Fruits of Addiction: Chapter 10 Draft, The Pedestal

For those of you who have been keeping up with my posts and actually helping me with my content, I thank you. Also, I’m sure you’re aware that I had decided to stop posting chapters of my progress but I decided that posting one more wouldn’t hurt. This is one of my more emotional chapters that hopefully captures the interest of anyone who’s willing to help review other chapters. Again, I want this to be as perfect as possible because again my goal is to help people face and overcome their addiction but also spread awareness on the growing issue. Like always please let me know where I could improve!! Thanks again and I hope you enjoy!

Chapter 10: The Pedestal

Emotionally in pieces. House being foreclosed on. The many accounts I once had tens of thousands of dollars in are now closed off all with negative balances of hundreds owed. I’m not working at banks anymore. I’m not a manager anymore. I’m not even working with cars anymore. Shit I’m too dope sick to even get a job to maintain my habit. My friends? What friends? It’s just me. My girl? What girl? It’s just me. My kids.. oh my god. My kids, my beautiful step daughter now 6 years old and my gorgeous son, quickly closing in on 3 years since his birth. Where are they? With their mother, meaning I don’t have them. So it’s just me. I’ve been cursed with curiosity for risk taking and danger since birth. The type of curiosity that kills the cat. And this cat is down to its last life.

My pedestal was cracked and falling apart, there’s no way I’ll ever get back on that old thing. Gun in one hand, my last bag of dope in the other. Messy room, empty bags and straws all over, McDonald’s bags, mcchicken wrappers and a mattress with no frame under and no sheets on top. What the fuck am I doing? By now I had started my 5th revision to my suicide note. How am I going to do it though? Get in the tub, turn on the water, slit my wrists and wait it out? Bullet to the head maybe? Shoot up a few grams and let her put me to sleep forever? That sounds like a nice ending actually. Me, a weak flame about to be blown out by that one love that once ignited me and made feel like I was strong enough to catch the world on fire. I put it before everything that ever mattered to me. I burned bridges, I burned relationships, I burned opportunities, and I eventually burnt myself out.

From emptying out my own accounts to leaving my girl unable to pay her own bills. From sneakily snatching hundreds from the safe after just opening it with a fellow manager to pawning any valuable I had because I was left unemployed. I once felt like I could change the world for the better but instead I was just another statistic. Another decimal of a percentage added to a growing average of addicts residing in America.

At this point I’ve fucked over dealers, sold fake drugs to fellow junkies so I could get my own 40 hoping it would last, beat people up from arguments cause I was too high to calmly understand what was going, and disrespected anybody who I thought did me wrong.

> “You know who the fuck I am? You better kill me, I’ll tell you that much.”

Yeah, yeah. Who did I think I was? I mean can you blame me? The fear of taking my own life transitioned into begs for someone else to do the job for me. Any chance I got, I’d start an argument hoping that I’d finally be able to rest. Okay, it might be painful at first but it’ll be worth the eternal slumber. Heaven? Hell? It doesn’t matter to me anymore. Son? Daughter? They’re better off without the life of having a junkie father. Girlfriend? Parents? They all turned their backs on me, this’ll teach them to give up on a junkie who reached out for help. There were no limits to how little I cared about the rest. My world revolved around doing enough dope to not get sick. How will I make money for tomorrow’s batch? That’s a problem for tomorrow’s me.

As I look through my phone I come across pictures I took of myself, glowing with no worries, me and my beautiful girlfriend once happy and striving, us kissing cherishing the love I single handily destroyed, her pregnant, our son being born the last time I experience the high I unwaveringly chased for years to come, her daughter quickly growing up, my son as a baby to my son as a toddler. I pause and again, darkness.

6 years since I popped that first pill while being heartbroken over a high school/ college girlfriend. 6 years since I fell in love and gave my all to maintain the most unhealthy relationship I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing. No, Im not talking about the relationship with Lily.

