Growing In and Out of Addictions

By Beenthere2Hippie · Jun 1, 2013 · ·
  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    [IMGL=white][/IMGL]I'm oh-so-smart--so much wiser than my parents. They're too old and too busy to be following me around. And I’m fourteen and I want a Life of my own. So I go down to the pizzeria to hang out with my friends and see what's on the menu for tonight. We all jump in the car of a buddy who has a license, and off we go cruising the strip, for kicks.

    The old people have gone home and the streets are ours and night is falling, stars are gathering; it’s our time to shine and we ache for it. We find Hippo, 'ya know, that ex-marine guy who likes kids, and he asks two of us girls into his souped-up Chevy. We go. Hey, it's something to do. We all talk. After a while, he pulls out this bag.

    "Hey, ladies, would you like to partake in some lovely dope? It's the best-of-the-best, really it is," says he.

    Like bobbling heads on car dashboards, we sit quietly, our heads bobbling north and south, as we watch him fill the needle, tie-off and pop in. He then gets our full attention, something he'd never gotten from us before. Before we had only shared B.S. and great weed with him, and the price for the high was always the same: we listened intently to his repetitive Vietnam War stories of horror and gore. But this new experience was like rubbernecking an exciting accident that was happening right in the front seat of his car, and he had us captured as if we were physically tied down. Neither of us could speak or pull our naive eyes away.

    The needle went in, the liquid made its mark, and his bearded head rolled back and forth till it found its resting spot, mid-point. His eyes were those of a doll's, looking dead, but still so intrigued.

    "Oh, this is so fine, ladies--so damn fine. I would love you to be with me here in Wonderland."

    He drew blood into the needle and pumped it back in again. Another orgasmic moan rose from his open mouth. Eyes closed, he opened his driver's door and puke, wiped the remnants on his sleeve, then smiled full-toothed and drooling into our shiny teen faces.

    "So, who's next? I've got plenty for us all," he said.

    We two grinned and switched our bobble-head compasses to a safe east and west direction.

    "No, thank you. See, we were hoping you had some Good Weed, but we really have to go home now," we replied in unison.

    He smiled even bigger, and slowly checked his watch and slicked back his long black hair. He stared back at us pensively and started the car’s engine.

    "Okay. Maybe I'll catch you on the rebound," he laughed. He watched us like a snake as we shuffled away from his car of dreams and nightmares.

    Years later when we were Drug Pros, we laughingly assured each other. Neither of us would ever—never ever—wind up like Hippo. Hey, we know how to party, we assured each other. One day we'd drop acid and go to high school to peak all throughout history class; the next day, maybe we'd get an ounce and some beers. Weekends were a grab bag of anything any of us could confiscate from Mommy and Daddy’s medicine cabinets. We were good with drugs. Drugs weren't doing us; we were doing them, we told ourselves.

    Decades later the two friends had very different lives than they once had in suburban bliss. One of us was on her second rehab from opiates. The other drinking heavy, smoking weed and two packs of cigarettes daily, all while cruising for gorgeous guys.

    Now, both of us are older and wiser and sober. Sadly, many of our friends are in graveyards. Those of us remaining wear our battle scars proudly. No, we no longer smoke weed, do hallucinogenics, take pills for highs or smoke cigarettes or drink. But life is complex and sometimes you NEED drugs for real issues you face. So are all of your past efforts to get sober in vain?

    Accidents, injuries and stress of life take their toll on the Boomer Generation, and we must all re-face drug options at some point once more. But this time, like the battle weary veterans we now are, we know where the enemy is most likely to hide.

    No, that doesn't mean that there are no snipers hidden in wait. Snipers are just part of life, just like Teenage Wasteland (The Who). We can just hope that when the snipers (sometimes friends, sometimes well-meaning physicians) do come that our rifles are ready and our convictions are still strong and our gun-powder remains dry.

    “Life (Love) is a Battlefield”—Pat Benetar.

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    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. ZenobiaSky
    Wow, I felt like you were telling my story of how I got started, I too partook in many, many, many weekends expanding my mind by taking hallucinogenics, smoking weed (the days when there were only a few kinds), drinking and discovering what else I could experiment with. It's always scary when one day we become aware that we are all grown up, and have to become responsible members of society. I am still working on that one in my mid 40's. Kuddos to you on being clean and sober, it's not as easy as most may think, especially as we get older.
  2. longwalk
    Sometimes it seems almost surreal to flash back to that era, and such a different way of experiencing the world...

