Anonymous: Behind the Eyes of Drug Addiction(Behind Blue Eyes)

Written July 25, 2016

For those of you old enough to remember, the title is a little wink and nod to that song by the Who. This song popped into my head because I used to call it my anthem song before I even picked up my first drug, cigarettes. After checking a couple of sites I discovered that my first thought about the song was right. Even tho I didn’t see where Townsend was an addict, the lyrics describes how I’d felt.

My name is Anonymous and this is my story about being IN recovery from drug addiction, not FROM. I am an addict and I always will be, even when I’m not using any mind altering, mood changing substance, until the day I die. There is no cure for this cunning, baffling and progressively fatal disease called addiction. And yes, I did say DISease. It can go into remission, if you will, until something happens(job loss, divorce, reminiscing the old days, “I’m stressed out because______, she missed me off, he made me cry) and I snap”.

The disease we refer to as a demon can come out from the shadows and it’s game on all over again. I’m not just some dirty homeless person. I am your coworker, family member, friend or celebrity you know. I am your doctor, teacher, lawyer, police officer or firefighter that helps or takes care of you. I am you spouse, significant other, your child, your sibling, your parent, or other family member. I am Catholic, Methodist, Muslim, a SpiritualIst. I’m white, black, red, Brown, yellow. I’m rich, I’m poor, I’m a regular blue collar worker. Warning, this may be a little long and wordy but please keep reading this post to the end to learn more about me, the addict you may know and/or may love.

My story starts the same as any other addict. I started using drugs because of peer pressure, I injured myself, I grew up with parents who were addicted, I had surgery. I used to cover up feelings, to escape reality. I was used and abused physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I used because the weather was good, the weather was bad, I was feeling happy, sad, angry, anxious. Pick a reason any reason. I’ve heard things from you like “Why can’t you just stop using? It’s a choice not a disease. Once a junkie, always a junkie. You’re a dirty, rotten, low life, piece of shit, dumb ass  brain dead, crackhead whore. Addicts are dirty homeless people who stick needles in their arm not my ______(fill in the blank)“ and many other hateful and hurtful things” These are just a few things I hear.

When I was a child, teenager, or young adult I was asked what do you want to be when you grow up? My answer was that I wanted to be a teacher, doctor, police officer, firefighter, musician, artist, lawyer, or politician. Never once did I say that I wanted to become an addict. Never once did I say I want to pop pills, smoke dope, inject poison into my veins, drink poison. I wanted to be somebody when I grew up. Not some junky, crackhead, loser who was mentally, emotionally and spiritually broke. Never once did I say I wanted to be lonely, homeless or the outcast of society for the rest of my life. I was somebody’s child, somebody’s sibling, somebody’s parent/grandparent, somebody’s spouse, somebody’s significant other, somebody’s…something. I am your coworker, your neighbor, your family member, your friend. I am that celebrity that you idolize, I am the dirty homeless person with a needle in my arm. I am the stranger you meet on the street, I am…me, a recovering addict now.

What is my point to all of this? My point is to maybe teach someone, reach someone, touch someone, wake them up, help someone, guide someone, let someone know they are not alone. There is an addict that is dying every day whether the cause is reported or unreported. Thousands die every year because of this disease, yes I said disease. Addiction is the disease of the brain and thought processes. It’s also a feelings disease. The first use or two, may be a choice, but after that the body and the brain take over and cravings take hold. Selfishness, self centeredness, lack of self-esteem, lack of self worth and lack of self acceptance take over.

If you want to help me there are some do’s and don’ts. Do fight for me and my rights for help just like everyone else. Do have compassion and empathy for how guilty and full of shame I feel when I’m using and anxiety while I’m trying to get clean. Don’t have sympathy or enable me. These will kill me. Do have a bottom line, what you’ll tolerate or won’t tolerate, and stick to it. Don’t say things like I wrote earlier. I AM STILL A HUMAN BEING WITH THOUGHTS, HOPES, AND DREAMS OF A BETTER LIFE THAN THIS!!

Oh, yea, I have feelings too. Don’t yell, scream, or beat me to get me to stop using. These things will send me to use to cover up or escape the feelings of shame, guilt, depression and anger I feel. Instead pray for me. Pray that I find recovery, that I don’t die. Pray that you can find peace and the ability to love and forgive me when I do find recovery. Do find the help you need to keep yourself mentally and physically healthy. And whatever you do DON’T JUDGE ME. I could be ANYone you know who’s trying to get rid of this evil inside my head and monster inside my body. Besides, believe it or not, I do feel a tremendous amount of guilt and shame. Don’t hide in the shadows and be ashamed of me. Do stand up for me and against the stigma attached to me. There are protests for everything else, why not have a protest for me too? Stand up and protest(PEACEFULLY yet FIERCELY) for me until we turn the tides on all of us who are dying from lack of help.

To any politicians that I hope read this. Please don’t use us(addicts) for your political platform just to get votes only to let us down by not helping us. If you say you’re going to help us to get the help we so desperately need, then do it. Bureaucratic rhetoric is of no help or use to us. To those of you who’ve helped us; family, friends, counselors, clergy, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. To the politicians, hospital staff, first responders and law enforcement who’ve helped us( yes I did say thank you to a police officer) to stay alive one more day, we thank you. To those of you I forgot to list, don’t worry, we thank you too. Thank you for seeing that we are not actually the bad person you see. We are just sick HUMAN beings wanting, needing and trying to get well.

I could continue on but if I did this would end up being a bit more like a novel. Perhaps I’ll write again about this demon inside any of us. And although I believe everyone is entitled to their opinions, I only ask that if you have a negative comment than walk away and scroll to another post.

The Who

“Behind Blue Eyes”

Album: Who’s Next

1971

(Wikipedia has neat facts,including the meaning of the song)

No one knows what it’s like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

No one knows what it’s like
To be hated
To be fated
To telling only lies

But my dreams
They aren’t as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That’s never free

No one knows what it’s like
To feel these feelings
Like I do
And I blame you

No one bites back as hard
On their anger
None of my pain and woe
Can show through

But my dreams
They aren’t as empty
As my conscience seems to be

I have hours, only lonely
My love is vengeance
That’s never free

When my fist clenches, crack it open
Before I use it and lose my cool
When I smile, tell me some bad news
Before I laugh and act like a fool

And if I swallow anything evil
Put your finger down my throat
And if I shiver, please give me a blanket
Keep me warm, let me wear your coat

No one knows what it’s like
To be the bad man
To be the sad man
Behind blue eyes

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