I’m an addict. I will always be an
addict. I lost almost everything to my love of dope. People always want
there to be some “reason” why I got there. What happened
in my childhood? What did my parents do wrong? People want to know what
they can do to protect themselves from it. I don’t have the bad
childhood answers. Neither of my parents were drinkers and certainly
not drug addicts.
My father was a very strong person and kept a very close eye on me.
I was his beautiful young daughter. I was, and always will be, a daddy’s
girl. When I was 16 and I wanted to go out on a date, he had me sign
a contract. I would observe the following rules or I would face the
following consequences. Well, of course, I broke the rules. Yep! Pretty
much each and every one of them.
I found a guy who was the son of one of my dad’s friends and we
went out. He was the perfect “bad boy” and I couldn’t
resist. He had been in and out of jail. He was bad enough that his father
told my dad to keep me away from his son; it was not a good thing for
me. Well, I was sixteen years old. When my dad told me that, it was
ON! The same thing happened when he told me never to get on a Harley.
Maybe the “under the thumb thing” wasn’t so good for
my “black sheep” personality. At least that is what my beloved
Grandmother always called me. I was her “precious little black
When I started dating the father of my first son, I started smoking
pot. He was slamming speed. I had been doing cross tops at school, but
not snorting it or anything like that. I liked the way it made me feel
and it was helping me lose weight, so I thought, “Wow, this is
my dream drug, it will keep me young forever!” The word “young”
needs definition. Mentally - maybe - but not in a good way. I had no
idea what I was getting myself into.
He went to jail. I would drive an hour each way every day, so that I
could see him at all three allowed daily visitations. I lived to see
When he got out of jail, we were headed to his grandma’s house
in a van, discussing dope. He was slamming the drugs and I said, “Why
would you want to do that?” He said, “Don’t knock
it until you try it!” That evening I was shooting meth. It was
all I wanted to do from that point forward.
We wound up in a crash pad in San Francisco. I found out I was pregnant,
so I quit the drugs for a bit. It was awful. He was still slamming and
there were so many cockroaches running around, we were sleeping on the
floor. I would lay there and he would be killing them all around my
head. I left one morning to get a cup of coffee from across the street;
I came back and saw the police were raiding the place. Half of the people
were face down on the floor; my boyfriend’s brother was handcuffed
to the top of the stairs and just said, “Get out of here!”
I ran. You bet I ran. I wound up at his mother’s, where I was
living when I had my oldest son. My boyfriend was in jail and his mother
was patient and helpful. I was clean for a while, until my son was a
toddler. I would do the mom thing, feed him, put him to bed and he would
say, “Momma, where are you going?” I would tell him I was
going out, but Nana was going to be there. Not to worry. Nana had only
one rule for me: I had to be back by 7am.
Much of my past is vague. I’m embarrassed to say that, but it
is true. My son and I wound up living with my dad. I was using again.
My father saw it for the first time even though I tried to hide it from
Then I met Scott, the father of my other two boys. Our relationship
was addictive on every level. It was all about drugs and alcohol and
it was also abusive. I ended up in jail. My son was taken by his Nana.
It was hell on me, but it was probably the best thing for my son at
the time. It didn’t last long though. I got clean, and I got my
Then I got pregnant with my second child. When he was born he had some
physical, genetic issues, and was not healthy. For the record, it turns
out that this had nothing to do with my drug usage but I blamed myself
anyway. He was very sick. While I was in the hospital with my baby,
my best friend was sleeping with my husband.
It was beyond awful. I blamed myself. I blamed him. I blamed her. I
blamed everyone. I started using again. I wound up in jail again, this
time for shoplifting. I had nine bucks but I stole a pair of shoelaces
and a toothbrush. I also had a ton of drugs in my purse because I was
All I knew was that my body was craving the drugs, craving the needle
and I needed the excuse to do it. I would clean up, but then my grandma
died, Scott was sleeping around, if anything happened, it became my
excuse to go back. I lost everything. It’s my fault.
I loved the needle. If someone were to ask me if they should put a needle
in their arm, I would warn them that even the needle, in and of itself,
is an addiction. Junkies will shoot anything at all in their arms to
see and feel that ritual again.
Was I self-medicating? No. That is an excuse, too. I was, and am, an
addict. The difference between then and now is that I don’t use.
My oldest son and I are trying to work on a relationship now. My two
younger boys and I are close. I have them, my car and my mom. That,
at 52 years old, is all I have. But I have one more thing. After years
of sobriety, I have my self-respect. I stopped beating myself up every
night. I still have things that I work on and I need to work on, but
I’m able to do that now.
I quit for years, went back, quit, went back. If you get off of it and
go back - be forewarned - it’s not like starting over. Within
a week you will be right were you left off, maybe worse. The beauty
of a 12-step program is that you sit there and hear someone else tell
your same story. It has amazed me. I am not alone. I am not the only
I hear a new little voice in my head now. That is my higher power. I
love my higher power. I didn’t try to take my life in the terms
that so many people think of. I just almost destroyed it because I loved
my needle more than I loved me. A slower death, if you will.
I will always be an addict. It is my personality, but I am no longer
a victim of my addictions. I am happy to be free of that guilt. I am
happy to have a real relationship with my boys and I’m happy to
be alive with a lot more life to live.