Thursday Two Questions - Addiction

Pierre doing what he loved most.

Today we're going to talk a little about addiction. I'm going to tell you a personal story which some of you already know. I'll make it short, I promise.

When I heard about Amy Winehouse I automatically thought of Pierre. I met him decades ago when I was 13 years old. He was 18 at that time. He had his own Greek band and played the bouzouki as you can see in the photo. Five years difference in age is not that much but when you are 13 and the guy is 18, especially back in the 60's it seemed like a lifetime.

I know it's strange to say "love at first sight" at that age but it was. There was that instant connection that just could not be denied. Once I met him I made sure to go to any picnic, festival and event in which he was performing. I would attend all of these events with my cousin and her family. It didn't matter the event, I would just sit there and watch him perform. At that young age, a simple Hi! from him would have my heart fluttering for weeks.

When I was about 16 and he was 21 I heard he got married. Of course my heart broke and I stopped going to the events in which he performed. A few years after he married, they were divorced. Fast forward, 15 years later I went to a Greek festival not knowing he would be there. He performed with his band and all those feelings I had for him came rushing back to me. I remember my Mom telling me to go talk to him and my telling her "why? he'll never remember me." She edged me on and during his break I went up to talk to him. He through his arms around me, hugged me and we sat there drinking ouzo and eating baklava for hours.

We began seeing each other from that night on and dated for quite a long time. If there is a heaven, that was it, I was living it. The down side was he was heavily into drugs. He took drugs day in and day out. I never joined him and he was fine with that because he always said "drugs will ruin your life," yet he kept taking them. I hated that he took them but I was so in love with him and so worried that if I said something he would leave me, that I lived with it.

He spent many times in jail and one long bout back through part of 1999. In July 1999 to the day I am writing this he was being transferred from a prison in Southern California to Pleasanton, CA when on the bus with other prisoners, he became sick and started turning blue. The prisoners kept alerting the bus driver that he wasn't breathing but the driver would not stop. When they reached Pleasanton he had already died. The drugs just ate away at every part of his body until he finally gave up. I was completely devastated. I also felt guilty that I never asked him to stop the drugs. I think in some ways my addiction was him. He was the love of my life. I know there will never be another like him. I wrote the following poem after he died which some of you have read. My two questions this week will appear after the poem.

for Pierre

My heart summoned you
at an early age not yet knowing love.
Sensual whispers, warm rains
shower my body and soul with your being.
When you spoke, I could not speak
for words escaped me.

You sang
strumming blood tears on your bouzouki
year after year lost in Rebetiko.
Yet life your muse,
music your passion.

Too young
I could only listen;
rhythms burning my very core.
Your melancholy eyes hypnotized my essence
a captive trance,

years later realized.
Now a woman
we shared love,
requited passion,
Boundless infinity together
a moment in time.

Soon thereafter you were gone.
Suddenly your last breath stolen away,
gone too soon.
I now see those melancholy eyes
within the wind
amongst the trees
along the shore
within my soul;
I love you still,
Agape mou...

1. Have you or a loved one ever been addicted to anything?

2. If so, how did you handle it?

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Ratty said…
There are many people I've known that have been addicted to drugs. I've learned that there is nothing that can be said to a person in this situation. All it does is drive you apart. In my experience, if you show the slightest disapproval to a drug user, the drugs warp their mind into making them think of you as an enemy. I've never seen drug use end happily. I wish it wasn't like that.
betchai said…
very beautiful poem Jo, full of heartfelt emotions. personally, i do not know anyone who have been into addiction, if seriously you can consider FB addiction as such, then, it's me, and I am not joking. I actually do not put my cell phone close to me now otherwise I will keep on checking FB updates and it does distracts me from doing more productive things. I am presently trying hard to manage it by: 1) not keeping my cell phone close to me 2) go to my blog instead of FB 3) open my email first before FB whenever I am in front of computer. Otherwise, I avoid being in a computer too.
Ratty, thanks for the visit and sharing your thoughts. I'm glad to see you up and about again.

