Is there a difference between escapism and avoidance. Does the former imply a voluntary escapist intent with acknowledgment of your behavior’s consequences while the latter is escapist intent to go nowhere near associated feeling, behavior, or anything relevant to the stressor at hand.
I used to tell myself I used to escape. The world was a stressful place. Hydroponic strains of weed from which to choose when you’re 18 gives you the illusion that you’re choosing an alternative relaxation method. Plus, there’s all those ancillary benefits. Man, if cancer patients blaze up, it can’t be anything BUT good for you.
I got a taste of some real opiates eventually and then I thought I was escaping with the same justification. Hey, I want to 70% of my classes that week instead of 10%. It’s high-time to reward myself. Weekend warriors don’t go through withdrawal. We just spend our Sundays recovering over a toilet bowl and then spark up Mondays with a fat joint in the morning commute.
I get older and realize I’d never been escaping anything. I’d been avoiding everything. Responsibility. The responsibility to be sober at my job so I could do a good job and contribute to my career. Responsibility to maintain relationships with friends and family. Maintaining financial stability—which inexplicably was never a problem until I started IVing a couple of years later.
A few years go by and I realize I’m avoiding. I’m avoiding everything. I’m an emotional wreck with unresolved paternal issues. I’m avoiding confronting feelings about heavy things, things I can’t even bare to write yet along talk about with my therapist of over a year now. I’m avoiding resolving the deviation between my true self and the projected image and persona I work so hard to maintain as my facade to the outside world.
As long as no one knows my secret, I won’t ever be happy, but I won’t ever be more stressed than I already am.
Today, in recovery-with-neverending-relapse, avoidance is just getting worse and worse. I never realize I’ve done it until the consequences have fully played out.
Being a drug addict isn’t that hard. If your goal is to be a drug addict, all you need are money and your drug of choice. What’s hard is being a person with a drug addiction. I finally understand that cliche “monkey on the back”.
We’re all just regular people with problems. But a small portion are just given up. They’ve stopped trying to be a person and instead they’re a drug addict. That’s who they are.
I feel like I’m on that line and I need to jump on to one side or the other. I’ve been straddling it too long. Going the addict route has the advantage of reckless abandon, a singular focus of getting high, and no shame or guilt. Trying to maintain a ‘normal’ life and a secret habit is a lot harder. The guilt. The shame. The lying. The inexplicable track marks and scars and pin-point pupils. The falling asleep. The balance between ‘life’ and using that you need to keep adding weighs to both sides so you don’t fuck up everything.
There’s something appealing about giving up. There’s something appealing about quitting and doing it and staying clean. Any mother fucker can go through withdrawal. Anyone can deal with the shits for a few days. Some sleepless nights. Some sweats. But once all that wears off, you have no more fun.
What’s the fun in going to work without a couple bags, some spikes, and your kit so you can sneak off in the bathroom? What’s a day at the mountain when you can’t relax with a little dope and benzos? How can I enjoy a sunny day outside when I’m not high and all I can think about is how much better this would be if I were fucked up?
I’ve had so many false starts with quitting. I’m about to give up trying to quit. As long as I can afford my habit, is there really a problem?
Of course there is. There always is.
Doing dope was the biggest mistake of my life. At least when I was addicted to blues, I could kick it anytime I wanted. Ever since I switched from blues and part-time dope to exclusively dope full-time all-day, everyday, quitting is just a funny thought. I don’t get a shot in my body every 4-5 hours and my nose is so uncontrollably runny I can’t even feel it dripping down on to the floor or table or desk. I can’t fart without fearing that I might have to go home and shower. I can’t walk without excruciating pain and feeling like I need some Walt Jr. crutches to support my mangled, stiff legs.
And then, when I do make it through all that, all I can think about, ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT, is getting high. I’ll make some phone calls, line up some deals, cancel to ‘stay strong’, and an hour later I’m back picking up even more than I planned, because it’s always that one last time and I should probably get extra so I can ween off.
I’ll post better writing eventually. I have drafts of stories and lessons and little profiles of the strange characters from my white bread upper class junkie life. Sometimes I just need to aimlessly rant. If you’re reading this last sentence, then you must be a bored, very sad person. I’m sorry for you.
