PostCards From Hell

addiction

addictionOn November 23, 2012, I wrote a post titled Satan’s Favorite Drug Ever – Meth. I had been writing on this blog about different aspects of my marriage falling apart up until that point, but I had skirted around mentions of drug use, pornography, and physical abuse that were suddenly prevalent in my life. I don’t know if it was some twisted attempt to protect my loved one, or even just to spare myself the humiliation of being so weak, I couldn’t seem to walk away. I only know, the night I wrote it, the words were raw and unedited. I showed the world a picture of my reality, warts and all.

The funny thing is, someone had recently told me, my posts were much too long and I needed to work on cutting the word count down. Satan’s Favorite Drug is a whopping 5498 words long, which is a far cry from the optimal 500 – 1000 words recommended. It didn’t matter. I wrote it without worrying about traffic, keywords, or visitors. I wrote it for myself and a specific set of people out there who would find their way to that article because of our shared experience. I guess I had hoped to be some kind of beacon of light for the other people who found themselves casualties of meth addiction, whether as users or as the ones who loved them.

I specifically kept this article about meth. Anyone who has any experience with drugs and drug users can attest to the differences in this drug compared with the other most destructive ones – cocaine and heroin. They all destroy lives, but meth seems to be particularly personal about everything it consumes, including extreme changes in personality (which destroys relationships and causes problems in the workplace), complete lack of empathy or compassion (which ensures the user will stay alone), an exhausting pursuit of pleasure in any form (risky sexual and other physical behaviors), a psychopathic disregard for those they once loved (particularly devastating for parents, spouses and children), and finally, a self-loathing that runs so deep, few people recover from it, despite the length of their sobriety.

I know many addicts, some who have been hooked for decades, and it is clear, my personal experience with a loved one’s addiction to meth was extreme in every way. The real tragedy I found in writing this article was just how many people found themselves embroiled in other extreme meth addiction-tainted lives that smacked of the same unbelievable nightmares I had found myself dealing with. And for each of them, the numbers and statistics meant nothing to them when they found themselves trying to save someone who didn’t want their help because love is supposed to be able to conquer all. When it doesn’t, the grief, guilt, and regrets are tremendous. Addiction is a disease, but the cruel irony is it can’t be treated against the sick person’s will. You simply cannot save someone who doesn’t want to be saved.

I added this page because people still leave comments on Satan’s Favorite Drug Ever – Meth and on the follow-up piece The Devil Made Him Do It. I wrote the second one because I felt a responsibility to explain some of the very clear co-dependent voice I had when I first wrote about the meth problem. I had hoped to help a few people, but the sheer number of hits that post gets daily is a genuinely sad testament to how widespread this problem really is.

This page is where I put the comments of others who found their way here. For me, the comments are like little postcards from various realms of Hell On Earth. They share a brief summary of their own battlefront, often feeling isolated and alone in their pain.

My heart goes out to every person who has found themselves heart-deep in an addiction, whether themselves, or in the life of someone they love. Thank you all for sharing a glimpse into your world, and for stopping by to visit mine.

At the bottom of the page, you will find a contact form. If you would like your own postcard from hell put on here, feel free to fill it out. Sharing makes all of this so much easier.

~ Bird

POSTCARDS FROM HELL:

“I read your story in complete fascination as i came upon it during a search for answers on some personal experiences i had with the drug. All i can say is thanks for sharing your journey and although it’s a devastating drug I believe God users all things to teach us and mold is. He has a plan for everyone and everything happens for a reason. Trials and tribulations develop perseverance and character. God tells us he punishes and disciplines those he loves and i pray you and your family find whatever God intends for you to learn from your experiences. Peace love and understanding to you and yours Bird. A sister in Christ , God bless you, keep you, and make his face to shine upon you. ~ Danyahel”

“Bird, from beginning to end you made me cry…first because of the pain and in the end because of your strength, courage and honesty. I have had my moment with meth and a man too and what it took from me is small in comparison to the gifts it gave me. Thank you for being you and for sharing your story. ~ Deirdra”

“Hey bird,
I found your blog today and am so glad I did. I married a man I met in AA when I was 19 years old. I fled in fear about 9 months later when he (not acting himself, but then what else was new lately) threw our 3 day old baby up into the air and caught her. It would be several years later that I would find out that I lost my husband to Meth not schizophrenia. I was convinced that I had witnessed the quick mental decline of a schizophrenic adult. Later a friend would reach out to me via social media and tell me the story of what happened to my ex husband after I left. He was using Meth while we were together and that downward spiral is a story all in itself. Over the years, I have managed to keep a distant, anonymous eye on his Facebook page. Between that and mugshots.com I am able to keep track of the man who used to love me more than life itself, but who became the man who said he would kill me, and our daughter. He said he had bullets with our names on them.” ~ Dana

