Happy Monday to everyone! These past few weeks I’ve been thinking so much about my state of mind… I’m currently at peace, and I’m so happy that after all of my years of pain and addiction, I could finally reflect in a constructive manner. I used to sit back, high as a kite, thinking about how much of a victim I was, but not once did I think about taking back control of my life and making a positive change.
Instead, I’d rely on destroying my body. With drug use and through self-harm. I’d find myself cutting my wrists, and writing across my torso with the same knife I’d sharpen each week.
Which brings me to my fourth piece of my “Mind Of Illness” collection. I really hope my readers can find peace in knowing that you’re not alone in the world! I’ve met so many people that feel as if they have no one and resort to self harm and destructive tendencies. Self-isolation can be very harmful for oneself but I also understand that sometimes we don’t have a choice. Escapism is something we all practice.
With that being said, we all have different needs, and we all respond to support differently. Shit, I used to have my son’s mother as my only source of support. But now I’m alone. I’m just happy I was able to find myself, because I would’ve killed myself the second she left me if I still had the same mentality I did back at the peak of my addiction and distraught state of mind.. I hope those that suffer from mental illness and addiction can also find peace and realize how precious their lives truly are.
So again, thank you all for reading, here is my next piece;
mind of illness: s e l f h a r m
I don’t even know what day it is anymore…The sun and moon are all I have to even guess what time of day it is. The lack of feeling has become too overwhelming, so I tally the rise and lowering of both sun and moon on each arm, just to feel something… Even if it is pain, I just don’t care anymore… I need to at least pretend I have some sense of control over this life of chaos. Shit, I used to cry just to remind myself I still have a heart… but my tear ducts are all dried up. I don’t even know if my heart still pulses.
I’ve spilt every single emotion from the tip of my pen to the once blank paper, now covered in heartbreak, hate, and blood. I’ve filled over three notebooks within the span of a week and not once have I gone back to reread what I’ve written… I just can’t handle the reminder of how broken I truly am… I’m running out of ink but my emotions continue to overflow. If I can’t let them out onto paper, they’ll only drip out of the slits on each wrist. Staining my floor with a puddle of hopelessness mixed within the blood.
I constantly ask myself why I even bother to write. It’s not a passion, I don’t expect anyone to read it, majority the time I don’t even know what I’m trying to say… what picture am I painting for my tiny, tiny audience?
Am I sober?
Am I happy?
Am I sad?
Am I on the brink of death?
I don’t know…
I have no idea, but the soothing sound of my pen sliding across the paper keeps my mind tranquil…
Even though, I can still feel death looming outside of my room. Waiting for me to open the door. Waiting for me to go in search for the source of that light gleaming under its threshold. Truth be told, I know that eventually, I will meet death once again. For our dance is a predestined ordeal. Yet, I do not feel a sense of fear, because out of the many faces it has, I look forward to meeting the next.
See, I am a realist, and I acknowledge that freedom isn’t written in my book. The fate of a sinner cannot be changed. Though, lately escape is all I’ve been seeing at the end of the tunnel. I do not search for that light beaming under my door, I have no interest in glamour. Instead, I desire a way out. I yearn for an escape from this tedious life of numbness.
I want to believe that my blood is more than just my emotions overflowing. I need to feel more than just pain and a severed connection from the world I once dreamed of seeing. Perhaps a meaningful bond is the cure to this self-inflicted isolation.
I hold on to a tiny spec of hope that there is more to my life than just notebooks filled with stories others never enjoy, songs that no one will dance to, and poems that have no end… In my mind, I know that my emotions are more than just a transfer of ink to paper… Those notebooks are a passage that will lead readers into the depths of my heart. Similar to how each scar depicts the most intimate details of my life.
To those of you who have been keeping up, thank you so much! I hope we can all get to a point where we understand the severity of mental illness and do our part in spreading awareness!
