This Is VERY Moving

Going to college in New York City and living in South Florida I know a lot of recovering drug addicts.  My ex-boyfriend, as a matter of fact, is a recovering heroin addict.  If you live in gay Fort Lauderdale and haven’t heard of the Pride Institute it is a sector of Fort Lauderdale Hospital and is a drug addiction and mental health treatment center dedicated to the LGBT community.

On their website they have “A Diary of an Addict.”  I’ve re-posted entries before.  They’re usually funny and informational, but the post I just read is different.  The writer of this diary relapsed.

The honesty and heart that was put into this post is honorable.  It takes a lot of guts to be as raw and uncut as this man was in this post.  It’s important to remember that judging someone for what they’ve done or do is wrong.  Addiction is truly a disease.  It is the man that falls off of a horse and gets back on who should be awarded.  So, I ask you to read this entry not with pity but with respect that someone was man enough and honest enough to admit that he has done something wrong…

Dear Diary –

The information contained in this entry is disturbing and was painfully difficult to write. Due to experiences in the last couple of days I decided to write the entry in story form. Although unsettling and honest to the core, an important message is learned in the end. Deep breaths…ok here I go…

As of this day I have one day clean. After almost one year of clean from crystal meth, I relapsed. Today I feel sad and afraid [insert 20 minutes of staring at the computer screen].Totally speechless. Where do I go from here? Will my mother be ashamed of me? Will my sister disown me? Will my dad toss and turn at night worrying if I’m safe? What about my partner? Will he say enough is enough? Should I tell my sponsor? How on earth will I announce my relapse at the CMA meeting? Right this second these are the questions I am pondering. Most of them are questions I’ve asked myself before. Honestly, I am barely able to type because my hands are shaking from the six hours of meth use… which lead to the 24 hours of drinking vodka (to numb the pain of my relapse)… which lead to four hours of sleep (in two days), and zero food intake. This addict can provide a zillion reasons for the relapse; yet it always helps me to look at the antecedents before “picking up.”

I had not attended a meeting in over three weeks nor spoken to my sponsor in two weeks. Relapse had not even entered my mind in a few weeks. Things in my life were progressing nicely. My relationships, work, finances, and family experiences were progressing nicely.Within a blink of an eye I let my guard down and boom relapse happened. I forgot that I have a disease that is cunning and baffling; one that waits patiently in the shadows until I have a weak moment.

A friend I met in recovery instant messaged me on Facebook. He was in a difficult place due to a recent split was his significant other. He asked if he could come over to my place to give his partner some space to pack his belongings. Granted I had used Tina with my friend before, so the thought of using was instantaneous when I saw the Facebook instant message. I thought to myself, we are stronger than this drug addiction. Neither of us wants to use. Literally within an hour of picking him up we were on our way to suburbia to pick up the meth. Strangely we did discuss our sponsors; yet the thought of calling mine never occurred. Calling my sponsor was not a daily ritual for me. This was a big mistake, which is one reason I relapsed. As soon as we exited off the interstate I asked if he was sure he wanted to go through with the experience. I was literally asking him to make the decision whether to turn around and go back home. “What are we doing?” I asked. No verbal answer was given, just uncomfortable stares.

Once we arrived we were met at the door by a shirtless fifty something man. He was unshaven, sweaty and he seemed discombobulated. Ravaged by years of meth abuse he resembled a photo from the faces of anti-meth campaigns. Frightened (and rightly so) I looked back at the front door ensuring I knew my escape route. This was my time to run! Fearlessly I pressed forward up the stairs. To my surprise coming down the stairs was another friend I had met in recovery. He said hello and smiled and ran out the door. Was this God’s way of showing me I was not alone in my struggle? By this point the skin on my arms was standing up and I felt as if someone had punched me in the stomach.

We purchased our supply (well my friend did as I was still on a budget restriction due to my last relapse). It took a while because the guy was so high he forgot where he hid the stash. Once the deal was completed, the guy asked us if we would like to sit down and partake in some before we departed (because the insidiousness of my addiction tells us its ok to drive while high). There were a few others participants sitting around a large brown sofa. My friend sat across from me on a blue love seat. Subconsciously, was this my mirror image? As the pipe was passed we kept looking at one another. We said nothing but our eyes told a different story…fear coupled with anticipation. As soon as I picked up the pipe nothing else mattered. Dopamine was relapsed in rapid levels in my brain much like the grand finale of a Disney World fireworks display. Well, until we were still there six hours later and I had consumed too much. According to the computer clock is was now 1:30 A.M. At this point paranoia set in; sounds and vibrations were my enemies. I became obsessed with my cell phone (checking it every 5 minutes). Each time it vibrated I jumped out of my skin. This was such an issue I put the phone in my shoe down stairs. Also, I kept hearing what I thought were police sirens. How did the police know? Did the neighbors report us? My worst enemy was the front door peephole. I continually looked through the peephole convinced my partner, best friend, and sister had tracked me down using the GPS in my cell phone. I felt like a dirty diseased animal trapped in a bob wire cage constructed of insanity and fear.Finally I informed my friend it was time to go. He agreed. We announced our departure.Parched from the experience I requested a bottle of water for the road. The host returned with a used Gatorade bottled filled with orange juice. I smiled, took the bottle, but left it on the kitchen counter.

During our ride home I was so paranoid it was difficult to drive. Thankfully we returned home safely. For the next four hours I sat in my room with the door closed and fan running at full blast. Sadly, my experience ended the same as it had any other time I used, alone and in the grips of shame.

I’ve informed everyone I was close to what occurred. Honestly is the best policy. Secrets will take me out once again. One person I am frightened to inform is my sponsor. I am getting enough nerve to let him know what happened. Why am I nervous? I have to realize that he is there to assist, not to chastise. Together we can work out a new plan. There is no way I can stay sober on my own. Meetings, fellowship, service, and daily contact with my sponsor are imperative. Also, gently detaching from friends whom I’ve used with or who are still using is one of the most important components of my long-term recovery. I have no business hanging out with people who use…period. It’s imperative that I let them go. Using in no way benefits my life. The ultimate outcomes are shame, guilt, and remorse. I’ve learned a great deal from my relapse. Now, time to get back to work.

I am an addict and this is my diary.

3 thoughts on “This Is VERY Moving

  1. Addiction is NOT a disease. It has nothing to with disease, it has to do with a lack of will-power, a weak mind and a stronger desire to get high than to quit. “it’s so hard to quit because it’s a disease”. WRONG, it’s hard to quit because you’re a junkie, you made yourself that way. You were not born a junkie. If you have no will power and are a weak minded follower, please do not do drugs because you will become a fucking addict. Nobody should have pity for a person because they think addiction is a disease. They should only pity the weakness of that persons will power. They say obesity is a disease too, right? Ha! Just a game to make people feel more helpless than they already are. DON’T DO DRUGS IF YOU CAN’T USE THEM RESPONSIBLY. END OF STORY, END OF DIARY.

  2. This is a sad and moving story yet I have to agree with the first comment. The struggle against addiction is not an easy one but the “addiction is a disease” thing has got to stop. Treatment centers and addicts alike seem to justify relapses and bad habits by classifying addiction as a disease. It’s basically a nice way of saying “hey, you’re a fucking loser!”. I wish this man well in his battle with sobriety. It takes a lot of will. This is exactly why drugs are bad for people.

    1. Thank you guys for commenting, I totally see your point. After reading ya’lls comments I had this same conversation with one of my ex-boyfriends who is a recovering addict and he said that it’s more about your will to survive than it is about the addiction.

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