This blog entry was inspired by a friend of mine who recently shared his good-bye message to his addiction.
It's been one year since I last used you. I can say that my occasional weekend love affair with you is over now. I wish I had never met you through a stranger on that website I used to frequent; I didn't know who you were until that night. You kidnapped me, and for 7 years from the age of 25-32 you kept coming back to haunt me sometimes many weekends in a row, sometimes months in between last seeing you, and one time as long as 6 months without you.
Depression, anxiety, disgust, disappointment, fright, and loneliness; these were all feelings you gave me. You weakened me. You diminished my spirit. You were very controlling. You took a shy boy out of his shell and gave me superman powers, and made me very outgoing. You and the site I met you on played on my vulnerabilities. I WAS powerless over you. If you could have had it your way, I'd be dead right now. You didn't succeed in that mission, thankfully.
However, you succeeded at a few things. Because of my love affair with you, and my lack of judgments when using you I became HIV+ and contracted hepatitis C; though I never stuck you in me. You found another way to give me hepatitis C; And an underlying heart condition I have worsened. Using you again, just once, could kill me. I will not give you the satisfaction of my death; I am not ready to die.
Other than robbing of my health, you also robbed me of intimacy. Over the 7 years that you rolled in and out of my life -- I didn't know intimacy. To this day, you have taken that from me. I question if I can ever be intimate with another human being again. Time will tell, and hopefully I will get that back from you one day. That is the lost connection I miss most.
My departure from you was bittersweet. I knew I couldn't separate from you without intervention. I sought the help from CMA, NA, psychologists, psychiatrists, and even an inpatient dual diagnosis drug treatment facility. I needed to rid you from me and unclasp the grip you had on my mind. I did what I needed to do to stay away from you. Do I still think of you, yes? Though, now you are just a horrible memory to me and I will NEVER pick you up again. I have the tools and self-will now to say no to you.
Like I said, our departure was bittersweet. I do thank you for some things. You gave me reason to quit you when I found out about my dual diagnosis. You have given me a voice to speak about my experiences, strength, and hope living with HIV and hepatitis C; and the ability to speak up about you and your cunning, baffling, and powerful behavior. I defeated you in that I cured my hepatitis C. I wasn't going to let you win that battle. Though, now unemployed I needed to do what was healthy for me at the time. While I loved my job in NYC, you gave me the reason I needed to leave and live a healthier and more productive lifestyle.
I have found new direction in my life, a purpose to want to live and make a difference in the world, and a new found freedom without you in my life. I have no doubt that great things are on the horizon for me. You brought me closer to my Family and especially to my ill Mother awaiting a lung transplant. Every day that I am alive on this earth I will rise up, stand out, and speak up about you, HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C; you have given me a platform to do so.
You will never be given the satisfaction of seeing my die as a result of using you again. I have defeated you. Goodbye!
Are you dealing with a drug addiction problem? E-mail me and I will help you find resources in your area to stop the madness in your life.
Send Kevin an e-mail.