The Everyday Lives of Recovering Heroin Users (RSA Projects)
-just because it caught our eyes.
There may be a correlation between the amount of writing done here on 23rd Street recently (none) and the degree to which we feel that we are ‘out of the woods’ as it were (the woods of substance abuse and drug addiction). This is, of course interpretive, based on denial and fueled by the expansion of time (i.e. distance from relative cessation of the hardcore substance abuse) and sealed into a pretty little envelope by the fact that we have come to believe that we are finally ‘normal’.
Then, all of the sudden, Craig Ferguson comes around to remind us that, you know, “remember the time when you were high all the time?” Nothing against Craig Ferguson at all. I’ve actually become acutely addicted to the non-sequitur slinging, late-late night Scotch-American. He’s awesome. In addition, there is nothing aggressively drugged-out about him, either. But, once in a while, he will regale the audience with a half-tale of his version of the 1980’s or just make known the fact that he has been sober 20 years or something. Then, back to regular shenanigans.
So, that is all good & fine. right?
Well, see now, part of my absolute affinity toward Mr. Ferguson is the fact that he was once a hardcore, falling-down hedonistic drunk person. Why?
I mean, one could probably easily connect the proverbial dots (as this is a sort of “addiction” blog-ish operation that we have going on here). But the answer to the aforementioned is much messier and possibly a lot different than the easy page of connect the dots would have one believe. In addition, just because ‘affinity’ is a positive affectation, doesn’t mean that everything that it manifests is positive.
The easy version of connect the dots would draw a picture of identification, I suppose. And this would be true.
I’ve never had “drug-friends”, even whilst doing drugs. And after it all, since I’ve never been in recovery… I’ve never had to sit in a place with chairs and people that tell stories of ‘rock-bottom’ and such. I’ve never viewed the recovery process or have any real concept of it, especially as it applies to an actual person, in real life. It could be all ‘unicorns and plastic chairs and little paper cups with withdrawal pills’ for all I know. Everyone has a minute concept of AA or whatever. I am no different. But my concept of it is exactly that: minute. Books and television. For a once hardcore long-term drug user, I have no more an accurate picture of recovery than a person that can use a remote control.
As such, it is identification.
The more detailed version (the messier version) involves the reminder. The reminder of, “remember that decade when you were high every day?”. Because it is a reminder… because you forget. Again, believing that we are finally ‘normal’ and have been normal for a long time. Its about the fact that recovery (or whatever we are doing at 23rd Street) really requires a shaving away or dulling down. Things, once turned up to 11 have to be dialed down to some volume and frequency that creates a sustainable way of life. So, one doesn’t, like… die. The thing is: this sucks. Its a horrible notion and even more horrible practice. Especially in the beginning. This exceedingly grey-ness of life. This grey-ness that one has to practice… until one forgets that they are doing anything at all…. until one forgets that grey-ness sucks.
And that is all well-and-good. …Actually, as mentioned before, it sucks. But it is what it is. We could stop there, but the fact is, there is more going on beside this uncomfortably antithetical forced changing of behaviour. With the voluntary-ish behaviour change that brings upon this grey-ness… conscious of it or not, at least in our experience, we are killing something. Something is dying. That part of one’s life or certain beliefs or that part of one’s person. Most likely, some cocktail of all of these things. I would be surprised if most people didn’t do it this way. Thinking about it, now, lets say …5+ years after the fact, it just seems easier to dial that shit down if some part of you allows certain things to “die” and accepts the fact. And long after one feels a bit physically in a different place, there exists this period of mourning for that thing that one consciously still has no clue one has killed.
I mean, that’s how death (however, metaphorical) works, I think, no? However it does work, apparently, no one ever really gets over a death of something they believed in so whole-heartedly & loved. This sounds trivial but I loved meth. I suppose I can’t say it that way because I still love meth. The fact that I haven’t done it in forever doesn’t change the fact. The fact that I was able to dial it down to a semi-sustainable level and ‘forgot’ about it in a visceral manner doesn’t change the fact, either.
I guess on some level, I knew this. And so, the object was to forget. With the increasing passage of time, this sort of thing becomes easier and easier until it becomes more of a cognitive thing. The fact that you know that you love meth. The fact that you were a hardcore meth user. But the drug has been removed from any sort of visceral feeling.
Until that is some random late late show host reminds one of the visceral.
Its strange, this was the first time, possibly ever, that I felt the visceral excitement of being an addict since I’ve stopped the drug. I felt like one of those people in cocaine studies that are shown pictures of paraphernalia as their dopaminergic centers or where ever light up in their brain as if they were high.
This is where it gets a bit messy. This pseudo-high (as pseudo as it may be) is a pleasurable feeling. And all of these things that I thought that I killed (that haven’t been felt for years) come flooding back in a lovely saturated sweet tangerine segment burst in your mouth.
And it has nothing to do with being afraid of becoming a junkie again or anything. I have absolutely no fear of that happening. Its just… with this reminder comes this anticlimactic notion of, “so, here we are”.
Here we are, because, really, where can we be but here? But what is ‘here’?
In addition, it reaffirms the notion that you are different… not normal. And only certain people will be able to understand this part of you. This is no longer catastrophic as you’ve been able to detach meth and meth-life and needles from your personality. You’ve been able to detach the degree of passion and positiveness and importance as it applies to you, inherently.
I suppose this may be a good thing. Well, neither specifically good nor bad. Rather time’s affect on objective introspection?
And so it goes.
-just another extremely sloppily written post from the folks at 23rd Street
You know, just because:
So this meebo box you may see toward the bottom of the right side of this page o crack commonly referred to as the 23rd street chronicles… gives you, the reader, a completely anonymous way to rap with me, the author.
… if you so dig and all.
I dare you.
I’ll probably respond back, in real-time, with some sort of semi-lucid gibberish that passes for insanity… but I’m awesome. sometimes, anyway.
It’s all anonymous-like. And thus, the only fleeting connection (the word “anonymous” and it’s loose association with > general support groups by way of NA, AA, whatever else-A) that I will ever have with the concept of recovery.
Or else, that’s the general consensus right now.
Bear in mind, I have no answers. But I’m awesome. And it’s free. And anonymous.
…wait, did I mention, it’s anonymous. 😛
Awaiting your thoughts with bated-heart. Catch you on the flip side!