It is all a wretched, scorching tangle
Of fire in my veins and memory scars
And trading love for apathy
I still cannot see or hear the word 'tar'
Or bear the smell of fired metal and earth
Without almost shitting myself
Soullessly fed on vacant signs of empty places
Places built just so you would have somewhere to abandon
A solitary line from A to Z
Because really, who needs the letters in between
Jonesing like a summer storm
That scares you to the bone
Cotton fever like blistering pavement
In unforgiving August heat
Skull hooks just clawing, clawing, clawing
At a withered, salvage scrapped brain
Will make you do everything you thought you'd never
But you will, you will do it and more
Always the lies, endless lies
For just one. more. shot.
© Jude Bennett
So yeah. I have a history that for a brief time (I cannot remember the duration, it is useless trying) involved the use of opiates. Well, one anyway. Hey, some people choose Jesus as theirs, this was mine. I'm so far removed from being that guy, from that self destructive and desperate mentality, that I rarely ever think about it anymore. Also, I rarely ever talk about it because it makes me uncomfortable. You never know if you're glamorizing it or making it sound alluring in some way, and the notion of that is horrifying to me, so the fear of how I might be coming across to or maybe even influencing people bothers me unless I know them very well. I'm also wary of ex-junkie poseurs, the ones who DO glorify being strung out and make outrageous comparisons. ...My track marks are bigger than your track marks... UGH! *stab* I tend to give clipped responses to direct questions about my involvement with drugs, but I'm not going to hide it like it never happened either. It is a significant if not fundamental part of who I am, and while I'm not exactly happy or proud of some of the choices I've made, I have no regrets and no shame. So while I don't really dismiss it, I also don't encourage it.
There's nothing I would change about that time given the possibility. It took long enough to learn that all of the shit you go through in life makes you better and stronger in some way if you let it. Once I figured that much out I latched onto it. What a beautiful thing.
I've had a good life so far, all things considered. It could always be much worse than it has been if I weren't as determined as I've managed to be. I have a thicker skin than most I think, and I've learned the hard way that there's a lot in life that may be fucked up and unfair, but it makes more sense to suck it up and get on with it than it does to dwell and let it rule you. Some stuff is permanent press and no amount of washing is taking it out, I'm not talking about that. For the record, that's the stuff you DO give energy to, so hopefully you can make it a part of yourself that you can live with. I'm talking about the shit we crawl through all the time that we'd do better to just jettison - just decide "I'm not giving this ONE MORE SHRED of my energy. I will not waste another SECOND consumed by this ANYMORE", then committing to that. Saying it over and over and over and over until you start to believe it.
I used to carry around all kinds of thoughts and feelings and stuff that just wore me down, even long after I thought I'd stopped caring about it anymore. Then one little thing can trigger you and set you off on a flood of memory that you'd just as soon not ever relive again. Next month I'll be dealing with the grief I always associate with the end of June. On June 28th, 1986 my best friend committed suicide. On June 30th, 2000, my best friend died in a most tragic accident. All of this time I've been burdened with grief and guilt if I didn't feel completely wrecked by these losses, but it is finally changing. I feel more different, better, and stronger now than ever before in 34 years of living. I have THE most loving and supportive family and friends ever. I'm loved by the most incredible man, and still fascinated by whatever it must be in me to account for that. I've come to realize that I - in fact that all of us collectively - carry emotions long past their usefulness. They're like the chewing gum that you just can't bring yourself to spit out, even though the flavor is long since gone and it's so hard to chew at this point that your jaw is aching and saying "Oh, for fuck's sake - SPIT IT OUT ALREADY!" There's a point when you have to decide if something is worth indulging anymore, and if it's not then just. fucking. stop. We're always growing - changing - evolving into what we're supposed to be for that time. It only stands to reason that you have to allow for this sort of thing. That's why I have no regrets, no guilt, and no shame. Of all the people I love, I love myself equally. Finally, I do. Finally, I'm really clean.