Friday, June 28, 2013

Guest Post- A letter from a reader J from US

The reader gave me permission to print her letter. I get many letters like this from people frustrated with the role addiction still plays in their life
 
Hi Tracey,
I suppose it's safe to say that I'm not an addict. Have I done drugs? Yes. Plenty. I think I was up to an 8ball a day of cocaine when I quit using. I had no job, no real friends and I was so skinny I had to tie a rope through my belt loops to keep my pants up. I've always struggled with my weight and the most fucked up part is people were always telling me how GREAT I looked. I don't know how they couldn't see that I was not doing great at all. After about a year of living like this I "woke up" and decided to get my shit together. I quit doing drugs and going out drinking. I moved back in with my parents. I took a job working in housekeeping in a hospital from 8pm-4:30am so that I would be occupied during the hours that seemed to tempt me the most. Even though they've since admitted to knowing that something was wrong, at the time they were in denial. I was so alone. I couldn't be friends with my drug "friends" or I would use and my real friends wanted nothing to do with me anymore. It took about a year before my life returned to a somewhat normal state and it's been good ever since.
Through my early 20's I developed a much more "healthy" relationship with drugs and alcohol. Drink on the weekends. Smoke a little pot occasionally. Do some coke to sober up from the drinking. And hallucinogens were always fair game. But it was always a sporadic thing after I "quit" using. I always had a job, my bills were always paid, my cats were always fed, there was never a reason to worry. Just like my mother, I was the responsible, independent, one. I never needed help.

No one ever needed to worry about me. Even when they did.
Now I'm almost 30 and living the life I've always dreamed of. I work in the movie business. I have an awesome boyfriend and an amazing little family (3 cats and a dog). I'm not rich, by any means, but I have everything I need and then some. Next month we are packing up our family and moving to New York City. I've wanted to live there since I was a little girl! Another dream is coming true.
And yet, I spend my free time searching for the most disturbing things I can find. Books written by former junkies, documentaries that don't shy away from the dirty details, photobooks about crackhead prostitutes. The grittier the better. Which is how I found you. I had seen BTH when I was younger but like most things, it was quickly forgotten, but I recently watched it again and I have read your blog every day since. I suppose it's somewhat ironic that I would find your blog during such a tumultuous time in my life. My dear friend T, who was with me during all of my shenanigans, who I reconnected with later, sober, has now developed herself a pretty nasty meth addiction. She's been missing. Beat up by drug dealers. Started dating a neo nazi drug dealer who killed her ex drug dealer who was after her. Abandoned her kids with no electricity or food to sell her ass out of a shady motel to feed her addiction. The story is worse than most books I've read and documentaries I've seen.
And then last week I found out my little cousin is following right down that path. I can't decide if I'm pissed at her for doing to her kid what her junkie mother did to her her whole life or if I am sympathetic and unsurprised by her taking the same road her mother took. Either way, my heart is broken.
Like I said before, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that I am not an addict. I am one of the lucky few who is in control of myself. I always know when to say when. But here I am, with my ticket to the 30 train staring me in the face, finding myself not only obsessed with homeless junkies but JEALOUS of them.

 Now, I'm not crazy, I know that is not the appropriate response to have to that and I've discussed it with my shrink.

I just want to know what it's like to be able to completely abandon all responsibilities and even reality and devote oneself 100% to their drug addiction. I see images of junkies in a nod and all I feel is a envy. "Look how content they are. They literally do not give any of the fucks about anything." and the next thought is "How can they live like that?" I find myself almost passing judgement but at the same time wishing I could live with that sort of reckless abandon. I want to know what it's like to be that fucking selfish. I swear, junkies have to be the most selfish people on the planet. I'm doing everything that I'm supposed to be doing. Where's my 90 day vacation where I get to spend the whole time working with a team of professionals trying to get to the bottom of why I am the way I am???
I suppose it's a good thing that I never got to try heroin. My dealer got it once, and was supposed to call me so I could do it with him but (not surprisingly) got too fucked up and forgot to call me. Maybe that would have been the drug that turned me into a junkie.
I know this probably sounds whiny to someone who has lived through the things you have but I guess, if there's a lesson to be learned from this, it's that addiction effects every person in an addicts life. I come from a family full of addicts (and a boyfriend who is a recovering heroin addict) and after 29 years of being surrounded by it I'm still not sure if I'm jealous or sympathetic or angered by addicts but it's something I struggle with on a daily basis.
Keep up the good work and I really hope you do get to publish a book one day. In the meantime I'll keep reading your blog everyday.

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