Going to Narcotic Anonymous meetings, folks talk about the things they lost because of their addiction. For most of us it was money. We destroyed our credit, pawned everything we owned for a quick fix. For most that really is the worst thing we lost. Some of us talk about our jobs, and how we gave up going to work in lieu of getting high. Others talk of us about our families, and how we destroyed the relationships with their fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers.
I lost all of that while I was addicted to meth. I gave up my job, of six years, the best job I ever had, in hopes of running for office. But the truth was, I was abusing drugs and knew no matter what I did, I didn’t have the might in me to win that campaign.
I walked away from my credit when I took out payday loans I couldn’t pay. I lost my family by telling lies to them about everything. They could have asked me what color the sky was, and I would have assured them it was green.
What most people don’t talk about are the friends they lost because of their addiction.
The summer of 2011, I was proposed to twice. And had planned to propose to someone else during all this; I had planned to propose to the Joker, the same guy who left me black-eyed, beaten, alone and addicted to meth. He was, as far as I could tell back then, the only guy for me.
But there were two others who proposed to me. One was a Canadian guy who I had an on-again, off-again fling with that lasted about a year or so. He proposed to me three times, and each time I turned him down, mostly because I didn’t love him. Certainly, he was beautiful, and to this day, he reminds me of Jacob from the Twilight saga. He was dreamy, a flight attendant who, when he last proposed to me, had bought me a house in Canada, where I had causally said I would love to live. He knew so little about me though, and never knew I was addicted to drugs throughout our entire tryst.
The other proposal came from an ex-girlfriend of mine named Dingbat.
To understand Dingbats and my relationship is to understand that even though I am gay, she is the only girl I ever loved. When she came to me telling me about something awful that had happened to her, and made me swear I wouldn’t tell anyone else, I agreed, and of course took the proper measures to make sure she was okay. I told the right people so her mother would find out and she hated me for a moment, as I suspected she would, and later thanked me for caring that much about her. I was willing to risk everything to help her, including losing her.
To this day, Dingbat has my heart.
During the summer of 2010, I was heart-broken over the Joker who had dumped me. In fact, when I was in New York, visiting my mother with the Joker, I went through his phone. He said he was thinking about dumping me in a text to a friend of his. I saw that, was broken, and grabbed my phone and dialed Dingbat’s number, taking a walk around the block in Floral Park, Queens.
I had already told her I had planned on proposing to him, and so she understood my heartbreak. To this day, this girl is the only girl I can ever say truly understood me.
When I arrived back in Arizona, the Joker followed and I quickly got caught up in the awful world of Meth. In one of his withdrawing fits, he gave me a black eye, and in another he strangled me, which landed him in jail. I hated him, but loved him, and the thought of me sending him to jail was too much for me to bear. I spent the week he was in jail attempting to overdose on Meth, and any other drug I could come across.
After a week of not sleeping, of crying, and attempting to die, I realized I had failed, and called Dingbat. She met me for dinner and I told her I needed to go to rehab. I told her why. On the way to the rehab facility she was graciously driving me to, she said that she was thinking about enlisting in the armed forces, and that she had scored really well on the placement test. She then asked me if I needed the benefits, and if I did, we could consider getting married.
At the time, I was in no place to consider such an offer, and I said “let me think about it.”
While in rehab I had two visitors. One was Dingbat, who came at least a half a dozen times. She was taking care of everything; from making sure my teachers at ASU knew what was going on, to being in contact with my father and my mother. She more or less took as much stress away from me as she could to ensure I could recover.
I was released six days later, and she drove me home. We had made dinner arrangements for that night, but once I arrived home, I was alone and scared, and decided to check my text messages from my phone, which I had just gotten back after a near-week in rehab.
One of them was from the Joker, who apologized and like any person in an abusive relationship, I said I understood his rage, and asked him to come over. He came over, we got high, and when Dingbat called me to confirm our dinner plans, I told her I was with the Joker.
She told me she didn’t want to see me, and hung up on me.
That was, more or less, the last time we spoke.
People talk about the financial losses you get with an addiction. They talk about the emotional scaring you get from an abusive relationship. They even talk about what to do the next time you want to use.
But no one talks about that one person who saved your life during it all.
Dingbat saved my life. I didn’t quit using meth then, in fact it would take a near fatal overdose hurting still over the Joker still, but she got me on the long path to recovery. And when she refused to talk to me after I had the Joker over to my place to get high with me, I took it hard.
A little over a month ago, I received a Facebook message from someone I am assuming who was pretending to be her mother. This person said Dingbat had passed away, had killed herself, and it happened to coincide on what would have been our anniversary.
I was a wreck. I drank too much, put my roommate and a friend in a weird situation, and cried. I was even escorted to a hospital by the police for my drunken behavior.
I yelled at Arkansas, the guy who I was somewhat interested in at the time, and even broke the glass on one of the framed pictures I have of Dingbat and me. I have since learned that whoever sent me that information was either attempting to play a cruel joke on me, or really hurt me. I suspect the later, and I suspect the Joker, but I don’t even care. Dingbat is alive, and that’s what matters.
I know Dingbat is alive now; thankfully. I know she is doing well, as she always would be. And I know that she is living her life without me.
My father noted when the first round of rehab treatments was going on, that she clearly loved me. I knew then he was right. But I never appreciated it.
It has been years since Dingbat and I talked. Sure I have sent drunken or high messages to her. Sure, I have racked my brain for the best way to bring her back into my life. But I don’t think anything I can do can really heal those wounds. Those wounds I, in my high, stupid state inflicted on her.
I feel like she is gone for good now. And it’s the worst feeling a person could have.
You meet your soulmate only once in your life. I was lucky enough to meet mine my freshmen year in high school. One day during lunch, our group of friends were talking about something, and Dingbat and I both locked eyes. We were so completely done with the conversation. That’s when I fell in love with her.
Dingbat and I dated for seven months and a day. When she moved away once, we sent letters back and forth to each other, letters I still keep.
I also still have framed pictures (though one I broke the glass of when I was told incorrectly she had killed herself). I only have framed pictures of my family and of her. I even have the note-card she broke up with me on when we were dating.
In NA meetings, folks talk often about losing their family, their jobs, and their credit. But no one has ever said they lost their soul mate.
I did. For a quick high with the man I thought I loved, I gave up nearly a decade with the girl I knew I loved. Gay or straight, my bond, my soul, my heart has been connected to her, and it will be forever.
These days, she has blocked me on Facebook, I don’t have her number, or an email address to contact her at, even some of our mutual friends (well more her friends than mine) have blocked me. These days, the mistakes I made have driven us apart.
I don’t blame Dingbat for severing ties with me. I actually understand them completely. But when people talk about money they lost while using, I get fed up. They talk about family who they have to work hard at building a relationship with, and I get fed up. Family, at least my family, has stuck with me through thick and thin (I consider myself blessed) and I have worked hard to make our relationships solid again. I am slowly rebuilding my life, after an addiction that cost me everything.
But there is one thing I will probably never get back, and that is my relationship with Dingbat. And that is exactly why I will never use again.