Sunday, December 27, 2009

I've been clean for 10 days.

I've spent the last 7 months alternating between trying to stay clean and chipping. Everyone in my life believes that I have been completely clean for 4 months. This is a lie that I have used to shield myself from the negative consequences of using. I've rationalized it by telling myself that I am protecting those around me.

If my wife and family had found out that I have been actively chipping for 4 months, the consequences are very clear and real. The instant consequence is that I will no longer be able to stay living with my wife, for the 2nd time. I will not be allowed to stay at my parents or my siblings or friends. I will be homeless. In order to not be completely abandoned, I will only be able to contact my supports from a sober living facility (Like the one I was kicked out of for using 2 months ago - everyone thinks I got booted for breaking rules) or a treatment centre. I won't have a car. The long term consequence is that I will be putting the decision in regards to the future of my marriage solely in the hands of my wife. I will have to live in a group setting again, which I admit is very demeaning for myself.

I know that my family and wife will stick to this. They know that addiction is life or death and they are not willing to love me to death.

I also know that I cannot have it both ways. I cannot keep using and not have my life fall apart in the midst of my second chance at life. This is why I have made the decision to stop chipping and try something different.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I've been clean for 5 days.

"This time I am serious". "Things have gotten so bad, if you get me out of this mess I'll never use again". "I am NEVER going through this again". "I'm going to write this down so I never forget how terrible I felt".

These are the types of thing I've said as an addict too many times to count. Usually not only to myself but to those around me who were cheering me on to make it. I'd think and utter these things in the days after having my drug use lead to a catastrophic situation.

The people around me had been hanging on, waiting in what I can only believe to be severe angst, for me to hit my bottom. They heard these words and clung onto them with the hope that this time it would be different. I was not being facetious or manipulative. I truly did not want the cycle of crisis -> abstinence -> drug use -> crisis to continue. The way this thinking would play out in reality is that I still wanted to use, but didn't want the negative consequences. Once the wreckage of whatever crisis I'd caused that led me to want out of drugs has been cleared, the negative consequences disappear like sleight of hand. My brain now tells me that it is safe to use.

Most of the people in my life have not given up hope. I'm not sure if this is because they really believe I can make it, or if it is self-preservation in the sense that they didn't want to admit that there was a chance I may be too far gone. They say they will support me in my recovery, but not in using.

I use until I hit a crisis, then vow to never use again and there they are to help me. I wonder if being hung out to dry by my loved ones for a good 9-12 months into recovery might not be a better option. If I decide to stop using, the sooner my life gets to bearable status, the sooner I am likely to start to think I can handle using again. Maybe its better if I have to learn to live with and for myself in early recovery.

Life is tough for each and every person. As an addict I believe in the fallacy that life should be easy, and when it is not, I deserve something or someone to bail me out. When I decide to get clean because life with drugs is too tough, I instantly start to lean on the people who I know want to help me get better, to get through the chaos of early recovery as easily as possible. I don't learn to appreciate that life is going to be hard sometime, and set myself up for failure when it does get hard.
woke up on a Monday morning last May.

I hadn’t slept too much that night. I’d spent the weekend in the company of my wife. On Saturday afternoon, we drove over to the nursery to pick up flowers and plants for the garden. I remember trying so hard to be careful not to knock the plants over while driving home. We took to doing our tasks – she worked on the potted plants on the back deck while I started working on the front planter. That’s when my window of opportunity opened.

This was the first time today that we’d had so much separating us – an entire house to be exact. My wife didn’t usually like leaving me alone in a different area of the house, but she was so focused on her escape of gardening that she must have forgotten for a few minutes who she was dealing with. I sent a simple text message: “You around?”. My dealer was in the neighborhood. He agreed to meet me at a local convenience store, just around the corner from my house.

