It wasn't often that I felt anything.
Except the prick of that needle.
Except the sting of my tears.
I grew up to believe that love was some complicated mess of emotions never to be trusted. As a child growing up in suburban Ohio, having a two parent household wasn't a luxury. It was business as usual. Until I was much older, I never understood why my parents stayed together when it seemed like they stopped loving each other many years prior. He drank and she tried to get him to stop drinking. It was like like Ying and Yang, the darkness and the existing in the same place. They were connected yet always apart.
It would be a stretch to say that no one loved me. My family certainly had problems but loving me wasn't one of them. I was easy to love. I was a chubby little smart ass kid who wanted to know everything. I used to kids in the school gum and candy to get them to talk to me. I was a trick before I knew what one was- always reaching in my pockets to get you to love me. I hated myself. I used to burn my fingers with candle wax. I cut myself with knives. I had never heard of anyone else "cutting". I am not sure if the term existed then. I just knew I wanted to feel better.
Middle school was hell for me. I was teased relentlessly about my weight. In addition, there wasn't plus sized clothes for fat girls. i had to wear adult maternity clothes. The more people teased me, the more i ate, the fatter I became. I was diagnosed as having depression around the sixth grade. I would get this unshakable feeling like I wanted no longer be part of the world. I used to think about suicide before I knew what it meant. one entire school year, I didn't eat lunch. I saved my money to buy toys while I spent time in a classroom with a teacher.
I feel like I didn't find opiates, they found me. I lost fifty pounds around the age of 16. I was still chubby but I guess I was no longer on "orca the killer whale" status. I got into goth, punk rock, metal. I had smoked pot and drank here and there. Nothing worth noting except maybe puking on some warm Pabst Blue Ribbon I stole with a friend from my dads trunk.
I had a boyfriend with red hair and freckles. He was constantly telling his friends he didn't really like me. I remember him coming over after I had my teeth pulled. I had my own bottle of pain pills my parents let me manage. I took those pills and everything in the world seemed fucking beautiful for the first time in my life. He sat next to me on the bed in my room in my parents house while I felt that feeling. That feeling of numbness and happiness at the same time. I realized that magic bottle contained "I don't give a fuck" and "I love you" at the same time. I laid back on the comforter my father had inherited when his mother died. I smiled. I really smiled.
Then the feeling wore off. I was back to painful reality.
I hate to admit this- I wanted to be a junkie. I just didn't know what it meant. I didn't know I would trade everything for that feeling. We all know the progression. I moved out of parents house to go to college. I received an A+ in alcoholic foolishness. I started getting into fights. I was never a good drunk. I was either crying in the bathroom or trying to stab my friends.
I had become close friends with someone with a small circle of friends that used harder drugs. That is how it happens. Vampires make vampires- no one wants to die alone. I held out my arm a year later to join the secret society of the spoon.
When a person tries heroin, they think to themselves- how did I ever get high off of two Vicodin? Like seriously, what? The high isn't that different. You just FEEL elevated to a new level.
What can I say about my life as a heroin addict? What do you want to know? People have preconceived notions. It was great at first. I thought I was on some great adventure, like I was "On the Road" with my "Naked Lunch" until I hit the fear and loathing. The thing I want people to know is that being a heroin user doesn't make someone a bad person any more than not using heroin makes someone else a good person. Even in circles where people use opiates, when you say "heroin" people act like their pharmaceuticals somehow make them superior. All aboard the the SS junkie, you are in the same boat sweetie. We all like those receptors FULL. Am I right?
What came next was a horror show:
- degrading myself for drugs (begging)
- no periods
- no sex drive
- horrible constipation
- horrible cycles of use and withdrawal
- inability to have relationships
- inability to function as a human
This is the tricky part. I was suicidal without drugs. I was suicidal BEFORE drugs. So I found it difficult to find a reason to stop because heroin feels GOOD. Can I get a witness? Thank you. To get clean means giving up the one thing you think feels good. Getting clean was a massive abyss I didn't want to face. What if I got clean only to discover I was the fucked up person I already believed myself to be? When I looked inside myself, I had no idea if I was capable of feeling anything that wasn't dictated by and served to me in a plastic wrapper.
I understand why people use. I understand why people get clean. I want you to live, reader. I want you to be safe no matter what your choices. If you read this, I want you to know that I love you. I won't give up on you. Why? The world is a better place with you in it.
Don't fucking die on us.
Be safe. Talk to someone. Ask questions.