Tag Archives: Addiction

She’s Only 22……….

She’s only 22 and has 3 children under the age of 5. Her Mother is raising them and has given up hope for her, well, almost. She sent her back home to her family for help, for more rehab. The 5th time she has been in a rehabilitation unit. This time she walked away from it, didn’t even give it a chance, just detoxed and left. I guess it had been at least 6 years since I saw her. She was then a teenager with long dark hair, long legs and beautiful olive skin. She was troubled looking casting her eyes downward when spoken to. Her aversion to looking you in the eye was a by product of her years of abuse by her stepfather. It all made perfect sense later when we found out the ugly, awful truth. The quiet somewhat shy girl, who later could not look anyone in the eye even stopped laughing or smiling like she used to. There was something about her, a feeling you got that you could not quite put your finger on. A gut feeling that should have been paid closer attention to………..by all of us. When her stepfather started keeping her contact with anyone outside of their home to a minimum it really made you wonder. It was not long after that he was found out and subsequently sent to prison. Good riddance you say and rightly so, however………. The physical abuse stopped and she and her family moved away to another state. Years later, her stepfather is back out in the world doing God only knows what while her life is in shambles………..still. The promiscuity that followed seemed ironic to me, yet I believe that may be typical. I am no expert on abuse and the aftermath, but from what I have witnessed, self- abuse stays on inside the victim. The heavy drug addiction that followed should probably not have been a surprise, yet it was. Why you wonder? You get rid of the bastard, put him away and she is free to live her life. Free to recover and heal and move on to the life that she deserves. But, it does not happen that way. She has ulcers on her arms, and scars on her once lovely face. You can see the beauty that was there only a few short years ago. Her teeth look like they are on their way out also. It was quite shocking to see her. I wanted to hug her and say what happened to you and why? But instead I just hugged her and said, “Hey there, what are you doing? “ I did not have to ask how, I could see how she was doing. I knew what had happened without being in her life all of those years. I did not want to be close to her, did not really want to hug her until I saw her. Afraid of her addiction touching my life, as it was already touched by another family member’s addiction, there was no room for more. But, when I saw her I felt like crying, the sadness weighs heavily on me now, even as I write this. I realize that the abuser has served his time and is free, while the victim, my once sweet little niece has a destroyed life. Her children do not have a mother that is whole. All are affected. It is sad that punishing the abuser does not change things, but there can never be justice for something of this nature. It is just not possible. Maybe she would have become a junkie anyway, even with a normal childhood. I will never know the answer. I do believe that there is a point where she has a choice, to either nurture or punish herself, but it still angers me to my core. This chain of events that he has set off. This ruination of a life or her offspring’s lives. It angers me that he is free while she may never be………………………………….


Here We Go Again

Actually I should say here he goes again, not here we go again. We are not going anywhere together from the looks of things. Nothing has changed in the month that he was gone. The only reason he is back home is because he fell and injured himself. He had to go to the hospital and get stitched up, so being the idiot that I am, I went and picked him up there. Then the vicodin was a given and of course he took them all. He did not really have a place to stay, and I told him that he could stay for 2 or 3 days and then we would talk. We never really talked. I finally told him, you cannot stay here unless you are clean and in treatment.

He never went to treatment or even a meeting. He seems higher than a kite tonight, all wound up and excited. Why do I not tell him to go again? It is not because I am afraid of being alone. I liked it when he was not here. After about 3 weeks, I missed him mildly. What does that tell you?

I do need money as all of mine went to pay for the house payment. It is way, way too high for both of us to pay, never the less one of us. He gave me some when he was gone, but most of his was garnished for the treatment program that did not get paid. I cannot make it on my paycheck right now. Some changes would have to be made. I am too lazy to make those changes I guess.

I am pissed off to the max right now. I am so damned angry at him and his addiction. I am angry at his choice again. I am angry at my choice, again. I am mad as hell when I hear the happiness of the drug in his voice. For God’s sake, his grandbaby does not even know him as he does not go to see him. Of course he is not allowed when high. Time is passing, time is ticking away. His chances with the grandbaby are going to slip away. It makes me sick. It makes me sad. It makes me mad, so very damned mad.

