Carrie R.

carrieDOB: 11/20/57; Manhattan — Mt. Sinai Hospital. I took a lot of acid. I believed in acid. I was very — at first I had a hard time in recovery,
because I thought drugs were different.


There were good drugs and there were bad drugs. I didn’t believe in downs or alcohol. They were a government plot to make us stupid, and acid would open our minds and pot and things. Of course, all that changed. Of course, I ultimately took everything.


I felt different, very awkward. I felt everything hit a peak when my father died. I was eleven and my grandparents both died a couple of months later, and I felt like if I started to cry the whole world would come apart. And I felt like I had to be okay or else my mother would fall apart.


And that’s when I started using drugs so that I wouldn’t have to feel bad. It was something that enabled me to keep the smile on my face and act okay. And I was also going into junior high school and feeling awkward and keep from having to be uncomfortable at all.


It made me,“Kool,” like the instant kool, instantly kooler than anybody, because I sort of, I sought out drugs. I didn’t know anybody who got high and I just decided that I wanted to do it and I sort of went looking. I knew friends, an older brother, who was the right age, I wanted to find drugs.


I did a lot of geographics. I joined the Hare Krishnas when I was thirteen. I had other gurus. I had heroes who were writers. I had heroes who were rock and roll bands. I followed everybody around. I hitchhiked to Colorado because I wanted to stay with these writers and I did. I went everywhere trying to be. I never got into anything halfway. I was always like looking for the experience.


I took a lot of acid. I believed in acid. I was very — at first I had a hard time in recovery, because I thought drugs were different. There were good drugs and there were bad drugs. I didn’t believe in downs or alcohol. They were a government plot to make us stupid, and acid would open our minds and pot and things. Of course, all that changed. Of course, I ultimately took everything.


I always tried to look like I was one with it. I always did good on the outside. My outsides always looked good. I did well in school, lots of jobs, boyfriends, apartments. I could always try to convince people that I was okay, because look at my accomplishments, look at how well I look. But I was always just holding it together. Inside I was miserable, I felt alone, I felt like nothing meant anything to me. People were just props in my life.


I lived in California. I moved there when I was eighteen. I started making a lot of money selling drugs, and I started taking more exotic drugs. With all the money, and maybe I had seen too much, with all the acid I had taken. I started to hurt. Cocaine gave me a nice high, I got into heroin because everything just hurt too much.


And I left California, oh I became a punk rocker, I was always changing my externals. I was a hippie, and then I thought, well, the hippies do heroin, but they don’t use needles. And I am going to be like a violent punk rocker, and sort of like dyed my hair black, and started using needles, and just again that was the kind of geographics that I did. Just change my externals upside down, change my image into making me a new person.


Then I came back East to take care of my mother. I couldn’t take care of anybody. I had two black eyes, a broken nose, and I had black hair, and all sorts of diseases. The major one is addiction and I came back there to get my life back together, back East.


My bottom was becoming a straight person, my bottom was the worse I got with drugs the more I tried to make my outsides, my externals, look like I was a straight person, so I started dressing in really straight clothes. I got a straight job being a secretary, I got a straight bish. He was an addict but boyfriend. He promised me a house in New Jersey, with a white picket fence, and I thought if I did all those things then I wasn’t really in an abandoned building with a needle in my arm.


That was my bottom. I think I lost a lot of things, but really I lost my dreams. Because I sort of always had thought that I was a girl. I could be anybody, I could do anything, I wanted to be a spy, I wanted to be a 1980’s Mata Hari, I wanted to be the first drug dealer to get on the David Frost Show. I wanted to be a movie star. I wanted to be a rock and roll star. I wanted to be a foreign correspondent for a newspaper, for the Times. I wanted to do all these things.


And all of a sudden, what I was doing was I was giving it all up just so I could be a straight person, and then I wouldn’t be an addict. And that was my bottom, and I got my life back. My recovery has been about learning about how I like to dress, what kind of music I like to listen to, what kind of people I like in my life, where I want to live, what I want to do.


I’ve started a business, I made a career for myself. That’s what for me recovery has just been like, finding out who I am and trying to accept myself, being awkward, all the reasons that I started using drugs, because I couldn’t stand not being Kool, I sort of . . .


My recovery has been about learning that it’s okay to be human, okay to not be totally Kool all the time, and the fact that I can be loved or maybe people love me more for being so human and awkward sometime.


October I will have been clean for five years. I think I always was a spiritual seeker. Going to different gurus and Krishna and the drugs that I liked, I even believed, totally believed heroin was a spiritual drug. But I believe that spirituality is learning how to live in this world and be loving, because I live in this world today. I don’t have to like run off and hibernate, meditate, in that way that I used to, put a sheet over my head for two hours a day, which I used to do.


I feel much more spiritual today, because I am able to live in this world and I am able to love people. A big change for me, because like I spent my life feeling that I was different from everybody else, and in fact feeling that it was bad to be like other people, that I didn’t want to be mediocre.


And I finally learned that being like other people or sharing the same feelings with other people is the biggest blessing of being human. I don’t have to be different and I sure don’t have to kill myself to be different.


Click Here for Addict Out of the Dark and into the Light
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