Darkness. Darkness. And still darkness. All I can picture is that color black. I begin to hesitate. Why the fuck can’t I remember any of this? My mental state is so distraught from my depression and addiction that share control over my body. I start to watch videos with the hopes of being reminded what I recorded, the words I said, and the laughs I had. Nope. Still a void I can’t seem to shake. I go through 2000+ pictures and over 80+ videos of nothing but past friendships, past coworkers, past experiences, and more importantly… the family I pushed away. The woman who I promised to love and protect. The kids who gave my life purpose. Or so I thought.

I slowly look down at my hands. Fixated on the contents. I can’t help but stare. The fact that I made my life’s one purpose the dope in the bag I currently carry in one hand doesn’t hit me just yet. Another round of self victimizing sobs begin again. What did I do to deserve this? I’m human, I’m meant to make mistakes. I’m an addict, I accepted that a long time ago. Why isn’t anyone here to feel bad for me? Where’s the woman who said she’d help me get clean? Where’s the “friends” who said to call if I ever needed anything? Where’s the kids who, no matter how much pain I caused them, looked up to me innocently as if I was perfect just as I am? Gone. Everyone is gone. I inevitably pushed everyone away because of the monster I became. If I wasn’t using someone for money or favors, I was making my frustration obvious and making everyone feel like they were burdening me by coming to check on me at my house. I was depressed and I was an addict but I tried my best to blame my isolation on my depression. There were certain people I just didn’t open up to about my addiction. I couldn’t bear any more looks of disappointment or judgment.

At this point I hadn’t smoked weed in years , hadn’t taken pills in months, hadn’t done coke in weeks, and hadn’t done dope in minutes. I started to hate smoking weed because I’d eventually have eye-opening moments where I’d find myself in deep thought. Contemplating my every decision, whether good or bad. Wait. That’s not right. I’d only ever think about my bad decisions and punish myself mentally. That would be the only time I’d ever think about anyone but myself and for that reason I stopped smoking. And after looking at these pictures on my phone I had a feeling that’s what I needed before I decide to fall asleep forever.

I desperately look for a back pack I know I had weed in. For what reason? I have no idea. I probably stole it or something. After what feels like forever, I find it. Sweating, out of breath, that bitch whispering to finish my last bit of dope as if I wouldn’t start feeling sick a few hours after. Damn, after all these years what I want still doesn’t matter, huh?

Wait… the main reason why I’m in this position because I only did what I wanted. Jesus Christ, no one left by my side and I’m still blaming others for my faults. Okay, not really “others”, I gave my addiction a persona to avoid admitting that it’s me that’s wrong. I believe in a nonexistent force who speaks to me and influences my decisions acting as a conscience but I refuse to believe in a higher power and that we’re all here for a reason. Somebody slap me…

Anyways, back to my search for the initial cause of my addiction. Marijuana.

So I finally find the backpack. In a pill bottle I have 6 suboxines and that bag of weed I knew I had.

> “Okay, once I finish this last bag, that’s it. I have no money left, no favors left and no girl left to con money out of.”

After that I’ll be back to my fucked up withdrawal state and I’ll have nothing to minimize the pain. Well I got suboxones but who the fuck wants those? I’ll tell you who, no one. I want my drug of choice, I don’t want to feel like this.

I rolled a below-average joint, I prepared my last few lines. Here I go.

After an intense joint to the face, i cough histarically, I told you it’s been years. I strongly wished my tolerance to opiates was as low as my tolerance to weed. I lay down and the mental punishment begins. Again, tears rolling down my pale skin and sucked in cheeks. I had lost so much weight that I looked like I had anorexia. The rhetorical questions begin.

> Why did I treat her that way? I abused the one person who loved me when nobody would. Why would I abandon the only kids I’ll probably ever father? Because that’s what addicts do, we focus on our demon and only our demon..

