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Inside the Mind of a Drug Addict

I am 47 and have been clean for over 10 years now. I wrote this poem about 5 years ago. I am not a skilled poet, but this came from my heart, and maybe someone will read it and reevaluate their own life. (For those who do not know: an addiction is said to be having a monkey on your back, that should help you understand this poem better)

It’s OK,I’ve Been There
I know where you’re at right now
You got there, but you’re not sure how
Childhood was cool, you were nobody’s fool
Things good at home, OK at school
Many different plans for life
None included such strife
It wasn’t just one day, just one event
But, deep down, you realized things weren’t going as you meant
It started with just one hit, hey, it’s only weed
And let’s face it, I still feel no need
It’s all good, I’ve got some great new friends
Try some coke, Damn I hope this party never ends
What is that other stuff, lined up on that mirror?
Oh, that is crank, sure I’ll try, bring it over here
WOW! I love these feelings from what you call speed
It’s okay, I’m still in control, still don’t feel the need

Quit high school, got a job full time
Can pay my bills and buy my drugs without another crime
Moved out when still in my early teens
Now I’m ready for all the fun party scenes
The years go by, life seems alot tougher
And my friends, well they sure seem rougher
And what happened to my family, the old friends that I had?
Why do I choose not to speak to my Mom or to my Dad?
I know they still love me, will help me if I let them
Do I really want to be helped? That question is a gem
I cut off my family out of pure shame
It was only me whom I could blame
The years go by, both the good times and the bad
I will never know the other life I could’ve had
I sustained the love of some good people, friends from my past
They married and had kids, whom I fell in love with fast
I often sat and pondered how cool that way could be
But, druggie that I was, who would marry me?
I was so bad that I couldn’t care for myself
Having children was an idea thrown to a far-off shelf
The years go by, jobs and houses come and go
My only constant was my monkey, always fed that ho
Homeless three times, thrice I came back from that
Sleepless five or six days is where my head was at
When thoughts of something better began to fill my brain
And regrets of bad decisions brought an unbearable pain
My monkey screeched in my ear ever louder
“It will all go away, just get some more white powder!”
The years go by, my nose was way too raw
So I put the glass pipe in my monkey’s paw
WOW…talk about the beginning of the end
Oh the pleasant feelings that pipe would send
I also was addicted to gambling, hookers and porn
With each hit off that pipe, a new sin would be born
The years go by, but one thing remained true
The love I had for kids and they loved me too
I still had no daughter or son, with that idea I no longer toyed
But the children in my life showed unconditional love and started to fill my void
And then there was My Granny, Thank You Lord, she was my Angel
That dear old woman helped bring me back from my personal Hell
I called her once, after not having spoken to her for many years
And she gave me a speech that quickly brought me to tears
She said “Grandson I need to explain something and you listen to me now
I’m not your parent, it’s not my job to lecture you, or ask why and how
I am your Granny and I have only one job to do so I do it very well
My only job is to love you, and at that job I can not, WILL NOT fail
The years go by, but now I’m back in touch with my family
After all this time not one had ever given up on me
I was becoming close again to my big brother and his lovely wife
If God made better people than them I’ve not yet met them in this life
All my parents, siblings, and uncles were steadily by my side
My Bro said “Dude, just let me know when you’re ready for that plane ride”
I struggled with this decision through many sleepless nights
Pipe in my hand, monkey on my back, aiding in my frights
I talked often to My Granny, her voice soothing in my ears
Surely with all this love I could conquer even my worst fears
25 years of drugs, how could I just quit? Can it really be done?
I sure am sick of never-ending nights and hiding from the sun
What about my monkey? Is it possible to ever silence that bastard?
It is neither easy nor a pleasant detox, from all that I have heard
One night, after being so high for so many days
I was used to minor hallucinations and their ways
But, I found myself standing on the edge of an abyss
As I looked down and down I wondered what is this?
To my horror I realized I was experiencing Hell
It contained my past, present, and future as well
Since the present constantly becomes the past, those two I could do nothing about
But the future is not yet written, and a long-forgotten voice screamed “I WANT OUT”
Who said that? Wait a minute, I think I remember you
As a child we dreamed of all the things that we could do
My monkey started screeching wildly “NO NO..IT’S TOO LATE”
But that long-forgotten voice shouted louder “DON’T YOU DARE TAKE HIS BAIT”
I called my brother and asked if I could still come, is the offer still on the table?
He and his wife both said just get here as soon as you are able
Now here comes a memory I both love and hate
As a deterrent to drugs it works for me just great
My best friend’s family had adopted me throughout my life
His kids called me uncle tho I’m related neither to him nor his wife
I had never attended a holiday, ashamed of my life
I sat alone in a room, my pipe it was my wife
But before I left the state I did something I had never done
I said I’d be there Thanksgiving, a promise made to his daughters and his son
I’ve loved these children their whole lives, right from the start
They’re all very near and dear to my heart
Of all the horrible things that I had done
I NEVER broke a promise to the daughters or the son
As the sun rose on Thanksgiving that fateful day
It found me with my pipe, my “last binge” well on it’s way
Of course I was too high and ashamed to even call
I boarded the plane next day not having said good-bye to them at all
When I finally talked to my friend on the phone from another state
He said “my daughter cried herself to sleep that night” a memory I both love and hate
I hate knowing I caused that innocent girl such pain, it still fills me with shame
I love that memory cause when I’m tempted it keeps me “on my game”
The actual act of stopping is so hard to explain
Some of it’s physical, but most is in your brain
I wish I could say that it was like waving a magic wand
That it was easy throwing my monkey into the great beyond
It was both the hardest and the easiest thing I have ever done
I now sleep at night and welcome the rising sun
I wish I could tell you that since I quit life’s been all peaches and cream
Reality’s been a struggle, but in many ways I’m starting to live the dream
The years go by, I am now back in the state where my bad life began
I had to prove to myself that the demons I could withstand
No longer am I haunted by my temptations
Only parties I attend are the children’s graduations
I have finally found a high better than offered by the most powerful of drugs
Surround yourself with people you love and get high off of sincere hugs
I have come to realize why I stayed high both night and day
I was trying to fill the many holes in my heart, wired just wasn’t the way
So if you find yourself traveling down that road so void of light
Shrinking from the day and welcoming the night
Life seems so screwed up you could never make it right
The thought of quitting drugs just fills you with fright
This stories whole purpose is just to tell you this:
It’s OK, I’ve been there..and I came back from the abyss

