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 

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."

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Guest Post JF

Addiction, its the little voice in your head tellin you to just do an infinite nike logo swooshing through your head eternally, "...just do it....just do it"    The well known voice thats whispering sweet nothings into my ear every night....enticing me to give in my cravings and go cop a blow...this voices, speak in such a way that you dont ever hear just react to it, its gets into your blood and begins to work its way through your inner core..where it sinks its fangs deep into the black glob of your remaining soul...where it feeds off of your emotions like a parasite. EVERYTHING becomes a reason to get high...Have a bad day at work? Fuck it, just get high....Relationship problems?..fuck it, just get high....stubbed your toe...might be time for a little heroin to cure the pain.

Before you know whats happening your at the ATM, pulling out another 40, 80 or 100 dollars to give to the devil..the rush of going to cop is something  that every addict is familiar with...its that same feeling you would get on Christmas eve as a child, the eager anticipation of finally getting something you have been waiting for.
This of course only applies to those that arent getting sick and dont NEED a fix, they merely want it really hasnt manisfested into a full blown baboon on your back, its a cute little spider monkey that you visit too often and give your money and soul too.   
Which is followed by a short lived bliss (the high never last as long as you want it to) and then reality sets just blew your cash and have nothing to show for it but residue and  the residual guilt that follows.  The high only temporarily displaces your true emotions and replaces them with a narcotic ignorance that numbs you to your anxiety, your worries, your depression....or whatever it is you are trying to escape.

I am a prisoner to my own mind and I am held captive to the drugs...or should I say im merely captivated with the high. Fuck Nancy Reagan and her bullshit "just say no" slogan....bitch, you try to just say no when you have a voice in your head that will never shut up telling you to just say yes.
In my quest to find inner peace I have tried meditation, which is great is you are able to quiet the symphony of addiction playing the theme song to your life in a endless loop on full blast. The music plays, the addiction stays, and the poor addict continues to pay. As I write this I am waiting for my dealer to call me....he is the devil himself that is able to bring peace to riot in my mind. When your dealer is also a user, the thought of buying dope isnt so bad...its like a social visit with underlying hints of denial. Its like for that moment in time we are both in the same boat, 2 people looking to get high... and in my dope career I have gone through many dealers, some were friends, some were just dealers, but all became my best friend at some point...even if the feeling wasnt mutual. When your dealer ignores your call, it hurts like having a lover cheat on spend all day just hopin he will answer by the 4th ring....hoping....waiting...."maybe ill try one more time"....and before you know it you are acting just like the junkie you make fun of....the fiend comes out...2 calls turn into 5, no you keep trying...and sometimes you get through and start the cycle all over again....the same thing you just finished with and will repeat again tomorrow..

Addiction is like the movie Groundhog Day...a never ending cycle that takes dramatic changes to break...good luck.

"Maybe I'll try calling.....just one more time.....he's got to answer by now"

And the adventure begins.....yet again

my assessment of depression

            I never knew Robin Williams but I thought I would add a few words that are in shock or grief. I feel like I can provide some insight for you. As a person that has struggled with depression since childhood, unfortunately I am never surprised when a person takes their life. Yet, of course, I am profoundly sad. I feel a connection with that person. I remember walking about in my pajamas as an adolescent for week at a time, wanting to sleep my life away. No one could put a label on this feeling, until one day they did. Depression hangs over you like weight pulling you into the earth with no soft landing. Depression pushes out all other thoughts and leaves no room for competition with joy. Depression chains you to the couch and disarms you with it’s subtle dismissal of hope.

            When a depressed person first discovers drugs, it is a revelation. It provides a warm sense of relief that fill your entire body. Finally- I can be in the company of my fellows. Finally, I can talk without question my words. I can feel things because my pain is muted, until it slowly creeps back in. Drugs and alcohol provide a measure of relief. They do. And as quickly as the relief came, it leaves us with more problems. Picking up the shattered pieces with bloody fingers and a dull mind, we retreat back into our shell.

            A person who brings great joy is also capable of great sorrow. We addicts now empathy can be channeled to crystallize the beauty of the world. One day however, our feelings can overwhelm us. We do no leave because we do not love you, we leave because we do not know how to carry on. Give someone you love a hug today. Let them know that they are valuable to you. I did not know this man, but I have been him many times. It was only when I was dying that I truly realized I wanted to live. Please get the help that you need. Someone loves you.