Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Clean Sheets

I woke up inside clean sheets this morning. In fact, I changed the sheets last night. I slept between red flannel comfort on a warm evening. I slept on top of a queen sized bed. The box spring broke after thirteen years so I replaced it about six months ago. The wheel broke on the frame so I replaced it with some books I had laying around. 
I was restless last night. I was tossing and turning because of the heat. It was if the spirits of those that have passed before me wanted me to remember another time. A time when sweat made me stick to the dirty blankets. I would wake up writhing in agony from stomach cramps on the soiled comforter. The burn holes made the polyester comforter scratchy. My hair was stuck to the dirty pillow that a hundred residents of this cheap hotel had used before me. Some of their hairs remained in the fibers. A crime scene investigator would get confused by ten kinds of blood on the wall from junkies and violence and self harm. My life was truly a horror show. 

As raise my back against the dirty wall, my first thought upon waking is "fuck my life". The pain does not end there. This is just the realization of my situation, not the beginning of any solution. I feel the throbbing now. I had stuck my legs with dull needles and missed a shot in my thigh. The red, swollen mass is screaming "take me to the doctor" but I resist. There is money to be made. And I am running out of time. The dry heaves will be upon me soon. No rest for the wicked. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Guest Post- JF from US

For many getting high is a way to escape the shitty problems of everyday life. Everyone has struggles to get through, and the severity of the struggles changes from person to person.  To one person a certain lifestyle is a living hell, like slaving away at a job that never feels rewarding...to someone without a job they may see it as a dream life....to each his own as they say.

Robin Williams's suicide has a big impact on the world, he became the epitomy of tbe phrase "tears of a clown"....he used humor to deal with his inner turmoil, and did it so well that only a few really knew his struggle.  I find myself doing the same thing, and living by the code of "if you dont laugh at it, it will drive you crazy"    and at times my humor is used at the wrong times, but its my coping mechanism....well my second coping mechanism....the first is heroin.   Heroin has this magic ability to make me just not think, it shuts off the voice in my head and allows me to "just live"...and when I cant get it...the baboon on my back throws a fit. I have a single connection, and I admit its probably better that way, If I was coppin on the streets id probably be dead.  See having one dealer is the only thing that limits my usage, we have some distance between us and its usually an hour drive to get to him....at times im thankful he doesnt always come through or cant sell what I want to buy.  3 grams for $50....the expense I always seem to be able to afford. I havent bought clothes in a long time, my fridge right now is pitifully empty, and as you read this Im sittin in my car waiting to cop.  Whats my excuse today?.....had a fucked up day at work and I just want to stop thinking about it and fall into a peaceful nod.  I fear that one day that nod I love so much will be my last, yet I still find myself crawling back into the lair of the beast.   Fidgety and cranky, I sit her and examind my life and wonder what it would be like if I never got high.  I wonder if  I would have gone to college and made something of myself....something to be proud of.  Ive suffered from depression and anxiety for as long a i can remember, it wasnt until the last few years that I decided to see a doctor about it.  Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Major Depression, PTSD, and panic attacks are something ive managed to live this long with..

Im not going to lie and say I havent thought of suicide on multiple occasions, I have. There have been many nights ive sat alone in a dark room with a gun in my hand, trying to find the courage to pull the trigger and end my pain....and each time I have been reminded that while my pain might end, I would only pass it on to those I leave behind...and this is what has kept me alive to this day, that and pure luck. 

At this moment all I can think about is the ritual performed before getting high...we all have one, whether you smoke dope or sboot it, we all know the ritual, and it differs from person to person. I have always been a snorter or smoker when it comes to my drugs. Needles and I never got along...just not my style.  Of course im sure it would be an amazing high, I just never took the big plunge.  Yes Ive been tempted, but after losing two friends to overdose and both were shooters, I managed to never cross that line.  Although I fantasize about the high and always told myself if I really wanted to kill myself, it would be by heroin overdose.....peacefully nodding off to never come back again.  My brother died from an opiate overdose, accidentally mixed the wrong combo of liquor valium and roxy's...he fell asleep and never woke up. No struggle, he just never wake up.  I think we all dream of such a peaceful death....but not all of us are granted it.

