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THE REALM OF ADDICTION

This is the part of my day when I’m in torpor and will do anything for a refill, stare at my reflection and curse myself for not being able to quit totally. I am here screaming into the void, I am not seeking sympathy or advice necessarily; I just want to be heard. I want to tell someone my story, about how I had my first puff, and hear them say “it’s ok to ask for a spliff now and then” and not tell me that I’m good for nothing.

Last night after my meeting with my therapist, I swallowed the last pill, I swore that I’ll never do it again. What she said to me during our meeting pierced my heart like a can of Bullets mixed with dice will. She insisted that my first step to quitting was to announce to the walls of her furnished office that I want to quit for good. Even though I said the words, I don’t believe I ever really will because I know that deep down I don’t want to.

My whole life I’ve struggled with wishing I was different. Its difficult to focus and I forget things even before I learn them. So I made it a habit to swallow one pill daily because it helped me at school and work. I strive to get rid of social anxiety, I let people down and never fully commit to things I know I should. I take it as incentives to help me follow through with my daily obligations. when I stand to speak in front of a group of people at work or school I get extremely nervous, so I take another one to make me confident.

Frankly speaking, I hate how it physically makes my body feel and the lack of sleep I get, but besides that I feel better off with it than without it. I know you probably think I’m a looser and deserves to be thrown into rehabilitation again but I feel society always leaves people like me with no choice.

Sorry, if I let you down.

Last week I asked a random guy I met on the street if he could spare a few bucks for me. He was ghost-quiet and looked into my eyes like he was searching for the truth. I cared less about what he will think and more about how much he could spare, so when he finally reached for his wallet he brought out a polymer note and handed it over to me reluctantly. I thanked him and turned to leave before he asked “How does your family feel about you being an addict?”

I didn’t respond, I strode away like a child who just got a new toy. I know what you’re thinking, I also know that our family expects the best of us and cares for us. But if I was to tell the random guy I met on the street I am an addict he would say “I’m praying for you, and I hope things get better for you” but if I was to tell my mom she would be like “are you foolish?” “How could you?” “You’ve brought disgrace upon this family” or worse “I don’t want to ever see your face again”

I need help understanding these things, I understand that parents have tough love for their children, but when you have an adult child suffering, wouldn’t make you treat them like one, instead of treating them like someone who brought shame upon the family? We are aware that we might have let you down but we need you to love us and not tell us how disappointed you are. if some random person will reach out and say positive things for us instead of cursing us why can’t our own family do the same?

I know my words mean nothing to you, but I tell you that there are people who refused to go to treatment because they are scared of what their family will say to them. Come on parents and siblings, we know you love us. it’s time you look at us like a stranger would and stop beating us down.

How it started.

It started when I found a little pill capsule with a rolled blunt under my roommates pillow. I was looking for the key to our hostel room and picked his pillow to check. I’ve heard of marijuana and I know what it looked like judging by what I had seen in movies. I was curious and thought I should try the pill, it wasn’t labeled or anything but at that age I wanted to try it, after all the boys in my school who did drugs were considered the coolest.

I had discovered that the pill was sweet and made me feel nice, so I asked my roommate what it was and he told me. I began to sneak out of the dorm to get both marijuana and tramadol. At that age I knew that smoking and swallowing pills was a bad idea but I thought after my exams that year I will get away from it, but I realized that no matter where I went I was always looking for a place to get it. The point is, I used it continuously for years.

Marijuana has always helped me to fight my social anxiety, go out to socialize, and engage with people. This has been my lifelong struggle. The night I had this conversation with my roommate, I asked why he was using and he said “It is a nice reprieve to clinical depression” “with Mary Jane I feel energetic, chatty, open, creative, euphoric, you know….” He added. “it makes me feel so great… like I can be around people and be normal, but I’ve this guilt that it’s wrong to rely on it so much.”

I was sexually assaulted after I overdose.

Before I share this with you I need to say that it is ok not to believe me if I say I’m a male sexual assault survivor. I’ve never felt the need to tell anyone about this until now. I’m scared no one will believe me, they will call me a weakling. So each time I’m reminded about this ugly past I tell myself that the pill will help me forget everything, even if it was just for a moment. The sex was rough, unintended and without protection.

I was in college when it happened, I hadn’t used in like 6 months. It is the longest I’ve ever been sober since I started using. I was sitting in the round hut in the centre of my lodge eating cookies and brownie my best friend Nelly who was also my next-door neighbor brought for me earlier that day before she traveled home. 2 girls who were friends of Nelly came up to me and said they wanted to see Nelly, I told them she had left school for home. they looked surprise. One of them asked if they could stay in my room and get dark. I said “sure, I got you.”

Now they’d seem like decent people up until this point, and I knew one of them from high school and through my best friend so I thought “why not”, we all ended up going back to my room so I could help them pick up and make the place cozy . They pulled out a few cards and a piece of paper which had something wrapped in it, it was marijuana. They get their dark and asked me to use with them. I should have said “NO” and remained sober, instead I obliged and till this day I regret that decision.

