Registered: 1495141561 Posts: 2
Reply with quote #1
"I am not alone" is all I can hear upon coming here
It all felt so foolish, so senseless. I couldn't wrap my brain around it. How did this happen? Me? An addict? Impossible. I'm a college student, department head at a good paying job!
But here's where things get real:
The Duster does not; nor will it ever, care.
I mean to steal no flame here, but to share, to get this off my chest, and maybe be a beacon of hope.
I was a smart kid, nerdy, picked on, but I still made it through somehow, parents loved me, I was lucky enough to have a loving mother and an awesome father and stepfather. Typical nothing special kid. High school, got friends, messed around with drugs, no big deal.
As I got older, I became more rebellious, but nothing normal kids don't do, I just had bad luck and the cops always ended up involved.
Fast forward to 23 yrs old.
I found a girl. Beautiful, sweet, funny, and boy was she a drink of water. The Devil. Wears. Prada. Long story short, my first true love crumbles to a heap of smouldering lies, betrayal, theft, and manipulation.
While looking for some sense in the trail of destruction, I met a 'girl' online. Says c'mon over, shes headed home, and her roommate is there. So dude let's me in, we chill and smoke, he pulls out this can of Ultra Duster. At first I was hesitant, but I finally gave in.
All at once, my mind, which is normally a %116 past overdrive, was calmed. It was like a massage for my brain stem. It was euphoric. Then the visuals started, the room rolled backwards, and I passed out. Woke up the next morning, didn't feel quite right, slept half the day. Didn't think much of the whole experience except realizing I got catfished. Guy was cool though, no harm no foul right? Wrong, so, so terribly wrong. This guy had just implanted a time bomb deep in my brain.
In the following months, I did not use it but once, on the way back from a blind date gone terribly awkward.
So back to the gal from earlier, we get this crazy idea that we can make things work. It ended worse than the first time, I saw a snake, knew what it was, danced with it anyways. Things go south, and I start having trouble sleeping. But hey wait, I remember that magic in a can, a few hits from that will put you right to sleep! So I hit walmart, get me a can of Ultra Duster, and sure enough, "sleep" like a baby. This begins happening two or three nights a week, until I realize the amount of cans I'm having to hide. Then I stop, again, sucking on this devil in a can.
About two weeks later, the hotel I worked at was having problems with an air conditioner, I told them what it was and they kept screaming about there has to be another way. I finally fix it my way, drain lines clogged. Boss suggests trying to use the keyboard duster to blow it out. I've been handed the grenade. It doesn't work, but I find another method. I stick the can in my tool bag, and head to my shop, an enclosed building on the exterior of the main building. I decided to relieve a little stress before I eat and do some schoolwork and hit the can, what could go wrong?
I wake up on the concrete floor with an empty can, having fallen from my stool. It's dark outside, not uncommon for me cause I'm a department head, and hard worker, no one questions where I am, their motto for me is "He gets **** done.". Im late to class, I book it and swear to never touch it again. I lied.
I don't know when the addiction started. It's sneaky; and, coupled with denial, it blindsided me.
But the cravings are immediate. Almost as soon as you're able to function, youre grabbing the can. If it's empty, you gotta find more. When you start telling yourself "okay, that's it no more ever again!", it has you by the jugular. You're addicted. At this point you can deny it like I did and proceed to almost permanently ruining your life, or admit it, and do whatever it takes to stop, no matter the cost, cause the devil in the cans will take everything, including your dignity.
Over the next few weeks, I started making excuses to get the duster. I was careful. Only in vacant rooms, never on busy forecasts. I would still get the pleasurable feelings in my body, the helicopters on your ears, the visuals. This was bad. I had an unlimited supply, and these cans were propelling me on the highway to hell.
I started to pass out and violently vomit more frequently. So, I did what any sane person would do. I found me a place no one would ever look, made me a spot to lie down when I took these "breaks" and even made it in a fashion so that If I puked, I wouldn't aspirate. I still wasn't doing it at home though. Somehow I justified it that way, that in I'm working so hard that this is like a well earned coffee break. But I couldn't stop.
I believe at some point they finally caught on, they started implementing new procedures, paperwork, etc. I just faked half of it and continued down my road, telling myself that every can was the last one, knowing I'd eventually get caught. But then they got me an air compressor. We're good right?
Nah, I worked right next to Wal-Mart.
I just began buying duster before work. At which point, I had a routine. Every morning. Get two cans of duster, blackout all day in my little hiding place, rinse, repeat. By this point I doing it at home too. Two cans at work, two cans at home. I would go home, strip to my underwear, turn on the tv, and begin hitting cans, until they were gone. When I was completely out, I knew it was time for Wal-Mart to open, time to re-up.
