It’s weird how we forget

A while back, a reader asked me to give more juicy details about life on meth, even going so far as to say, “I know you’re holding back!”. But I’m not.

You probably know how it goes but just in case you don’t, let me remind you… Do you remember what you were doing on some random date, say this day but in eighth grade? As in, do you remember the whole day, what time you woke up and what you felt, what made you anxious back then, what was important? Do you remember what occupied your mind from one minute to the next back then? Probably not… Well, that’s what it’s like when I think of my years as a meth addict.

It’s nothing more than distant memories. My day to day experience, my thoughts and feelings, even the names and faces of many of the people I saw every day, are distant now. Vague, obscure, indistinct bits and pieces are all I have now. That person I was is long gone. I didn’t always believe this – I once wrote that I am the same person, hardly changed at all. But I was wrong. I feel the same – I always feel like “me”, and as are we all, I am usually not aware of my own changes because they happen gradually. But I am far from the meth addict I used to be, so far now that I only remember remembering. The day to day experience is gone.

I think it’s for the best. There is a danger of course. The danger is to remember the highs and not the lows, to become complacent and think it might be OK to use drugs again, just a little, “just once”. But even that is not a risk for me. I have no interest in those things. I am not only a different person to the meth addict I was, but also I am a different person to who I was before that. My depression, my anxiety… it still exists but it being treated, managed. It’s good to realize this, but also it does mean I can no longer relate as well to my fellow recovering addicts and to those who still struggle with addiction.

When somebody asks me for advice now, I have to pause and think. Normally I tell them I will come back to them, but I can’t respond immediately. And I do come back, but it’s weird to me to think about those times. So I’m sorry if I can’t write as much about it as I used to. I’m sorry if I take long to offer advice, but it isn’t so easy any more. That guy, the meth-head version of me, is long gone. He’s not coming back, although I can access his memories with some effort.

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