As a disclaimer, this blog may stir up some thoughts and emotions that may prove uncomfortable. My objective is not to glorify my behavior in any way, but to show you the complexity of the addict’s drive. I am not sure of the exact date of the story I am about to tell you, but I do know this was post-prison, sometime in the early 90s.
As I wake my mind starts to run through the daily checklist – money, drug availability, drug accessibility, and a plan on how to get enough money to at least acquire the drugs for today reaching hopefully just a level of normalcy. By normalcy I mean having enough heroin to fight off the morning sickness that typically occurs after eight hours of sleep. Being addicted to heroin is such a powerful physical dependence that after it has run through your system you become “dope sick,” a sickness that has flu-type symptoms. You have both cold and hot sweats, aches in your bones, a runny nose, fatigue – these are just a few of the physical symptoms, but there are also mental symptoms that are way beyond understanding or describing. Every thought, every vision, every plan, every step is laser-focused on the one and only task at hand each day – to get more dope or at least to get level. You would think one would keep some of yesterday’s heroin to help fight off the dope sickness of the morning, but that in itself is another part of the sickness of addiction.
As I load up to venture out and execute today’s plan, I find my lucky pants. Well, I’m not sure about the level of luck but I do know the size is of great importance for today’s task. I give the strategy great thought; especially as I run the scenarios through my mind like location, escape plan, familiarization of the floor plan, security, accessibility, and then much deeper thought on an emergency plan.
I grab one of the kids and off we go. Wait. A kid? Why would I need a kid (child)? Let me explain. Today I will be building an inventory of Disney DVDs to then sell in order to obtain enough money to purchase the drugs that my whole world revolves around. In doing so I will make more than a few stops visiting the prime spots like Kmart, Wal-Mart, and other large grocery store chains. Having knowledge of local laws I know it is important to keep the level of theft below a certain dollar amount to ensure that I can walk away with a written citation, if for some reason I am caught and the police become involved. As long as I am under that golden preset dollar amount, I shouldn’t go to jail. This is why today’s plan requires numerous stops. This is where my kid is needed. I know a normal person with a healthy reality could really have problems at this point with which I would totally agree today. My behavior at that time though was as if there was only one objective and this alone altered my ability to see or even feel anything not related to meeting the addicts objective.
To further explain, upon entering each location it is important that I don’t have things like money, identification, cell phone, etc. I always leave any bounty from the previous stops, including all the money which has been made along the way, any identification making my personal information easily obtainable, and of course the keys and cell phone all back in the car with the kid. This is the emergency plan I spoke of earlier – in the event I am caught and detained or even taken to the nearest police station for booking, all will not be lost as the child will then call their mother who is back in the room with the other children and could come to retrieve the car and any other loot which was stolen from the earlier stops – with the thinking that at least we would not be starting at zero and would possibly have the ability to post bail if needed.
After three successful stops I, I now enter the fourth location as I still need to increase the number of DVDs. With Disney movies running anywhere from $16.99 to $29.00 each, it is important to shoplift as many DVD’s that can be stashed in my lucky pants undetectable to store personnel and still stay under the golden pre-set dollar figure keeping the crime at the lowest level and exiting the store without getting caught. Again, I return to the car with another ten DVDs to add to the previous count of 36 with a grand total of 46 new Disney DVDs. You might be wondering who buys 46 DVDs and at what cost? Let me explain.
This whole process was one of the most lucrative scams that I had and I worked it sometimes three to four days a week, for extended periods of time and not always with a good outcome.
Moving on to Phase 2, I now set out to visit the vendor locations where I will sell the day’s loot. I have divided the city into four routes so as to not overload my customers with too many visits within a certain time frame. Today I will visit the north side locations or what I call the Upper Route. As I arrive at the first daycare not only was the daycare itself interested in buying four of the DVDs but they also had orders from parents which had left word that “when that DVD guy comes by, please get me 2.” Well after leaving the first stop I was off to an amazing start already selling nine DVDs at $10.00 each. At this rate I will not be able to hit all the daycare locations on this route. After hitting another seven daycares I only have two DVDs left and that’s a wrap. That’s $440.00 to make the day’s heroin purchase. Yes, that may seem like a large amount of money to spend on drugs, but when you are trying to support a full-blown addiction for two people, secure another hotel room for the night, and have money left to buy some food, there is a good chance I will return to do yet another DVD run later in the afternoon.
I tell you this story to try to show you the mindset of a drug addict and not to brag about or glorify my behavior in any way. Addiction is powerful and in the throes of it a person will do things that they never would have done otherwise. I am aware that in writing this blog some of you may become angry and with good cause, but most who know me now, know my character and my motives for moving forward. It is my intention to give you an insight into the mind of an addict and the actions they will take in the depth of their addiction.