How did it happen? If I have asked myself that question once, I have asked it a thousand times, and I still don't have the answer. How did a reasonably intelligent, hard working guy like myself get hooked on that nasty bitch we lovingly, at first, call Mz. Tina?
Oh, it started innocently at first. Out for the weekend at a club and a friend says, Here, try this, it's great, you'll feel like a million dollars, we can party on all night, and the sex is going to just be fabulous! With a recommendation like that, I thought, I'd be a fool to not try it. Just the once, I said.
I tried it, just a small line at first. I mean, it's not like I was one of those druggies or one of those low-life homeless guys. I had a job and a car and a house. I wasn't like them. That could never happen to me...
I did feel like a million bucks and the sex was fabulous - even sex with people I would not normally speak to, let alone have sex with. It just made me incredibly horny and sexual, and I just felt like everyone was my friend. There wasn't always a cute guy around who was my type, but with Mz. Tina around, I didn't care. I'd just snort them pretty and go ahead and do the deed anyway. Yes, the standards definitely slipped...
For the first six months or so it was just recreationally, once every couple of weeks or so on weekends, and I would stop on Sunday morning. I told myself it was okay because it was only two days a week, I have a job, a car and a house, and it was the weekend. Hey, I deserved to have some fun!
I soon found myself daydreaming and wishing that Friday would hurry up and arrive. The weekends began to start on Thursday and end on Sunday night. I started to show up at work looking like the wrath of God has been thrown at me, but hey, I did have fun (I think). Parts of the weekend were awfully fuzzy and I did not always remember everything that happened.
I knew that I'd had fun and made some new friends. Now, if I could just remember what his name was. Did he give me his phone number? Did I give him mine? I wrote it on a scrap of paper somewhere. I'll find it later. He liked me, I could tell. But what the hell did he look like? Did we have sex? Was it fun? Um, was it safe?
Within a year, Mz. Tina was ruling my life. I started being late for work, but I own the company. What, I'm going to fire myself? Ha! Fat chance!! I went from being stable and well-grounded to being an out of control drug addict. I used five days a week; the only reason it wasn't seven was because two days a week I simply crashed and burned, and wouldn't wake up for 20 hours at a time. Damn, I missed a day! Ill just do a double dose now that I am awake.
Snorting just didn't do it for me anymore either. I just didn't get the same wonderful high I used to. It seemed like the only exercise I was getting was chasing the next high and running in circles at work. Another 'friend' suggested that maybe I should just 'slam' it. Hey, that sounds cool, I thought - just inject the liquefied Mz. Tina directly into a vein...
It didn't take long to get over my initial aversion to needles. I was in the big league now, I was told. Wow, I'd never been in the big league. I liked it. I got very good at it too. I could have it all mixed and slammed home in less than three minutes! Looking back on it now, though, the first time I slammed was also the last time I got that incredible high. I kept chasing that same level of high for the next year and just never did accomplish it. Oh, I got close a few times, but I think in reality they were more like mini overdoses.
20 months into doing Mz. Tina, and I was doing her two or three times a day, every day of the week, using any vein or hidden spot I could find that would still take a needle and not collapse. Those were getting harder and harder to find. I was spending $1000 a month on Mz. T, and I was getting her from a friend at cost. Hey, I could be a big shot and give the stuff away to friends because it really didn't cost me all that much, at first.
Then it got to be very costly because I was giving so much of it away. I started selling instead, but I wasn't a drug dealer, I told myself. I only sold to friends and I still had my job, a car and a house. I wasn't a low life, not me. But you know what happened? My friends all thought how dare I ask them to pay for the stuff when I had a job, a car and a house and they, by now, had nothing, and one by one they disappeared on me. Go figure.
[Fast forward to October, 2003]
How did it happen? I lost my business, I had to sell my car, and the house has been refinanced to the hilt twice in the last two years to pay legal fees associated with my arrest in December 2002 for drug charges that included transportation, sales, distribution and manufacture of amphetamines. I was having too much 'fun' partying with my friends, having sex and doing whatever I wanted to do to see the train wreck of the century coming over my right shoulder.
At the time I couldn't see it, of course, but Mz. Tina doomed me to the absolute unraveling of all that I had worked for, all that I had saved for, all that I believed that life held for me. OK, I did manage to meet someone special during it all, but if I am honest I spent 14 months in one of the most acrimonious, violent, co-dependent, drug-crazed relationships imaginable. He had a bi-polar disorder, type two, a really nasty thing to have by itself, but when you add in a boyfriend who sells drugs and gives you shots whenever you want, then it really gets bad.
The police have been to my house no less than 17 times in the last 14 months; we have each gone to jail at least three times; and I have spent in excess of $45,000 to bail us out and to keep me out of prison for five-seven years. We have each been to the emergency room at the hospital twice. My last stay was the result of one of our fights, during which he kicked me in the face and I got a detached retina. I am now blind in one eye, and have hospital bills in excess of $9,000 to pay.
You are probably thinking, Boy, this guy is fucked up! and I would have to agree with you. But the point is, at the time all this was happening I was totally on the ball, or so I thought. Yeah, right! I was so out of control, I just didn't see the path I was on was going to get real bumpy, to put it mildly.
I'm now trying to get away from Mz. Tina, and I'm not doing a good job of it at all. Now, at the age of 52, when I should be slowing down and enjoying myself, I am out looking for a job, and let me tell you, jobs that will hire a 52 year old, drug addicted, one-eyed felon are almost non-existent.
Not a pretty picture, is it?