This is the final segment of my three-part series on rock-bottom number one. For part one read this. And part two, read that.
If you remember from a few posts back, I had been working as a healthcare recruiter —my first official post-graduation job. Employee by day. Drug addict at night. Eventually, though, those two worlds collide. When I decide to pick up more drugs instead of going back to work, I end up getting fired. As if I didn’t see this coming. Because I wasn’t as good as my boss originally thought I’d be. I knew why. But once again, she didn’t. And that’s the point.
“You have so much potential, Macey.”
Potential I wasn’t using; I was using pills instead.
I was also using my lunch break to score those pills. Because I was already halfway to one of my dealers. I worked until sixish, which was around the time it started to get dark. Since I’ve always had a thing with driving at night (I hate it), it seemed as if lunch was the best time (at least for me) to see him. Because I had to have something to snort if I wanted to get out of bed. Because I couldn’t do anything without my drug of choice.
So if I didn’t have at least 60 milligrams, I couldn’t function let alone work. But once again, it was a catch 22. Because truthfully, I didn’t work too well on them either. I remember falling asleep multiple times in the bathroom. Where’s Macey? That’s when shit got really bad. Long story short, if I didn’t close two deals by the end of the week, they’d have to let me go. Because I had been there for nearly a month now. And I had zero to my name. I was a little annoyed with myself.
But not enough to make a change or do anything about it.
I remember doing a line instead. As the week went on, nothing changed. It became pretty evident that I wasn’t going to be employee of the month. Most likely, I wouldn’t be employed at all, which is exactly what happened next. Long story short (you can read the full version, here), I find another job. But that shit didn’t pan out as I hoped. So I find something else. And what do you know? That didn’t work out either. It’s just, I didn’t know that yet. All I knew was that I had an incoming phone call from an unknown number.
If you remember, this is where shit got weird. Because I go to that interview, which was set this evening at a hotel in a random hotel room nonetheless. What about the business center? But who am I to question this shit. He’s the professional, right? I guess. I guess not. Because instead of it being your standard what’s your biggest strength —he propositions me. And if I thought things were bad before, I was in store for a rude awakening. Fortunately, he wasn’t the Craig’s List killer —possibly a rapist (that was yet to be determined).
Luckily though, he didn’t touch me. But it was far from good. Because this was the first cut. And when they say it’s the deepest, they were right. Because I was digging my own grave. I just didn’t know it yet. Here’s what happened. So I’m sitting next to him on the couch when he starts giving me the rundown of what I could expect day-to-day. I was pleasantly surprised. It sounded like my cup of tea. Basically, he worked freelance for some D-list movie production company.
He needed someone to write reviews for a bunch of short films his client’s company created.
Every morning, he’d send over those files via email. I’d have to watch them and then write an honest review. Each review being no longer than two pages. On top of that, he had a second client who needed critiques on various screenplays not yet filmed. They weren’t filmed because that client needed someone to edit the scripts, which is where I’d come in. He said, every morning, I could expect a second email with those documents. “I’m pretty flexible,” he added. “So you’d have all day to review them. We rarely have specific deadlines.”
And for those projects, I’d simply insert any edits I saw fit. Whether there were grammatical issues, a lack of flow —shit like that. So after that was done, I’d return the edited version back to him where he’d either accept or reject my suggestions. He said sometimes, there may be a little back and forth. But overall, he wouldn’t bother me too much. That’s it? Damn. There was no question. I could more than do it. I’d excel. Maybe this is what I was looking for. Maybe it was the answer.
I mean, I’d be using both my journalism and public relations degree.
Plus it was all done online; we’d only meet when necessary.
It sounded like the perfect gig. Did I mention I’d be making $600 a week? That was way more than my last job —not as much as my first but it was exactly what I was hoping for. How could I say no? I don’t. I tell him, “I’ll take it!” That’s when he tells me, “There’s just one more thing we need to discuss before I can officially offer you the position.” So I ask, “What is it?” And that’s when shit got weird. Like I said, really weird. It’s hard for me to type out. It’s hard to say out loud. Because it’s kind of embarrassing.
But here goes nothing.