I do not even want to hear his voice as he is blabbing on and on about the day’s events. I don’t feel like it is a real person talking. It is the drug. It is always the drug. It will always be the drug. Always.

How many times, have I hoped and prayed? How many times do I try to convince myself that it will change? It could change, he could choose differently. He could choose to seek help, to seek life as some say. Instead he chooses not. So what does that mean? It means that is he is not choosing life, then he is choosing a sure death. There, I have said it. In my opinion, he chooses death. What a waste!

I Am An Addict

You can’t make me clean, though I know it is what you want for me to be. But until I want it. I won’t be. You can’t love me clean, because until I learn to love myself. I won’t be. I know you must wonder how can I learn to love myself when I am caught up in a life style of self-hatred and self destruction. I can learn from my own experiences. I can learn from the things that happen to me along the path of my own mistakes. I can learn by being allowed to suffer the consequences of my choices. Life has a funny way of teaching us the lessons we need learn.

I know it devastates you to watch me hurting myself. I know you want to jump in and save me. This helps ease your pain, but I don’t think you understand just how damaging it is to me.

You see, although I look and sound like your loved one. I am not. That person is in a self imposed prison way deep down inside of my being and what you see before you is an addict ruled and reigned by my addiction. I am a addict and my main focus is to feed the addiction. Every effort you put forth in the name of “helping me” falls prey to my addiction giving it more power to shackle me down a little more each time.

I feed my addiction enough. So please don’t help me.

The only way for the real me to get free is to be free. FREE to fall as far down as I need to go in order to find the strength to fight and find my way back. To break free.

How can or will I ever be able to get clean you wonder …

The same way I gave myself over to my addiction is the same way I can give myself over to my recovery. BY MYSELF

By not enabling me you will be allowing me to reach “rock bottom”. By trusting the process you move over and allow me to find the my own way back. You see, it is in the fight to get free that I will find myself. It is in the fight that I will learn to love myself and the more I love myself … the more I will start to do to better myself, but I myself, must do this.

I am aware that when I use I am playing Russian roulette with my life. I know this, but that is a chance I take when I use. The addict in me is willing to take that chance in the name of getting high.

Rock bottom is but a circumstance away. I can’t reach it you are blocking the entrance.

I know you love me and you only want whats best for me … but that very love keeps you blind sighted to just what truly is best for me and causes you to act from/out of fear and emotions.

Please for my sake don’t try to stop me… just let me go … move out of the way and let me fall as far down as my addiction is going to take me … as far down as I have to to reach rock bottom. Don’t try to cushion the fall. Just believe in me and trust the process. Pray for me that when I do hit … it is not with the impact that leaves me for dead (I know that is your greatest fear), but if it comes to that, be sure to tell my story so that others might learn from my mistakes and live.

Recovering addict __________________

Note from Girls Without Shoes, I Found this on Sober Recovery.com forums.

Hello My Name Is… Part 1

©2008 ~Bunnis

©2008 ~Bunnis

Written and contributed by Anonymous Author

So I was asked to just jot down my story and my recovery by a friend. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to revisit my past.

I am an alcoholic, and proud to admit that. I am a member of Alcoholics Anonymous in South Africa. This is the first time I have told my story from beginning to end for a very long time. I hope you don’t mind and you give me a little license here to write what needs to be written. It is going to work out to be quite a long read, but to tell you the truth I am doing this more for myself than I am for you. I NEED to tell this right now, at this juncture in my life.

Where to start, I suppose the beginning is always a good place to start. So the beginning then:

I am a young man, having turned 25 earlier this year, from a loving, albeit broken, family. My mother and father separated in 1997 and to tell you the truth, I was happy when it happened. It has not been easy, but I know that I have the love and support from my family. The family life was always good, even if my father did drink excessively at certain points in my past. But I would never hold this against him. I will skip though the formative years, as there is not much that happened in my life that impacts much on my story.

So fast-forward 6 years, I am still a young boy, 6 in fact, and a little something came into our family, a little girl. 6 years younger than me and 10 years in the junior of my brother. Now as much as I love my sister now, I never had a particularly good relationship with her. She’ll probably read this excerpt of my life story, so sis, I apologise for anything upfront. I was extremely jealous of her. She was the new kid on the block and I felt that all my parents’ attention had been turned away from me to her. This is entirely understandable though. She almost never pulled through when she was born, she was very premature and was a sickly baby for many months after her birth.

