ARCHIVES:

Posts in this section were archived prior to February 2010. For more recent posts, go to the HOME PAGE.

Archived Letters

Saturday, March 27, 2004                                                                                       View Comments

our addictions were killing us separately

Hello. I have been reading the material on this site now for about a week. And I think it's fascinating. You sir, know your stuff, as far as I can tell. You have obviously searched high and low. And somehow... until a few years ago, I was married to a fundamentalist Christian. And at the time I myself was an active drug addict, so you can imagine the fireworks that sometimes went off in our house.

I had lived in England for eight years and had had much difficulty with heroin while living there. I did what many addicts do, what's called a "geographical,” and moved back to America. I tried to straighten up and fly right. I stopped using, I got a real job (I’m a musician), and I got married. She was the prettiest girl I’d ever seen. She was obviously troubled by a lot of things, but then again, so was I.

She wasn't Christian then. We were dating and sleeping together. One day I went to work, and by the time I came home, she had gotten a bible out, and prayed to Jesus to come into her heart (I’m sure you know the drill), and become saved. She was constantly going on about it. And she wouldn't sleep with me anymore unless and until we got married. I didn't like the Christian thing one bit.

It seemed fearful and punitive. It just couldn't be right. But she was immovable. And I loved her. And I couldn't see any reason not to marry the woman I loved just because she loved Jesus. I married her. The story of our relationship is long and kind of ugly. But let's just say that there were a lot of disagreements. Along the way, I got saved too, because I wanted to do right by her, and she and her friends were VERY persuasive, and I had started to be harassed by thoughts that regardless of MY reservations, THEY might be right.

For a while, I found some relief from myself. But nothing really changed. I had no spirituality really, and no tools for living. And I was still just as damaged and unhappy as I had ever been. Maybe more so. I certainly found nothing but a lot of unhealthy hypocrisy and dysfunction in the churches I went to. I really needed and wanted some meaning in my life.

But after a sustained attempt to believe, I still felt like all the Christians I knew were just a bit simple minded and fooling themselves, to be blunt. Then one day I met a dealer. A drug dealer that is. I got high, and once again, I was "fixed." It got bad quickly. My wife was praying and witnessing to me, but I could tell that her friends thought I was just a filthy drug addict. And she began to feel that way too. I felt that she was delusional. And that religion wasn't helping her or me; it was making us more unhappy.

I know it wasn't ONLY my drug addiction, because she was unhappy BEFORE that. Basically, our addictions were killing us separately. But mine was much, much faster. And I was DOING SOMETHING ABOUT MINE. Everyone at church loves a good, pretty Christian girl and NO ONE loves a junkie. But I was checking into rehabs, and going to AA meetings and really trying. She didn't find any of that necessary. And she had a support system for her pathology.

I was on my own. One night, after a relapse, I went to her and said that I really wanted to find a way to make our relationship work. I asked her what we could do. I was at my wit's end. Out of ideas. And quite honestly, I needed for us to connect, person to person, love each other as humans, and find a solution together. I had never been more vulnerable in my life. She turned to me, and with a look of absolute rage, she said, "what the fuck do you care?" And that was it. I threw her out.

And the day she left, I embarked on the scariest drug journey that I had ever taken. There was no wife, no job, and no hope. I was shooting heroin and cocaine every 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for five months. In the end I was skinny, shot out, bloody, dirty, sweaty and crazy. DYING. In my madness I found myself staring at a ringing phone, unable to answer it, because I was convinced that it was Jesus calling to rebuke me. Then, I overdosed. For the LAST time.

I was found in my car, in a parking lot, and taken to the hospital, where I was revived. And I took a look at what I had become. A pathetic loser. And I realized that I would have to take action, real action, to turn my life around, and keep it going that way. And that NOTHING FROM OUTSIDE ME WOULD EVER EVER SOLVE MY PROBLEM WITH ME. That was almost five years ago.

And I must say that I am NOT an atheist. Nor do I subscribe to any religion. But through action-- I have discovered that there IS some force or some kind of intelligence that somehow helps me. It is much much too elusive to describe, and it wants nothing from me, other than to ask it for help, and to help others in small ways. In my view, you are doing the same.

I guess I find what one might call god in the "somehow.” "My life was a catastrophe and then somehow..." it surely is a mystery. And NO preacher, imam, rabbi, guru, or whatever, could ever give it to me. I’m still on my own in that regard. And I wouldn't have it any other way. COURAGE TO FACE MY OWN FLAWED SELF WITHOUT TAKING THE EASY WAY OUT.

I still speak to my ex-wife occasionally. She’s drinking, dating pathological assholes, and trying to find her way. She’s modified her beliefs, but she's still a Christian. She’s got Jesus, and I’ve got my "somehow." The difference is, that I am comfortable in my own skin. She’s not. It’s kind of sad. Thanks for reading me.

Andrew
thingmail at aol.com

(THING™ the most mesmerizing rock group on this planet.) Sorry, I HAD to plug the band, part of the new me.