Every time I fart, I fear it’s going to be a wet one so I rush to the toilet and sputter out some liquid and little shit. Finally the shit is shitting out of my system.
This happens every time I stop. Withdraws have never been debilitating for me, fortunately. Probably because my psych has me so pumped up on benzos. My legal addiction. The one that’s OK. Who knows. Having a runny nose and shitting a lot is not really that bad. People talk to me about getting dope sick or sweating or feeling like death. I just can’t empathize. And at the very least, I know I’m cleansing my colon of all the packed fudge from my last binge.
Now that it’s been a couple of days, I’m feeling better again. It’s the beginning of the usual cycle. I get clean for a little while, recognize the benefits, and then just decide fuck all, I’ll get high because I have the money; have the time; have a bullshit reason. I want it to be different this time. Just like I have all the others. Melodramatic me with my last post. I’m back at home. My father loves me. The air is clear. I want it to stay this way. I spent Sunday in bed drinking apple cider mimosas.
I don’t know what is so hard about quitting. I commit to myself, but I can’t make the resolve. I’m in constant denial. I don’t need help. I just need a good reason to just stop and put an end to this soul-sucking, money-draining, family-ruining, relationship-shitting-on behavior.
Focus on the good shit, right? Four days since my last shot, I feel a lot better.
It’s like when I quit smoking pot. It sucked for a long time, but then I realized there is a difference between pot vs. no pot. And I preferred no pot (even though I still preferred yes opiates.)
I love and hate heroin. I watched a documentary, Seduced and Abandoned, about raising money for a movie. That title and phrase directly applies to heroin.
It’s far too easy to find a reason to use and after you do, there’s no more. And unlike a movie, the lights don’t go dim and then come back on a second later so you can leave and go home. They stay off for a while. You never really leave. The more you want to use; the longer the darkness. The less you want to continue being a drug addict; the shorter.
At least I have a normal salaried, career-relevant job now, a second relevant part-time job at a non-profit, and a third volunteer commitment to a cause I’m passionate about. These are reasons to stay clean, but the challenges they present are what scare me. I don’t want to fail and when faced with something new, it’s so much easier to run and hide in my bed with a tourney, a bag of freshies, and some good dope for a couple of days.
Even if my “recovery journey” (that sounds so fucking gay and I can’t articulate in any other manner) has been wrought with relapses, they’ve been fewer and far between each time. The trajectory is a positive one. I’m doing better in life. The more things get back to my personal sense of what is normal, the more I want this to just end. Of course, as soon as I delete my numbers, I get texts telling me to come through, or I bump into someone who’s always holding at that exact moment where I just realized I have a few hundred in my pocket and I’m so proud of myself for not spending it on drugs. Nothing worth doing is easy: a constant reminder stapled to the inside of my eyelids.
Ultimately though, heroin will abandon me. And I would much rather abandon it.
10 Months since my last post. Sunday afternoon. 2PM. Too much Klonopin (but not enough.)
Some highlights since my last post:
Made a lot of money doing almost nothing with Bitcoins. Avoided working.
Lost and spent a lot of money on dope, getting burned, and trying to maintain some semblance of a $500USD/week lifestyle on top of an on/off heroin habit.
Spent 3 months in intensive group substance abuse counseling.
Almost became homeless. Took drug tests and assuaged my benefactors (I shot up the day before one of them so I have no idea how I passed.)
Almost lost my girlfriend. Thankfully, that didn’t happen.
Got a menial job (had to quit the counseling, but found a therapist.)
Then, got a real, big boy job. Salary, benefits, relevant to my “career”. A validation point towards my college degree.
Now here I am. About a month into my new job. It’s at a “good company” to work for. Everything on paper is great. Decent salary. And most of all, a second (third? fourth? fifth?) chance again at a normal life.
So yeah, I could agree with my therapists, my parents, my girlfriend… I worked hard to get to this point. I got very lost in an addiction and now I’m finding my way back.
But the way back sucks. It’s hard. I have more money than I ever did before. How am I not supposed to spend this on dope?
My job is “good”, but I’m bored out of my skull. I’m back in a fucking cubicle underneath artificial lighting. I get to go to meetings and remind other people that their work is due. I get to sit on client calls and chime in. Before I started, this is exactly what I needed. Now that I’ve started, I feel like it’s the last thing i needed.
