I Want to Feel Better

There are two common questions I’m asked; two common answers I’ve spoken more times than I can count.

Why did you start using?

Because it was fun.

Why did you keep using?

Because I wanted to feel better.

Even if I didn’t feel bad, I wanted to feel better. Always bigger, always better, always more.

So when I was with Luke the other day and he asked, “Why do you keep doubling up on your meds?” I wasn’t the least bit surprised when “Because I want to feel better” came out.

That’s what everyone wants, isn’t it? To feel better. To feel good, all the time.

It’s no wonder an addict’s mind can’t differentiate the regular bad days from the end of the world.

And that’s my problem. My addict takes over when I don’t feel 100% and I just want to feel better.

I don’t know how to feel normal anymore. If I have a runny nose, I should take more Suboxone. If I have a headache, I should take more Abilify. If I’m anxious and cranky, I should take more Celexa. If I yawn I take more Suboxone. Everything that isn’t absolutely perfect is obviously a sign of withdrawal and I need more medication.

That’s how my mind works.

I honestly don’t remember why I started using in the first place. I remember the first time I smoked weed. My friends did it and it looked fun so I tried it. The first time I did coke it looked fun. The first time I did heroin I had already done nearly every other drug so why the hell not? I don’t remember trying to self-medicate or having any underlying problems that drove me to the bittersweet arms of narcotics. I was simply surrounded by them and they seemed fun.

When I think about it, I’m sure there was some sort of underlying issue that drove me to want to feel better, but at the time I didn’t realize I felt bad. I just wanted to have fun.

Now that’s over. Now whenever I have a craving or double up on my dose it’s not just because I want to have fun — it’s because something isn’t right. After being a heroin addict for so long, my body has gotten itself used to self-medicating every single time something feels off. I can’t handle not feeling perfect anymore. Even though I’ve been sober for years, it all comes back to me when I don’t feel well. Obviously the solution is to take something (or more of something).

This is the problem I have with my medications. They’re not working the way I’d like, so I take more. I know I shouldn’t take more. I know it’s dumb to take more and I know I’ll run out sooner and actually withdraw and everything will suck and it’s the worst possible idea I’ve had in a long time.

I just can’t stop myself from aching to feel better.