I keep listening to the same Gordon Lightfoot song repeatedly. Sundown. Some of the lyris are very me, sometimes I think it’s a shame when I get feelin’ better when I’m feelin’ no pain.
I feel like I never react the way I expect myself to.
Two years of hurting, wondering where the hell you went and why you could leave me so easily. When Eddie died you were no where to be found. I felt lost, and only a few weeks ago did I begin to fully realize just how lost I have been feeling.
I suppose I never once believed I would reject you, should you decide to return.
You know you’ve been in my dreams?
When you spoke to me finally… all of the pain I had been feeling just became so insignificant compared to the immense amount of relief I felt.
I was just too happy to feel angry.
I think you know I could never feel angry with you.
Perhaps I love you too much.
I suppose the only resentment I feel these days is at myself anyhow.
Not to say I don’t know I’ve accomplished something great. I’m almost three years in now, and I am still figuring out how to live again now that I have risen from my proverbial ashes.
I am really loving the responses I’ve been getting to this blog… so if you have been reading and have felt like reaching out please don’t hesitate. I think you will find that I’m extremely approachable. 🙂
It’s a bit strange being in ‘recovery’ and being relatively open about it. Half of the time people think you’re made of glass, and that you will relapse at the drop of a hat. People don’t believe you can do certain things, even if they are noble, because they will be ‘triggering.’
They tell you in treatment programs that essentially you are made of glass… because you cannot ever forget what you are. Because, if you do then history is doomed for repetition.
To paint a picture of recovery, you are slitting your wrists, heart, and throat open and bleeding profusely all over the place. Except, it never kills you. You just have to find a way to bandage it and keep on truckin’.
Some people are afriad to speak with you, some people look down on you, some people look up to you, and some just look sideways. Rarely though, do they look directly at you. Sometimes, people try to relate to you and end up making well-intentioned-asses of themelves. Some believe that they can never measure up because their addiction just wasn’t ‘as bad’.
Let me take you through a day in my life when I was lets say 20.
I would wake up.
If I’m lucky, I still have a hit saved for morning. So by this time I had learned if your heroin was relatively pure that you didn’t need to cook it. Just mix it up in saline and draw through a cotton swab into a needle. The stuff I liked best was a brown colour… I have never had access to black tar.
I would do my last hit and then it was time to figure out how to make $360 so I could get through the day. Now, at this point me, the type 1 diabetic did some heroin before I would even eat breakfast… I had a garbage can next to where I did my shots because I usually dry heaved for awhile afterwards. I also don’t have great veins to begin with, and I am prone to dehyration so before I found my femoral veins it was quite the task. I would sit for hours sometimes, stabbing, stabbing, stabbing and bleeding everywhere. Sometimes I would get too frustrated, too impatient and too afraid of the shot coagulating with blood (which is the worst) that I would just inject it into a bubble under my skin. Not caring that I had ‘missed’ because at least it was still getting in somehow.
As there was some bad stuff going around for awhile, I had quite a lot of nasty infections as I have mentioned previously. Abscesses the size of baseballs in my wrists, hot to the touch and bright red. The drainage, when it finally happened, was something to beheld.
I knew how to take care of them, there are amazing street nurses out there who have a rather thankless job most of the time. You guys save lives. I used to sit with a nurse named Isabelle at the Urban Core needle exchange. I often used our little talks as a front for my mom to drop me off there but those talks made the day a bit more bearable.
In any case, back to finding cash.
I stole from my parents often, but I would attempt everything else first. I would ask for money, manipulate into getting it. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not. If I couln’t get money from someone I would begin collecting up whatever I could find. I started with jewelry, moved onto movies and collectible items like my grandpa’s old penny collection.
I would eventually, somehow always make enough money. Usually I would be sick in the mornings so that would be added incentive.. if I couldn’t find enough stuff to sell I would sell prescriptions, I had quite a thing going with that for awhile actually. I had even forged a cheque in my mothers name and took it into a money mart. I used her cellphone to call the money mart later to tell them it was fine to cash the cheque. Money mart is a 24 hour establishmet.
I knew they would send a copy of the cheque to the bank, I knew I would get caught and possibly kicked out but I would deal with that later because my first priority was making this dopesickness disappear.
By the end I really only had one dealer I trusted. The only other guy with good smack was from Milton. That is an eighty dollar taxi each way, and you can bet that was a fun conversation when it showed up on our taxi bill.
I hated to shoot up outside or in public washrooms. Everyone always thought that because I bought a lot of drugs that- that meant somehow they were entitled to them and it was rude of me to do them without sharing.
Well, everyone except for Eddie, Echo or Eric. I am not just tooting their horn because they’re gone, but they never expected anything from me. Which made me want to share with them even more.. as sick as that may sound to you.
We were sick though.
Towards the end though, I usually wanted to be alone or sometimes I would go visit Eddie at her apartment. Echo and Eric were both already gone by then. Sometimes Alex would be there using the shower. But the best times were when we could just be alone and chat.
Most days when I would finally score though, as sometimes it took hours of wandering, perhaps getting ripped off, robbed or just having shit luck. Spending time with a lot of people who just wanted to use you.
By the end of it all I just wanted to go home. To be alone with my drugs. Or sometimes I would go spend time with Robbie. He was one of my only friends for awhile too. Hes as old as my father, but he always treated me with respect and protected me. He is a good man, I don’t know if hes still alive but I hope so. I would still visit him today.
I would often go home, lock myself in my bedroom or the bathroom and run the shower or the tap. Do my drugs, sometimes very quickly, I had no self control.
In 2014 the shots of heroin I was doing had a half gram to a full gram in each hit. Which at the time was $120-$240 a pop.
Today I still lay awake at night often, as my guilt eats me alive- and I know that I deserve every second of it.
And when I think about the friends I have lost… I often think of Jackie my addictions counsellor who tells me that I am here for a reason.
While I appreciate the sentiment… tell that to Shari, Gisele and Carrie. My friend’s respective mothers… is there a reason their children aren’t here?
She doesn’t mean it like that, and doesn’t look at it the same way I do. That woman has done a lot of good for me and many, many others. I suppose the only point I am trying to get across is that there is literally nothing that can be said. No words of reassurance or comfort when a life has been taken so early and senselessly.
It forever changes all of those affected.
The worst part is, in that world… the ‘drug world’ it is just so common. Everyone is dead, sick or in jail. Or they get clean, but sadly those tend to be far and few. I could never really picture my life without it to be honest. I still cannot wrap my mind around how much things have changed and that -that was truly my life.
and I spent seven years with my mind put to sleep. Going nowhere and drowning in a pit of my own dispair.
I have spent the past two years and eight months in sensory overload. I spent the summer of 2015 drinking myself into alcohol induced psychosis. I got blackout drunk every single day that summer, which is why I said before that I had replaced heroin with alcohol. I removed myself so far from reality… alcohol is one hell of a drug.
Heroin just made the pain okay. It made my head shut up, just for a second but it was quiet.