I must outline here that I am an incredibly selfish person. An ex-girlfriend of mine has recently told me so, but I appreciate her honesty, as much as it hurts. Being a selfish person means I demand peoples attention and when it is not given I get upset… This is a downfall of mine that I am working on. As I grew up from here, I gradually become more and more obsessed with myself, going through periods of extreme highs (bordering on disgusting arrogance) to points where my self-confidence was shot and I often felt as though I was not worthy of others.

My drinking began at 12. My father had a great collection of booze lying around the house. A bottle of Jamesons later, and I was lying on the bathroom floor vomiting my stomach dry, eventually passing out on the bathroom floor. The next day started the 8 years of hell lived in. You see my hangovers were legendary. I suffered for the poisons I shoved into my body. Anyway, the next 8 years are much of a blur for me. I can highlight some of the more extreme times.

In the beginning I started out a twice a month binge drinker. This increased to the stage that I was drinking 7 days a week, and blacking out on 5 of those occasions a week. So my modus operandi was the following. Get home from school during the week. Fuck around until about 20h30, go to my room, have a couple of smokes do some homework, sneak downstairs and steal a bottle of wine from my old mans cellar (an impressive cellar, so a couple of bottles a week never went noticed). Sneak back up to my room, open the bottle (with my trusty waiters friend that lived in my drawer) and pour a good glass of red wine… Then I would really get into the flow of writing! Generally I would pass out around midnight and wake for school at 06h00. Great lifestyle I thought, I was coping, doing all my work and getting good grades.

Weekends would roll around and we would roll into the local, and literally roll out 6 hours later. My mates, I thought at the time, were guppies compared to me.. I could drink any of them under the table. There was a time at school that I thought I had a problem and I spoke to my mentor at school, he was concerned but let me know that ultimately I had to make the decision. This decision took another 3 years to make.

School went by in a haze of cigarette smoke and red wine, my poison of choice. There was a period in my school career where I stopped drinking and smoking. This was short lived but I felt at the time I had to do it as I was playing national sport, and I knew that if I carried on I would throw it away. So I stopped cold turkey and things seemed fine… Thing is a non alcoholic would not have started drinking after a 6 month break with a bottle of whiskey, a full bottle. I was drinking on school property, getting found out by the staff, even drinking with the staff on occasions. My charm always got me through and I never got into shit for it. But school was small fry for me. The days of varsity were hitting, HARD!

The December before I started my university career, it was my brothers 21st. We had a big party, and I was surrounded with red wine basically on tap and gin to boot. Can’t remember getting home that evening, but I do remember the drama that occurred on the evening. This was the beginning of the blackouts. The drama, you ask? Well my dad and my brother got into a fight that near ruined the evening, but all was good in the morning. I somehow got involved in the middle of the fight and ended up being the most hurt, emotionally. Anyway, this was time for my second break from drinking. Stopped for about 4 months this time, and then one day, at a rugby festival in Johannesburg, I decided to get tucked into the booze again… This time guess how I started? Yes you guessed correctly, another bottle of whiskey, a FULL bottle. And so began the beginning of the end. The next two and a half years I deteriorated into a full time drunk.

Let me outline the next two years in bullet form, as we would be here for days should I write it in paragraphs:

• Broke up with my girlfriend of 2 ½ years

• Got involved with a group of friends that drank as hard as I drank

• Went through relationship every two months

• Started ignoring uni

• Started my early daytime drinking, before 09h00 basically

• Starting blacking out on a regular occurrence

• Dabbled with soft drugs

• Became rather addicted to painkillers (I managed to get my hands on post operative drugs all the time somehow)

• Started getting a clouded head, my decisions were screwed up

• Then the last few months arrived!

