An Everyday Struggle
A Windsor High student tells it like it is in the battle to overcome addiction
April 20, 2022

Addiction (n) - the state of being enslaved to a habit to such an extent that its ending causes severe trauma. Addiction affects every person either directly or indirectly; for me, it was both. I was fifteen when I first snorted Crank, and eight months later, I smoked it for the first time; and the instant feeling I felt after I blew out the smoke is still indescribable. It was a sudden burst of energy and happiness; it felt like nothing could have brought me that time anyway.

My reason for knowingly trying a drug that could kill me was because my problem with my own weight. Everyone around me told me that I wasn't fat, that I was fine, but no matter what their words were, I still saw fat all over my body. I tried every diet, every exercise, everything that I could, but I was still 40 pounds overweight. I heard from a friend that the crystallization in your lungs from Crank, caused your stomach to feel full, even when it wasn't. I saw Crank as my last chance to lose weight

A few months after smoking Crank on a regular basis, witnessing a few friends' run-ins with the law and a few pounds lighter, I tried Crystal Meth for the first time, and I was sold. (Crank and Meth are technically the same drug, fitting under speed/dope, but they are prepared differently and crystallize differently) Crank seemed dirty and disgusting, and it was, while meth was like a breath of fresh air, crystal air. Now smoking Meth on a regular basis, I met a few characters, fell in love with someone I didn't expect to, became -$700 in the bank from an old dealer and was awake for days.

Six months after I first tried dope, I lost 40 pounds and was gaunt. My family and friends who did not know of my drug addiction questioned me constantly, and I kept saying I wasn't on drugs, I was just finally eating right... The week after my 17th birthday, I weighed in at my lowest point that I could remember, and could fit into a size one jeans.

Going from 185 pounds and a pant size of 12/14, to 145 pounds and a size one, was the greatest accomplishment I felt, I made while on Meth. But for some reason, it wasn't enough. I then wanted to be able to wear a size zero pant size, believing that I would finally be happy if I reached that point. Maintaining my weight became an obsessive compulsion for me, I would weigh myself at least 3 times a day. But I couldn't lose any more weight, no matter what I did, I stayed at 145 pounds, and it drove me crazy.

Determined to get to at least 140 pounds, I literally starved myself for 7 days, smoking more and more, to keep the hunger away. Sure, in my mind I wasn't hungry but my stomach was; the hunger pangs were so excruciating I would drink water or try and sleep it off, just to ease the pain, but it only got worse. While sitting in a restaurant in Reno with two friends, my stomach was hurting so bad I finally gave up on not eating and was literally starving. I ended up passing out from malnutrition right before the food was brought to us, 45 minutes after we ordered.

In May 2007, my best friend, with whom I smoked everyday, got arrested, and I was pretty much all by myself with my addiction, and it was hard. When I started smoking Meth, I avoided all of my friends who didn't use it, and disapproved of me using it. After a few months of my using, I got tired of their lectures about what the hell I'm doing to myself, and how they were afraid that they were going to lose me. It annoyed me that they just wouldn't let me be, I knew they only lectured me because they cared about me, but being spun out on dope, gave me the sensation of not caring. At that time, all I really did care about was when I was getting the next bag.

Dope is known for making users not care about anything. Occasions that I would have cared about if I was sober, suddenly meant nothing to me. I watched my best friend, who used to smoke with me but got clean, fall to her knees sobbing, pleading me to stop using Meth. I watched her at my feet as she told me that I changed, that I wasn't the person she became best friends with, that Meth made me a completely different person than who I once was, and how she was afraid she was going to lose me forever. I felt a slight tug at my heart as she looked up at me with tear-streaked cheeks and said she wanted her best friend back. I just looked at her and turned around and walked to my car to get another bag.

Looking back on that day at the skate park, it seems like something out of a dramatic movie, rather than in reality. But that's the sad thing about changes people into monsters. If I was sober that day, I would have sat right next to my best friend holding her and crying with her. But I wasn't, and I did one of the worst things I have ever done to a friend of mine, I turned my back on her, and walked away to do exactly what she didn't want me to.

In the 18 months I was addicted to Meth, my friends saw me in my sober times, spun out times, good and bad times, and my coming-down times. Coming-down was the one thing I was scared about while smoking Meth, aside from gaining weight again. Coming-down is another word for withdrawal, and you did not want to see me when I was coming-down. It generally takes three days for Meth to get out of your system, the third day, being when you start to feel the withdrawal stage kick-in. But for me, I was smoking Meth to a ridiculous extent, spending at least $120 a day for a bag, that I would be coming down within the hour after I smoked. When I was coming-down, those were the times I spent by myself, afraid that I was going to emotionally or even physically hurt one of my friends.

After smoking meth for 18 months, my mom found out about my addiction and immediately entered me into Drug Abuse Alternative Center (DAAC) a month before my 18th birthday. I have DAAC classes every Tuesday and Thursday for an hour and a half and am required to go to at least six meetings (Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, Crystal Meth Anonymous, etc.) within the three months that I am in DAAC. The rest of the week I have school, night school, as well as my job. The schedule is maintained to make sure I have no free time to go out and get some dope.

My addiction to Meth has become somewhat of a well-known "topic" at school, and it makes it nerve-wrecking to see someone that gives me a look like, 'I know what you do'. People who aren't personal friends of mine, who haven't seen my struggle with my dependency on this drug, immediately see me only as a drug addict, not a person. It hurts but I realize that they haven't tried to step into the shoes of a drug addict, and I don't blame them, it can be a scary road; but I do blame them for not seeing me as a human being with flaws just like every other. I now carry the burden of being a drug addict, and some people don't realize how much it effects me and my struggle for sobriety. Most don't want to be able to relate, or understand where I'm coming from, letting their ignorance get the best of them, as well as the best of me.

Overcoming this addiction is an everyday struggle, and no one can truly understand Meth's power, unless they have experienced it first-hand. I want to stay clean, I just can't handle what this drug is doing to me, and the people around me. If I relapse I can't help it, since I was addicted to Meth in the first place, I will succumb to a relapse at least once, it is expected that it will happen. But if I do relapse, that doesn't necessarily mean I changed my mind about becoming clean, and it doesn't make me a bad person; it just makes me a person with a bad addiction. Most people don't realize that fact, and see a relapse as a sign that I don't want to be sober. My mother fears everyday that I could relapse, I already have once. But the way she saw that relapse was, "You better not have another dirty test. You relapsed once, that's it, you don't need to again." I don't want to smoke Meth anymore, I don't want to hurt anymore of my friends or family, I don't want to hurt myself by smoking. But no matter how much I don't want to, no matter how much I just want my old life back, nothing can ever be the same, and no one can tell what tomorrow can bring.