By this point I knew I was in trouble. I knew it. But I was in denial. I couldn't be addicted to something so simple and stupid. I was blacking out after every second hit or so, falling, turning up in strange places; which is how I got caught. At some point, in some dream state, I walked to my office, and passed out in the floor, where I was later discovered by my manager. Instantaneous termination.
At this point I gave up. Depression grasped the duster firmly when I looked at the mess I had made for myself, and I chose what my feeble mind could think of to do at that moment. I went to walmart, bought two four packs, and lay there in my own vomit, feces, and urine for the next 56 hours until every bit was gone, then i searched my closet full of cans, or the three garbage bags in the corner full of cans, or behind the couch, which was full of cans, desperately looking for one last taste, until I finally pulled on my unwashed clothes and went back to Wal-Mart. I was ashamed. I knew in my heart They had to have known. How could they not have. I was there two or three times a day at this point, diminishing their ridiculously overstocked shelves...this proceeded all day, every day, for three months.
My apartment became atrocious, it was putrid, dirty clothes everywhere, half eaten meals everywhere, flies everywhere, my poor dog, God bless my baby her dad did her so wrong...she had urinated and defacated everywhere, no bath in months, hair matted, not starving but I did forget to feed her often. I wish I could take back everything I did to her. Every time i let her down. I still told myself that every time would be my last.
I lied again.
At some point I financially wrecked myself. I had no money, no way to get money, all my borrowing channels were dead, all that I could sell was sold. I was behind on every bill imaginable, and my back was hundreds in the red. And still all I could think about was huffing, so I continued to use, so I could black out and not see the mess I made, the mess I was living in. I was losing weight, low on food, hair and beard long and shaggy. And I was in the verge of being homeless.
So I moved back in with my father, and he found me a dream job, thinking I'd be able to just quit with this fresh start, that that's all I needed. He had no idea what I was doing. I had made up all kinds of excuses as to why everything had went so south. My aunt, like a mother to me, could have known, she always asked if I was okay and eating right, I'd just make up an excuse and stop coming around here. How could I tell anyone? Only kids do this stuff..i felt pathetic and immature.
And did moving help? No, the duster wont allow it. The only way to get clean is sheer force of will, and people that are willing to play hard ball with you. This stuff is devious, it will sink it's fangs in and manipulate you til you are NOTHING.
My dad caught me my second night back. I almost didn't make it to work at the new job on time. He warned me, preached to me to not touch it, I swore i wouldn't.
Well wouldn't you know..
In less than 24 hours, I was found by the police, sitting in my car in a parking lot unconsious, unresposive, but breathing and coming to slowly. I was arrested, and made the front page of the newspaper. Boy I looked a mess. Long hair, unkempt atrocious beard. I was addiction. I was the picture of addiction. But I was still in denial
Somehow though, no one at my job ever found out. My dad warned me not to mess it up, that that job was too good. I swore I wouldn't. He begged me to go to rehab, I swore I could quit I didn't need it.
I lied again!
Two weeks later, my supervisor found me, unconscious, with the can in my hands, lying in a vacant property..
More instantaneous termination.
I ruined the best job I will find for a long damn time. For a high. I realized that I was hopeless. That I was addicted. That I could not stop. That I would destroy everything I touched as long as I kept traveling this road.
Some thing finally clicked. I finally got it. There is no joy to be found in these cans, they will destroy you. They will destroy your loved ones. I cant say I havent relapsed. I did twice. First time, I got caught, almost thrown out, and was made to attend treatment in some way, shape, or form. I will never forget the look on my aunts face. It was like i saw my grandmother looking through her eyes, dissapointed, sad, tired. So reluctantly, I went to a few AA meetings with a friend. Didn't feel right being there, but I did learn valuable tools and lessons, and am forever grateful to him for letting me tag along. Second time, five weeks clean, I bought one can like some kind of perverse test for myself. I hit it, and the taste was vile. The bitterant which I had grown used to, even perversely enjoyed, was now strong as ever. I woke up with a burn on my palm. It wasn't the same. I couldn't understand what was so great about it.
I emptied the can aggravating the dog by blowing leaves around. Much more entertaining.
I havent bought a can since.
Currently, I'm sitting on the back porch drinking coffee and enjoying a cool, breezy morning. My dog is healthy and happy, laying on the grass soaking up the sun watching for birds and squirrels.
I cant promise the cravings will ever stop, they still strike me here and there. But I've been straight long enough now to reject them, to deny feeding them. You can get there too, whoever you are, wherever you are. Please, put it down. You dont need it, youre meant for so much more, don't throw it away over your own devil in a can! If you let yourself throw your life away over it, think about the piece of everyone that you love's heart you're taking with you.
