Looking back: Work, College & Pills...
Ramblings of a Recovering Junky;
Before the 'H-Bomb' there was College, Dihydrocodeine & other pills…
The things we do… Back before I even gave H a second thought I was very much into Painkillers, very much… So much so that I had come across someone that had, over time, had a backlog of Dihydrocodeine, Codeine, Tramadol & Diazepam. A few quid, I could have as many boxes as I could push my luck for, so when I couldn’t get to them, I would transfer around £20 and have Three Hundred pills delivered to my place of work, shame on me. I was at College & working a few jobs at this time one of the jobs was Barman at the Royal British Legion which I loved! At first, I was terrified, shy, awkward… But if I was the drinker, I would be fine, but serving these terrifying fuckers had me speechless for the first shift and then I was fine. The second job was cleaning the Marina, which was great in that I would listen to ‘Jay & Silent Bob Get Old’, ‘Hollywood Babble-on’ & just crack on, popping these pills for my knee. See, my knee was causing serious pain so walking round and round from 8-4 was a major ‘FUCK!’, so anyway I had asked to post as many as humanly possible and I would transfer some £££ little did I know that a package would turn up on a Saturday morning at the RBL and they were loose. This wasn’t a small Brown Parcel bag either… I got a call ‘You have some post here…’ Pete said down the phone in his monotone voice and with that, I ran around to grab this goody-bag! I roll in, say hi to the day-drinkers and see Pete. He gives me a look and I instantly worry ‘He knows…FUCK! But, wait… IF he does know, why does he or rather, how does he, know?’ I grab the parcel and shoot a smile that, I hope was conveyed as was meant ‘Stay the fuck out of my business!’ ‘What’s in there then?’ he finally breaks the silence and weird, pervy-face looks. ‘Oh, ordered a load of pills! Waiting on this forever and a day!’ I openly jokingly admit. ‘hmm…’ a few of the guys start chuckling at my reply which upsets Pete in such a way that… ‘You going to open it? We are dying of suspense.’ The corner had been cut or torn open a little but all that was there was a bit of the bubble wrap and tissue ‘Looks like you’ve tried to have a peep! I’ll be counting these, ( I throw him a wink). See you tonight, stay away from people’s personal shit, Pete.’ More laughter from the drinkers. I walk off out of the bar into the car park and back home thinking ‘where the fucking hell will I going to put this lot then!?’ THE BOOT! I wonder round the back of the house where, behind our garden, was the car parking space. I open-up the bag out there and there’s a mixture of Codeine, Dihydrocodeine & few Oxy (very rare – they mustn’t know how opiates work in terms of moneys…) I take a fistful and pack the parcel under the carpet in the boot and find a box for the fistful. This fistful comes with me to my shift. The shift where I worked my ass off, made a thousand friends, cleaned the bar, took a ton of money by selling more drinks than they wanted and got a little bonus for doing so. ‘Jesus, are you on speed tonight, Justin? You’re on fire!’ ‘Speed!? Christ no. I wouldn’t be working, I’d be chewing ears off and tapping the bar like Pete has all night… But I have had a few Red Bulls, I’ve put how many I have had down though so…’ ‘Don’t worry about that, this lot have had a great night and so have we. Head home if you want.’ K, the manager says. Pete doesn’t look happy but, K does, the customers certainly do look happy, so I nod and as I go to leave, I’m whisked out to the other side ‘Have one with us, before you go!’ ‘The bars closed! I can’t!’ K calls out ‘No, you can have one. Go on, let’s have one more round then that is it, go home to your wives, husbands, kids, dogs…’ We have a drink and the crowd starts to fizz out.
I walk home on cloud 9 and as I am walking home my eyes are starting to fail me. Shit. I’m crashing, fucking Red Bull! I didn’t know at the time, but I was experiencing my first proper nod and while it was irritating, I was kinda digging it because I just had a great shift, I felt great physically, so comfortable and whatever else. I finally get through the door at home and L is downstairs watching TV and I kick the shoes off and plant myself next to her and we cuddle up. I’m yawning and fighting to keep my eyes open. The telly starts to Blur & Fade… ‘Justin. Justin! Wake up, you bum!’ L is getting me up to go to bed. I wake up and stretch. Once I am up, I’m wide awake. ‘Oh, shit! Now I’m awake…’ I’ll read a little down here and come up in a minute. ‘OK’ ‘Love you…’ ‘I love you to!’ we kiss goodnight and I grab ‘Darkness, take my hand’ by Dennis Lehane. I’m reading and reading, and it is the best thing I have ever fucking read! I swear to you now, that night is the night my brain found its missing link, opiates, that is the night I fell head over heels in love with Opium. That. Fucking. Night… The first time I felt that warm, fuzzy ‘Hugged by a thousand angels’ was in a Car Boot Sale (I think in the states it’s like a Garage sale just out the back of your car spread on a table. Flea Market…?) Anyway, I took a handful then and I felt it but this one night, wow. That was like having the floor beneath me open-up, a little bit of fear trickling but when I fell into this hole?? I was tickled and caressed, re-assured, worries out the window… Just wow. It was the anti-depressant but I hadn’t realised I was depressed, I was elevated in mood, physicality and everything I watched and read, as I have said, was just the best thing I’d ever laid my eyes on (even if I’d already read/seen whatever it was) I knew that this wasn’t good, I was liking this just a teensy bit too much.
