Saturday, December 28, 2013

You sucked the life

As I look at your reflection,
I see the contradiction, 
I would love to crawl inside your skin, 
But you are so eager to let me in 

I grab for you in desperate silence, 
Once again,  you seek my forgiveness, 
You pull me down like frigid water, 
You drain my life and play the martyr.

We play house and I pretend,
You won't betray me yet again,
But I succumb to your advances,
Forgetting all the squandered chances.

I'm quitting you, yet again.
I'm breaking free from agony,
My knees are pulled against my chest,
You sucked the life out of me.
You sucked the life right out of me.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Tale of Arrogance- A guest post

One day back in 1996 or so, four of us got together for lunch. And not long ago, it dawned on me how arrogant the four of us were. One was the maintenance supervisor at a huge apartment complex in a large Ohio city. Another was a foreman at his brother's construction company. One ran the loading dock at a fruit and vegetable wholesaler, and me, I was a hot shot autobody repairman. A pretty tight bunch of characters, Smug and arrogant in our junkiness, each feeling superior in his own right. 

Back to the real matter at hand. 17 years ago, I was a heroin user of the 1st degree. Not realizing I had much of a problem, I would rationalize that by telling myself I was doing alright, I even worked 2 jobs (had to pay for it somehow, right?), so how could I have a problem? And in my arrogance, I would look askance at those boosters, hookers, and petty thieves who supported their habits in such ways. I, of course, was better than them. Yeah. A lot of stuff came back to me today, and I'm afraid if I don't write it down I may forget it all again. Bounced checks? No problem. Just write small ones and most businesses would not bother with them. Bank account closed? Move on to the next bank. A thousand dollars worth of new parts not needed to repair that brand new wrecked vehicle? Sneak 'em out the back and put them in the trunk. Parts departments will buy them back from you. Turning in your hours to payroll? They don't check too close, they will never notice they have paid you 3 times to work on a car that's not even at the shop any more. Don't have any quarters for the good ol' pay phone? Dig through the customer's cars, they usually yielded up enough for lunch too. Lost your license and your tags to the state? Customer tags will do, after all one size fits all models. Almost went to jail over that once. Had my car impounded and had to sneak into the lot and steal the customer's tags back. Broke and sick? I still had grandpa's shotgun, somehow. Let's head over to the gas station and make a withdrawal! Nah, better unload that damn gun, cuz if YOU shoot someone, you will get the chair. If THEY shoot YOU, they will get a medal. Yep, you bet, I was better than everyone. I had no problem.....and the friends at the beginning of this tale? Within a 2 year period, 3 of them died. One died from AIDS, another (heroin dealer) was found beaten to death in his house, and the third, he fell asleep driving while trying to get off Methadone. Thankfully, my arrogance died somewhere along the way too.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve Contradiction

I am sitting on my couch looking at my son playing in front of our Christmas Tree. In general, I do not care that much for the holidays. As a food addict, I appreciate any opportunity to stuff my face with sweets with no fear of public shaming. At Holiday Parties, the people with food issues silently nod to each other as we seek an extra helping of dessert. We recognize one another at buffets. We see the smiles as others are finally eating at our pace and it is glorious! For fifty weeks of the year, we deflect from our secret eating habits with our juicing and our fabulous overpriced salads. Two weeks of a year, we can relax and do what we do best- indulge without stigma and judgement.

I have spent every major holiday with the exception of Christmas in jail. I have been arrested on both Christmas Eve (for solicitation) and the day after Christmas (for drugs). December 25 is a day when many addicts are flush with cash or items to trade yet dealers may be closing up shop for the day. I remember vividly getting a brand new pair of shoes one day. They were blue suede Adidas. They were beautiful- exactly what I wanted in a shoe. Within a few days, I was attempting to sell them for drugs. I have seen people trade their children's Christmas gifts for a hit. I sold my holiday bag of groceries for $10 more than once after waiting in the cold for four hours to acquire them. Ho Ho Ho.

My life now is quite different. There is an abundance of joy in my household on any given day, not just holidays. Yet I still reflect on the suffering addict. I've had two people I knew die in the past few weeks. And the overdoses continue to roll in. Addiction doesn't distinguish between this day and any other day. All I can do I spread some holiday harm reduction. Our lives are valuable every day. My gift to you is the knowledge that you are valuable. You matter in the universe. I hope you are safe and content even if you are not feeling the season.

Love T.

I wish you a Messy Christmas 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

I wish I would have wrote this

I can't take credit for writing this but I wish I would have because I love it. I was written by one of my readers JF.