I need to quit my job and start a business. I need to be engaged. I need an endless to-do list.
I’m already drinking everyday after work. I’m drinking now. I’m smoking more cigarettes than I ever have and because of that, I just buy the cheap ones that give you a nasty smoker’s voice and burn fast enough that I can suck down 2 during my drive.
It’s also find it defeating driving there in my downgraded car. When I first started this habit, I had no morals, so I lied a little and got a brand new BMW that was way out of my means. That car went bye-bye quickly after I lost my last big boy job and defaulted. No big deal, there was another car for me to drive and it was free.
Then some shit popped off. My family found out I was using again. Drug tests. Drug counseling. No money. No time to work - just going to group therapy. It sucked. But I got clean. Then I didn’t. Then I did again.
Now, I don’t really want to be.
The days are so short. I just want to lay in bed and sleep the day away. The thought of spending an extended period of time in a mental ward is actually kind of comforting. Three meals. Decent food (where I live it’s actually quite good.). Some optional therapy stuff. Some not-so-optional. Most all, not working. That’s the most appealing. I miss “working” at home. I had a legal side business going for a while that didn’t make me rich, but I got back to the yuppie lifestyle I was used to. I even started to look at new cars again.
Today, I look at my future and I see more corporate bullshit. Most mundane, long days where I can’t be high at work. I see a regular paycheck, which I usually have already spent in my mind before it even arrives. I see an existence I never wanted for myself. I am seeing my psychiatrist again and I struggle if I should share these feelings. I suspect they’ll be met with “Well, there is this great new SSRI/SNRI that a couple of my patients have really liked…”
I can’t numb myself of an existence that’s humanly unnatural. I want to go back in time and not waste my college credits on business courses that have lead me to failed and successful entrepreneurial ventures. I wish I learned something interesting. Engineering. Photojournalism. Pre-Med.
If I quit, people will wonder what the fuck happened. If I get fired, just the same.
So now I sit, in purgatory. I’m blessed with something most 20-somethings don’t have right now at an enviable employer and I’m being told that I’m doing an obvious good job. But am I happy? Not really. Only after work. And on the weekends.
I remember the not-so-distant days where I pined for this sort of gig. A “normal” life. I spent yesterday getting day drunk and going to the usual roster of restaurants and bars until we got back at midnight and wondered how we killed 12 hours. It was nice. I felt normal again.
It was also nice to not keep stopping in a restroom every coupe of hours to snort something or shoot up or use my vaporizer.
For me, the most painful part of any opiate binge is when you wake up in the morning and the drugs from the past 3 days have mostly worn off so you’ve got 72+ hours of excrement just busting at the seams to escape and now’s your only chance. So you go to the toilet since it’s probably the only opportunity you’ll have at taking a non-forceful shit before you get your morning fix.
But the opiates haven’t entirely worn off, so you still do have to force it.
The feeling of relief that washes over you after it’s escaped and you’ve finished exercising your asshole muscle is almost as relieving as that first high of the day.
It’s crazy how fast I’ve gone through all of these pills. The first 2 days, I got really high.
Then all those extraneous opioid receptors in my brain that were dormant during the time I was clean all reactivated at once. It was like I went from having zero tolerance and thinking my pill stash would last 2 weeks to my old, ridiculously high level of tolerance at the peak of my usage, shooting 10-20 bags of dope per day.
It wasn’t long after I realized this that I bought some needles, did cold water extract with a bunch of Percocets, filtered twice, and used the oxy/water mixture. The rush definitely isn’t the same as IVing straight oxy/roxy. There really isn’t a rush at all. More of a slow take over of your body as slight pins and needles and the opiate itch sort of flow into the experience. And it’s pretty cool having a couple plugged up test tubes in my fridge, knowing that each one is good for 5 separate 1cc injections containing ~25mg of oxy per injection. I’m on some Breaking Bad shit, yo (Science, bitch!)
So I’m sure these test tube vials will be empty by the weekend’s end.
What’s strange is that before, when a binge was coming to an end and I’d be running out of pills, my first and foremost priority was obtaining more.
This time, it’s different.
