The Struggle to Stay Clean

I’m currently 46 days clean as of writing this post.

I have hated every day of this. I never hit that crucial point where I wanted to get clean, like most people do. I just knew I needed to, and as I saw my friends getting arrested one by one, I realized that I was going to end up in the same situation if I didn’t sort myself out. So I came home, confessed to my mom, and asked her to take my keys so that I wouldn’t be able to leave and seek out dope.

This is what kept me clean for so long. This is why I’ve made it 46 days in. But of course nothing is that easy; I’ve spent these 46 days thinking almost nonstop about drugs, hitting moments where I would have taken anything I could have gotten my hands on – hence me getting into my mom’s purse to steal her suboxone. Now, I’ve made a new friend. Or, rather, I’ve reconnected with someone I’ve known for over a decade.

Bobbie* has lived on my block pretty much my whole life. I met him when he was 12 and I was 9, when I became friends with his younger brother in my class. We never knew each other well, but we interacted here and there. Now he’s an opiate addict, heroin being his drug of choice. He’s not a bad guy – he’s been through a lot. I know he’s got a good heart, and he seems like deep down he wants off of this shit, because he knows if he doesn’t stop it’s going to kill him. I’m honestly scared for him.

Bobbie knows dealers in my town. I came back home because I didn’t know any dealers here, so no matter how bad my cravings got, I wouldn’t be able to relapse. Bobbie messaged me a couple days ago, asking if I needed dope. Of course, I’m still an addict, as much as I try to fight it – so I hardly hesitated to say yes. Some shit went wrong though and I got fucked out of my money, but he’s supposedly trying to help me make it back. That’s not my real worry with Bobbie though.

The problem is that Bobbie is trying to talk me into trying heroin. He’s been telling me how great it is, how it makes all your problems melt away. He claims he knows how to get good smack and help me hit a vein (because I suck at it) without it killing me since I’ve never done H and have no idea what my tolerance would be. I promised Sydney I would never touch heroin; it’s how he lost his mother, and Jeremy was an addict from 13-16 years old. There’s reason upon reason not to do it, but Bobbie has me tempted. I want my pain to go away, I’m tired of feeling empty, suicidal, and feeling like I have no idea who I am.

I still have one thing to keep me strong though.

A promise.

This is my fourth time trying to quit. The first and second times, I only made it two weeks before I relapsed. The third time lasted for one week, which may not sound like much, but when you spend 6 days out of the week twacked out of your mind, it feels like forever. All times but the first, Sydney and I had promised each other that we were going to quit. And the third time I relapsed, we relapsed together. Jeremy just dropped a fucking rock in each of our palms when we were all hanging out, and we were up and darted out the door to my car before you could blink. We sat and cut lines on the back of some video game cases, and snorted a line together. I’m still certain that was the highest I had ever been, especially off a single line. It was some fire shit, and it was a huge fucking rock so I had a pretty big line. The third time I relapsed was while Sydney was off at rehab; Daniel’s* mom messaged me, telling me how she had no way to get around so she could get her food stamps in groceries. She told me she hadn’t eaten in three days, and that there was no dope in the house so I should be fine to come back. I should have known better. As soon as I got there, she had me take her to pick up her boyfriend, who immediately doped up the cat; as soon as I found out he had dope, I asked if I could have some before I realized what was coming out of my mouth. I had a line cut in front of me and up my nose before I stopped to think, and by then of course I didn’t care. By the time I left a week later, I was to the point that I’d done 3 shots and 6 lines just in the last day. I binged harder than I had before, and my needle usage didn’t get bad until that week. That was the last time I did dope.

Sydney is one of my closest friends, and he truly means the world to me. He’s the one who convinced me to get clean, and we have a strange understanding of each other. He likes to send me rap lyrics for me to analyze and dissect (and I tend to reply with an essay long analysis of how he relates to it), and honestly based on what lyrics he sends me I can figure out with 99% accuracy, according to him, what’s on his mind or how he’s feeling. Other than that, he doesn’t often speak a whole lot, other than to give very good advice. I’ve learned that Sydney is always right. If you read the Acid Trip story, Sydney was the Man in the Red Jacket – and you always listen to the Man in the Red Jacket. He’s always been the one reminding me to maintain, to eat and sleep and drink water while I’m tweaking. He’s been the one telling me what I need to do to fix my life and comforting me when I’m having my constant emotional breakdowns, and he’s always right. He’s the only person to help me prevent an anxiety attack, even when he’s not there. He can talk me down and remind me to breathe and thinks straight. He lets me ramble and be needlessly excessive with my words when I’m hardly talking about anything to begin with, and actually reads everything I say, bullshit or not. He has a patience with me that I’ve never received before in my life.

Today, I told him everything going on with Bobbie. He didn’t get angry; instead he reminded me of everything I would be risking. He told me to remember the bad as well as the good when I think of the old dope days, he told me to remember how bad off he was at the end – only 120 lbs, covered in wounds from picking, and always obsessed with getting dope. He told me that he’d always be by my side as best as he’s able, and told me he cares about my health, whether I do or not. If anyone keeps me sober, it’s going to be Sydney.

And if anything stops me from relapsing, it’s going to be that promise.

“Also, remember how many times you’d promised to quit with me? Make this the final time and kick this shit”

My strength may waiver, but my friends’ strength does not, and I will stay clean this time. If I don’t, it’s going to kill me.


*Names changed to protect the identity of those involved

2 thoughts on “The Struggle to Stay Clean

  1. 46 days is amazing! the only time my son ever made it that long was in jail. He died. Please don’t die! I have learned that most addicts are just very sensitive, intelligent people. I think people born with these traits also have brains that rewire to drugs more quickly and more deeply. You are valuable; remember that. And, DON’T try heroin! It will kill you.


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