I am a Heroin Addict.
I am closer to death than I have ever been.
I am also closer to wishing someone dead than I have ever been.
I wish I had never found it.
Though it’s never let me down.
I wouldn’t curse my worst enemy with this addiction.
But every day I grab another needle and slide it gingerly into the small fragile veins on my arms, hands and feet. Feel the reassuring give as the metal cuts through the venous wall. Pull back gently on the syringe plunger… And watch, entranced, my blood fire back into the barrel, as if rushing to meet an old friend. Dancing elegantly, as only fluids can, they mingle, sparkle, intertwine; like lovers in their first naked embrace. They hang for a second while I adjust my grip. Then gently I push honey-coloured, bitter-tasting, beautifully bewitching liquid into my vascular system where it runs to every cell in my body in seconds.
The first time is, of course, the best and, by Fuck, should someone say to you: “Etch the rush you’re gonna feel into your mind as deep as you can ’cause you will fucking chase it for the rest of your life!” Like nothing else I’ve ever felt: a juggernaut of joy to the head, a hurricane of home comings, like all the love in the world it’s possible to feel at once, like angels screaming out your fucking name in dire chorus.
The tears well up as I write of it. For never will that feeling come again; and every time after that I tried to feel it again, spent another twenty quid, dug another hole, the rush was tainted with the knowledge that it’ll never be like that again.
Doesn’t stop you doing it again, though… and again and again. Once you fall into that loop it’s as if you press pause on your life and the rest of the world goes on. Your only thoughts are how to get more. Families and friends move on while you fixate on this strange substance.
I didn’t care for years. It made me feel strong, special, calm, cool and collected. All the things I wish I’d been, or maybe never realised I could be. I spent much time hiding my class A substance abuse; sitting quietly in public and private toilets, squats, and other stinking misery-pits desperately chasing the happiness I had found, briefly, in the arms of this siren.
Was it worth it, though?
I hope that when I have finally fought my way through this forest, beset on all sides by wild beasts, that I will be the best man I could’ve been.