Ran into this a lot in my younger years – people I knew who struggled with addictions. There are apparently two kinds of people who go into recovery: those who eschew all inebriants thereafter, and those who just learn to not fall back into THAT particular addiction.

I had a meth problem, very short-lived, in 1995. I have an addictive personality, and meth was an incredible high. I only danced with that demon for about 6 weeks, but it got me into its claws hard. After that first bump, it was: 3 days on, wasted day of crashing. Rinse, repeat, for six weeks, no exceptions. I was working in an oil refinery where they randomly drug tested, so I had a whole lot of risks involved with gacking myself up on crank every day. Didn’t care – the high was incredible.

Until I woke up one day with a nosebleed and bad skin. I was already thin and lean when I started doing it. I’m 5’10”, and when I wised up that day, I had a 28 inch waist and weighed 157 lbs. Looked in the mirror and said “Nope, I’m done.” Haven’t done it since. Keep in mind – I’m not saying that the drug was to blame. I was to blame. My serious lack of impulse control had me dancing with meth in a fast, hard spiral downwards.

So although I wanted to keep doing it… fuck that. I prefer to stay alive. And yeah, there are times I’d love to have a fat caterpillar rail of tweek so I could stay up all night finishing comics and writing. I don’t, because waking up with a faceful of crusted blood is no fun at all.

But I’m one of those who can kick one addiction and still have fun with other substances. I’ve tinkered in various drugs, including coke – which, honestly, I never understood how someone could find it addictive. Expensive as hell, and the high doesn’t last long enough for the price, or for the hangover the next day, when your sinuses feel like they’ve been scrubbed with steel wool and you have a headache nestled behind each eyeball with a power drill. All of that said, I lost a friend in 2003 to cocaine addiction. A lot of Alex’s story comes from watching him go down.

Right now? My addictions are beer, nicotine, and guns. Two of those might eventually kill me. We’ll see. BUT AT LEAST THEY’RE LEGAL!

Speaking of gun addiction: I need to make a montage like this. Preferably using some of Jeph Jacque’s “Deathmøle” music.