I remember when all of my answers fit inside a pill
Extended release, 30mg, tiny little white beads shake around loudly
like the panicked thoughts in my head
The amphetamines would run through my blood stream hungrily
looking for neuron receptors to prey upon,
sitting like crisp, new, heaven-scented virgins, fresh meat for the taking.
They'd disguise themselves as endogenous,
as if the body and the brain naturally made this happen,
wanted a gushing current of dopamine to start pouring out
of every synapse, wave after wave of artificial pleasure,
euphoria, focus, mania, sweeping me off of my feet
into a world run by pharmaceuticals. In my mind,
problems literally could not exist - the chemicals taking over
my midbrain would not allow it. Palms sweaty, heart pounding,
pupils dilated, I would be taken over by chemically-induced content-ness, a happiness high. And that was all I wanted.
Wrestling with addiction isn't fighting if you want it.
I was never fighting with Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse, or Focalin,
I was avoiding them: you cannot truly fight the ones you love.
And then I stopped wanting them.
They sat in my drawer untouched for days, weeks, months.
I found better pleasure centers that went beyond
the ventral tegmental area, the dopamine super highway present
in every human brain. I found meditation, I found dancing,
I found friends, I found yoga, music, incense, singing
bubble baths with scuba masks, picking apples in the rain,
smelling the sweet thick scent of flowers in the spring time
the taste of fresh pineapple on a summer day,
the crackling sound of golden leaves crunching beneath my feet.
These were answers to questions in the deepest parts of my soul
that went untouched by man-made substances inside a prescription bottle.
I felt like I had finally awaken in my life, I had finally arrived
in this moment: fully, freely, confidently and full of love.
People told me I'd be an addict forever, I thought I would always
be haunted by the demon voices that lived under my bed
when I was alone and unguarded. But here I am, the real me,
the dark, thick, medicated sludge covering my true self
has been wiped away completely, like snow melting off of flowers.
The only part of me that is upset is the part that knows that
the four final papers I have will not write themselves. But none of
that seems important anymore. Mostly, I am relieved. I am free.
I feel like I conquered a terminal illness, a fully recovered brain
cancer patient that never touched chemo and kept all their hair.
Who knew all the answers I thought were in a pill
were always right in front of me, in the now,
in the constant, colorful kaleidoscope of present moments
happening to me that I was ignoring.
The answers were inside my Self all along, all I had to do
was stop thinking, look closely, listen carefully, and trust deeply.