Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Drugs and I

In regards to drugs, I am a happy, ignorant child of Communism, I would say. I had no idea what they were while growing up. Nobody tried to sell them to me at school, none of my friends experienced it – or I was too nerdy or na├»ve to know?

Drugs were something you bought at the pharmacy and took for headache. When I was 19, I was invited to a New Years Eve party and a bunch of guys went out for a “smoke” … I don’t smoke! I can’t inhale and smoke makes my eyes itch, so who cared?! There was talk about marijuana and one guy mentioned, that he was growing it and asked his mom to water his “herbs” while away. His mom thought her son found a new hobby in horticulture and we all laughed hysterically, including myself, who didn’t want to be exposed for the lack of knowledge. I never took an offer for a fear of being completely ridiculed not being able to inhale.

In another case, years later, I was offered white powder while already living in the US. I looked at the baggie and thought it would look pretty on my baked cookies sieved onto cutout jelly hearts.

Later again, we took a trip to Jamaica. It was an unexpected vacation I won through a magazine competition and we stayed at an all-inclusive resort. I am not a resort person! During the first 30 minutes I tried every bar chair, table, hammock and pool and was ready to leave somewhere else in search of an adventure, when a guy in a little boat waved at me from the water. He was a bit far, but I was happy to take a swim and make contact with the first real dreadlock rastaman.
“Ya maan!” .. You need weed?
I realized he was conducting business ...
“Uhhhmm sure! But how do we do this?”
“Just put the money in a plastic bag!”
I was excited to finally try it and did just that. Placed bills in a zip-lock and proved my swimming skills with one arm were sufficiently great. We smoked it that night on our little balcony overlooking the crystal blue water. I felt it was part of the culture, like rum cake, Bob Marley and the bobsled team, though I had no idea when or how “high” would come …
… I guess I didn’t inhale …

Then came colonoscopy!
I had no idea!
I thought it was all awkward, painful, terrifying. But waking up from whatever drug, I found myself a part of a kaleidoscope swirling peacefully in shine, shimmer, color, glitter. My first question awake jokingly was: “What was that stuff? When can I come again?”  That was the closest I have ever gotten to high, I think, but I am still not 100% sure.

The one thing I know a lot about are needles! Not by a choice of a recreational drug, but by chemotherapy and IVF. None of them made me high or gave pleasurable experience. Heck, not even an altered state of mind that I could rely on when I thought there was death in my deck of cards that life dealt. Chemo made me sick with nausea, depressed and wanting me to spend days in bed watching TV and feeling like my life was slipping away.

I finally, painfully learnt the mastery of needles while undergoing IVF. I was telling myself “this time it’s to create a new life and not a battle”. I mustered up all my strength to take a needle, pinch my stomach and with a fast, but decisive moment shoot it all in there.

Every time I hear a celebrity passing, because of recreational needles I feel resentful, angry. I’ve seen too many needles! I’ve seen and known people living their life to the fullest, maybe not celebrities, but amazing people who would have done anything for the opportunity others had. Their needles contained drugs of no choice or recreation; it was to live longer. Their “high” was defined very much by being with family and friends at times, when they could still comprehend.

 I am so angry! How do you, addicts dare???

I have an addiction experience!
No needles, bottles instead!
Many bottles.
Violence, doors that were bang shut, promises not kept, knives that flew overhead.
Fearful days and nights from not knowing the state, in which he would enter through the front door. Sometimes he would just collapse, as he entered and fell asleep – this was the better. Other times, we would have to pack and run for our lives and ask for shelter from family, friends … until nobody would take us in for their own fear. We would then take a train and book into a hotel that was the cost of mom’s two weeks salary …

Behind every addict there is a family that suffers!

Numerous attempts made - doctors, medications that supposed to help, rehab that gives new hope every time, but more often than not fails; tears shed, discussions and family meetings had. Sometimes threats, fights and mostly the feeling of helplessness … 

An article that I recently read talks about people that faze out the addicts, that addicts don’t get help … (The phasing out part you know, that also happens to cancer patients.)

Behind every addict is a family, friends that tried … that are hurt, that mostly have done everything …  There are kids that have been sheltered from the truth, but are smart and know all too well …

I was that child, the cancer patient and I resent – the drugs, the addicts, the chance at life they had, but threw away!   


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