I’m addicted. Hopelessly.
This habit costs big bucks, and is harder to get off than heroin. I try, how I try, but I keep getting lured back into the scene. Sometimes it’s just a glimpse of a fellow addict that gets the pulse racing and thoughts drifting back to that which I’ve promised to give up. Sometimes one of the old crew will call, cajoling and bullying me until I surrender once more to temptation.
For giving in I get a lousy hour or two on a high, and then battle with myself after coming down fast – getting back up again is so damned hard. Hard on mind and body. Up and down, down and up.
The gear starts off cheap, or maybe you score a gift, but it isn’t long until the price goes up, and you need better and more expensive gear. You find yourself searching out dealers offering a full range of wallet emptying wares, guaranteed to leave you bulging eyed and grinning maniacally.
Some people say you can give it a go and you won’t be hooked. Some people are able to get into the scene recreationally, and then step back out – to all intents and purposes leading normal lives. Some people.
Not me. I was gone first go.
I tried the twelve steps. Boring. No adrenalin. Patches. I’m always putting on patches – must have been through hundreds of the things. Sure, they keep me going for a bit, but always fail in the end. And you look a goose covered in patches. I try and keep away from the scene, but everywhere I turn it’s available if you’re in the know.
Stories in the alternative media whet my appetite, occasionally hitting the evening news when another user goes down hard. I spend hours surfing the internet (purveyor of all things evil) to find articles about the sickest stuff and where to get it – there’s even sites that give user ratings! The desperate need for more is so strong I’ve managed to source specialist magazines and newsletters catering to my tragic needs.
It hurts, sometimes it hurts real bad, when the cramps and cold sweats get you, a desperate need to vomit, all because you wanted to enjoy yourself. The tracks on my arms and legs are typical, quickly identifying me to those in the know, those who know what to look for in a fellow sufferer.
Yet I keep being drawn back, back to the same environment that has seen me left bruised and broken, so low I thought I could never come back. So totally lost and out of it I had no idea what was happening, or where I was. Sometimes I can be found roaming through the night into the wee small hours, searching desperately for more action.
Sure, I try and hide my addiction. I don’t admit to my habits in the office, and try to deflect any questions about strange marks on my body, and my lack of interest in office work. Normally I can keep working to a good standard despite my problems, but sometimes the longing becomes too much, and I sit staring blankly into the computer screen, my mind adrift. Sometimes, when no-one’s around, I’ll sneak out at lunchtime for a quick hit. I have to be careful not to get busted though, sometimes I come back so bouncy and full of life it’s like I’m a different person.
I see my colleagues looking, and sometimes hear snatches of conversation that stops when I’m seen. I’m sure they know, or at least suspect what’s happening, but they’re too polite to say anything – how do you tactfully confront someone about a problem of this magnitude? Or maybe I’m just paranoid?
Well, I’m facing my demons. I’m sick of hiding. I’ve finally decided to make a stand, and that means admitting I have a problem. Once it’s all out in the open, I’ll be able to get support, and may finally be free.
I’m going to the meeting tonight – it shouldn’t be so hard confessing to other users, they’ll understand, won’t they?
“Hi everybody, my name’s Tony, and I… I” gulp… “I ride mountain bikes”
Nah, bugger that. I’m going for a ride. Coming?