Substance Abuse Always Starts Out So Fun
In the beginning, cocaine made me beautiful. I was sexy, unstoppable, desirable to everyone. When I was high on cocaine and alcohol, I could float through a crowd of people like a goddess riding a chemical wave. No one could resist me. Cocaine enhanced me, made me a brighter, better woman. Alcohol relaxed me and made me more outgoing. I sparkled. To me, heaven was a long line of pure white snow and a full glass of spirits.
But then, of course, heaven turned to hell.
At the Crux of Addiction: Money
Substance abuse is always expensive. Cocaine is one of the most expensive substances. And when you’re going through the amount that I was, it’s easy to waste thousands each week. My dealer became unable to keep up with my demands. So I got resourceful. I started selling my body to buy coke. Working as an escort was perfect for me. Turns out, the majority of men who buy women for sex also buy drugs. It was blissfully easy. Meet the client, get high, get naked, go home, shower, go back out.
Drink, Snort, sex, repeat.
Sex, Drugs, and Alcohol: The Terrible Trio
I made the most money because I had no boundaries. I would do anything to stay high. Substance abuse was my main pass-time. Girls, guys, group sessions, bachelor parties, retirement parties, birthday parties. I even did a surprise 40th for one sheepish-looking man and his horrified girlfriend. Clearly, she was an unexpected attendee.
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When you’re working that life, you get to know all the right people. And all the right people had the purest cocaine and the top-shelf alcohol.
Party Girl Turns Hermit
I always had coke. If I ever ran out, more would be just one man away. I remember feeling sorry for my other friends. They had to work hard at a 9-5 job, Monday to Friday, and even then they could hardly afford a bag. Whereas all I had to do was turn up somewhere looking pretty.
But because I always had coke, there were always hang-arounds. People knew I’d be good for a line or two. One night my handbag disappeared at a party, with an 8-ball along with it. So I started stashing my drugs in my bra. But after passing out on the floor one night, that stash got stolen too. I became a recluse, taking clients as in-calls so I wouldn’t need to leave my house.
Rock bottom came, as it always does, early one morning.
I hadn’t slept for almost 3 days and my reflection in the bathroom mirror was scaring me. I didn’t recognize myself. Mascara streaked darkly down my sunken, pale cheeks. My false eyelashes were barely hanging on. My breath smelled of alcohol. I’d just finished a session with a particularly rough client, and my body was aching and bruised. But he was a generous tipper, always left me a bag or two of coke, so I continued seeing him. Substance abuse was taking its predictable toll.
I opened the tiny bag and tipped it all out on the bathroom counter. My hands couldn’t stop shaking; my knuckles were bloodied and bruised. I couldn’t remember why.
I bent my face down to the pile of coke and stuck a rolled note up my nostril. Pain shot through my nose, but I ignored it because everywhere hurt. It just meant I wasn’t high enough.
Inhale, feeling that beautiful burn.
The acrid taste hit the back of my tongue, dripping down my throat. I always savored that feeling – for me there was no higher satisfaction.
Closing my eyes, I smiled.
Then something wet hit my lip.
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Blood and Redemption
Blood started pouring from my nose.
I grabbed handfuls of toilet paper and pressed it up my nose, trying to stem the bleeding. I was terrified, but not because of the blood. I just didn’t want to waste any of my coke on a nose-bleed.
So I stuck the blood-soaked paper into my mouth, sucking hard on it. The tissue fell apart on my tongue, sliding down my throat like cold oatmeal.
I sunk to my knees with my hands cupped under my nose, lapping the blood off my palms as it streamed out.
At that moment, sitting on the floor of a dark bathroom, drinking my own blood, I knew I needed help. My body was sore from sex with strangers. My nose wouldn’t stop bleeding. My head was pounding. The slightest knock on the nose would set it off again. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d had a decent sleep or meal. I didn’t eat. I’d lost too much weight, the tiles of the bathroom floor cutting into my badly bruised knees.
I was tired. Tired of using, tired of being used.
It’s Possible to Leave the Bad Behind
That was four years ago. This morning I was on my knees in a new bathroom, cleaning spaghetti sauce off my son’s nose. The orangey-red color stained both our clothes, but I didn’t care. I just licked the leftover sauce from my palm, laughing.
Sometimes, rock bottom isn’t such a bad place to be. It can turn you around, and send you right back up to the top.
If you are struggling with substance abuse, please call. 800-910-3734