Everyone thinks the life of an addict is so exciting and eventful, like how it’s portrayed in drug movies. You picture dirty junkies running through the streets, stealing from cars and old ladies, drug cartels and gun shots, you picture us with other people, other addicts like us. Truth is, our lives are nothing like those of the junkies in Hollywood— it’s much more pathetic, I’ll still be an addict when that two hour movie begins rolling credits.
Here’s reality; Every day is spent figuring out how to get your hands on $40, finding drugs, doing drugs, hiding drugs, finding places to do drugs, being high, being too high, not being high enough, coming down, going up, hating drugs, loving drugs, hating yourself, being too high to hate anything, making friends, losing friends, dead friends, having no friends, getting sober, relapsing and then finding $40 again. It appears exciting in the beginning but after watching the same scenes year after year, it quickly becomes your least favorite movie.
When you look around you’ll notice the theater’s empty because all of your friends moved onto other movies, the front row now feels painfully lonely. Junkie bonds never last very long and they’re just as unreliable as the drugs they revolve around, when you’re trying hard not to love yourself it’s nearly impossible to love someone else. Once in awhile we’ll give into the loneliness and make an attempt at establishing meaningful connections but they inevitably fall apart like Candy and Dan. Maybe it’s subconscious or maybe we’re aware but fact is, we’ll always love the drugs more. We’re in love with euphoria, we’re in love with the numb and it’s a love so powerful that sometimes we forget about all we loved before. Hollywood has cleverly directed movies which give us false hope that one day we’ll meet someone so incredible that drugs won’t compare, like an angel sent to bring us to sobriety. After having your heart broken a dozen times it becomes obvious that those happy endings were nothing but fabricated lies. There won’t ever be an angel and there is nothing that compares.
The film industry has provided society with an inaccurate representation of addiction, we’re often the villain, the liar, the thief who’s never remorseful, the unstoppable bulldozer destroying everything in it’s path. It’s one of the reasons so many hate or fear us, they watch us stealing candy from babies and pushing down the elderly. In reality drug addicts are usually overwhelmed by the amount of guilt they feel. For instance, I feel guilt after realizing my baby brother’s birthday was the week prior and I completely forgot, or when it’s my aunts wedding and I’m arriving as the reception’s ending because I was stuck in a parking lot for hours, waiting. The guilt is especially heavy each time I look my best friend in the eye and promise her that I’ll stop getting high, only to pick up a syringe before the end of the night. Sometimes I think it would be easier if we felt no remorse for the disappointment we cause because then it would make more sense when we did it ten more times and then five more after that. But we do feel guilty, we do know the hurt we’re causing but we can’t stop.. I can’t stop.
Wouldn’t it be kind of nice if our lives could be like our favorite drug movies? Don’t you wish that we could have our happy ending, maybe be able to quit cold turkey or get a goodbye kiss from a woman as beautiful as Brittany Murphy.. if our lives were a drug movie, the nightmare would be over when the credits start rolling. Think about it.. after two hours we’d be able to live our own lives, leave the theater and choose a different film in a new genre. If this was a perfect world, my life would be a drug movie and I’d end up happy like the Hollywood junkies. Too bad rock bottom only plays one channel and I still need that $40.