This time, I’ve accepted that it’s just a binge and when I run out, I run out. Also seeing how quickly my tolerance got back up to a ridiculous level has made me realize that regardless of the drug, whether it’s Rx painkillers like this binge, or like dope in the past, that I don’t stand to gain much from binges except the physical, recreational pleasure. Emotionally, I have nothing to hide from anymore. I don’t have any feelings I want to repress. So it’s OK that I’m running out of pills and my homemade mixture in a couple days. I’ll know to buy a lot less the next time around, whenever that may be, if there is one. It was fun, but just not the same as it used to be. Makes me wonder if it’s even worth it to do it again. My rationalization for this one was a celebration of my birthday.
The other big pro to this binge ending is I get to avoid all the awkward public urinal situations. Like last night, of course some asshole is in the stall doing shitty coke, so I have to use the urinal. Of course, there’s only 2 and a line of people. You have no idea how awkward it feels to stand there at a urinal, holding your dick, telling your mind “pee, pee, pee, god damnit, just fucking pee” for like 2 minutes straight as other guys the same age as you, who don’t have prostate issues, and probably aren’t on a lot of opiates like me, shuffle past the urinal that’s next to me and release their urine in less than 20 seconds. I just keep my face straight ahead and feign a slight wince so it looks like I might have some sort of urinary tract issue and I’m not just standing at the urinal with my cock in my hand trying to cruise for men or masturbate or whatever the fuck people think I’m doing. When I was using heroin, I would often just stand at the urinal for 30 seconds, and even if I had to pee really badly, it wouldn’t ever come out, so I’d just flush down nothing and leave.
Hydromorphone isn’t as great as I last remembered it to be. Yeah, it has a rush and dilutes into water like a hot knife through butter (not the best analogy, but you get it), but the rush IV made my shoulders tense up and for the 10 seconds following the shot—the best part of IVing any opiate—I felt like I was on the verge of a fucking heart attack. It didn’t have the same euphoric and relaxing rush I remember from some raw dope. Roxy’s don’t have much of a comparable rush, but the high is long and sustaining, even after you’ve been shooting a few pills a day.
Perhaps I should blame it on the dormant, excessive amount of opiate receptors in my brain, but the IV experience overall with my latest shipment of dillies fucking blew dick majorly. It scratched the itch, kind of. I don’t feel like I need MORE MORE MORE like I did when I was physically addicted to dope, but at the same time, it leaves me wanting more. The immediacy for my next high isn’t there, now I’m more focused on quality. Why waste a few hundred for a bunch of Roxy’s when I can save my cash and score some quality raw West Baltimore dope the next time I visit some friends in DC? The dope high is so much… better, satisfying, cheaper, exhilarating, faster, longer lasting, I could go on and on and on. I’m not talking about just any heroin. I’ve bought bundles that must’ve been stepped on 20 times before. I mean that bitter-ass, clean dissolve, raw mother fucking shit I’ve only been able to find in an 8 block area of B-more. And that’s after buying dope across the U.S.—I’ve been everywhere and despite The Wire being such a cliche, they’re right. West Baltimore has the best dope I’ve ever had in my life and now that I’ve gotten taste of the opiate rush again, I long for the days when the best shit is all I ever shot.
Tolerance is so low. 2MG of hydromorphone still has me nodding slightly about 7 hours after shooting.
What’s interesting is a big shift in thought after completing outpatient rehab and doing my own ketamine addiction cure experiment (“experiment” in the loosest sense possible.)
Pre-rehab, I’d be wanting to get high right before bed and going to sleep even though I was still high from before. Typically, despite being really faded, I’d shoot again just for the sake of doing it even though the high would’ve lasted longer and I could’ve kept my stash longer. My feeling was that it would get me higher and the high would last longer and instead I’d just fall asleep or go overboard and throw up or embarrass myself otherwise by nodding in an inappropriate setting.
Post-rehab, I feel really comfortable knowing I’ve got a small stash for future use and frankly don’t feel compelled to use immediately. I feel in control. That’s the difference. The mindfulness of control. I have meetings tomorrow. In the past, going to meetings doped up was typical and fine, before I lost control. Tomorrow, even though I have a significant day to kill before the block of them start, I know right now I won’t shoot up until I’m home for the day.
