I'd almost forgotten about my blog. Well, i've certainly been neglecting it of late anyway. And that's quite shameful as I was one of the many bloggers on DF who was up in arms when the right to blog was removed from silver members and rewarded to higher ranked members only. Then once I became a higher ranked member myself I totally ignored the reinstatement of my 'right to blog' ...
Well, it's coming up to three years since I signed up to this thing called Drug Forum one evening on a whim. I'd never been in a chat-room or used any kind of social-networking site. Nor did I have any desire to do so. From time to time the odd friend would ask me if I used Facebook or MySpace or whichever the latest fad was. They probably thought I was a bit of a technophobe when I raised an eyebrow in response. I thought they were just trying to keep up with the kids, suffering with what I called the 'Peter Pan syndrome' - the desire to expand your teenage years well into your twenties. It made me laugh: if anyone was still acting like a teenager it was me. I still had no job, no responsibility, etc. They had jobs and mortgages ... but they used Facebook, so that was alright!
I dunno what drew me to D.F. I was just mucking around one evening. I searched for something, drug-related, I dunno what now, and came across DF. I never knew anything like this existed. I read some of the posts. I liked what I read and I had an overwhelming desire to post something myself, so that's how I came to sign up as a fully-fledged DF member.
I quickly discovered all the nuances of the place - what the acronym 'S.W.I.M' meant for example and 'U.T.F.S.E'. It took me a while to get used too - I had to get shouted at by the mods a few times first - but I got the hang of it eventually.
So that I don't blot my copybook now I'm gonna switch to using SWIM for the rest of this blog ....
Call me sentimental, call me mawkish, but realising it was coming up to three years since SWIM joined Drug Forum, she begun to look back over the threads she's started and the posts she's written in response to other people's threads. It reads like a diary of drug-addiction - all the highs (excuse the cliche) and the lows. When SWIM first joined she had been using crack for 7 years already but was obviously just starting to experiment with opiates, hence her first thread was entitled 'Freebasing opiates???'
That was March 2007. By the end of 2007 SWIM had progressed to smoking heroin, so she was asking for 'Tips to Improve technique of chasing the dragon'.
By 2008 the love affair with smack had obviously ended as SWIM was enquiring 'Can my GP prescribe me medicine to help with my heroin addiction?'
In fact all of SWIM's entries on Drug Forum reflect the hypocrisy and complexities of life as an addict. One minute SWIM's pouring out euphoric joy onto a page announcing to the world that she's clean and how 'SWIM's finally doing it!!'. The next she's writing the depressive 'SWIM's a loser'.
Her status as a drug-user and her thoughts about what that means and how she feels about it literally change from week to week.
SWIM is glad she has this record of her addiction - because that's what it really is - even if it doesn't make for particularly easy reading. Is SWIM lying to herself? Is she ever gonna get what it takes to maintain total abstinence from drugs?
Well whatever happens to SWIM in the future, there is one good thing that drugs has brought her and that is leading her to this website, this forum.
Drug Forum isn't like any other social networking site, chatroom or forum even. It's a million times better! Bringing together so many diverse people: different backgrounds, different life-stories, all with a story to tell and yet all with one thing in common: an interest in learning more about drugs and engaging in sensible discussion with others. SWIM thinks it's ingenious: where else could she meet people who seem to be in exactly the same boat as SWIM: still using but wanting to get clean, people who've just got clean and are in the early days of recovery, people who are coming up to ten, twenty or maybe even thirty years clean??? People who are thinking about using a drug for the first time and want to get all the facts first, people who've lost loved ones to a drug and want to warn others or perhaps find out what drove their son/daughter, etc, to take something in the first place?
Wow! What a community! And SWIM for one feels really proud to belong, really proud to have met so many wonderful, supportive folk and to have had some of the conversations she's had.
3 years, 85 friends, 849 posts later ... SWIM can definately say that joining Drug Forum was the best thing she's done in the last three years and here's to the next three!
Here's to Drug-Forum ... and all who join her!