Do what you have to do to get clean, go to rehab, avoid going to stores, have someone play hardball with you. You CAN beat this. It's all on you though. This is a nasty, hard playing addiction, when you begin to quit, it will make you feel like dying before it loosens it's grip, but you wont die, you'll be stronger once you break free.
You are not alone, what you are doing is not immature, it's not stupid, if anything, you feel so much that you've found a way to feel less, to think less! Don't do it, it's your capacity to feel that makes you special!
I've currently been clean for over two months now. Im just going day by day, have a simple job at a restaraunt, in my final semester of college (through it all i never gave up school). I feel alive.
The cravings have subsided greatly, no longer the roaring beast in my skull, but a tiny something in the back of my brain. The cravings may not ever go away completely, but I walked through walmart today and realized it never crossed my mind while I was in the store. I'm proud.
Please, don't give up. There is hope.
I'm no therapist, but if words from a fellow survivor are what you need, if you are at that rock bottom place, I hope these are a ray of light in your dark time.
To everyone who has shared, thank you so much. You gave me more hope and insight to continue to move forward in my task.
And I'll not forget the ones who have lost this battle, may they and their loved ones find peace
P.s.: if you're considering trying this stuff, don't. It will destroy all that you love.
Registered: 1495141561 Posts: 2
Reply with quote #3
Sweetheart, it took me forever to find the words to say after reading your struggle, your love's struggle. I don't know what I could say to ease the pain of losing him, because for you to endure that... he must have had a heart of gold. I can't say anything to relate; I was on the other side of your battle, but I can say why it had a grip so hard on myself, maybe for insight.
I've always had self worth issues, depression, and anxiety. I was picked on from a young age because I was different. Anytime I ever allowed anyone close to me, I ended up getting hurt, and it added to a mess of thoughts in my brain, "Why am I so different? Why am I not good enough? What did I do to deserve this pain? What's she see in him?(been cheated on and left for other men, A LOT.), Why do I get punished so hard for simple kid mistakes?( my parents were extremely stern, not downing them because I'm still grateful to them for trying to do what was best, even if it wasnt), why does my dad beat me and no one eleven me?( sad but true, I won't justify it, my father has his own issues, but I never doubt these days how proud he is to call me son, so I can forgive him)"
Anyway, these thoughts, they swirl and surface and bubble and build up, I'm always thinking, always critical of myself, always thinking about what others think of me, yknow, "am I doing good enough, what if so and so doesn't like me?" And ass I became an adult and self sufficient, coupled with bills, my anxiety rose to an all time high. Once my future I had planned out with my fiance of two years crumbled around me, I couldn't sleep, I was always thinking. That was the push that shifted my brain into constant overdrive.
This stuff, it takes away your thoughts, what thought is left is more like a dream-state where everything's calm around you(usually, it can have some vivid hallucinations). So it started, for me, as just a quick break from reality that would end it one hell of a power nap. Which is when I started using to "treat" my insomnia, by just hiding and "sleeping" at work.
Put simply; at the very end of it all, this stuff allowed me to completely check out of reality for hour/days/weeks at a time. I didn't have to worry about bills, what Johnny blue down the way thought of me. I didn't have to face the reality that life is hard, that it doesn't always go like you expect or want it to, I was able to just go dark. It was a break from everything. A vacation in a can. I didn't realize I was an addict until I was told if I was caught doing it again I would be kicked out of my dad's, and I still did it again. Had he not caught me, I probably would either still be doing it, or dead.
Cc, I'm so very sorry for you and your child's loss. I'm so so sorry. My heart aches so bad, and I feel so much love for you both, and your departed.
I just want you to know if you don't already, and this is truth the Lord as my witness:
He never ever KNOWINGLY IN FULL CONSCIENCE chose that can over you and his child. Yes, he did have the choice to quit, but I wish I could convey how the cans manipulate you, it's almost like it added an eXtra, devious part to my personality that I had very little control of. Take Freuds take on the "self actualization" stage of development, it's like restarting that all over again, but completely failing. You don't see the addict inside yourself, you see yourself doing something harmless that only affects you, that you can stop whenever, and that you're not addicted. You still love, you still feel emotion, but the can becomes your cure all. Bad day? Pshhhht. Good day? Pshhht. Kids a Rockstar? Pshht. Wife's incredible? Pshhht. And then, when you try to quit, between the boredom of normal life, and the return of having to actually deal with things, you say "one more time" and then you end up on a binge.
He never chose for this to happen, through it all, this was never his intention, not to leave you two, not to let you two down, not to hurt you. His mind was diseased from the first can, and this disease has a special way of blinding you to the path you're taking.
Claudia, I'm so deeply sorry. I'm sending so much love to you and the little one. I hope my words can offer you some sort of solace. 💙