Growing Pains

Conversations with my junkie self

Day after day, night after endless night the words come, until every moment, every silent pause, is filled with an urgent susurration of half-complete thoughts, incomprehensible asides: madness wrapped in cold sobriety; a wispy fug of reality forever chased by the opiate dragon of disconnection.

The escape, it murmurs, is just one line away; one pill – a snort, the deep drawing of crystalline chaos that promises if not heaven, then a very different and altogether more palatable hell. Far more palatable than the hell of constant sobriety, with only more sobriety to follow, unable to take the edge off the daily grind of life.

There were never any monsters born of psychotropic delusions more terrifying than the stone-cold awareness of living life in the unchanging present; feeling each minute – each hour – dragging by, waiting for God to end the tedium. Depression is madness – only slowly.

Drugs are lies fused in chemicals. Drugs are life on pause while we dance to the glib jingle of a life otherwise; ephemeral and enchanting. Drugs hold no power that lasts more than a handful of selfish, introspective and happy hours, yet the lies they weave are built on the foundation of years. Lies that last well beyond the last fix, fueled by guilt and conscience; shame and regret. Lies are, at last, the death of an unreal life when the husk of a man steps out of youth’s carcass, and holds forth his frantic spells in twelve commandments – the hopeless cries of the helpless reborn.

There is a necessary schism separating ‘then’ from ‘now’ and the pining monologue recalling the life narcotic is merely my growing pains. Nothing more. Nothing less.
I would never choose to go back to that madness. I am grateful for the new life and the luxury of tedium, and clarity I have now…and yet…when those years call out to me across the clean time I have amassed, I feel the sentimental tug for that first, unrepeatable high.

By confessing my cravings, I disarm them.

Step one: I admit I am helpless in the face of my addiction…

© Dave Luis 2014. All Rights Reserved.

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