You were my first time experimenting with love. I didn’t know much about it beforehand; I mean, I thought I did. I had read books, I had seen movies, I had watched my sisters go on dates and have boyfriends. I had watched my closest friends go on dates and have boyfriends. Even I had a few boyfriends before you, but they were just gateway men, nothing too strong, nothing that really took a hold of me, neither physically nor mentally.
But you were different.
You were a harder love, one that I should have known to stay away from,
one I should have known not to get mixed up with, one that I should have known could destroy me; ruin my life. But like most addictive personalities do, I ignored all logical thinking and dove into you face first.
The first night was almost an overdose, but in the best possible way. It was the greatest, most exhilarating high I have ever felt; one that lifted my feet off the ground, propelled my soul into the air. I swore I could fly forever. I guess that is part of the ruse; the magic trickery that makes this type of love what it is.
It felt natural, it felt clean, I didn’t feel as if I were doing anything unhealthy or hurting myself in any way. In fact, I felt as if I were making myself better, becoming a better person with every time I used you. I wasn’t unhappy when I first tried you, but after, I was happier than I had ever been before. I never knew how happy I could be, how high I could get, how weightless I could feel.
When you were in my system, nothing else mattered.
It was as if the universe stepped back and stood still, only for us; as if to bow at our feet, knowing there was nothing more powerful out there than the mixture of our chemicals. No one else existed to me when I was with you. You were the only person…besides myself, but I was slowly becoming aware that I was me because of you. You filled in my empty spots, making me a whole person for the first time in my life.
After awhile, I think some people started to notice a change in me. My weight dropped, my face started looking a little gaunt, and even though I was always smiling, there was nervousness and fear behind my eyes. I was always anxious that I wasn’t good enough for you, that I didn’t deserve the high you gave to me, that I was going to do something wrong and fuck it up and lose what I loved so much to use. It made me feel antsy, pained, and uncomfortable almost constantly. But the ecstasy of your lips on my neck and the subsequent liftoff made up for any of the side effects. Nothing matched that.
Soon, none of my nights with you felt like that first night. I felt none of that invigoration, that senseless euphoria, that inexplicable, blind joy. I kept trying, though.
I kept taking more and more of you, searching constantly for that feeling I knew existed within you,
I just clearly had forgotten how to achieve it. I would force myself on you, shove you into my veins, push you through my bloodstream, over and over again, desperately seeking that high. I overdosed on you multiple times, multiple nights, and was left crying in the corner as you slept peacefully. I cried as I rocked back and forth, arms around my knees, eyes squeezed shut, teeth mashed together, trying so hard to rid myself of the overbearing pain and sickness.
You knew before I did that you weren’t good for me anymore. You didn’t get me high, no matter how hard I tried. I was incapable of taking only a little of you. It was everything or nothing; and everything was still not enough for me, but too much for you to handle. And too much of yourself that you wanted to give. You no longer wanted to be the drug, but I still so passionately wanted to be the user. You pushed me farther and farther away, but the withdrawal was worse than anything I had felt before. I needed you. I needed to at least be near you. Or I would die. I would lie down on the ground and die without you. One time I even told you that. You stared long and hard into my eyes, before finally shaking your head in disgust and turning away.
When you finally left, I didn’t die. But I barely knew how to live.
I didn’t know how to survive without you, without using you, without the high I got from you, even without the low you gave me, too. It was like I was a wandering outline of a person, with nothing filled in. I looked at people, I talked to people, I went to school, I did my job, I even smile and laughed occasionally. But my mind, my heart, and my soul were elsewhere. They were still with you. You had saturated my being so completely that you still had control over it even after you were gone. I didn’t have any power left; I had given it all to you. On that first night I tried you.
I’m clean now, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t feel your side effects occasionally. The shakes, the sweats, the nightmares, the tingling sensation in my heart—they haven’t resided completely, but I’ve managed to get a hold on them in the years since I quit you for good. Just like any addiction, you were a disease that infested my body, my soul, poisoned my mind and my blood. Just like any addict, I have had to take it one day at a time and have recovered notably, admirably, and greatly.
But that doesn’t mean the sickness you spread throughout me will ever completely go away. I feel traces of it when I get jealous, when I wonder if my love is lying to me, when I brace myself to be hurt again, when I don’t know how to trust. Those effects may stay with me forever, and I only have you to thank (blame) for that.
Although I am happier than I can even put into words that I was able to break free from you, my one hope is that I will never be the source of an addiction for anyone else. I would hate to act as the substance that deteriorates souls, ruins thoughts and feelings and emotions. I would never want to be what you were to me. I never want to be a drug.