I created this blog few years back, to anonymously share my feelings and maybe lessen the guilt & pain I’ve been carrying around with me for quite sometime now. Well, atleast that’s what I’ve been telling others, to share their feelings, to let go of the hurt, the emotional baggage, and hopefully i think I’ve helped a few weary souls (atleast that’s what i think) along this long road.
I haven’t ever really shared much about myself with anyone, i just feel scared, insecure, to be judged by others. I’ve worked as a grief counselor, substance abuse counselor, ptsd support, and i always tell others to free their hearts & minds, to open the shackles they’ve been bound to, but I just couldn’t do it myself. So hopefully here I’ll be able to share myself without any inhibitions.
So i guess I’ll do it from the start, i was a smart kid at school, not the one who got good grades, but the one who tried to understand things intricately. My dad was an electronics & communication engineer in the Royal British Air Force, and he would bring his work to home, i never saw him free, he’d always be working on something or another, be it some faulty gadget, or some new project, he’d always keep himself busy, and i grew up playing with things that normal people don’t usually even know about, he had taught me how to open up things, how to work with the electronics, how to use a soldering iron, not many people would allow their kids around high voltage & electricity and i remember getting shocked a few times fooling around dad’s stuff, but anyhow i survived. And one more thing, my dad was a brilliant mathematician, he used to help me with my school work and at times my teachers would ask me how i knew things that even they weren’t fully aware of. But i somehow despised school, not really the school, but their way of work, the educational system, how most of the teachers tried to cram-forcefeed the syllabus without even trying to make us understand the basics, i hated exams, why sit their for hours and write and fill up papers, what use would that be in real life ? But somehow i got by & i think my teachers respected that about me, i never scored good, or even above average, but still i was considered the smart one in the class and the nerdy “A+” grade kids hated me for that. But somehow i never got bullied, i was kinda big, the tall one, and i think that’s what kept the bullies away from me, or maybe they thought i was too weird to be messed with(maybe some other time I’ll post another story from my school days, when the whole school was evacuated cause the teachers thought my science project was actually a bomb). But anyway i had a good childhood, i graduated and my teachers said that i would someday be a famous scientist or an inventor and make them proud, but i was into boxing, started playing in high school, local matches. But my parents didn’t like this, they wanted their kid to be like them, study hard, get a couple of degrees, have a “normal” life like theirs and this is the only thing that i blame my parents for, maybe if they hadn’t imposed their own selves on me i might have turned out different, but, well they had one kid and they wanted the best for me. So anyway, i enlisted in the army, i was selected and sent to Afghanistan on a UN peace keeping mission, later on i toured through Iraq, Iran, Egypt & few African nations while on duty.
I was young, made new friends there, but i never understood the army, where you just have to blindly follow the orders, you can’t question your superiors, you just do as you’re told, you’re told to shoot and you’ve to shoot, kill someone you never even knew, you don’t know who that person is/was, was he/she even good/bad, idk, you just kill ‘for the greater good’, as fun it was to shoot in air or at paper targets at the range, your perspective changes when you shoot a real living being in the head, i was just a murderer, a legally correct murderer. And when i just couldn’t follow their orders anymore they dishonourabley discharged me.
Finally i was back, but not a hero, more of a disgrace to our family and my country that I couldn’t serve by not killing people they deemed wrong. I thought I’d get my life back on the track, go back to school, or do something more meaningful, and i got admitted into an engineering course, civil engineering, construction. But i just couldn’t get my head into this “normal” life that i always dreamnt of, I dropped out after 3 years. And i think my dad hated me for this, he had retired and was working from home as an electronic designer, i wouldn’t go deep into what he did, but it was something like he took contracts from various private firms to design stuff for them, he used to like doing that, but he wasn’t happy, maybe cause of how i had turned out.