So I’m waiting for a response. Like what more could he want to know about me? Because before he said his little spiel, I shared a bit about myself —including a detailed work history. And not to sound arrogant, but I knew I nailed it. He seemed into it. And now that I think of it, maybe I did too good of a job selling myself. Because. Are you ready? This is when he asks if I could jerk him off until completion. He literally said that. Verbatim. Whaaat? I was stunned. He said if I did, the job was mine. Wait a second.
What type of short films would I be critiquing?
Because I quickly realize what was playing in the background of his hotel room. I can’t believe I didn’t notice it before. Porn. It was fucking porn!!!! That’s when I start piecing everything together. I was sad. I was pissed and he got me. Because I knew this shit was too good to be true. When it seems that way, it usually is. And in this case, it fucking was. Because the films I’d be watching, reviewing and editing were also porn. And this guy was a fucking creep. Remember though, there was $100 with my name on it.
He said he’d even throw in another $200. But only if I made it through the entire interview. And that was the point. That’s why he said entire interview. And that’s why he waited until now to share the cliffhanger ending with me. Because if I walked out now, I’d get nothing. Zero. And I needed something. It’s just, with what Ted was asking for, you’d think the answer was simple. No. No way. Get the fuck out. Run. But as you know, life isn’t so black and white. And I was grey. More like black and blue. But you get it.
Because I wasn’t sure what to do.
But that would be a lie.
Because I didn’t. I didn’t do anything. I was in a state of shock. I had never been propositioned like this before. I never even knew this was a thing people did or asked for. I was on a freaking job interview, after all. What the actual fuck. So I think about it for a moment. In my head, I’m like OK. No one would know I did this. I’d be able to not be sick for at least another day. Plus, he wasn’t asking for sex, which would have been a hard no. At least that’s what I told myself.
Unfortunately, the ugly truth is that a lot of female addicts (men too) end up exchanging sex for money in order to score more drugs. Based on some research, financial struggles —normally stemming from drug use, may pressure both men and women into prostitution. As you know, drugs are expensive. When you’re doing them day after day, shit adds up. Plus, when you’re addicted, you’re not functioning like a normal person.
So you can’t have a normal person’s job.
When the addict begs, borrows and steals everything and anything they can get their hands on, eventually, there’s nothing left to do but sell themselves. And when the high wears off (it always does), experts emphasize that he or she probably feels more than icky. Like icky enough they need more drugs. They need drugs so that they don’t have to think about what they did to get them. Hence why it’s such a challenging cycle to break. Because you need money to get more drugs. And everything sucks without them.
So at that point, it may seem that the only way to get the amount of money needed to buy those drugs day after day is to sell themselves. Like their bodies. Services too. Obviously, though, there’s a ton of risk involved. It’s just, women and men in need of money, for this reason, may find that it’s worth the gamble. Plus, anytime drugs are involved, there’s usually not enough time to pause. Well, there is. There always is. But you get it. And if you’re not pausing, you certainly aren’t going to weigh the pros and cons against one another.
I needed a second.
I didn’t want to feel like a prostitute. Because I wasn’t. So for a moment, I thought I’d say no. Because I wasn’t sure what would happen if I said yes. It’s just, as you know, my brain wasn’t mine anymore. Nevertheless, I remember asking myself, “Am I ready for something like this? Could I live with myself after doing what he asked?” Because in all of my awfulness —like robbing and stealing and scheming, never did I participate in any sexual act for money (not yet at least).
But that’s the thing about addiction. Never say never, they say. Because what happens next? I end up saying yes. In my defense, all I had to do was touch his junk with my hands. And I’d get 300 bucks. The addict brain only saw dollar signs. It saw a way for me to stay high a little longer. And it pains me to write this out. Because never would I do this shit now. I didn’t even want to do it back then. But remember, I did a lot of things I didn’t want to do. So I ask if I can use the bathroom first.
He points to it as I get up and walk over.
Luckily, I had a few pills in my purse. I knew I couldn’t do what he asked of me sober. Well, I was never sober but I had to get higher. So I’m in the bathroom. Right away, I see my reflection in the mirror hanging above the sink. I hated what I saw staring back at me. I couldn’t even look at myself. I knew I was in there somewhere. But I was gone. There’s no going back now. Except there kind of was. I hadn’t yet done anything. I could run away right now. But then I remembered my dwindling stash.
