Heavy eyes open, leveling a blurry stare at the night that still dances beyond my window. I stumble out of bed, bones aching, feeling my way to my chair in the early morning darkness. Meds, caffeine, and a few smokes…the necessary things to get my head right.
My bed looks as though there was a fight in it. Pillows and bedding, all on the floor. Remembrances of bloody dreams fill my sleepy head, as I consider what they mean. I’m old. I’ve lived my life once; why must I live it, again, each night? Post Traumatic Stress? There is nothing ‘post’ about it, as these things live and breathe, just as I do, even now. They are the faceless storytellers that visit me nightly, and they refuse to take their place in the past. It is what it is, I suppose.
Another smoke, or five, and I pull my mind away from the night, looking forward to the day ahead. Plans made to finish things I should’ve done weeks ago. It is only during these early hours that I have this heavy sense of time. I get upset, knowing that the thing that keeps my pain at a livable level, is also the thing that robs me of time…of my perception of it. It’s the thing that makes one day bleed into the next in a seamless, endless, blur. I hate this poison that robs me of my ability to communicate the way I used to. It steals my creativity, my zest for life, and my sense of simple humanity. I feel ungrounded and lost, save for these few fleeting hours every morning. On one hand, this ‘medicine’ takes as much as it gives. On the other…there would be no life worth having without it.
People think I don’t understand what addiction means, where my meds are concerned. But, while I’m not an addict, I’ve known a few. The last was my late husband. Norco and Soma. All day, every day, when he wasn’t working. I spent the last year of his life watching him breathe, terrified he’d stop. That was just the last year. Because of his addiction, we lost almost everything. There was nothing I could do to stop it. My God, I’ve never seen someone take so long to die. In the end, it was an aortic aneurysm that took him. A problem exacerbated by the way opiods weaken arteries. They can also make people hateful and cruel in ways you’d never expect. But, that’s just a bonus, I guess.
When I think about it, I’ve been waiting on addicts and drunks to straighten up my whole life. My dad, grandmother…my uncle, my cousin, my son…Bennie. I resent them all, in some way. I can’t help it. They took so much. They each took a huge piece of whatever was good in me, that much I know. You’re wasting your time to love an addict. Dope always wins. So does alcohol. So, I hope people will forgive me if I don’t give a shit about people who end up strung out because they took a pill, then went to heroin. Fuck them. Because, with or without the pill, they’d have ended up junkies anyway. Taking everything from those around them…now blaming the one thing that makes my life livable for their problems. I hate these people and I’m not sorry for it. And I damn well understand. I’ve lost good and plenty to addiction. Fuck. Them. All.