The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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Anonymous is 18 years old and has been in recovery from prescription pill abuse for about one year. Some days are easier than others for his recovery, but he is enrolled in college and has been clean since he went to rehab.

I shouldn’t get out of bed this morning. I can feel it inside of myself – if I go outside, I know where it will lead me. My feet will lead me through the hallway, down the stairs, out of the door (grabbing my keys as I leave), and into my car. 

I will drive down the highway, through the back roads, and into the residential development to where my old dealer lives. I know he still lives there but I haven’t been in months. 

I don’t have his phone number anymore – it’s gone from my phone, along with all of my other friends, dealers, and drug buddies. I haven’t called him and if he’s not home, I’m not sure what I’ll do. 

I’m not worried, though. I know he’ll be home. In my head, it goes down without a hitch. I’ve worked enough that I have the money to make it happen with a bang. I knock on the door, my palms slightly sweaty. 

He opens it and he looks the same. He smiles like he knows exactly what I want, because what the fuck else could I want? I want to use until the wheels fall off, until I crash and burn, burn until there’s nothing left of me. 

I’ll leave his house and return to mine like nothing has happened. I’ll go back to the bed that I’m laying on right now, take one pill, and let it fall over me. It will only take a few minutes and I’ll have signed my execution papers, dug my own grave, jumped off of the building, whatever analogy you want to use for starting the runaway train’s final episode, it’s going to happen when that first wave hits me. 

I’ll stop thinking about NA, about my friends, my sponsor, my parents, the preschoolers that I work with. The twelve steps will morph back into the mumbo jumbo that I thought they were before and I’ll know exactly who I am. 

My life will unravel. I will use until I die, this time. There’s no other choice and there is something calming about that. It may be the thing that will kill me but at least it’s effortless. I am an addict and I will always want to get high. 

Not this morning, though. It won’t be easy, but I’m not going to go back down the path that I’ve come off of. I am stronger than I let myself believe sometimes. 

The bed is soft, almost painfully soft, a reminder of the luxury that I have only while I am living my life sober. Sobriety and recovery have given me so much and I can’t throw that away. 

My friends might text me and ask if I want to hang out, but they will understand that I just can’t today. My mom will understand why I’m afraid to come downstairs for lunch. 

Tomorrow, this will have passed and I will be glad that I did not use. I am sober, I am healthy, and I am happy. 

Not Today

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