Experiencing an opiate-sober life has brought some valuable perspective. I don’t intend to order anymore pills after this stash is gone, but I will present a challenge to myself to stretch them out as far as possible and question if I really need or want to shoot up during times I feel like I can (such as at the end of the day.) Who knows? Maybe tomorrow after all is done, I’ll just want to go to sleep, the same way I did before I began this premeditated relapse.
It’s been a couple of weeks since I last posted about my Ketamine infusion plan.
I’ve since completed my outpatient rehab program and am now close to 11 weeks clean from opiates. I was able to string together 1 or 2 weeks of clean time before this program, but never more than that. It feels really good to reach this milestone and I definitely have a lot of incentive to keep it going.
Since I last posted, I’ve probably put close to 1500mg of Ketamine through my body, either by IV or IM injection. My tolerance now is through the roof. The 100mg injection that would put me into a k-hole for hours now only affects me for about 15 minutes.
Here’s what Ketamine has done for me relative to my addiction:
Reinforced a lot of positive affirmations. I’d go into these experiences repeating positive, affirmative mantras, and like LSD, it’s an experience guided by your preemptive thoughts and perceptions going into it. If you’re nervous or think you’ll have a bad time, chances are you will.
Made me realize that my opiate addiction was much more destructive than I thought.
Helped me realize that I was so out of touch of reality on opiates. I forgot who I was (not literally), I forgot what I wanted to become. I regained a sense of child-like wonder about the world.
Possibilities today seem as limitless as they did when I graduated high school. I used to think I was locked into this career track that I’ve always felt ambivalent about. I think this contributed to my addiction and depression, leading me to self-medicate and repress my feelings of disappointment and regret.
My creativity is back 100x. I’ve started writing screenplays again and hope to get back into the business I was once pursuing on the side (and with much success.)
Generalized anxiety is gone. I still suffer acute episodic anxiety, but in general, I feel much more at peace with the world, myself, and the uncertainty I’ve been facing. I’m still looking for steady employment (freelance work is paying the bills now), but I don’t feel as hopeless and depressed about it.
During one experience, I was thinking about how disgusting smoking pot is. How much I hated chasing down highs, bags of dope, waiting for my dealer. I thought about how many tens of thousands of dollars I’ve wasted and shot up my arm. I realized how close to death I was, but at the time was too delusional to care or recognize the heavy gravity of the situation.
So in short, K did for me what LSD and psilocybin have always done. But it’s a gentler trip. As an anesthetic, you slip in and out of physical consciousness, however your mind is still active. Unlike LSD or mushrooms, I’m not as lucid. It also lasts a fraction of the time and isn’t as physically draining.
I think in therapeutic settings, K shows some promise, but I have to say it’s not for everyone. If you don’t have any experience with psychedelics, then I’d say it may be a good idea to pass on this. I wish I could attribute my recovery thus far to K, but in reality it’s the outpatient program that did it for me. While I’m not a fan of AA/NA, this program did the trick and taught me some cognitive-behavioral based coping skills that will help me avoid turning to the quick high to resolve my problems.
I’m done with K treatment for now. I’ve begun taking a new antidepressant (Viibryd—relatively new on the market) and am seeing some excellent results. Klonopin and Xanax are always a short reach away if I really need them, but since completing the K treatment, I’ve found less and less of a need as I feel a genuine confidence being cultivated from within.
One interesting observation I made is that I felt acutely connected to a collective human consciousness when on K. I’m sure a lot of this has to do with the drug, but I found myself experiencing odd coincidences, envisioning events and later experiencing them (self-fulfilling prophecy perhaps), and having predictive thoughts during the trip that often were validated once I returned back to reality. Tim Leary’s 8 Circuits of Consciousness suggests that Ketamine allows one to tap into the 8th, highest circuit, “overmind”, which transcends 7th neurogenetic circuit that’s activated by LSD. Using this framework, John C Lilly posited Ketamine facilitated telepathic communication. He went a bit nuts so I take this with a grain of salt, but I can see where he was getting the ideas from.
My psychiatrist, psychologists (1:1 therapy, family therapy, addiction therapy, and outpatient rehab therapy) have ALL made NO recommendation that I pursue this. I did voice my interest in exploring self-treatment for addiction/depression/anxiety using Ketamine and while they did acknowledge there were academic studies that showed some efficacy in some scenarios, it was not recommended.
