The image above is a hastily grabbed still from a never to be released film (i.e., drugs killed that too) I shot in the summer of 2015. In the scene, a young girl awakes to find her boyfriend has packed and left overnight, leaving her with a simple one line note as a farewell. She reads it, crumples it up, and lets it drop over the balcony to the floor below. Basic stuff. Except, five months later, on a cold February day and crippled from my addiction to Klonopin, I went out to meet a friend from AA and came home to find my wife had left me. This time the break up notice came via a text to me later on that night.
It’s cold again here in NYC. And the days are short. But this year, the days seem so very long to me. I’m 17 days out from taking my last small dose of benzodiazepine. It’s taken me almost a year to wean down to nothing but the withdrawal symptoms are taking their toll. From the mental – crushing depression and anxiety – to the physical – tinnitus, sweating, akathisia, myoclonic jerks, RLS, etc – I am in hell. I am still crippled by my addiction. Over the last week or so, I’ve questioned my sanity, my ability to get through this, even to live. I barely have enough to eat. I have 8 cans of soup. My bank account is at $60 and most of that will go to feed my dog. My phone bill is past due at $400. My energy bill is past due at $900. My rent of $1600 is past due. I’m supposed to start work on a new project this week and have no idea how I will get there and back…nevermind take calls, eat, and sleep. I’m at rock bottom.
People are walking past my window laughing. I know there is joy out there. It hurts to hear it, but I had it once. I lost it to addiction. I hope to someday have it back. In the meantime, it’s dark, it’s cold, and I am hungry and, yes, suffering. I’m praying, though. I’m praying for others. I’m praying that no one ever has to go through what I have gone through. I’m praying for a Christmas miracle for us all.