October 28, 1993… that was the day I dumped the last of my Oxy, Percodan, Xanax and sweet Seconal down the toilet. God, I do love Oxy and vodka. Vodka is like air to me.
But, on that day, 29 years ago, I simply could not puke and bleed and shake anymore. I decided I couldn’t put shit in my veins anymore, stuff recently purchased from a guy named Sixto.
Don’t fucking congratulate me. This has nothing to do with wanting anyone’s congratulations. It’s a declaration and acknowledgment of the asshole that still lives inside me. Alive and well and waiting.
I remember those end days and the constant taste in my throat of blood and vomit. I didn’t flush the vodka that sunny day in 1993, I kept my last emergency half gallon. Actually, my first day not using I drank a quart. To survive a day with only a quart of vodka was quite a accomplishment.
I didn’t want to die around my little girls birthday. The plan was to die in January. It was actually late November before I can recall anything or eating much solid food. The first sensation I remember was not shaking, then realized I didn’t need to puke.
My demon still sits there smiling, taunting, every single fucking day. Every day. Somedays I don’t notice him anymore, but he’s there, if I let my guard down, he’s there, waiting and welcoming and smiling.
Recently sitting with some friends on a hot summer day, a glass, iced, filled with Blue Moon Ale. A sip and another and it’s like a hidden door is open. Like a sea rushing in. That moment as I tasted that ice cold beer was a fast ticket to my rage and my insanity. I jumped up and left, quickly. No one asked why. They knew, as I knew why.
Sometimes, these days, after all these years, I’ll to go drinking with friends, me drinking seltzer and cranberry juice. Most days I’m fine, I like being around people drinking and laughing. It was never like that for me—ever. Laughter? How about “fuck you,” while I go for your throat. I swear I never went to a party to party, it was always to go get severely fucked up and work a deal. I got invited to fewer and fewer parties. I took guns to bed with me.
I still sit in amazement at those who can take it or leave it. But, if I suddenly stand up at a table and have to leave—immediately—Don’t ever ask why. You don’t want to know why.
The addict, still very much alive and strong inside me will rob you blind and stab you in the heart and fuck you up to get high. You don’t matter, family doesn’t matter, friends don’t matter, trust me the law doesn’t matter; nothing matters. There is no right or wrong. There is only the need—not desire—the need to get fucked up, big and hard.
I used to look at normal people, sober people in wonder and awe, how do they live their lives, how do you manage to get through the day?
If none of this makes any sense to you, if it foreign to you or seems made up to you, consider yourself fortunate and blessed.
Some days I wonder why the gift of sobriety was wasted on someone like me. There are many more deserving who never see this gift.
Luis was my best friend, he’s long dead. Sixto is long dead, I’m still here. No idea why, not deserving a damn thing. There is no God or Allah at play here, he/she/it ran out of patience for my shit decades ago. This is simply the luck of the draw, and a kink in the fabric of the universe.
Being a drunk and a junkie is not a choice. Being sober is not a choice. It’s a matter of running out of options in both cases.