Still the thought of getting high consumes me, sitting bere waiting endlessly for a bliss that may never come...hoping I get that call or text thag its "all good"....I wait for that call like the women in my life waited for mine...drugs always took priority and have ruined many parts of my life, yet it remains the first love that few hear me admit too...

Ive gone sober for up to a year, giving up everything...but I always return....its like eating McDonalds, you know you will hate yourself afterwards, but you still do it, and you feel like shit when its gone.....but the temptation of that first bite draws you back.

As I watch time fly, my phone stuck suspended animation, waiting for a call....a call that may never come.  Most of the so called friends I used to used with have all disappeared, either in jail, gone crazy, or just fell off the face of the earth....therefore I am a lone addict, stuck in the suspense of waiting for the green light. Like a sprint waiting at the starting line for the gunshot, ready to take off at any second. As soon as I get the call, id be there in no time. Racing through the streets, on a mission to get to my destination.

Its bad when you start asking non-users if they can help you score....most of the time you use the old excuse "its not for me, its for someone else".....and you believe you are fooling them, but deep inside you both know the truth...its the fiend comin out in the worst way.  Dignity becomes disposable when you are desperate to get high, it gets put on the back burner...for some just for a little while, and for others....for eternity.   I look in the mirror and question why I havent turned around and said "fuck this rat race for dope"......Heroin, its like an evil version of Groundhog day,you wake up and repeat the same shit all over again expecting a different outcome...

I dream of a day where I didnt need a smoke, a snort, or a pill, or a drink to get through the day itself, but the dream fades quickly and is replaced by the neverending story of wanting to get high....the monkey on my bag always gets his way, and we play an evil game of poker with the chips on my shoulder...sometimes im up and feel im winning, and before you know it you have lost it all and sitting there with nothing to show for all the games you played.  Covering up a habit with excuses....Ive had the same "allergy attack" for god knows how many years now, yeah..especially when the coworkers and family notice your endless runny nose and snifflin.  Ive lied to everyone I love and still expect people to be honest with me, its a life of double standards...meanwhile I continue to dream of a life free from my addiction where excuses arent needed. I dont have issues, I have an entire fuckin subscription to this shit that automatically renews its self time after time.  

I look in the mirror again and ask myself "why do I put myself through this?...why dont I just drive home and call it a night?"

But no answer comes and the clock continues to tick....the fear of getting that call as im headed back keeps me paralyzed and waiting...minutes turn to hours, and I know I wont get what I need....3 grams is too much for him to spare, now he can only give me one, because like me.....he also is waiting for a call.  I dont think patience has ever been one of my strong points, which is one of the reasons I fear having kids...that and passing on my fucked up genes and addictive bloodline.  I wonder how I would react if I found out my son was getting high...and I draw a blank.  How could I talk my future son into doing something I cant....quit drugs.

Its all part of this fucked up mess called my life, by no means am I insinuating that I have a worse life than whoever may be reading thing....but this is my story, at least for today

Maybe one day I will have a reason to live besides getting high, maybe the chemical imbalance caused by years of drug abuse will level out and I wont crave the high....I always thought I would just grow out of it, but still I remain hopelessly lost and powerless to this drug.

I pray one day to be free....I dont think today is that day but maybe some form of higher power is the reason for this. Ive thought about trying religion to break free from this....maybe there is a God of some form that can overpower my endless quest.

Alone, walking down this same dark path ive traveled countless time....waiting to find a heaven that isnt weighed on a scale and wrapped in plastic.

Still I remain......#addicted


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The burning spoon

I have let many men touch my flesh. 
I have let a few of them in my heart. 
I have stuck some needles in my neck. 
Dulled the pain before it starts. 
I have lived years with no love in my life.
I have traded my morals at a cost. 
I have let blood drip down my arms. 
A sacrifice to a God I lost. 
Don't be sad when I am gone, 
Don't cry I am gone too soon, 
I sold my life for pins and needles,
That I melted in a burning spoon. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Black Tar Heroin T-shirts

I still have a handful of t-shirts left I had printed for a benefit. $20 postage paid. Email me traceyh415@gmail.com 

