I was addicted to opiates and benzos from age 19 - 25. I never had a problem with cannabis, mushrooms, or ecstasy. It was pharmaceutical drug pills that hooked my addiction.

I walked away from a close to death car accident with whiplash. I flipped a car going 85 mph on the I-80. Every one walked away safe, and I was grateful to be alive. for that much I was grateful. On the surface, I was smiling. On the inside, I was dying.

I was hanging on to something that was gone. I'd invested 2 years of everything into drug policy reform in Utah, and was grasping to pass it on to successors who'd betray me. On top of it all, my Grandma and Grandpa both died, 6 months apart from each other. Physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, I was hurt, and would have done anything to alleviate the pain.

My older, wiser friend recommended I go to the doctor. My neck was inflamed and the entire left side was swollen. As I considered the cost of healthcare, I considered myself "fine". I just had an x-ray in Wyoming because paramedics insisted I could have internal bleeding. Turned out, it was fine. Which turned into a $5,555 medical bill.

My wise friend was careful with her words, and offered me 2 klonopin and 2 loratab. One to take now, the other, later. I played down my excitement, the decision was already made. Yes, God! Thank You! I took 2. 4. 6, 8! Who do we appreciate?!


Her offer was all I needed for a floodgate of addiction to open.

Klonopin was my #1 pill. On it, I almost instantly, in 20-30 minutes felt calm and able. The moment I took a pill, I'd breathed a little lighter. I'd do the things I'd have to do, and call people I hadn't talked to in a long time. On it, I'd be excited about life. The only problem is, I hardly remembered anything.

I once had a guy came up to me and say, "Valerie?!"

All I could think was, "Who the hell are you?"

Apparently, I kissed this guy for a petition signature @ Gallivan Plaza at a Twilight Concert. Um..... As he was explaining this story, all I could think: I hope it was a peck. Was I that desperate for a petition signature?! Did that seem like a fun thing to do on Klonopin?

How do I not remember this?

Oh! I cringe.

I like pills because they feel great. I don't like that I forget, and I lose all my shit.

Literally, I just lost 2 pairs of sunglasses and a lipgloss.

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