The spaces between celestial bodies

I casually walk into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee. One day, I spot a package on the table. “Surely it’s Heather” I think.  I take a look – it’s for me.  The return address is Rock Creek. Perplexed, I grab a knife to open the package up.  It’s a package of pills.  I am now openly hostile at this situation. I think about our nation’s preoccupation with prescriptions… My thoughts are racing. My heart is beating faster, I’m feeling sweaty…  I am triggered as shit. Although what is inside is not considered a controlled substance, Seroquel is a mood stabilizer, that is commonly abused and used on the street. It effectively melts your brain, making you so slurry, that you need sub-titles to be understood.  “I want that…  I need that…”


My anger at the pharmaceutical industry is off the chains right now. I recall that America’s addiction problem is much older than most people think. Some 200 years ago, Laudanum was America’s first documented addiction. Laudanum was a sleeping agent, rumored to have been abused by Mary Todd Lincoln.

With the advent of morphine, soldiers returning from the Civil War led to a new generation of addicts. It would only spiral from there: Cocaine was invented to get the soldiers off Morphine; Heroine to get the nation off Cocaine; Crystal meth to get you off Heroine…

President Taft was the first President to address the nation’s cocaine problem. Federal regulations were then created so that these substances could no longer be sold in a general store.  Eventually, the FDA would be created. Patrick Kennedy was picked up for driving high on Ambien. Tiger Woods just this year. Addiction is not just a poor man’s disease!

In a slope so slippery, there is a pill for everything. Every day, commercials come up on  TV about how to fix this or that – with pills. Overweight? There’s a pill for that. Can’t sleep? – look at our menu of pills. You will find something tasting good. There is no thought that, maybe, you should just stop consuming high fructose corn syrup to lose weight. There is no thought that you can read a book to fall asleep.

Emotional Intelligence has flown out the window. There is no concept of delayed gratification; we need results yesterday. You realize that the Rolling Stones’ song about “Mother’s Little Helper” was just a reflection of the pharmaceutical revolution.

Benzos destroyed my life.  I was over-prescribed antibiotics some 15 years ago and it destroyed the lining of my bladder. This lead to the stinging feeling of a bladder infection.  The pain resulted in daily drinking – two small beers erased the uncomfortable sensation. Other antibiotics have caused intestinal paralysis. Ambien blackouts lead to late night drinking in bars, when I thought I was home asleep. Every pill, instead of making me better, is making me ill…

Somehow, this thinking is simultaneously occurring in the chaos of my mind. The cornucopia of pills has scrambled my brain. I can’t stop thinking about pills. Just can’t stop the obsession… I count 17 prescriptions, at 30 pills each. I need sleep. I want my brain to be melted, I was the subtitles. I try deflecting myself. No, this isn’t working… I am panicked… I am triggered… I am freaking the fuck out!

I decide to bag them up and throw them away.  I know I sooner realized that putting them into the garbage can was not an option – too easy; too simply grab them. I drive them to a dumpster and come home… and try to decorate my tree. But all I can think about is dumpster diving; apparently, a new hobby is being considered… Fuck the Seroquel, I need some damn Fentanyl! I need a time dilation. I need Salvador Dali to melt the clock – FUCK! – Dali used hallucinogens to enhance his creativity. Suddenly, I visualize magic mushrooms, on a charcuterie board today. Rational thinking is out the window… I need a coping mechanism. Fast! The pills are screaming at me from the dumpster…!

I run upstairs to lay down with my boyfriend. Human contact was the only  strategy I can think of. I urgently want him to fully wake up and just hold me. I want to tell my story urgently and compulsively. I started measured breathing… I hold on tight to Larry… I start evaluating the situation… The imagery and analogies start cascading into my mind… Apparently, that’s also a coping mechanism I use…

Earlier in the day, I thought Halle’s Comet would sooner return from the Oort Cloud before I would take a pill again. I can’t imagine getting through this day without using a pill. Suddenly, pulling the stars of Orion’s belt close enough to examine their colorful beauty of the universe seems easier. The spaghettifcation is too extreme to endure, time has come to a halt!


Little by little,  things get better. I realize I need to run to the store. I will be driving past the dumpster. The pills are still screaming too loud! But I lay next to Larry a little longer; lay in here just a little longer…

Time passes a little more swiftly now. I drive past the dumpster. I am far enough from the event horizon to be safe. The dumpster is now a dying active galactic nuclei (formerly known as quasars), that lies within a black hole. The escalating addiction exploded like an AGN, my whole universe revolved around those pills, sucking in everything on its path.

Image converted using ifftoany

I think about how, now, the pills are more useless than the discarded planets – Pluto and Ceres. I remember how I joked with Larry that I would be discovering time travel before he got out of bed. Somehow, my mind went from being more obsessed and helpless than a galactic cannibalist, to measured, spaced learning.

A startling realization hits me: I have created my own universe! I have defined which planets are which; I have created bright beacons of light; I am finding balance in the struggle between the sun and the moon. I have learned to cultivate joy, learned patience, enforced boundaries against toxic behaviors, collected a shockingly diverse and professional group of friends… Maybe I can schedule the supernova of Beetlejuice I have always wanted to see. If supernovas have created me, I need to witness the beauty of it. I need to examine the star-dust…

One thought on “The spaces between celestial bodies

  1. Well this is a new twist of the obsession to pick up. The desires are much stronger once we see a substance that we regularly used. Fighting the desires is a struggle in the mind, one of them will win. Having the tools of recovery will help us when we are put into position to choose.


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