Tuesday, May 7, 2013

When Buck Rogers misses the train. How to die addicted.

Thank the Lord Almighty for death. Nothing kicks addiction faster than killing yourself with it.

When we were addicted, we thought maybe we could manage it. We laid on our bathroom floor chatting with Puff the Magic Dragon about how to break the window bars off our parents' house to get more cash. We double-fisted cocktails while teetering off a Reno curb and calculating how long we could extend our trip and still make our Monday meeting. We chain-swallowed from a Costco flat while scrolling the web for work-from-home that could let us binge all day. But then, if we were lucky, management failed. Puff turned on us and magically made our frontal cranium seem to cave in. We were hit by a taxi. A diabetically withered artery behind our eye burst.

The lights went out. We saw God (or Not God). And then we awoke. Terrified.

Fear of death is one of the few fears stronger than fear of losing our drug. Hear some Word about this from addict-come-interventionist Kristina Wandzilak:

(Disclaimer: Just for right now we refrain from endorsing Wandzilak's Discovery Health channel show, Addicted, because, while tele-interventioning is sometimes handy scare therapy, other times it's sorta Tammy-Faye-with-all-the-eyelashes telecommunications that amounts to sick-sploitation. And we can't swear either way about Addicted. Maybe you can. Regardless, Wandzilak seems like a lovely lovely person, hence her inclusion in the blog.)

What Wandzilak says here about "jumping off points" is truth: addicts almost always must smash kinda face-first into their craggy, seashore-during-a-hurricane bottoms to recover. You basically have to realize you're going to die if you don't stop killing yourself. Genius, I know.

This brilliant insight doesn't always come chugging at us via literal, personal near-death experiences (with the wriggling lady tied down to the tracks, helplessly shrieking, "Help me Buck Rogers!"). Take the transfiguration of former heroin-chic model Jamie King, who got long-term heroin addiction recovery after her boyfriend had a drug-related death. It can come floating down on a sunny walk when we see an elderly couple and realize we may not live that long. Or when we lose our job and know we're headed for the street. Or even when we read some annoying blog that won't shut up about topics we hate because deep down inside, we're scared.

It only takes anything that convinces us there's more risk to keeping our drug than losing it. Lacking that epiphany, the best recovery tool is the grave.

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