Putting things into perspective

After my last post, which was quite negative, and some comments I made about my current financial situation, at least one regular reader was concerned. I don’t blame you. I also wrote some bad things about Megan, my ex, and I hate that I did that.

So lets put this into perspective a little… My personal life is a bit of a mess. My financial situation is not great. And I am weirdly emotionally conflicted. I’m happy about being three years and a bit clean, happy to have my son and happy that he is happy, happy to have made some good progress in my three months so far of gym, happy to be doing well at work although I am also stressed there, and unhappy things didn’t work out as I hoped, unhappy that I miss Josh’s sister (very much), unhappy that I can’t do more to help my ex, and I am unhappy about my financial woes as well as worried about the future, especially regarding where we will live and how we will afford to either pay higher rent or buy the place where we are staying now.

So I’m happy and unhappy all at once. It makes me uncomfortable that my life must be so difficult and complicated. And I have mood swings, days when I dwell on all the things that I am unhappy about, and other days when I only focus on the positive. I also have days when I reflect on both the good and the bad. (Plus I have an abundance of days when I don’t think at all. That really works for me… Just clear my mind and pretend everything is hunky dory.) I’m pretty good at “channelling“ those emotions into my writing, which can result in either inspiring or depressing posts, although I try to avoid the depressing ones. (Seriously, if I can make you feel what I feel, or felt, then I am happy with the post. I consider it a success whether I bring you to tears or make you smile, because they’re both a successful transfer of my emotions to you the reader, through my words expressed in my meagre vocabulary.) Negative posts have their value too. They show that my life isn’t easy despite being clean, which if taken the right way, can hopefully help inspire others who have problems by showing them that they are not alone. I have my problems, but don’t we all? My problems now don’t compare to what they were a few years ago.

I’m the guy who once ranted to some random female pharmacist assistant in Plumstead, Cape Town, all about the “awesome combination of Viagra and amphetamines”. And yes, I did use those exact words, because I was talking non-stop and too fucking high to keep my stupid mouth shut. Me, shy little me… who would under normal circumstances sneak into a pharmacy, embarrassed about a Viagra prescription, and scuttle out unnoticed… chose instead to make a big show of it, and boasted about that awesome combination of meth and Viagra like some debaucherous porno clown oblivious to the stigma attached to methamphetamine usage because that’s exactly what I was. I had no shame – I wish I could say that no fucks were given but the choice of words just seems off somehow. I was a monster.

Then there was one day when Megan and I were housesitting for my mother. I’d been running and had gone there in my gear because I was too lazy to change. So there I was, tired from my 10km run, wearing nothing but my Nike shoes, shorts and the expensive vest I ran in… when I slipped up and didn’t respond to something Megan said as she stood in my mother’s bathroom. I thought she was just cutting her nails or something until I heard her cry out. Apparently my failure to respond to what she said was a signal to her that I didn’t love her, and suddenly there was blood everywhere. Normally she just scratched the surface of her wrists, but this time she’d cut deep. So my expensive running top was torn to pieces and became makeshift bandages and I spent the next thirty minutes cleaning up blood and calming her down. We were both monsters. And that was around 2007 or 2008 – still during the good times.

Maybe I made my old mistake the other day and gave the impression that everything was her fault, although everything I wrote was true. It still comes second nature. Back then, I was excellent at playing the victim. I earned R 30 000 a month and spent it all on meth in the first week, then needed money for more meth. Megan got a lot of money and I was too stupid to ask where it came from, or to consider the shame that she brought to herself doing whatever it was that she did to get that money. And I managed to appeal to the pity of my mother. I told her how Megan sold my DVDs, and CDs and books… I told her awful truths, and somehow she gave me money for petrol, even though she only earned about R 7 000  a month. Then when I told others about my addiction, I found ways of getting their sympathy, always with me as the victim to Megan, my barely past adolescence girlfriend while I was an adult. Never mind that I happily smoked meth with her, from the money she got out of selling my stuff. To this day, some members of my family hate Megan, and I am convinced at least some of that is because of the way I manipulated them, always coming off as the victim and good son. So spare a thought for her… and remember that this is normally written from my point of view.

We all see ourselves as the good guy, even when we are not.

My relationship with Megan was more complicated than I can say. She’d been abused before we met, and she was always difficult to get along with. She’d say or do something that might result in anger from an abusive man, and then cringe as if expecting me to hit her, even though I never did. She’d be afraid of me sometimes, and act as if I was abusive even though I wasn’t. She’d cheat on me with men who did abuse her, physically and psychologically. And she did it a few times. I can’t explain her actions, but I do know that she never used me intentionally.

And now, she is 27 years old with no high school education and a three year old daughter, staying with her family because she can’t look after herself, let alone her daughter. She’s working as a cashier at OK, earning a pittance. And she misses our son, though it was her choice to leave us. And she asks me for money occasionally… So what? She earns a fraction of what I earn. I help her when I can because I still care about her, and I do love her daughter. I wish I could help them more.

I was going to write something quite different here – going through the years and looking at the world through her eyes. Tell a long story about how young she was when me met, and how damaged… And how she just needed to be loved and validated. And how I failed to do that, despite years of trying. But rather not. Just take my word for it that she isn’t all bad, and if you knew her story, you’d care about her too.

Meth destroys everything. It turns what should be a lifelong love, something beautiful, into something ugly. It turns you against each other. It turns good people into deceitful bastards, sex into mutual masturbation, and lovers into enemies. So she did some bad things to me as I have written before, and I didn’t deserve that, but it wasn’t her – it was the drugs. I forgave her a long time ago.

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About Jerome

I am a senior C# developer in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a recovering addict, who spent nearly eight years using methamphetamine. I write on my recovery blog about my lessons learned and sometimes give advice to others who have made similar mistakes, often from my viewpoint as an atheist, and I also write some C# programming articles on my programming blog.
This entry was posted in Addiction, Methamphetamine, Recovery, Relationships. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Putting things into perspective

  1. bbnewsab says:

    Jerome, my friend, love is a dangerous drug. Have a look at: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/eurythmics/loveisastranger.html

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bbnewsab says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention:

    You are a very good writer, Jerome. You know how to tell a “story”. Have you tried to write novels or short stories? Clearly you’re very talented. And clever.

    Liked by 1 person

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