This next piece I was a tad hesitant on sharing, but it’s been a while since my last post and I want to be more consistent with my work.
Also, I decided to go back and reread my first book “The Fruits Of Addiction: A Pernicious Love” and I can understand why none of you were willing to read it 😂😂😂 God, yes everything depicted is accurate but my writing was TERRIBLE, ugh I ugly cringed after every page. So I decided to rewrite it and aside from my 2nd and 3rd book, I’ve been doing that on the side as well.
Btw yes, I’m writing a 3rd book 😂😂 it’s a book on poems, which I will be sharing here and there, for feedback. I’ve never been much of a poet but it’s so calming!!
Anyways enough of my personal updates, thank you for those who care!!! And on to part 3 of my “mind of illness” collection! I hope you like it!
i was once told that i was loved.
the person who told me that, was the same person who told me i would never amount to anything.
a lost soul with dreams to one day reach the heavens. born into mediocrity, domestic abuse, and mental trauma.
what does that make me?
am i loved?
am i a failure?
the scars patterned all over my body and my mind left a unique sense of trauma. all while the sound of a loved one’s voice resides in the deepest crevices of my brain, repeating each affirmation and censure faithfully as if it were a religious hymn.
“i love you!”
“i hate you.”
“vete pa’l carajo, muerete”
“vos eres mi cielo”
Todas estas voces inunda mi mente…
my mind has become so overwhelmed, constantly racing between thoughts and topics.
i meant to say… all of these voices flood my mind everytime i find myself deep in thought.
what if i told you that i am nothing like the others?
What if i told you that i am not just another slave with the sole purpose of pleasing?
i crave a profound love, i crave spiritual connection, i crave peace. You don’t know how much i crave peace…
Peace of mind,
peace amongst my people,
peace when i enter my dreams,
but i know that is just another empty notion…
yet when i close my eyes i see the face of another tormented soul. another pained individual who shares the same moralities as myself. tormented, plagued with the same curse.
Whose demons haunt her at every sign of silence. tortured by the hand of her own mentality… yet full of love and hopes for prosperity and absolution. both of us calmed by our favorite drugs, leaving us temporarily numb, silent, &addicted.
the sins of our forefathers are what define us. &although we are destined for failure, i am pleased that i am no longer alone. i am pleased to know i was never alone…
but as i reach for a kiss, a symbolization of the mutuality forged by our predetermined fates, i finally open my eyes and realize:
there isn’t anyone there.
there never was.
the face of that beautiful poor soul whom i had fallen in love with was nothing more than a myth i had forced myself into believing.
no matter how much i pray, there is no silence, there is no salvation; solitude is where i reside.
i wish i could vow that it gets easier. that it will one day become manageable. but i developed a powerful habit, one that rivals my addiction to the euphoric numbing:
the realization that there is no hope, the realization that there is no escape, and the realization that those voices weren’t of loved ones, they were my own.
the voices of the many identities i oppose.
or better yet, oppose me.
-Jay. “The Fruits Of Addiction: A Pernicious Love”
a side note:
Just wanted those of you who may have taken anything I said offensively for whatever reason. Maybe because of my own depiction of schizophrenia, my take on mental illness, or how my work highlights the negative aspects of each illness.
Regardless I wanted to take this time to say that I am in no way romanticizing mental illness, or demonizing it. I have hundreds of pieces prewritten, from scholarly journals and studies to personal views and opinions. With that being said, I am using this tiny platform to hopefully portray the mind of those who face these issues and give my readers a glimpse of what their loved ones may be feeling. Maybe it’s not you who ever feels this way, but it is certainly me.
There are many factors when discussing mental health. As a result of my many experiences with mental illness and addiction, I’ve decided to create a few excerpts that highlight my mentality and my thoughts when going through each issue. The deep thoughts I’ve had, the life-changing epiphanies I’ve contemplated.
When I fall asleep and relive each trauma, and every sin, I can’t help but think, what would I say to my younger self?
