Tag Archives: sobriety

Imagining My Life Without Having Ever Used Drugs

Often, namely when I am in a state or regret, I sit and wonder where my life would be had I never tried heroin, or cocaine (which I used prior to heroin, and lead me to heroin). It is very easy to think about where my life was before I was addicted to heroin and cocaine. Your brain naturally wants to assume that sans the drugs your life would have gone down the absolute best paths possible.

I was a student at the University of Maryland majoring in Elementary Education, with a focus on English. I was going to UMCP as an honor student on an almost full college. In fact, I was able to buy a brand new Honda Civic with all the money that my mother had saved for me for college which I no longer needed. I like to get down on myself imagining that had I never become an addict, I would be an elementary school teacher right now, with a nice house, white picket fence, a decent car and 2.5 kids. Of course, I could not go back to school to get a degree in education now even if I wanted to. For one, if you have any sort of drug convictions, you are no longer eligible for any federal scholarship money.  (Don’t get me started on all that is wrong with this policy- society wants drug addicts to get clean and turn their lives around, but you going to refuse to offer them ANY sort of financial assistance. WTF). Secondly, and most importantly, even if I went back to school on my own dime and got the degree that I was originally going for, it would be pointless. With my one drug conviction (I have a second drug arrest for which I was found not guilty) and my multiple thefts, and assault I, by law, would not ever find a job.

Thing is, I had already left UMCP before I started getting high. I was driving home constantly to see my boyfriend at the time. I started having a viscous bought with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I stopped going to most of my classes during my spring semester. My shrink had a meeting with me and the dean of the school and I was able to have my classes that I failed excused and taken off of my record.

Originally, my dream was to go to NYU and major in music business. I stayed behind to be with the boyfriend (BIG mistake). After I broke up with him and left UMCP, I was teaching pre-school full time and taking classes towards that music business degree at the local community college.

This is when I started getting high with the boyfriend I was seeing at the time. It started with us getting coke (a drug that I had done a few times before). Eventually we were buying dope to come down. Soon we were buying more dope then coke or only dope.

That boyfriend went to jail on three violation of probation warrants, one of which was a no bail. My husband called me wanting me and my boyfriend (his brother in law) to pick him up to take him in town. Obviously he was unaware that my boyfriend (we’ll call him Joe) was locked up. I picked him up alone.

Soon I was picking him up every day. We had a plutonic relationship for a long, long time. Eventually after a night of drunk sex, we realized that we were meant to be together. He made me happier than I had ever felt. He made me feel beautiful, truly beautiful. He treated me like a princess. We got in legal trouble together, and often got out of it due to both of our unwillingness to snitch on one another.

Within just over two years, we were married and had a beautiful daughter. We went through periods of him being in jail, or me being in jail, or both of us being in jail. We were clean for a few years, we were addicts for a few years before and after our sober period. We are clean together now. We also have a son together now as well.

See, as easy as it is for me to dwell on what could have been had I never stuck a needle in my arm, I cannot overlook everything that I gained through addiction. I am married to my best friend. I have two wonderful, beautiful kids (one turns 9 next week, and the other turns 6 in December). Most importantly, I like the person that addiction made me. Maybe I do not particularly like the person that I become while in active addiction, but I am a lot stronger than I ever knew. I have unlimited compassion for others. I know what it is like to be at the bottom of the totem pole.

Have I lost a lot do to drugs? Of course I have. Drugs have made me realize that not everything is the end of the world. I try to look at the good side to what I have been through. I truly believe that if you can make it through heroin addiction and come out on the other side with your morals still intact and are able to achieve and maintain sobriety, them there is nothing that you cannot do. There is no one out there stronger than a recovering addict, and I am proud to say that I am in that group.




Ghosts of Junkies Past

I don’t know if it stems from the fact that I suffer from ADD, or if I truly suffer from the junkie version of “The Seven Year Itch”, only in my book it is the two year itch, but once I have been clean for about two years, I begin to feel restless. No, I have not relapsed. I do not want to get high. That is not what this is about. I just cannot simply be content with things “as is”. I always need to have a project, something to look forward to. I have to be making plans.

I have been planning not only a trip to Ocean City, MD with my husband and kids this summer, but we are looking into buying, actually owning, our own home. I want that so much. I am thinking that this will help stave off “the itch”. I am very good about paying all the bills as soon as the direct deposit hits. Sometimes, the issue is too much extra money. That is not to imply that we have droves of extra money lying around, but a mortgage that is attached to a $200,000 to $300,000 loan is a lot to loose. It is a good incentive to keep oneself on track.

This itch is not helped by the fact that lately it seems like heroin and heroin addicts are in my face constantly. Friends, actual friends – not your average get high buddies, that I have worked so hard to distance myself, my husband, and my family from have suddenly reappeared. 

Two people in particular. One is a guy that I have been close friends with since my sophomore year in high school. The other is a guy that my husband has been best friends with since first grade, and I met while I was pregnant with my daughter who is eight and a half now. Actually, I wrote about these two men in the article “When Dealing With An Addict Is It Better To Give Love Or Tough Love?”