I really needed that money. So I did what any addict would do in a situation like this. I crush up my damn pills, which is when I pull out a rolled up twenty from my bag, take it to my nose and snort. I felt a little better. I could breathe. Only for a second or too. But I’d take it. I’d take anything. Anything but this. As I wipe away the remnants of any leftover residue, I knew what I had to do. I didn’t like it. I remember thinking that. And then, I tell myself —OK. I’m ready. Ready as I’ll ever be. You got this, Macey.
That’s when I see him laying on the couch. Ew. Whatever porn flick he had playing in the background was now full force. I didn’t know how to start or what to even do. But I fake it. I knew I was good at that. So I make my way over to the couch and decide to sit next to him. I was trying to smile. I couldn’t. I fake that too. Instead of trying anything else, I simply turn toward him, undo his belt buckle and begin. I hated every second of it. It was horrible. But it could have been worse. A few minutes later, it was over. Thank GOD.
Just as promised, he hands me $300 in straight up cash. My eyes were sparkling. I remember thinking how easy that was. At the same time though, I remember being totally grossed out. But I just kept staring at the 15 $20 bills that were now safe in my wallet. He thanks me for my time and my services —as I wash my hands with bleach and gather my shit. He already had my number. And now he had my email address as well. He said he’d send over my first assignment in a couples hours.
But that I didn’t need to start until the next day.
That’s when he quickly details a little more about when he expected me to have shit done. He said he was pretty flexible. It’s not like I’d be reading rocket science. I’d literally be reviewing porn conversations. So I wasn’t worried it would be too much to handle. I was worried about what I was going to tell my family and current employer. Because with the money I’d be making, I could quit my full-time job. I was kind of relieved about that. I was making pennies over there —working 40 hours and bringing home nearly nothing.
That was legit the reason I was here at this interview, to begin with. Because even though I liked the people, it was more of an inconvenience than anything else. Because the office I worked at was 20 minutes in the opposite direction from most of my dealers. As you know, those meetups were pretty much a priority. And a daily occurrence. At my other job, I’d sneak out on my lunch break to grab more pills. But with this office being so far, I couldn’t do that and make it back within the hour.
Which implied I had to meet my suppliers at night.
Shit looks so much shadier when it’s dark out. It’s like what’s this single white female doing driving a murdered out Mercedez in the ghetto at night nonetheless. I remember being anxious until I was safely home. It’s just now, working with Ted from home, I’d have the freedom to meet these people anytime I wanted. I was excited and equally scared. It’s getting late, Macey. Have a great night. I’ll talk to you tomorrow. I thank him one last time and finally exit stage right.
This was the beginning of the end.
Next on the agenda, was to graciously quit my current gig.
Without having to go back to the office. Without having to see everyone and explain why I was quitting. Needlesstosay, I end up texting my boss. I end up telling him that due to a recent family emergency, I have to move back home. And as unprofessional as this is, I have to leave first thing tomorrow morning. I won’t be coming in at all moving forward. I emphasized how sorry I was for all of this being so abrupt. I thanked him endlessly for everything. Somehow, he wrote back with a nice little note saying he understood. Wow.
I was off the hook. That was easy, I thought. I was free. And it felt good. Except, it was a false freedom I mistakenly took for empowerment. Because Ted was all talk (pun intended). I never saw him or another penny after that night. I wish I knew why he needed a random girl to jerk him off. I wish I knew why he pretended to have a job for that girl when there was never any job, to begin with. Remember though, I didn’t know that yet. He kept everything up for a few more days.
I even received those scripts via email just like he said.
It seemed business as usual thus far. So I wasn’t really worried I quit my job for nothing. Because at the end of the week, we were supposed to meet up. He was supposed to give me $600. But that never happened. Like on the day, we’re supposed to meet —after I did all the work he fucking sent me, nothing. I mean, we even picked a spot to meet at. Nothing. I wait. And wait. I call. And call. Nothing. Pissed, frustrated, and defeated, I head home. I mean, I had been sitting on this random bench in Mizner Park until nearly midnight.
