Three Life Lessons You Learn From a Junkie

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Flickr-Josh Cain


Back in 2014 I was adrift in my life. I had recently departed a job that I’d really enjoyed at first, but the workplace had since turned toxic. In the meantime I was rediscovering my new passion for software development that I first began at the company that is now extinct. I’m sure that in retrospect I was terribly lonely at the time when my real life was spent hustling for jobs for hours.

April appeared at my door during a literal dark and stormy night. I’d met her previously as an acquaintance. However this time she was she was a mess, beaten and bruised. She said that her roommates ambushed her after an argument. We spent the remainder of the night prowling Youtube.

The next night April vanished, but this was only an intermission. My proprietor was furious. It turns she was notorious in the neighborhood for debauchery & petty crimes. Disorderly conduct too. She was out in a week.

It was totally cool with that. I never wanted her to stay any longer than that. It also made total sense. On that cold first night she a paranoid delusional maniac convinced that I was spying on her along with every device in my apartment.

First Lesson: addicts display paranoid behavior and are apt to be Schizophrenic.

I say this with a disclaimer. Delusional behavior is only an indicator of an dependent mind. You really need to get to know the person better to diagnose them and be better disturbed. Nevertheless it is a red flag for an unstable person detached from reality.

Cut to the next scene. April is finally back and sleeping like a corpse on my second bed. When she awakes I have a chat with her about my proprietor, but I’m no monster. She is still welcome to stay a week. I’ll even help her arrange the move and apply for the rehab that she probably needs.


It only gets worse. It turns out that April is accused of assaulting her last roommate and is awaiting indictment. She affirms her innocence when confronted with the charge. At the time I accepted that plea, because April had been a walking bruise that first night.

Tossing caution to the wind, I keep my word to support her. My devout Christian friend Brian almost certainly would have in a moment. Brian had even applauded my decision that I was regretting. I wasn’t about to let Brian down. April immediately recruited me drive her to all her errands. I ran her to the courthouse, insurers, stores, and many other places. To this day I still regret it on account of her habits. Uber drivers get more respect from their most tipsy and obnoxious riders. Even teenagers act more maturely, at least they can keep to a clock.

Despite it all, we arrange for a slot at the Park Center in Minneapolis for the following weekend. However it is clear that April is ambivalent about the development. Deep in her eyes it is evident that she is scared. April confesses that childhood was rough and cites an event where her father threatened to stab her mother.

Second Lesson: Junkies abuse drugs for a reason, usually to escape a trauma or self-loathing.

I remember that April really doubled down in both categories. It was evident that she desperately needed help that I was totally unqualified to offer. While we are on the subject, it was also clear that April was hopelessly lonely despite having a boyfriend that I doubt she respected.

During her one week stay she expressed an interest in seeing a movie. I declined on account of already being days behind on my tasks. Was it a mistake? Everyone needs someone in their life, even if they are insane.

On the flipside my patience was nearly exhausted with April. My neighbors loathed her with a passion and me by association. I won’t ever know how she offended them, but her denials were infuriating.

Nevertheless, when April’s morning of reckoning arrived she was missing in action. Relief! Not so fast Dave, she could blow in anytime like a twister.

Soon I’d find out.

Finally April returned a full day later from a reported hospital visit and apparently a confrontation at a restaurant.

The shit hits the fan.

April’s Penultimate night arrived.

We return where we began, on a dark night. I’d just returned from a late shift. Imagine my surprise when my door was chained shut.

I was understandably ruffled. At first I only knocked on the door, then pounded. No doubt enraging my neighbors further. Still silence, but I knew she was there. The door was locked from the inside. I resumed pounding, and then a vain attempt at dislodging the chain.


After much fretting, April finally quietly responded.

“Go away.”

It was soon evident that she never intended to let me in.

Then after a few more failed lock pickings, I remembered her kryptonite.

“Open the door April or I’m calling the cops.”

Like magic, the door opened.

Inside April was wasted yet wide eyed razor intense. Then for the first and only time ever in our relationship, April said she loved me. I’ll be real with you, I didn’t care after all the crap she gave me five minutes earlier. I’d also bet money that it was a total fabrication. Then five minutes later she wanted to give me a gift, playing cards. Really! You were completely incapable of showing me or my neighbors any respect, but you draw the line at ♠️.

Then the real surprise!

Third Lesson: junkies will manipulate you for your acceptance.

April got straight into a sexy dance, then slowly started to disrobe. Still with all the batshit crazy as before. Do I run or stay? Is this the night of my seduction or murder? Is this what it is like when Hayley Quinn strips for the Joker? Five minutes later April was topless and still dancing.


My life must be a rom-com, because at that moment April’s boyfriend entered the scene from outside my window. April snatched her clothes and immediately left to a confrontation outside. Then she left again only to move out the next day.

The lesson here is that if you are a victim of addiction or someone you know is, get help. The alternative is dramatically more tragic.

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