Friday, February 8, 2013

The last day- Feb 26, 1998

February is what I call "recovery month" because it contains my clean time anniversary. It is always a time when I do alot of reflection.

The last day I used, February 26, 1998. I was "living" in the Hotel Kinney with rats, roaches, and other creatures of the night. I was completely emaciated. for the first time in years, I was alone. I didn't have a boyfriend. I had gotten to the point where I was using to exist because I couldn't call it anything else. I had no veins left. I was shooting up in the soles of my feet. I had tried methadone unsuccessfully because I couldn't stop using while I was on it. My habit was out of control. I was using speed heroin and cocaine in the same syringe. I remember it used to make me feel normal, almost like I do now, for a few minutes then came the depression and sickness. I could barely walk from all the needle pricks.

I knew the police were looking for me. I had a suitcase packed in my closet so I would be ready the day they arrested me. I was hoping I would finally get out of jail with my own clothes. When the police came to the door just after midnight, I had been drinking, smoking crack and using heroin. I am not sure why I opened the door but in hind sight I'm glad that I changed my future with one turn of a knob. When I saw it was the police, I told them "all the dope is mine" so they would let my friend go. When they put me in handcuffs, I never asked to bring my suitcase from the closet. I consciously thought "I never want to come back to this place, to this life". And I never have.

13 comments:

  1. glad you turned the knob. -Katie B.

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  2. It was weird. I looked through the keyhole and actually could see it was the police but a part of me didn't care anymore. Thanks for reading my blog.

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  3. So inspiring. I've gone out after 2 yrs sober off everything...but the tar I can't stop. Thank you for your candidness and sharing your life with us

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    1. Thank you for reading. Abstinence wasn't the only path for me. I was on methadone twice before i finally stopped using,

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  4. I found your blog after watching Black Tar Heroin and have enjoyed reading all of your reflections and recollections. Some of the things you've written really hit a chord with my own experiences, too, having put myself into a methadone programme last year after squandering the majority of my 20s doing smack.

    Everybody has to find their own way to deal with their addiction - you wrote that methadone didn't stop you from using, whereas for me it is the only thing that keeps me clean and enables me to sort out the wreckage of my life (towards the end everything was so fucked up that I was using mainly so as not to face all the problems building up around me). At the same time, though, I am scared of taking methadone for a long time - the health risks, and not making a clean break between addiction and being clean.

    But enough rambling. Thank you for what you have written.

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    1. I worked in a methadone clinic for almost five years. It didn't work for me but that also was a methadone detox. I think everyone is different. I have seen methadone and suboxone work wonders in people lives. Jake from from BTH is a pefect example of how methadone can really work. has was stable, happy, going to school, had a nice girlfriend. He only relapsed after he tapered. I wish you well on your journey. Thanks for reading.

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  5. Thanks for your reply. Can I ask one other question (if I can formulate it)...Basically, methadone has stabilised me and since being on the programme I haven't used dope. But at the same time, I don't feel that this is really getting to the root of my addiction. It's called maintenance for a reason. I want more progress - I would like to work towards a time when I am actually clean. At the moment I am living a strange double life, going to the methadone clinic then meeting friends that have nothing to do with that world and would perhaps be shocked to know I am involved in it. I drink every day. I sleep way too much. I am very depressed...

    The question I wanted to ask was what other forms of help you received or think could help. I went once to NA but didn't like it at all - it actually made me crave more. Therapy? Psychoanalysis? The place I am at now, I am open-minded to more or less anything that will help, but I am not satisfied simply to continue taking methadone without at least some kind of goal worth working towards. Sometimes I think it would have been better just to have gotten arrested and forced to go cold turkey rather than the current limbo.

    I hope that makes sense.

    And thank you again.

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  6. I wrote a bit more which was deleted, so I will try again.

    I just wanted to say that I am not from the US, so I don't know whether things are different here, but where I am methadone/subutex programmes are treated as long-term substitution, with very little emphasis on being totally clean. There is an attitude here of 'well, it's better than doing dope every day, isn't it?'. I just don't feel that this is enough for me. And while there is assistance offered, especially if you have legal or financial problems or problems with other drugs, there is very little help with how to live in the world, with depression, with all the other symptoms and causes of addiction (if that makes sense...I often think of addiction as a snake eating its own tail, feeding off itself)...

    I am starting to hate myself for my daily journey to the methadone clinic in a way that I recognise from scoring. It is another routine. And while I totally appreciate how it has helped stabilise me and get me off the streets, I am starting to worry because I don't know what happens next - and I don't want to be on methadone for the next 20 years, like some of the people I meet at the clinic.

    When I was younger I wanted to be a great writer. It was everything I ever wanted. I am in a relationship, and my partner and I used together, just as we have gone into the programme together. I haven't stopped believing, but sometimes I worry that I will never be free...

    Sorry for going on and on.

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    1. I am reading your posts and that is alot of stuff. I went/go to 12 step meetings, I am part of an online support group, I talk with friends. When you get of drugs, you have to find other things that bring you good feelings.Volunteering, gardening, writing, movies, walking in the sun. Make a commitment to find those things. Tap into the person you were before the drugs. What are your interests? What are your goals. Write them out, map them out, type them out, get them out. Good job reaching out

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  7. Thank you again for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it.

    I am sorry for writing and exposing so much. I don't live in an English-speaking country. So when I talk....I talk.

    Thank you also for your advice. I understand it. Or at least I think I do.

    I will try to find somewhere appropriate to reach out here.

    Ruvi

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  8. Hi Tracey, I'm from sf, was wondering if you knew my brother, Mike Streeter, he would be a bit older than you. He lived in the tenderloin, did the methadone program too. I loved him very much, he died a couple of years go, got pneumonia, and his once strong body finally gave out. Glad you are out of this nightmare. My 22 year old daughter just got in it, such a heartbreak, again, Lisa

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    1. Sounds familiar. I am so sorry for you and your family. Addiction is a bitch

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