A Lifelong Goal Reached at Last

By Poppi · Mar 29, 2014 · ·
  1. Poppi
    Fair warning to the readers of my previous blog entry: this new entry will not be recovery-centered. If you are in recovery or feel a frank discussion of drug abuse will trigger you, please keep yourself safe and hit the BACK button...just looking out, friends!

    Today I would like to discuss my recent fulfillment of a very personal lifetime goal. I'd like to write about what that fulfillment has meant to me over the years in my attempts to actualize this dream, what my current thoughts are on this new development, and finally I'd like to speculate on how this actualization will affect my life in both short- and long-term ways.

    (I will do my best to keep this blog entry brief.)

    * I was introduced to drugs at 11 years old thanks to Nancy Reagan's Just Say No! and D.A.R.E. programs--instead of distrusting narcotics, I like many other schoolchildren, fell head-over-heels in love with them, particularly heroin;
    * I took my first opiate at 14--that same year I developed physical dependence and psychological addiction; I kicked cold-turkey a few times before entering high school;
    * Over the next 10 years, I abused all manner of drugs I was able to score, including many rounds of opiate addiction/abstinence, but never finding my true love in heroin;
    * By 25, I was heavily into an OxyContin addiction which landed me in rehab;
    * I finally found heroin in rehab. I desperately wanted to IV the dope, but that wasn't feasible inside and so quickly learned how to smoke it;
    * I continued to smoke heroin once released and for a short time afterwards;
    * I decided to get clean and stay that way, and remained in recovery for just shy of a year, white-knuckling it through and always thinking obsessively about heroin;
    * I relapsed with marijuana, painkillers, cocaine, and Adderall, still no luck finding heroin;
    * 5 years passed with me always on the lookout and always coming up empty-handed;
    * I experimented, started to abuse, then became very addicted to methamphetamine;
    * This March, I found a new connect who, when asked, said he had a problem supplying heroin for ethical reasons, so I dropped the subject, only for him to text me at 3am one night two weeks ago letting me know he had it;
    * Scored heroin that night for the first time in 6 years; quickly bought syringes and prepared to shoot up, which I have continued to do ever since at a couple times per day, for a couple of weeks so far.

    Forgive the bullet-point narrative timeline--I wanted it as concise as possible.

    So, here we are. The bullet points omit the emotional part of my story, with my deepest longing to try heroin intravenously just once (knowing full well that if I did it once I'd do it a million times), and with a desperation that bordered on the extreme. I had learned to idolize--even sanctify--IV heroin users for what I considered their arcane understanding of a rush I had only heard about but never experienced. I wanted that rush...bad...more than anything, more than any other drug or life experience. I wanted to feel that amazing--that soul-negating, ego-neutralizing emptiness that was both incredibly nullifying and pleasurable at the same time.

    Do you have a better view now of the illusion (delusion?) to which I had willingly become victim?

    Finding heroin--rather, being offered it unexpectedly--completely and permanently changed the game for me. I was terrified of overdosing as I had no one to sit with me in case things went south, so I took it way slower than I wanted to, but I survived the experimental no-rush, barely-felt-it stages until I hit that sweet spot--as I knew I eventually would.

    I should rephrase my previous statement: it wasn't scoring the heroin that really changed the game for me, it was finally getting that rush I had been waiting for twenty years to experience that did it.

    I won't bother going into the specifics of how it felt. There's no need: the fact that I am here attempting to come to grips with the rapid and unexpected fulfillment of my deepest secret desire is telling. I loved it as much as I thought I would, and I am more than a little scared of that love, for it is not real love but devotion at its most extreme.

    I find myself thinking of these recent events with some measure of shock, as if I had won the lottery and was still pinching myself despite having the money in the bank. It doesn't feel real to me that I've quickly developed not only the skill in shooting heroin but a very strong urge to continue to do so--a compulsion perhaps even stronger than the one that drew me toward the drugs in the first place.

