I had lost a whole decade to Addiction. Late nights into the early mornings, I was snorting Cocaine or Adderall alone or with others. Crushing pills or cutting cocaine was a pretty, mouth watering sight. I was looking down at a line of powder on the table. It was my second or third 8-ball of the night, at a time when I was snorting 20 or so lines in a day. With the dollar bill in my hand, I considered a couple of truths: I’d stolen the drugs from dealers; I’d eventually be caught; part of me wanted to be caught; part of me hoped I’d die before that happened.
“We really have a problem,” I said to myself. When things got really bad…when I couldn’t believe the things I was doing…I’d start referring to myself as a group.
I snorted each line. The burn felt like pain and ecstasy and shame. But no matter how high I’d get myself those days with the dripping sweat, heart jumping in my chest, and ringing in my ears, I couldn’t shake the feeling of loneliness. And later in the evenings after b work, I’d start drinking whiskey to slow down my body. Rinse, lather, repeat.
It wasn’t always that bad. Like many addicts, things were great for a while. I’d spent a good five years clubbing and doing drugs casually; I was a weekend warrior, I was in my mid twenties, and I was thrilled. I thought I’d connected with people and there was something more real about being high than there was about not being high. But my drinking/drug life was incompatible with my work life. I couldn’t go out partying on Sunday night, coasting home at 2:00AM on Monday morning, and hope to be productive at work, though I tried. I remember one of these Mondays, falling asleep while a coworker was talking to me.
I had lost a whole decade to Addiction. Every aching year it progressed more and more until my brain was on overdrive. Addiction was Charles. Charles was Addiction. I couldn’t fathom a life without a substance in my system. I combined alcohol, drugs, gambling and sex mixed them all in a pot and the outcome was harmful.