My minds been known to drift in to a pit of the sickness
I try to shake it off or find someone to talk but no ones there's to listen
So my companions always been me and my addiction
Depression and happiness is seperated by the line that I'm sniffin
And this ain't no happy chimp that sittin here on my shoulder
Its a 800 lbs gorillla and I can no longer control em
Can't even remember the last time  I spent a day sober
I hit rock bottom and still keep sinkin even lower
And I know some that still keep goin..still keep smokin
Carpet surfin tryin to find another rock.... as if it was golden
Its time to slow my roll,  im runnin outta time I'm already knowing
Its either jail or overdosing and id have to rob a bank just to get into a program
This can't be the path for my life that was originally chosen
Vivid pictures in motion, code blue crash carts, my body in convulsions...
Its time to cash in these narcotic tokens for some sober moments
Before I run outta time and fade to black ....and its game over
To break it down simply, theres 2 sides to my sickness
One side is bright n artstc 
While the other is dark n sadistic
And I knw its just a mattr of time before this reality hits me
Cause the business tht I'm in... and the life I live is risky
Its a Twisted mix of genius and madness
The Comedy blended in with tragic
Organized confusion in the mind of a civilized savage
A 2nd generation drug addict stuck in the habit
Still coordinating transactions
 pickin up packages
 and then I'm back into traffic...

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Junkie Hooker Tale Circa 1992

"I'm in love with love so I scatter it in the breeze, until I fall to my knees, wondering why the trail to reason feels like a disease..." 

My eyes and blue and my skin is a shade of grey. I hold my fingers against the mirror. The reflection is in a window. I see a skeleton with big eyes and a small smile. I brush my hair behind my ear. I put my hair on backwards. My audience awaits. People want to see me perform. the ups and downs of my routine played out in front of an audience of unsuspecting fools. Can they see that I control them all? Can the see that I blend into any setting and command my universe with a wave of my arm? 

I see you wanting to approach me. I am full now. I am so full of drugs my world is on tilt. I am beautiful and I control this corner of the universe. The cars circle the block. Each man is sizing me up to judge my imperfections while he turns on the street. Will this man be the lucky one? Will it be him? They are all so very lucky that I am willing to turn my attention to them. They are honored to be in my presence. The heroin makes me a shimmer star in the Tenderloin morning.

As the hours go by, the sun begins to rise. The sweat begins to form on my forehead. I have been sitting here for a few hours. I am too tired to stand on my little heels. As I get into each car, I take my life and hand it to the mercy of stranger. Finally- I see a decent prospect. The chills are crawling up my spine.

"Hi sweetie- how are you today?" My words are like a sugary nutty bar, like the milk at the bottom of the fruity pebbles. 

I flip my hair back and turn my head to listen to his bullshit. He wants sex and I want money. Occasionally, I meet a nice man. Sometimes, they are good looking AND nice. That is not this guy. The first thing I notice is his wedding ring. He has hairy fingers and a neck beard that goes all the way up. He has on a white polo shirt and grey shorts. All signs point to a quickie in the car. His glasses are slightly fogged. I suppose he has been driving around playing with himself while he selects the girl that will satisfy his needs. The car is clean with no cups or wrappers meaning this is either a rental or he shares the vehicle with his wife.

"How much for around the world?" He gets straight to business. Makes sense. He doesn't want to cut my throat. he wants to cum and go. 

"How much do you got?" I ask smiling and batting my eyes. I am trying to play the innocent young girl trip that just started in the game but he is making it difficult. 

"Are you a cop?" This man reaches out and tries to grab my snatch with one hand and hold the wheel with the other. He is also checking to see if I have a penis. Transsexual girls work this corner. Clearly, this is not his first time.

I smash his hand "Um no. I am not a cop. You have to pay to touch it honey. Sixty bucks and you have to wear a rubber." Most people don't realize that hookers use condoms for blow jobs. Well at least hookers that are not desperate for cash. And I am not desperate...yet. If I have to wait a few more hours or jump in a few more cars and make no money, I am not sure what will happen or at least I do not want to admit reality. I will accept less. I sell myself short many, many times.

 I see my reflection in the window of his car. I see my eyes. I am crying now. I grab a napkin out of my purse. I am not sure why I even carry a purse. The only thing in there is napkins in case i have to pee outside, condoms, lube, and syringes. I keep my money in my bra. It really isn't a purse so much as a junkie hooker survival kit. I wipe the tears from my face. He parked the car now in the parking garage of the Walgreens drug store. We are parked in the corner so no one can see.

