Most people who know me know my struggles with addiction. For those of you who know me and didn’t know, well, now you do. Congratulations. You’ve unlocked another facet of Zandria.
Anyway, back then you couldn’t have told me I was an addict. Nope. I went from recreational cocaine use to habitual use to addiction, and, looking back, the progression seemed to occur in a very short amount of time. But you couldn’t tell me I was an addict. I worked two jobs, went to school, hung out with friends, ate little, slept even less, but it was all good because I was functional. My mother was an addict. She ate, slept, and breathed crack cocaine. Me? I could do without cocaine. A few days here, a couple of weeks there, no big deal.
I was not an addict. I had my shit together. Addicts sell their bodies, their souls, their children’s clothes and toys, and sometimes…their children…to chase that feeling. And oh what a feeling it was. It did get to a point to where it seemed I couldn’t function without something running through my bloodstream, something other than blood. Whether it be coffee, cigarettes, food, ecstasy, marijuana, soda, sugar…SOMETHING. Anything to keep me UP and going…the marijuana was to bring me back down.
Why do alcoholics and addicts throw their lives away in pursuit of a feeling? Is there another more subterranean need, deeper and more pervasive than the need for the immediate rush of the substance, that informs the whole enterprise of addiction in a more comprehensive way? Is coming apart, self-destruction, seemingly so unhealthy, an impulse that seeks “health” of a different kind…? A strange, mysterious health not yet defined in the context of our strictly positive notions of growth and development,
I couldn’t just quit. I was expressing a repressed need that craved self destruction. As my favorite rapper, Joe Budden, said in his freestyle, “Self-destructive, I love it, anything that abuses me amuses me.”…truer words have never been spoken, especially in my case. Looking back, I can say that can apply to my past relationships with men and with drugs..and sometimes these were interchangeable and not separate beings. If you really know me, you know exactly what I mean. There were people in my head that wanted me dead. It’s complicated; I’m uneducated. Too educated. I’ve been told all my life that I’m too smart for my own good and God help me, I still haven’t yet figured out what the hell that means. I think too much. I’m a sensitive soul and my self-destructive acts are merely echoes of a larger global catastrophe. It’s not me, it’s my brain chemistry. I’m trapped in the grasp of archetypal patterns of behavior and misbehavior.
As you can see, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. But my lack of certainty regarding causation is not a case for meaninglessness. It’s quite the opposite. A lack of certainty clears the place where meanings fill, full of meanings, bursting with questions and today it occurs to me that my suffering resides only in my certainty about its source, that there’s joy to be found in moving along.