We started using. I used a fair amount; I got pretty high and cut myself off. They continued using and eventually managed to pressure me into doing more. And more. And even more until I was basically incapacitated. My memory is obscure from this point forward, so details will be meager. But here is what I remember. I threw up a few times I went and closed myself in the other room to avoid using more. I became more incapacitated; I couldn’t move my body or get out of bed.

One of the girls come in my room, and gets on top of me. I tell her to stop, and make an attempt to resist but I was weak. She tells me that they’d been “planning this since the first time they saw me in Nelly’s room” and since Nelly was away it was the perfect moment. She proceeds to have violent sex with me, she hits me, scratches me and unzipped my jean when her friend joined her , she assisted to pin me to the bed. She eventually stops and get down, her friend gets on top of me and did the same thing.

This happened 4 times that night, early morning the next day I texted my girl and said I was coming over to her place and I planned to stay for a day or two. I told the two girls I’m going to lectures and I stay with my girlfriend. When I came back to my house, they were gone. This happened a year ago, the memory kills me. I feel a mess every time I’m sober.

My girlfriend left me

If you have come this far, I am assuming that it is obvious already that I am depressed. But here is something that made me even more depressed; my girlfriend left me. For the past few days I have asked myself a couple of questions I will have asked myself if I was my girlfriend even for a day. Why are you with this looser? What does he do for you aside from throwing up on the floor each time he overdose and diving to sleep while you clean his every mess he makes?

I personally have been through a few rough phases and this amazing lady had always been here to path me on the shoulders and say “you will bounce back stronger.” Like the time I got expelled from school, my parents pushed me away, my friends stopped bring friends with me and I was almost watching my life crumble when she stepped in and was there for me. I love my girlfriend more than anyone I have ever met except maybe my best friend (I’d say I love them both pretty equally, even though my best friend doesn’t talk to me again that much which is something that has already been really hard).

Yesterday she broke up with me, she said she still loves me but hate that I am unable to quit. She said she is “tired of trying” to make me realize how hard these drugs are holding me. She said its like she is alone and “I am in a committed relationship with these drugs. I understand that she has tried to do her best: by sticking with me when the earth tried to break me and tolerating all my flaws but I cant even describe the state im in right now.

My girlfriend was the only good thing in my life and I took it for guaranteed. I might just kill myself have been crying so much I got a migraine. She hasn’t texted me since she broke up with me and I don’t know if I should text her or what. I lover her so much and can do anything now to get her back, even if it means starting today.

I am selfish

Most often, people like me (addicts) make that choice to some degree, that’s why it sucks to be someone who loves an addict. Like every human being an addict is naturally selfish but in my case, I tend to direct my efforts towards getting high. As much as I love to be clean I hate how I start to feel bad about all the shitty things I did to people I love; my immediate family, my girlfriend, my best friend and all my friends.

If you’ve loved an addict, he chances that they will screw you, lie to you and chose drugs over you is 80%. Understand that it’s hard to not take it personal, but it really isn’t personal its addiction. It even get worse when they promise to never do it again, they show remorse but go back to doing the same thing over and over again making it harder for you to forgive them. After many years of addiction, I have screwed people and lied countless times; I have also issued many apologies.

All of the promises I made, I intended to keep but find myself right back to the same place. Choosing drugs over those I love. Its just an addict behavior, nothing personal. the person might feel like I don’t care about them, so in order to stop hurting them I pull away from those I love so as to not hurt them any more. If I didn’t care about them I would continue using them with no thoughts so that might help with perspective.

Quitting is hard but totally worth it.

I have tried several times at quitting but have always failed. I tried cutting down but that just wasn’t enough. I tried chewing gums, drinking water, tobacco chewing, counting numbers and cooking, but none of this worked for me. Every time I smoke, I will curse myself as to why I was doing this. But every time my moods were low I would go running to get that smoke, which would always calm me down. I lied to my family a lot that I don’t smoke, well until I got caught then i swore severally that I was using anymore so they believed me.

Yesterday I finally listened to my therapist and publicly confessed before a group of addicts like me, that I will never smoke again in my life. Well, I am willing to take it one day at a time. I was smoking the second blunt after rolling 8 blunts. I calculated and came that it will take me two hours . I just told myself that this would be the last blunt I will smoke. So for every blunt I hit, I reminded myself that this was the last blunt blunt.

After I was done puffing I reached for my wallet and took cash from it. I paid the dealer and when he tried to pass the change to me I told him to keep it. Although have bought alcohol, gin, drugs and weed for the boys I have never given anyone of them cash. When I did that yesterday, I sort of felt like I told them “ I am bigger than this now” “you can keep the change, I wont be coming back here, ever again” or better “here is something to remember me for.”

It hasn’t even been a week yet, since I quiet. The realization that I am in control and tobacco isn’t controlling me is the best feeling.

#ImarishaWritten

by Panshak Jan

(Creative writer and Copywriter)






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