    Strange how the same "cool" party drugs that caused some of our classmates to depart this earth far too early, are now offered in an almost offhand manner by physicians. It's the same class of drugs (hydrocodone and H are both opiates), but what we once simply saw as a way to get high is now a legitimate medical option. Our perceptions and perspectives change with time and circumstance. We struggle to address very real health issues that have no easy answers.

    The landscape may be the same, yet the view seems different now, doesn't it?
  3. Beenthere2Hippie
    Thank you for taking the time to read and respond!
  4. derpahderp
    Interesting points made about the snipers in our lives.

    I particularly can relate with the idea surrounding your thoughts on sobriety. My own substance of choice differs, but had a few friends that felt 'wise and in charge' of their habits..

    The catalyst(person who introduced us into the scene of stimulants)took about ten years to get their life in order, and has a career he loves. I'm unsure if he still uses from time to time. We had a fallout but hear news about him from mutual friends.

    The girl in our group was able to quit and not look back. She's very successful and has always been the rock of our group. The anchor and go to person. A very kind and nurturing person.

    Me? Took five yrs off and lapsed recently due to stress/sadness. I'm in recovery and back on track with my life as well.

    I feel as though I'm a battle weary vetran for my scene, and beginning to understand a lot about being positive from my experiences. Being in my 30's there were and are more decisions yet to come..and much more life to live.
  5. una_cavaletta
    I love your writing style :) thank for sharing your stories with us!
  6. rawbeer
    I really liked this but...don't you mean "Love is a Battlefield" - Pat Benatar?
  7. D0pe
    Very interesting read and it was very insightful.. Like reading a book and getting into the moment... IT kind of reminds me of my younger days as a stupid teenager. Thinking all drugs were safe and not addictive. Since i already tried weed, booze, and Meth and never had any bad traumatic exerpience i figured everything is like this. They just try to scare you into thinking its all bad. They even tell us Tobaccoo is bad but everyone does it, Even Dad.... They even told me Coffee was not for Kids and i ended up drinking that stuff every morning.. Everything is the same and all of us should over indulge.. Well that is what got so many of my friends to the grave. They do still call every now and then, But when they call mostly its me talking to myself telling me how life should of been without the drugs..

    Its kinda like going to the bank to make a withdrawal to avoid withdrawal... ohh The Irony..
  8. ExistentialJ
    My very dear friend, this is the kind of storytelling that defines you as a writer - it displays not only your very commanding yet quiet approach to the textured subject, but reveals, with the subtle modesty that has become your watermark, that singular and painfully elusive quality that every writer so desperately seeks, yet so few truly discover.

    The voice.

    This is tactile, engaging and clever - leaving the reader without option to examine with a concerned attention what we would otherwise wish to ignore. Even it its deconstruction, the framework and foundation remain unapproachable in distinction . If I may quote a phrase that stripped me of my shirt, then threw me to the floor;

    "...when the snipers (sometimes friends, sometimes well-meaning physicians) do come, that our rifles are ready and our convictions remain strong"

    I can see them clearly. You've painted these snipers well. These snipers are here.

    I see them.
  9. My_shit79
    Like others, I can certainly relate (unfortunately) and while reading this, felt a distinct sense of.. A bond or perhaps "connection" would be more appropriate.
    Growing up I thought I knew everything, could do anything and was in control. Obviously I was wrong.

    Once I figured out just how little I actually knew and how badly out of control I was, I realized just how deep I was into my addiction.
    Many rehabs and padded rooms later, I'm still an addict - and honestly probably always will be due to chronic pain and the necessity for pain management. Though I try to use as little as possible, I'm still knee deep.

    Thank you for writing and posting... Sometimes it helps to be reminded that there are others; people who've walked, if not in my shoes, then next to me along the path.
    Much love.
  10. Beenthere2Hippie
    You'll have to excuse this old wretched-y lady for occasionally being slow on the draw. I only today discovered your kind comment on my blog on my teen drug use and your feeling the same at a younger age. I can still see myself in the back seat of that car, witnessing my first vision of a needle loaded with H hiting its mark on a vein...

    Yeah. I think it's a common theme to all of us who, from a young age, craved and sought a way to scratch and claw our way out of reality. Like all my writing of any value, I don't feel as though I wrote it as much as I sense the tale in my head used me as the vessel for its birthing, by writing itself through me.

    Many thanks again for taking the time to read...
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