So, after a while of reading I then start to really nod, at the time I thought I was just very tired from the shift which, likely had a role in it but… No. This wasn’t tired. This was something else and I wasn’t struggling to sleep as I usually had done in the past, I was being ‘tucked in’ by the devil because he knew that one day, maybe the next week, month or a few years down the line, he’d have me right in the palm of his hand (now picture Paddy Considine in that ‘Dead Man’s Shoes’ scene) “You’re fucking there mate!”. Dance with the Devil and you will get burned, you can’t get away from him or her. Some people are lucky, opiates don’t suit them they either regret extremely constipated, dizzy and sick meaning they won’t get that habit. The Devil doesn’t want to play with the likes of them. He wants to play with you, make you feel whole. Whole I felt, Christ did I ever. But why me? Why did I have to get swept up? Why, oh why… was I in the minority. That missing link was found, and it could never, ever, be replaced/taken away. I did manage to cut it out and live a normal, functional, dopamine filled life without pills. Then, something happened and… There I was again, but this time I knew they wouldn’t be enough, it would have to be something much stronger than DHC & the likes or as I like to call them, ‘The Aspirin Opiates’, meaning they’re going to do the job for ‘normal’ folk, but me? No. I must jump in at the deep end. I have tasted them and there was only one way for me and that was the Oxy and the ‘Coffee’…
I mentioned, I believe, that these made me feel like I had been depressed and suddenly, I was… ‘fulfilled’, I want to clarify that I was happy, am, happy with my life. Insanely happy, wildly in love, in awe… but that Plant? It did something it made me feel I could do my work better, faster. I could write more, felt more creative, music was great as was film & TV… But all that was happening is that my Brains chemicals, were getting what they had always longed for. When I finally fed that ‘Beast’, WOW! I know that there are people who get addicted without this feeling, just over time for Pain Management etc. they’ll get a tolerance and then of course, WD’s, but they didn’t feel what I did. It made them ‘woozy’, ‘sick’, ‘tired’… For me, it was like taking Speed! End of the day my eyes were heavy, and I’d sleep like a fucking log but, CHRIST! “What a feeeeelin’!”. Anyway, I am now going everywhere with this and could keep typing. The only good thing to come from Addiction, if you’re lucky enough to of made it. Are the insane stories you have! Some you can tell, but others? Hmm, yeah… some are best kept between you and your former self maybe. Or maybe not. Get it out and share. Don’t bottle it up, but if it is something you are tremendously ashamed of, just talk to that one person you know who won’t shame you, make you feel shitty and also, someone that know it wasn’t you it was that sorry sack of shit that took over your body. Now I’ve got an insane B-Movie Horror idea ‘Opium Body Snatchers! They fiend for you…’ Right, I’m on one, yes, I could delete but, wouldn’t be fucking ‘Ramblings of…’ if I edited myself would it?!
But to sum up what I went over in this writing is that, now (2 years, 10 months & 7 days) after I split up with the heavier of the lot, all of it of course but this isn’t going back to those days (that was 2008/2009, anyway. I now wake up, slowly get ready for work, coffee, dress, huff and puff about having to go to work, listen to the Dopey Podcast or another, get home and chill with my girls. Longing for the weekends when I get more time with them, the time I adore, I feel just as great as I thought I did when I was throwing a fistful of pills down my throat. I have bad days, Duh Doi! Who doesn’t? But the good days outweigh the bad by a long shot. Do I ever think about using again? Not really, sometimes maybe but… no. I have those dreams, where I ‘Pin’ and as it’s about to pierce I wake up sweating and shaking and full of guilt. I feel so much happier now than when I was ‘helping my knee’, yeah sure they made me feel how they did but nothing beats the feeling of ‘I have this thing!’ filling in your Sober App when you ‘Review your day’ cuddling up with your loved ones and just owning your darker side and keeping it the fuck away from you, and everyone you love. To that 'Darker Side', I say… "Fuck you!"
Shout out to all the Dopey Nation!
Stay Strong and Fuckin’ Toodles!
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