Once we switched our attention away from getting high and learned how to stay sober, we quickly realized that if we put at least one percent of the same effort it took to get trashed into other areas of our lives, the results were astronomical.
All of my friends—each and every last one of them—are junkies. I’m not talking about your run-of-the-mill junkie. You know the one: steals your purse and helps you look for it. No not that kind. Not even the one that bangs four bags of boy then tells you five minutes later that they’re dopesick so you help them out by splitting your shit. Not that type of junkie. I mean yeah, they meet that criteria, but I’m talking about the other type, the been-there-done-that kind of junkie.
All of my friends have been to hell and back. They’re the type of junkie that society labels as hopeless. But for whatever reason, they’ve found a way out of their living hell and have begun living and pursuing a life worthwhile, a life greater than anything imaginable. Any goal they set, anything they dream of, it comes to fruition and then some! It’s unbelievable, very encouraging, and, from my experience, it’s very contagious. Words like: seductive, attractive, inviting, enticing, alluring and captivating come to mind.
They’ve entered into a lifestyle that appears to be nothing but hope to any outsider looking in. So much so, even “normies” wonder what the fuck my friends are on. It’s next-level type shit.
I bet you’re wondering why I still refer to my friends as junkies if they no longer get fucked up. It’s a valid question. Why would someone call their friend a junkie when they have years sober? Why would someone use a word that carries such a bad connotation when describing another individual that they themselves currently see as the opposite of that word? Why the hell does Walmart only keep two check-out aisles open on a Saturday afternoon?!
To answer that first question, let’s break down the word “junkie.”
According to Webster:
noun | junk·ie | \ ˈjəŋ-kē \
a narcotics peddler or addict
a person who gets an unusual amount of pleasure from or has an unusual amount of interest in something
Okay, that first definition sounds about right. My friends sure as hell qualify as addicts/alcoholics. They also know how to acquire and distribute their drug-of-choice quite successfully until that dreaded day comes where they break the cardinal rule, “don’t get high on your own supply.” If you’re a junkie like me, then you know we have another term for that rule: “mission impossible.”
Now, let’s take a look at what good ol’ Webby had to say in that second definition: A person who gets an unusual amount of pleasure from or has an unusual amount of interest in something. Sexy, right? Did you hear it? Did you relate when the word “unusual” appeared twice in that definition? Did something deep inside you begin to stir when the words “pleasure” and “interest” hit your shot-out way of thinking?
I hope so. If you’re fucked up the way I am, then you felt something. I also know from a personal collective experience that once my friends and I got sober, the world became our oyster. What I mean by that is, once we switched our attention away from getting high and learned how to stay sober, we quickly realized that if we put at least one percent of the same effort it took to get trashed into other areas of our lives, the results were astronomical. It’s like a one thousand percent return on our investment. Crazy, right? Sure. Sounds like bullshit? Fuck yeah it does. It took me a while to grasp it, understand it, appreciate it and then cultivate it.
When I see the word “unusual” appear in that definition I can’t help but laugh. I know that my friends and I—or any junkie I know, for that matter—are far from normal. When I think about “pleasure” and “interest,” I think about all the dreams that I had shit on in the past as a result of the bridges I burned. Now, those dreams have come back, I have goals that appear to be attainable, relationships that bring my life an overwhelming amount of joy, and opportunities to take part in unimaginable endeavors. Sound good? Sign me up!
I geek out over music. Since my money ain’t going to the dope man anymore, I’ve been able to create some really dope recovery-based music. I’m a music junkie. And I got friends that have turned their attention to their physical health and wellness, and they’re seeing amazing results. They’re fitness junkies. I got this one friend who’s got the “lick” on all the best spots to eat around town. I mean you can pick an ethnicity, voice your preference and he’s got a spot for you. My little, hipster, foodie junkie. He’s adorable.
Do you get it now? My friends and I are still junkies. We find ridiculous amounts of pleasure doing the things we love and pursuing the things that interest us. We enjoy it so much that you might call it unusual. Crazy ass ex-dopefiends turned into super-cool people.
I know we all have a million stories of where we’ve been and what we’ve done to get high and stay high. I know what it’s like to be in rehab and exchange “war stories” with the guy next to me. After a while it gets old. If you’re a repeat offender like me, then you know it gets old really fast when you check back in and hear the same shit again. It’s the same story with a different face. I get it.
Having said all that, I want to let you in on a little secret: I’ve solved my existential crisis that I’ve always run into when trying to stay sober. I never found my purpose before, that “something” that brings me an unusual amount of pleasure… until now.
It’s in these stories. It’s in the telling you, the reader, what my junkie friends and I have done, where we’ve been, what we’ve seen, what we’ve felt, how we’ve died, how we’ve lived, how we’ve found relief, how we’ve recovered, how we’ve relapsed, how we’ve come back and how we’ve survived one day at a time. If The Fix allows it, I’d love to share with you some of these “ghost stories,” as I lovingly refer to them these days. It would bring me an unusual amount of pleasure to get some of this shit off my chest and outta my head.
I want to let you into my world, tell you why “All My Friends Are Junkies” (and I’m pretty sure all your friends are, too). I want to take you through drug court, through my first time in “the rooms,” through my first love in recovery, through that heartbreak, through that first relapse after believing I’d be a one-chip-wonder. I want to take you through that probation violation, that geographical change I thought would help, and holy shit, I want to bring you to that six-month inpatient rehab I went to that turned into a 13 month stay, the place I “loved so much” that I went back for another six months. I want to tell you about the relationships I made in these places, the fun we had, the crazy cool road trips we took. I want to tell you about all the musical gigs and the junkies I met there. I feel like recovery has brought me around the world while my lifestyle of addiction brought me to the deepest darkest areas of Satan’s ass crack. I want to tell you about that too.
So for now, I’ll leave you with this: If no one told you today that they love you, fuck it, there’s always tomorrow.