I remember back in 2010, before I decided to become a meth addict and after I left Tony, the day that I decided it was time to live on my own again. It was such a surreal day, walking into my sun drenched studio on Pine Grove Ave. From my window I could see the Chicago Cubs sign that glowed above the entrance to the bleachers section of Wrigley Field. In fact, when there was a night game, the bright lights illuminated the hallway of my building, casting unusual shadows on the imperfections of the plaster walls as I approached my door after a long day of cutting hair. Looking back, this is when I created a new identity that somewhat still defines me today. It’s the beginning of an era when I stopped worrying about what people thought of me and started to love myself. Up until this point I was still that scared little boy that hid in the shadows of insecurity an uncertainty. Recovering from the wounds inflicted by life, becoming a target for someone like Tony to sweep down and catch as prey.
I really miss the guy I was then. He died forever when I moved to Rogers Park and met what I can metaphorically refer to as “The Devil”. This label can easily describe a few different things that lead to the fall of the strong man that I was starting to become. The Devil could be Marc, Peter, Mike Northwestern, or the evil life changing drug itself: Crystal Meth.
It’s 2017, and I was able to escape death by a narrow margin. I sometimes don’t know why I did survive the fate that I truly welcomed at one point in time but I did. the things that I saw, the other things that I did and those experiences will haunt me forever. My innocence was taken from me, something that I will never get back. I’m happy and proud to be the man that I am, but a huge part of me will always wonder who I could have been if I never hit that pipe. If I never stuck that needle in my arm, who would I be today?
My boyfriend today has a similar background. He has felt the pain I have felt, and along with that pain comes the pleasure too. It’s hard for me to think about that too long. I don’t want to think about the man that I love being in any of the truly immoral situations I was ever in. If I’ve had an infinite number of sexual partners then the truth is that he probably has also. My thoughts get preoccupied on the idea that I will never be good enough, that I could never be better then that high. Can two addicts recover together or will there always be this demon lurking in the dark part of our being that will want to come out and try to sabotage the love that we have for each other? Is this real? Did I really find the man I am going to be with forever, because that’s what it feels like. It feels amazing. It feels scary.
I’m going to continue to move forward down the cracked brick road of recovery. Maybe I did loose my innocence through the process of self discovery and had a taste of the dark side, but that has made me who I am today. Who knows, maybe the desire I have always had, the desire to self destruct will never return now that I fed the thirsty part of my tarnished soul. Now I can focus on being the best boyfriend, brother, teacher, uncle and son that I was meant to me, because I already know what its like to be the worst and I never want to meet that man again.