Hours later, I’m comfy in bed (still pissed) when I get a text from him. Apparently, he got into some fender bender and asked if I could come to his house instead. I’m eager for my money yeah. But I’m not about to leave for the second time. Instead, I tell him —first thing tomorrow, I’ll be there. He agrees. Thank GOD. I remember feeling a little better after that. Maybe he’s really going to pay me. I mean, why would he still be responding if he wasn’t legit? But I was tired. I couldn’t think about it for another instant. I was over psycho-analyzing this shit.
That next morning though, I get into my C280.
I turn on the GPS —inputting the address he gave me. And drive. I arrive around noon. I was desperate for that $600. I was so desperate that I fucking wait even longer than I did the day before. And still, nothing! I remember calling him like a crazy person —every minute for an hour. Zip. Zero. No answer. No response. Nothing. I was so upset. In my heart, I knew I just got got. But I wouldn’t let myself believe it. I mean, why was this douche dicking me around? If you don’t have it, tell me and I’ll leave.
It’s just, I had a small glimmer of hope that somehow I’d see him again. I’d see him and he’d pay me just like he said. But after six hours with only one reply explaining he’d be there as soon as possible, that glimmer of hope was fading fast. Around 6:30 p.m., I admit defeat once again and go home. I was even angrier than before. So I snort a few extra. And smoke some too —until I eventually pass out. I remember waking up to another text from that idiot. OK. Now he says that the fender bender was actually a full-blown accident.
And he didn’t want to worry me.
He apologized for not being home. And for flaking. As a courtesy, he could come by my place tomorrow (today) to drop off the money. Halleluiah! I tell him that would be great. And go back to sleep. Don’t get too excited though. And definitely, don’t hold your breath. Because tomorrow comes. A few friends of mine had invited me over but I decline in hopes this shit works out. So I wait at home all day. Hours go by. Nothing. Still nothing! Where the fuck was he? That’s when I knew he wasn’t coming. But I couldn’t stop freaking out. I was in full-blown freakout mode.
Enraged Macey ends up calling her mom like a fucking two-year-old. My innocent amazing mother senses something is up. I mean, a healthy young adult does not throw a temper tantrum like a child because she’s healthy. Because before talking to my mom, I end up heading outside. I figured it may be smarter to wait out on the street —just to see if I saw him drive by. Nope. I never did. So I’m out there, basically in the middle of the road when I call my mom hysterical. I was crying, kicking and screaming.
But this was different.
No one gets this upset over a few hundred dollars. But as well as my mom knew me, she didn’t know I just quit my job. And she definitely had no clue her daughter was a drug addict —now with no capital to pay for it. Needlesstosay, there was no calming this chick down. But she tries anyway. A for effort, mom. Because it wasn’t working. Nothing would. Snorting another pill was probably the only thing that maybe could. It’s just, on top of everything else, I was worried about running out. I had roughly 20 left in my stash —10 of which were for emergencies.
I’d normally pretend they weren’t there. Think of those like a savings account. An insurance policy in case I couldn’t pick up. If I was stingy, doing only the bare minimum, those 10 would give me a few days to figure out how to get more. But I needed a consistent way to make money in order to get more. And that seemed nearly impossible at this point in time, which freaked me the fuck out. So I go back inside to devise a plan. I mean, waiting out there wasn’t doing anyone any favors. Plus, people were starting to stare.
Now in my room, sitting on my bed, about to chase the dragon, I officially call it quits.
I had too. It was over. I’d never see him or the money again. The money. Ugh. I needed it. I needed it bad. I needed a lot of shit. More importantly, I needed to let it go. Except, I couldn’t. Everything Ted said was playing on a loop in my head. And it wouldn’t stop. Because a part of me couldn’t understand how someone could do something like this. Who pretends to have a job just to get a pretty girl to do things she wouldn’t normally do? I think mostly though, I just felt stupid. Because what kind of idiot falls for something like that?
I think that was the worst part. But I didn’t have time for a pity party. The only thing I had time for was figuring out how to find another job. Because I needed one. And fast. Essentially, this is how shit got even worse. But not yet. Still on the line with my mom, I somehow, convince her to help me out. Like financially, even though she herself wasn’t in any position to give me the kind of help I wanted. Because she needed the money more than I did. But I was selfish. Because I’d always play the victim. And thus far, it always worked.