(follow up) In case you’re wondering, the little girl that I made cry herself to sleep that Thanksgiving night showed me how bottomless a child’s love and forgiveness is, she has since become a huge part of my life, as I have hers.


5 thoughts on “Inside the Mind of a Drug Addict

  1. I loved this poem. I have never tried drugs, not even weed. When my daughter was 13 she fell in with a crowd who turned her in the wrong direction. I never knew she was drinking, using, and having sex till she was around 15 years old. That’s how naive I was to the drug scene. My husband, youngest son, who was around 6, and myself went through years of hell with her addiction. We cried, ranted, raved, yelled and prayed for our beautiful daughter. When she was 20, she had a beautiful baby girl, who we raised till she was 12. She had her 2nd daughter when she was 26. She kept her. When she was 29, she and her then boyfriend were busted for having a meth lab. They were looking at serious jail time and to top that off she found out she was pg again with her 3rd daughter. But by the grace of God, he had other plans. They both got probation, weekly drug testing, at random, drug court, and community service for a year. They got married, became big members of their church, and head the N/A meetings in our town. They recently had a set back but are back on the road to recovery again. After everything they went through 3 years ago, I couldn’t understand how they both had a relaspe. But I have faith in them. I told them if ANYTHING ever happened like this again, where dfs gets involved, I will take the girls. No child deserves that from their parents. I am so happy to hear you are 10 years clean. It gives me hope for my daughter and son-in-law. God bless you.

    Posted by kandybarnes | April 7, 2013, 12:42 am
  2. This poem gives me hope for my father, who has had a monkey on his back for 3 decades. Thank you for sharing!

    Posted by Lila | April 8, 2013, 9:10 am
  3. Thank you both for commenting. I am happy people enjoyed this. Kandy, I will share my one and only relapse. I had been clean for about 4 years, but deep down my monkey still whispered to me when I least expected it. One time I was back where it all started on a vacation and I ran into one of my old homies. I just had to do it one more time, I don’t know why. I have heard how people get right back into it. Luckily, for me, the best thing I ever did was to score a bag, buy a glass pipe, and smoke some of that stuff! Why, you ask? A fair question, here is the answer, as soon as I felt the “wire” coming on I deeply regretted it, more so than I had ever felt regret in my life. It showed me that I was done with that sh*t! I flushed the rest, broke the pipe, and 6 years later I have not heard a peep out of my monkey since that night. I know it isn’t the same for everyone so I will pray this is what your daughter and her hubby had to do, just one more time to convince themselves they no longer want to live that way. however, I say stick by your threat, if they get back into the life, you are correct, no children deserve to see that in their parents.
    Lila, I will also say a prayer for your pappy. If he ever decides he is ready to quit and just wants an ear of someone who has been there, contact me, my email is PGAR65@Yahoo.com…I love, love, LOVE, getting people out of drugs, it is the best high I will ever experience. I have no training, just love people and want the best for us all and I have a natural gift of being able to talk to people. You 2 have inspired me that this week I will share a poem I wrote to my niece, she was into the drug scene full fledged. She read my poem several times, called me crying. asked me to come over. We talked for about ten hours straight! Her GF swears that my niece has never done drugs again since that night, and this was over 3 years ago. I’m not crediting my poem, it is just that it opened her heart because I write from my heart, and it opened her long closed ears. Look for it probably this Friday here .
    God Bless both of you and your familys…thank you again for taking the time to comment. 🙂