    I feel foolish in admitting that I genuinely don't know what will happen to me in the near- and distant-future. I'd love to believe that I can keep this going; that my connect will be consistent and won't throw up ridiculous ethical roadblocks to make it harder for me to score, that I will remain healthy and well both physically and psychologically, and that I'll not rack up negative consequences from my use that could be minor (if I'm incredibly lucky) to catastrophic (if I'm not). I'm certain death is among those options as well. Don't get me wrong: I don't want to die, I have no desire to end my life, and I don't have a suppressed death-wish. I simply want to continue shooting meth in the morning (ah, I forgot to mention I've graduated to the spike with methamphetamine as well) and heroin in the evening; a perfectly balanced cycle of uppers-and-downers that just happens to be incredibly dangerous.

    How is it possible that to fulfill my lifetime goal, I must risk the very life I have to fully actualize this dream?

    Dear readers: I'm certain I sound insane. Or in deep denial. Or, I don't know, actually--I can't see it the way you can. If you'd like to discuss any part of what I've written, please feel free--even hit me with potshots at my intelligence if you must, but I welcome insightful posts that might help me to see the light, as I genuinely feel so estranged from rational thought right now...can anyone relate?

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  1. Gallama
    You do not sound insane, merely terribly addicted. Is this truly your dream, is this your lifetime goal that you imagined for yourself? Despite the fact that you do not know what will happen regarding availability, I know that in life when you want something bad enough you usually end up getting it sooner or later. If you're not careful you may end up where you're headed, and though it may be the only place you want to be right now, I promise that it will not end well. The bottom line is that you should seek help now, but I know that probably feels near impossible. I cannot imagine how powerful the pull is that you feel towards this drug. I hate to say it, but sometimes we have to hit rock bottom in life before we can get better. I hope that isn't the case for you and you find the strength somewhere to deny these urges, I hope this is not truly your lifetime dream.

    Still rooting for you, Gallama.
  2. Calliope
    Your instrumental reason seems perfectly intact Poppi, and you seem in good contact with consensus reality to me, so 'insane' isn't how I would label my impression of you from this blog entry and the apparently central place the experience of IV heroin use has (had) in your self-narrative. Like you I am subject to very strong desires for certain very intensely positive and socially shunned experiences. Especially ones involving overwhelming, immersive pleasure. I suppose this is a certain kind of hedonism. I'd call it maxi-maxi hedonism. The aim being getting those maximal experiences, even at the cost of likely ending up with less pleasure overall when it all gets added up at the end.

    I don't know why some of us end up with these desires, or, rather, i don't know why we seem to embrace and endorse them, invite them in as part of our very selves. In my case i suspect it is in part (like yourself Poppi) my drug use starting very young, as did my experiencing the world- and self-altering force of a powerful high. Then years of tinkering with this and its lesser versions as coping strategies for all that life pelts us with. I am pessimistic about the possibility of making any serious change to this orientation in myself. Maybe that's just my 'waa! waaa! I don't wanna stop!' running my way of thinking, idk.

    What I do know is that I am also convinced this way of being is predicated on a fundamental mistake: hedonism, and especially the maxi-maxi form, gets wrong how pleasure is aptly and appropriately connected and integrated into a flourishing and happy human life. It's an old line of thought: happiness and pleasure arise from the pursuit of intrinsic goods: friendship, knowledge, satisfying work, a pattern of action aimed at the achievement of valued goals (even better if shared), and so on. Happiness isn't simply an experience or feeling. It is a balanced set of dispositions to act in ways that accord with and promote what we value. And we recognize that we value, if not self-deceptive, things other than our own intense and momentary pleasure. Even you and I, dreaming of the rush, value other things, find them intelligibly good, endorsable by our minds and hearts not just impulse. Why else learn so much pharmacology? Why spend hours reading others' posts and replying, sharing our knowledge and and attempting to provide support? Other facets of our lives offer many such examples as well. We are social creatures who seek meaning, something not achievable in isolation.

