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Lazarus (The Henchmen MC #7)
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The war was over.
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Lazarus – 3 years ago
I spent a lot of time thinking about eating a bullet.
I had the gun sitting on my nightstand since I bought it two weeks before during a particularly bad low. It sat there, full of bullets, waiting for me to make up my goddamn mind already.
And I couldn’t tell you from day to day what way my decision was going to go when I picked it up every night.
That was how rocky things were.
Those idiots at the meetings didn’t know what the hell they were talking about.
It gets easier.
It didn’t get easier.
I got better at fighting it. There was a very distinct difference.
That was why the gun was still on my nightstand and not sold back to the guys I bought it from in the first place. Illegally. No one with my record got legal guns.
The problem with nothing getting easier was, some days you didn’t want to fight. Some days you just wanted to say fuck it, go out, get a bottle, get some pills and feel fucking better.
It was a miserable life to feel sick and unstable every moment of your day, no matter how you tried to distract yourself, no matter how many hours you punished your body with exercise, trying to burn through the sensations, no matter how many books you read or meetings you attended.
It was bad enough on a daily fucking basis for me to sit down on my bed every single night and pick up that gun and think about it. Thinking about ending it all. Thinking about sticking the muzzle in my mouth, putting my finger on the trigger, and making it all stop.
I used to think suicide was for cowards, for selfish people.
No one would have ever called me a coward.
And I had spent my adulthood taking care of my mother.
No one could accuse me of selfishness either.
But I wanted it. I wanted to end it. I wanted to end it just slightly less than I wanted to keep breathing.
That slightly was what I clung to as I put the gun back down and threw myself back on sheets I had spent weeks sweating through on a bed that I had gone through the most agonizing experience of my life- and I had been through a lot of pain- withdrawal.
It was a special kind of hell I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
Sweats, chills, skin-crawling, pain in every single muscle in your body, vomiting, upset stomach, headache, exhaustion, the shakes, depression, hallucinations, rage, runny nose, watering eyes- the fucking works. You name it, addicts in withdrawal go through it. All at fucking once.
I ran toward the bathroom, gagging helplessly. There was nothing in my system but my body didn’t care- it needed to purge, to make me miserable, to push me closer to the edge.
I got up off the floor and grabbed my keys, throwing myself out of my apartment and hitting the streets- the frigid February air biting into every exposed inch of skin- the smarting pain just enough to take some of the misery away. Or, more accurately, masking it with a different kind of pain. I understood why so many people in recovery turned to blades, sliced themselves into ribbons of flesh. The pain, the new, visceral, understandable pain made sense. It made so much more sense than the pain that seemed to come from nowhere but everywhere all at once.
I’d considered it myself.
But instead, I walked.
I walked until my legs got too numb to feel anymore, until my mouth was so dry I realized I had walked myself into complete dehydration, until I walked so far that I was almost in another fucking state.
Then I walked my ass back home.
I drank Pedialyte.
And I sat off the side of my bed.
The air expanded my chest until it burned before I slowly released it, my hand moving out to slide over the cold metal of the gun as I brought it onto my lap. I pulled it open, checking the cylinder.
I closed it and spun it, staring at my wall.
Every day they closed in. Every single day, my world got smaller. No decent place would hire me with my record. No illegal way to make money would allow me to keep clean.
It was no fucking win.
And it was really fucking frustrating.
My gaze drifted to my nightstand, seeing a picture of my Mom, taken five years before, smiling radiantly while I knew cancer and chemo was destroying every healthy and unhealthy cell in her body- leaving her in constant pain.
She died three months after the picture was taken.
It was the first time I had 30s.
She had a supply of them for her pain that could last even a severe junkie for months.
I took them all in under a week- numbing the pain that there was no way to dull. By the time they ran out, I was too far gone to turn back.