Living in the grey by Teddie Honey

I like to post different views on recovery and addiction. This is one, you may have another. I am in abstinenced based recovery but that is not the road for everyone. Success can be measured differently by different people -Tracey

When people think about recovery they tend to do it in terms of black and white,
addicts are either active, currently using, or in recovery, no longer using.
when I look back at the blurry haze that has been most of my life I often find myself lost trying to figure out when I have been most 'active' and when I have been most 'in recovery'
over my 15 year long adventure with drugs and alcohol I have shifted through many phases of use, sometimes only drinking, sometimes only drugs, occasionally (albeit rarely) neither.
In my youth everything was in play, the game was 'get fucked up' and the rules were lose,
every narcotic was a new experience, a new tool on my belt of feelings and experiences that I could have ready and waiting, wrapped up in cigarette plastic, stuffed in the coin pocket of my jeans, like a super power. Like magic little gems that contained joy, sleep, energy, relaxation. 'whatever you needed'

I vividly remember discovering amphetamines having an effect like Peter Parker discovering his confusing and awesome new powers. I was simply amazed by all the things I could do,
uppers made me larger then life, which in your early teens seems very important when running with an older crowd,
I could party as hard, drink as much, throw and receive punches just as tough.
Speed was the secret weapon I used to impress and engage.
I think it was this realization that drew my attentions to my true love of alcohol and binge drinking
my head and heart were in it, my body just needed to catch up.
Binge drinking is a problem that still plagues me today,
as an 'active' addict, the idea of slowly sipping one day into the next floats in the back of my brain every time something goes wrong,
every time something goes right,
or when nothing is going anywhere at all.
That hair of the dog morning beer, drinking off the hangover can be your only choice too many days in the bottle, a drink to make your hands stop shaking, a drink to kill the nausea, a drink to shut your brain up. But keeping all three sheets wrapped around you for that long takes energy, drunk is a high you have to work for, and not just in the 'earning the money' way, but in the time and energy consuming way, you have to KEEP DRINKING.
There's no one shot stop, no 'just a fix' no 'getting straight' drinking is an all day activity starting from your first shaky sip to your last nodding spill.

From a young age I new that with the help of my new found pills and powders I could keep the party going all the time. Although genetically predispositioned to alcoholism, finding my 'addictive behaviors' was something I had to do on my own. neither of my parents being drinkers or drug users, intoxication was an experience I got to discover like a shining new world of ups and downs.
Like paying off one credit card with another, I found that there was a pill for everything.
Each one as discreet and uncomplicated as the next. And slowly the party started getting weirder, swapping scrips with high schoolers, and stealing 40's of Steel were played out, and in an attempt to keep my chops up I followed the path that so many others do through harder drugs, rehabs, homelessness and eventual incarceration..

I surfaced in my late teens and made my first attempt at real adulthood, a job, and house, the works, but the ease of supporting myself through the drug trade led me back down that same path. pills working in tandem with and endless supply of bottles, kept me floating admit a sea of blurred shaky memories for several more years.
I quit taking narcotics when I became a drug counselor. Classy I know.
But with my heart in the right place, and my drinking mostly under control I gave it my all and was well received by my clients for my first hand experience, and more importantly, my honesty,
I never lied to them about my use, no matter how current.
I spoke candidly about my drinking and that it was something that remained prevalent.

