By Nicholas Alpher
I never pictured myself like this. I thought I was better than this. I thought this was reserved for shitty people with devilish intentions. For me it started with a half gram of weed at 15. On the floor of my teammate’s room as he tried to convince me his dog, Freddy, who was a piece of shit for the record, was talking in english to us. I fell in love with that euphoric bliss that allowed me to escape from the anxiety-driven pressures of young adulthood.
Smoking with friends turned to smoking roaches of blunts out of water bottles by myself everyday after school. Exhaling breaths of low-grade pot smoke and cancerous plastic, I had unlocked this overwhelming desire to alter the way I felt as much as possible. The pills followed a couple months later. Tylenol w/Codeine, Percocet, and Vicodin. Those white pills that made me feel so fuzzy and warm and loved. I went on for many years taking all classes of drugs. I put more unknown powder up my nose than I’d care to admit. Crawling underneath my parent’s bed looking for prescriptions that they hid on me despite checking the same spots on a daily basis that I KNEW had nothing there. I became a useless, directionless, broken-down fiend that could not function in normal life. A spiritual disaster. A tattered, neurotransmitter-deficient being with a hollow shell where his soul was supposed to sit. After countless trips to rehabs, inpatient and outpatient, on December 20th of 2016, I decided that I didn’t want to live like this anymore as I sat in my cozy, insane rehab facility in Las Vegas. Even though I was bat shit nuts and told by a psychiatrist that I wouldn’t stay clean, I did. Things came up. Life showed up. Great things happened. I lost people. I met new people. I’ve seen the best and worst of people in the last two years.
The real constant is, that I changed. I gave up fighting to hold onto my old ideals and skewed priorities and deficient defense mechanisms. I let people help me and I helped myself in the progress. I took responsibility for my actions and didn’t use my “disease” as an excuse to be a fuck. Although I cannot use substances without losing complete control of my life, I still consider myself a healthy, normal person. I came from a great family. I had a great childhood. I had friends and was heavily involved in athletics while also getting good grades. But guess what, I let these pills and bags of heroin and cans of Miller Lite and tabs of fake Acid cover up the sad, confused young boy who had a very hard time expressing his feelings. I think the most important thing is that I grew up in a time where people seem to be dying more than anything. I treated my life with the importance of a single serve bag of sugar and now I hold onto life like an apex predator clutching to a fresh kill. I don’t want to be some statistic. Life is too strange and too beautiful to waste on some powder in a bag.
Nicholas is an HVAC tech, avid jiu jitsu practitioner, and a washed up folkstyle wrestler who is consistently pondering the nature of existence. He also plays video games and isn’t sure if he even likes them anymore. Storiesmydadmadeup.tumblr.com