This post is not full of horror stories. Sometimes I get myself upset when I recount my past. I was to talk to you readers about an entirely different topic. Making friends seems so easy to normal folk. When we see children in the sand box, they naturally determine some form of social order. They determine among themselves who can sit where. One wants to be close to their mother. Another child wants to share a bucket with others. When I think of my self as I child, I see my self as the child who is sitting in an area filled with opportunity, yet somehow I feel totally alone.
As a using addict, we know lonely like we know drugs. At first, we may use with a group of friends. But we are never satisfied when the party is over. We are sneaking off to the bathroom for something extra. At first, our behavior is accepted as a normal phase. Eventually, our circles become smaller and smaller. I knew I was an addict when I spent more time waiting for the dealer than in the company of friends. The only birthday presents I was receiving might be an extra hit in my package. There are no free drinks celebrated at TGIFridays. My payday is spent paying off debts incurred before the money even hit my hands.
The hardest part of being clean is finding a person that believes in your recovery. The hardest part of stopping drugs is feeling as if you are the only one. Find a friend. Find a life line. Find people who support your humanity. Yes, you may use drugs and you deserve happiness. You deserve to find a hobby, to find laughter, to find things that bring you joy on a daily basis. Our isolation pushes us farther in the cooker. The greatest crime is an addict who dies alone never understanding that they are loved by others.
I have been clean a long time. I still need people to love me just as much as I did fifteen years ago. I am an addict. I don't do well on my own. I belong in the company of my fellows. I have a purpose. I can make a difference. I reach my hand out to those who are hurting because I am that person. We all speak a language where poop, blood stains, and storage capacity in your anus are all acceptable topics of conversation. I can also talk about philosophy, literature, relationships, and programming languages.
The stigma will kill us. We need to step out of the shadows. Friendship and compassion are the highest forms of harm reduction. I hope more people will learn to love us without judgement until we can find a way to heal