I’ve managed now to maintain a journal of one sort or another online now coming up on eight years. Initially I was so self conscious about exposing anything about myself, but after a short time, I forgot that I was actually writing on a public forum, and wrote just for the sake of writing – for an audience of one so to speak, moi! With my first journal I did nothing to hide my identity in anyway, but, I also ensured that I made no mention whatsoever of my alternate lifestyle, so to speak. While it was true that everything I wrote about was 100% honest, the mere fact I completely avoided addressing a substantial part of my life was nothing more than me lying through omission which by definition is equally as bad as if I were lying. I wasn’t really being truthful or at all. Conundrum!
At the same time, I certainly was by no means ready to expose a very private side of myself or my husband, or at the very least, risk the chance that someone reading my journal would be able to put two and two together and figure out what we had fought and worked so hard to remain secret and separate. Ah-ha! A secret identity was in order. Why not? I thought. It works for super heroes now doesn’t it? So with the anniversary of my alter ego in mind, I guess you could say that I’ve been maintaining a journal online, with my entire life 100% exposed, for near seven and a half years now. While I still chose to keep my real name and my families private and hidden from anyone doing a general search of me, anyone that knows me intimately is familiar with any of my online writings now, my daughters included. More than anything else now, my innate shyness and general self consciousness are the main things that stop me from going any further.
One thing I’ve not been able to help but notice is how much change has occurred in those writing about addiction. There seems to be far more relatives of addicts writing now than the actual addicts. When I first started out, I can’t remember anyone other than addicts or addicts in recovery writing or keeping a personal journal. A point of view that I can’t help but consider now, was never a consideration in the past. Nary a glimmer. Keeping current with the ever growing number of this niche keeps me honest, and never forgets to remind me that my recovery no longer affects only me, but any number of people close to me who care about me and my welfare – obviously, there are many other things working away in the background, but each and every time I read one of the relatives journals, I can’t help but feel humbled. I also can’t begin to say enough about any one of them and the suffering they must endure each and every day. Their writings should be mandatory reading for any drug education course in the school system, the penal system and any other type of system out there!
For anyone new to my writing, I first off, would like to welcome one and all. Secondly, I wish that all of my online writing was accessible to everyone. Currently I have approx 200 plus entries from a former site that I have yet been able to upload to this site. It had been maintained by another and for some reason, about three and a half years ago, it disappeared without warning. Miraculously, he did eventually return everything to me in the form of a .sql file which is a file I’ve no clue what to do with. I can open it one of the more sophisticated alternatives to notepad but that’s pretty much it. Buried deep within all of the stuff that stares out from my computer monitor, I can make out my original entries. On days when I feel particularly ambitious, I’ve copied and pasted individual entries into this journal with the entry’s original date stamp. With over 200 though, I’ve never quite felt that ambitious! Maybe one day soon – or maybe an idiot proof method of getting this file incorporated with this site will appear miraculously for me! Never, ever say never!
In the meantime, allow me to share one of the few original stories I managed to write while knee deep in addiction. May be a little graphic for some, but it never fails to make me suitably uneasy every time I force myself to read it, reminding me of how important my recovery and sobriety is to me and mine. This story is way too autobiographical for my liking as I seemed to spend many similar days to the one I wrote about than I cared to admit.
LIQUID LUNCHES – a short story
I like to call myself a functioning addict or a responsible junky – an oxymoron if I have ever heard one. You ask what makes me so different or special from other junkies or addicts? Well, nothing really except the amount of work involved. It is much harder to be a functioning addict. You are forced to live two very separate and distinct lives. Your public face is the only face that anyone is allowed to see. no one can be allowed entry into your private world. This you keep very well hidden from view.
No one can know that your half hour lunch is not sitting down at the nearest coffee shop consuming today’s special washed down with a couple of cups of coffee. No, instead you have quickly headed over to the local public library and have locked yourself in one of their bathroom stalls. Once you are safely behind its closed door, you carefully remove a brown eyeglasses case from your purse only you don’t have a spare pair of glasses in it. You place a strip of toilet paper across the back of the toilet bowel and gently place a spoon on it.
You grab one white pill out of your baggy and place it in the centre of the spoon. With the end of your lighter, you carefully crush it until it is a fine white powder. Next you rip the packaging off of a new syringe and open your small bottle of sterile water, placing the tip of the syringe in it to draw up 50 units. Carefully you fill the spoon with water.
Lifting the spoon up into the air, you flick your lighter and aim the flame so that it is centered beneath the spoon. The water starts to bubble and the fine powder dissolves. Breaking some cotton off the end of one of the many q-tips you have, you drop it dead centre into the warm liquid. Quickly you suck the liquid out of the spoon into the syringe. Sit back for a second to breathe a sigh of relief. No clumsy accidents. So far, so good. Taking some more toilet paper, you wipe your spoon clean before returning it to its case. You make sure that your small bottle is properly capped and your baggy zipped up tightly. You crumple the syringe’s wrapper up tightly and place it in the case also. You will have to dispose of it later.
Enough time should have passed so that the liquid had cooled. You perch your rear at the edge of the toilet seat making sure your feet are square to the ground. Taking a look at both arms you decide which one to go for this time. The left looks as if it will yield the best results. You tap your forearm a few times and flex your hands. Carefully you remove the cap from your syringe. Taking a deep breath you stick the needle into your skin gently pulling the plunger back a fraction. A rich red floods the barrel. Bulls eye. With as steady a hand possible and a silent plea for them to remain that way, you depress the plunger at a uniform rate until all of the liquid has disappeared.
Bliss. Now not too quickly, you remove the point from your skin, firmly pressing some tissue over the bloody hole. Once the bleeding has stopped, you qrab the point of the needle with your bloodied tissue and twist it until it snaps off. Throwing both into the toilet, you flush them down the drain. You recap your now empty syringe and return it to its place in the eyeglass case. Wrap two elastics around the case and return it to your purse. You certainly can not be too careful. You want no rude surprises should you ever drop purse with contents spilling everywhere. Too big a risk to take for the functioning addict.
You gather your stuff and exit the stall, stopping to wash and dry your hands. Look for your comb to run through your hair. As everything went smoothly, you still have time to freshen your makeup. Touch of lipstick and a brush of powder and you are good to go. With one final glance back at the mirror, you open the bathroom door refreshed and satisfied by your half hour lunch break.