No-one in my life could understand why I stayed with a heroin addict. And I could certainly see their point. So much of my life was a nightmare during that time. I will not sugar coat things.
‘The heroin addict’ was not a nice person. He was mean, and cold and manipulative. When he was hanging out, he was desperate. I ceased to be a person, just a means to an end. A way to get heroin. He hocked anything we had of value, pressured and threatened me to breaking point, until I gave him whatever money I had. The ‘wish cards’ worked for a little while, until he stopped taking his medication, and started hanging out again. He would disappear for hours, whilst I rang around hospitals, imagining that he’d over dosed. Eventually I just went with him, it was easier for me to drive him to score, so at least if he overdosed, I could drive him to hospital, instead of him dying alone, in a random street somewhere.
One day, the pressure of trying to keep control of my life, all became too much. I truly believed, if I could just be strong enough, not cave to his pressure, and give him money, that everything would be OK, the withdrawals would pass, and we could move on. But he just pushed and pushed and pushed. Followed me around the house, got up in my face, threatened me. The man that I loved, that I was trying to save. Pushing, pushing, pushing. It all came down on me, my whole life, my depression, everything that I had been trying to control. I locked myself in the toilet, with a bottle of bourbon, and every pill I could find in the house. I didn’t want to die, I just wanted it all to STOP. He kicked down the door, and demanded to know where I’d hidden my bank card. I told him it was in the freezer. He took it, went and scored heroin, then came home and called an ambulance for me. I discharged myself first thing in the morning, against Dr’s wishes, as I was scared to leave him alone. Scared of what he’d do without me looking after him.
When I discovered I was pregnant, he told me to get an abortion. The day of my scan, he was hanging out, and too sick to come with me. After I discovered at that scan, alone, that my twins had died, he went on a bender, for weeks. Blew every cent I had, because I was too numb with grief to stop him. The ‘Heroin Addict’ was a bad man.
However, the man behind the addiction was a good man. He was funny and charming. He was the first person in my life, to truly ‘see’ me. He loved me. He thought I was smart, and kind and beautiful. He didn’t think I was stupid, or useless, or pathetic. The man behind the addiction was kinder to me, on his good days, then any other person I had ever loved. He believed in me.
The man behind the addiction desperately wanted to be happy, to have a family. He tried to get help. In his moments of clarity, we would sit together and he’d ring around detoxes and rehabs, desperately trying to get in, begging for help. I never realised how hard it actually is to get help. Every public rehab and detox in the state has a lengthy wait list. An addict needs to go to detox before they can enter rehab. Yet, the majority of time, there is a few weeks between finishing detox, and getting into rehab. Detox cures the withdrawals, but doesn’t cure the addict. So what is the ‘addict’ supposed to do in between detox and rehab? Well, an addict uses. And disqualifies themselves from rehab. The amount of stints he did in detox, only to fall again whilst waiting to get into rehab.
The man behind the addiction, finally accepted that he could be a good father, and that he would go to rehab, and he would get his shit together to keep me, and the children I was carrying. The man behind the addiction was so excited, so proud, when he rang all his family, and told them he was going to be a dad. The man behind the addiction’s face crumpled, and he held me, as we cried, the day day I found out our twins had died.
I loved the man he was, behind the addiction to heroin. There were not many people left who could see him still, but I was one of those people. It was the man, behind the addiction, who finally ended it with me, just weeks before he was due to leave rehab. Because he knew that he wouldn’t stay clean once he left. He was already thinking about when he could use again. And he knew that I wouldn’t, couldn’t leave him. I thought I had to save him, that I could save him. He knew better. And so, with all the love he was capable off, he set me free. He realised that he could never love me as much as he loved heroin. So, he ended what I couldn’t. And my nightmare was finally over.
Two tragedies occurred on the weekend.
Many innocent lives were lost in a senseless massacre in Norway. The world is, quite rightly, shocked and outraged. We are united in grief.
A well known addict, Amy Winehose died of a suspected drug overdose. I don’t know her, know nothing about her really.. I don’t condone the choices she made, I don’t agree with abusing drugs. However, I do know that she was more than a ‘ Drug Addict’. There was a woman behind the addiction. And the death of that woman is a tragedy, to all that loved her, and hoped that they could save her. May she find the peace in death that alluded her in life.