll lose love and in the end you’ll be alone.

It’s life, it’s just bad luck. You didn’t know you’d be an addict, I didn’t know I’d be an addict, I thought I’d have it all. I thought I’d have a beautiful faithful woman who would never leave me, I thought we’d get married, grow old and die beside each other… but now Im living an empty life wondering how much longer am I going to stay clean before I almost kill myself again? At this point I’ve almost intentionally and unintentionally died at least 5 times these past 2 years.

I want to learn and I want to grow, although it isn’t impossible, it’s just not as easy when you’re a drug addict. Or an addict of any kind, this demon comes in all shapes and sizes. And the one thing I miss about doing drugs is the beauty of it. When you’re under the influence, everything feels as if it’s going to be okay. All of your issues, troubles, the fact that you just stole for this last fix and will inevitably get caught… it’s all okay because when you’re on drugs, nothing else matters. Those are all issues for a sober me.

– Jay, The Mind Of Illness Part One: Addiction,

The Fruits Of Addiction: A Pernicious Love” available on Amazon in ebook and paperback

Published by The Reticent

My goal isn’t even success nor redemption. The damage I’ve caused is way too deep. I look to provide a mental and emotional sanctuary to those need it and remind our people that change is possible. Who knows, maybe if I had that I’d really have success and redemption.

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