And was in my twenties, when my dad suffered from a heart condition, he had an cardiac arrest and when the ambulance reached the hospital he was declared brought dead. I was out of country at that time, i was visiting my mom’s family in India and just a few hours before his death he had called me and asked when i was coming back & i didn’t even talk to him properly, I don’t know what i was angry about, i just blamed him for my messed up life and he didn’t say much, he just said that he wished that i got home fast. I didn’t think much of it and hanged up the phone, and just after a few hours i got a call that he was not with us anymore. How fucked is that, maybe if i had talked to him nicely, maybe if i hadn’t done shit with my life, maybe if i hadn’t left him there. Idk. I blame myself for his death, he was in good health, he was a diabetic, but he was a good competitive swimmer, he worked out everyday, you just couldn’t look at him and say that someone in their 50’s with that kinda of well built body would just die of an heart attack. I just couldn’t rid myself of the guilt. I never got a chance to tell him that he was my hero, that i wished i was more like him. I just never got that chance.
I got back home, the next few days, weeks, months, I don’t really remember that well, things passed, time passed, you get used to that feeling. I got back into boxing, i used to keep myself busy, i was drinking a lot but i was good at my game, next four years i spent travelling the world as a boxer, i trained with different people, learned more about them, made friends all around, i thought i had my life figured out that I’d settle some where along the country, away from the city life, maybe open my coaching centre. But “dreams have a nasty habit of going bad when you aren’t looking”.
I was norway, the city of Oslo, for a boxing match and was training with my coach and I’d made some new friends there, after a few hours of training we thought we’d go out for a couple of beers and rest the day off, one of guys asked me to come with him to his gym, he was a budding bodybuilder, i knew he was on gear(taking steroids), they weren’t that big a thing at that time, but it was known around the sport community that they weren’t that healthy, but still most of the professionals took them to give them that edge, he asked me if i had ever tried anything like that, but i really never liked the idea of pumping my body full of chemicals that I didn’t know much about, and over the next few days everyone around me started talking about these black market gear that they were getting from underground Russian labs, that it was really helping them train better, be stronger, without getting tired and my fucking coach handed me a bag full of vials & syringes and said that if i wanted to compete on national or even international levels i needed to take them. I was kinda worried at first, but all the peer pressure and my “alcohol poisoned brain cells” made me agree to try them. I knew it was a mistake & i knew I didn’t like needles but when everyone else around me was acting like freaking superman, why should i be left behind. I researched about them online & read all the info i could get my hands on and finally started my first course. I felt good, i dunno if it was the steroids or just placebo effect, but i started feeling a lot stronger than before, i could lift much more than before, i could train longer without getting tired like before and i think it helped me win my matches, till i reached the finals, i had been taking them regularly for 2 years now, and i was in my physical peak condition when i got the news that i had been disqualified from competing cause i had failed the dope test. It was a stupid mistake, there were other drugs on the market that could mask the steroid use, but till now I hadn’t really been tested for those chemicals, maybe the sports authority decided to get those chemicals on the dope list too that weren’t there before, everyone else i knew that was taking steroids passed those tests, but I didn’t. Wtf, maybe my coach fucked me over, idk whom to blame, but in the end it was my mistake, and just when i thought i could leave it behind and start traning again, it got worse, i shared a hostel room with two other guys and our rooms were checked by the authorities and they found these” controlled substances and I don’t know what happened with the others but my life was practically over, i was convicted of possession & distribution of shit that i had never sold to anyone, that i got for free from my coach, but i was the one who was made the scapegoat.
I spent a few nights in jail, till i was bailed out and then the charges were eventually dropped but i never got a chance to explain myself. I was banned from the sport. I was sent back home. The place which haunted me, i thought i had spent all these years travelling to learn, to train, but instead all i was doing, was to run away from my home, cause there was this emptiness there, that guilt, that pain which i couldn’t ever grieve.
I felt old, like i was done with life, like i had seen it all and now just wanted to rest, i just still in my twenties, i had wasted the best years of my life, i had disappointed everyone who knew me. The smartest kid in class, the one who was supposed to be something, and here i was, being a nothing. What could i do ? What should have i done ? Well, i turned to alcohol, the logical choice in this illogical world, atleast it helped me calm down and let me sleep at night.
