I look down at my hands. I see them starting to age. Time is getting away from me. I see the skin crinkling and wrinkling with the passing days. The veins have slowly reemerged as I put a few days between me and the last time that I used drugs. The lines on my face show a life lived in the open. I show myself to you. I attempt to keep nothing hidden from view.
When I stopped using drugs, nothing was promised to me. No one told me that I would be anything but free of my chemical chains. To the uninitiated, using drugs is a series of highs but the lows are lower than anything I that I have ever seen. Imagine you wake up one day. Your life has been completely rearranged by a substance. You are put into a state of suspended animation. My family was no longer a priority. My health was no longer an issue. Using spit and dirty water in a fit of weakness become part of the spiral of unknown depth and location. When will the the madness stop?
Could I have ever imagined that I would suck an old man off for $15 in drug money because I was so fucking sick, I needed it? Could i have imagined turning a trick with a dealer between two cars in a parking lot barely out of view? Could I have imagined lying to everyone including myself. Why, why why would I do these things to me. This was not every day. But these things happened and I was an active participant.
Why do some people never stop using? Because life may have been full of pain. If you were not in pain before you started drugs, you certainly will be after a few years of accumulated misery. If you were ANXIOUS before opiates kicked in the door to self confidence, you certainly will shrink with fear when you are forced to raise your hand in front of thirty strangers and tell them "I am an addict." If you like to get high, getting off drugs causes a new kind of low. I understood all this and I still understand it.
I am not the sum of all the things that I have done. I am strong. First the substance made me forget. Now, I chose to remember.