Being an 'addict' isn’t something that can be beat, but it is something that can be controlled.
Though only through the constant winning of small battles, every trip to the bar or liquor store is an internal debate. Each drink order a small moral war.
I'm comfortable in my alcoholism in the same way that I'm comfortable in my scars, in that the damage is there, and always will be. I wouldn’t seek to 'beat' this disease anymore then I would seek plastic surgery to remove a mole, or laser treatment to remove any one of my many regrettable tattoos.
its a part of me, its who I am.
My (biological) father grew up in a small working class ghetto outside of London, I'm sure the idea of 'alcoholism' never even entered his brain.
On the other side my grandfather drank with all the impunity that a father in his day and age would, which was every night, and until he couldn’t anymore.
I still believe in many old standards of the lush,
that you don't know a man until you drink with him.
That booze makes people more honest, that a drink is the appropriate beginning and end of almost any experience. I drink to celebrate
and to commemorate equally. I drink as a hobby, as a passion, I drink as an identity.But as we age I think all of our perspectives on this change,
in the early 20's everybody 'has a drinking problem'
mid 20's separate the 'partiers' from the ' long term planners'
late 20's separate the 'drinkers' from ' people who drink'
The population of people who are willing to do shots until closing on a Monday declines slowly to one polite glass of wine with dinner. The stigma of the 30's set in and people start to build careers, families, long term plans for adulthood, or, they drink. .
In the way that a person in recovery must find new social groups to be sober in, a person living with alcoholism must find new social groups in which to drink.
it took many years to realize that the question for me wasn’t, “have i become powerless over drugs and alcohol” the questions was 'do i want this to change'
what I've found is that just like with all aspects of life, one should never apply a blanket statement to an entire group of people. what may work for many, will never work for all. each individual cannot fit into any particular ideology or program.
Through an understanding of this affliction and through knowing the where, why, who and when, I've grown comfortable in it. In this realization I learned how to strip away the bullshit, excuses, promises, lies and cover ups.

I learned how to say “no, this is my last one tonight guys”,
I learned how to put beer in the fridge and leave it there until I had somebody to drink it with.
I learned how to look at the door of the bar, and not go through it.
I learned how to live with it, not just survive through it,
That was my recovery,
and when I look at myself in the mirror now, even through the haze of a hangover, I'm still proud of what I see. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Os sonhos agridoces que você tem quando está são

Os sonhos agridoces que você tem quando está são

             Eu nunca soube da alegria que eu poderia ter durante a minha recuperação até o dia em que aquelas garrinhas se levantaram, a amargura diminuiu, e finalmente tive a chance de experimentar uma vida feliz. É preciso um tempo para superar os danos que o abuso de drogas durante anos pode causar no nosso corpo e cérebro. Eu estava me mantendo em uma zona decente por muitos anos até agosto de 2006. Mas esse mês iria mudar a minha vida pra sempre.

             Pelos primeiros nove meses eu estava longe das drogas, eu não podia chorar. Tentei gritar, eu queria chorar. Todo mundo me disse que era bom chorar, mas eu não conseguia derramar uma única lágrima sequer. Um certo embrutecimento havia sido criado dentro de mim. Tantos anos de desapego com meus sentimentos fizeram com que fosse impossível ter empatia comigo mesmo. Eu nunca havia derramado tantas lágrimas até aquele dia em que me disseram que eu havia perdido meu primeiro filho. Nunca jamais, nunca até então. Eu me deitei naquela mesa fria do departamento médico de emergência enquanto o enfermeiro tentava encontrar um coração batendo dentro do meu ventre. No entanto, não havia ninguém. Então, percebi imediatamente o que havia se passado com o meu bebê desde a minha última consulta.

"Como assim que não há nenhum batimento cardíaco? O que você quer dizer é que não consegue vê-lo? "Coloquei minhas mãos sobre os olhos.

             No momento em que eu havia visto aquele flash vivo de luz no meu primeiro ultra-som foi como se eu tivesse nascido de novo de uma forma completamente diferente. Havia tantas promessas, tantos sonhos amarrados naquele flash de luz. Agora, aquele flash de luz se apagava da minha vida. Eu não tinha amigos ao meu lado, não tinha minha família. Eu nem sequer tinha um telefone celular. Então, fiquei ali solitária sentada naquela sala iluminada com toda a minha dor transformada na única testemunha estranha do meu sofrimento.

             Fiquei ali por horas até que o médico deu a confirmação. Eu estava sangrando e chorando, então fui ao banheiro. Pela primeira vez em toda a minha recuperação, nunca havia tido nenhuma solução espiritual, nenhum bordão de felicidade para tornar a dor mais aceitável. O procedimento cirúrgico iria ser realizado e eu iria precisar ser submetida a mais drogas. Então que tragam as drogas.

