Is It Really Me?


Using cocaine dramatically changed the type of person I was and who I wanted to be.

Early on, when I was in my early teens, I noticed that after using, I would become extremely talkative. In one day, I told Todd (the mystery man) my entire life story. After every hit, I would feel excited and energized.

There were times when Todd and I would get high and run naked out into the freezing cold. One of those times, we were caught and Todd was arrested. He was only in there for a few days until my Mom convinced her new boyfriend to bail him out for me.

The first few years seemed incredibly fun. Todd was making good money selling his product, so we were able to keep up with our addiction. I never had to experience withdrawal. Whenever I wanted to use, Todd was there to provide what I wanted.

By the time I moved up to injecting cocaine rather than snorting the powder, in my early 20s, I became a monster that I couldn’t recognize. After a hit, I no longer felt excited and happy. I became belligerent and argumentative. I was willing to fight anyone for any reason. It seemed to make me angry and want to lash out. Todd received the worst of my lash outs.

We would argue for hours while high and on many occasions, I would physically harm him. One time, me, Todd, and a few of our friends had a small get together. Naturally, Todd supplied the coke and my friend Meghan brought the needles.

After getting high, Todd believed that someone snorted part of his line. He clearly snorted the entire line himself, but he wasn’t convinced. Instead, he blamed me. He convinced himself that I consumed his coke when he wasn’t looking. Infuriated, I told him that he was full of it and it was his insecurities that made him blame everyone else.

Eventually, the argument grew out of hand. Before I knew it, we were fist fighting in the living room. He gave me a hard punch in the face that made my nose bleed. Having no inhibitions, I picked up the ceramic lamp to my left and smashed it over his head. Blood trickled out of the gash that now marked his forehead.

At that point, my conscious completely left me. I didn’t care what happened to Todd or if he was going to be okay. I wanted to hurt him, maybe even kill him. One of the neighbors called the cops and we were detained for a few hours. After we sobered up, they let us go.

I remember thinking how wild it was that I was able to be so evil, so menacing, so completely different from who I really am. I was terrified of myself. I didn’t recognize who I was anymore. What would grandma say if she saw me now? How would she feel? How disappointed would she be?

Todd and I fell out after that. Which meant that I had to find a new way to feed my addiction. I hopped from an abandoned house to an abandoned house looking for a way to score. I would often go through withdrawal as some days I had to deal without coke.

I began to lose weight. My hair was falling out. I gave up on taking care of myself, so my hygiene suffered. I distinctly remember people holding their noses when I walked past. This addiction was eating me alive and I couldn’t find a way out. I didn’t know how to save myself.