“If you still like to do cocaine, you haven’t done enough cocaine.” — Al Lytle
I find it odd that I consider Al, who I quoted above, a friend, yet we’ve never met in person. We’ve chatted on Facebook and on tattoo forums, and I often treasure his words of wisdom, but we have never even been in the same state at the same time, much less the same room. Yet, my coke dealer who I have met face to face countless times and have even exchanged phone numbers with, is someone I hardly consider a friend. We sat in each other’s cars and I’ve given him large amounts of money for varying amounts of cocaine. I saw him on a semi-regular basis for a year before I quit doing cocaine. I promised myself that once I quit, I would never see him again. So far, except for one occasion, I have not seen him. It doesn’t mean that I had forgotten about him, nor him, me.
I started doing cocaine in a strip club. The dancer I had been talking too suggested we go into the VIP room. Since we were already drinking and I had gotten a few lap dances, so I asked what went on in the VIP that wasn’t going on right now. “Well, we can party in there.” I responded that I thought we were partying now. “No, I mean coke. Do you do blow?” The impulsiveness portion of my bipolar disorder grabbed hold and I responded with an enthusiastic, “Sure!”
Cocaine was almost easy to give up. As I’ve written before, I never got any real euphoric thrill from it. It calmed me down, in a way, and made me more focused, much like being on Ritalin. So it wasn’t the high that was going to miss. What kept me off cocaine were my memories of the day after doing it. The crash only increased my depression, plus the exhaustion and sore, runny, and bloody nose also made me rethink that cocaine was fun.
I’ve mentioned my little pity party the weekend before I started at Four Winds in a previous blog, but here’s the whole story. After being clean for ten months, I decided to text a phone number I hadn’t texted in months, for the sole purpose of obtaining cocaine. I bought an 8-ball, which normally would last several days. I snorted it in two. I wasn’t looking to get high or to use it to cope. I was looking for an accidental heart attack, a passive way to kill myself. Thankfully, it failed. I was done with cocaine, and I’d never have contact with my dealer again. Yeah, not so much on that last part.
During my last week at Four Winds, I was heading home one day and took out my cell phone to turn the ringer back on when I noticed there was a new text. I opened it and it was from my dealer to let me know he was around. I deleted the text to let him know I wasn’t. I even stuck my tongue out at the phone for backup. Maturity was the best option, I felt. I laughed, turned my ringer on and put phone back in my pocket. Mission accomplished. The next morning I shared this little incident with the group, and, as I figured, got mixed reactions. Some people laughed over my getting the text during group, but many went on to tell me how I should get to a Narcotics Anonymous meeting and have Verizon block his number.
I was of the belief that this was genuinely funny, and it would take more than a text message to get me to use coke again. So far, I’ve been the one that was right. There was no further temptation at all; right up until my phone went off in the middle of my last therapy session. Yep, it was him telling him he was available. I deleted the message again to let him know I wasn’t.