Harsh Reality: the effect using has on my appearance
I added a ton of new content to this post. PLEASE read. I’m trying to change the world! Plus there is a link to an amazing YouTube video below.
Can you tell which photos I am using and which photos I am clean?
As embarrassing as these photos are to share it is a brutal reality of what happens to a person mentally, and physically when using drugs.
Picking is a complicated side effect from using drugs. I have come to categorize it as an act of self harm, or punishment. I have had moments where I have been so depressed and soaking in my self loathing, I have told myself I deserve this. As I destroy my face, neck, shoulders etc. Many times I have picked repeatativly so much so it turns into a pretty serious gaping infection.
Once it’s already too late and I realize what I just did, I hate myself so much more. Going out in public is the most torturous ordeal. No matter how polite, friendly, charming or helpful I may be I am treated with disgust. Everyone is rude, or cruel. People take one look at my skin and assume i’m a bad person, security guards follow me in stores, I get accused of stealing when I’m paying for my things.
I can recall hundreds of instances where I have been treated appallingly for no reason other then my appearance.
So I guess the main reason I wanted to share this is from a place of hope, that we can change the way we treat people struggling with addiction. *I just started tearing up saying that.* I know addicts can be grumpy and rude and short-tempered and FLaiLy or awkward but would it kill you to go out of your way to be nice even though they’re all of those things? I found that my agglomeration of bad moods were in correlation with how I was being treated in public. I accidentally put the wrong number down on a bag of bulk nuts at Safeway and the clerk scoffed at me and accused me of stealing. I was so embarrassed.
I had a brand new oscillating fan tower my parents had given me. It was still in the box unopened. I had my air conditioner and was in need of some cash so I figured I would return it for cash or store credit. I found a store that sold it Canadian Tire. I walked through the doors carrying the large box, the lady behind the customer service counter made eye contact with me I smiled and got in line. There were 3 or 4 people ahead of me, I get to the counter and behave as pleasant as humanly possible. But I knew as soon as I walked up this was going to be difficult. The woman behind the counter eyed me up and down, roller her eyes and made it very clear she was thinking I was less then, a stain on her pants. I explained the situation and before I could finish she takes my fan puts it behind the counter accuses me of stealing it and to leave. I couldnt believe it, how awful this woman was being. I ended up standing there for an hour trying to get my fan back with everyone in the store staring at me, glaring at me shaking their heads. I was mortified! I suggested they watch the camera footage and see I came through those doors and straight in line, this woman even made eye contact with me as I entered the store. The head of security came down said he would review the footage and return. He was nearly half an hour before he returned and said that the store cameras were down so I’m not getting my fan back and he told me to leave. Devastated I told them to call the police that I would wait there for them to come, they cant steal my fan. This employee another lady who was “helping” seemed to have some empathy, by now I was pretty upset, tearing up I pleaded she hear me out, she agreed and suggested we go outside since everyone was staring. We went outside I calmly, eye to eye, explained the facts, pointed at my fully loaded Lexus SUV I was driving (my parents!) It seemed like she was on my side. She said she was going to go inside and get my fan back and I could go. I thanked her over and over, I was left outside waiting for another 25 minutes to have the security guard and her come out to say I needed to leave, it’s not my fan, nice try. I just burst into tears rushed to get in my car and drove away as fast as I could. I had never been so humiliated or mistreated. All because of how I looked no less.
I calmed down and used that humiliation to drive my resolve. I got on my laptop and contacted the official home base, head office complaints department. I kept my cool, illustrated the events and the humiliation. They got back to me pretty hastily with an apology. In fact, that store doesn’t even sell that particular model of fan. HUH!! Wow! I couldn’t believe it! You would think before treating me with such pewtrid attitude you would check stock. Head office issued an official apology, told me I can go pick up my fan and gave me a $300 gift card to Canadian Tire, the price of the fan. I was grateful they did that but nothing was enough to make up for how they treated me.
Here let’s roll play this for a moment… I go into a store to buy milk and the security guard looks at me up and down and throws his eyebrows, raises his upper lip and intrinsically snarls at me and follows me through the store. I smile and continue on my way because I know that I’m not doing anything wrong. I get to the till and the customer service representative behind the till also looks at me with disgust oozing with disdain, making me feel about an inch big. The transaction is hurried they’re avoiding eye contact now and conversation, standing there with their judgy scrutiny. As I go to leave the store I see you coming up to the door and I open it for you because that’s the kind of person that I am! I let people in, in traffic, when they put their turn signal on too!
You blow by me and give me that same look and don’t even say thank you. Add drugs, short temper little to no sleep or nutrition and that’s bound to cause an eruption in the volcano of some sort. But you probably just hear muttering curse words or don’t even take notice.
I challenge you! If you see somebody struggling, and you can tell when someone is suffering from the disease of addiction, pale grey skin, dead eyes, fidgety, and we can’t forget the picked face. Go out of your way to smile at them or ask them how their day is or maybe say something positive hmmm.. but don’t be… this could be tricky. You don’t want to come off condescending so watch your tone and body language because addicts, we pick up on this stuff.
Or here’s a cool idea I just had for those of you who are artistically inclined or poetically gifted, fuck it or have any unique cool talents that can be gifted. If you walk by the same person everyday or you see them in front of the 7-Eleven you frequent maybe write them a poem or sketch out a drawing, just something extra special and unique. I’m telling you that will make that persons week. And whenever you see them in the future they’ll be super stoked to see you and you’ll get to have a moment where you’e opening your eyes and taking the time to care about other people. Building connections with other humans, it’s what we are supposed to be living for.
And the best part about it and I’ve come to recognize that addicts do this more than any other group or assortment, they spread the kindness. I mean you see all these posts on YouTube of people giving a homeless person a meal. And that homeless person hasn’t eaten in a week and they end up sharing some of that meal with someone else that is starving.
Melts my heart.