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There’s a monkey that lives with me, but unlike everyone else, he’s a permanent resident; forever. Forever meaning this monkey has apparently made himself at home on my back until I die. I can’t evict him, I can’t keep him in a cage, and he breaks every house rule I give him. His name? I don’t even give him enough recognition to name him. For now, his name is The Monkey.
As cute as it might sound to have a furry monkey, his overall objective is to literally murder me and those around me. How? Through negative and positive words, actions, and thoughts towards me that he preoccupies himself with 24/7.
The Monkey has been living on my back since birth, but he slept and hadn’t woken up until I was 17 years old. A couple moments before age 17, he switched positions a little bit, opened one eye, and maybe sat up a few times but continued to stay asleep. When he finally did wake up, it wasn’t gracefully or peaceful, instead it was an evil happiness. He awoke suddenly, made a lot of noise and tricked me into thinking that he was my new best friend. I welcomed him at first, but he shortly showed his true colors, one color at a time.
The characteristics of Monkey is all over the map. He’s happiness, sadness, love, hate, honesty, control, manipulative, sneaky, attractive, ugly, confusion, strength, and mostly he’s one of the best liars I’ve ever encountered. The worst part about him is that no one, including myself, can predict his next move. Sometimes I’m a little ahead of him, but for the most part, he’s impossible to ignore.
I know this monkey is a male because he has power and authority over me. I’ve discovered in my life that men rule over me. Some are great men, like my stepfather. Others, like this monkey, are not, at all. I have no choice but to allow him to have power over me, but I try to disobey him. I was taught before I could even crawl, that I must obey my parents. I was fine with that, but the only way to survive with this guy on my back, is to disobey him every chance I can.
The Monkey I speak of, he does have a name deep in his heart that his parents must have given him when he was born. His first name is Addiction, his last name is Heroin.
Wow this analogy is so on point. The weight on my back that my addiction weighs on me can be intense and overwhelming, but things started to change when I started to acknowledge that I don’t have to let it run my life. I have been sober for almost 2 years now, but I can still find myself getting caught up my old behaviors, that once led me to numbing out. But I know deep down even in those moments that my worst day sober is better than my best day using. I have to continue to do the work to make sure that “monkey” doesn’t take over like it used to with help because I have found time and again that I can’t do this alone.
I really enjoyed reading your take on recovery and your experiences. I think that your creativity will inspire others and keep the discussion going on how we can better understand addiction.
Thanks for sharing. I look forward to reading more of your posts. ~ Michael
Ally thank you so much for sharing, I never looked at addiction this way before. I can’t wait to read more of your posts!
This really shows the struggle of addiction that doesn’t go away, thank you.
Thank you so much for sharing. I can relate so much to your experience. Instead of the monkey, I call mine the beast. I believe I’ve had it since birth, too. I also know for a fact that it became larger and stronger through experiences such as trauma, not wanting to be alive, using drugs, staying clean and not doing any work on myself. I have lived in constant chaos and nightmare since I was little.
Your post reminds me of the song “Became” by Atmosphere. It strongly depicts the nightmare of active addiction as a pack of wolves chasing a girl through snowy woods. More footprints added in the snow, with hers eventually disappearing. I get chills every time I listen to it. Whether its the monkey, the beast, a pack of wolves, my life has been controlled by such monster. I at some points have been able to quiet it, or tame it so to speak and then have CHOSEN to awaken it again, over and over again.
I also am still learning how to be a human which is what I have felt the complete opposite of my entire life. I am learning how to be a daughter, a sister, a friend, an employee. I am learning how to go to bed at night and eat 3 meals a day. I am learning how to go to the grocery store and to hang out with people, without drugs or dark, obsessive thinking.
Thank you again for posting. I really appreciate it.
TurningPointCT.org was developed by young people in Connecticut who are in recovery from mental health and substance use issues. We know what it’s like to feel alone, stressed, worried, sad, and angry. We’ve lived through the ups and downs of self-harm, drugs and alcohol, and the struggle to find help.
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