He is giving me the "I haven't got all day look" or the "stop fucking crying and give me a blow job look".
He throws $40 on my lap. I guess he wants a little less of me. We are running out of time. All that getting to know each other crap and all has made him late. Now he has a crying hooker in his car and I don't want to get out. He promises me he will be fast. 

I accept what I can get from this man. I sell myself for less. Neither one of us really get what we want. He doesn't get his trip around the world and I don't get my $60- enough to keep me well for an entire day.
I decide to call my connect and pray he will come out for less money. As I cook up a dark shot in my dingy hotel room, I realize I will be beautiful again. As soon as the brown mixes with red, all my troubles for a moment. I am in control and in command of my universe with a shot in my arm.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Guest Post- tronb3

Jekyll and Hyde.

Just do it.. Its been a while.. A few weeks right?? Maybe a few months? A Year?  Time is up.. Act now he says. Pick up the phone.. DO IT!!
Jesus fucking Christ… I don’t want to.. I have told you this a million fucking times now over the last 15 years… Why do you always have to get your way… Can’t we just be Normal for a while longer??
Normal?? HA!! I love how you throw that word around. Like when your two friends overdosed and at their service you told everyone how “normal” you were these days and glad you got off that shit before that was you lying in that box, only to go out a few nights later with that stripper you met. You remember her right??  The one we met at you buddies bachelor party? Why did you start talking to her? Was it her beautiful long hair?  Great body? Perfect ass? Oh no it was none of that.. It was the marks in the ditches of her arms that got your attention. That was a great week. Laying in bed with a beautiful woman drifting in and out of oblivion…

Fuck! I couldn’t help it! It had been almost a year at that point. A year since we got to lay in the bed of flowers.. We needed it!
AH HAAAAA!!! You said it!!! WE NEEDED IT!!! See? You can be just as bad as me you weak fuck. WE NEED IT! YOU NEED IT!

I don’t need it. I want it. I can go a good long while and not take a pill, snort a rail, or shoot a few bags. But the thought is always there. Like a thread woven through my minds tapestry. I always want it. Some days the thought is as small as a grain of sand on a far away beach. Other days it is a roaring inferno that burns everything it touches. Regardless, it is omnipresent.

Why though? With all the bad things it has manifest in my life. The hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on it, the countless hours of my life spent waiting on dealers and middlemen that I will never get back. The bridges burned, and countless days being sick. The stealing, the lying, and manipulating. Losing touch with my child possibly forever.  The hurt I have caused those closest to me yet still I go back.Sure there may be a month, or 3 months, or a year before I pickup again, but one thing is for certain. I will pick up again.

In my wise age of 35 years I have however gained some semblance of control over it. I feed Jekyll when I can. Placate the monster inside me when possible. Keeping the fire going just enough to be warm and comfortable.
Don’t mistake my tone for confidence that I have slain the dragon. I am not immune to full blown addiction. It is a fight when I get down to the last few bags or pills at the end of a binge. That’s when you start making deals with the devil. When it does finally run out, what then?? How sick are we going to get?? How long till I feel better?? How much lope have I taken today?? I wonder if I can get some subs?? Can I Iv subs? I would kill for one more bag. I wonder if my girl is convinced that this is the 8th time I’ve had the flu this year. I wonder where my daughter is right now? Where would I be had I not enjoyed that first Vicodin so much all those years ago??

I have no regrets…. Opiates have taught me volumes about who I am and made me into the man I am today. They are sacred to me in a way. When I am high I feel close to the universe.. All is right. I am truly comfortable in my own skin.

My bed of flowers…..

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Another Tenderloin Day

I woke up and brushed the fear out of my eyes. The day ahead was not for the faint of heart. I needed to draw my my courage and step among the broken hearts to find the path to opiated glory. You want to hear the story. I was tiny, I was starving. I was withering away in front of my picked up face. I was barricaded in the room. I was alone in the dirty sheets with the burn hole from the junkies that had passed before me. The ghosts of the overdoses traveled down the halls haunting me as I went to pee in that lonely place no one called home.