“Bird,
Thank you so much for sharing your story. It resonated deeply with me, as both me and my fiance got ourselves into a lot of trouble when abusing drugs- not meth, but that doesn’t really matter. I’ve read some of the descriptions of Chef’s behavior that you provided, and it freaked me out because of how FAMILIAR a lot of it sounded- the secrecy, the denial, the alienation, the madness. I’ve been clean of all those drugs for almost two years now, and my fiance is in a drug abuse correctional problem right now. I printed out you story to send to him, as I find it very valuable, and if anything good could ever come out of someone’s suffering, that would be a lesson for me, him, and all of us out there whose lives were affected by drug use. I hope that everything is working out for you and Chef now, and God bless you. Peace!” Anastasiya Astarte Kvit

 

“I’m not religious, but I completely understand the sentiment that meth is the work of the devil. I’m a meth addict. Current, past and probably future. There is no way out of the hell that meth creates. Ironically, it is nearly sobering to look back and see what I’ve done with my life and what I’ve done to others, including my parents and family. But not sobering enough. Meth takes hold, slowly but surely, and sooner or later you become dependent on it, not for sex, not for the high, not for the rush, but simply to live. All else becomes secondary. Those who stand in the way or try to intervene will be brushed aside.

I live in what is perhaps the meth capital of the nation, San Francisco. I literally cannot walk down my own street without being offered meth. In this environment, staying sober is not just challenging but nearly impossible. Friends have lost their lives to meth, my social circle is completely composed of addicts and my world has been turned upside down. What seemed unthinkable a year ago is now so common I don’t even give it a second thought. But it happens so slowly, so insidiously, that there’s never a definite turning point – it just evolves. Any you get used to it, numb to the effects, not just of the drug but the effects on your life. Relationships ruined, jobs lost, housing abandoned… I never thought I’d be homeless, not with my college degrees and social status, but when the time came, I wasn’t even phased by homelessness. As long as I could still get my fix, life was fine. How depraved.

Yes, I’m a meth addict. I may not be proud of my circumstances, but perhaps I can be a warning call to others. People think it’s just another drug, a party drug, like ecstasy or cocaine. Its not. Meth kills.”~K.R.

“Been there done that. Walked in those shoes, took them off and threw them away. Funny it was back in the 70’s and that BF still does meth. Sad but true. It certainly is the devils drug. It is hard to realize there is nothing we can do with someone like that no matter how much we love them. On a side note I got a notice from a family member, their music teacher and her husband were killed by their 27 years old son. He beat them with a sledgehammer which is what he was doing when the police got there. He was on meth. It really IS Satan’s favorite drug and he has soooooo many followers. Stand Strong.”~ NotsoFancy

“How much your story mirrors my own just scares me. How many others are suffering as well? Watching the person you love slowly die in front of you is horrible. I, like you, stayed quiet & tried to get him to stop while walking on eggshells. So many nights were spent waiting for him to come home, but scared what I’d find if he did. If I have learned anything I agree with you – I would tell someone in the beginning stages to get support & get out. Easier said than done I know. The chaos & destruction meth brings into a home is indescribable. I wouldn’t believe my own story if I hadn’t have lived it.” ~ Hope

 

“Thank you for sharing! I too was married to a meth addict. We called her “annie” after the anhydrous that is used to make her. I despise annie now and then. He died in 2007 from a heart attack. Second cause of death was years of meth use. The mood swings and hatred of me was excruciating. SO many journals filled with tears. SO many years of sorrow, my depression and unhappiness while trying to hide it from others. Now I don’t want to speak ill of the dead but cringe when people talk so positive about him. He left me with 4 boys. I am recently remarried and happy. The anniversary of his death is still very difficult for me because of the memories….that date is tomorrow 12-21. Thank you for letting me see that I am not the only one feeling the feelings. Have a Merry Christmas!”~ Darcy L.

“I swear I have read your story over and over again! It hits so home I’m in disbelief ! I can’t even see straight cause my eyes are filled with tears!” ~ Teresa

“Ok – have read Birds latest comments . My summary thoughts are

– do not contact him, feel sorry for him, pity him. These emotions , pity in particular , can indicate you are trying to rescue (read control) him. Will keep you sick, even if you don’t think so.