The man that I have been friends with for 15 years now particularly pains me to not be able to see, but I can’t. I love him. He is family. Except for one incident recently he has been really good to me, and I to him. That being said however, he continues to want to get high. He comes home from jail or rehab and starts back up in a matter of weeks or months. I had to severe the ties, but he has called recently. I do want to hang out, but addicts to not respect that you are a clean, recovering addict. They resort back to fond memories of you getting high with them and inevitably try to get you high, or at least offer it to you. I am actually crying slightly writing about this potential (probably) total loss of this man’s friendship, and I almost NEVER cry.

On Saturday, I was shopping at the local Harris Teeter, when my phone rang. I looked at it and noticed that it was a number that I didn’t recognize, so I didn’t answer. Then it called again, so I picked up. It was the other guy, my husband’s childhood best friend. I hadn’t talked to him in probably nine months, maybe more. I haven’t seen him in like two and a half years. He was locked up and I haven’t seen him since he has been home. I don’t even know where he is living. Things are very different with this man. He is like a brother to me, but he uses my husband. My husband still wants to see him for the best friend that he had for so long, and cannot see the person that the drugs have made him.

On New Years Eve 2012, me, my husband, my sister, and the first friend (the one from high school) all went in town early in the morning. We went to our usual spot to get 37 pills. My husband got out to go into the hole. He came back after about two minutes and told us that they were on hold. He went back up in the hole about ten minutes later while the rest of us waited in the SUV (we loved to use this car because it had really dark tint and you could not see our white skin through the windows) at the back exit of the alley. Anyway, the gave him the first 26 before they ran out. He had to wait in the alley for the next back. The guy went in to the abandoned row house to get the next pack and gave to my husband and sent him on his way. We were all sitting in the car and I see a cop pull up and park almost next to us. Then I see Aaron coming around the corner walking towards the car. “Please don’t come to the car”, I thought to myself. My husband was wearing gloves and a hoody with the hood up, and his head was down, so you couldn’t see his skin color. By continuing to walk the cop should have to reason to stop him, but by opening the car door and the cop seeing four white people on a small street where most of the houses are abandoned and almost no white people live there? Well, we would all be fucked. What we didn’t know was that the police had cops in abandos and on roof tops watching the hole with binoculars. They watched the hole thing. The guy throw my husband to the ground, gun drawn, and cuffed him.

They charged him with possession and possession with intent. They dropped the intent at the preliminary hearing and never intended for the felony charge to go to trial. It would never have stood up, they just did it to fuck him on his bail – and it worked. His bail was set at $20,000. So me and my high school buddy went out to get money after we got well. We had $350 for his bail before it was set. The city takes between 18 and 24 hours to see the commissioner, so we had a little bit of time. They had told him that they would not charge him with intent, so his bail should have been between $2,500 and $5,000. The intent raised the bail. We were able to bail him out on a payment plan agreement.

While all of this was happening, his supposed “best friend” called constantly. Not to see if he could help get money or anything, but because he wanted me to take him out boosting. Then about 12 hours after my husband’s bail was paid and he was due to be released, he walked from whoever he was to the Baltimore City Central Booking and Intake Center where he knew we were waiting. He had called saying that he got a pill of dope for Aaron since he was going to be so ill. I informed him that I had three for my husband. I knew how sick he was, and I wasn’t going to pick him up empty handed. Funny thing, when he arrived, after learning that I had something for my husband, he said that the pill he had for him “fell down his pants legs and is gone”. Come on dude, just admit that you did it! It is fine, I bought him something. Don’t tell me ridiculous lies. He knew that my husband had been locked up with $150. I had mentioned it on the phone saying that it sucked that he had some of the money for his bail in his property. An inmate can sign their property over to someone, but he would not have been able to do it until after he had been moved upstairs and classified. That would have taken days. That was why he met us at Bookings. Almost as soon as my husband got in the car, right after he got on he asks, “You have a $150, right? So you can afford to get me high, right?”. My husband did because that is the kind of person he is, but he saw what I had been telling him, what everyone had been telling him, for months. This guy, his alleged best friend, didn’t once offer to help bail my husband out, but now he wanted the person who just spent the last 36 hours sick as a dog to get him high.

We hung out with him a couple of times right after that, and he fucked us over each time. So excuse me for not being particularly eager to reconnect with this guy. He is also rather chauvinistic. It is not even a remote possibility in his brain that I could be smarter than him about anything because I am a woman. Forget the fact that, sorry to sound arrogant, but I AM smarter than him, as I am smarter than most people. He dismisses anything that me or any woman has to say as being without merit automatically. He doesn’t even really listen to what a woman has to say.

I tend to be a cold, closed off person. It is far and away my biggest flaw. I let no one in. When I do let you into my inner-sanctum, I am intensely loyal, almost to a fault, but I get that close with very few individuals. Both of these men are people that at one point and time were close to me (one much closer and more trusted than the other) and now because of my demons, because of their demons, I cannot see them or really even talk to them. It is sad, but necessary to keep the “two year itch” at bay.