Wish You Were Still Here

In some twisted sense of circular logic it felt like I was paying for the privileges in my life with servitude to cocaine. I wouldn’t have wished withdrawal on my worst enemy, and would have given up everything I had in my life to be able to just live one week free from pain and sickness. When you spend two years trapped in a haze of vomit, joint pain and minimal lucidity, nothing makes sense and everything makes sense all at once.

I started doing coke because I had no reason to believe anything bad would ever happen to me. I had gone through 17 years without ever facing the slightest amount of hardship. Looking back on it, I was bored and wanted to create some conflict in my life. I had a the G-rated version of a death wish, if there is such a thing. My “friends” practically fell over themselves trying to connect with a dealer that would keep me in plenty of white powder. When one got caught and went to jail, another would gladly fill his place—I was a very good customer.

When my parents found out what I was doing, they treated it like I stole a car and went for a drive past curfew. They started saying how “stupid” cocaine was and how only “losers and morons” get caught up in it. They assumed that that would be the end of the conversation, now knowing that they had a newly born “loser and moron” in their midst, one who was perfectly happy with that role. I went merrily on doing coke for about a year after that. When I started looking for a way out, there was no exit to be found.

It was my best friend who had convinced me to finally get help. How did he do this? He died. I knew at that moment I’d found the conflict I was looking for and wanted no more part of it. My parents only learned the depths of my problem when I plead with them to get me treatment. After my best friend’s funeral, I checked myself into a luxury drug rehab program and never looked back. I came close to leaving my program three times, but the image of my best friend laying there lifeless kept pulling me back.

After I left treatment, I stopped talking to all of my old friends and was determined to set up a new life away from everything that could possibly pull me back. I do not know if my story is typical or not. I just know that I have been clean and sober for the past three years and that is how I intend to stay for the rest of my life. I am happy to have a life and to be alive. I just wish my best friend was still here.