I never thought I’d get here. But here I am. Actually I’ve jumped the gun, as usual. I measure my clean time from September 1st 2013, so I will be nine years clean, and into my tenth year (At last!) as of next week Thursday. Close enough though, fuck it.
Normally I have nothing to say these days, but for a change there are a couple of things I’d like to share. Firstly, I think maybe I’ve given some people the wrong impression of my life as an addict – or they got it somewhere else, I don’t know where. People say things like, “Well, you lived your life” when they hear about my past… No. No, I didn’t.
People seem to have these strange ideas about what addicts get up to. Sure, there’s some crazy shit, but for the most part, your impression is totally wrong. Most of the time, meth-heads sit around doing nothing but smoking meth. That’s it. Days pass, then weeks, then months, then years. Suddenly you’re vaguely aware that it’s Christmas… again. The Earth has circled the sun a few times since you last paid attention, and in that time, you were sitting around smoking meth. There is no living of life. There is only sitting and smoking meth. The other stuff that happens, happens by accident, because getting off your ass to get more meth when you’ve been awake for a week will by definition involve some madness. But that’s the exception. The norm is just to sit and smoke.
Please don’t get the impression that life on meth is good, or fun, or romantic, or glamourous, or even interesting. Meth addicts might do some things at the beginning, but that’s before full blown addiction sets in. When it does, meth addicts don’t use meth as a part of their lives. They don’t use meth to enhance sex, or whatever the case may be. They use meth because the meth high is the only thing they care about. The meth high becomes everything, while everything else diminishes in importance. It might take a while to get there, but that’s where it goes. As a meth addict you don’t live your life. You merely exist. You’re a zombie, an emaciated, stinking, pale, broken shit-talking reflection of the person you used to be, and if you’re lucky, you might be smart enough to know that life is passing you by. If you’re luckier, you might be inclined to do something about it, and get clean. But you probably won’t.
The other thing I was thinking about… I remember when I found out that my girlfriend was sleeping with someone else. Our son, Josh, was around a year old. And it wasn’t that she was sleeping with Fabrice, the drug dealer, it was that everyone we knew, knew her as his girlfriend. I was working in the day, and all the time I was at work, she was with him. I met someone who didn’t know us as a couple, who casually referred to her as Fabrice’s girlfriend. Fabrice used to endearingly refer to my son as “Small boy!”. I hated that. I took my son away, with the help of some family and Child Welfare, and then I went to rehab. Fabrice is dead now. He died in prison. Too bad he didn’t live long enough for me to tell him that she aborted his child when she ran away from him, but all in all, I’m glad he’s dead. I hope he died slowly. I hope he suffered. I’d like to think that he died from a stab wound and slowly bled out, with no one around who gave a shit.
Edit: Reading this back, it might seem like I’m being a bit hard on Fabrice. I’m not. He robbed me, more than once. He also sold my fridge, which was in storage after losing the house, which I lost because him and my ex stole my rent money while I was at work. He got what was coming.
Even though I relapsed and used meth for another three years after that, all it gave me was pain. Less than 30 seconds of a pleasureful high, and hours of pain. Hours of dwelling on the past. That’s why I generally don’t write about the past any more. The years of pleasure were good, but they were followed by even more years of pain. And that’s all I remember now about using those last three years: dwelling on the pain of the previous years.
I do sometimes wonder about the people I knew back then. People like the girl who told me when my ex was cheating… she was one of a young couple I was friends with – they stayed somewhere in Wherry Road, Muizenberg, but I don’t remember their names. They were only in their twenties and still not in that “final” phase of addiction where all they would do is sit around and use. I wonder if they got there? These were decent people. Others too… Laska, Leon, Graham… I wonder if they are still alive… I wonder if they got out. A part of me doesn’t want to know because they probably didn’t.
Trust me. There’s nothing good about my old days. I didn’t start living life until after I quit the drugs.