[Editor's Note: Brendon O'Rourke is the GaySocialites.com Substance Abuse Specialist. Each of his columns, like the one below, features editorial content from Brendon as well as a excerpt from a journal he kept while in his active drug addiction. Make sure you come back every Thursday for Brendon's latest column! For help with addiction please visit Treatment 4 Addiction]
Paranoia is a common side effect for those who abuse crystal meth. Tweakers are always paranoid that the cops are following them or that there are people outside their apartment lurking in the shadows. Crystal meth addicts will spend hours on end looking out the blinds, paranoid that there is someone out there to get them. When in reality it’s completely all in their heads. I personally never had this experience; I was never afraid of the police arresting me and I never thought there were people in the shadows stalking me. My paranoia was completely wrapped up with something else…. My boyfriend.
Over the last several months the relationship between Erik and I had become very strained. I was constantly jealous of him giving any amount of attention to other guys and was convinced that he was constantly cheating on me and doing things behind my back. Erik had his issues and he did lie to me on occasion, however there’s a very good chance that most of the time I thought Erik was fucking around me, he wasn’t.
It was my own warped brain that was convincing me that everyone was out there to take Erik away from me. Lack of trust can cause huge problems in any relationship but when you add crystal meth into the mix, you’re pretty much signing yourself up for disaster. At times crystal meth could make me feel like I could accomplish anything, I had no fear. But when it came to my relationship with my boyfriend crystal meth took away all of my confidence; I was completely paranoid and insecure.
Don’t know why it bothered me. It shouldn’t have, but seeing you lay comfortable in Robert’s bed made me angry. What made me more angry is that I stood there for 30 seconds and you never even noticed me. I swear it always seems that I’m trying to fight for your attention and I’m usually left alone.
After I stood there in the doorway unnoticed I went to our room. OUR room! Since it’s our room I don’t understand why you’re laying on Robert’s bed. You’re not even talking! Neither is he! So why not go to your own room?
I admit I have a lot of fucking issues. But is it so hard to expect attention and affection from your boyfriend of nearly six months? I just wish you noticed me a little more. Perhaps you do notice me, you probably do. It’s my fault I can’t vocalize my feelings. Part of me thinks that if I vocalized everything I thought, such as this incident, you would just get mad at me. I hate when you’re angry, your face changes completely almost as if you were possessed. I really hate when you’re angry because it’s usually because of something I did. I wish you’d laugh and smile more. You rarely laugh, but when you do it tends to bring me so much joy. I love seeing you happy. I wish I could make you happy all the time, or even an hour out of the day. A lot of times I don’t think I possess enough of whatever it takes to make you happy; eventually you’ll realize this and leave me.
When I got sober my self-confidence was pretty broken, I was still insecure and dealing with all the pain and feelings I had been pushing away by using drugs. I was very uncomfortable at social events and was afraid of talking to people out of fear or rejection. I thought everyone was talking about me behind my back and that nobody liked me. It was Junior High all over again. This of course was not the case and was all in my head.
After working a recovery program for several years and maintaining my sobriety I have been able to build up my self-confidence and am secure with who I am today. My relationships with people are healthy now and I no longer have to actively seek out validation to know I am good enough.