Blog Post #3
April 4 2011
Topic: Drug Addiction & Suicide
Ok yes I understand a lot of people would introduce themselves first and I will in my next couple posts. If you don't wish to wait, drop me a letter at my snailmail address and I promise to reply to all. Now why the topic, because it's part of who I was but that's not what triggered the interest in this topic. A couple of months back a friend of mine who I'll call CHARLIE crossed paths with an old friend named Erik who he hadn't seen in over 5 years. It would seem that Erik was homeless so Charlie allowed Erik to come to his place for something to eat and a chance to catch up. After several drinks both were inebriated so Erik stayed the night. The next morning as Charlie prepared for work he told Erik he could hang out, just look up when he left. When Charlie returned home he had been robbed of about $10,000 worth of electronics and designer clothing. Charlie soon discovered Erik was a crack addict and had found him an easy target.
So I pose this question, was Charlie wrong to be so trusting of a guy he hadn't seen or heard from in several years. I would probably say yes but then Charlie had no idea Erik was a crack addict.
I mentioned this story is a bit of an introduction to my topic. Perhaps Erik was a great guy before he fell victim to addiction. In a lot of similar incidents the addict really was a good person before the drugs began poisoning their minds, bodies and souls. I don't cast judgment on Erik. He is in jail and will pay for his actions and hopefully get some help. WHY DON'T I judge him? It's easy, I've been that addict. While I wasn't into crack I was into almost anything else you could get high off of. I did whatever it took to take the edge off. I needed something to help ease the pain and hurt I felt in life. All to often we turn to alcohol or something else to help us cope with life's trials and tribulations. Drugs and partying was my answer to it all. It was an avenue fro me to escape reality, a reality that I didn't feel like I was strong enough to face alone. I started out drinking and smoking marijuana when I was 13. By the time I was 19 I had done just about any drug you can think of in several different forms. I've smoked, snorted, injected and injested almost everything. I don't say this trying to brag. I'm not proud of who I was. For most people who have never experienced drug addiction, you may wonder why I used so many drugs. after a while your body builds tolerances and it begins to take more and more until you move on to a stronger drug. For me I wanted my fix A.S.A.P. If I had $20 I was going for the quickest, easiest high. I can't begin to describe the toll these drugs take on a person. I joke saying "I used to be a rocket scientist but now I'm just an educated individual."
Sure I have some college education and an IQ over 100 but its the small things I notice. Sometimes I'll forget the simplest things or struggle with small problems. During my addiction I hurt a lot of people. I didn't care about anyone but me. I didn't think about the hard work and time put into saving the money to buy things that it only took me a few moments to steal. Not only did I cause strangers pain but I put my family and friends through hell. To this day I don't really know just how much pain I caused others. I finally reached my rockbottom when I woke up in a hotel room not knowing where I was or how I had gotten there. I later found out I was over 200 miles away from my house. That day I made a compromise. I was so sick I told myself I could just use alcohol and pot and be ok. I continued using both along with various pills until my arrest in September of 2002. Throughout all this I did a lot of bad things but I didn't see myself as a bad guy. When I was sober I was trustworthy, loving, caring, considerate and in general a cool guy. I had good friends and was well liked. Once I started "drugging" all that went out the window. I could tell stories from these days for hours but that's not my objective. One of my biggest problems was that nobody really tried to step in and stop me. Of course a lot of that was because I was very confrontational and nobody wanted to deal with it. If any of you reading this has a friend or family member who is struggling with drug addiction then I encourage you to try to intervene. A lot of times all it takes is for a person to show that they care. I did what I did because I felt alone and unloved. A lot of that was my fault. Talk to that person and let them know you're there for them. I doubt they are proud of who they've become. I know I sure wasn't Sure it seemed fun until I sobered up and realized what I'd done. Just talk to them. If any of you reading this have an addiction to drugs and also have children, think about them. I've missed almost all of my 10yr old daughter's life. She was 3 the last time I seen her. I still don't know how to explain why I chose drugs over her. The best way to do it is through your actions. Words don't mean nothing if you don't live up to them. Before you can truly love anyone else though, you have to love yourself enough to put the drugs down. I'm finally at a point in my life where I don't desire my old vices. I've learned to accept life as it is. I know I have people who care for me.
At one point during my drug addiction I wanted to stop so bad that I considered taking my own life. It seemed like an easy solution. When you reach that mindset nothing else matters. I was lucky enough to be too scared to follow through. You know we never know what the next person's going through, but we often get so wrapped up in our own lives that we don't even stop to consider it. If anyone reading this needs a person to talk to or knows someone who does then drop me a letter. I am a great listener and have been through hell and back. I can understand what a lot of people are going through. I've watched friends die, almost took my own life, I've been alone, hurt, homeless, unloved and much more. I've done a lot in my 28 years and can identify with a lot of people. It's not just drug addictions but sex addictions or any other that cause you to change who you are. I'm not asking anyone to run to the corner and take in a drug addict but don't judge others based on what you think you know. None of us ever truly knows what is going on with the next person. I'd love to hear anyone's stories of addiction or hope. It doesn't matter who you are or where you've been. Everybody needs a friend and I'm here to listen and help if I can.
Since I'm talking about addiction and suicide I would like to share this poem I wrote. It's inspired by a friend of mine who took her own life. She went through hell in her young life. She was repeatedly abused mentally, physically, and sexually by family and others. She witnessed her stepfather kill himself after he shot and killed her mother. Unable to find the love she needed, she turned to drugs. Eventually she began selling herself to support her habits. One day she'd had enough and ended it. I hate suicide and wish I could have helped her but she didn't allow me to. After I wrote this poem I sent a copy to her father and brother who fed her addictions by abusing her. I never heard back from them and don't care to. They have nothing I want to hear.
The meters off a bit but here's my poem for Nicky.
Empty Sorrow By Douglas Lee Thomas
Rising from this hell, another soul bleeds
screaming and fighting to be free
smashed upon the ground, strung from a rope
wrist slit because she was pissed
Now you cry false tears, saying you miss her so much
where were you when she cried and needed love
you never tried, you never cared you never gave a damn
save your tears for someone who cares because you're too late,
you were always too late.
As her blood flowed her pain was shed
screaming out in rage as stones crushed bones
Healed and mended only to be broken again
If only the lies would end
The cobra strikes again, as the heat flows
pain is driven away for a short moment
They continue lying to themselves saying she's ok
stepped on, pushed down, kicked around never understanding.
how your ignorance reflects upon others.
Somewhere her soul screamed to be loved.
Only wanting to be accepted but it was too late.
When it was all said and done you failed again.
With rope stretched tight she said goodby and
another unloved soul drifted off into the night.
A lot of people won't understand this poem or whatever you want to call it but a few will. My message in this blog is you never know what the next person is going through. It never hurts to let those you love, know it. Take a moment out of your day to tell a stranger hello or offer a smile to someone you pass in the store. You'd be amazed at how much a simple "how are you doing?" will change a person's day.
Until next time keep your heads up and always look forward to brighter days. To those who feel lost always know there is someone who cares.
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