This is the story of a staggering number of unnamed, unclaimed and unresponsive. Known by assorted names - filth products, scum, sleepwalkers, beyond society, junkies; they neither love life nor dread death. Nemesis assails them alone.
Must have visualised them by now-they are our substance abusers, our druggies. Yes, our own. Having heard from my addict friend, I could draw a straight diagram of a circle. Through this medium, I would want those harrowing lines from an addict to be conveyed to the readers.
One of the addiction stereotypes is it traps those with dysfunctional families or a history of abuse. My story defies those ideas conclusively. Raised in a family of educationists, I aspired to study medicine.
The nerdy kid growing up didn’t feel a fit in; a geek who wanted validations and acceptances. I needed good attention badly. That is who I was. This has to change, I often told the mirror. I started hanging out with ‘’cool kids’’.
They had all I secretly wanted- fab friends, gorgeous girls and ‘’confidence’’. It took off when I was one month shy of my 17th birthday. Someone suggested me a ‘joint’.
He brought weed, made a hand-rolled cigarette and congratulated me for hitting masculinity. I smoked it. Within minutes, I felt something peaking in my blood stream. Intense euphoria and strange amusement gripped me. I kept inhaling the smoke, within half an hour I was ‘’stoned’’.
Living looked ecstatic; non-living started talking to me. It strangely made sense. It continued with a consistent elevation in grams every day. On my 17th birthday, I went to the woods with my ‘cool company’.
Post birthday bash, I saw the white ‘thunder’ in a powder form. It was right there calling me with all appeal. They call it Heroin; the hell dust. When I found it, I injected it. That was my first hit; exactly what falling in love feels like.
Heroin wrapped a cosy blanket around me and my eyelids felt heavy. I felt tickling in my brain and giggling in my ears. With eyes half-closed and smile one-sided, I began catching a pleasurable sensation. More calm, less tense.
While I was in that drowsy state, I started experiencing a kind of floating, dream-like state. I said to it, ‘’Where were you all these years?’’. The euphoria from heroin could beat any adrenaline rush. It became my security blanket, covering my self confidence problems.
It helped me forget who I was; the feeling of getting out of my skin was amazing. It completely changed how I felt or not felt at all. Every time I would shove in a needle in there, I would traverse to a different space - how would it be like clubbing with a booze in hand, getting girlfriends home, being popular and powerful. How I wish I had the idea about the kind of fire I had started playing with.
Within few months, heroin became my significant other and my abusive partner at the same moment. We had a love-hate relation. Once the drug was inside me, it told me what to do.
I wasn’t taking heroin, heroin was taking me. I was chasing the high and more high was chasing me. Can there be any greater desperation than sitting on the cold hard bathroom floor and getting ready to shoot heroin inside the shaking body? I have known the agony of not being able to fetch my daily joint.
Heroin gave me freedom first and prisoned me later. I had two versions of self -intoxicated and craving for intoxication. I was hooked to heroin. My ‘’cool company’’ vanished in thin air. I only knew drug dealer friends. I knew the got away spots for junkies where they would hide long enough from the world or themselves.
Heroin made me out of touch with myself. Realisation hit me in my moments of sanity. Am I only worth dope packets, burnt foils and dirty needles? Do I deserve waking up sick every morning?
It took me five months to realise that I had become an addict. From chasing an occasional high to pouncing on any opiate I could get my hands on, I had reached a blizzard of pointlessness. My family suspected of my behavioural changes when I had hit the bottom.
I had shown signs and symptoms but they had missed out on me. They curse themselves for that. Vigilance saves. I got reduced to a skeleton with a layer of pale flesh. My eyes bloodshot and body trembling; my parents aged within days. Ours became a ghost house.
Addiction is cunning and baffling. It kept lowering my standards. It put me in places I never wanted to go to, kept me longer than I wanted to stay doing things I never dreamt of doing.
Heroin took priority over everything I did or wanted to do in life. It made me a paranoid person. Why did I find the need to use mind-altering substance to have good time? I would pass out on cold floors, gain consciousness, do it again and repeat.
I struggled to stay off heroin. Sobriety never came. In and Out of drugs was a constant urge for hitting bottom after bottom. I couldn’t arrest my addiction. I would relapse in a day.
Mental paralysis followed. That one day, I did not put a needle in my arm. I snorted six lines of heroin. My brain became oxygenless. Powerful seizures started occurring. Induced comas failed to stop them.
My vitals stopped functioning. I was hooked to machines; in a vegetative state. When the life support was taken away, I breathed exactly for six minutes and was found unresponsive in the seventh.
Now, I am speaking from under the soil. I couldn’t turn 18. Potential doctor died untimely. You are the love and light for yourself. You deserve all goodness. Isn’t the highest high in life, life itself?
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.