I was dating this girl from the school, we had been together for more than four years, she was in university to be a lawyer, she was very supportive, first when my dad passed away, i turned away from my family, from my home, she was the only person in my life who kept me sane, but my drinking was pushing her away. Though i always thought of myself as this nice caring guy, I’d never intentionally hurt or abuse anyone i loved, but now that i think of it, i was kinda emotionally abusing her. My friends would come to me for relationship advice, they thought i knew how to make relationships work, & i did help them the best i could, but i just couldn’t help myself, i kept pushing the one person who cared about me away.
I didn’t have any proper educational qualifications, i didn’t have any proper work experience and i was about to enter my thirties, without a job, without a goal in life, without any dreams, without any aspirations. Sometimes, i did try to think where it all got wrong, maybe if got another chance at life I’d do somethings differently, idk. I was too intoxicated to think right.
I met up with some old class mates who lived nearby, they knew I’d drink everyday & night so they started hanging out more with me, who wouldn’t if you were getting free scotch everyday. I was emptying my bank accounts everyday without thinking twice(I couldn’t think, I think). Then one of my “friends” introduced me to a girl who he thought liked me, and i was actually in a relationship but still i decided to start seeing her, idk, i didn’t wanna cheat on my gf and i knew how awesome she was, so i thought It’d be the right thing to let her go, i actually wasn’t taking her calls or replying to her texts, cause most of our conversations ended up in fights and i felt bad for just keeping her down, she had the right to be happy and i was the only reason that she couldn’t be, so we brokeup, and it wasn’t that hard at first, i did love her, but i was drunk most of the time and i had this new girl who didn’t care shit about me so it was easy with her, no serious conversations, no fights, and all she cared about was getting drunk or high and i actually liked that about her, i thought she was like me, totally careless, carefree of the world. But she was stealing my money, and stuff from my house, but who cares about these materialistic things, right ? How stupid i was, one night i confronted her about the money missing from my wallet and she kinda came clean about it saying she was taking this “thing” that she couldn’t live without and if i wanted i could kick her out but then she’d die ! I being the nice guy i was, decided to help her, and asked her to stop stealinh or hiding things from me, so she introduced me to this small transparent bag with this white powered substance, Heroin ! She had been hooked up with it for almost a year and now although she wanted to give up but her body wouldn’t let her. And being a nice lady she let me in on a secret that it could help me stop my drinking and that I’d be high all day without the side effects of alcohol, without my breath smelling like my fermented insides. So being the good asshole i was, i decided to take this nicr lady’s advice and my first day in a couple of months that i wouldn’t start with a drink.
She used to inject heroin with insulin pins and i did have a prior knowledge of injecting ‘stuff’, so i was better at finding her live vein and injecting. So soon she was completely dependent on me, i had to get pick up her stuff, and then i had to inject her as i was better at it. But I didn’t really like injecting myself, so i sticked to smoking heroin, it gave a good high, I didn’t need to drink anymore(though i still had a few every other day), and it went on for almost two years, all the money i had saved was gone, my bank accounts were empty, we were in debt. But we couldn’t live without this miracle drug. I think heroin also changes your perception of time, cause those two years, where they went, i just couldn’t feel that time.
I hadn’t talked to my mom in a long time, although she knew I wasn’t doing well, but i think she wanted me to realise it myself. I did call her a couple of times to loan me some money, but that was all we talked about. And then it was just a normal day, we wokeup, had our fix, i was checking my mail, and one of my high school science teacher had mailed me, she got my email id from some other classmate of mine and said she heard about my boxing career and was sorry about that, but she said she was sure i was being more productive now, learning all i could and taking it to better myself anf my life and she said that every teacher who knew me believed that I’d be something someday and that boxing or some sport just wasn’t the right career choice for me and she ended her mail by asking me to get back at her and let her know what i was doing now as none of my friends or whoever knew me, were aware of my life or my work.