    Posted by Patrick Garrett | April 8, 2013, 8:30 pm
  4. dude, i gota say at first i almost pushed the back buttom & wasnt gonna read ur poem but i did , & iv been there ,hell iam still fuckin here ! i feel ur heartach wen u speak of the children n ur life.i have 5 lil neices that iwud just do anything 2make them happy&smile wen there near.they cant possibly know how awsome i think they r,but they sure let t here aunt lissa know how awsome she is 2them .i fear that 1day iwill lose all of that wen iam shamed

    Posted by melissa | July 7, 2013, 2:35 pm
    • Lissa,
      I am begging you, do whatever the f**k you gotta do to get help! I don’t care if it means joining NA, talk to a church member or priest/pastor (I tried the priest thing, didn’t work for me, but it didn’t hurt either….know what I mean?) If you are not at a point yet where you will do those things then do this: send me an email at PGAR65@Yahoo.com just to say hello. My name is Patrick and since you were honest about your love for your nieces I can not guarantee I can help you get clean but…I can guarantee you this much, I am willing to try!
      Lissa, different methods of getting clean work for different people, and, as I said, (in comment above) I am no professional, I have no training in counseling. So, what makes me think I can help people? Well, first I will be honest, if I don’t think the person is worth helping…I won’t bother! Why do i think Melissa is worth helping? Easy, you are like me, without you writing this part I know this about you: you don’t love yourself right now, and that makes it harder to quit, makes it easier to stay on drugs. BUT, you do love your nieces, you love them so powerfully it scares you sometimes, it scares you to realize it is possible to love other humans this deeply, so deeply you would literally risk your life to save theirs without hesitation. Am I right? Of course I am ! How do i know I am right about this? Simple, from what you wrote, I know you, Melissa. I know that the key to making you quit is in those children and your endless love for them. I know the key to making you love yourself again lies in the love your nieces have for you, it lies in forcing you to realize it is not as easy to fool children as people think. Sure, kids will love anyone, that is their nature,but, for them to love you enough to make you realize they think you are awesome? That tells me some things about you, Aunt Lissa. When you spend time with them, you treasure it. You actually pay attention to what they say, you listen to their goofy stories about their daily lives, and you love hearing their childish stories because it means something to you. Deep down, when you are spending time with them, you are still amazed at how much they love you. Even deeper down, waaaay down, you sometimes still question if you are worthy of their love, druggie that you are. I will tell you a secret Melissa, when i said (above) “it is not as easy as people think to fool children” here is what I meant: for children to simply love a person it doesn’t take much, all kids just want to love and be loved. BUT, to stand out in a child’s life, to be that person that when you walk in the door, the children literally drop what they are doing and come running to you, to be so lucky as to be one of the people that makes these kids smile not just with their mouths, but with their eyes, with their hearts….well, kids ain’t fools, they choose special people to put in that category because you have shown them your true self, Melissa. You have shown them not only an unconditional love, but a love that says you really, really, care about them and their daily lives. You have shown them that Aunt Lissa is someone who will never hurt them, will always keep them safe when she is around, and will always want them to be happy.
      If you decide to contact me Melissa, I will warn you up front: I don’t play games when it comes to trying to help someone. My method is simple, I love people easily, if they show me they have a good heart, but I am a brutally honest person when it comes to things like drugs. I will try and help you by concentrating heavily on your love for your nieces as I believe that is your biggest fear, shaming yourself in their eyes. I don’t want that to ever happen because, even tho I will never meet you or your nieces, I already love those kids and I want only happy days for them. I hope to hear from you, Melissa

      Posted by Patrick Garrett | July 9, 2013, 3:47 pm

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