“Stay away from drugs??”
“Go to that military school you were accepted to, fuck what mami says about the distance??”
What can I say to someone who also experiences what I do?
Although I’ve tried to describe my experiences with addiction, the “Jay” who wrote and published that bookisn’t the Jay who’s been updating my audience this past year and a half since starting this journey. I grew, I succeeded, I failed and I digressed from my original goal. Whether I stayed on the path or not, I still would be a different person. I’ve had a set of issues that now influence my decisions and although this path to recovery is never-ending, I believe that the key to staying sober is accepting who I once was.
So here I am; writing another post. The first excerpt in my “mind of illness” collection. In a way this is what I wish someone told me before I decided to take that first little pill that turned my life upside down..
God damn… Why can’t I finally catch a break?? The more blessings come my way, the more destruction blocks my path. Sometimes it seems as if my demons are doing everything in their power to drag me back to the life I tried so hard to escape… They are trying to drag me back to my own personal hell.
Maybe if I had this same exact resilience when I was young and inexperienced, I wouldn’t have this problem. I wouldn’t have walked up and down Main St. and called every dealer I knew looking for those blue sources of pleasure and euphoria that eventually lead me to the black tar of death. Or was it the “white China?” I don’t remember the nicknames honestly, all I know is that after years of consecutive pill to body intimacy I had changed. I lost all the values I once had. I became the embodiment of everything I stood against.
See, that’s what drug use does to an addict. The pleasure we get and later chase, as if it was the only source of life we have left, is it’s own kind of fucked up intimacy. Chasing that dragon, and the euphoria we get is comparable to – if not- better (but also worse) than any other pleasure our 5 senses will ever encounter. The only price is a life time of mental trauma and physical blemishes such as bad teeth, our bodies and faces falling apart… Oh! And those painful withdrawals that bring out the worst in us.
I’ve been trying so hard to progress my life ever since I’ve released my first book “The Fruits Of Addiction: A Pernicious Love, ” ever since my son’s mother left me, and ever since I had climbed out of that seemingly never-ending hell, rock bottom. I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s walking on the path of recovery that wants a fresh start. One with no cravings, no whispers, and no mishaps that have us contemplating whether quitting was “worth it” or not.
Before I get any further, let me assure you that quitting is worth it. The life-threatening highs, painful lows and the terrible decisions we contemplate in order to acquire those temporary but severely damaging highs will never be worth the torment that follows. I’ve been realizing that for almost 2 years now. Yes, I’ve had slip-ups, I’m not perfect, and my past life still haunts me. I lie awake wishing death upon myself for ever becoming the piece of shit I am today. I still have fights with people who I owed money to, and I still have to fight for my life. Whether it be dodging bullets or fighting 3-5 people at a time, the past life of a wannabe thug turn drug addict follows closely behind.
At the end of the day, living this life will always end in prison, as an addict on the streets or in a casket. To follow a path of recovery you must love yourself and cherish the very life you may sometimes want to end. But something I learned was that it took my close encounters with death to truly value what living was all about. For a long time, I felt as if my existence was not necessary. I felt that I had no purpose and all I did was hurt those I loved. I wanted to give up. I wanted to die. The many cuts across my torso and forearms did not take my life, but they did leave scars to remind me how weak I once was.
I’ve experienced prison and addiction for a large portion of my life. I now pray I don’t die for a very long time… I learned to love life and I am slowly getting to know myself, but if my time does come then I leave you with another post that will hopefully enlighten those who value self-redemption.
This morning I ate a chocolate – Dove specifically- and in the wrapper had caught my eye. It had something small written inside. Short, simple, and to the point yet it held such a significant meaning that only few will actually reflect upon.
“Always make your past self jealous.”