I start remembering all my fuck ups and all the times I spread pain. The times I grabbed my woman by the hair or by the neck, to express the anger that wasn’t even her fault. I remember my kids crying, every time I scared them with my loud violent phases of anger. From punching holes through walls and doors, to using their mother as the target of my aggression. This isn’t what I wanted to remember, I tried so hard to push these embarrassing and stomach turning memories to the deepest corner of my Mind. This isn’t the torture I was expecting but I give up trying to remember anything else. The darkness is pushed out by my main regrets. This gun isn’t the answer just yet.

I decided I’d give it one more shot. I couldn’t give up on myself just yet. Still high from weed, I sniff the rest of the dope which is then obviously enhanced from the insane weed high I had from not smoking for such a long time.

What? I’m still a drug addict remember?

## A New Motivation

Finally smoking weed after what seemed like forever I had an eye-opening epiphany. As an addict who has no real intentions to change, that was saying a lot. From that relentless session of self realization just from smoking some low grade bud, I came to realize 2 things:

1. My beautiful and amazing Lily had left me. She’d occasionally come to the house to sleep or to shower but all in all I was *alone*. I was *broke*. And the only thing I hated more than being alone and broke was the punishing 72 hours of unforgiving body aches, the explosive diahrrea (as I like to call it), the random projectile vomiting, the merciless insomnia, the continuous and violent Bursts of arm and leg twitches that will ruin the composure of even the most experienced addicts, and every other miserable mother fucking side effect I’d have to experience if I didn’t do another bag or find some sort of help within the next 12-24 hours.

And 2. I wasn’t really planning on looking for help. I mean that was the plan but my dope high was long gone and my weed buzz was on its last legs. Fuck me.

What was I thinking? I didn’t really believe being reminded of my greatest regrets from a below average weed high was enough to convince my strong 6 year of an opiate developed drug addict mindset to just kick the habit because I was lonely. That’s more unrealistic than me convincing myself that I could get clean without any help just because I had an interview in 4 days. I just had no drive anymore.

I aimlessly found myself walking down Main Street thinking about which “I promise I can change speech” I was going to give the mother of kids when I ask her for another $100 to give myself more time to think of another motivation or solution. The more I thought about it the more I started to advise myself against it. I had to face the facts, I destroyed my relationship and she was already moving on. It hurt to say but she’s not the type of woman who could support an addict, it’s not in her nature. She was raised by a single mother, Giselle. Giselle drilled the idea that a man should be the one to take care of her and the kids into Lily’s head. That wasn’t me anymore. I had never experienced rock bottom and Lily had never been with a man who’s gone through the shit I have. We’re were both new to this lifestyle.

Another half mile later I find myself in front of the methadone clinic. A subpar establishment with employees who know they’re better than you but don’t want to admit it when you sign yourself up, tell them your name, age, and experiences with drugs. I’ve tried going here before. If you haven’t died from boredom, plain tossed this book back in its box and returned it for the clichés, “ha that’s what you get” mindset or inevitable disgust on what I was before and during my addiction, then I thank you. Although some of you might really be interested and reevaluating your own lives on what-not-to-do, you other still want to be able to say, “ha that’s what you get, woman and child abusing junkie.” Either way, you all know my goal was to spread awareness the second you read the first few pages.

Yes, I tried coming once before and never came back. I wasn’t willing to stay clean for that weekend until they got my drug test results and the doctor was in the office to check on me. So I went to do even harder drugs for the years to come. Anyways, I find myself looking at my baby mother’s phone number. Yeah, she’s probably gonna ignore the call but maybe she wouldn’t. Maybe she still loves me deep down and would listen to the bullshit that was about to spew out. Fuck it.

## “Fuck it”

When you’re an addict, the phrase “Fuck it” becomes a bigger habit that the drug usage itself. ”Fuck it” becomes a way of life that usually results in actions that are irresponsible.

I’m already an hour late to work but my dealer said to wait another 20 minutes? Fuck it.