So it was February 2003, my 20th birthday. Got to the pub with my girlfriend at the time and all our mates. I didn’t have a cent on me and I still managed to black out that night! I started off on the Jamesons and ended up on the Stroh Rum. I was offered a lift home, but thought it best if I drove. Blacked out and woke up in the morning with screaming. I thought to myself, shit, what did I do last night? Did I kill someone, is there blood on my car, what the fuck happened! It turns out that I had a minor accident involving, to this day I imagine, a curb. Both the tires on the right side of my car were blown. I couldn’t deal with it on the day however as I was hung-over and by this time in my drinking, my hangovers were debilitating. I got over this hangover and this car accident reasonably quickly.

That night in fact, I was out having a couple of drinks again. The wheels really started falling off after this. I was involved in a major car accident less two weeks later. This car accident left me in ICU for 7 days. This, one would think would be a wake up call from something. But to me I was totally oblivious. The weekend after I got out of hospital, I was back at the same bar I was at the night of my accident having a couple drinks, drugged to the gills on codeine. About a month later I was jetting off to Argentina, a week of blackout and hangover’s. I would not be able to tell you what happened on that week away from South Africa. The few things I do know, I cheated on my girlfriend at the time and I forget the rest. It literally was a week of forgetting about life. I got back and screwed over my best friend (with the girl I cheated with in Argentina). I lied to his face and he has never forgiven me for this. Understandable really.

The next 5 months I cannot recall for the life of me (I blame it primarily on the booze and the head injury secondarily). All I know I the last night I drank it was the only time in those 5 months that I do remember. I ended up at one of the bars in Northern Johannesburg after a heavy day of drinking. I spent more than a thousand Rand on drinks that evening, and I think the bar was well entertained by me… I performed my usual trick and ducked out of the club without anyone noticing… Then the evening is clear. I went off the road and punctured a tire. I was without any tools to fix the tire, and definitely in no state to be changing tires. I managed to get to a garage about 5kms away. I arrived there, and promptly blacked out after saying to myself: “Drive to your brother’s house, it 2 mins away.” Next thing I was home in my flat and had no clue how I had arrived there.

I woke in the morning to a family that would not talk to me, let alone look at me. I finally had hit the bottom for the final time. I had finished bouncing and there was no foreseeable future for me… This was one of many times I had contemplated ended my life. I eventually made the decision to enter the fellowship (Alcoholics Anonymous).

And thus ends the story of my drinking, my short and not so illustrious drinking career. I was 20 years old and I had had enough. I did not know where to go. I was a lost sheep and I was not willing to continue with my life the way I was going.

I maintain to this day, had I not stopped drinking then, I would have been dead before my 21st birthday. My angels were with me, as they are today!

Life is difficult.”

M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled

This is part one of a three-part blog.

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My Story ~ Anon

Written and contributed by Anonymous Author

Here is my story, its not my opinion and it is not to be taken as advice, it is merely what I was like, what happened and what I’m like now. I am going to share my experience, strength and hope with you.

I was an only child raised in an alcoholic home, I had a crappy childhood and it was the perfect excuse to use for getting wasted.

I always said I had a good 11 years of sobriety and then I turned 12.

The first time I drank I wound up in hospital with alcohol intoxication, and that is what my drinking and using was always like for me – chaotic. I drank and used not for fun, but for oblivion, I could not deal with life or myself or school or anything, if I was happy or sad, if something good happened or if something bad happened whatever happened I needed to get loaded and high. It did not happen slowly for me I charged full force into a life filled with fear, abandonment, regret, guilt and a serious need for attention. I craved attention from people so badly I would do anything to get it, sleep with them, lie to them, whatever it took, just to feel wanted even if it was just for an instant.

I completely rebelled against everything and everyone – it was like I was absent the day they handed out books on life – I had no clue and I had no one to teach me.

I was young and filled with fear and hatred for myself. I wanted to be anyone but me and using and drinking gave me that ability. I grew up way to fast – I had seen and done more degrading and despicable things by the time I was 16 years old than most people have done in a lifetime, not to say that I am any more special or my story is worse than yours. When I was 16 I was admitted to rehab for 3 months, I weighed 42kg and was so strung out on crack and heroine, that my first week of detox in rehab was one big blur of shivering, shaking and vomiting. I was fed methadone and valium so I didn’t die from cold turkey. I finished up my stint in rehab and as soon as I got out I was up to no good all over again, I always knew I had a problem, but I didn’t care. I never again touched heroine, but the drinking and using everything else that was available was a norm for me.

