The story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde has since the late 19th century been used as an metaphor for having a split personality. Someone who shows a good side and has an alter ego with bad traits almost like 2 completely different people.
For me I think of myself as a Jekyll and Hyde type character when I look at myself around my addiction, though its less Jekyll and Hyde and more Jekyll and Snide, as so much of what I did was not just evil but was to feed my addiction, so was disingenuous.
Fake, fraud and well like I said snide.
I use to think that Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde were ‘good person and bad person’ , 2 people sharing the same body, but my interpretation now is slightly different and I think it really relates to addiction massively.
The potion allowed Hyde to become the person that the Dr wanted to become and allowed him to feel and do the bad things without feeling any remorse or guilt because essentially it was his mask, his shield, his protective cloak of armour.
If you met me on any given day I would be confident whilst not arrogant to say that you would in the main like me, some wouldn’t but generally I’m a decent guy. I’ve worked hard, loved many people, helped people wherever possible, and would do anything for anyone. Relatively smart, career driven, motivated, slightly creative and a tad entrepreneurial. My morals and values consist of things like loyalty, honesty, pride, integrity, courage, respect, humility and self respect. Drugs aside I think I lived my life (prior to addiction) and thankfully again now by these morals and they are important in how I live my life.
What possible potion could there be that can turn you into a monster whereby your morals and values go out the window? Cocaine. that was my potion.
Similarly to the infamous story my Robert Louis Stevenson, my potion allowed me to access the darkest side of what was lurking in the depths of my personality and have a ready made excuse to blame it all on that. I knew that it would make me that person, similarly to Dr Jekyll, he knew what he would become but did it anyway,
“My devil ad been long caged, he came out roaring” (Stevenson 79).
Cocaine took everything from me especially my values and morals. It made me go from that decent guy who was liked, positive and motivated to an absolute monster. It still hurts me to say it buy I put drugs before my family, my job, my friends and even my baby daughter, as much as this kills me to say it.
I literally didn’t give a shit about anyone or anything but scoring, and what I said and who I hurt was irrelevant. Below are my values through addiction;
- Loyalty – The only person I stayed loyal to was drugs. I lied and turned my back on people that had loved and supported me in order to get what I wanted.
- Honesty – I became so good at lying that even I would forget the truth. Making up stories about people being ill, exaggerating my own illnesses for sympathy and money, I would make up any old excuse.
- Pride – Begging people for money, people that respected me, and that I had spent 15 years earning their respect, just to throw it away. I literally didn’t care
- Integrity – By definition, having strong morals and principles. These disappeared, whatever I needed to do, whatever lie I needed to tell I would do it and do it well
- Courage – Throwing my job and family away with out a fight is cowardly, the opposite of courage
- Respect – I respected no one except in that moment where I was trying to get money to score and like I said earlier it was a pretense, completely snide.
- humility – My ego and arrogance basically got the better of me to the point where I thought I was untouchable. Addiction cant hurt me, I’m a businessman, I haven’t got a problem, blah blah blah
- Lastly self respect. This was probably the most outwardly visible one to everyone else. I literally stopped caring about myself. I abused my body, I didn’t care what I looked like or what anyone thought about me and that gave me no motivation to change, I was happy living in the armpit of hell.
I know what you think… Are you talking about the same person? They seemed so far removed from each other. Well they are. Off drugs I’m a nice guy, hard working loving and a good father, On drugs I don’t deserve to be Father, i’m a vile human who will stop at nothing to rip you off and get what I need. Most people have never seen this person, my Mr Hyde, but in addiction its there and the Dr wanted to feed it knowing what it would do, how destructive it would be to myself and those around me, Knowing that it would unleash my monster.
I find the potion analogy really poignant because like I said Dr Jekyll new exactly what it would do and what impact it would have but I did it anyway and had a ready made excuse to justify my actions. Its the drugs not me, its the potion not me, its the cocaine, not me!!
The scary part of this theory is that I’m kind of resigning to the prospect that I am naturally like this and the drugs are making me connect with these awful parts of my personalty? Like Dr Jekyll I never looked at me as anyone other than myself, I wasn’t a second person, I was just accessing another part of me, and that was the horrible, poisonous person who would stop at noting and hurt anyone or was I just rebelling and not wanting to face any type of consequences? For me there is no Mr Hyde, its just another state of my mind which got seriously confused.
When we look deeply at the story and relate it to my addiction the monster is the substance in cocaine, it really is the devil. It was the only thing that understood me (or so I thought) but it caused me to do somethings that I am not proud of and will be forever trying to make amends for where possible.
I used Cocaine to excess to escape my body and emotions, it didn’t start like that but it ended like that. When i took the ‘potion’ that is Cocaine out of the equations I became a well rounded Dr Jekyll with no ulterior motives of accessing a darker side or hurting anyone, just the half decent guy I talked about at the start who lives his life by his values.
There was a time where I felt like I was Mr Hyde and my mask was that of Dr Jekyll. Who was I really,? is this just how I am? Am I destined for a life of ruining other peoples lives, who the hell am I? This is my lot.
Cocaine made me a monster and if we look at Jekyll and Hyde being one monster, I think that is a fair assessment, It made me that guy, I could be nice, I could be nasty. I could be charming and manipulative all the while seemingly a nice chap who is out to help you with really nothing but personal gratification as my end goal.
However you interpret this legendary story, it was me in addiction. One body, two minds,one wanting destruction the other executing it.
I pray that I never become that person again.
A slave to Cocaine