myIAKI // by JAMES M
It takes what it takes… “I’m a flight risk,” the DA told me. And rightfully so. I’ve been running my whole life—from myself—and from anything that was a hurdle between me and my addiction. But, as the old saying goes, “Wherever you go, there you are.” Annoying, but true. Most of the time I could slither around these obstacles, but when Johnny Law was on my ass with air support—it was only a matter of time before things came crashing down. I never thought I would have to be woken up from a heroin nod by a police officer, but when you’re asleep at the wheel—in a parked car at a traffic light with cars whizzing past—the boys in blue are bound to show up. And I never thought I would choose to take off and try to get away. This is the reality of where addiction can take you, after it hijacks your mind. “Don’t do it, James! Don’t do it! Turn off your car!” The cop yelled. “Fuck, fuck, fuck! I can’t go to jail. I can’t detox in a cell. I have things to do, like sell these drugs I just copped, which will allow me to do more drugs. Drugs, drugs, drugs—I do it all for these drugs!” My adrenaline must be keeping me awake, because just 2 minutes ago I was nodded off at a stop light, and woke up to a police officer shaking me to see if I was still alive. The last thing I remember before being brought back to consciousness, was injecting some black tar heroin mixed with crystal meth, which is commonly known as a “goofball.” I injected it into my leg, while at a gas station, in the $5 dollar car wash. I then drove off with my leg up on the dash, to let gravity do its work. I was heading back to ol’ girls place to call it a night, or so I thought…. Once again I’m riding my “spree” out to the bitter end, which, started six months ago. Once again I’m risking it all. Once again I’m riding it until the wheels fall off. Why do I do these horrible things over and over again? I don’t understand how it’s all come to this. And how do I explain something I don’t understand? All I have are the facts of what I did, and my perspective of how it came to be. I broke a lot of laws in my addiction, but this night I broke one after the other. My desperate attempt to avoid facing reality and keep my heroin habit going, lead me to a life of crime. I cannot blame my drug use on anything but addiction itself. My parents gave me the best childhood imaginable, with love and support, and every opportunity possible. That night of July 17, 2017, I was running from the cops like you see on TV. I was in a late model luxury sports car, with an expired registration, no insurance, a suspended license, and five months behind on payments. I took the plates off, and put on dealer tags to hide the expired registration. Anything to protect my next fix. I turned right, and then left. Then right and left again. The air support was on me now, and there were cops everywhere. I drove against traffic on a main street, and then cut through a neighborhood. The cops were on my bumper, and as the speed bumps came up, I had to slow down, while their SUVs went over them with ease. I lost them for a second, parked the car under a covered parking spot, and grabbed my backpack full of drugs I’d just scored, along with the meth bong (which, I still don’t know why I grabbed that) in the center console. I took off on foot in the apartment complex I was staying at, and started cutting through the alleys. I was running so fast, and my adrenaline was pumping so hard that I slipped, causing the bong to crash on the ground, which made a loud noise like that of a beer bottle being thrown against a brick wall. I was trying to run through the complex, to the back of my girlfriend at the time’s apartment, where I could climb a tree to the second floor and go in that way. At this time, we were both in our addiction, and there were multiple people staying there, so I knew someone would be up. I cut through the breezeways and made it to the tree I decided to spider man up, but while I was climbing, a big G.I. Joe-looking guy grabbed my leg and stalled me. I got out of the grab, made it up the tree, and hopped over the railing with the help of the dude that had been on the couch at the time. I got in the apartment, ran upstairs, and proceeded to panic, not knowing what to do. I changed clothes, and while doing so, thought about where to hide. Then I ran into the guest room and hid in the closet. It was too late. One of the neighbors had told the police which apartment I was in. The police found me hiding in the closet, and that was the end of my six month run. I still remember being escorted out of the apartment and down the stairs in handcuffs, while many of the disturbed neighbors watched in the illumination of all the cop car lights. It was 2 a.m. What a fucking scene I caused. What a fucking asshole I was. All bets are off with an alcoholic, drug addict like myself—at least when I’m drinking and using. Never would I have thought this would be something I’d do. It takes what it takes, to make a change in one’s life, and all we have are our own experiences, which, lead us to the courage to want to do so. Unfortunately, in most cases—bad things have to happen in order to try something different and ask for help. I’ve never wanted to change when things are going good that’s for sure. Through my experiences of what seem like endless relapses—banging my head against the wall and leaving my family and friends with another broken heart and fading hope—I now know that the horrible things I have done will not keep me sober, no matter how guilty, shameful, or awful I feel about them. They can scare me into deciding to make a change, but in order to stay content and sober, I have to live one day at a time and consistently be the best version of myself that day. But I constantly lose sight of what that version of me looks like, so I surround myself with good people that are living the ideal life I want to live. The law of attraction is the key ingredient to my success today. You are who you hang around with, as the old saying goes. I can either run with turkeys, or soar with eagles. Today, I choose the latter. I now have over one year of sobriety, am slowly but surely putting all the pieces back together, and have never felt more healthy, hopeful, and proud of the steps I’ve taken/made. The road ahead looks bright, open, and can go anywhere I want it to. Recovery is definitely possible.