An Echo of Another Age

A councilor in rehab told me that I’d have to be a pretty angry person to put a needle in my arm.

It didn’t make any sense. I wasn’t an angry person. My entire life I’d either been happy or high.

Right after he said it, I was furious.

I used to sit in my car for hours. Sick to my stomach and sweating.

I drove a lot in those days. The trip to score would take anywhere between 2-4 hours.

I would get high, drive home, and play Dark Soul 2 until I passed out on the couch.

I’d wake up in the morning with a smidgeon of dope to get my day going, and then, I’d go back to work.

By the end of the shift, I would be starting to withdrawal.

The last time I used was in a parking lot outside of a pizza place.

When I got back to my folks house, I was stoned.

I joined my family in the living room and was handed an engagement ring.

“One day, I’m going to take the diamonds off and give them to you and your brother and sister.”

I held it in my hand and thought about pawning it.

Then, I looked across the room at my niece and realized:

I’d never held her.

I looked back at the ring, then around the room at my family. I heard a voice in my head:

“If you were my uncle, I’d be ashamed. You don’t add any value to these peoples lives. If you don’t do something now, you’ll spend the rest of your life making everyone else’s life more difficult…”

I saw myself through the eyes of those I loved, and in that moment, I decided I was done.

I went back to my house, shut myself in a room, and spent the next 7 days detoxing.

When heroin is removed, all that remains is the obsession.

When you don’t have it, you’re antsy and anxious and depressed. You can’t enjoy the weather, people, music, movies, or art.

The idea that people can be outside mowing the lawn, or talking on the phone, or smiling and laughing is unfathomable.

“What is there to enjoy?”

It just doesn’t make sense.

You view the world and all of the people in it as an organic prison. You see people as slaves, trapped in a trivial existence of total conformity.

You actually feel bad for them.

Why would they want to mow the lawn, or talk on the phone, or drive to work?

Is that really living?

You look out the window and feel bad for other people as your own body wastes away in darkness.

Lawnmowers growl and the sun peeks through a blanket that you thumb tacked against the window.

You roll over to stare at the wall and slam a fist into your face, wishing you were anywhere but here.

You turn the TV on and stare into the abyss.

In the darkness, you imagine the light. The warmth of an afternoon sun.

You envision yourself traveling, exploring the country and making friends. You see yourself waking up without sweaty bedsheets or stomach cramps.

You imagine yourself re-learning to live again, so you grit your teeth and endure the pain another hour longer…

You emerge from detox with a sense of urgency.

On the way to your first meeting you contemplate never doing heroin again, but your head is conflicted….

“What if you change your mind? What if the dope man has a sample to try? You could use one more time…”

Before you think another thought, you toss the dope kit out of the window and into the river.

In your mind you see the scene as if it were a movie…

And you’re the hero.

You share in the meeting and tell everyone exactly where you’re at. What you did on the way there. The pain of detox you’d just endured.

The room is quiet as people listen attentively.

The meeting ends and you’re approached by someone. They say that they want to help.

You’re relieved because you don’t want to be alone.

You’re thankful because someone knows what to do.

And you’re hopeful because you don’t know what to expect.

You’ve never stopped sharing because that’s what saved you.

You made a decision to be honest and the world showed up to help.

You found answers in the process of trying; questioning, analyzing, and interpreting life as you attempted to make sense of it.

People say that you’re helping them, but it’s not entirely true…

They are helping you.

You wake up in the morning and bask in the rays of an afternoon sun.

You hear lawnmowers and people and laughter and it doesn’t hurt.

It makes sense.

You pick up the phone and make a call.

And on the other end is a person who wants to get better…

Just like you.


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Have a most excellent Monday. Pwn some noobs. Raise some hell. Get friggen pitted

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