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.