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Reach out and touch someone.
For the purposes of this memoir I call my partner of five years The Ex.
This is my personal story of love and hate , struggle and triumph, obsession and rejection.
The Ex is the only other character that truly lived through what I went through, right beside me. I don't know if that makes him responsible or not. I don't think either of us were. I liked to always explain it myself that we were kindred spirits.
The Ex's power on my life was so intense that I feel the psudeonym doesn't even begin to do justice to the sheer nightmare we made of our lives. Frequently, I speak of a great bond we had, jammed together in adversity, but it was never a hopeless union and yes everyone saw it way before me.
But I never doubted his beauty, to change. He wanted to - at least I think he did. He was not happy with anything in his life and I didn't mind changing that. I felt the same way and over our heads we became.
Together, pushing against the odds and unfriendly smiles, we were each other's solace. I knew that no-one else outside our drug dependancy could possibly understand our love. It really felt like us versus The Big Bad World - but I guess that's how I liked it back then. Sickened by thoughts of leaving him to die, I stuck around - and around and around and around.
No one even thought our love would survive what it did. I guess they can never take that away , as horrible as it was. Our families tried to seperate us, thinking that we both made each other more dependant on Heroin. That wasn't true - we both loved it madly.
Sadly, the strength of the addiction was all consuming - and I retreated back into the shadows whilst my family and friends prayed I would come to my senses. My senses ?
Back then I didn't have any.
Everyday, he would inject me and feed me intravenously and in exhange I toiled on my back, from highway to hallways every single day and night. I had no problem dissconecting my body from the old man sweating onto my tiny pale breasts, I made all the right noises and all the right moves. I used this money to score, pay rent and buy food with whatever was left over. The Ex tried to work - but it just never worked out. Instead, he was my Bodyguard and Boy Friday.
He would run around town barefeet and grubby, always willing take the hard hits he never won the war. He hated the fact that he had now become accustomed to me seeing clients as our sole income yet I noticed he still used a lot of gear. Who needs ethics when you have free Heroin? I was stupid and he knew it and loved it all the same.
Suprisingly by surviving through the worst case scenarios every day of our addiction, we earnt precious intimacy. It was not always love sometimes it was hate. The cold harsh reality of drug addiction doesn't have much of your soul to feast on when the sparrows had long flown from the winters.
Somehow we managed to stick together for at least three years. Every night we would laugh like kings in spite of the cramps and vomits - I guess my heart never changed. If you fight for them. He would tell me I was wonderful, that I would beat this thing, even if he didn't. We would laugh till we cried. Then it kinda felt normal. Kinda.
Dreams come from darkness too.
We were so alone. But to each other, we were everything, so it didn't matter.
To him I say this
Long Lost Love,
You made me laugh in my darkest hour. No one ever knows how you helped me when it wasn't looking good. When it got tougher, so did we. I saved your life, my breath filling your lungs with my lungs, my tears wetting your face almost like we could share tears. You watched over me with clients , your pained expression watching through the window. Those moments of sleep , when we were entwinded in our dreams as one, I will never forget.
Do you remember when we prayed together every morning and night? I remember.
You would make me put out my cigarette before I did so. You were always a gentleman to me.
Do you remember fishing for our supper in the lake? I remember. You built a roaring fire and you always gave me the only blanket we ever found. Remember when we had no home but we still managed to kiss under the stars? I do.
It was always just me and you. Where we an infinite affliction of the soul?
As I drifted off to slumberland, you always reassured me that it's ok to rest my head while you kept an eye out for the bogeyman. I would wake up around and midnight and go to the shelter.
I'm sorry you stayed behind. I couldn't always afford it. I couldn't afford to stop taking smack.
Do you remember my shaking hands as I held your shattered skull together when you were beaten senseless. I still remember the blood and bone fragments sprinked over both our T shirts. I got you to a hospital and I made sure you lived for another day.
It was a proven fact that you would do it for me.
You always made me your princess, even though I smelled bad sometimes. We were real. We were unreal. We... were.
Do you remember limping down to the store and when you stole me a chocolate bar to eat -just because I hadn't eaten for days. I remember you got caught for shoplifting and you pleading with the police. They let you go but I never got the chocolate bar.
