The biggest stress seems to have passed. He’s got diabetes but he won’t die.
The addicts are very ‘close to home’, of course, and in my country it’s not usual for counselors to be former users themselves. Which is weird. Usually, anything concerning your own addiction, a psychiatric past, … is strongly advised to be kept to yourself, even among colleagues. How much faith can they really have in their own treatment, if they won’t accept recovered addicts in their staff though, right?
So I shut the fuck up about anything concerning my history, and put effort in to hide my scars. I’m lucky it’s winter, nobody notices. Hopefully it’ll stay shit cold until mid March.
The patient population is basically a random excerpt of my own social circle. Fragile young women, grown up men with intimacy issues or an incapacity to deal with their fears or their anger. A lot of cocaine and speed. One of them, especially, is really the perfect example of what my using friends are like. I have to say though, they seem to crave a lot more than I do, or differently.
‘Cause I got cravings, let’s not be a liar about that. But they don’t make me want to use. They’re more a good memory to good times, a thing that is over. Well, wait. That’s not entirely true. Some days I feel like I’m on the edge. Some days I feel like I could maybe get in trouble if I’m not very aware of my weakness. Though I’m so, so, so absolutely convinced of my own death if I use again, or poverty, just general misery. The call of cocaine can be extremely strong, when I think of it cleaned and smoked. Being high is like. I don’t know. Nothing else, I guess.
There’s always a but though. Not even a but, just a categorical no. Because I know it won’t end if I start it back up. I’ll feel superguilty the first time, but the threshold will have been crossed. A first time implies a second, because I’m a perfectionist to boot and by then I’ll be like “pff I’m relapsing anyway, might as well enjoy another high”.
Also, I think I’d lose my partner if I relapsed. My relapse is the one thing that’s never a real option, I kinda made that happen for myself. I built up an environment that actually expects me to be clean. Or maybe it just feels that way, whatever. Sometimes I do wonder, what if I used again and everything went to shit. Legitimate shit, I don’t mean picking up the pieces and moving on. I mean I become I regular user again until it’s a daily occurrence and all my money disappears into it. Probably jail.
We’ll see how this bitch unfolds, but yeah, some days I’m taken aback by the familiarity of what I hear. I want to nod and smile in recognition, but can’t. When this dude explains how he rolls up a bill in his jacket pocket while leaving his work place, I wanna be like DUDE YOU GOTTA USE STRAWS THAT YOU CUT OFF. When another talks about his random nosebleeds, when yet another explains how his dealer had “testers”, … All feels like home. All feels like something I miss. Dearly.
Seriously, these guys are great. They’re in recovery, obviously, but god they are so great. One lady has an alcohol addiction, but more heart, love and spirit than anyone in that entire gang. I feel more at ease around them than around staff. And I can’t talk about it. It’s burning inside me, but I can’t. They’d take it the wrong way, or I’d be judged. Or they’d fail me at my internship, ultimately, I suppose.
The thing is, it’d all feel more natural if I could just get that off my chest. Just be like, look, guys, I’m an addict too, I used for years, I cleaned my coke and smoked or snorted it, usually alone as a means to get to school. I was lonely, I was hurting and I was cold. When I was high, I got warmer, things made sense, I was out of the chaos of every day life. I know how you feel, and I promise you it can feel that way too, on the other side.
That last bit sounds so off, right now. I love life, I love people, I love the future. But it’s life in spite of cocaine. It’s trying to make it work, so that cocaine won’t need to be a part of it. Everything’s an effort to avoid relapse. So, indirectly, my life is still all about cocaine. And I’m okay, my boyfriend loves me dearly, and I love him. He has relapsed, I haven’t yet. We talk about it, sporadically, though my addiction isn’t often brought up because I don’t really know what to say or how to even communicate about all that stuff. Talking about cravings doesn’t make them go away. It’s all just willpower. Holding on to the (temporary?) luxury of not having failed yet, because it’s a black-and-white standard to stay clean.
Maybe it was just a tough day, when they talked about drugs and what it does to them.