To Spite My Face

I knew I hit bottom when I was using Preparation-H to ease the swelling in my coke-ravaged nose.

Some years ago, after graduating from college with a degree in economics, I landed a job in one of the Mid-Atlantic region’s leading commodity-trading firms. One of the historical components of the growth of the Mid-Atlantic region as a commercial giant had its origins in the Caribbean sugar trade…another refined white substance—talk about irony.

After several promotions, I made it on the sugar team. Yes, the firm traded other comedies but the now defunct company had been built on sugar. I can’t blame my boss for exposing me to blow. When he offered it, I took it. “Why not,” I thought. “Everyone else from the firm who was there that night was doing it.” It wasn’t long after that that I’d end up losing everything chasing a high I could never catch.

At first, I felt empowered. With blow as my ally, my energy level was off the charts. I could work and work and work. And I did.

Although I was making six figures, you’d never know it; all of my money went from my paycheck to my nostrils. Soon my paycheck wasn’t enough and that led me to subsidize my income at the firm’s expense. Luckily, the firm didn’t want any scandals or trouble. They made it go away and made me go away too.

The little money I had left; should have been spent on things like rent, food, or car payments. Those things were not a priority but cocaine was. With no money, I couldn’t support my habit and I’d wake up thinking if I don’t do some blow soon. I’ll take a razor to my wrists. Then came night-sweats and the chills; they were nothing compared to what was going on with my nose. I had no choice between, pain, bleeding and burning. I went to the emergency room. When they pulled off the scab I’d been feeling. They informed me it was covering the hole that blow had burnt in my nose.

Fortunately, the hole was small. However, that didn’t mean I didn’t do damage. Now if it was possible, and it wasn’t always with a blow-damaged nose, I’d be facing reconstructive surgery. Again, I was fortunate, to a large degree my nose was repaired to a livable degree. But it was never the same. And neither was I. After that I went into treatment and began a long road to recovery that I continue to travel to this day.

Brenda - Baltimore, MD

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