The Addict and the Night: our Problem?

The Addict and the Night: our Problem?


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Home Page > Self Improvement > Addictions > The Addict and the Night: our Problem?

The Addict and the Night: our Problem?

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Posted: May 09, 2008 |Comments: 0
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Though the United States has an unacceptably high number of homeless, very few of us have any concept how terribly frightening and spirit breaking it is to have become one of those lost, stereotyped souls!When it comes to be late in the night or very early in the morning, depending on where you’re looking at it from, the streets of the city are a strange world, for the homeless addict, even though he’s accustomed to living in a strange world. Things go on! Things that the average person doesn’t know about, take place in the darkness and loneliness of night people, wandering haphazardly in their addiction. The quietness is filled with subtle, sometimes abrupt breaks in its pattern of peace and quiet. A scuffle between a wandering addict and a sleeping drunk, over a space to hide and to get some rest without fear of the law discovering them, ends quickly for fear of one or both making a trip to the county jail. At first, the world of the night is frightening for the newly homeless. It always is a fearful place, to some degree, even after you’ve become accustomed to it for some time. There are rules on the street. There are domains without names and even some with names like on the Internet, but always they can be challenged. Nothing is set in stone in the world of the darkness. Nothing is absolute and nothing is absolutely predictable! Strange sounds as the feet slap the sidewalk, because there are no other sounds, can become a comfort or as they create an echo, become the sound of a stalker, following, lurking, becoming a terror as fear heads for a crescendo, and one realizes that they themselves are the source of the eerie, haunting sound. So many, many possibilities, so many fears, and so much inner reflection clash inside of the head when one is all but, all to aware, that they are all alone in the world. When the sound of a siren arises in the night it could be and ambulance or it could be a fire truck, but… What if it’s a cop car? Should I just act indifferent and try to look unsuspicious. Or… should I seek cover like someone in a war zone that wants to stay out of the fray? Do I look loaded? I don’t know! Living with fear becomes the common state on the street, at night, for the Addict.I spent some time in this world of the lonely and lost, as I was one of those who had lost their way, and had no idea how to go about correcting the course! The loss of identity that comes with the confusion of a deeply drug-addicted mind, makes you a lost soul relating closely with no one and nothing, period. You are alone in the Universe, but ruler of your own distorted view of life. Usually feeling just a step or two away from freedom and success as an individual, you’re actually just slipping deeper and deeper into the darkness of the chemically altered brain. It’s distorted but it works for the addict in their twisted life; living in some kind of sick fantasy. There is always something to be afraid of, in the day and in the night; in the darkness and especially in the light!Then there is the depression in the gaps between getting your issue of that drug-of-choice. In these times, a small, feint, piece of reality sets off a succession of waves of hopelessness that envelops the very soul, and twists the mind deeper and deeper into despair until you can search out that place to get some sleep for the first time in days or maybe even weeks. Confusion is conquered by fatigue and fear until the body just gives up and goes nearly comatose! When you awaken almost in a daze some cognitive order has returned, but it is quickly attacked by depression and reality, and the hunt for the money, then the drug, and eventually relief begins again as the drug satisfies the craving! A distorted level of Freudian ego defense mechanisms, of the mind take over, and then you have to do it! The body and the mind are addicted to the drug and the heart and soul need to be numbed so the reality will go away. You don’t want to feel anything except the euphoria that the chemicals in your brain provide when that drug goes coursing into your blood and takes over the entire body, mind and soul! The run begins. You’re back out on that dark sidewalk and your drugged out mind plays tricks, and fears swell into paranoia, as you search for some place to be safe. Moments of clarity eat at your mind and descend into sadness. It’s all happening again, just like so many, many times before, and tears run down your cheeks as you quicken the pace trying so hard to find someplace to be. You need somewhere to cry… somewhere to lye down. And, sometimes maybe even, a place to die! You need something, but you can’t reach out and get a handle on exactly what it is. Everyone has had to let go of you, for you only bring your fear and sadness into their lives when you’re around them. You know this, but dash quickly away from those thoughts, playing little head games on yourself to block out the reality and pain. The street is what’s left. No ties to anything, has become your goal. “I’m not hurting anyone but myself, if I just stay away from everybody.” You tell this to yourself until you believe it! Your whole life is inside of your head! Other people are only there to use in your fantasy life! Darkness… if it could just be dark all of the time then you could hide more easily, more often. All you’re able to do is get from one minute to the next; sometimes and hour at a time, sometimes maybe even a day! If you make a score you can hide out in a sleazy motel for a few days or a week. That gets to be more and more rare as the addiction builds its way up, stronger and stronger, until you get arrested and the County Jail just possibly saves your life. Still, you know you’ll probably end up right back where you’ve been, because for the addict the drug has all of the control! Its world is the world of the night and the darkness! So, that is your World, too! Your drug is like a powerful entity of evil and so much more powerful than you! Years pass! Without help, jails, institutions and death are your future!Getting help is hard, when you can’t feed yourself properly. With no place to stay you can’t bathe regularly. You can’t wash clothes regularly. Very often, all you have is the clothes on your back, and maybe a little backpack with a couple of things in it. Where do I start? In this state of being you’re very unlikely to get a job, because you have to be able to clean up, get to where the job is. Eat… Sleep… How will you be on time? So, you just let the day pass and figure where and what you’ll do on the street tonight. At least there, you don’t have to be ashamed that your clothes aren’t clean. No one really cares or can tell, in the dark, if you yourself are clean. Food comes when it comes. You don’t need much “fuel” to get through the night and you can always get some behind a restaurant or bakery, whatever! Until a life-changing event happens or someone reaches out to you, nothing changes. And, if nothing changes, nothing changes! This is a reality for many more people than our society would like to admit. We justify, rationalize, and lay off the blame to appease our consciences, very much like those lost souls do. In a society that has become able to justify providing such little care for our aging elders, or provide healthcare for the poor, what are the odds that we’ll ever step up to truly provide for the lost souls of the night, who very often fit into both categories!

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CounselorDave -
About the Author:

I am a certified substance abuse counselor, and recovering addict, in California. I have 12 years clean time and have been a counselor most of that. I have served as a treatment program Director. I have worked going into prisons recruiting inmates for aftercare drug treatment programs. My calling is as a counselor because I love the reward of helping others to find a life, as I have after using drugs for nearly 30 years.

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I have a very hard time sleeping at night i have some medical problems could that be my problem
What causes the need to get up at night from sleeping to urinate several times I stopped my medication that has hct mixed with it for the last two days to see what happens could this be the problem?
I was informed by my Doctor that I may suffer from T M J I was wondering if there are cures for this problem . She asked me if I grind my teeth at night. I don't believe I do that

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addiction, homeless, drug, drugs, addict, social, issues, problems

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I am a certified substance abuse counselor, and recovering addict, in California. I have 12 years clean time and have been a counselor most of that. I have served as a treatment program Director. I have worked going into prisons recruiting inmates for aftercare drug treatment programs. My calling is as a counselor because I love the reward of helping others to find a life, as I have after using drugs for nearly 30 years.

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