“It was better to feel pain than to feel nothing at all—than to be nothing at all.”

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The weeks after Brett left were harder than I care to say. I had grown accustomed to him in the short span of time we had known each other. It was too quiet without his presence beside me—and I had barely gotten a taste of what it was to love and to be loved.

He, for a brief moment, had become my drug. He had intoxicated me in ways no man-made substance ever had. It was a strange, yet terrifying euphoria. But it also brought me immense pain like no other drug had yet to do.

Without him, I was left emptier than I had ever been—and as with all voids, I needed to fill mine.

I started off on a three-day heroin binge. Though, when I woke up, I was miles away from my motel room with no memory of how I’d gotten there. When that failed to numb me, I tried again; only this time I wanted to feel everything. I wanted to remember each man who I let have me. I needed to be reminded I was still alive.

The only solution I came to, was to mix a cocktail of cocaine and ecstasy. The cocaine would ensure I was awake and alert for it, while the ecstasy would ensure I felt even the faintest of touches.

I took it with the intention of punishing myself. It was better to feel pain than to feel nothing at all—than to be nothing at all.

I knew what would happen as I walked out into the street; away from the fragile safety of my motel room. I knew that wearing no panties in a bad neighborhood, while wearing only a large T-shirt, was a bad idea. I knew there would be men who would pin me to the wall and take me without mercy or permission, and I still closed the door behind me.

I didn’t even second guess my steps. I was so high I could barely walk; but I was alive. The feel of the street upon my bare feet was electrifying. The way the slight breeze kissed my burning skin, sent me into waves of ignorance filled bliss. My skin was on fire with a passion, a need for something I hadn’t previously been able to obtain without Brett.

I needed the man who walked from behind a large dumpster, and shoved me against the dank wall of the dark alley. I needed him to lick the side of my face as he whispered his intentions in my ear. In that moment, there was no fear; I felt no regret. For the first time in weeks Brett wasn’t on my mind. It wasn’t his hand I felt running up my thigh. It wasn’t his breath brushing against the crook of my neck—or his hard body pressed firmly against my chest.

I couldn’t feel him as the strange man drove himself inside me. All I felt in that moment was a meaningless caress from the hands of a man I had never met.

All I felt as he walked away was the desire to rid myself of his scent. There was no devastating, overwhelming heartbreak. He had served his purpose, and as I walked back to my room I realized that. As the drugs had begun to fade, so had the illusion that I was okay.

I was a junkie born from devastation, and I had just begun my road to insanity.

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