I had a part time job and I dropped out of school when I was 17, I partied and some of what I do remember was fun, it wasn’t all bad, but it was completely destructive, every time something was going well or my relationships with others were going well – I would mess it up, no matter how or what, I found a way to destroy anything good in my life.

When I was 18 I got involved in a relationship and it seemed to fill the empty void I always felt that I had, but that too could only last so long until I destroyed that too.

I was unable to be honest about anything to anyone, no matter how close they were to me and no matter how much they cared about me, no one could ever know my secrets, and all I wanted to do was forget and so I did.

More lies and destruction until one day after so many rock bottoms I woke up in my care and looked in the mirror and said to myself this is not a way to live, this is a way to die and in that very moment I knew I wanted to care, I wanted to be “normal” I needed help……

I joined a 12 step program and attended meetings regularly and they always kept telling me if you want what we have then you must be willing to go to any length to get it, but I wasn’t. I kept going to meetings, but I couldn’t stay clean, I lied because it was the only thing I knew how to do, I had no idea what honesty was or how to be honest, I couldn’t even admit to myself who I was or the things I had done, it was too despicable to bare, not that I even knew who I was in the first place.

I did however learn a lot in the fellowship, I learned that I was not actually a bad person; I was just a very sick person. I had an illness, I had a disease it was known as alcoholism / addiction which is a mental obsession coupled with a physical allergy, the obsession being that I could control it, that I could handle just one hit/drink and then once I had the first one, my allergy would kick in and I would be powerless to stop myself. This is known as insanity, doing the same thing and expecting a different result, my result was always the same, everyone else would have fun and say they had had enough and I would end up in Hillbrow (a not so nice area in Johannesburg), wake up in strange places with strange people not knowing what I had done and hating myself even more, the words “I’ve had enough” did not exist in my vocabulary.

I could not live with the drugs and booze anymore but I couldn’t live without them, I could do nothing without a fix, I couldn’t brush my teeth, I couldn’t get out of bed, I couldn’t go to work, I couldn’t have a conversation with another person, I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror. I wanted it all to end; I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.

I managed to start learning how to be honest, but I could never do it completely, only about certain things and I would always have my secrets, sometimes I think I may die with all my secrets never being able to share them.

I have hurt and taken for granted every good person in my life.

I now have a beautiful wife who loves me so much and I her, yet I still manage to deceive her, I still cannot tell her things I have done, but not to deliberately hurt her, but because I thought just one, what could really happen that would be that bad……well one day I woke up after one of those and I had no idea what happened, but I knew that feeling, that horrible feeling in the pit of stomach that I had done something terrible again and I had, I don’t remember and still don’t, but I had too much GHB (sometimes known as the date rape drug) and that is exactly what happened, I probably wasn’t raped because it was more than likely me that provoked the situation and even though I know if I were sober it would never have happened, I violated myself, I allowed myself to get so out of it that something like that could happen to me.

I thought I could pretend that everything was ok, but I couldn’t and I ended up taking more and more and more and by the time my wife came home on the Sunday, I was completely out of it and she knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t tell her and the guilt and the regret was too much.

The next day I went to work, still completely out of it, I was sent home and the next day I was sent for blood tests, thank goodness they came back negative, but it was the start of me losing my job and a few months later I did.

I sat at home wallowing in my self pity, hating myself, feeling useless. I had so many things to pay off and no job, I was about to lose my house, my car, my relationship, my life and then what do I do? Well being the typical addict that I am, I think oh well it can’t get much worse, let me hit the crack pipe again, just a few hits and it will all go away and I can get my mind off things and then start looking for a job after I’ve had my release from reality. Well I managed to ruin my wife’s birthday, I smoked away her birthday present, I smoked away nearly everything I had of value that she wouldn’t notice and then thought right, enough is enough now – pull yourself towards yourself and do what you gotta do to come right.

I admitted what I had done to my wife and she understood and was angry and sad – I had hurt her and betrayed her so badly, but she stood by me. I cleaned myself up, got a great job and started working the program, but I couldn’t be honest, I had manipulated and lied to everyone for so long, what would they think if I came clean now?