“You’re such a hard worker, Macey.”
“I’m so sorry. It’s ugly but most people don’t do as they say.” The truth is, I was one of those people. Because I used to be a hard worker. It’s just, the only thing I worked hard for these days was scoring more drugs. But I pretended. And that’s when she tells me to check our joint bank account. Because she so kindly put $700 in for all of my troubles. She said she knew I earned it. “And for whatever reason, that stupid freelance guy wouldn’t pay you, now you have $100 more than what he was supposed to give.”
I was so excited. It worked. I got her to give me what I wanted. But the actual girl in me was sad she had to fork over that much. Like if she really knew what I was doing with it, she’d be sad too. Because she tells me to not spend it all in one place. And what do I do? I spend it all —on drugs. I figured what she didn’t know wouldn’t hurt her. Because I thank her endlessly. You have no idea how much this means to me. And how much it’s going to help. Thank you, mommy.
That’s when I tell her the reason I was so upset.
Because the company I worked for had to make cutbacks. Turns out, they weren’t doing as well as they thought. Because now, they’re losing money and in return, they can’t afford to pay everyone as is; hence why I was just let go. “Darn,” she says back. “That stupid last hired, first fired rule. I’m so sorry, Macey. Things aren’t going like we hoped. But I think you’ll see it will get better.” Because this is when she agrees to send me $300 a week until I found something else. Wow. I was not expecting that. And once again, the real me felt bad.
But the addict brain said I needed more. It was a good start though. So I thank her a million times and eventually, we hang up. I had to call my guy. I had to get more. And now that I had the money, I could set it all up. He texts back right away —saying that he was good and home and to come by anytime. Thank GOD. I needed something to go right today. I quickly get dressed and head his way. I grab as many as I can get. I decided to save $50 for gas and necessities, which was a lot for me back then.
Because normally, I’d only save like 10 bucks.
However, since I had a hefty sum, I was in the mood to splurge. So I pick up, no problem. Then, I head back home. I needed to chill out. Now, if you recall, I was staying at my sister’s place alone. I had it all to myself. Michaela and her husband were in Georgia on business. Same shit, different day, I’m living like this for about a month. I’d check in with Michaela a few times a week —making more shit up with each conversation. At this point, I’m seeing at least one of my dealers nearly every few hours.
Basically, wherever they needed to go.
I couldn’t believe that I was making bank, sleeping in and supporting my habit tenfold. It seemed like things were finally on the up —just like my mom said. Not for long though. Because that never say never phrase is coming back. And this time, it’s severe. Because my luck was about to take a turn —behind the scenes (for now). It all started when one of my sister’s neighbors saw me smoking a cigarette and getting the mail at 1:00 p.m. —in my pajamas. I guess she thought it was odd considering it was a Tuesday.
And I was supposed to be at work. What you need to know is that these Boca bitches are gossip queens. So what does she do? She freaking calls my sister —telling her what she saw. On Michaela’s end, this was red flag number 23. I know now that she had been on to me for months. I mean, a bunch of her jewelry had gone missing. Reid lost some of his electronics. And a couple family heirlooms were officially M.I.A. I took them. I took them all. It’s just, there was never any proof that it was me.
Plus, she wanted to give her younger sister the benefit of the doubt.
Time after time, she did. So she stayed suspicious and watched from afar until everything exploded. Because it did. And when it did, it was bad. Like really bad. Because I never stopped. I was low key taking whatever was left. Whatever I could get my hands on that was worth something. Anything. I did my best to not make it obvious. But I was never as good as I thought. Eventually, though, there was nothing left to pawn. Nothing left to steal. And nothing left to sell either.
Nothing but my dignity.
Because I was spending nearly $900 a day. On top of my drug of choice, I needed food and other basic life necessities. Duh. It’s just, as you know, drugs always came first. Going off what I mentioned in the beginning, I’d usually pick drugs over food. That was one of the main reasons I was so thin. Because, like I said before, I’d snort a line instead of eating a meal. Because I
wanted (no). I needed to be skinny. The more my bones protruded out of my emaciated skin, the prettier I thought I was.