– focus on you Bird. This is now all about you, how you feel, what are your real motivations for contacting this guy still. You need to be very, very honest here or you are on a “highway to hell” (love AC DC!)

– the cheating that he exposed you to cannot be excused in the context of his addiction . You only saw the surface of his cheating. I spent thousands on prostitutes when in alcoholic madness , but that behavior and the damage it caused to my significant other at the time cannot be excused by “Brian was an addict – it wasn’t him”. He cheated on you, stole from you – move on. Move on means no contact for 3 years . 3 years is a manic number – enough time for both of you to transform your lives .

– you seem to be insightful / intelligent . That can be a curse , as it forces over analysis which leads to inaction and lack of change . You cannot think your way into right living , only live your way into right thinking. Start with your behaviors , your actions , your routines. Don’t visit this bloke – cut him. Your feelings / emotions will change after your behavior does , then ultimately you will come to a clear position around where you sit with yourself , the relationship etc – but start with healthy behavior .

– get out if ur head :)! Mix with healthy peeps, have fun.” ~ k

 

T”ake care . Good article , shows what addiction can do, and also demonstrates typical co dependent behavior patterns of affected spouse !…” ~ Brian T.

“I’m against the War on Drugs completely. It has been one of the most colossal waste of taxpayer dollars and law enforcement resources in American history. Meth is a horrible drug and really shouldn’t be used by anyone. But we shouldn’t be locking people up in jail for it either and giving them criminal records. And making it very difficult for them to get good legal jobs. When we could be putting meth addicts in drug rehab at their expense and on their health insurance instead. And at some point eliminate the meth market all together. Not by putting people in jail or showing them they do not want this drug.” ~ Rik S.

“As a recovering meth addict, I want to say thank you. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a more accurate account of what we addicts put our friends and families through. You had a tough break there but the way you handled it and then overcame it just tells me you’re made of some pretty stern shit.” ~ Nellieknowsall

“You don’t know me, I stumbled across your blog as I was looking up some info on meth, but I HAD to reply. As I was reading I was just so broken….finally I found someone who I could relate to. See I’m engaged, and my fiancé is addicted to meth. I’ve known him over 20 years, and have loved him almost as long. He’s struggled with this drug in the past, but had sobered up and that’s when he finally felt ready to marry. Unfortunately, the drug reared it’s ugly head, again, and our engagement has taken a back burner to this horrible, devastating drug. Of course, at first I was determined to stand by him and work it out, but reality is beginning to set in, and I’m having to come to terms with the fact that I just don’t stand a chance against that drug. I’m dealing with so many emotions…..guilt, because I feel like I’m giving up on him, embarrassment, anger, disappointment, overwhelming sadness. I want to thank u soooo much for your honesty and transparency on this blog. I just want you to know that after reading this, I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m fighting a losing battle, and that I need to walk away! Once again, thank u, I just felt you should know that you have made a difference in a very confused and conflicted life!” ~ Trina

“My God I read your story. I almost thought I was reading all about me and my Tamils. I thought I was the only one with a horror story. As I know first hand my bill went to prison 5yrs I truly believe his brain will never be the same. He still Bates me as well as our kids. Bill was my only friend and we will never be the same like u day by day u just try and get through a day. If I can with out another horrible dream then its a good one. I was with my bill about 30yrs. Married just one time about 20 or so yrs into the relationship. I loved him dearly I guess I always will. I was 16yrs when we met. I’m 51 now that sick empty feeling in yore gut never ever gos away. The closest to having my bill back is when I have a dream and he is so sweet. I even wake up crying but I will always feel for my one and only true love. Thankyou so much for sharing your story.” ~ Diane

 “I went through all the excuses with my ex. It was my fault he cheated (TWICE!), it was my fault he was depressed, it was his bosses fault he hated his job…and I also dealt with the Enemy through all this and it was just easier to agree with the ex and the folks at our church who kept pushing for reconciliation and counseling than to ask them when the EX would be held accountable for his own choices. I finally had to come to the realization that while I can’t control his choices, I CAN control me own. I chose NOT to stay and play the good little submissive wifey and put up with being treated like crap. After he left the second time (he walked out on our ten year marriage the year prior to this final straw), I let him go and never looked back.
It’s so NICE to know that I’m not the only one that made excuses. Hope things are looking up for you!!” ~ Dr. Shay West

“Great post, and it is not fair that you had such a raw deal. 

I agree that meth is evil, but I do not believe in either Satan or God. In a way you are still condoning what your husband did. The truth is, the devil did not make him do it. I understand addiction, too well, and was a user myself, every day for around seven years, but everything I did, I chose to do, and it is important that I realize my own responsibility and accountability for it. 