There would be times Lily would forget her debit card at home but she said if I ever used it again she’d leave with the kids… fuck it.

My license is suspended and insurance got canceled from the last time I got caught driving without it, but I’m out of dope. Fuck it, I’m going to have to drive!

See what I’m saying? It’s not just words when you’re an addict. It’s a lifestyle. When you feel like you’re at the point of no return, you don’t care about the consequences. The rush you get from the process of going to the atm to take out money for drugs. Then finally rushing home or rushing to a public bathroom, even the employee bathroom (70% of the time for me) to finally get to taste that dope dripping down the back of my throat, eventually dies down too.

For me it happened every single time until finally, it didn’t. At this point, I was getting high because I didn’t want to experience the dreaded pain that follows after a few hours. Yes, I loved the pleasure and I still craved it but my chase for that “first time” feeling lost its charm. My fear of withdrawals was much greater which eventually led to my “depression” to multiply ten fold. My “little” secret whom I saw as the love of my life had become a burden. It was an essential. A daily obligation. It was nutrients to me. If I didn’t have at least a gram, I wouldn’t be able to move after waking up. If I didn’t have a quarter, I wouldn’t be able to stay focused nor live my life for the day. If I didn’t have 5 or more grams, I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I began to hate the process so I continued to make myself the victim.

I isolated myself, avoided those who wanted to check on me and hurt who I wanted to talk to. I had learned to lie so well that even I felt bad for myself. But being alone, there was only one way I could feed my hunger for venting my sadness and horrible life that “wasn’t my fault”, I grabbed my pen, old suicide notes, fresh notebook and there you go. “Fuck it” is a lifestyle.

## Please Answer!

I somehow convinced myself that I needed to hear Lily’s voice. I honestly have no idea where she is at this point. We were losing everything because of me, she was financially struggling because of me and she was traumatized. Why? Because of me. She’d leave our house early in the morning and sometimes wouldn’t even come home. We had no communication whatsoever. She was all I needed and I managed to drive her away. The only support I had. So I build up my courage decide that it’s time.

I pull out my phone yet again. Lock screen, a picture of Lily wearing a cute yellow dress with a red poca dot type pattern that would rise above her knees if she’d sit. Of course, because of her model mentality when taking this picture she had sat down. Since she was a thick girl, her beautiful white legs were so captivating that they were the first features my eyes were always drawn to. That is by far my favorite picture of her, so naturally, I made it my lock screen. I enter my password and my phone opens. The home screen. My pride and joy, the children whose impression of myself I was quickly staining. A picture of all three of us sleeping taken by their mother, captured us when we were mostly peaceful. Although I was probably asleep from taking too many perks at the time, it’s still one of my favorite and one of the only picture of us. Thus my decision to make it my home screen. I open my contact list, look for “Baby” and hit “call.” Okay, game face.

A few rings go buy and I’m standing there waiting. Heart racing as if I was buying hard drugs by myself for the first time. A mix of fear, excitement, regret, happiness and a deep sadness come over me. Yeah, this is definitely like buying hard drugs by myself for the first time.

I was about to talk to the love of my life, why am I feeling like this? Okay, she’ll most likely say no to my request but there’s also a .001% chance she’ll say yeah. Maybe she misses me enough to send me some money. I need to stop being delusional. One of the main reasons she broke up with me was because I used all her money. She’s not going to answer. I’m going to hang up and save myself the embarrassment if she does which she won’t so yeah. I’m hanging up. I pause. Hang up damn it. *She doesn’t love me anymore*, why am I trying to kid myself?

> “What”

Lily answers at that last ring before the female voice comes up saying;

> “I’m sorry a voicemail box has not been set up yet. Please call again later. Good bye!”

She actually answered. I was so flustered from the fact that she answered the phone. I needed to make these next few words count, I don’t want her to hang up on me!

