Happiness lost, or crack and the city …

Where to start … people say I under achieve … I say I do the minimum required to keep things moving, and make it look good (in other words, I under achieve).

That’s my attempt at a clever opening line to my fist ever blog post!  I’ll stop trying to be witty and slick from now on.  So, the reason for this blog … I’m 38, I have a 1st Class Engineering degree, I have a well paid job, working for a respected company, in an over-subscribed industry … and I’m a drug addict, crack cocaine specifically.

Even now, even after all the pain, and the money … and the undoubted effect on my personality and brain (I talk to myself … A LOT,  and I qualify this by telling myself that it’s the only sensible conversation I get), even now, I’m checking my mobile phone for a delivery report on the text I sent earlier, to the one dealer I currently know who sells crack (£10 bits) as opposed to cocaine.

Washing the cocaine up isn’t an issue (it’s pretty good stuff), but the £50 minimum ….I’m usually in for £200-£300, when I have money … is more restrictive than £10 per bit (especially when you currently owe nearly all your dealers, off the back of Christmas).

January truly is a long ass month!

But enough of my “in the moment” woes … how did I end up here you may ask, a question I’d love to say that I keep asking myself, but in reality there is absolutely no point … I know exactly how and why I got here …

I wasn’t always a salivating groupie for any dopamine releasing, or reuptake inhibiting stimulant that’s available (I’m smart enough to take an interest in exactly how I’m destroying my brain), I used to be your average teenage –> student –> graduate –> wannabe expert in my “chosen” field, who binge drank at the weekend and whose social life revolved around the pubs and bars of the London Borough of Croydon … in other words, I was living the dream!

I smoked weed maybe once or twice at the age of 14, it did nothing for me … gateway drug my arse.  No, drugs were far too dangerous … I’d grown up with Zammo “just saying no” … and besides, I loved alcohol and so did all my mates.  For anyone who’s not familiar with the UK BBC television programme Grange Hill (or perhaps I should highlight the minority who are familiar with it), Zammo McGuire’s heroin addiction, at the age of 16, was the show’s most famous and powerful storyline … a feat which can no longer be replicated since Children’s BBC no longer allows ANY references to drugs …


… but I digress …

So, as I began saying before I wandered off into my reminiscence of a 1980’s Children’s BBC classic, I didn’t do drugs, I drank … beer … and shots from about 5:30 pm Friday through to early evening on a Sunday … then wake up Monday morning, off to work for 5 days and repeat.

Work, eat, sleep (x5), DRINK ….. repeat

In amongst all this I’d managed to somehow claw my way though some atrocious A-Level results, get myself onto an HND course in Electrical & Electronic Engineering, pass it well, gain entry straight into the second year of a BEng(Hons) in the same … and come out the other end with a first class honours degree in Engineering [exhibit A].

“At this point the prosecution moves to offer exhibit A into evidence”

Remember … people say I under achieve (my degree would prove to be the exception to that rule).

This was an all too familiar pattern was to continue, week in week out, for the next 2.5 years … until one fateful night in grey, rainy, all too familiar Croydon.

I won’t beat around the bush or wax lyrical … I was offered a line of cocaine by a mate.  Now you might be saying to yourselves “he can’t be that good a mate” … well he was, and little did I know it but everything was about to change.

Don’t get me wrong, my mate (let’s call him … Leo … for no reason whatsoever) was Mr Messy – always had been and probably always will be.  If this were some weird dystopian version of the Olympics then he’d win Gold in the “who’s gonna fuck themselves up the worst” event … and yours truly … would be adorned with a well deserved, runners up, Silver medal.

Remember … people say I under achieve.

Long story short …

… because actually there is very little to tell at this stage, and I’m also doing my best to spare you all from virgin-bloggers hyperbole  …

… one small line, and the wheels were in motion.  Little did know it but everything was about to change, and change it would.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with the BBC science fiction series Dr Who; there’s an episode starring David Tenant, as the Doctor, called ‘Turn Left’ which at it’s core has the premise that a single, simple, seemingly innocuous decision can (of course) completely alter not just the life of the individual but the lives of all in existence.

This was my left turn … granted, there were to be no Daleks involved and no, my decision was never going to jeopardise the continued existence of the Universe … but it would strap me into ny own personal bullet train, full speed ahead, last stop Rock Bottom.