I looked at my face in the mirror. Then I browsed my neck. Will I stick the needle there? I brushed back my hair. This is all I have left. All my fantasies I can pull up from the bottom of the spoon. There is nothing but the clothes on my back. I take a hit of crack. The world is buzzing now with all my rings and tweaks. The freaks await me down the stairs. I need to get my hustle on. I need to plot and plan and scheme and dream empty bags and full arms. I pray to Junkie Jesus. Please let me get through this. Off into darkness. Please relieve my sickness. A hustler on a mission, another Tenderloin day.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Guest Post "High In The Chi - The Cicero Blues"

I feel like a purple fucking alien. Standing by the doors on the 
7am Blue line train headed into the city in my grubby jeans and dirty hoodie surrounded by all the early morning commuters in their button down shirts and ties and sensible pant suits. Well dressed slaves, I think. " Cicero is next " the canned pre recorded voice drones over the trains speakers. " Doors open on the left at Cicero". The train squeals to a stop and I elbow my way through all these captains of industry with their sharp little briefcases full of dreams and sales projections. These poor bastards wouldn't step foot off the train here if the fucking thing was on fire. I stumble across the platform and up the escalator to street level. The chills and sniffles are really starting to kick in as a step out of the station and onto the sidewalk. The chilly October wind slaps me in the face and I pull my hoodie up over my head just in time to see a Chicago PD Suburban gliding up to the curb in front of the station to watch for skinny white junkies coming off. Its just creepy and ominous the way they look at you like " Yeah, mother fucker, I'll catch you on the way back ". The fuck you will, I mutter silently.

A couple blocks up Cicero ave, Rothschild liquors is my first stop. I consider for a moment buying a pint of Richards Wild Irish Rose just to slam down to fight off the chill and creeping sickness. I settle on a warm Gatorade and change for a couple of $20's. As I step back outside I see Dayday standing on the corner trying to scribble out a sign on a piece of cardboard so he could spare change a few dollars while he waited for me. " What up, dog " ? I yelled , as I walked up to him " The fuck you doin, arts and crafts "? " Getting my hussle on. You don't know nothin bout that, White Boy ". He grinned as he said it, his teeth gleaming in the morning sun. The guy had perfect fucking teeth, for a homeless dude. Dayday wasn't really homeless. Not in the down and out kind of way. He ate at restaurants twice a day and slept in a hotel every night. He had money. I think the only reason he hussled and panhandled was because it just killed him to spend his own money. Cheap bastard even made me buy him a blow every day just for the privileged of hanging out with him and copping dope. Truth is, I always did a little better rollin up to the spots with him and being the cheapass that he was, he always knew who was running the pass outs ( free blows to advertise a new product ). That's where we were headed this morning.

Dayday said they were passing out the red tape foils over on Washington st. We headed a few blocks up and cut east toward junkie heaven. People were already lined up 15 deep when we got to the spot. If you've never seen a pass out it is some crazy shit. Nothing draws a crowd like a crowd. They can only keep it running for about 20 minutes till things get too crazy and someone calls the cops to break it up and get all the fuckin junkies off their lawn. Dayday would usually cut a deal with the worker who was passing out the blows and the guy would hold back a jab and sell it to us for a discount. We knew damn well this could get the worker and us shot or at least beat the fuck down by the gang security but greed always won out. Those were the best blows you could get, too. They threw very little cut on that shit that they used for pass outs. On those mornings the Chicago fire dept stayed busy pickin up junkies around the area that fell out from the raw ass dope. That was the best advertising the dealers could get.

Me and Dayday headed back to Cicero ave and up to Madison where the harm reduction needle exchange was. Every time I went in there the black guy that ran the place would give me the run around asking to see my card and making me fill out and initial forms before he would finally give me one single pack of rigs and a couple of cookers. Dayday would go in there and shake up with the brother and just wipe em out. He would emerge with 2 boxes of needles and a fucking grocery bag of cookers, cottons, alcohol swabs and several bottles of narcan. Later, he would post up at the trap house and sell all that shit off to the junkies a dollar at a time. Cheap bastard! After that we headed over to the Citgo station and split up the blows in the alley out back. Dayday said he would call me in a few days when he got the word about when and where the next pass out was goin down. I bummed him a smoke and headed back to Cicero. It was time to get well.

That's my life right now. A daily race to keep up with the addiction that afflicts me. I know something better is waiting down the road but for right now I'm just chasing it down the street.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

This is a post about rotting flesh

This is a post about desperation. This is a post about rotting flesh. This is a post about the point I got when I was using where I cared so little about my body, I would take a syringe full of blood and hot bacteria laden black tar heroin and shove the syringe through my pants leg and into my skin because I was sick. This is a post about the time when your nose is running and you are dry heaving and no one understand the tears running down your face are because you don't know if you are going to sneeze or use the bathroom on yourself. That is what the post is about- those times.

I was never much of a self contained person. I always seem to let me emotions leak where I ever I go in some kind of outburst. There are as many kinds of users as there are starts in the sky. In the course of history, there are have been millions, make a billion users of all types of substances. There is also a unique set of users. That classification falls on the hope to die dope fiend. The hope to die dope fiend has gotten to the point that they will go to whatever extremes to stay full of chemicals 24 hours A day seven days a weeks. So, when that person starts coming down, the fall to the ground is hard and ugly.

