Addiction and Its Trickery

“He’s spiraling. I’d talk to him about it but I know he doesn’t want to hear it. He’s been so cynical and fake lately. It’s been driving me crazy. There used to be a time when I could talk to him about anything. Now there is nothing. It’s kind of like when you scream down an empty hallway and the only response back is total darkness.”

These are the words from a girl who lost her partner in crime; her best friend. Addiction can be tricky, and it has tricked me many times. From family members to significant others to my closest friends, addiction has taken the souls of many I love and in its place left me with an empty shell of a human being. The biggest loss of all was the loss of my best friend. It’s been almost an entire year since I first really noticed that he was no longer the same person I met a year prior. He had become my best friend almost from the day we met and my roommate not too long after that. He was like a brother I never had and it was nice to not be so alone anymore. At the time we met I had just relocated to a new area in FL and other than an ex, I knew no one in town. The bond was created almost instantly the day he was hired at my job and after a devasting breakup that he went through with his partner he moved into my one-bedroom apartment.

I learned much about his life as he was very honest and open with the struggles he had faced in life. He at the time was a year and a half sober although he had already started to dabble back into the scene. He had been a full-blown heroin addict and it had been a struggle to get himself clean. After meeting the guy he was with, it wasn’t long before he introduced him back into the party scene. His partner (being the irresponsible pharmacist that he was) was providing him with Adderall, Xanax, coke, booze, all the things a recovering addict had no place in partaking in. When I say it wasn’t even a full year before he was back into getting too intoxicated to even control his bowel movements, I mean it. Before I knew it I was fearing for his life.

The light in his eyes began to slowly fade as well as the love for life. He no longer was excited about the little things. Before we would have our dedicated “Adventure Days” where at least once a week we would go to new parts of the surrounding cities looking for places we had never been before. Now it was difficult to even get him to want to leave the confines of his bedroom. His hygiene at this point was almost non-existant and forget about him even trying to contribute to the day to day upkeep of our apartment.

The day he was no longer able to keep up with the bills was the day I knew he had completely lost his grip on reality. He was engulfed in simply trying to get by. His routine was sleep, work, home, drugs, sleep, work, home, drugs. I started to find random little baggies throughout the apartment. I would run into these baggies more often than I would see him. I’d find my cat playing with broken apart pens and pulled apart q-tips. Still, I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. I was obviously in extream denial.

To make an already long story short I eventually had a confrontation with him giving him an ultimatum: either he went to detox or the moment he left the apartment I would change the locks and he would no longer have a place to live.

The entire ordeal ended up being too much for our friendship to bare. He did go and get help but that help hadn’t been more than a tiny step towards a very long road ahead of him. By this point, I had made a choice to move back home to Jersey and we eventually went our separate ways. He moved out a couple weeks before I hit the road towards home and from that day on I hadn’t heard from him again. I reached out a couple times with no reply and even tried reaching out to his mother to see if he was alright. The last I heard no one had spoken to him and sometimes I wonder if he’s ok and safe.

The fact that he is no longer in my life has made it selfishly better. My quality of life, sad to say, has improved because I am not longer fighting an internal battle between my logical side and my compassionate side. I felt that towards the end there was a codependent relationship that had been built between us and I was happy to walk away from that. Years before meeting him I had worked really hard at trying break from my codependency and I had begun to drift back into old habits. This friendship had started taking me back to dark places and all because I was trying to keep someone else from drowning.

For me, it’s a hard thing to accept that so many people in this life are battling addictions. It’s hard to accept because I was left so jaded and to try to build relationships with people who are going through such struggles is not easy. Sometimes I wonder if it was worth it? Did the good times outweigh the bad? Yes. Yes, they did. I miss my friend, I truly do. I hope that he’s ok although my hopes aren’t very high.

One thing I’ve really learned when it comes to dealing with addiction when you lose people you love to addiction, you really are mourning the loss of a loved one almost as though you’ve lost them to death. It is painful. The heartbreak at times more than one can bear. Although it has been a little over two months I still feel the conflict of what used to be following me around. It hides in the outskirts of my mind popping in at odd moments to remind me of who I lost and what I lost them to. Still, I try to continue my days with hopes that someday the pain of this loss will ease and that this will become just another chapter in a long story called Life.

Unexpected Unpleasantries

Try as you might to avoid certain headaches in life, it is almost certain that your plans to do so may fall short or, simply put, may not go according to plan at all.

One of the many reasons I have chosen to not have children is because I am selfish and other than my own personal issues and struggles (trust me I have many) I do not feel like I’d like to add anymore challenges to the mix. Yet, just because I have decided to refrain from bringing into this world a nondetachable relationship (because I don’t care what anyone says, children are for life) that doesn’t mean that those that are already a part of my life won’t bring in moments of turmoil or heartache. Now matter how cold and selfish I may seem sometimes, the ones I have come to love unconditionally can always count on me for help.

I recently had a friend fall from the high ranks of sobriety down into the pits of darkness. It only took a few months for his life to snake out of control and in that time it began to affect mine. It’s crazy how the mind works because I knew the signs, I had observed the escalation for months prior to me finding out for sure that they had been using again, but still, I didn’t want to believe. Prior to this I had just ended an unhealthy relationship due to the person’s substance abuse problems. After watching what I had gone through with that individual there was no way my friend was about to put me in the same position, right? WRONG. It’s in the nature of this ugly beast to muddy up reasoning, rational, and selflessness. The person tainted by this monster  is no longer the considerate loving soul you once knew but instead the shell and the soul of a stranger is what’s left. My life was full of chaos and uncertainty. I was constantly wondering if the next time I’d see this person if they would be alive or dead. It was heartbreaking for me to have lost such a confidant and friend. The person who was always there for me in the last couple years was no where to be found and instead this unco was left in his place.  Stealing, lying, and self-destruction were now what this individual was into and although I tend to avoid all unhappy and unhealthy situations, this is not one I could just turn and walk away from. How could I? At the end of the day, it wasn’t me they were truly hurting. In fact, their embarrassment and humiliation as to what they were up to lead to him completely avoid me so as to not hurt me any further than our lost friendship had already done.

To make what could very well turn into a super long story short, I recently took my dear friend to a detox center. After a few days he will be moved to an inpatient facility for some well needed addiction treatment and mental health care. It’s been a few days and it is only just now that I realize how much strain this was putting me through emotionally.

Today, I laugh at myself at how naive I was to believe that I am somehow am able to control what crisis I will and will not go through in life. Sure, you can try  to reduce the amount of exposure you have to certain situations. For instance not walking alone in the city at night may reduce the number of chances you have of getting robbed. To say that you won’t form bonds with people in order to avoid unpleasantries in life is delusional. It is my strong opinion that if life wants you to go through a difficult ordeal of any sort, try as you might, you will go through it. These are the life lessons that are meant to help us grow and learn. These moments truly do help us to evolve into much better, stronger, and wiser people. Watching them go through their own struggle and me having to learn how to cope with the situation has allowed me take a look at my own life introspectively.  The only thing that we can truly count on is that the lessons of life will keep on coming, there is no dodging it, and it is up to us how much we take away from it.