To Breathe Again: Part I
Toxic relationships, drug habits, and delusions develop rapidly through the broken psyche of a young girl. As she breathes in the toxins, she wonders if there is a way out.
“I fell in love with a very bad habit
But I feel alive for the very first time
I don't wanna die
But I don't, I don't wanna hide
Or keep shit inside
I will not cry, so
I deal how I deal with it”
To breathe is to take in everything in the air around you, without a second thought, and accept it—Even if it is toxic to our entire existence. When someone has trouble breathing, their lungs cannot help but to open themselves up, allowing all the polluted fumes inside of them. They expand because they think it is easier to take in what hurts them than to function while not breathing at all. Even when they are drowning in an endless sea, desperately gasping for air with every painful breath, they still open up just for the sheer thought that somewhere, somehow there is air left to breathe that will keep them alive for even a second longer.
We continue to breathe even if we are overwhelmed by pain—even on the verge of death itself—because we don’t know what else to do. We have become so familiar with this sensation we call “life,” we are so overwhelmingly afraid of whatever comes afterwards. This also goes for many other things in life. We become too comfortable with our surroundings and decide to stay in one place rather than trying to find what sort of bigger and better things are beyond us in this life. Just as the human body fights death, it seems that we are virtually built to fight positive changes in our lives until the very bitter end.
That is why many people struggle so much. We are terribly stubborn creatures, blindly leading each other down different paths when we aren’t even sure what’s at the end ourselves. We cannot control what happens around us, but we can control which path we choose to walk on. We can make sure we never follow blindly behind our emotions or anyone else’s. Once we decide to forget about logic and let our hearts lead us completely, that is when we let go completely and allow fate to take hold. Sometimes, this can be a good thing. But quite often, losing control to a certain extent can cause us to lose focus on all of our morals, draining us of our sanity over time.
House of Horrors
As I slowly approached my old apartment, I recalled the last time I lost my sanity. It was a feeling unlike any other to remember a time in my life with so many conflicting emotions. I felt my heart race more and more as I crept towards the run-down building where I once resided. It was a time of love and hate, ecstasy and turmoil, pleasure and pain. Every moment of joy was followed by another moment of pure misery. I must have just been so busy enjoying the misery that I lost track of all the pain that had built up inside over time. I am not sure exactly why it started, but I do know now that true love is not found through a heap of drugs and toxic emotions.
When I was eighteen years old, I was reckless. And when I say reckless, I mean that I would make one decision after another based on no real logic whatsoever—I relied solely on my emotions and responses to the anguish that had seeped into my heart, corrupting my entire life force. At the time, I didn’t know that I was tainted by a toxic mindset filled with traumas long past their release due date. I assumed that every bad thing that happened to me for years was actually caused by demons. This caused even more of a disconnect between my true self and created excess tension. In fact, I believe I may have literally created some demons of my own because my belief was so strong.
My opinions were not based on sheer superstition, though. I’d had plenty of intoxicating experiences playing around with Ouija boards, seances, and tarot cards by the time I was eighteen. Each of my experiences had worked to shape me into the neurotic person I was (and still am). In fact, it was true that I had one or more entities attached to me through using the Ouija board, but I could not blame that on all of my problems. On the day that I met Cyrus, I think a part of me knew that it was he who would accentuate the demons in my life. I had just washed my hands of my Ouija board of five years, dropped out of college, and moved to the remote town of Agawam, MA to regroup. After ridding myself of my Ouija board, I thought that all of my problems would be easy fixes. When the negative energy left me that night, I felt lighter than I had in the five years since I owned the board. However, I learned the hard way just how the devil works in mysterious ways.
No one forced anything down my throat. No one peer pressured me or threatened me. I chose to hop, skip, and jump down the rabbit hole all by my own accord. When he arrived, I couldn’t have been more excited. However, I wasn’t necessarily excited to meet Cyrus from the dating app, Plenty of Fish. Although we had a great rapport and I did admire his lean, muscular physique which featured a sexy ouroboros tattoo on this chest, my deepest desire was to rekindle the flame with my secret lover, Heroin.
She was the most beautiful mistress I’d come into contact with for the first time on a not-so-sexy vacation while I was in-between semesters at college. After my foster mom told me I couldn’t return home from my dorm over a nonsensical charge for open containers of alcohol, I was bewildered by the fact that I felt alone in the world for the first time. I’d finally gotten the freedom I always wanted, and to my dismay, it did not feel so sweet. The bitterness seeped in deep, in fact. It was not long before my grades began to plummet along with my mental health as I searched for any outlet I could possibly find to replace the foster family whom I believed truly would be my own for the rest of my life.
I had already lost both of my parents at a young age and been rejected by my immediate family, so all I had left was my friends. I should have been thrilled when one of my friends back home convinced his mom to let me stay the summer. However, in a desperate effort to numb the constant nagging pain in my heart, I began to trade the quiet Christian home I was welcomed into for a chaotic trap house. Not only was it chaos, but I was in a relationship that I never truly felt right in. I convinced myself I loved Derek because he and his family showed love for me, and that was what I truly needed at the time. Well, it turned out that Derek had lied about being clean and was flirting with Heroin all along behind my back. Little did I know, I was already prepared to have a threesome.
