I used to be a meth addict

15 years ago I was a meth addict.
More specifically, I smoked what was commonly referred to as Ice.
And I loved it.

Before I jump right into how that all came about, let’s back up a bit. To know my story is to know that I was 19 before my first alcohol-induced blackout. A gift bestowed upon me by a man that stole me away from my life, and quickly learned he could control me with alcohol. I was a quick study on checking the hell out of my life, even better if it tasted sweet. After I escaped his clutches, by no less than a miracle, I was lost. Like a starving and desolate pup dropped by the side of the road looking for any scraps or refuge. Be careful what you seek, for you will find it.

Or it will find you.

This is where I tell you that drugs saved my life. Not an exaggeration. They did. The people that brought them into my life also saved me. I had no idea how to survive the hell I emerged from, and drugs helped me. We will call this the “trauma self-medication” years. Time is shady around this time, but I think it lasted about 2 years. I don’t remember a lot of it, but I can still tell you what Ice feels like when it fills your mouth, throat and lungs with it’s intoxicating coolness. There are still certain chemicals that replicate the smell for me, jarring memories loose from who knows where. 15 years later I can still see the abandoned house I used to sneak to with friends to smoke it, staying awake all night, deliriously philosophical ventures into the abyss.  I remember the music that was blasting in my car as I unknowingly drove a ‘friend’ (dealer) around to get it. I can still feel the small glass tube as it twirls in my fingers, and see myself in the bathroom of work lighting up and hoping there was just one last rock.

I also vividly remember the night I overdosed, and my ‘friends’ leaving me in a bed to make it through...or not. No one is willing to risk jail time to get me help. Some friends.

It’s not surprising that I would think the ones offering me drugs were my saviors. Or that drugs saved me. I believed these hurting humans loved me despite my scars, that they cared for me; simply because they helped me not feel my unbearable pain. I was allowed to forget.

I guess it doesn’t take much to be my friend. Clearly I haven’t always thought so highly of myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve also been a pretty shitty friend at times. If you don’t value you, it’s difficult to accept that anyone else does; and far easier to fall in with other trauma-wounded human animals. Treat yourself like shit, and you will accept it when others do too.

15 years ago I was a meth addict.
I type these words and every cell in my body rejects them. My brain screams that this wasn’t me.
But it was.
The things and people I did, used, hurt...all real. The people that used and hurt me...also real.
I’ve spent over a decade pretending none of it happened.
No more.

I acknowledge that I was once a meth addict, so I can acknowledge the hell I survived. The part right before this subsection of my life, the time I was married to the devil himself.

You’d do drugs too, just to forget that. 

I was a meth addict and I was a terrible friend.
I was selfish. Neglectful. Dishonest.
I used people like I did my drugs.
And when I was done with you, I tossed you away like an empty dime bag.

Of all of the memories I have from this time, of all the terrible habits I have carried with me all these years, this one has been hardest to shake. This inability to nurture my friendships if they seem even slightly healthy. This is the part I seek to eradicate. The layer I am currently healing through. I’m beyond ready for my trauma to not define my life choices, or my friend choices. I’m ready to quit running away from people who really care for me, while chasing those who don’t. I’m ready to unpair the idea that the only thing I can connect on is whether you have been through hell and back too.

15 years ago I was a meth addict.
Today I am living in active recovery.
Today I am healing.
THAT is my new criteria.
You want to know me?
You want to be my friend?
Heal yourself.
Then tell me all about THAT.

I have a feeling we will have far more in common.



To all the amazing humans I have ghosted over the years due to my inability to think myself worthy of your beautiful healing, your innate human awesomeness, your unconditional love and friendship: I offer this apology.

Thank you for loving me when I could not.

YOU saved my life.

To all the hurting humans that have ghosted me: I still love you, and wish you the healing we all deserve.

~ Dr. J


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