So I still live with the shame and the guilt, but slowly I start revealing things to her and she sticks by me, she accepts me with my faults and me defects and my lies and she loves me and I am eternally grateful and blessed to have someone like that in my life.

One day I will be completely honest and I will tell her everything, but for now, baby steps for me, I need to learn how to walk before I can run, I need to learn about myself, who I am, what I want and I do it just for today, I can’t worry about tomorrow or I will use, I can’t regret yesterday or I will use, I am happy with who and what I am today and just for today I am clean and sober.

I hope this helps anyone who thinks that what they have done can never be forgiven, as long as you can forgive yourself and accept what has happened to you and take responsibility for your actions, then there is hope. I have also learned that I cannot do it alone, I may not need another person to help me, but I need a belief in a power greater than myself, I am not talking religion, I am talking about a spiritual belief (a higher self so to say) and it is the connection I have with this higher power of mine and the will and the want to live that I am alive and happy today.

It is not all roses and nothing is simple and sometimes there are days when I don’t think I can go on, but I do, even if it is just for another hour or minute, I put one foot in front of the other and I ask my higher power for help.

I say the serenity prayer over and over and I will leave you with these words:

Grant me the serenity

To accept the things I cannot change

Courage to change the things I can

And wisdom to know the difference.

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Sasquatch Man

Written and contributed by Girlswithoutshoes

 ©Sheila Smart

©Sheila Smart

I saw him today walking down the street. I now think of him as Sasquatch Man. It made me catch my breath and clutch my heart to see him like this. It made me cry to see the shadow of who he was. I cried for him and for myself, as I miss my old friend.

He is a very large man a little over 6 ft tall and probably weighs 350 lbs. He lumbers down the street, wearing his stocking hat that looks like it belongs to a lumberjack. He has taken to even wearing it with his shorts in the warmer weather. The Birkenstock sandals are always there, as they always have been, come rain or shine.

He walks everywhere now, as his license was taken away. I believe his motorcycle got sold for his and others’ safety. That alone is probably enough to make him want to die. He practically lived on it. You would see him weaving down the street, like a child does on their bicycle, just loving the feel of it.

Quite a unique individual he was. Strong and powerful in many ways. Extremely intelligent, with a very high I.Q., to the point of being almost a crazy genius. He had a very twisted sense of humor, and loved the shock effect it had on people. Folks would either be horrified at his bizarreness or laugh themselves silly. There were plenty who actually hated him, and more who loved him. He could drive you practically insane if he wanted to, by pestering you to death for attention or for drugs when he was out. That was what he always referred to as “The Malaise”. After a 40 year meth addiction, I would imagine it felt like malaise to him.

He is a product of the 60’s. There are many who spent their teens and early twenties dabbling with all kinds of drugs during the 60’s. Not just pot, but L.S.D. (acid) was popular then. It was the Hippie Years and he was no exception, but almost the rule. He lived the bizarre life then in the city. He later moved to the mountains to escape that which he ended up bringing with him.  He desired a better place to raise his family and found it.

He changed from City Hippie, to Organic Hippie, to Hippie Journalist and  Editor.  Later he became a professional in the field of Law. A brilliant, self-taught professional. He was at first scoffed at, then held in high esteem by some, and disdain by others. He was called a maverick and a lunatic. Many reasons were behind all of this. He was a “horse of a different color”. He had heart. He stood up for what he believed to be right and just.

He was right much of the time, but pushed things more than to the limit. He would push them way over the edge. His creativity knew absolutely no bounds. All of this was due not only to his nature, but to the cranked up beast raging inside of him. He was husband, father, friend, philospher, professional, and a drug addict. An amazing man in so many ways.  A doomed man in others.

Years went by, with the same behavior continuing. His family felt the ill effects of the drugs raging. His friends felt the effects. His employees felt the effects. His career felt the effect.  His mind felt the effects as did his health.

His family life became more and more strained.  Love gave way to stress and hopelessness and embarrassment.  His relationships at work became more and more strained. Trust and respect gave way to disrespect and embarrassment. His career ended in a hugely scandalous way, devastating his family, his employees and co-workers, his friends and himself.

