When you’re a junky, you push away all who love you

To the Editor:

I find myself sitting on a stoop in a neighborhood that I have no business being in. All I really wanted to do was cop some dope go home, do a shot, and cure my sickness so I could spend time with her.

See, when you’re a junky, you’re literally a slave to this powder and you push away all of those who love you. Especially the ones who love you when you can’t even love yourself.

You destroy all relationships that are close to you, the people who mean the most. I see her face all around me every day; the world is crumbling all around us and all I can think about is how I destroyed everything important in my life.

My tiny insignificant speck of a life means f--k in the grand scheme of things. The short period of time we have in this life, I want to spend that time with her. After awhile, she forgot his sins, while he tried to figure out his fault for loving her with all of his heart.

Tonight I officially dropped off the rest of her stuff. She said she wants to remain friends but sadly we both know the truth. I toss and turn, my mind plagued by nightmares of horrible scenarios. I can’t sleep, so I get up and pace.

I'll do anything to stop this pain but I won’t do that. My mind races with paranoia, thoughts of suicide ease my ego.

I think back to a time in my youth. Growing up, I lived near an apple orchard. The part of New England I grew up in was the apple capital of the country.

I had a lot of firsts in that orchard. To me and my friends, that orchard was like another world, one far from what we knew; it was our own world and, when we entered it, we knew we were safe.

Keep in mind, we were 12-year-old boys at this point, so we did your average 12-year-old-boy shit. Like: fish, shoot pellet guns, blow up frogs.

But, as we got older, that shit turned into high-school shenanigans. For instance, me and a couple of my buddies decided to throw a party one night — just a couple of friends around a fire is what we envisioned. Instead, it got out of hand and the entire school basically showed up.

I mean, it was ridiculous; there was a line of cars pulling into the apple orchard at 12 o’clock at night. We had a friend’s mom buy us a couple kegs so we charged five bucks a cup.

So we basically had enough resources to branch out into other ventures. Like the time me and two of my buddies ate a bunch of mushrooms and were tripping on a night that turned out to be a meteor shower. As we laid in the fields of our safe world, we gazed up at the fiery rocks that soared through the night sky like endless rays of light.

We did everything there. I remember I smoked weed for the first time in that orchard. I shot my first gun in that orchard. I grew my first successful weed plant in that orchard. I rode my first quad in that orchard and I crashed my first quad in that orchard, and then one day our world changed.

We saw our first dead body in that orchard. 

Today, for the first time, I can at last bear the sight of the figure staring back at me. To think that just a year ago I avoided mirrors and, if I happen to catch a fleeting glimpse of what I had become, I was sickened by what I saw.

I didn’t recognize the figure staring back at me. All the life completely drained from my eyes. I was caught, a slave to this horrible self-destructive numbing drug that had become my sanctuary.

At my lowest low right before I did a shot, I thought to myself, I hope this is the one. The one that will end it all and take away the pain. Stop the toxic tornado that I had become. Hurting myself and any unfortunate casualty that crossed my path.

I didn’t understand then what I understand now: We don’t wait for other people to validate us into our own heart callings; we invite ourselves.

Michael Rega


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