A day in the life of an addict would be a scary thing for anyone. People who don’t suffer from addiction are baffled by the behaviors of addicts and alcoholics, and frankly, I think that we baffle ourselves sometimes. Before we got sober, we may not have realized just how sick and lost we had really become, and if you are anything like I used to be, it will take a little time of sobriety to realize just how dark a day in the life of an addict really was.
Life of an Addict – When I Woke Up
When I would finally roll myself over in the morning, promptly around 11:30 or noon, my first thought would be how much I hated birds chirping. My next immediate thought would be, how much money do I need to get a couple caps and maybe a couple rocks, and I wonder when my dude will wake up.
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I would lay in bed a few more minutes, until my stomach hurt so bad that I would run to the bathroom, and sit on the toilet for the next… 30 minutes or so, trying to decide which end this excruciating pain would come out of. Then, I would go outside and smoke a cigarette and wait for my roommate to wake up, so I could ask him if he had anything left over from last night.
We would do whatever he had left, and it, of course, would never be enough to get high, but it was usually enough to stop my stomach from falling out of my butt, and we would plot.
Life of an Addict – The Plotting
The plotting went like this, “How much money do you have?” “Okay so we only need this much” “Does anyone owe us money?” “No dude I CANNOT ask my mom again, she isn’t speaking to me right now” “Do we have anything we can pawn? No we already pawned everything” “Shit. I wonder if homeboy will spot us again?” “Well I can try to go beg at the gas station a little bit?” “Alright well let’s see if he will spot us for now and let us pay him back.”
Usually, he would spot us. That high would be good enough for a few hours, in which time we would go to work. Usually by this point, whatever I had done had already worn off, and I would be sick and sweating for the next few hours at work. Battling the internal dialogue between wanting to go home and needing the money to get high.
Luckily, my roommate worked shorter hours than I did, so he would come pick up my tip money in the middle of my shift. He would go re-up, and then bring me back something at work so I could finish the night. I would run outside, grab them, go in the bathroom and get high, and then go back to my tables. Then, at the end of the night, we would go pick up again, using all of the money I had made in tips that night. Then, we would go home, sit on the couch, and pass out. Repeat identically the next morning. This was my life as an Addict.
Frankly, that would be a good day. On bad days, our connect would be dry, and everyone else we asked wanted money up front. We would be sick for hours. Sweating, sick to our stomachs, writhing in pain. Not wanting to shower or eat or move.
Life of an Addict – The Swamp Monster
One thing that was always a constant, was the change of myself as a person, before and after I would get high. For example, I was a swamp monster when I was sick. I was a filthy, cranky, nauseous, sweaty, anxious, depressed mess of a human being. I was angry, volatile, don’t even try to talk to me type of person if I wasn’t high. But then, miraculously, we would hear word that our dude was on the way, and suddenly, I would perk up, I could talk again! I felt better just KNOWING that there was a tiny chance of hope that I would be getting high in the next few minutes.
To be honest, I consider myself lucky. I was blessed enough to be without much responsibility. I didn’t have children, I didn’t have any dependents, I had a pretty easy job that had short hours. I was able to actually HAVE a job until I could no longer work and had to start lowering my morals in order to get high. Many people face decisions in their addiction that they never thought would be an option. Theft, prostitution, and manipulation are a common theme among many addicts lives.
Some people suffering from addiction have a much harder time asking for help because they have lives that they can’t leave. Kids, work, caring for their parents, etc. are often common responsibilities that hold many people back from getting treatment.
I put myself through this torture for years, like so many other suffering addicts and alcoholics, and to be honest, writing all of that down really made me a little squirrelly. But it’s a good reminder of just how far gone I really was. I never even knew that what I was doing was not normal. All I knew was that I needed to get high to feel normal.
Today, I am grateful for the pain I had put myself through. I want to be clear, that today, I am still a part-time waitress, I still have roommates, but today I wake up as a different person. I wake up and thank God today, I wake up and ask how I can be of service to something greater than myself. I am grateful because I now live a life that is a million times better than what I had. I was saved, I was pulled from the wreckage of that life and given a second chance. I am thankful for my Anonymous Fellowship, for giving me a life that I can be proud of. It is definitely not “normal” but it is mine, and it is beautiful.
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