When I’m High
When I’m high on painkillers, I get really dehydrated. I chug a lot of water and like to munch on popsicles. I sometimes joke that I have an opiate fridge. You look inside it and you just see tons of water and soft foods. I’m like Rachel Ray if she were on Vicodin. People tell me that’s what it’s like when you’re on Ecstasy, but I don’t know really know because I’ve never tried that drug. I already have this vice. I surely don’t need another.
When I’m high on painkillers, my voice gets really scratchy. I sound like a sex phone operator and I like it. My skin might itch too. Some find that annoying but I like it because it just means that the drugs are working, it means that I’m getting super high.
When I’m high on painkillers, it feels like I’m clutching a body pillow on a warm summer night. I like to stick my feet out of my fourth story window of my apartment and watch the people walk by. I lay in my bed and look at the ceiling while listening to some fuzzed out music. I think about my wonderful apartment and wonderful friends and cute girls and boys and I get anxiety about the high ending too soon.
When I’m high on painkillers, it feels like my world exists in a blanket of fuzz. There’s a film over my eyes that prevents me from seeing all of the harsh edges. I see what I want to see, I feel only the good things. I’m in control here. I rub my legs, call people on the telephone and talk for hours. Painkillers are weird like that. They either make me become completely anti-social. I want to just retreat to my opium den, surf the internet, and make a fort out of pillows. Or I want to talk to you about how much I love everything for hours. In that way, I guess it’s like cocaine.
When I’m high on painkillers, no one knows it. That’s the beauty of the drug. You can swallow two at dinner and people will think it’s Advil. You might get chattier and nicer but that’s about it. I made sure to never take anything stronger than Percocet because I want to be semi-functional at all times. Oxy scares me. I would never do it because that would be really crazy, that would mean I was in deep. These are the lies you tell yourself when you’re abusing any drug. You give yourself rules (“I will only do this on Tuesdays and Thursdays”, “I will never try anything stronger than Percs”) but you will always break them. And then new rules will pop up (“Okay, I can do it every day except for Sunday”) and it will just be a never ending cycle of lies.
When I’m high on painkillers, I’m never horny. I seriously forget I have a dick because the opiate high is better than any orgasm I could ever get. I can go two weeks without jacking off and even then, I will only do it because I feel obligated, because I need to feel normal.
When I’m high on painkillers, I feel really cool. I love carrying around a pouch of pills at a party and calling them my vitamins. I’ve given the pills human names as if it’s a giant joke. “is Victoria or Percy coming tonight?” “Why yes, she is!” Trivializing it makes it seem like a joke, like you’re not really hurting yourself or your body. It’s really funny. Yep.
When I’m high on painkillers, I like to go to the movies or a museum or sit in a cafe and listen to music on my headphones. I like to be alone and not in a crowded place. If I’m around too many things, I’ll get stressed and it will ruin my high. You’re like a delicate soufflé that’s in danger of crumbling. If one thing goes wrong, you can just start sobbing. You’re very fragile.
When I’m high on painkillers, I can’t imagine why anyone would not like it. I hear people talk about how Vicodin made them sick or loopy from their wisdom teeth removal and I want to tell them, “Are you crazy? They’re the best. Do you have any left over?”
When I’m high on painkillers, I’m addicted to thinking that I’m addicted to them. And then when the high is over, I’ll flush the rest down the toilet and won’t touch them for two months. I make a terrible addict because I think too much and I’m paranoid and I honestly don’t want to ever need something when I wake up in the morning.
I can only write this now since I’ve had some distance with the drug. It’s insane the lengths you’ll go to convince yourself that what you’re doing is normal. Chasing three Percocet every day with a tangerine popsicle, while fun, loses its luster after awhile. Imagine that.
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The apartment you lived in your first year out of school, the walk-up with a view of the street.
I wanted to quit my job. I hated my boss.
His eyes widened, he became angry, and backed off of me. I told him he could leave now. Now. He said “With you being a good Christian girl, and me studying to be a priest, I think it’s important we not tell anyone what we did.”
In a fallen world, hope, like faith, is often the hardest thing to hold onto especially when you need it the most.