Betchai, I know exactly what you mean. I have much more important things to do online, yet I'm always checking in on FB. This is why I've been thinking about closing it. There's nothing that important that I even need to go there but I can't stop myself from doing it. Maybe you and I should form a FB therapy group like alcoholics anonymous :D We can call it the "Step Away From Your Facebook Page" group.
Ann said…
Thanks for sharing your story
My first husband is a recovering alcoholic. I spent a lot of years doing all the wrong things. I was first an enabler, I fell victim to the effects of his drinking, taking the blame for everything.
I eventually went to alanon meetings where I learned how to deal with the drinking.
The ex eventually gave up drinking and shortly afterwards left me for another woman.
Of course that put me in to a bit of a depression thinking that I was only good enough for a drunk.
Using what I learned in alanon though I picked myself up and dusted myself off. I suppose in the entire experience served to make me a much stronger person.
Ann, that is so difficult to go through and thank YOU for sharing your story. Looking back now, I probably should have reached out for some help but at that time I was in denial. I do believe these situations do make us stronger.

Thanks my friend and I hope little duke is feeling better now :)
♥~Judy~♥ said…
I did and still think of him from time to time. I broke up with to start dating my hubby. I was constantly on a roller coaster with him, either very happy or almost suicidal. He tried to quit so many times with my encouragement and went to church with me regularly. When I refused to go back with him he left the state and I was told one day he had a head ache, laid down and died. Drugs are so powerful. I would yell from the roof tops (if I thought it would help) don't try them, not once!! I never have.
SquirrelQueen said…
Your story is very sad, how tragic to lose someone to drugs. The poem really reflects your emotions.

I have had friends who abused drugs and alcohol but thankfully never anyone really close to me. One of my friends died from his drug use but another friend stopped using and now has a beautiful family and is very successful.
Icy BC said…
Your love story is fascinating, and unconditional, Jo! And the poem is just beautiful with emotion.

I only know a few with alcohol addiction, but the effect is pretty much the same at the end.
First of all, I am so glad you decided to share your love life with us. I am much more moved by true stories. They are real life stuff, true feelings, and you can't get better than that. Sounds like something that happens back then, people are not the same anymore. We are more verbal now, and your feelings might not be bottled up like that for that long...I always love the movie Lobo, and felt sorry for the character Johny Depp played- he was a drug addict too.
1) I was with someone who was addicted to spending $. It was so bad. It was a long time ago, and we were still in our teens. I worked my A** off and he would spent more than what we made. You can imagine the rest.
2) I fought with him a lot, not much I can do. It would happen behind my back, and I would try to do everything I could. The end is that I left.
Judy, a rollercoaster is the perfect word. It's so hard dealing with the ups and downs. Thanks for sharing your story.

Squirrel, that just goes to show there are success stories though few and far between. Thanks for sharing.

Icy, thank you and yes, alcohol abuse is just as devastating.

Blogger Broadcast, Ah, that is just as bad as alcohol or drugs and it's terrible to live like that. Sometimes the only thing you can do is leave but in my case I couldn't bring myself to do that. Thanks for visiting and commenting.
betchai said…
"Maybe you and I should form a FB therapy group like alcoholics anonymous :D We can call it the "Step Away From Your Facebook Page" group." - I am with you, Jo, definitely. I am trying to find ways and means to be free from its bondage, though I keep the account, but not strongly addicted to it that I forget to do the more important things coz I check on it first. today, I am happy to say I blogged first and responded to more important emails first.
Gale said…
1. My mom is addicted to cigarettes.

2. I used to try to say things to make her stop. And she's tried to quit many times. It's not as easy as just deciding...which is what makes chemical addiction so bad. When your Pierre said "drugs will ruin your life" ...he knew they we're ruining his. From my experience, you can encourage, but if they haven't made the choice to stop on their own nothing you can say will change that.
JamericanSpice said…
1. I've not suffered any addiction that lasted more than normal as yet..
Normal means addicted to music for a couple hrs :) or chocolate or a certain cake.

2. So no addiction just yet to handle that is detrimental to our being.

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