Staying high off pills and potions, the thought of hunger was the furthest thing from my mind. At the time, I thought, this is great. Yeah, it’s great until you run out of pills. Because that’s where I was at. Like even though those car rides picked up some slack, I still needed more. I needed more money and I always needed more pills. Because that stash I talked about. Well, I just snorted my last one the night before. I knew something had to give. I’d either have to quit cold turkey or think outside the fucking box.
I wasn’t about to admit defeat (again). So I chose the ladder.
That following day, it was a fairly normal afternoon. But I was hurting. I had zero left. And shit was finally catching up with me. I was more desperate than ever. Keep that in mind. Because what I’m about to tell you is kind of the reason shit exploded as hard as it did. It’s also the reason I was able to continue getting high. And after I did what I did, I made sure to stay that way. Because I couldn’t handle what I had to do to keep everything up. But the idea of not having anything at all trumped everything else.
So please don’t hold this shit against me. Because I’ve heard it all before. In my defense, I did warn you. Unfortunately, though, the shit I’m talking about —like what I’m about to tell you (what I’m trying to say) is once again fairly common amongst female addicts (male ones too). Because that dignity I mentioned above was about to go up in smoke. Up up and away. I was nearly to hell. Because I could have said no. And I should have. But I didn’t. Because the addict brain in me couldn’t.
Because it was fixated on getting more pills.
So when the money ran out, like it did that day —there was nothing left to do but sell my soul. I didn’t have one anyway. My entire life revolved around those damn things. And without them, it was in fact, the end of the world. So I’m at my dealers (one of many) —begging him to spot me. He wouldn’t. I was up to nearly 30 pills a day. And up until this point, somehow, I was getting by just fine. Turning $20 into $200, scheming my way all over South Florida.
Today though, it was a different story. Truth is, it had been a rough fucking week. I needed some relief. So when he says no, I plead with him. I legit started crying. I remember saying I didn’t even have money for gas —like to get home. But he didn’t really care. That’s when I cried a little more. And that’s when he says if I did a little something; like something sexual (not intercourse if you’re catching what I’m throwing), he’d throw me six free pills. I remember thinking about it.
He told me to take a second.
So I sat there weighing the options staring back at me silently in my head. I hated these two choices. I hated everything —including myself. But it was this or withdrawal. Period. So yeah. I wish I could sit here and tell you I politically declined. I wish I could tell you that I got in the car and drove myself home. And I wish I could tell you this is where it ended —how it ended. But I can’t. Because back then, I was weak. Like if I wasn’t high, everything I had to do to get and stay high (in the past) would come flooding back.
So in reality, it was this or nothing. I kind of didn’t have a choice. Well, I did, seeing that I’m not talking about Bruce or anything. It’s just, the addict brain needed her fix. Because I didn’t want it anymore. I needed it. And this was just another way to get it. Never say never, they say. Because this time, I did. I said yes. And regrettably, it wasn’t just one time. It happened again. And again —through no fault but my own. I’m owning it, people. It’s what I did. Not who I am.
So that ugly shit goes on for a few months longer, which is when it all exploded.
Like when my sister’s friend found out what I had been doing. He’s the one who caught me hanging out with that dealer in the first place. And after some investigating, he put it all together. That’s when he tells my sister. And that’s when she arranges my intervention. Boom. Today, I say thank you. Thank GOD it exploded. Because it was the type that brought me back to life. Because I lost sight of everything. I forgot who I was, who I could be and that I was worth something more than the shit I kept doing.
What’s the point anyway? But there was. There always is. Because today, I’m protected. I’m protected because no one —including myself can hold this shit against me. Because I know it’s gross. It’s dark and twisty and the worst kind of something. But if you can’t handle a small part of me than you don’t deserve all of me. I’m a stronger me for all this. Yeah, I created my own personal hell. But I lived to tell the tale. I lived so that I could turn my mess into a message.
And maybe inspire someone else to see that the worst thing that happens to you —the thing you think you can’t survive —well, it’s the thing that makes you better than you ever used to be. And just when you think you can’t take it anymore, a part of you will crack. But it’s a good crack. That’s when a sliver of light creeps into the darkness, and somehow you find the hope to keep going. Because life’s greatest lessons are usually learned at the worst of times from the worst mistakes.
And in the end, they’ll judge me anyway —so whatever.
*names have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals involved.
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