He was never the same after that, but steadily went downhill. At first his nervousness and devastation were calmed some by tranquilizers. His mind had already been slipping for the past few years. What one would have thought was just early aging and forgetfulness turned out to be dementia. I believe that at least some of the dementia was caused from the holes that the meth had put in his brain over the years.

His drug use and the consequences were not only felt by him, but by his wife, children, grandchildren, friends, and co-workers. The consequences were huge and life changing to all concerned.

Eventually each one dealt with the stress and strain and devastation in his or her own way. We all moved on and left him behind. We left him behind trapped in a body that did not operate in the same way that it had before. The body that now walked similar to “the thorazine shuffle”, as it is known in mental wards. The eyes that did not have the same intelligent light in them as before but looked blankly into the beyond.

Confusion is written on his face. The sadness in those eyes haunts me to this day. The sadness, I believe is a little glimmer of awareness in him that is left. The awareness of all that he has lost. The huge strength and power that he had once exuded is now gone.

Yes, I saw Sasquatch Man today. He used to have another name, but now I cannot make the name fit him anymore as he is a different person. It made me catch my breath again. It made me clutch my heart again, to see him like this.  It made me cry once again to see the shadow of who he was. I cried again for him and again for myself, as I will always miss my dear old friend who is no more.

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Into Oblivion

Written and contributed by  oracleofthepearl 


She died last week. I think she was just a few years older than myself.

The word on the street is she’s been doing it with them. The same “them” your husband’s hanging around with.

Now a few of them have given you confirmation of what they’ve all been doing.

As you yourself told me, you knew it all along. But you’d hoped. You can always hope it’s not that bad.

Well, how else could you live with it?

I remember once long ago, looking at her—her pallid face, the sometimes almost-allure of her mysterious darkness…what was it?

Her odd hours and sleep patterns. The way she was there, yet not there.

So white, she was.

I remember I thought, “She looks like a junkie”.

She had Diabetes. She bore damage from that—neuropathy in her legs, for starters. She said she lived with pain, everyday. And everyday, she ate painkillers. The serious kind.

She openly said she was addicted, and what are you going to do? / the pain was just a fact of life / she couldn’t live with it without the drugs.

She had three children, not quite grown.

Isn’t this the story I heard from my other friend all those years ago?

Another one with permanent pain and the knowledge that IT made it ALL go away, easy.

Well, I never thought he hated it or anything. Of course he didn’t. Of course he wasn’t even using it for the pain. Yet….he was one with pain, for sure.

I remember once walking together on the beach, me clipping along at a moderately brisk pace, and him stopping long before I was winded.

“Please. You have got to slow down for me” he said.

I didn’t get it at first…I thought I was just in better shape than he, which seemed funny as I seemed always to be laboring to keep up with my male friends.

He mentioned the twenty-two tumors he’d once had in his legs. Told me there was damage. Pain. Walking hard set it off.

I had given him grief for being in such poor shape that I was leaving him behind….

I cringed then, remembering that I’d known the extent of the cancer he’d beaten. He looked healthy. It was startling, looking at him as somehow fragile.

That’s when he told me about the Heroin. Just once in a while, when the pain was really bad, and always only under the skin.

I accepted it, well, what would you do? I wasn’t living with his beasts.

This, from my friend. The one I admired. The one I spoke secrets to. The first ever to read my words. The first to encourage me, to teach me.

The one I’d laid with, who like a brother, never touched me. The first, that way also.

He was the one to see me, to hear me, to know something in me no one else did.

My friend, my brother for a little while, a soul brother, and brother to the one I wanted. The only connection I could keep to one who wanted something I was no part of. His connection to this one so strong as to be almost tangible to me, in his presence.

What was in it for him? Although we had a bond, I now understand he wasn’t in it to be my “brother”. He had to have hated me sometimes for my lack of grace where he was concerned. I never once meant to be that way, but I’m sure he heard an earful and bit his own tongue until it bled.

My friend, who was brilliant. Poet, music maker, artist, Father, friend, seeker. son.

I got a call from him after a long absence, asking me for help. Asking me to take him somewhere.

I tried, I really did. He asked me to give him some guidance. What would you do? I was too close, I was too timid. I knew this. I was younger than now, less tough, more worried about offending with the truth.

