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The Cycle

Prescription drug addiction is real; and it's killing not only our young but also our old. There are FEW people in the United States that can't say this problem hasn't reached a friend or family member. Every town has a pharmacy and a doctor...It's a very sad reality that needs our attention NOW! This entry was written as a reflection of living the hell that surrounds the addicted...

The Cycle
Day 1
We’re starting with day 1 because that’s where she starts. Roughly 2 hours after receiving her prescription, she walks around the house with a gentle sway and a permanent grin, calling everyone she knows, giving them the latest update on her new health ailment, knowing they will give her the “thumbs up” to flip that pill bottle on its’ end. As for us, we sit startled with the fact that she has an energy we haven’t seen in a while, and baffled when we want to discuss football season and she replies with “I wonder if we can purchase sparkly hair nets on EBAY?” I’m not cursing day 1, because it is the easiest day…
Day 2
I’m not sure why I’m calling this day 1, 2, etc. To her, it’s all one big continuous ride, but to me, there is a definitive difference between the days and nights, especially nights; I’m afraid to sleep while she’s riding. On day 2, her eyes no longer open as they once did, and they are not her eyes. Her eyes have now become suspicion, hunter, Alzheimer- patient, Queen of Sheba, chocolate connoisseur & enemy. This is the most exhausting day for me, and the one day she conveniently forgets upon waking. This is the day of hurling insults, the day I fear for my children as she clumsily tries to pick them up, the day my stomach’s in knots just knowing I will come around the corner and she’ll be laying on the landing of the stairs like a pretzel. This is the day that she usually causes a new ailment that allows for the continuous cycle of drug supply. This is the day she slips while sitting on the toilet (YES, WHILE SITTING ON A TOILET) and hits the tub, this is the day she falls off the ladder while hanging Christmas lights, this is the day she returns from a walk with skinned knees, this is the day we see new bruises on her legs or arms, this is the day I wish I could blame an alcoholic man for these new bruises, it would make more sense than what she’s doing to herself. This is the day that has a night to follow that does me in. By this time, I’ve had no sleep, all day my sober nerves banging against any organ that will take the beating. This is the day my husband and I fight the worst. He tells me he needs me to stand by him, he questions why I can’t take it, and he plays my guilty nerve by asking me how do I think he feels. He rants that he’s put up with it his whole life…why can’t I just put up with it for now? I’m not allowed to give him the ultimatum of me/kids or his mother. (Becky 0, Addiction 1) He threatens to leave work and come home to deal with it in place of me. Ok, plan number 2: The plan that ends with us starving and homeless due to him not being able to stay at work. Plan 2 includes him retreating to his music room, writing the most amazing music I’ve ever heard because I know that is how these years have made him able to cope. Plan 1 worked for 3 weeks until she realized that she could stay medicated during the week, and stop on the weekend when husband returns. GREAT PLAN! But plan 1, which is the one we’re currently using, means me staying up all night, watching a ghost stagger through the house, constantly alert waiting for the fire to start, or the bang that comes when she falls, every action of her tied to my memories, the ones that attach to this and every episode that have to deal with addiction. The horrid past of mine that caused insomnia and fear in me as a child, but THANK GOD not an addiction of my own, which at this point, I’m thinking I screwed up on that decision & thank God for day 3.
Day 3
If she’s slept after the previous 48 hours of Zombieville, she wakes with a new set of eyes. These ones are confusion, hunger, and “still out to lunch”. This is the day she looks past her grandchildren like they don’t exist. In the waking world, this fact alone would kill her. This is worse than the zombie day on the children, at least on zombie day she tries to love on them and take care of them. Zombie days are filled with watching Grandma fumble with a diaper for 20 minutes, ending up with the following statistics; diaper 1, Grandma 0. This day’s easier on me (one of the two main characters of plan 1). She’s either sleeping or hiding out taking the next fateful dose. The day may seem easier, but this is the day I cry. This is my day to break with constant wonder asking God why he didn’t let me have an addiction so I could walk around just as aimless. This is the day I wonder if I should just go to an institution myself due to the fact that I’m close to breaking. This is the day I tear jewelry from my body because I feel as if I’m being choked. This is the day the kids can tell mom’s weak, and they seem to scatter more about; tipping over glasses, dumping the animal food on the clean kitchen floor. This is the day that I find a room, and clean it with a vengeance that no room should ever be subjected to. My floor cries out as I scrub it mercilessly with whatever scrubbing apparatus takes up the most dirt, and linoleum. Day 3 is full of hard decisions. Do I take the children away and leave the house? I’m torn between protecting our hearts, and protecting the hearth. Day 3 is when I get to enter zombieville, avoiding phone calls, clean, and listen to Ben Harper while running around corners myself so the children can’t see the endless trail of tears. Day 3 for me is full of deception; to my children, to my husband, to the world in general. I smile while in pain, I clear the lump from my throat while on the phone with my husband, and tell him all is well due to the fact she’s chosen to stay in her room all day. Day 3 ends in hope; hope for the coming night, hoping to get rest, and hoping her pill bottle is empty.

Northern America
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