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The Whys

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Every morning, I wake up with an existential crisis of sorts, wondering why am I here. But there are a few levels to this why. There is the why of how did I survive an addiction that killed so many others. Why did I make it through ten years of hard living when my friend relapsed and could barely make it through a month without tapping out/ nearly losing his leg. 
Why am I here as in what is my purpose.  Growing up firmly entrenched in codependency, I like to have a reason for my being. I am uncomfortable when I am choosing my own path, my own way. I like to have that decided for me because I’m needed. The kids aren’t little, my work life is fairly stable. The years of crisis management have settled into a place where my free time is nearly exclusively my me time. I fucking hate it. I don’t know what to do with myself. It’s hard to admit this but it’s a deep dark truth that I’ve lost faith in my own ability to navigate this ship. Anxiety manifests itself in “what am I going to do next?…

Uphill

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As the depression season slowly comes to an unceremonial end, I can’t help but reflect on what a long January it truly was for me. I tend to have ebbs and tides with my mental health. Things will hum away like a well oiled machine one moment. Then, a sputter then things grind to a halt. 
I spent the better part of ten years of my life homeless in three different states. That isn’t me feeling sorry for myself. It just is stating the facts. In those years, my drug addiction wore me down to the point that I was willing to part ways with the great love of my life. Not a man. Not a woman. Just heroin. Heroin was there for me when no one else could reach me. It kept me alive on many a lonely night. Learning to live a fairly productive, happy life without heroin has challenged me beyond measure. I had put all my faith into this thing and that thing stopped working for me.
The last bit of surgical tape is still stuck to my arm from my last trip to the ER three weeks ago. I’ve had panic attacks,…

Losing Control

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Losing control of myself.
As a survivor of sexual abuse, I have a rigid system in place for myself mentally and physically. I like to know where I am going at all times. I like the details, I like to know my escape routes. I like to know everything that might happen so I can work out contingencies in my mind. It is nearly impossible for me to relax unless I feel like I have gone through a complete mental list of the details.
In the past month, for whatever reason, my brain decided to short circuit. The mental load of having to be in control of everything 24/7 was just too damn much. The end result of this was a series of panic attacks. The perceived threat in daily situations is everything and anything. I have come to the fork in the road where I am just too afraid of daily living to the point my mind said ZAP! This is not easy for me to both admit and to deal with. It is a lot to manage. The rigid system can only exist holding things together for so long before it starts to crack. Li…

Enjoying my Ninth Life

I was laying in my bunk bed cuddling one of my fat rolls last week when it dawned on me that it has been over two decades since the last time I was starving. I have gotten used to this sturdier frame. This is quite a contrast from the years when I was so thin I had to wear multiple pairs of pants just to get up to any type of a normal frame. There was an expression I heard in rehab "I was so sucked up, my two back pockets were touching." This was a painfully accurate representation. It's a humbling thing to have to decide between spending a dollar on a little debbie snack cake and paying full price for a small bag of shitty dope. Yet, I'd rather eat food I'd find on the top of a trashcan then part with my hard hustled money. 
I am going to be fifty this year. I have outlived my shelf life many times over. I used up many of my nine lives, squandered a few. I enjoyed a few others. I will never forget the three weeks I spent tripping my ass off in Colorado at the Ra…

On pause

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I enjoyed shooting heroin as much as one can enjoy it. It served it’s purpose- filling the void of non existent relationships, happiness, and self esteem. I didn’t need love. Heroin WAS love. Mix that with  the ego boost that was amphetamines. My path to daily maintenance was settled. I saw the consequences but I cared very little about them. If only I had an endless supply, I told myself. In reality, I should’ve been more focused on having usable veins. I abused the vessel that held my future endeavors to the point the machine turned against me. It was time to try abstinence, possibly and probably against my better judgment. There was simply no evidence it would work.

Twenty something years later, I’m a functioning human. There are days when I’m less functioning than others. I hold no illusions about that time of my life. I am both lucky to have survived and angry that drugs don’t work for me anymore. I can hold both opinions. I was fortunate to survived before fentanyl but I’m sad I…

Put Lemon Juice on it

Put Lemon Juice on my regrets,
Inject them directly into my neck.
Heroin swirled in a snowdrift
Helicopters drown out hunger pangs.

My circle is very small. It consists of kids, cats, and depression naps. I don't go out much- though I enjoy myself when I do. I spent a lot of time mindlessly scrolling my phone wondering if anyone is truly happy. Things have changed for me recently. Watching people  I love return to active drug use has made me question a lot of things in my life.





Crispy Bacon

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When the seasons change, when the days get dark early, my mind turns to heroin. Maybe there isn’t even heroin left in the US but I can’t say even at 21 years sober, I don’t occasionally get an itch. It’s more of missing numbness- numbness with flashes of euphoria. The Holiday Season reminds me of all the things I don’t have. Both my parents are dead. I have debts. My mental health goes through various stages of instability. I’m no longer in that blind faith phase of 12 step where I am fully invested in the idea that if I do x,y,z- I’ll be fine. So here I am.

Being active in a drug habit was fucking awful, don’t get me wrong. It’s cold now. A good vein is not easy to find when you are searching between two cars while your “friend” watches out for the police. There’s no joy in trying to figure out which limbs are the least infected. I often couldn’t feel my own legs because of the swelling from cellulitis mixed with dull nerves from constantly poking myself with a syringe. I’d lay under…