Sometimes I sit and reflect about how far I’ve gotten but then I digress and think about the trouble I’ve gotten in since then. It seems like I will forever be bound to a life of torment. Shit, it even got to the point where I picked up 9 more charges, most being felonies because of my ALLEGED stupidity and the overly strict laws of MA. The main difference between my current and past self, aside from the paths we walked on, is that my past self NEVER got caught.
I got too comfortable with sobriety. Walking down a straight edge line made me believe that “I was no longer doing whatever I can to get high” so I did not need to be careful with my actions. Of course, all of the bad karma I’ve accumulated over the years are far from done with me, it was time to collect.
I was never a religious individual, how could anyone say that we were crated by a deity that no one has ever seen? Who created THAT deity? I don’t know, it was all unrealistic to me, but I will never judge anyone for having their own faith. I used to believe in God, until God turned his back on me and let me suffer for all of these years. The thing about sobriety is, believing in a higher power is a necessity when walking the path of recovery. I was assed out in that aspect because I did not believe in anything anymore. A “God” who loves us all? Okay so if (he/she/whatever other pronouns) loved me then why would they let people shoot at me and try to kill me? Why would this “God” let anyone threaten to kill my child? What kind of “God” even allows drugs and addiction plague our lives?
All questions I already knew the answer to.
All questions that I was able to contemplate now that I had a clear mind.
That is until the thought of being locked up began to flood that very mind. I was in prison. A place I never thought I would end up. It’s crazy how life works though. Before my arrest, I was working for a prison that held those who were suicide risk and criminally insane. I worked in the nursing department. Funny right? A recovering junkie/suicidal criminal working with those who were exactly like me… those who had the same mental issues as me. Unfortunately it didn’t last too long because one late night and a car search later, I was on the opposite side of the bars.
It was a harsh reality. I didn’t even realize that I may have just ruined my life until the cavity search… the whole squat, cough and open your cheeks ordeal was another experience I never thought I’d go through. But there I was. Mug shots, gang affiliation questionnaires, and the prison greens we are given as new inmates. A felon. An addict and a felon. Two labels that confirm the racist stereotype I’ve been labeled as my whole life. A 26 year old Hispanic Male, arrested for __________.
The solitude of 4 walls, a toilet, sink and a small steel bed, is a man’s true test. Being locked in a room for over 48 hours with no communication will have a him contemplating his whole life. I did just that. I know where I went wrong in life, and I assumed that starting a blog and writing a book about all of my past mistakes would help me come to terms with who I was. I was wrong. Being locked up was the key I needed to unlock the answers I was truly looking for.
My whole life had always revolved around physical abuse, emotional trauma, and mental strain. Finally, all those years of pain had caught up to me while I was trying to find myself. What’s the difference between staying in your room alone all day and staying in a cold cell all day? Aside from 3 cold meals a day and unrelenting solitude? Our free will is stripped away from us the second those cuffs were placed around our wrists.
Being in such a vulnerable state, as a man who has seen it all and done it all, was new to me. Yes, I’ve experienced vulnerability many times before, but this was different. This was the cost of the life I chose to live. This is where my addiction had led me to. I am a nonviolent offender. I did not kill a dealer who had shorted me, I did not break into a neighbor’s house to find something to pawn… Fuck, I didn’t even get caught with drugs!! But regardless of what my charges were, I was still there. I was alone again. Cold. Empty. The support system I thought I had? Wait… I didn’t really have one to begin with.
Originally it was my son’s mother, Lily, but it’s been a year since she’s left me… A whole year of solitude and torment. I cried for her, and I mourned. The death of a 7 year long love that I assumed would end in marriage and my premature death.
“I’m alone, I was alone, I will always be alone.”
That’s all I could think about while standing at the door of my cell. I had accepted the fact that I was in there, I just had to accept the fact that my recovery was pretty much based off an illusion, a beautiful lie I told myself in order to successfully walk the path of sobriety. The sobriquet I once had for the woman I loved now had no purpose. I mean, I did it all for her. I wanted to be the man I thought she deserved. I was tired of hurting her and seeing tears racing down her rosy cheeks.
