Tuesday, 9 September 2008

A Day in the Life ...

There has been some interesting feedback about the Who Is April Morrison article. For those who don’t know, April Morrison is a secondary school teacher and a functioning heroin addict. After reading the article, David contacted me, telling a similar story about himself and his partner that also challenges the stereotype image of junkies. David and his girlfriend are I.T. professionals and heroin addicts but not necessarily in that order. Between them, they have a double degree, 2 diplomas including one advanced and a swag of highly regarded industry certificates. They both work for large multinational companies and have senior positions. This does not sound like the kind of desperate, dangerous junkie that I hear about so often in the nations media. This is a day in the life of David in his own words.

You can say I’m some what of a "normal" person, I have family, a job, live with my girlfriend and do some part time study in my free time. I keep myself semi-active on weekends enjoying a game of basketball or badminton with mates. 
However, there is one thing about me that I dare not advertise to the faint hearted. ... I’m an heroin addict. 
I am currently 26 years of age and have been working in the I.T. industry for the last 9-10 years building my career. You can say that I look totally "normal". My arms don’t have track marks, I don’t have a face full of zits and I wear a suit on a daily basis. I spend most of my day working for a multimillion dollar I.T. firm that is known worldwide, my job is tough ... but my secret life I hide from others is a whole lot tougher. 
7:00AM Monday morning, my alarm goes off. As I struggle to pry my eyes open I need to get ready and dressed for work. Instead of heading straight to the bathroom, I instead roll over to my night stand and pull out my "kit". Yawning constantly from withdrawal symptoms I go ahead and prepare a shot of heroin. The shot is ready, I inject the solution into my body .... instant relief ... warm tingles and a sense of well being. I am ready to tackle my day head on. I sit there for 10 minutes, enjoying a cigarette. After 15 minutes of psyching myself up I head to the bathroom for my morning shower. 
When I get into the office, a pile of work is sitting there waiting for me in my inbox. My day has truly begun. As lunch time arrives, my mobile rings with Joe displayed on the caller ID. "G'day mate, can we meet up?" Joe says. "Yep sweet, how long", I reply. Joe is a long time acquaintance of mine and we have known each other for a good 5 years or so. You can say we are friends but there is another reason he wants to meet up with me. No, we are not meeting up to have lunch together ... he too is a heroin addict. I head down stairs and out to meet up with Joe. A few minutes of chit chat and he then hands me some money. I, in turn hand him a small package I had prepared earlier that morning for him. I am as cautious as possible and look around to make sure no one from work sees me. Joe himself is a working man, with a wife, 2 kids and a mortgage. Sometimes I feel like he sees me more than he sees his own wife, but such is life for an addict. I may possibly meet up with 1 or 2 other people before I head back to the office. Same deal here as with Joe. Im not meeting these people for lunch but to give them their daily medicine. I head back up stairs to the office to have lunch. By this time my stomach is churning and groaning. The funny thing is I’m not hungry or have an appetite. I need another fix before I can even think of putting food into my mouth. I quickly grab my "kit" and innocently head to the toilet. Mulled up and prepared, I have my shot. Instant satisfaction ... man I’m hungry and could do with some lunch now. I am in board meetings most of the day. As I sit there listening to someone blab on, stroking their own ego about how much of a good job they have done, my mind drifts. I wouldn’t mind a hit right now, I ponder. As I look around the room, I wonder... what if these people know about my secret? If I told them would they understand? Would I still have a job if I told them I just shot up half a gram in the toilets before lunch? I think not! I know for a fact I would be out on my arse and jobless. 
Being a Gemini, I should be able to easily keep up with this escapade of hiding my other self. To be honest, hiding my secret seems like a full time job in itself. Its not easy putting on a smile or concentrating on a large project when hanging out ... withdrawal symptoms suck. To maintain a normal life, I have to deal. I’m not a big time dealer, but I make enough for our personal use. I put myself in a position where I do not spend a single dollar of my hard earned legitimate salary. Unfortunately though, an addicts life never quite works out to be how you want it to be and half my salary at least is spent on gear each week. As the clock ticks by my work day is coming to an end. I finish up my workload so I don’t have much to do the next morning. I then head home. 
I cook up dinner with my partner, sit down on the couch and watch TV or a movie. With dinner finished, I clean up the dishes and head straight to my room to see Lady H one last time for the night. I prepare, shoot and head back outside to continue to the movie or play some games. As I start to get worn down, I get ready to turn in for the night and hit the sack. Ahhh thank god Monday is over, I wonder what tomorrow will have in store for me? 
I had been chasing the dragon for 8 years and started injecting H for the last year and a half. I use to be scared and against needles, having so many friends die from overdoses or seeing so many of them getting locked up for crime to finance their habits. I actually despise those that steal from family and friends for heroin, or anyone that steals at all. I can proudly hold up my head and say that I have never once tricked, lied or stole for my drugs, I was raised by great parents which taught me to work hard from an early age and do not act deceitfully towards anyone. I believe in karma. 
Over the years, I have developed depression and anxiety. These days my anxiety has been getting quite bad so I have pushed my ego aside and I am currently seeing a psychiatrist. I have a lot of issues that I need to deal with and I know that it would be a good idea for me to quit. I have detoxed a total of 27 times over the years with each detox harder than the previous one. I haven’t given up but for now I have just come to accept that I am an addict and will not quit until I am truly ready to ... someday. 


April Morrison said...

Thank you Terry and thank you David. I feel refreshed by this article.

Bron said...

Yes, thank you to David and Terry, for sharing. I hope more and more people start to read this blog and other stories similar to this one and realise that "junkies" are not ogres to be scared of.

PS I was asked in an email if I was an addict because of my comments here. For the record, no, never tried, never addicted to anything. I just wish that the MSM would stop demonising drug users and perpetuating stereotypes. I also wish the law to be reformed in many areas for practical, compassionate and humane reasons.

Amy said...

It is nice to read narratives on heroin use that are not hyped up or pushed down. Just normal, real people. Good work guys.

David said...

thanks everyone for your kind comments

i hope this site bands together a lot more people like April or myself together. We have been hiding, alone for too long.

Perhaps further down the line I hope this site can even be somewhat influential in assisting with introducing heroin trials in Australia

Ross Sharp said...

Very good work. Thanks for the insights.

Terry Wright said...

Thanks to everyone who commented.
Especially to Bron and Ross who are not addicts. It's you guys who give us hope that opiate addiction will be given more medical recognition and less condemnation from the public at large.

Thanks again Bron, Ross & the other non-addicts who contribute to this site.

Another David said...

I'm neutral towards drug users. Provided, of course, that my rights are not diminished by demands of help or treatment.

I do not wish, however, to pay via the tax system to help drug addicts. I think it is unreasonable to be dragged into the problems of others without consent.