I went inside, and explained to her that I wanted to get something to drink at the store. She snapped back into reality at this point and replied that that would be fine, but she’d like to go with me. This was contrary to my plans and thus my manipulator had to be summoned. I think my argument eventually was whittled down to was that “I just wanted to go alone”. My wife knew what was up and did not relent. We went back to our tasks, both silently fuming. Now I had to summon some quick thinking. I convinced my wife to let me go if I was back in less than 2 minutes. I knew I couldn’t pick up at the store because if my dealer was a fraction late, my wife would either show up looking for me, or search me when I got home. I went to the store for 2 minutes, used the ATM to withdraw cash, went home and dumped it in the mailbox. I then went to the back deck to work with my wife. This was to ensure that my wife would not see the dealer walk to the front, and exchange the cash for drugs. It also ensured that she could keep an eye on me. Coming back from the store empty handed, she would then badly for doubting me, and I would build up a bit of trust. All while still getting my fix!

I couldn’t get any needles until Sunday night – that was when I was supposed to go to an NA meeting. Instead I would go to the drug store, get my rigs and some cotton, then drive around looking for inconspicuous places to park for 2-3 minutes while I fixed and shot and then drove off again, until it was time to go home. I had a stash at home of NA pamphlets, which I would put into my sock, along with my dope, when I went upstairs to get ready to go to the meeting. I’d often show up late with various stories of meetings running late, driving people home, along with my procured NA literature to prove I’d been at the meeting.

Backtrack to Sunday afternoon. My wife was hell bent on trying to have a normal weekend. She knew that I was using but without concrete evidence, it was my manipulation and lies versus her suspicions. No matter how ridiculous my lies, without physical evidence I would clutch onto them with my cold dead hands. We took ourselves to an artisan craft fair. It was one of the first hot and humid weekends of the summer. I hadn’t snorted drugs in quite some time, but I had a big fresh bag of dope calling my name and at least a few hours before I was getting needles. I told myself I’d wait until I could get some, but I’d had a burning bag in my pocket for almost 24 hours. The single person washrooms at the craft show proved to be too much of an opening. I excused myself and found that there was a perfect little ledge for snorting cocaine built right into the wall. I remember thinking that whoever designed the area could not have foreseen how versatile this part of the architecture would be. My wife knew I was high the moment I felt high. She spent the rest of the afternoon dragging me around, silently in a huff after I stonewalled her about how high I was not. We got home and I sat on the front porch to read alone, quickly releasing bumps into my nose every 20-30 minutes, waiting until it was needle time.

Monday morning comes and as mentioned earlier, I hadn’t slept much. It was one long racing obsessive thought about using the drugs and needles that I had hidden in a shoe in my shoe rack. The only way I was going to get rid of this obsessive thought was to use drugs. Any sleep I did get was light. As usual, my wife got out of bed before I did. The routine was she would shower first, and then I would shower and then we would drive together to work (I’d drop her off at her place of employment and then drive to work). By this time I had been awake for awhile. I was very uncomfortable as the physical anxieties of these racing using thoughts began to wear on me. I decided that in about 30 minutes, when her alarm sounded and she crawled into the shower, I would seize the day. Once I heard her get in the shower I sprang into action, and cooked up a shot on her dresser top, where she couldn’t see. Of course, in my addict-driven clamor, I was not nearly as agile as I thought. She heard me and came rushing out of the shower. I didn’t have time to do anything. There it was, the physical evidence that she’d been both dreading and craving.

Many expletives and tears were thrown my way, boiling down to essentially “Get out of the house, get some help and don’t talk to me until you sort your shit out”.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I'm 30 years old and I'm three days clean.

I'm married, I own a house and a car. I'm hoping to become a father soon. I am currently close to completing my Master's degree, while in the same breath, working full time. So far I have been working on this 2 year degree for 4 years. The reason for the delay is that I am heinously addicted to intravenous use of cocaine and heroin.

This blog will hopefully serve as a historian to my journey through the experience of being a drug addict. It should be a place with great warnings and great hope all rolled into one.