PART EIGHT actually took place six years ago. But this 9th chapter, (and the one following), though they cover the longest timeframe, actually (in a sense) have the least to tell.
You must understand that those negative thoughts I "captured" at the end of Part 8 depict an addict's nihilism. Though I'm less likely to think along those lines now, for as long as I remain a heroin or methadone addict, mind and body will go on being held under an opiated "spell" ...
Interestingly I had a conversation only yesterday with a reforemd shoplifter and former user-dealer, who insists he's 16 dyas "clean" now. I didn't press him on what "clean" meant (is he still on methadone? (if he ever was?) Did he give p all drugs completely? If so, how? These rae questions I didn't ask.
But we were talking about how much of a mess addiction makes of your life. And how, rather than face up to the pain of self-realization, the pain of putting things right, the addict's automatic answer (because it's a long-ingrained habit) is always to use again.
Thus, seemingly "escaping" pain in the short term - but in actuality merely deferring it. This isn't even seen as an escape route, though. Not at the time. For a hardcore addict (in the words of NA) only lives to use. Hence the suicidal feelings that so frequently spring up during detox.) And the habit itself is constructed of repeated daily using. Morning, noon and night (or their skewed equivalent). So whether one is "escaping pain" or not one uses. Whether one is happy, sad, celebrating, or mourning: using becomes integral to the picture. That is how deeply ingrained using becomes in the addict's life.
Heroin in particular takes on the characteristics of a cure-all. Tired? It perks you up. Need to sleep? Suddenly you can. Aches and pains mostly vanish, anxieties fade. Having had a hit or a smoke, the addict now feels ready to face life. Also, feeling as "soft" as it does, heroin fits into almost any situation. Nobody panics on heroin. There is no possibility of abad trip. It fits into every set and setting. In fact, it seems to become the very spice of life. Without it life is drab, forlorn and hopeless-feeling. But with a decent amount of gear in the system life feels full of possibilities. Its richness an be apreciated (if there is time to do so between grafting up the next fix and the next.)
Gradually one's outlook shrinks down too. Planning for the future becomes a thing of the past. Only years into my addiction did I suddenly realize how I'd pretty much given up daydreaming. How very alien of me! Not to daydream is not to plan. Not to plan is not to set goals. A goalless life is apt to become a very empty one for that reason alone. Day by day life constricts into a day-in day-out 24-hour rhythm. All days of the week are the same. Wake up. Use. By mid-afternoon (if one's not used again alraedy) it feels like time to use again. One must also use to assure sleep at night. When this periodic daily punctuation is removed, life is thrown haywire. It feels senseless. And "working" to eed an addiction, I might add, is almost as compellingly habituating as the drug itself. Drugs have become the be-all and the end-all to a degree that the non-user (perhaps seeing an addict contentedly chatting away in front of the television) might not immediately find aparent. Contentment is only bought from heroin now. As it was once put: "heroin is satisfaction you can hold in your hand."
Somehow, by coming off over that week, I merely jolted myself more rapidly and completely into a sudden meek acceptance of this state of affairs. Though I did, I have to say, after my initial lapse, make quite some concerted efforts not to use again. Every one of these, of course was doomed to fail ...
WEEKEND August 19 - HOLLAND/MACRO MONDAY - Bad weather or not, I followed the invitation of my old schoolfriend and went for a long weekend to Holland where they have a cute little holiday house. My...
9 hours ago