Meth brings out the worst of us, and even though it might appear to change us completely, it doesn’t really change us that much. We do what we nned to do to get our drug, and all our loved ones suffer because they happened to be in the way. But even though we have no control of our life, we know full well what harm we are doing. 

I had to make the choice to stop, by getting the help I needed, and to do whatever was required to ensure that I didn’t hurt my loved ones anymore. If I can do that, I believe that any person who truly loves and cares for you could have and should have done the same. The fact that he did not reflects on him as a person, not Satan, and certainly not you. 

Maybe it brought out a part of him that wasn’t apparent before, but at the end of the day, the evil here lies in the heart of man… Chef. Not the drug. Not the devil.I hope you can learn to live with this, and I can assure you that it does get easier as the years go by. It’s similar to losing a loved one who died. You don’t get over it, but you do get used to it. What works for me is optimism, and living for now, today; making the best of what I have and focusing on making the best future for my son, one that will never involve meth or any other drugs.” ~ Jerome 

“Meth takes everything leaving just a walking shell of what used to be a person. Move on, save yourself – it is all i can think about.” ~ inesephoto

“If I could hug you, I would. And so very tightly. Not only because of what you have gone through but because I am literally going through the exact same thing with my fiancé. The man I’ve loved for years and have 2 children with. Someone who I never thought could be what meth has made him to be. I am in the beginning stages of learning that it isn’t my fault and that I cannot save him. You put it perfectly. It’s as if he died but there’s no body to bury. When he died he took a part of me with him. Now all that is left is what I believe is a demon whose consumed and taken over his body. I just can’t tell you enough how much your story is helping me cope to know someone else has gone through this in the exact same way. I just wish I could hug you. I need it more than ever.” ~Josie

 

“I experienced dealing with a meth user, my boyfriend, we were going to get married, we were really close at one time, but I noticed he started to drift apart, never knowing he was a meth user before I met him, never had experienced meth, I just thought he just didn’t know what to do with himself or me, he always hid it from me, to this day, June was the end for us, talk back again in July and August, only to be mistreated, he beat me up, I am carrying his child, he doesn’t want to talk to me and he doesn’t believe me, I am learning to deal with it, but I have to leave him alone cause he chooses meth over me along time ago, he blames me for us not being together, still saying he doesn’t use, he lives in a meth house, well I went through everything what you did, I need someone to talk to. ” ~ Cecelia S.

 

“Hi Bird, thanks for visiting my page, it lead me back to you.I appreciate your willingness too be vulnerable with this post. So many of us hide behind our “I’m fine” mask. I can relate to both sides. Yours and Chefs..I’m a recovering addict of 17 years. I write books and blog about addiction, and addiction in the family. Check out I NEED to get high – an addict’s perspective. I’m sure you’ll relate, but more importantly, you’ll understand. Addiction is a FAMILY disease. One on one it wins every time. The main thing is to set healthy boundaries, get an education and support for YOU and please, don’t drag the kids through this. They will only grow up and repeat the cycle. You’re a great writer. I look forward to reading more of your posts.” ~ Lorelie

“I’m a tweaker. An active drug user. I’ve ruined myself, my mind, my body, my friends, my partners, my family, my employers.. I’ve ruined everything I’ve touched. But I can’t stop. Meth is hell. But please don’t give up on him, he’s responsible but not culpable. He’s not the bad guy, it’s the drug that’s making him a bad guy. And he may not be able to stop. If you need to save yourself from him, that’s OK. But make sure he knows that you still love him, you love the person underneath the meth, you love him despite the meth. But don’t hurt yourself in the process. Meth users – myself included – are manipulative and abusive. But we’re also real people. At this point in my life, I’m broke, I live on the streets, I’ve lost my friends, my family, my partners, my job… I have nothing left to lose. And when you have nothing to lose, you continue to use. Because, who’s left to care? Show him you care. It might just save his life.” ~ Anonymous

“Thank you for this. I know it is an old post, but this is something I am dealing with now. I am constantly trying to make sense of it all–yet I know that it is senseless. The man I love has been “gone” for about a year; he is not at all the person I know–that man, as far as I am concerned has died. The man I know would be appalled by the things he has said and done, and by the way he has been living. It has been hard to move forward without him, especially when every once in a while there is a glimmer of hope, But meth has gotten such a hold on him that rational moments are few and far between, and any progress made is quickly undone. Thank you for sharing your story and offering some insight to help me move on. “~ melissafreels

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