Folio

Folio · 2017

Perspective of a Drug Abuser

Tangi Ford


I didn’t mean to hurt anyone. I have a painful past that I tried to numb. My self-medicating got out of hand. I never intended for it to take over my life. The pills made me feel good. I started out by taking them after I had surgery on my thumb. They were prescribed. I didn’t think it was wrong. It soon overtook my brain; it was something I could not stop. I wanted to feel the effects quicker, so I started snorting the pills. I am sorry that I would pass out on the couch and not get your brother to school. I am sorry that you felt like you needed to go into work late so you could help hide my failed duties. I didn’t think it was bad then. It was just a kindergartener missing afternoon school. He liked staying home and playing. It seemed harmless. But I wanted more. I turned to heroin. Heroin made me sleep longer. In my dreams I felt like I could escape. I didn’t have to deal with the sexual abuse I received when I was younger. My dreams were peaceful. Because I could sleep longer, it also meant I slacked more on my fatherly duties. I stopped showing up for work. Your mom started working another job so she could pay our rent. You saw us fight. I punched a wall. She called the cops. I was scared. I stole a car and ran. You didn’t see me again for seven months. I wanted to come back. I missed my family. I stole food from gas stations. I slept on benches. My dealer got me a job selling heroin to pay for my own usage. The problem was the heroin made me groggy. I was too tired to even sell it. So I started using cocaine during the day to give me energy. When I was ready to go to sleep I would take my heroin, otherwise I would be up for days because the cocaine makes me feel wired. Your mom found me on the streets one day. She told me you guys had been searching for the last seven months for me. You didn’t know if I was dead. You got evicted from our house. Your sister got pregnant. Your brother was in a youth detention facility for fighting, stealing, and drug use. It was my fault. I set the example. I am sorry you witnessed domestic violence. I am sorry you are emotionally damaged. I came home. You all looked at me funny. I was skinny. I had sores on my face. I told you that bugs were crawling out of my skin. They really are, I can feel them. I have to get them out. It was the day of your wedding. I was told you I would meet you at your reception. I didn’t come. Instead I left. I felt awful. I was vomiting and defecating. I hadn’t used drugs in four days. I promised I would get clean. I thought I would. The pain was unbearable. I cried. Then I left. You looked for me at the reception. You were disappointed. You went into the bathroom and cried. I was crying too as I injected the needle into my arm. My life wasn’t supposed to be like this. I was supposed to be there for my kids and my wife. I want to die but I am scared to meet God. Will he be mad at me? Ashamed? Disappointed? These were feelings I was running from on Earth. I can’t run from these feelings in Heaven. What am I supposed to do? You passed me in your car the other day on the street. You didn’t stop. I am glad you didn’t. I miss you but I don’t want to see you because it makes me hate myself more. We made eye contact. You looked hopeful. You waved, but I pretended like I didn’t know you. I hope you didn’t tell your mom. You probably did. I slept for six days straight after I saw you. My heart hurts. I wonder how much longer I will survive. I don’t really care. But why is God keeping me alive? This stuff is supposed to kill you. Maybe I have a purpose. Maybe I will regain my life. I feel twinges of hope sometimes. Then the drugs come calling. They override my hope, my future, and my dreams. I give in.


Folio · 2017