    And isolation *is* the outcome and essence of the rush you write so openly about. Experienced alone. Powerful enough to disrupt our desires and ability to remain connected to others despite the negatives this involves. I could keep going on this general point, connecting it to other goods we clearly recognize and value (as we must, else our conduct is incomprehensible, is it not?) But, then, the question is, does the rush fixation have to end up undermining all else? It certainly seems to. And we both understand something of the underlying physiology here - these substances co-opt our reward systems, juicing them up, relieving us of the tedium, anxiety, pain, difficulty and downright shittiness of normal daily life (especially experienced against the background of those early, intense, perfectly cushioned, joyful rushes of wowowowowomfgwowowow drug use). Whether purely for fun, or for self-medicating trauma we are ill equipped to integrate and see fade, this application of chemical pleasure unconnected to the effort of action towards things we value ends up blocking authentic happiness.

    And looking up at what i just wrote i find i think i sound like a preachy uptight judgemental bitch. Christ, though that isn't aimed at you. You blog just triggered and coallesed a line of self directed worry and conflict. Cos as much as i really do pretty much believe the last two paragraphs I still endorse reaching for the drugs, frequently. The tension between these stances is something i don't know how to resolve. Bla. shutting up now. and taking some drugs.

    but, final thought: Is having wanted something as long as you remember enough to make you assign it the role 'lifelong goal'?
  3. Poppi
    Calliope, I'm not certain where or how to start replying to what I consider is the most thoughtful and thought-provoking response to any thread or post I've ever written--for that simple fact alone I am very grateful to you. I see we share the gift of gab, among other desires and delinquencies, and we are connected in our mutual attempts to examine our own motives and responses, however fruitless these endeavors tend to be. It's funny how we write to others and find we are really writing to ourselves, isn't it? That happens to me a lot here, too. As we share the same deadly intoxicating obsessions, we stand to gain much from our additional examination of the roots of our issues with drugs even when we're not actively writing to ourselves.

    I could write another essay, as I have so poorly chosen to do here before, on everything your honest and insightful post elicited in me, but I will refrain from the lengthy dialogue and will instead simply tell you that not only do you not come across as a self-righteous preachy bitch--I know plenty of those, and is it just coincidence that many are not addicts down in the mire with us? I digress--instead, you give a reading of addiction I've never heard before.

    Like you, I'm not new to the idea of hedonism. I'd like to believe that pleasure for its own sake does have merit and a place in our decision making, and perhaps that's partially true--how many of us do what we have to, instead of what we want to do?--and I find that your examination of the greater motives in life appealing. But I wonder if our desire or hope in our ability to strive for bigger, more important, and certainly more abstract personal gains like happiness and love for and from others can compete with our basest need to escape from reality. I don't understand how we can at once be both aware of the innate and complete selfishness of active addiction--especially when it gets to the point that isolation is no longer a choice, as everyone has jumped ship not wanting to deal with us--and still have intrinsic goods and values outside of our own pleasure and desires. I understand the contradiction between our thoughts and our behaviors frustrates you as well--but I am pleased that you are able to admit that this contradictory lifestyle is not merely a choice we've decided upon, but rather the end result of a lifetime lived in the penumbra between the deepest darkness and the brightest light. Most non-addicts don't understand that at all. At least no non-addict I've ever known, and I find that a terrible shame.

    I'd write more, and I really would enjoy further explicating your wonderfully exciting and insightful response to my blog post, but I'll leave it be for now. Be warned: you'll likely receive a DM from me soon with more ideas on the topics you've raised. I welcome honest and kind reflections on how our lives have been shaped and formed around drug use and addiction, and I hope to learn more about how you feel on this and in other related subjects. So check your inbox! :)

    P.S.: I do feel it appropriate to call my longstanding search for that one specific experience a lifelong goal, as it has preoccupied my mind and time in a way no other subject ever has, period. I've never devoted myself to anything more than I have to drugs, and especially to heroin. that search was the end-all and be-all of my existence for a very long time.
  4. fotia
    I understand and can relate.
    In my situation I have extreme dysthymia , and even with long periods of doing no drugs, life is really drab because I can't really experience comfort, joy, or pleasure generally. I practically subsist on drugs for pleasure , even though most of the time they aren't even all that good, my future depends on the advancement of psychopharmacology . My brain is pretty much short-wired and it's necessary that some medication comes out that can solve my pure lack of reward processing.
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