Butch Stuff, General Blips, LGBT Community Issues

An Addict’s Disclosure

I got up this morning to get ready for my daily hospital visit and Jamie Ray’s post A boy and her dog was just stuck in my head. He wrote about losing his friend Ryan to a heroin overdose recently.  I didn’t know Ryan, and sadly now I never will.  I don’t know a little about the struggles that were his to bare; those struggles where using made it all better for a while.  But I do know first hand the attempt to make that happen.  Drug addiction is no stranger to me.  I battle it whenever I’m down and that little voice deep in my head says “I know what will make it better for a little while…” Fuck that little voice, it just drives me insane sometimes. Sometimes even there is no reasoning with it.

We don’t talk about some things out loud. There is a heroin epidemic in this country, it’s rampant and is just getting worse. We’re losing wonderful people over this, not just your street users as everyone pictures, but we’re losing kids in high school,  teachers, lawyers, Prince even!   (fentanal is what most heroin is cut with so the dealer can make more money, and it’s 100’s of times stronger than the heroin itself).

It’s a fairly easy drug to be stealth about.  You can snort it which leaves no trace that your doing it – except for the inquisitive person who wants to know how you get your pupils so small.  And you can shoot – or inject it.  This poses a slight problem of keeping your injection sites out of sight but believe me when you want it badly enough you know all the tricks.

Our government has this thing they cal the War on Drugs, started in the 80’s by Reagan.  I think it’s a farce. If we took the money we spend doing that and opened some quality rehabilitation and recovery programs  – both medical and non-medical (let that be up to the individual seeking treatment and recovery).   One can kick this aweful habit.  I did it back in 1992 and stayed clean for many years, but then I slipped up and started to back slide into it again.  Yeah, I admit it I am not perfect, I have this demon that haunts me to hell and back. How can such a small amount of a powdery substance get ahold of a person like this shit does?  It baffles me. I’ve been fighting like crazy not to give in to my cravings.  I’m doing pretty good, trying to keep myself upbeat and positive and away from anything to do with it.  Problem is that it seems to be everywhere up here in the coastal area. I wish it was eradicated from the earth.

I know my triggers, and am constantly working on staying clean.  I have a good amount of familial support, as well as friends who have been there that I can talk to when I have to. My doctors are pushing me to go to the rehab program and medically maintain my cravings with a drug called Methadone. It blocks the pleasure receptors that the heroin attaches to and keeps the cravings away.  I, as block headed as I am, have thus far refrained.  Seems like I would be swapping one drug for another in a way.  Plus I heard that the Methadone can be addictive too. I don’t know what’s best yet.  I’m clean now, and putting all I have into keeping it that way.  I’m just afraid of slipping again, and I don’t’ want that kind of life.  And I don’t want to repeat the cycle of using/clean/using….it’s like a roller coaster and this Butch is OFF. Plus, I don’t want to die from it for sure.

I haven’t previously written about any of this because I have a good healthy amount of shame about it.  I never wanted this to be part of my life.  I didn’t get born and say “hey I’m going to be a junkie!”  No, these things seem to happen through the course of  life events and moments of weakness,experimentation or curiousity, and sometimes even peer pressure.

So.  Now you know a shameful secret I have kept for many years.  I feel that until I said it out loud here that it was just going to eat me up inside.  This is part of my recovery, coming clean with what’s going on and has gone on.

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11 thoughts on “An Addict’s Disclosure”

  1. Shame can only exist when we don’t name it. You should handle your recovery in any way you see fit. i tend to agree that methadone will cause dependence, which is different from addiction, but still something i’d want to avoid if i could. Hugs to you on your recovery and sharing. We are only as sick as our secrets. ❤

  2. And there is the big step….not easy to open that dark place that is in all of us and let people see things we try to keep hidden. I find that I am an individual that has the worst addictive personality and yes I know all about that little voice in ones head. But knowing that it is a liar is the only way I can deal with it.
    Just don’t make the mistake I made an isolate yourself. To stay clean you need to have support of people that really care for you.
    And trust me when we slip and use, we might think we are slick, but others can tell when we are using, even when its just another addict.
    I am not ashamed of admitting I am an addict, only ashamed of the damage I did to my own self respect.
    Need help, reach out.
    Bert

  3. It took a lot of courage to write this piece. I admire your strength and character. I wish you continued strength. Hopefully you can let go of some of that shame and replace it with pride for the person you are today.

  4. Thank you for writing this piece. Ryan would ask people to walk him to and from the subway so that he wouldn’t be able to buy drugs – he knew that if he was left alone he would go out and get them. It was a constant in his life. I wish I could show him what you wrote.
    There is an epidemic, and there are way too few options for getting long term help – especially if you are queer, butch, trans etc. And as you said, so much shame – and knowing that you have to deal with this forever. It is one thing to stop and another thing to stay in recovery without relapse.
    Keep writing, and stay in the fight.
    I am also aware that I am writing this after hearing the news of the Orlando massacre – stay safe and take care of yourself. Jamie.

  5. Wow this is a powerful piece of writing – so open and honest, and very courageous – wishing you all the best – one foot in front of the other.
    I walk a similar path xo
    Anne Wing

  6. My parents were both alcoholics, as is one brother (sober for decades), probably both grandfathers, at least one uncle, and an aunt who committed suicide by shotgun and was found by her young children. I’m in Minnesota, where we have outstanding treatment centers. My Mom kind of toured them before she quit drinking. 🙂

    Both parents and my brother relied heavily on AA. I know less about my brother’s experience, but helping others was a big part of my parents seeing frequently how easy and how painful relapse can be.

    I don’t consider addiction shameful, I consider it to be a disease that requires a lot of actions, choices, and sometimes meds to cope with. Some of the people I admire most are recovering addicts. They walk through fire, and refine their values until the BS is eliminated.

    Recovery is a bitch, but addiction is worse. While their addiction cost me, it also gave me the priceless commitment to never lose sight of that.

    Rather than be ashamed of addiction, be irrepressibly proud of your strength and wisdom displayed by your commitment, however imperfect, to your recovery.

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