It’s funny how so many of us as adolescents, full of wonder and creativity jump face first into the world; full of dreams, goals and the greatest of intentions. Not really knowing what to expect but eager to experience the unknown. Like being terrified as a child to jump off the bridge into the creek below but doing it anyways because everyone else is and the rush of excitement seems too good to pass up. After that first time, the rush is what we seek.
Some of us seem to jump feet first into the world and excel exceptionally. They effortlessly join the flock and live out their days in what may or may not be happiness, maybe its contentedness or comfort; whatever their state of being is, that’s not for me to determine. My point is they seemlessly slip into the wheel of the world. Some, however, don’t fit that social norm quite so well; some of us just slip through the cracks. We find ourselves in a sort of semi-adolescent adulthood limbo; in which some of us are content to stay and others attempt to seek a way out.
In that limbo, we all seek our own path. And so I searched for a way out of my depression, anxiety, and generally discontent cynical view of the world. For me, I found solice in drugs, especially those which ultimately fried my ability to naturally regulate dopamine.
In my younger years, pre adulthood, I was content with just being a lazy stoner, but as I grew older the pot made me more and more anxious. So I moved on and experimented with just about everything under the sun that I was capable of procuring. All the while my drinking increased exponentially. I had brief stents with heavy stimulant abuse, particulary cocaine, MDMA, MDA, and Amphetamines and their derivatives. I spent months in psychedelic exploration. All the while I was slowly falling in love with opiates. The love that I still can’t break to this day, even being about 3 years relatively clean.
It’s a desire, a craving unsurpasable by anything else I’ve ever come in contact with. But eventually because of varying circumstances, I did get away from them; all it took was moving 6 hours away from all of my connections and trying to drink myself to death for about 6 months. No biggie.
I eventually did return back to my part of the world and managed to stay relatively clean of opiates besides the occasional poppy seed tea binge. But my drinking was still out of control.
And so I met a girl. It wasn’t love at first sight, but it grew into a love I never thought I was capable of.
She never really gave me a hard time about my drinking, and in the beginning she even indulged me; to an extent.
As things got more serious, the drinking wasnt near as cool anymore. It wasn’t like one of those lecturing things or threats of leaving but more so she just stopped indulging me and started hinting that I should slow down all the while. She was really cool about it in all honesty looking back now, and I did slow down my drinking. But that whisper of addiction was still firmly rooted in my brain and my dendrites were begging for something, anything really.
Thus began my secrect abuse of RC benzo’s and the ultimate downfall to the greatest thing I had found to date in life; the relationship with the woman that changed my whole perspective on marriage, children, and love.
I didn’t realize how easy it was to fall into the depths of a benzo addiction, especially with those short lived ones. I was dosing, and dosing, drinking moderately, and by the end of it I didn’t know how much I had taken that day and had no recollection of the night before. I should note here that we never lived together and only spent about half the week together because of our schedules and jobs, so I had ample time to indugle myself in the privacy of my own home.
When I was with her I would keep the doses lower and not really drink so much, thinking I was relatively sober. Unbenknownst to me, apparently, my memory had been shit for months and I was so blinded that I didn’t see how my relationship was falling apart around me. Big surprise, right?
When I finally realized what I had done to myself in terms of my addiction, I quite cold turkey and the following three days that ensued were complete and utter hell making any opiate withdrawal I had ever experienced look like the common cold.
So, I began using again but starting looking for a way out. I read and read until there was nothing left to read, and eventually found diclazepam (chlorodiazepam). A benzo more suitable to tapering; basically an alteration of the long standing prescription medication, valium (diazepam) but with about 10 times the potency. Man, when you are having to take the equivalency of 120 mg’s of valium a day in one sitting and it doesn’t even phase you, that’s when you know you have a problem. So I formulated my own taper program, and started taking the steps to rid myself of the addiction that had grown inside of me. Initially unsupervised, I began my taper determined to kill the demon that lived within me.
After a month of working up the courage to tell my significant other, I just did one night. I believe it was two days before Valentines Day; three days after I was single once again, but this time with a shattered heart and a terrible addiction that I had to deal with alone. I thought for sure that she would support me, especially knowing my past and propensity toward addiction.
I thought our love was stronger than that, I really did; But I don’t blame her, and never will. I deceived her, and in turn broke her trust and heart. All too easily, we can lose site of what is truly important in life. For that I will likely never forgive myself, and my worst realization is that I put her through so much pain just to reach this point in my life. That one really hurts, it’s a burning and ever-lingering pain to come to terms with the fact that my addictions had such a painful effect on somebody that I loved more than my own self.
But, there’s a lesson in all of this. Some of which I’m still trying to figure out but I’ve made a great deal of progress. My taper is down by almost half of my original dose and I was left with one ultimate understanding; I had never truly tried being sober for the right reasons. When it comes to sobriety; it has to be selfish, and it has to be about you. About overcoming whatever obstacles led you down the path you chose to take in the first place. It’s about admitting your own erroneous methods of dealing with what life throws at you. It’s about you, and sobriety always will be.