Even though you had not eaten for longer than me - it did not matter to you.
In these moments we have the understanding, that not many people ever discover.
We lived and died - every day.
Even though, as much as my parents tried to come between us, you would find me. You loved me , so you found me so much easier than anyone else.
Do you remember baby ..as they tore us apart, my fingernails would tear at your flesh?
You wanted me to go. I know. But I couldn't. We got in this together and I wanted to know we would win. But we never did. I had to leave you. It was the only way.
Can you hear me screaming out to you still?
Do you still see my face ? It was white with panic , hands clutching, I could not see behind me as I was wrenched from your arms by the authorities - I wanted a last picture of you but your face fades behind my tears.
Screaming our messages, imploring our meaning.
I will be back for you !
I will come for you too!
Don't forget about me
I will see you tonight !
I get better now for both of us.
Because you died.
I will take you over the line baby, even if you are not here to do it for yourself.
Together until the end, that is what people said to us, as you placed a rose from someone's garden in my hair and told me you wanted to marry me. I was the princess.
I never answered that question in time. But my heart and yours are together.
I would marry you tommorow. But we both know that it will never come.
You are dead. I can't talk about it. Not even yet.
I am showing all the junkiecritics that we are good people and we never meant to hurt anyone. I chose my path and I remember that although we nearly died - but you did save my life. If it wasn't for you - I wouldn't be here. It's not fair that everyone thought you deserved to die like a animal. I'm here to tell you that you mattered. That I was the only one who loved you , and that makes me a better person - not a fool.
You taught me compassion and I will never regret one moment.
When people just turned away, it was much easier on everyone. But me, I suppose.
I miss you so much. I hate drugs. I hate them so much that I bite down and feel blood.
I want my life back - I want you back. You are a just a boy - this I saw in the beggining.
I am waiting for our day of redemption when I deliver this book to your parents.
When they finally see - what we survived. Your story will not go untold.
They Will Never Tear Us Apart,
Wait is all I have done. Heroin is the great remover. It slices you jagged down the middle , ravages you physically and robs the rest. Morals. Memories. Me.
Heroin leaves your soul bare and ashamed. Your pride is smeared into the ground, your image trodden on with a million bloody footprints, one for each wrong step you took.
But for now , in the woods , now your struggling to stay alive and you don’t care who sees, as long as you don’t have to feel it.You don’t see your eyes rolling around your head as you talk to people. They do. Your skin is pale and pasty, broken up with purple marks under your tired eyes. I guess I looked scary huh ?
When your clothes , what few you have left, reek of sweat and despair. The threadbare material hangs to your bones, barely disguising the emerging skeleton coming to reach its reality.
Shake, rattle and roll.
In the beginning it was a magical and lush parade of dreams. To have the fruits of our youth sprinkled with heroin. The way the sunshine massaged your skin in the early days, the way the beach breeze had a smell so beautiful, it would never smell the same again. The deafening peace of time on heroin. In the early days. The days of promises to keep a grip. As much as I tried I couldn't keep from holding out, so I just settled for holding on. Every time I hit rock bottom I wanted to give up Junk. You would push me on the playground swings as I made plans for us to run-away they just never went right and before I knew it, I was letting everyone down again... But I never gave up hope. I don't want to be a fucking Junkie forever.
Now, I am proud to say that is why I am not today.
No one ever goes into heroin thinking they will become addicts, the minute you fall asleep under the red flags, you know that it's too late.
People that can use dope , on and off, ( very rare ) seem to me like some reserve player on the football team, they never go the yards or plough through the scrum but then again they don’t have to. Junkies call these ones The Lucky Ones. They say Heroin is like kissing god.
If your willing to die at thirty for that feeling then release my hand as you plummet.
It doesn't matter how many times you watch Trainspotting or how many books or blogs you read. You never think it would happen to you. I was not the ideal choice to become a heroin junkie. You don't walk into the deal thinking your handing over your life which is rolled up inside a shame stained fifty dollar bill . I ended up handing over everything I ever owned.
I pawned jewelerry, furniture,belongings, prescriptions and of course my own body.
It's price was so much more than fifty fucking dollars.