I did it anyway.
How I Got It:
Obtaining Ketamine in powered, crystalline form as a street drug can be challenging, even if you live in a big city. It seems to have a stronger presence in Canada (namely Toronto and Montreal) as well as Hong Kong, for reasons I can’t come to understand.
I didn’t want to snort a ton of cut powder, most likely cut with MSG (yes, the same stuff in Chinese food), until I reached what I thought was a K-hole. I wanted a measured, intramuscular injection that would undoubtedly lead me there.
It was as simple as finding an overseas supply website such as Alibaba.com (I won’t name my specific source, but that’s not it.) From there, I did a search not for Ketamine, but rather the brand names under which it is sold—Ketamax and Calypsol for example.
I identified a supplier with a high feedback score and sent them the money the next day via a wire service. It took about 3 weeks to arrive—should have taken 2, but they apparently had to restock. They first ship from Pakistan, a known drug source and otherwise suspicious country of origin for mail and then to the UK, an otherwise benign and friendly ally to the U.S. My package arrived through JFK airport customs without issue and everything was intact.
From my experience, uncut K on the street goes anywhere from $60 to $100 USD per gram. I obtained 10 vials from my overseas supplier for a fraction of the price. Each vial, Ketamax, was manufactured in Germany by a reputable pharmaceutical producer and measures 500mg/10mL. This measures that within the 10mL of liquid, there was 500mg of Ketamine. Using a 1CC/1mL syringe, it’s then easy to gauge an exact dose and what’s needed to hit the K-hole.
I will be keeping two vials for my own personal use, but have already sold off the rest at an extremely high profit to a drug dealer locally. In areas where K is hard to come by, it’s easy to see why it commands such a high price premium. As a club drug at low doses, I don’t understand the allure. For me, it’s about the K-hole.
Yesterday, I injected 280mg over the course of the day. At first, I did an IM injection of 80mg to feel the effects. After coming to about 25 minutes later and having a pleasant experience, I prepared another 100mg for IM injection. I placed headphones on my head and began focusing on my breathing as Chakra meditation gongs and sounds travelled through my brain. Time slipped away and in what felt like 5 minutes, I returned fully to reality and realized that almost 90 minutes had passed. I will save the psychedelic experience and its details for another post, but this was quite profound and left me feeling very optimistic about my future. A concrete confidence that opiate addiction is something I will beat forever was cemented into my mind. Later that night after seeing a movie with a friend, I went home and got ready for bed. I pondered vaporizing a little cannabis, but wanted to see what it would be like to go into K-induced sleep. I have been able to induce lucid dreams before and while an additional 100mg IM injection didn’t put me to sleep—it took a little effort to remain awake—I was able to find myself having fun talking to random internet strangers on Omegle (with some impaired motor skills obviously) and then drifted off. I woke up this morning feeling refreshed, anew, not euphoric, but not depressed. I incidentally had traffic court and spoke very eloquently. The case I made lead to the charges being dropped and the judge asked if I ever considered becoming a trial attorney.
Going forward for the next month I will be doing the following:
Monday: No K
Tuesday: 100-200mg IM injection - meditate and use therapeutic guides
Wednesday: No K
Thursday: 100-200mg IM injection - meditate and use therapeutic guides
Friday: No K
Saturday/Sunday: Experience/reflection/processing (blogging about it)
This is certainly nothing extreme, especially when you consider people like John C Lilly who injected over 100mg every hour of every day for a 6 month period under the guise of “consciousness research.” Shortly after he did that, he kind of lost his marbles and consequent credibility even among psychoactive scientific researchers.
Since it is Thursday and I am in a peaceful state, I will soon be embarking on another spiritual Ketamine-induced journey. I have a little high grade cannabis in my vaporizer to first relax me. I took about 2MG of Xanax 30 minutes ago. I will follow up with a more detailed report on my experience and how it relates to addiction treatment in the coming days.
A portion of my fun for this weekend and next week. Just bought a Magic Flight Launch Box yesterday, too. Looking forward to the combination. the MFLB is worth every penny. I’ve already vaped in a club bathroom last night. It’s the perfect size, completely quiet, and gets you ripped on the littlest amount.