I also knew he had no other connection than me at this point, for his tenuous reaching to some way out.

So, I tried.

I had to admit then, that I was not the one for the job….

How do you tell one you look up to that they don’t know what’s best for them?

Because he didn’t.

Much later I got a call from him once again. About to complete his second tour of rehab, he was afraid to go home. He wanted one thing—for someone clean to come stay with him for two weeks. He said that he was sure that if he could just get through those first two weeks home, he could make it. If he could only just know there would be another there.

Living in another state, with a whole new life, and a man who would never have understood, I declined.

I will never forget this moment. I will never not wonder, at all the things I tried to say, but failed at, and the time, this last time, that he asked for something and I refused.

Because the truth is that I was afraid. I could not speak all my truths, to him, or anyone else, after all. I knew if I had gone, I would have failed at any purpose for being there.

I honestly can’t say now how much later it was that his brother called me. It could have been a year, two, or three.

His voice sounded strangled, wrecked, half there. Very quietly anguished. “J died” he told me.

The rest is so blurry; I don’t even know what he said, although I remember some of the information. I must have called him again to understand better what had happened, because from the moment he said it I felt underwater.

It felt the death of so much.

My friend, who I knew not any longer, and now never would again.

My mentor, soul brother. My liason to another–how strange, and even embarrassing that that should be part of the hurt. And here was that other with the news like a hard rain. I could hear it in his voice. He was slapped down hard, flat.

I felt strangled myself, for this one felt things I couldn’t possibly. I wanted, needed, to comfort, the only thing I could offer, and yet I could not. I could do nothing for that but leave him to hang up and be with his grief, his life, his loss, and his wife. She/he did not need the kind of comfort I would offer.

I was outside.

Another person I would hold my truth from. Another that nearly slipped away to Oblivion himself.

This was the end. There was nothing to come in the way of closure. There was to be no service at all. And for me, no commiserating with others, no wake, no recalling the things he’d said and done, no montage of pictures for people to look at together. Someone was kind enough to send me two pictures to remember him by and I still have them. All contact stopped there.

It was as though he had never been, nor anything connected with him.

Could anything I could have done have ever made a difference? If I had been brave enough, strong enough, to try harder to reach him, would it have mattered?

Probably not. How do you know when you have done all you can? It’s not as though I never tried at all.

What I do also know is this—

I did not want to alienate him. How could I be of any help if I drove him away?

But perhaps more important to me at the time was just that I didn’t want to lose him.

Well, I lost him. We all did.

What burned in me to speak to him, went largely unsaid. That I loved him and knew that he would die if he continued. That his two small children would grow up with no Father. That I wanted him to stop, whatever it took, and anything less was unacceptable and suicidal. That I would be right there, anyway I could, if he needed me. My convictions wavered when I tried. Maybe I didn’t know a thing about what he needed, after all? Maybe I just didn’t think I had the right. Maybe I was afraid of his rejection and retreat from me. I retreated myself instead.

Then he was gone.

I realize that I had little control over where he chose to go with his particular demon. He knew the demons name. And he didn’t or couldn’t banish it.

Always I’ve known, that I will just never know. I only know I didn’t say what I needed to, for fear. And I can’t do that over.

I think of him often now, and I practice telling my truth, lest I lose the chance again.

Girl, what will you regret not saying? Doing? You hope, you pray, you worry, you imagine. But now you know.

I’ve been watching. Here I am wondering what I should say/not say. Again.

What will you choose?

For two that I loved–

She Comes For You

She comes for you, your open arms

Promising dreams for your sleep

Never to tell you the price of her love

Rocking you endlessly

Away, away

You were gliding away

From me on a beautiful horse

Sublime the grace

Of painlessness

Riding so effortlessly

She came to you again and again

With solace like no one else

Ever so sweet the song she sings

Making all into a dream

Did you see me waving as you rode on her back

Did you see me on the hill

I waited a long time for you to come down

And now you never will

Away, away

Riding away

From me on a beautiful horse

Hold on tight

No pain tonight

Flying so easily

Away, away

She runs in the dark

Away she will take you and all that you love

Away she flies with all that you’ve known

Never to bring you home.

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