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Sobriety: Gone in 60 Seconds, the Minute I Regret Most (1 Viewer)

skullfire

Member
It wasn’t the first time I poked myself with a needle, nor was it the moment I determined to go AWOL from the Army. It wasn’t even when I traded my father’s prized digital camera for a bag of cheap dope. A young guy in my twenties, my pool of regret is deep and murky. The minute I regret most of all happened quite recently.

As I walked down the back staircase of my apartment building something familiar struck me. It was a noise, the wild shouts of an addict screeching and bouncing her way out of a house like a rejected orangutan. I had never met this particular girl before, but instantly I recognized her. The part of my brain that processes rational thought blew a fuse. My will short circuited. I malfunctioned.

She headed towards the convenience store at the top of my street. Unbeknownst to her, I followed. She walked with a purpose, but I kept up. Her arms were fixed to her sides like a soldier on a death march. There was no doubt in my mind now. She lived in my world. And no matter what her mouth might say, her gait betrayed her. She had the junkie strut: the quick and stilted pace, the clenching and unclenching of the fists.

Even though I was a good fifteen feet behind her I could see the dark roots beneath her choppy bleached blond hair. I imagine she cut it herself in the dirty bathroom of a women’s shelter, one of many she’s probably been in. She wore a beat up, grey sweat suit with holes and stains in all the unfashionable places. She looked to be about thirty, a little older than me. She easily could’ve been one of the faceless people I used to run with, though. One of the zombies I used to pool money with, trying to get a fix.

When we reached the store she stopped. As I walked by she was mumbling the junkie’s prayer, “Hurry, friggin’, up.” Suddenly I was right back where she was. All my progress was shot. My two years of sobriety meant nothing. I had no legs to stand on. The trust I gained back from family, the new life I built with my boyfriend. None of that passed through my head. There was only room in there for chance, the chance to get high. I didn’t think I would be risking it all.

First I asked for a smoke. Then, if she was holding.

“Nah, only gut kookoo pins, but if you wanna take a ride with my boyfriend we can hook you up. I’ll just say you’re my cousin because he’s wicked jealous.”

His jealousy peeked out from behind her crappy make-up job. This poor thing, I thought. What a mess. She looked ten years older than she was, way past her prime. Before she told me her life story I gave her money for a few pills and screwed. I didn’t want her to be able to recognize my face if I ever saw her again.

Klonopins are part of the Benzodiazepines family, a class of drugs with sedative qualities, mostly used for anxiety and insomnia. Klono-, or ‘koo koo,’ pins are the branch of these that are subscribed to fix ‘the crazies.’ Like my friend Mac says, “If a whack-job takes ‘em, they go normal. If a normal person takes ‘em, they go fucking whacko.” I wasn’t thinking about Mac as my saliva pushed a few doses down my throat.

I’ve lost weeks of my life on these pills. Extended periods of time are forever stripped from my memory. I think I got the ‘body high’ once when I first took them in high school. Other than that, I get the crazies. I lose all judgment. Normal decency goes out the window. If a stranger approached me while I was on these pills they would believe I was mentally handicapped: Rainman without the intelligence. I slobber, mumble, slur, and lose balance. My brain turns from a sponge to spinach. Even after a good night’s rest the residual effects can last for weeks. It’s terrible and I should know better.

That night I was supposed to be home, putting up decorations for the party I was going to throw my boyfriend. But those benzos hit me hard. Too hard. I was out of commission. By the time my boyfriend came home, excited because he just found out he passed the state licensing exam to become an actual, real pharmacist, he found his boyfriend passed out. Wasted. No balloons, no signs, nothing. All he got was a stark reminder that the man he loved is an addict. Worse, one prone to relapse.

Beside my body on the parlor floor: a dirty needle, a plastic baggie, a spoon, cotton, and a spilled glass of water. A little further away: crepe paper and a package of small balloons. These days some people seem to think that admitting regret is exposing weakness. It’s cool to say, “I have no regrets.” If I said that it would be a slap in the face to the people I care about. I don’t regret the pain I caused myself; I regret the anguish I caused my family. But once again, I was forgiven. And although the scars are still fresh, they did heal.
 
R

Rico

This resonates so strongly with me, as a recovering-ish addict myself.

I wish you luck with your struggles.
 

skullfire

Member
Thanks

Thanks a lot. I'm not really good at the nonfiction essay. It's so literary and I'm just not.

Thanks, though. I appreciate it. Recovery sucks, but it's life.
 

mammamaia

Senior Member
kudos to you for having the guts to write this... i can only wish you continuing straight-headed-ness, an end to your addictions...

don't worry about the literary aspect... its immeasurable value lies in what you had to say to all who suffer such agonies, not in how you said it...

love and healing hugs, maia
 
Last edited:

Ruben

Senior Member
As I walked down the back staircase of my apartment building something familiar struck me.
It reads better if you insert a comma after building.

Even though I was a good fifteen feet behind her I could see the dark roots beneath her choppy bleached blond hair.
Same thing, a comma after "her"

I would also put some more comma's in other places, but I'm beginning to think... Is this just a personal thing? It could be.

----------------------

Wow, this is a strong story, and it's great you're willing to tell us. I understand you--as much as I can understand you.

This is also written very good, can't make any remarks.

The best of luck to you; be glad you have somebody that loves you, standing next to you, helping you out.
 

wshaw

Member
skullfire said:
Thanks a lot. I'm not really good at the nonfiction essay. It's so literary and I'm just not.

Thanks, though. I appreciate it. Recovery sucks, but it's life.

Pshaw... who wants literary if you can write like that.
 

beaux

Senior Member
Very nice writing. I can definitely understand a little better what that is like, and can relate with my occassional addiction to video games:) Good luck getting back on your feet.
 
M

miyakeke

Good luck to you in your struggle; I hope all goes well. As for the story, any qualms one may have with the literary aspect subside in response to the subject matter you write about. Good job~
 
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