I’ve been reading up a lot on addiction, mainly on the commonality of familial theft among addicts. I remember feeling that feral. I remember feeling high strung, all my muscles and nerve endings alert and prepared to pounce on the next opportunity to drink or smoke weed. Only when the object of my affection was attained could my body relax. If guilt settled in, I pushed it away. Only the lecherous thoughts were allowed to linger.
We’re all pretty broken, though I don’t see my addicted self that way. I see her with a forked tail, horizontal goat pupils, tangled long hair, and breath like fire. I left a plume of smoke and destruction beneath my feet; I hurt the ones I loved the most.
Only discovery made me a pitiful, groveling thing.
Wait – that’s not true. There was more than one night, more than one party, where I shoved myself in a corner instead of in the middle of the action. If someone approached me, their eyes red but friendly, I would snarl like like a feral child. Language escaped me. I was a broken sort of monster doll with no ability to pick myself up off the floor.
I feel detached from that girl now. I felt so much as a girl, so many strong emotions that I eventually replaced with a substance. When the substance was gone it took a long time for me to get back to that girl that was so full of wonder. Some of my friends and familiar places became more poisonous than alcohol. I had to be quarantined. This is one of the reasons I am just now continuing my college education at the age of 33. Imagine someone trying to heal from addiction in the sloshed halls of a dormitory? Some might be strong enough, but I knew that I wasn’t. I’ve come back as an adult, a bit stronger and a bit more wise. But I am still broken. I hear stories told by the younger students, and I often feel pity, remorse. I feel no thirst for what they have.