Confessions of a Dreamer
My name is Rebecca Lynn and I am an addict. I’ve been one since the age of 15. Everyone assumes that addiction is only about drugs. That’s not true. For me, my addiction first started with sex.
I got pregnant for the first time at 15. I was far enough along to find out prior to the abortion that I was pregnant with a daughter. On the day of the procedure, in all honesty, I died too. At least the girl everyone knew. When I went back to school I did not speak of it. No one knew. I shut down and became something else.
Sex became my solace. In it, like with drugs, I could forget for just a moment the pain I felt. Being with a guy any guy, made me feel alive because on the inside I felt dead. I wasn’t picky either. If you wanted me, you got me. I can’t tell you if I slept with you, because I honestly don’t remember. That’s how I coped. On the outside no one knew. I had a gift with words, I could look you in the eye and with all sincerity make you believe I was fine. After all I made it a full time job to lie to myself and say I was ok, I was pretty fucking masterful at it.
When I was gang raped several months later, shutting down emotionally was second nature. I went home and went on with my life. I took a shower, I went to bed, I got up the next morning and went to school. I slept with another random person later that week. It was my drug of choice for many years.
I took everything that happened to me and blamed myself. “It was all my fault” “I deserved it” “It’s what whores like me got”…on and on the talk went like that. Over and over I allowed myself to be used and abused because feeling alive for a tiny bit was better than not feeling at all.
In time my dependency on sex lessened. Not that I was suddenly “cured” and not an addict anymore, I just shifted it to the next thing. Money. I spent money like it was going out of style. If I had a dollar, chance are I would spend 5. It’s just the way it was. The rush I got from spending, was similar to the rush I got from sex. I felt something, anything, so I spent and spent and spent till eventually I ended up in a homeless shelter with my 3 year old, with absolutely nothing to my name. The train ride home to FL was the longest ride of my life. Like many addicts I’ve gone through many phases. I had good periods and bad periods but always simmering below the surface was my impulsive need to forget my pain and to pretend I was ok.
As with all things in my life I moved on and moved through the steps of day to day living. No one and I mean no one knew how turbulent my head was. I have been sick for a long time. I’m just really fucking good at hiding it.
Eventually I would discover Adderall and oh my fucking God, I liked it. It made my issues with sex and money seem like nothing. I could stay up all night. The designs came to my head like gifts. I was on fire. For the first time in my life I could truly not think. No pain, no fear, no anything.
Just me and that magic orange pill. I woke up and thought about it, I went to bed and thought about it. It was my lover, my friend, my child, all wrapped into a pretty little plastic casing. I wanted that drug more than anything.
Never mind that I had gone down to 89 pds. Never mind that my heart raced all the fucking time, or that I woke up screaming from leg cramps. I was high. I. Didnt. Have. To. Think. No thoughts about the abortion or the rape or all the other fucked up things I’d done over the years, just sheer, pure numbness. For a time, I fooled myself into thinking that it was heaven. I ignored the fact that this could kill me, chasing that high was worth the cost.
Until my doctor called me out on my bullshit. He took me off cold turkey and I wanted to die. The withdrawl was hell. I didn’t think I’d ever get past it. The reality though is he gave me a gift. When my brother Ruben an addict as well died 3 months later, I was present enough in my own head to mourn his loss. I was present enough in my own body to see the reality for what it was.
Addiction is suicide slowly. It’s russian roulette. You get clean or you die. That’s it. Seeing my brother for the first time in 7 years in a casket, well it woke me up. I don’t ever want to not feel again. I don’t ever want to hide from my pain. I want to feel it, acknowledge, and tell it to get the fuck out of dodge. In a nutshell I want to live. For the first time, I truly want to live. I want to tell you as I’m doing today that I survived. I walked over fucking coals, burnt my feet in the process and am covered in scars but I’m here and I’m alive and I’m so incredibly grateful for the chance.
I will be an addict for the rest of my life. There is no denying that. But an addict in recovery. Those are 3 words that are pretty damn sweet.