BY: Marc McMahon
Do you remember what it was like when you were about 14 years old let’s say and you wanted to go do something that was forbidden by your parents? When you would weigh the benefits of sneaking out to go to a party v.s. the ass whooping your Father was going to give you if he finds out. When you get that nervous excited feeling in your stomach that says I’m going to do this anyways even though I know I am going to get caught and severely punished.
That uncertain, empty, gut knotted tighter than the best double knot you ever tied as a little boy. Feeling that you get, when your mom finds out you stole the rent money out of her purse and sent you to your room to wait hours until your Dad got home from work to deal with you! When your only means of escaping the inevitable is to fill a backpack with your most prized personal possessions and run away from home.
But then you realize if you do decide to flee for your life, your Father will hunt you down like a wild game animal. Gut, skin, and hang you upside down from a neck hook so you can bleed out before slaughter! That all too familiar fear that grows infinitely stronger with each passing moment. Building up to the point where as soon as your Father opens your bedroom door, you will be consumed with an overwhelming, heart-pounding fear, that causes you to break down into a terrified whimper as soon as you see his face.
An all too familiar feeling that my addict behavior has allowed me to, unfortunately, become as used to as one possibly can. Like being put in a dimly lit room with your killer and hearing the door slam close behind you! It is fearful, frightful and fun-filled. Serious, selfish, and surprising. Hateful, happy, hurtful, and high. It is everything you ever wanted and all the things you prayed you would never get all ground together into one big, exhausting nightmare!
Being an addict goes well beyond the scope of having a bad habit that you might indulge in a little too often. Being a “bottom of the barrel, gutter level, under the bridge sleeping dope fiend”is a way of life. Not one you would have ever chosen mind you, not even one you would wish on your worse enemy. But one that was forced upon you to master by the very disease you have chosen to embrace.
We chose to recreationally get high at some point in our lives just like millions of others do for the first time every year. For most the substance use serves it’s purpose, runs its course, and the casual user will eventually grow out of it as life’s pressures to perform begin to out way the benefits of doing the drug. Or the negative consequences experienced begin to out way the benefits of getting high.
But for some, like me, the drug we decided to play around with for fun at some point decided to flip the script on us. As it decides to use us for some fun of its own. There is an old saying that goes “see the man use the needle, watch the needle use the man!” And as we at some point choose to try and fight this monster that’s within us a lot of us begin the arduous journey of trying to get clean & sober. It is for many a vicious cycle of recovery and relapse for years for some before they ever gain any long term sobriety.
Once a person gains the upper hand on their disease though I believe that they have through that experience acquired a strength of character almost unrivaled by any other. It gives civilians a combat experience known by few, and it teaches us how to survive some deplorable situations. It is a ride that many get on and only a few get off. A roller coaster of monstrous magnitude that keeps twisting and turning your entire being. Rendering you a shell of a person who wanders about wanting help but being too ashamed and afraid to ask.
About the Author: Marc is a 48 yr. old Author, speaker, and soldier against the disease of addiction. He resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Marc’s hobbies include writing, Mt. biking, hiking, and drinking copious amounts of coffee. Marc is also the proud father, of one very outstanding young man. As Marc always likes to say “Be blessed, my friends.”