Saturday, February 13, 2016

Stress and anxiety reduction workshop

A few years ago, I did a workshop on reducing stress and anxiety at a mental health conference. It is a 20 minute segment here. This is not hosted on my youtube so you can't leave comments but you might enjoy watching it for a few tips.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Train Station

After a mind numbing day of dealing with crisis after crisis at my job, I pull myself into a seat on the train that will eventually lead me a few blocks from my house. The sky is clear in the outside world. The blue ceiling of the curve of the Earth is dotted with ethereal clouds. I get lost in them for a moment. I forget about the problems of the day, the crunch of the dirty floor below me. The train ride home provides me with the promise that anything can happen. My anxiety builds from that last square of dark chocolate I ingested for the rush of dopamine, straight to the head motherfucker. My pleasures are simple. Food, fucking, furry creatures, and full faced children that call me mother. I feel someone acknowledging my existence when I deflect my attention to my electronic escape device. I stare at my my iPhone, silently cursing the fact that my screen is foggy and my case is cracked.
My first world problems are interrupted by a young woman who shuffles past me. She pull on the door leading to the next car of the train to no avail. The door is locked. She flops down in her seat. A young man walks through. He stops to spit on the floor before he takes the seats across from her.

My junkie spidey senses tell me that something is not right here. In addition, years of homelessness have made be adept at people watching. I catch something out of place like a drug addict version of a search and find puzzle. The young woman has a pleasant face. There is a softness that is missing though, that bit round flesh around the chin left over from youth. She stands up to reveal yoga pants that once must have gripped muscular legs. Now they sag over what is left of her vanishing backside. Her UGGS are worn nearly to the tag and fully out of place on a warm day. Her pullover covers what must be arms with tiny scars, the tell tale sign of her affliction. As I exit the train, her boyfriend grabs her arm and leads her down the stairs to the bathroom of the train station. I see myself in the reflection of the polished metal door. It is almost as if the ghost of myself was left behind. 

There was a time when I would take a long train ride out to Richmond California. It was 45 minutes but it seemed like ten hours away from the streets of the Tenderloin. My dealer(s) lived there. I suppose technically I was a dealer. Mostly I was a fall guy. The dealers asked me one day if I would be willing to help them sell there products. I would need to stand out on a busy street corner in day light. The drugs would be pre packed in the tiniest balloons I had ever seen. There would be what they called 1/2 grams which where actually .3 and what they called called dimes which were actually barely enough to see. The balloons were used because it made the drugs easier to retrieve if I was choked by the police. I could easily swallow the dope and throw it back up. I know this because I did this many times, sucking down a liter or two of water then sticking my fingers as far back in my throat as necessary to induce vomiting. I had to dismantle the sink once to retrieve a lost bag. A rat later crawled out of that pipe but that is a whole other story. 

The young dealers trusted me. They had no choice really. Their business relied on volume. They had to sell as many paquetes as possible in a short period of time. Staying out meant drawing unnecessary attention. The goal was simple- make money. My goal was simple as well- get drugs. They provided me with a few bags at first to see if I would return. It felt scary and exhilarating the same time to be standing on a street corner, doling out transactions. For once, I wasn't the one begging for crumbs. I wasn't the one who was pleading for mercy with my short money. I felt like god and a child at the same time. Then someone stuck a knife to my throat and I knew things would never be the same again. I had crossed to a different side of the curtain and the wizard was a 5'5" Mexican teenager who shared an apartment with five other dudes in Richmond California. Eventually, I was muling $500 in singles, fives, tens, and twenties rolled up in a condom in my pussy to get half ounces to sell the the lowest of the low bottom user- people exactly like myself. This happened twice per day. I would be so sick on the return trips back to the city, my boyfriend and I would cook up the dope and shoot it on the train. He was just along for the ride anyway. The dealers never trusted him and neither did I. I never trusted anyone.

My using did not end because of an absence of drugs. It ended because the vast quantities  of it. More than i could have ever imagined. The shots got larger and larger and larger. I was poking myself so many times in a desperate attempt to find a vein, i would often got through a ten pack of syringes for one fix. I wold be covered in blood and my own tears. "If only" was my thought. If I could only get the right combination, the right vein, the right amount everything would be fine. It never was. I was supposed to be clearing $250 a paquete. That all went up my arm. I was lucky if I had enough left for train fare. I rarely did. 

I was once the girl in the train station. Today, I took a different route. I walked out the gates and to the walkway that would lead me to my home. I share this home with people that love me. My yoga shorts are tight, My sleeves are short, and my heart is full of love today. 

XOXO Tracey

I am leaving next week for the taping of Dr Oz. I will let everyone know when it is going to be on TV and take pictures.