Years on smack can peel away in forgotten chapters. The future of a drug addict exists on the back of opiate realm, nothing really quite a fact, nothing beautiful enough to be a fantasy. Heroin, final friend and foe will drive you into the dirt and will wash away everything you cherish. As each treasure drowns in your poisoned blood, you may have a faint memory of what you used to look like, what it used to feel like to live like them. The healthy people. You suddenly realise there is no way out. You can't just put down the needle. Hell awaits.
I was a Junkie. I was nearly over. I was nearly a lost cause - Nearly.
NO second chances, just near misses.
A big fat needle loaded with oblivion is waiting for the addict.
But it doesn't love you they way a person with compassion can.
Heroin is a tragedy of our times. I was at university and I wanted a future.
Then I met Heroin. It was always meant to be, drug abuse is in my genes.
I will always be tempted to shoot up drugs and trust me this is not in keeping with the rest of my life. Some people like to gamble with food money - I must like to gamble with my life.
But I'm learning one day at a time - that I have to cut out all of it. The scene, the people and eventually the memories. Leave it all behind - It's the only way you will ever have a chance at beating Junk. I can tell you straight - The fight against drugs is easier with support of loved ones.
You might not know someone on drugs ( I doubt it) but I believe that If I can be compassionate towards these people then so can you. I know it seems easier for everyone to pretend that drugs do not exist. I wish I could do the same !
But we have to listen to what the world's decay is telling us - we are not coping on our own , more than ever people are turning to drugs and loosing control in the process. I mean hard drugs here ( like Heroin and Alcohol.)
Try to not think it won't happen to you so it will never affect you. It may not be you , it might be a friend of a friend. Besides you are reading my blog right now. So guess what - you are now aware ! Now you can make an informed choice.
The next ' druggie' you could meet could be someone you meet in a chat room. Like my christian BF! How much I have opened his eyes ! Drugs don't kill as much as the ignorance surrounding the actual addicts do.
Open your mind as that is the only we can power we can use to save our friends, to save our families from the lack of information about all forms of drug abuse.
Not many Junkies blog about how they want to quit but can't... but there is many forums of people who are desperately trying to take the power back - pray for them if you do that kind of thing.
Is there anybody out there ?
Just nod if you can hear me...
As an addict, so close to losing it all , I kept ahold of my essence. That I was a good person. I let that small girl inside play with the notion I would work it out and I would be safe again.
I thought that I had fucked everyone over, one too many times. I knew I was alone.
Then. Someone held out a hand.
That hand had been badly burnt by me in the past. When I wasn't ready to say Help Me.
That hand was so scared to touch me. But that hand still managed to believe in me.
I can't tell you how much I soared after that. It was just the right time.
I was back.
To the addicts or abused that read alone cherish compassion. Try your best to understand it. You have two hands , look at them. Then reach out. Cherish it. Whether you need the hand to be offered or maybe you know that you need to be the hand. Just do it before they vanish.
Then you will always, always wish that you did. It may not feel like you made any impact.
Believe ! It's another hammer crashing through the plaster cast that has your friend, your lover, your sibling underneath. Just one crack at the hammer or maybe get in there and destroy it. In time, it will crack and fall - I am living proof.
I never went went to Narcotics Anonomous as I knew that I personally needed to be healed by those that had harmed me in the first place. You can't deny those people hurt you, even if your sober. I am still on that journey.
Compassion saved my life.. It is ok to be frightened. It's ok to be angry at an addict.
There will come a day and you will get an apology or explanation. Have faith.
If you can forgive me, then I can forgive you.
But do not forget each other.
Every morning the scene would be the same. The Ex and I hardly ever ventured outside (maybe to go try the dealers again from a public phone) .
I was so pale and frail that the sun would seer my greying skin making me recoil into the sweaty abyss of the apartment , back to pain and pure loathing.
Waiting in the darkness, tossing and turning in the sweat drenched sheets, cloaked in chills and a growing edge of discomfort. My sense of smell was so acute, I could smell the stench of sweat and vomit. The Ex runs to the bathroom with runny shit exploding from his boxers. It's not even funny anymore. I light my third ciggarette and think of my own howling stomach. Thers is no food for us today so I drink my third glass of water. Before I finish the third gulp, I have to rush into the bathroom. The ex is already in there and the smell only makes me worse, I grab a saucepan and hurl ribbons of bile into the silver. My limbs creak in protest when I walk back to the sweat abyss to finally and gratefully die. I know how pathetic this is - but the thing is a shot of heroin stops this feeling in an instant. A seemingly beautiful instant.
