March 29 2018 was my last day, and, knock on wood, I will reach two days free from Demon Opium.I am going to share these ‘prior to quitting’ writings off and on for this month. The depths of addiction is a strange place to live. You do and say things you, cross lines that you swore you would never cross.
You are owned by the Demon, and you are deep in a tunnel of despair. Physically nonfunctional your brain drifts and you have a lot time contemplate the universe and scribble down the words of a mad man. Insights? Maybe, though I prefer to call it a look into a place worth looking at. If just to look back in fear, those words from the botton of the well are frozen memories.
Imagine needing to scream but not having a voice. You know when you think: there are so many things I should have said. Things I could have said. Things I would have said.
That moment can hang frozen in the freezer of your psyche. One moment, perhaps mortifying or worse, stuck in a loop.
Maybe, you want to take it back. You can see the words hanging out there. Inside you are screaming, “WHY DID I SAY THAT?”
Maybe you know what you could have said. An aside, a moment of shared hope, a whisper of love. Inside you are sighing sadly, “why didn’t I say that?”
Maybe there is that moment, when anger prevailed rather than a cool reply, a calm conversation, a sarcastic retort. Inside you are asking, “Why couldn’t I say that?”
We are a species cursed to relieve our most embarrassing, most out of control, most frightened moments over and over. It comes with the territory, kiddos. Self awareness is our gift and curse.
When we are stuck in our cycle of cringe worthy moments, we are trapped by our needs. Our need to be liked. Our need to be right. Our need to cool. Our need to be in control.
Sure, we live, we learn, we grow. Sometimes we can reflect, make sense and move on. Not all the time, Some of those moments are saved for special moments to bring you to your knees. I have one from February 2018 playing now.
I had saved up my pills, having been cutting down since May 2017. I stole another twenty milligrams of to go with thirty I had squirreled away. Another day that I would forget and would want to forget:
Fifty milligrams of Percocet and .25 of Xanax this morning, I am so high and feeling that happy floaty comfort from opioids overwhelming my system
I haven’t had this high of a dose for a while.
Not much said. A dose and a feeling with no context, but the context is this: I was overdosing and I didn’t care. I didn’t want to die. I just didn’t care if it happened. In that moment, that high, every single shitty thing I had ever done in service to my habit was playing in IMAX 3D:
I am just hanging on. The high is the high and the low, the low. My body craves this, so does my mind. It’s like a sweet poison. My mind gets a hit, it calms down and tracks in.
Frank Herbert said, fear is the mind killer. With respect, I disagree. Guilt is the mind killer.
Trapped. Like a wasp in a soda bottle. We don’t know how we got in, but sure as hell want out. Angry, frustrated, and sad. We all have our cycles.
I don’t have any magic words or advice. Fifty-six years of living have taught me the folly of that. I can still be brought to my knees by a random moment from years ago. No one is immune. You can only push on and go forward.
I just want to say friends, that addiction or no, we all have those moments we want to relive or worse, have to relive. Like intruders bent on destroying your psyche. All I can say is, don’t let it.
Easier said than done, I know. There is no shame in seeking help. Therapy, even meds, can make a difference. Don’t fear what you can’t fix. I know, sounds like I am saying, “Suck it up. Get over it.” That’s not what I mean. It’s that whole radical acceptance thing.
Accepting it doesn’t mean it goes away, of course. Especially those demons and spirits that haunt our dreams. They are much harder to excise. Even when vanquished, you can still feel them on the edges of your consciousness.
I recommend fighting them. Be the aggressor, the resister, the one in control. Just once say no. Or say yes. Or just say nothing at all.
Here’s the thing kiddos, the demons belong to us. No, I’m not saying we are the demon. The demons we carry, we carry by choice. Scary, right? We are trying to run away from a demon that is attached to our back.
When you realize that, you can stop running. Take your demon off your back and take a good long look. The demon may not go away, but it will shrink.
Like all good compulsions we relive, this one can come back. It isn’t a big demon anymore. Just a tiny one, a wisp of a thought, of a moment that can’t be changed. Then you can finally what you really want to say, “Fuck that demon,”