I laid on a jail issued mat. On a slab of iron. In an assigned cell. The light never turns off. The white cinder block walls only further emphasize this detail. The toilet is stainless steel and always ice cold. An unfortunate fact for me, because I would be spending a lot of time on it, and hugging it. I could start to feel my pupils enlarging. The sweat building on my back. My legs start to kick around, like they had a mind of their own. The idea of food repulsed me, yet the guards insisted on bringing that bullshit to the chow slot at every prescribed meal time. My bones start to become like a fragile lead. Heavy as hell, yet so fragile feeling that my arm may actually just crush if I lay on it too long. I would break out in the coldest of sweats. And then Burn with an almost boiling heat. And back and forth I would flop. Lay on my back, lay on my side, stomach, back, side. Sweat. Freeze. Pain. Panic. The thoughts that go through one’s mind while in active withdraw from heroin are nightmarish. Fear, panic, despair, and ruin invade every compartment of my mind. I had burned all my bridges, screwed everyone over. No one was coming to bond me out, so what’s the point of even having a bond? This cell would be my home for the next few days, before I was transferred into general population- that should be fun. There is no sleep for me when I’m withdrawing. Only 3-5 minute spells of the lightest unconsciousness, from the fact that my mind cannot take anymore, and simply needs to shut down. I will not be sleeping for at least 3 weeks, this much is certain. Unless, of course I some how get out and can get my hands on a bag and a rig. That’s not going to happen. I had just been booked into jail for theft, possession of paraphernalia, residential entry, and possession of stolen property. Three felonies and a misdemeanor. And more charges were certainly coming. Forgery, theft, theft, and more misdemeanors for sure. I was spinning. I had burned myself and my life around me to the ground. My family didn’t want to help me anymore, friends?-Yeah right, what friends? Every person I came into contact with was a potential victim to my deranged and insane kleptomania, doing anything, taking anything I had to take- to get what I had to get. And a really insane aspect of this disease is this: I knew all this, I knew I was burned out, at a bitter end. And all I could think about was one thing: getting out and getting another bag. And that’s the compulsion and obsession that is at the core of the disease. I knew it was my drug problem causing all these horrible consequences, but to me, the juice was still worth the squeeze. Another shot would make all the pain go away and I knew that too. I was fixed and obsessed with the very things that were destroying my life, Me and drugs.
One would think that an experience like this would be enough to stop someone from using again, and in some cases, it does. But not me. Most of the time, a jail or prison stint would only get me back into a physical state that another run on the hamster wheel would require. My tolerance would drop, the color in my face would return, my mental sharpness would regenerate, and I could once again hit the streets in search of new avenues, new victims, and new means of getting what I wanted. That fix. That pain, followed by a hot lava feel that would wash it’s way from my left arm, down my legs and up to my brain with a pins and needles feeling in my face that would wash away all the guilt, all the fear, it would wash me away. For a minute.
I would lay and flop around like a fish out of water, every fiber of my physical self screaming for a shot. Covered in goosebumps, throwing up every 10 minutes, and in full on panic mode for about a month