I must rise from the bed, just to get rid of these fucking cramps. My head just won't stop. Talking delirum to my broken will. What a fucked up headcase, I think.
When you are dope sick nothing is considered too crazy plans if it means you will get a hit to stop the spiralling sickness.
This is when you may steal, rob or do whatever you have to do. It's common and what gives Junkie's not a very good image. I don't believe in stealing, no matter what.
But, you can manage a huge habit without ripping off your mates/mum and dad/dealer.
But it is VERY hard. There isn't a medal awarded for those addicts who succeed in holding onto their dignity, when everyone else hooked on shit will beat you to death if you give them a moment to think about it.
Your life still falls apart regardless. Nothing gets better from this horrible scenario, you just get sicker and sicker and sicker.
Then, presto ! The dealer would arrive for the day with The Hit. Only then could you contemplate mixing with the "straight people' outside. Suddenly your not thinking about the future anymore and all the goals are forgotten. When beige bliss is inside your spoon it's all about the hit , getting your blood mixed with it's 'cure'. I saw so much blood and sometimes it sprayed onto the ceiling and stained the sleeves on my clothes. I became a doctor of death.
The Ex and I resembled vampire born from the most shitful day you can imagine. In the inky black night the only glitter was sharp syringe teeth, obsessed with blood and flow. We wanted it and we couldn’t live without it. We tried to have mornings when we just thought we could sit it in. This was early days. It felt like my head could split open and blistering lava would spill forth and curdle on my spine. Agony is instant and increasing as every muscle tenses, every inch of your body is screaming for heroin and it will never ever stop.
Your body becomes the silent enemy in the corner. You plot to win sgainst your own cunningness to get wasted , but she was always a few steps ahead of me.
The elusive field of light I could see, yet never reach. I wanted the addiction to end but I had no real drive to get there. I wanted to see how alive I could be , whilst I burnt myself with the fire.
Heroin addicts are sick people and I am no exception. In the end though, we are not a group.
It's a person battle and the sooner addicts realise that they have the final say in their future the fucking better. Wake up and smell the sewers that are lay behind you.
Reality was seeping slowly into my numbess. It was persistant and I am lucky that I don't deal well with denial. The truth about my unfolding life as a junkie was like a deep river of mercury, clinging undeniably to a million festering sores between The Ex and I. Someone had to rescue me but it was me all along. I had to take the first step - it was away from The Ex.
I could feel the years slipping by like a scar refusing to heal, no matter what pleasant memories I could unearth to heal it. I knew something had to give and I had nothing left.
The pause button was on my life for five years - five very long years. Five very important years when my friends were at university and doing things I wanted to do, back then. I just wanted the movie resume playing again and for everyone to treat me like the person I used to be. I wanted a happier ending. Was it possible anymore ?
I thought all of this standing on the side of the highway working as a prostitute. I cut an odd figure in my smeared makeup and limp ponytail. My skin goosebumped in the emerging light of dawn, I feel the last traces of Heroin fading away. It was only replaced with a gentle gnawing fear - that could begin in my chest yet by nine in the morning it literally has me pinned to the ground - making you very sore and sorry you even contemplated breaking free of it's vice-like grip.
Peering into the headlights of the approaching client, I am blinded by the lights. Then the road is quiet. Everyone seems to have better things to do right now, but you. I suck and blow my way to a better day , even though now it all feels so wrong. The man pays me something ridiculous - I don't mean in a good way either.
I stay out for a couple of hours , walking up and and down the highway. I am out in the grey early morning , I am more tired that you would ever believe. But I get the money. That is the main thing. I slink back into bed at seven. It didn’t matter I had to wake up in two hours later. I now had money to score. Some kind of superwoman. Pfft.
But back then I felt so noble, such a loving, caring girlfriend.
I had stopped the pain for both of us and we could have yet another hit of brown.
Exhausted I flopped into bed and tried to picture days like the ones I actually live now, but as I shut my eyes I soar like the broken angel that I am. Slinking into sleep, sinking into my nightmares.