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I don't get bummed out too often, so I'm riding this one out for as many decent nodes as I can.

There have been more than a handful, more because I have thought deeply from an early age, the thought depth I'm sure poets and writers may adhere to. I wouldn't know, since I don't know any, but here goes.

I was addicted to cocaine for a little over a year, the first year I was in New Orleans. It was partly from being stuck in the service industry of the French Quarter, which as seedy as it gets. I had also shut off my heart from feeling as a result of breaking up with what is still my only real ex-boyfriend. Emotional death is almost a prerequisite for becoming a cokehead, or a symptom of the addiction, I am convinced.

I was working mad shifts at three jobs, biking from one to the other like a maniac to pay the bills. I was living in a hotel room at an Inn I also working in as a desk clerk at night. The day job was at a restaurant doing office work, payroll and such, and the weekend job was at a café. If I wasn't getting coke from my manager at the restaurant, or from co-workers at the café, I was getting it delivered to me from my dealer to the Inn. It was threaded in every facet of my life, whether I was hooked or not.

There were nights where I had the next day off and didn't have the normal urge to go out to the bars. But I still had a 20 bag, and cokeheads just can't leave well enough alone. I'd cut up the whole thing and snort the bag up over the course of a few hours, then just sit in my little room, rocking in an Indian position, my head spinning like an oscillating fan stuck on high. I'd lay on my back and stare at the peeling paint on the ceiling, my brain numb to any coherent thought. Chain smoking, trying to drink water, trying to dry up anything human inside of me, trying to be the machine I had convinced myself I was. I didn't cry for a full year. It was the worst year of my life.

Most of my lowest points have nothing to do with drugs; they had everything to do with me and my inability to assimilate into the world. I blamed people for not ever getting close enough to me to have any impact when I was the reason they couldn't get through. I'm working on that, and it may take the rest of my life, but dammit, I'm still going to try.

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