I felt bad at reading that, there were all these people who had once believed in me, in me doing something with my life and here i was hell bent on destroying everything. So i made the hard decision to stop taking heroin and join a rehab, but my “gf” wasn’t sure of it and decided it to be best to go our separate ways, i was out of money anyway so I wasn’t of any use to her anymore.
The next few years are just kinda foggy in my mind, few weeks in rehab, instead of getting me off this opioid, they hooked me up with bupionorphine and gabapentin, i tried hard to wean off them but even after almost a year I couldn’t stop them, i knew they were killing me from inside but this time I wasn’t taking these drugs to get high, but to just survive. So i was tired of asking for money from my mom, and family and i just couldn’t keep going on like this forever and decided to quit cold turkey. My mom had moved back to India, so i asked her to get me a plane ticket and i knew without any links or resources there I might actually be able to get myself rid of these drugs.
So the first day i arrived, my body had already started to crave them, i could feel the withdrawal symptoms, my hands were cold as ice, i was shivering and sweating heavily at the same time, i asked my mom to take my phone away and keep me locked in my room for atleast a few days or I’ll again start looking for some way to get my hands on these killer drugs.
Opioid withdrawal in itself is like going through Dante’s hell and i was in for gabapentin withdrawal too. The first few days are the hardest, as any addict will tell you, but just cause when you’re going through withdrawals time slows down for you, so even those few days seem like years, for the first week i was on bed most of the time, I couldn’t get up even to take a proper shower, I didn’t brush my teeth for days, i was just lying on bed half dead, unable to sleep, unable to move, unable to get up. I didn’t feel like eating, couldn’t stomach even one meal, i mostly on liquid diet, milk or some juice once or twice the whole day. My skin felt numb to the touch, yet there was this crazy burning sensation underneath the flesh. After the first week passed, i started learning more about it online, joined a few online forums to learn more and share my experience, after one full month spent locked in one room, i was starting to feel a bit better, but there still was a long road ahead, these chemicals change the normal functioning of your brain, the chemicals that are released in a normal healthy brain when you feel pain or pleasure, they don’t work anymore, you just feel like a zombie or more like trapped inside a ceramic doll.
I joined a NA group to give me a reason to get out of bed and that was too tiring at first, but slowly i was coming to the terms of what/how i had been abusing my body, i was asked to speak a few times for people undergoing substance abuse treatment and i guess they liked hearing my story and a local rehab hired me part time to help them with the addicts.
Now, I’ve left out a lotta stuff from in between, otherwise it would’ve been too long, it’s been around six months since i went cold turkey, and i still sometimes feel withdrawal symptoms but mostly my body is back to normal, when i was training & boxing i weighed around 110kilos(243lbs) at 6’2″(188cm) during my abuse and withdrawal i lost more than 20kilos(44lbs), but it’s not the physical aspect but the mental damage that i still feel sometimes, forgetting names, forgetting words, stuttering, forgetting what you were doing, there are a lot of things that these drugs mess up and i hope to help others who might be going through or had been through these traumas, cause I don’t feel like our healthcare system is doing the right thing. The pharmaceutical industry is still manufacturing and selling these drugs, most of the addicts i meet that have been through rehab, they too feel like that the rehabs are just not helping them leave these drugs, but instead transitioning them over to other drugs that are the same or even more harmful.
And yeah, about my ex. the girl that i left when i started taking heroin, i never actually got time to think about our breakup or our relationship, i guess i was too busy trying to numb myself, and when I realised it was too late, i decided not to contact her as it’d only hurt her more, I just hope she’s good.
I’ve met a lot of different people on my journey till now, I’m still young, but it feels like I’ve aged too much mentally, i made a lot of bad mistakes, and all those choices got me here, i hope no one else gets through life like i did, i lost my friends, my family, my love, my career, everything to just small, pity mistakes. But along the way i also met some good people who’ve helped me get better.
I draw, sketch, write poetry, songs, just “do” things with my hands to keep me busy, and these have helped a lot.