But I was right, I was all I had. When in prison, all a man has is himself. The thought that I might have to do a minimum of 2-5 years is what keeps me up at night. Not being able to hold and kiss my son, not being able to see my step daughter, and the new woman I just met? Short lived. Who would want to wait for someone like me? Like I said earlier, this is all of my bad karma coming back to give me my just desserts. I knew the day would come where I either died or would have to suffer a fate just as bad as death.
I don’t regret my life. I wish I made different decisions, absolutely. But I am wiser because of the many mistakes I’ve made. I am wise enough to let people know that drug use could truly end ones life. The euphoria and numbing sensations may be a form of escape, but when you lose everything you’re trying to escape from, you only end up wishing you had stayed just a tad longer. In the end, all that awaits this life style is prison or death.
Hello to all! I apologize for getting unbelievably off topic these last few posts. I thought I’d just separate my two topics into two different blogs/websites just to avoid confusion and annoyance to anyone who reads this blog specifically for the recovery and addiction related content.
(For those who are interested in the love, dating, infidelity etc. Topic, please, please, please consider following my other blog, Love, Infidelity and Everything In Between. I am operating under my actual identity rather than my alias, as you all know is Jay Orgullo.)
ANYWAYS, on to tonight’s topic… Addiction and Relapse. The Demon Who We Hate. The one who brings out the worst in us. The faceless beauty who only causes self destruction and a sense of impending doom. It’s been such a long road since I’ve published my first book. I even decided to start writing another one, because let’s be honest, recovery is such a bumpy road.
There are so many factors that play into sobriety, so when you’re only going through the motions but don’t put your heart into actually staying clean, the overall process becomes a drag. See, recovery was never depicted as an easy experience. Off the bat, we are told by doctors, counselors, fellow addicts, and anyone else with knowledge on the topic that staying sober is by far the most challenging aspect of recovery that we will face. The constant whispering from our demon telling us that we can just start over another day, it’s only one hit. Or the physical power hold that our demon has on our body, constantly punishing us and reminding us that it can all go away if we just take that hit, snort that line, shoot it up, pop that pill, whatever.
If you aren’t mentally capable of resisting, what good is professional help going to do? It becomes a waste of money each time you go to rehab knowing that you’ll only be back after a few weeks or months of sobriety. Shit, chances are you don’t really want to go, you’re only there because your parents or your wife gave you an ultimatum. I mean, if I’m being honest here, one of the main reasons why I got clean was because the love of my life said she’d leave me if I didn’t get clean. Here’s the funny part though. I got clean, changed my overall persona, and she left me anyways.
Imagine that. A recovering addict whose only life purpose was to love and provide for his girl and two beautiful kids. Now what’s left? An air mattress, a tv, a PS4 and a small closet holding a suitcase full of clothes, hygiene materials and condoms (incase I get lucky). I thought that I’d have it all again after getting clean. I was planning on proposing to the so called “Love of my life.” The woman I basically dedicated my new outlook on life to, and for what? To be tossed aside while still revive from the travesty I caused for myself. Losing my house, losing my job, and losing myself just wasn’t enough. Now I lost my family.
So what would many do in this predicament? Give up? Use it as a motivation to strive? Ehh. Well I ended up moving back to my mother’s house for a little while… Just to have her kick me and my son out too. And no, it wasn’t because of anything drug related, I promise. I had it with the constant disrespect and she wasn’t quite done so to my car I went!
After a few weeks in my car and around Massachusetts’ hotels, I finally found a room to rent and here I am. Reminiscing on the life I used to have. I once had everything a young man could want: A house, money, a beautiful girlfriend, and amazing kids. All dwindled down to a mostly empty room and an iPhone to create my content. But I shall strive. I’m not too motivated at the moment, but one thing I know I can do at a 6th grade level is WRITE. Writing is what I know, writing is what I shall do.