             Até esse ponto, eu não tinha tomado nada, nada. Nem mesmo um Tylenol quando arrancaram o meu dente. Mas agora estavam me injetando um cateter com benzodiazepinas para me prepararem para o procedimento cirúrgico. Assim que eu senti aquela sensação de relaxamento tomando conta de mim, já não havia mais nenhum cobertor aconchegante me dando segurança. Não houve nenhum momento especial entre mim e o Deus da droga no meu entendimento. Havia somente uma cachoeira de lágrimas escorrendo pelo meu rosto encharcando meu cabelo. Não houve sequer nenhum momento de clareza, apenas um momento nebuloso por saber que a minha vida estava completamente destroçada.

             Quando saí daquela nuvem escura, me entregaram uma receita com 30 Vicodin. Meu primeiro pensamento foi que estavam tentando me matar.

             "Eu já estou querendo morrer e você ainda me receita mais drogas do que eu preciso ..." Disse ao médico residente.

             Imediatamente eles mudaram a prescrição. 

              Enquanto estava sentada no sofá assistindo ao UFC com alguns amigos, eu sabia que não conseguiria sobreviver àquela dor. No entanto, eu consegui. E consegui esse feito sem precisar enfiar nenhuma agulha no meu braço, no meu pescoço, ou na minha virilha para acertar uma veia em um beco qualquer. E  hoje quando cuido dos meus filhos é que percebo o presente que eles representam para mim, pois eu perdi um filho e isso eu jamais conseguirei esquecer.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

What are you thinking?

I was staring out the window one icy Ohio morning. I could see my breath against the window pane as I shivered in my seat on my way to school. I was bundled up in my leggings, covered in thermal underwear, hastily tucked under my blackwatch plaid uniform skirt. I had wool socks, waterproof boots, and layers upon layers over my sports bra. I knew I had gym class that day. I hated to change clothes around the preppie bitches I called my classmates. They had been cruel to me since I started this educational nightmare three years prior. My notebook was covered with offensive bands, offensive sayings. I wore a black crucifix around my neck. My black nail polish was chipped, my cat eyes were slightly smeared that day. I looked out the frosty window pane that morning and I knew I needed to get the fuck out of here. I imagined myself in a movie, I saw it. I knew one day I would be someone special. But I was fucking nobody, seventeen and alone.

My first time I really remember getting high was at seven years old. Some of my sister's friends decided it would be funny to get me high to get me to shut up. They were teenagers and did not like having a kid around them. Who likes to get high with prying eyes? I don't remember much about the feeling but I do remember the way the alcohol burned as it went down. I never liked the taste of alcohol, only the effects. I remember the way people laughed at me. Apparently, I wasn't getting high the right way. They wanted to teach me. I slid down on the couch and felt sleepy. This was not not the first time this went on, or even the last time. It was just another stepping stone in my road to addiction. My parents were at work and I was high like everyone else because apparently it was not a big deal to them.

The next time I remember getting drunk was at a wedding. Someone started pouring me drinks. How old was I- 10? I am not sure. I don't remember much except for seeing the world start to spin. The colors became hazy and felt as if I was melting into a chair. The next thing I knew, I was 22 years old with a needle hanging out of my arm.

"Tracey..." I felt someone shaking me before I heard the voice " Tracey we have to go."

I had ended up somewhere between two cars. I guess I had started nodding off right there in front of God and everybody.  I saw the trail of crusted blood starting to form down my elbow as I peeped through my pirate eye. 

"What were you thinking?!!!!!" he asked me. He starts to pull me to my feet.
I am starting to come back to my senses. I hear the sound of children playing. I look around-  I have my back turned to a school yard. They must have let the children out for recess. The look like they are about seven years old.

"Bryan, " I tell him in that garbled junkie voice. "I was back in Ohio. How could people get a little kid high?" I am stuck in woe is me opiate moment, when a junkie  turns into a pool of fuck you. Nothing good comes of that mood swing; nothing productive ever comes when I inject self pity and back it up with a few units of self loathing. I had tried to analyze my life a thousand nods ago and I still ended up in this same place, with me the ever present victim. It felt comfortable to me, like nodding off in a sunny alley with no regard for anyone else or their feelings.

Now he started pulling me and cursing at me "you are one to fucking talk, Tracey. What the fuck are you doing out here. Stop all your hope to die shit and learn how to live."