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

Written November 6, 2016(edited 2017)

In light of a speaking engagement I have tomorrow I thought I’d post this.

For those of you old enough to remember, the title is a little wink and nod to that song to 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. The lyrics that Pete Townshend wrote described how I’d felt when I was using.

Warning, this may be a little long and wordy but please keep reading this post to the end to learn more about me, yourself, or the addict you may know and/or may love.

My name is Anonymous and this is my story about being an addict, only now I’m a grateful recovering addict. I am an addict and I always will be until the day I die, even when I’m not using any mind altering, mood changing substance. 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 like job loss, divorce, reminiscing the old days, “I’m stressed out because he said this to me, she did that to me, he made me cry, she pissed me off.” or any other reason under the sun. And even tho I have a few 24hrs clean, this disease can still come out from the shadows at any time 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 you or takes care of you. I am you spouse, significant other, your child, your sibling, your parent, or other family member. I am a Catholic, a Methodist, a Muslim, a SpiritualIst. I’m white, black, red, brown, yellow. I’m rich, I’m poor, I’m a regular blue collar worker.

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. He pissed in my Cheerios, she looked at me funny. Pick a reason any reason.

“You’re a junkie. You’re scum. Why can’t you just stop using? It’s a choice not a disease. You just choose to use. 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 son, daughter, brother, sister, wife, husband and so on“ I’ve heard all of these words and many other hateful and hurtful things. The problem is that these hurtful words do nothing to help an addict. They only kill the addict who just might want to get clean. For just a moment, try putting yourself in our shoes. Believe me, not one of us is proud of what we’ve done.

When I was growing up, I was asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” 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, pour poison down my throat. 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 co worker, 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 are many addicts 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, guilt, shame, 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 the anxiety I feel 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 hurtful 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. Pray 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, in case I haven’t said it, 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 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 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.

Thought for the day: To addicts – as long as you still breath, there’s always hope. To family and loved ones – thank you for still caring about us on whatever level you can. To those who stand in judgement – educate yourself so you can either help us or prevent your children from the hell we’ve gone thru.

***Please be sure to read more of my posts

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

***Please be sure to read more of my posts

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bellasthoughtsonlife

About Bella’s Thoughts. This is a project that I began in my mind a number of years ago when I began reading some daily meditations. I had my own thoughts on many occasions and attempted to journal many times without success. It began to take shape when I took on another project for a Spiritual Advisor and dear friend who past away. To learn more about me read my very first blog post. For more daily reflections go to... https://www.facebook.com/Stephanies-Sweetgrass-and-Dancin-1414954615472943/

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