Ignorance is Bliss?

They say ignorance is bliss.  I don’t find this to be true.

Ignorance in my case, was the catalyst to my self destruction.

I remember the very first time I experienced my drug of choice.  I was sitting in a computer chair at my best friends house, and burning a Dave Matthews C.D. to play in my Honda Civic.

I dabbled in uppers and downers, rolled on Ecstasy and played strip poker with random guys on a regular basis.  I was having fun and enjoying my early 20’s, just like every other girl my age. The only consequences I was aware of included waking up in a strange bed with no recollection of the night before, and massive hangovers.  I was ignorant.

The day I took my drug of choice for the first time was an ordinary day, nothing special about it.  I wasn’t feeling sad, angry, happy or depressed, I was just… Bored.

“Do you want a blue?” Brandon asked, taking a drag of his cigarette.  “A what?” I asked curiously.

“A blue.  Roxy.  It’s a pain killer.” He said.

“Oh, um. Sure, what the hell.” I replied.

“Fifteen bucks.” He said, popping open the lid of the pill bottle, his cigarette hanging loosely from his lips.

“Fifteen dollars, what? It costs fifteen dollars?” I asked.

“Yep.”

“Holy shit, are you serious? That thing better knock me the f*** out for that kinda money, Jesus.” I said.

“Nah, it won’t knock you out.  If you don’t have the money you can get it to me later.” He said holding out his hand.  I looked at the tiny pill resting in his palm.  Fifteen dollars was an outrageous amount of money to spend on such a little pill.

It intrigued me.  For that kind of money, it must have some kind of magical powers.

“Have you taken it? Is it good?” I asked.

“Oh yeah, you’ll love it.  Here.” He nudged my closed hand and I reluctantly opened it to catch the pill.

That moment, that tiny insignificant moment, would alter the course of my entire life, indefinitely. 

Had Brandon instead handed me that pill and said, “Here, take this.  It’s $15.  This little pill will turn you into a liar, a manipulator, a thief and a convicted felon.  It will cause you to whither away until you are only a shell of the person you are today.  You will spend countless hours twisting in agony and screaming as the unbearable pain of withdrawal ravages your body. By the time this pill is finished with you, you will have no family, no friends, no home, no money… no life.  You will die inside everyday until eventually you will beg God to actually let you die.  And eventually, this pill probably will be the thing that takes your life long before your time. It will destroy you and everything you love. “ I may have reconsidered.

But that’s not what he said.

He said, “You’ll love it, here.”

I had no idea about addiction and withdrawal.  I had no idea that there was something wrong with my brain, that it was different than others.  I didn’t know I was an addict. 

I was ignorant.

I had taken D.A.R.E. classes in kindergarten, and I had always heard that drugs were bad.  But I always thought that was just something old people said because they were “buzzkills” who didn’t understand the definition of a “good time.”

Part of me wishes I knew back then, what I know now.  That I had said, “No, thank you.” and grabbed my Dave Matthews CD and hit the road.

I would have missed out on so much pain, so much heartbreak and despair.

But it took me taking that wrong turn, to end up where I am today, typing this for you.

It took me being dragged down to the depths of hell, and spit out onto the cold floor of a jail cell, to be where I am now- preparing a speech for my presentation at a high school where I am going to educate the kids about the dangers of addiction.

I am here, today, to tell you that our trials and tribulations are not the end, and in most cases, they are the spring-board propelling us into our beautiful purpose.

My higher power used me, so that I can be an example to others and the choices and mistakes I made will not be in vain.  I will work until my dying breath to show that every life is worth something, and addicts are not lost causes.  I owe it to the universe to put as much good out as I can, because I have been given so much..

People question my decision to talk so openly and honestly about my past.  They ask if I worry about how it will affect my children, and my ability to secure a career in the future.

These are completely valid questions, and my answer is this: I have been to places and seen things that most people would have trouble imagining, I have experienced evils that normal people aren’t aware even exist.  I have danced on the welcome mat of deaths door, and yet somehow, managed to make it out alive. I followed a map written by others who have found the way out, and I’ve emerged from the darkness and back into the light.

There are millions of people still trapped down in the darkness, and I’ll be damned if I’m keeping that map to myself.

Addiction is real, and it’s running rampant in our country.

Ignorant – are the people saying all addicts should die.

Ignorant – are the people acting like addicts are rabid dogs unworthy of love.

Ignorant – are the people blindly spewing hate towards addicts without taking the time to understand addiction.

Ignorance – is our fellow man turning his back to someone drowning in their addiction.

Ignorance is not bliss, it’s a tragedy.

Knowledge, love and compassion, now that’s bliss.

Advertisements

14 comments

  1. Sometimes I believe that we tend to forget about all of the legal things to which a person can become addicted…prescription drugs, caffeine, nicotine. With this forgetfulness, we also do not realize that these addictions are just as deadly, if not more deadly than addictions to meth, cocaine, etc. Thankfully there are people out there like you who realize that ignorance isn’t bliss – that it’s a dangerous road and that work to educate not only are teenagers but anyone who reads their message. Thank you.

    Like

  2. I just started to follow your FB posts. I’m inspired by you and your desire to help others. You are absolutely right, we all need to reach out and help others….and not be ignorant. Keep on doing what you’re doing! ❤️

    Like

  3. Love every word of this I believe that the more of us that are honest about our dirty addictive nature’s the more likely we are to get rid of the stigma associated with addiction. We are people too and we are not in the wrong we are just flawed. Our addiction is the way we found to cope and manage these flaws. We are survivors of trauma and tend to be the strongest most empathetic people out there.

    Like

  4. This is by far my favorite blog post ever. I cried. Tears of Joy…sadness..the thing is if we don’t share nothing will change. Let’s face it too..we can be real with our children and teach them the affects of addiction and what can happen or stay silent? For what?? I’d rather educate my child than leave her completely blind and for her to say later on mom why didn’t you warm me? Educate me? in the end I have no control over her future and what choices she will make..I’m merely a guide for her on this planet called life.

    Like

  5. The date program was a total disaster, if they REALLY want to expose the ugly side of addition they need need to blunt and graphic, more visual then words and posters.

    Like

  6. Thank you for sharing. Your posts help so much. My daughter is in early recovery. Her problems started with a little blue pill too.

    Like

  7. Thanks for sharing your struggle. My brother passed away about a year and a half ago due to an overdose. He was 54. My other brother is incarcerated due to his using and cookin’ up Meth. I thank God he is where he is right now. I want to find an outlet to share with anyone who will listen. I figure if it can save just one life or to let others know they are not alone in the struggle it would all be worth it. But seriously? Bravo 👏 I also want the church to wake up. It’s real, we are out here and I want to scream sometimes, but I’d probably deafen a few 😬. Keep on bringing it!

    Like

  8. Found all of this by accident… thought I was just looking at a funny makeup video.
    God is a gangster isn’t he?
    When I look at my life, all of the crazy, all of the heartache, the absolutely horrible decisions, it doesn’t seem real that I am sitting with my 6 month old daughter in my arms and I havnt thought about a drink or a drug in so long I can’t remember.
    It is only when I pull way way back on the frame that it becomes clear that God has had this plan in the works for a very very long time…. all along. All of the lives and all of the moments intersecting at just the exact right time for this to be.
    It’s incredible, He is an artist.
    An artist, and a total gangster.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s