Can an Infamous Meth-Head Find True Love with the Girl Next Door? - Page 2

By Nic Sheff 06/30/11

After an adolescence spent in countless rehabs and psych wards, Nic Sheff came to believe that everyone suffered from suicidal impulses, oozing abscesses and maddening drug cravings. Then he fell in love with a girl from the other side of the tracks.

Dating fellow addicts is easy but falling for a normal girl is another thing entirely

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I mean, to her that is so far beyond the realm of normal that it’s impossible for her to even begin to fathom it. And it’s not like any of her friends ever smuggled crack in their underwear (I’m sure there’s a joke there, but, uh…I’m no good with stuff like that). Hell, her friends probably don’t even know what crack looks like. She…them…they…are the normal ones. Me and the other former addicts I see each day, we’re the ones from another fucking planet.

And, the thing is, the more serious our relationship has become, the more she can’t stand to hear these stories of mine—even though they’re collected in two books for all the world to see. And the angrier she seems to get at me for things I haven’t done since my early twenties.

I guess the way she sees it is—well, she wants to spend the rest of her life with me and have kids together and raise a family and everything and she feels comfortable doing that with the me that she lives with every day.

But the me of the past—well, there’d be no fucking way.

And I think, when she hears me talking about stuff I did back then—especially so cavalierly—it makes her feel like I’m not taking it seriously and, even worse, like it’s still something I’m consciously battling with every day.

She doesn’t understand, because she’s not an addict and has never had to deal with anything remotely like this ever. She doesn’t realize that talking about all the crazy shit and making jokes about it and laughing at all the painful debauchery is just what we do to get by. 

Maybe it has something to do with trying to take the power away from all the hell we’ve gone through. Like, you know, if we can laugh about how close we came to dying and losing our arms or whatever, it makes it seem not so scary and shameful.

And, beyond that, because she’s not an addict, she doesn’t understand that it is possible to move on—that when I talk about those battles of the past, it’s not because they are still my battles today. I’m not sitting on my hands constantly fighting the urge to stick a needle in me. Most of the time, I don’t even think about it at all.

I mean, that’s not to say that I’m cured or that I don’t have to keep being super active in my recovery. But I’m not white-knuckling it every day either. My life is fuller and larger and, you know, even happy most of the time—without drugs and alcohol. It’s not some demon that I have to fight off every time I wake up in the morning.

For the most part…really…I’ve moved on.

When I’m not depressed and resentful and frightened by my past, I can laugh at all that shit now.

And, really, it’s the other people I’ve met in recovery who’ve given me that gift. I mean, I’m so grateful there is a place where I can go listen to other people share and not feel like the only crazy one on the planet. And over time I’ve learned that those meetings are probably where I should go to share my own sick fucking stories.

Because they freak my fiancee out.

Nic Sheff is a columnist for The Fix and the author of two memoirs about his struggles with addiction, Tweak, and We All Fall Down. He lives in Los Angeles with his fiancee, two dogs, and a cat. He is currently working on a novel about sisters growing up in a Northern California cult.

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Nic Sheff is the author of two memoirs about his struggles with addiction: the New York Times bestselling Tweak: Growing Up on Methamphetamines and We All Fall Down: Living with Addiction. Nic lives in Los Angeles, California where he writes for film and television. Find Nic on Twitter.