Addiction Through My Eyes

Red eyes

The main thing I remember about being a pill popping, coke snorting, heroin smoking, alcoholic was fear. Several types of fear in fact and each to varying degrees. From the slight fear of having cops bust in while nodding out, to the absolute terror of running out of dope.

I have had people ask if I was ever afraid of overdosing. No, that never made me afraid and not necessarily meaning I wanted to die, but I hoped the quality was on the upper end of the dope spectrum.

I also won’t talk about the feeling of what being high on heroin is like either for fear of somehow glorifying it. It’s a terrible drug that turns otherwise decent people into liars and thieves.

Most days as an addict, I would sleep late or try to anyway because dope dealers don’t get up early. When I got up, I would smoke a joint and snort a perk 30, chasing it with Vodka if I had any. If usually didn't, as I would have spent the entire night drinking it and thinking of how I was going to get the money so I could score.

Most of these ideas did not work (or had stopped working) and a lot of them involved conning someone into giving me money; my mom (when she was alive), sisters, step mom and dad, or the best one, to bullshit my dealer I had money coming. Another idea was pawning everything of value I had and if none of the above worked, stealing. (It still turns my stomach I got the point where I would steal. There is a little hatred of myself for that to this day).

Almost all of my time was spent trying to get money for dope and then waiting for the dope dealer to show up. So much time… oh the game. Very little of the time was spent actually using the drug or being high, for as soon as I got drugs, I quickly used all of it and as soon as the highest point of the high was gone, I was back onto working out getting more; i.e. my next con game.

I noticed at a certain point in my addiction, I started looking at people not as people, but as a means to feed my habit. I was always thinking of how I could get something from them, what angle I could play to convince them to give me money, or something of value so I could sell it. (If I had used the time and effort I spent trying to get dope on something positive, I’d probably be a wealthy successful man these days). I worked out an approximation of how much money I spent on dope, women and wine not too long ago and the number was half a million dollars

I lost my job, most of my real friends, my wife and kids, and damn near my freedom. It was an unending circle of scheming for money, obtaining money and then putting said money in my body. Repeat.

I lied to everyone I loved many, many times. I told lies to cover my actions, then lies to cover those lies. Lies to explain where all my stuff went. Lies to explain where the rent or car payments went. Lies about why I was sick all the time or why I couldn't go to work, then why I got fired. Why I’m underweight, sunken eye’s and sucked in cheeks. My life was nothing but lies for many years.

I got clean and will be reaching my three-year anniversary in August of 2017 thanks to the Narconon program. And I am still dealing with the fact that most true friends and family aren’t holding their breath. It can be frustrating, but I know I have a lot of work to do before I am seen as a decent person again. I feel like it is impossible to make amends to all those who I wronged.

I spent a lifetime on the ocean commercial fishing but I hung up my rain gear and boots to help society and help others so they do not wind up like I did. It’s the best way for me to give back. What a rewarding, peaceful existence for this ole salty dawg.


Ray Clauson

Ray spent years raising a family and working as a fisherman in the Pacific Northwest. He changed his career path and has now dedicated his life to drug education and spreading the word that there is a way to live a successful, drug free life.