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Functioning Addict

Posted: August 22, 2016, 6:42 AM
You hear the stories about functioning addicts "he's a lawyer and he does heroin", "she's a doctor and she loves coke". The occupation part is easy to admit to, I'm a full time worker with a degree, I'm a law student - the addict part is harder to admit.

I'd never heard of synthetic weed before my boyfriend introduced me shortly after we met. That was 3 years ago. He rarely smokes it. At first I thought it was rubbish, I love REAL weed, weed's allowed - doesn't affect me the next day, yes it's illegal but a really normal girl from work delivers it and it's socially acceptable in many circles (mine). I don't have a problem in terms of needing to "wake and bake" - I just like to get high after a stressful day. Some people have wine, I have weed. It wasn't an every day thing, not even an every week thing.

I'm not sure how things spiralled out of control the way they did, obviously at some point I decided I liked synthetic weed or maybe I just decided it was a whole lot easier to buy (the girl from work stopped dealing). It seemed cheaper, a couple of tokes and BANG. Then it started to feel like maybe I needed it more often, then I needed it every day. Initially I went to the adult shop myself, I didn't care if they knew I smoked it. I didn't think I'd see them all that much. Then they started to get friendlier and I started to feel a little bit embarrassed, not even the adult shop workers smoke the stuff. The people I saw in the shop, scary. But still, that wasn't me.

I started to get my partner to go in for me. I would make beg him to go in, I'd take him the shop, give him my card and watch him go in and come out with just what I needed."Get the bigger bag, it's stronger". The amount of housework/cooking and other tasks I have done to make sure he will go into the shop for me is ridiculous. His vice is beer so offering to stop in at the bottle shop and buy him a six pack has worked at times. Putting ridiculous guilt trips on him. Begging. Crying. "This is the last time". I've said that too many times to remember. It never is. Not for long.

I've stopped several times, at one point it was months - literally months and I'm not sure what sent me to that shop again. Most likely a drunken decision that many would refer to as a "relapse".

Earlier this year, I smoked a brand I hadn't had before. I started to panic that I couldn't breath, my partner wouldn't listen. I started screaming that I was having a heart attack. He wouldn't listen. He made me beg and dangled a phone in front of me asking "Are you sure you want an Ambulance", "Are you sure". I was sure. Very sure. I was certain I was going to die and I was sure there was something wrong with me. The Ambulance turned up, I just wanted to be taken to hospital and sedated. They stuck the sticky white things to my chest, too my blood pressure and tried to calm me down. They tried to tell me I was having a panic attack and I would be okay. I didn't believe them, I forced them to take me to the hospital. I begged them not to put me in the normal waiting room and somehow they were so lovely that they didn't. An hour went by and I realised - I'd just had my first ever panic attack. The most terrifying experience of my life.

After that I was terrified of synthetic weed but it didn't take long before I decided I needed "test it". I kept testing it - at first I became panicky and nervous but it didn't take long for my tolerance to return and my brain to stop torturing me for the first few seconds of every "session".

I keep trying to quit but my brain plays tricks on me "life is so boring", "you need to relax", "everything is okay in moderation", "it's not causing you any problems", "work is better when you're a little bit 'stoned' over from the night before" etc etc etc.

The only thing that has stopped me from smoking synthetic weed in the past 4 days is because I had weed. The sad thing is, my synthetic abuse has changed by natural weed experience. I once prided myself after years of smoking weed, all I needed was a little toke and I was ripped off my head. Not any more. Now, I could smoke a quarter in a night if I really wanted to and not get very high, more just a heavy chest from smoking too much.

I keep thinking about synthetic weed - bargaining with myself - "tomorrow because...", "tonight because you're stressed", "just get Mr Functioning Addict to get drunk, then he'll get it for you". I keep telling myself it's not an issue. I keep telling myself I can afford it. I keep telling myself it's recreational. I keep telling myself "you're functioning fine, people like you more when you're vague and hazy".

It's 8:39pm, I'm still thinking maybe I should drop down to the shop. Maybe if I force myself to go in myself I'll have to be accountable for my actions. Let's call this day 1.

I own a house, I own and drive a car, I manage a household, I work every day, I study law. I have clean teeth, normal clothes, I don't know if anyone suspects what I do in my spare time. I hope not. I'm an addict.

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