> Baby, I miss you so much. Please take me back. We both know I can change and I’m ready to be the man you fell in love with. I’m ready to be the father my kids need, and the provider you all deserve. I want to change and I’ll do anything you ask, I promise. I put it on my grandfathers grave!

Is what I thought I said. My lies and empty promises have became so common and scripted that I convinced myself that’s what I really said. But I stood silent.

> “Hello??”

She says, still on the phone.

Her voice, her beautiful voice. Her voice was always very stentorian but she would seemingly try to modulate it to avoid coming off as too aggressive.

Because of her powerful personality and tough demeanor, I’m beyond scared at this point, and as I try to say something I choke. What the fuck is up with me? We’ve been together for the 6 years I’ve been an addict. We have kids together, saw each other naked and she’s even heard and seen me dying from withdrawals. Explosive diarrhea, uncontrollable body pain, excessive screaming and crying because when she’s around I become a Grammy nominated actor etc.

I try my absolute hardest to convince myself that I’m a man and I have no reason to be afraid of my woman.

Finally, a somber,

> “Baby?”

I say..

> “What do you want J. I told you not to call me that anymore.”

With a shy tone as if this was my first time speaking with a girl,

> “I miss you…”

Quicker than the speed of light she responds with,

> “I’m not giving you anymore money J. You took everything from me and the kids, if you want to die we’re not having any part of it.”

Fuck. It’s like she knew. But honestly I wasn’t even mad. I wasn’t going to proceed to the usual scripted “I’m an addict because you left me” bullshit. Hearing her voice right then and there gave me sense of purpose and responsibility I didn’t know I still had anymore. The vague memories of her holding our son and daughter while hugging me telling me “we love you, daddy,” all staring at me with more love than I’d ever deserved, began to flood my mind.

At this point there is no darkness. I don’t see black. The whispers of my demon are silenced and the fog that distorted my vision began to clear. Although I only heard my demon, I never had the chance to look her in the face and end our affair. I truly want to change, I want her gone. Although she’s going to be a part of me forever, I need to lock her away in the deepest and darkest part of my essence. I finally realize that I need my family to do that. I need my woman and my kids to give me that strength.

I proceed to explain where I was and what my plan was. I admit to having a hidden purpose and that I was at a point where my love for drugs superceeded everything else in my life and days where I was out of money and out of drugs I felt like I needed something to hold me over. Something to give me life. Something to have me bury what ever weapon, tear up whatever note I had and be what I was originally meant to be the second I decided to start a family. A provider, a protector, a father and a man to a woman who I caused an incredible amount of pain too. Although I realize that I’ve caused too much damage and it’s near impossible to repair whatever relationship I once had with Lily, all I ask for is faith. Even that is too much to ask, but being the amazing woman that she is goes on to say:

> “I know you can get clean but don’t do it for me, do it for your kids. I’m always going to love you but they’re always going to love you more.”

Her words, so simple but so sincere.

I had it wrong this whole time. All my decisions revolved around a woman’s love. From Curly to Lily, every decision in response to the anger, pain, or love I felt because of the women in my life.

It took me years but I finally came to the realization that would change my perspective on what my motives should actually be.

The women in my life are temporary, they will eventually do what’s best for themselves and no matter how much we loved each other, and the support my love was willing to give me, that was all temporary. But my kids, those who look to me as if I was perfect, those who don’t see me as my story’s antagonist but as their own story’s hero.

This whole time I was punishing myself on how much I hurt Lily when in reality I should’ve been on my knees begging for my kids’ forgiveness. As much as I regret neglecting my children, I’m grateful I finally came to recognize that I need them as much as they need me. That’s the answer I was unknowingly looking for.

By The Reticent

My goal isn’t even success nor redemption. The damage I’ve caused is way too deep. I look to provide a mental and emotional sanctuary to those need it and remind our people that change is possible. Who knows, maybe if I had that I’d really have success and redemption.

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