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A Breakdown of Today's Events

by Bennie Trang 10 days ago in addiction

Told in a love letter

It's nearly 5 am and I'm writing you a formal email. So clearly something's wrong. I don't know how to give you this information, because you'll probably give up on me after hearing it. The sad thing is that I can't lie to you, or withhold information that I know you have a right to.

Here's a breakdown of today's events:

Pt. 1; I wake up and feel like shit, because as much as I joke about it, I am genuinely in a state of physical decay. I eat a couple cashews in the kitchen with my coat on and before I head out for a cigarette on the balcony, my mum comes down. She's saying things that are definitely insulting, but she isn't trying to start an argument. After a couple minutes of that we're both yelling, but ultimately the argument is my fault. I left the house telling her to fuck off, and by the time I hit the sidewalk I'm lighting a cigarette that I don't need. I breathe it in fast so that it hurts my throat and makes me dizzy, probably to punish myself for yelling at my mum.

Pt. 2; I get on the bus and I think about seeing you and I wonder what you'll tell me today and I think about the leftover Concerta in my backpack. Then my mind fizzles from static to concrete, and I remember that this is sobriety day 1, and I can't break my promise. I remember all my past broken promises and what they did to you and what that did to me. I remember the way your voice flatlines when you tell me you don't believe me. I decide to give them to you so that I won't make any mistakes.

Pt. 3; I pour cream into my coffee at Second Cup and you show up half an hour before I expect you to. At first we plan to study but then I want to hear more of your voice and less of the 90s rock playing in the background and I think maybe we'd better go to my apartment. Once we get there, I just feel comfortable and happy, and also the discomfort of vulnerability, but when I remind myself that that's not a useful fear I just feel immersed in you and in myself. I love the way you pick up a tune on the guitar like it's second nature and I'll sing loud because you want me to. You really love me, but I know that isn't easy, so I try to convince you I'm worth it with sex and grilled cheese.

Pt. 4; Now we're in the last portion of our time together, I'd say we have half an hour left. I feel a bit of a pull because I'm losing you, in a small way, but I'm not going to tell you that. That's the kind of thing that would stress you out, and I need to practice being comfortable with hellos and goodbyes of every caliber. I mean, shit, you'll update me in a few hours if we stick to schedule. We both left the house and took a bus to the metro station. When you hopped off I pop my earphones in and plan to study, but I'm suddenly fucking terrified. If I end up cluelessly gazing at my essay for hours, unable to focus, I'll end the year with a set of failed courses and lacklustre 75%s. I spend about 5 minutes arguing with myself, because if I take the leftover pills I so stupidly left in my bag, there will be a set of pros and a set of cons. I am in the middle of this thought when my ex sits beside me on the bus. This isn't all that significant, but it distracts me and, on impulse, I gulp the pills down with coke zero so that I don't have to think about them anymore. Then, I feel stupid. Really, really stupid, and as I realize that I hate what I've done, I start to search for ways to fix it. Once the bus stops I pace off into the alley, trying to decide whether or not to vomit up the pills, but that might be worse than just accepting what I've done. Plus, that probably wouldn't stop them from affecting me. All I can think is: fuck, fuck! fuck. How pathetic is it that I lasted only 18 hours before fucking up, even though I didn't want to, even though I knew of the consequences, I made myself some flimsy excuse.

Pt. 5; The pill starts to boil into my blood just as I get home. I have around an hour before work, so I write part of my essay and head out. When I get to work, I feel sick but stimulated. Somehow, I managed to write almost a whole essay in the 10 minute pauses where I have nothing to do. Not only that, but I'm performing better than ever at my job, and I'm having a really great conversation with a coworker I don't usually work with. The drugs give me this stupid completion, because when I'm sober I feel all this lacking in and of myself. A little chemical intervention melts all of my social anxieties and skewed sense of self, it just provides me with focus and energy. I feel better than ever, but the anxiety rises and I find myself needing more frequent smoke breaks and my hands are visibly shaking. I'm sending you stupid texts and I worry that this is all I'll have left.

Pt. 6; I leave work and head home to finish my essay, but my sister texts me to tell me that I'm a horrible, manipulative, and selfish person. She notices that I took her shirt and for an hour she tells me how horrible I am. I don't know what to do, I tell her she can move in with me, that I want to help her, that I'm sorry, then I tell her that I can't take it anymore, I can't try this hard if she won't even acknowledge that I'm trying. My friend Anna calls me and I pick up crying,

Pt. 7; Anna and I talk about my sister, and then about other things. She wants us to go to Europe over the summer before we split off into different cities. We're just laughing and I really think things are okay. Then I remember the pills, and I tell her, oh shit! I owe you some money, I've been an ass I'll hit you back with interest tomorrow. She answers in a way that I really didn't expect, she cries and shouts and panics, and she says I've ruined her life. She tells me that she'd planned to use them to do all of her schoolwork tomorrow using them, and that she didn't know I had them. She says that I did it on purpose because I want her to fail, she repeats over and over that I ruined her life and that she's going to kill herself immediately and it's all my fault and I don't know how to fix everything. She keeps shouting that I have to fucking fix it and telling me to find a dealer, because apparently she can’t get them anywhere else. She says that I have to get 3 and a half concerta pills before 4 pm tomorrow or she'll fail all of her classes and her mom will kick her out and she'll have to take a fifth year and she'll kill herself. She just keeps crying and yelling that I ruined her life on purpose and I can't believe it because I really had no fucking idea. I feel so fucking stupid and sad, I realize that whether or not I intend to, all I do is hurt people with my selfishness and my stupidity and my refusal to even fucking try. I just beg her not to hurt herself and I can't stop thinking that all of her pain is my fault. She takes a xanax to calm down and as her voice gets softer all she says is that she loves me, and "Can I tell you a secret? We're both terrible people, but we're trying really hard."

Bennie Trang
Bennie Trang
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Bennie Trang
See all posts by Bennie Trang

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