It started off slow and steady, seeming more like a summer fling than a serious commitment. The first time I felt her warm embrace, I simply melted into her arms. For the very first time, I felt something that numbed my pain and made me feel alive at the same time. It felt like something that my body needed, so I decided to try her out a few more times. It didn’t take long for the mood to escalate, as her sister, Fentanyl, came out to play with us as well. She was simply drop dead gorgeous, with a quick rush of adrenaline accompanied by a sort of high-strung euphoria and an itch you could never quite scratch away. Between the two of them, my dopamine center had been permeated for life, never to return to the same “normal” account of functionality.
Things really began to heat up as Derek’s family started dropping like flies. It was around this time that I began to wonder why anyone kept Fentanyl around, because it seemed as though her only prerogative was to use people for all they had before killing them. Four separate times in one month, I watched Derek’s family members become one with the spirit world, turning pale blue and gasping helplessly for breath. What really blew my mind, though, was how much they disregarded death as it crept around the corner every day. Even after each one of them died, I watched as they jammed another needle into their arms, chasing the lush embrace of lady Fentanyl, official cold-blooded murderer of the century.
Over time, the drug use became more varied as we began to combine substances which should never be used together—Heroin, fentanyl, acid, cocaine, ketamine, and marijuana all floated around the house and through our bloodstreams, causing beautiful epiphanies as well as unpredictable catastrophes. Derek soon became the King of Acid as he sat on his throne with 250 tabs of acid, half of them stolen from the dealer who accidentally gave him two sheets that were stuck together. By the time his dealer realized his mistake, Derek had already been in Neverland, never to fully return to reality again.
I was extremely worried, especially since the last time we tripped, we all ended up in some version of Hell. I blamed it on the negative energy in the house and the fact that I had used the Ouija board in the house just days before we decided to trip. During our last trip, Derek ended up on his bed in the fetal position, sweating and panting as he lost his mind over what he had seen. He had literally lost his connection with reality and seen all of us in the living room chained to the floor in Hell, surrounded by fierce Hellfire as we threw up profusely over and over again. As he saw this, he threw up everything he had eaten.
As for me, I got caught in a continuous stream of never being able to finish any thought or task. I felt the negative energy in the house, and over time, it felt like something had latched onto me to control my mind. Each time I tried to do something, it was put to an abrupt stop and another thing replaced it. I began to lose my mind, leaving my belongings scattered everywhere and not being able to find a single thing. Eventually, I collected myself and went outside. I was released from my negative trip once I went for a walk only to be pushed back into it when I saw a cop drive by. Then, I believed the cops were after me for about an hour. I was so terrified that I even hid behind a wall in a random person’s front yard as I watched the headlights of each passing car in terror.
I was still in school when Derek first picked up the acid. It was both exciting and concerning receiving the jumbled texts from him about his experience tripping and his efforts to get me a ride to him. After a few days, I arrived at the house, unsure of what to expect. Of course, when I got there, he was already in another dimension. As for myself, I only took three tabs because I wasn’t exactly trying to lose my mind. Apparently, Derek was. He decided it was alright to take twenty tabs of acid in the course of three days. By the third day, he was talking complete nonsense and his pupils were so enlarged that he had no color to his eyes.
All of a sudden, he began running around wildly and throwing things around, screaming, “Don’t worry, I have all the answers! We don’t need any of this stuff!”
He pranced around the house, throwing things on the floor and in the trash, convinced that we no longer needed any sort of material items. With this, I had decided that I was done tripping and wanted to leave immediately. I called my foster mom to pick me up, never to return to the house of horrors in which I had made myself a broken home. I bounced around after that, staying wherever I could before returning to school in Manchester, NH.
It was this experience that taught me a valuable lesson: Just because you feel accepted somewhere, it doesn’t mean that environment is where you should be. I had made myself comfortable in a place where I was putting my mental, physical, and spiritual health at risk just because I did not feel accepted anywhere else. I felt as though I needed to lower myself because I wasn’t good enough. By having this mindset, I lowered my standards and put myself in serious danger. I became exactly what my mind told me I was.
This cycle lasted for years on and off, as I was never truly able to escape from the grasp of the sensations I craved. I wanted to be numb, to feel, to live, and to die all at once. I was, in fact, so unsure of what I wanted that I literally began to go insane. My mind was scattered, and it was so broken that I was forced to drop out of college and move to the remote town of Agawam, MA, where I embarked on a journey to find true spiritual enlightenment again. Overall, I learned that drugs were never the answer. Although I did try to avoid them, my mind was not strong enough. Soon, I would find myself accompanied by yet another toxic partner as we set off together to be trapped in the jaws of Heroin.