Relapse, the art of self-sabotage.
I made the decision to leave rehab about three weeks ago. In the run-up to my two week stint, I hadn’t injected for over a month. Whether that was due to apprehension of what awaited me in the clinic, the fact that I was on a substitute or simply because I had run out of clean veins, the fact was that I wasn’t at the same stage as the other people there; I didn’t feel that the atmosphere there was conducive to further sobriety. Despite all the warnings from the staff that I was just about to hit the worst stage of withdrawal from my substitute, I left. And I didn’t inject in the three days of pure hell that followed – withdrawal from Polamethadone is truly the worst I have ever experienced.
So why did I throw that all away, barely a week later? With the memory of the pain fresh in my mind, why did I go to the Bahnhof area of this dirty, druggy city? Why, upon seeing my dealer again after two months, was my response a smile instead of the revulsion I had hoped to feel? And why fucking why, after deciding the €40 hit of brown I had taken wasn’t as good as I remembered, did I proceed to inject the next day and the day after that?
The last day was the worst. Crack. Unsatisfactory hit after unsatisfactory hit; €20, then €40; no more veins. I finally stopped trying to get high and then the guilt set in. The realisation that I had once again cleared my bank account when the rent on our flat is due. The bruises, the needle marks. I felt once again that I had hit rock bottom and was mentally chastising myself, promising to scrap all of my kit and tie myself to a chair to stop me going out, when a little voice made itself heard above the babble in my head: “it doesn’t matter if you throw out all of your needles and cut up all of your bank cards. You will still find a way. Let’s not be too hasty, all this talk of never again!”.
Hello, voice of addiction, my old friend. I know you. I have faced you before and I will face you again. I was the victor once, when we were still talking the alcohol game. But when facing the prospect of losing your last vice, you are playing dirty…I am losing strength and patience.