I remember the first time I used. I was three years old, and suffering from a fever. My dad, bless him, got to the end of his tether and poured the drug down my throat. From then on, I was hooked.
I managed to get over my addiction from the age of around six, but five years ago I relapsed. I wasn’t going through a difficult time in my life – the reason many people start their addiction, of course. It was just a normal day, a day like any other, save for the fact that my son – around two years old at the time – had a slightly high temperature.
I saw it on the shelf. It sat there, not saying a word, yet speaking volumes. It caught my eye, and I looked at it for a while. And then I took it, unscrewed the cap, and drew the sweet fluid into a syringe, just a mil or two. Then, just like that, I squirted the contents into my mouth.
The rush was immediate, and incredible. The sweetness was so rich I could almost taste the sugar. My tongue went all tingly, and I could taste strawberries. I couldn’t keep this to myself: it’d be irresponsible, and sooner or later my wife would realise that the contents of the little brown bottle were rapidly vanishing. And so I placed the flat-ended syringe back into the thick pink liquid, drew five millilitres, and gave it to my son. Together, we got high.
I’ve tried to wean myself off, but once She has a grip on you, it’s hard to wriggle free. I’ve been known to have a sip every now and then, even contemplating the notion of filling a pint glass with the stuff and just downing it in one. The effects last for an hour or two, and take just fifteen minutes to kick in: a reduction in body temperature, a numbness of pain, and a yummy taste.
But it’s time to get clean, and the first part of getting clean is admitting you have a problem.
My name is Ben, and I’m addicted to Calpol.