Which brings me to another topic I wanted to discuss; relapse. What is relapse? Well all my fellow addicts are too familiar with the term but for any new readers, allow me to enlighten you. Relapse, of Latin origin re-(back) labi (to slip) thus combined to relaps-(slipped back) then adopted to late Middle English. A noun and a verb which the dictionary defines as “a deterioration in someone’s state of health after a temporary improvement.”
But WHAT DOES THAT MEAN. Essentially it means that we as addicts find ourselves repeating the same old patterns that led us to rock bottom in the first place. It means that we weren’t mentally strong enough to continue on the path of sobriety due to the chronic use of illicit drug we introduced our bodies to. It means that we need to reevaluate our motivations and our overall purpose in life because we are worth something. We aren’t meant to roll over and die from overdose. We aren’t just “junkies,”“zings” or somebodies source of income. We demand respect but can only earn it.
COVID-19 and Relapse
So I wrote an article about how this ongoing pandemic will affect those in recovery. The constant lack of communication, visitation and overall activity leaves everyone (addict or not) in a state of dismay. It’s already hard enough for people who don’t have jobs or don’t associate with people, but now to be constricted and limited to our house as if we were animals? It can quickly deteriorate the mentality of someone who is already fragile. Studies show that 40%-90% Of people relapse at least once during their time in quarantine. I mean, I can understand why but I don’t know… is it worth getting sick or spreading the virus more? Are there any alternatives we have to avoid feeling that dread that follows this impending isolation??
For evidence’s sake, I went on to read other articles on relapse and how COVID-19 is affecting addicts throughout the country and it’s all pretty obvious things. I mean, we’re already told in counseling or in rehab that having a solid support system is crucial to remain sober. That’s the thing though, COVID-19 is an addict’s worst enemy. Due to the limited human interaction we have, and the isolation on top of the inability to even attend any types of NA meetings, this whole pandemic has been a painful experience. I used to attend these group sessions for people who are in recovery but one common complaint I noticed is that many of my group mates are so much more depressed and unwilling to remain sober ever since the in person sessions were canceled. Again, the limited interaction really takes a toll on the people who rely on human interaction to stay motivated.
The article “Is COVID-19 Triggering Addiction Relapse?” gives us an inside look on how this pandemic is affecting our fellow addicts. It states:
For people in recovery, connection and a strong support system are particularly important
Simple yet crucial. I’ve heard my fellow group mates cry due to the lack of interaction in their lives, praying that they soon get the in person session they deeply crave. Being able to see a person as you speak and radiate your vibes of positivity is a huge factor for most people and is absolutely a real thing. We all have that sixth sense where we’re could feel the support and positive energy when we are in an accepting environment and some use it as fuel. Just like a vehicle, once that fuel runs out, the person stops running.
I actually read somewhere that we are unfortunately hitting our second wave of Covid-19 cases so what does that mean for us? As a whole, it means that we will be put on lockdown again and many businesses and hangout spots will be closed again. As much as I hate to say this, stay home! I know it sucks. Trust me, I’m alone now. I have no support system aside from the very few few few people who care enough to read my content. Although it may be discouraging to most, we must keep a strong mentality. If you relapse, it’s not the end of the road. You absolutely can start over but saying that absolutely defeats the purpose of sobriety and erases the weeks, months or years of dedication you put into keeping away from you drug of preference. Do you really want to go through withdrawals because one day you could access your dealer but the next they decide to take the pandemic seriously? That’ll leave you stuck at home going through the excruciating pains that happen when you don’t feed that demon what it wants.
I know it’s not the same as being in person, but you have a phone so use it! Call your group mates, call your counselor, your parents, siblings, significant other or friends. Use your social media platforms to interact with new people. Or do what I do, complain about your life and call it a blog!!
Either way, you are capable of amazing things once you put your mind to it. Be good people!!- Jay