Monday, February 8, 2016

I can't quit you baby

Loneliness is a hunger that can not be quenched with anything but that feeling of connection that comes when the universe makes you feel secure in your surroundings. This can come from the caress of a caring mother. A lover who kisses you gently on the small of your back. A fuzzy friend who nuzzles against you at the end of a hard day of being out in the cold world. This can also come in the from of pills, powders, and rocks of opioids. From the moment they enter you longing body, they tell you that THIS is the only love you will ever truly feel. The security they provide with make a 120 pound man stand half naked out on a cold street corner waiting for someone that said they will be there "in ten minutes" almost two hours ago.

I am not sure if I need heroin or if I want heroin. Maybe it doesn't matter anymore. I have turned my ability over to a power greater than myself. This isn't the power they talk about in the musty rooms of 12 step meetings. This is the power that comes from the insatiable need to be fulfilled through my relationship with substance. I love you. I hate you. Most of all, I can't quit you baby. Without you, my life would be one endless question mark. After a month or two or six or a year with heroin, what am I supposed to do if I stop? Go back to being a "regular" person? What does that even mean now?

I want to feel like a cat does in a ray of sun. I want to absorb every bit of joy from the simple things around me. My life is absorbed in dusty bag and dragged through an angry cotton. What would it feel like to be myself again. And who would I be? The myself I know today or the myself I drowned so long ago beneath the waves of my chemical expanse, breathing slowly in and out with the pain of yesterday.

Sometimes I make videos here is one

Sunday, February 7, 2016

I made a new video instead of a Saturday blog post

One of my reddit friends died recently so I am not exactly in the mood to write as of yet. I made a shirt video instead here. I am working on another story and it will be up soon.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

A life full of adult responsibilites

I am covered in filth from doing adult duties around my house. I will get in the shower after I get hydrated. My day started at 6:30 am. The kids all got up at the crack of dawn, despite the fact that it is Saturday. I have some kind of cold that was passed along by the little germs boxes known as my children. It felt as if someone hat stuck a red hot poker in my throat when I got up. I could have gone straight to the tv sitter and back in bed but I wanted to make sure they wanted some breakfast. I had totally forgot I had some groceries that still needed to be put away. That started off my "things to do list". Today has been filled with laundry, sorting toys, sweeping, recycling old plastic crap they kids seem to get at any fast food place. I had to clean the bathroom, wash dishes (no dishwasher), cook meals, wash more dishes, sweep again, take out the garbage, and take care of pets.

These things are in a stark contrast to the things I used to do. I needed to be hydrated so I could find a vein. My day started at 5:30 am. I would either already be awake in an alley dopesick or wake up needing a hit. I would drag my ass to the open air drug market to try and make money or sales for a free bag. I would sell syringes, arrange transactions, or go so far as to beg people to "get me well" in between two cars. I would be standing there with my pants down around my ankles searching for a vein in my thighs while parents briskly pulled their children and cover their eyes as they shuttled them off in the rising light of the day. I would start gagging over the smell of coffee and vinegar while my eyes watered. When I jabbed myself just one too many times, I would give up and put that hot bacteria riddled poison straight into my muscle, inviting an infection to join me in my struggles. I would have to perform the same tasks over and over until I got $50-$100 of dope or money over the course of a day. Food and shelter were the at the bottom of my priorities list. The day would end the way it started. With me totally alone somewhere wondering where my life had gone. If I was lucky, I would have just enough drugs that I just didn't care either way.

It was hard to transition into the adult world. Heroin had provided me with a prolonged adolescence of sorts. Emotionally, I found it impossible to connect with someone. The only thing I could really cry over was spilled dope and shitty prospect. From rape, to beatings I received, to every death of a friend that I experienced would get spun around in the drug drain that was my body until my pain was suppressed in the lowest part on my psyche. I was so focused on that next bag. Anything else was impossible to process. It was incongruent with my need to be satiated. So, it had to go. As the days and weeks and months passed, I found myself wondering if I could every feel something like love. It happened. Slowly, incrementally. So slowly I could hardly feel or see the change until one day, my life was full again.

A life full of adult responsibilities.
A life full of hugs from children that vaguely have my features.
A life full of a dull sense of satisfaction.
I may not always be happy but at least I am at peace.

This is a random picture of my lunch from yesterday. So god damned delicious. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Thank you and Pre sale information of my book.

Thank you for the past three years. I started out using this spot as a place to vent my crazy thoughts. It has turned into my passion. You all are a big part of that. I enjoy our talks, your emails. Thank you for making one recovering junkie's dreams come true.

A lot of you have been following my blog for years now. You have been through my highs and my lowest of lows. You remember my e-book? You remember my appearances on CNN? You have read my articles and seen a zillion pictures of my cats. Anyway, my book is coming out March 8. I really worked with the publisher to try to get a price that is affordable. The price is going to be $24.  The link is here.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Post I wrote for Rise Together

Rise together works with youth in Wisconsin and the surrounding areas. The link is here.