I would put my former self in that category. At a certain point down the rabbit hole to drug induced self destruction, a person seems to not notice the changes to their physical being. MaybeI am starving. Maybe I am picking at myself. Maybe I have this cavity I am fully ignoring. Maybe my leg is rotting off from an abscess.

I had not changed the bandage for a month. I intially went to get the wound treated. They gave me a bag full of saline, bandages, and alchohol wipes. Living outsside, I had placed these items behind my head one night when I went to sleep. Someone stole my medical supplies. I imagine them in the trap house "I got that good gause, I got that saline." I was afraid to change my clothes many times because when you live outrside, you are surrounded by predators. So, the hole festered as my life festered right under the surface. I knew it was there but I used to ignore it as I used to ignore the parallel mess that was my life. Finally, the bandage started to stink. you could smell it three feet away. I was JUST about to change it (I was-really) but I got busted getting high in an alley first and was taken to jail. Well, not right away. First the police argued about letting me go because neither one of them wanted to deal with me at the hsopital. My pants had fused to the wound and had to be cut off of my body.

There is not real moral of the story. I almost lost my leg and I got better. I got out of jail a few months later and went back to using. Not everyone does these crazy things. These are the crazy things that I did because I just did not care about myself more than I cared about getting high. And guess what- I don't do these things anymore.

Please use sterile techinique. Please go to the doctor if you see an infection. I have known people to lose arms, legs, and there lives from these infections. An alcohol wipe and a clean needle may literally save a life. Be kind to yourself.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The good news is that I am not dying...

I was walking from the train station. I noticed I was starting to get some type of weird tunnel vision. I felt as if I had a hot flash on the train. I thought to myself for a split second- is this beginning of a panic attack. No, I think maybe I just don't feel well. When I got home, it seemed as if my arms were going numb. I was trying to adjust my breathing so i went to lay down. Everything seemed to be going black. The feeling I was having was as if I was having some sort of medical emergency. I felt as if I was going to pass out. My husband told me to sit down but it was if some kind of electricity was running through my hands and they were shaking and I had to move them.

By the time I realized I really was having a panic attack and was not dying, at least twenty minutes had been spent in a terrible state. I went into my purse to get my ativan. It had been so long since I had a panic attack, I was just about to take this old medication out of my purse. My insane thinking- is this a relapse- UGH! I was taking my own damn prescribed medication. I have to say I used to LOVE benzos. Yummy, yummy, yummy. But today, I hate them. Within a few minutes of the medication hitting me, I momentarily felt suicidal. I snapped out of that once i finally felt as if I could breathe.

Today, I feel like a truck ran over me. I haven't left the house yet to give myself a day to recover. This whole insane circle started when I decided to cut back on my ridiculously large intake of coffee and chocolate. I feel like the panic attack was nature's way of telling me "SLOW DOWN". My neck is killing me today from being all bunched up with tension.

The worst part of having a panic attack is the fear that you will have another. It makes you never want to leave your house or rejoin your regular routine. For my part, I am going to have to start back to the things that help me. I need to go back to my support groups, start talking to friends, simplify my life.

Stopping drugs is just one part of addressing our issues. Abstinenced based recovery sometimes can really be difficult. No other method works for me personally but I see why so many people chose to use something. When I take away the drugs, I am left with the same conditions yet I am consistently aware of them. I hope dear readers that you will find a away to be kind to yourself. Find a way to nuture yourself. Eat something. Take a walk. Find someone to talk. We all tap into our strengths. We find ways to overcome our feelings. And the good news, of course, is that I am not dying. I have already been dead and instead to chose to enjoy myself despite my imperfections.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My life as a female user- Judge me not

I am all over the place and I hope you do not mind.

To start, it is a not so well kept secrets that eating disorders and drug use go together like sugar and cigarettes. Food was usually the last thing on my mind when I didn't have drugs. When I did have drugs, not only could I EAT whatever I wanted, the only thing I wanted was generally a cinammon roll. The thinner I became, the more compliments I received from observers. "Look at you- Looking good." I remember the first time I put on an outfit that was an "acceptable" size 6! Starvation looked good on me! It was a skin tight black dress. I was walking around the Tenderloin. A man asked me for a quarter. My response "where would I put it?" yeah. It was that tight.

Secondly, there is an unspoken paradigm. I want your drugs, you want in my pants. However, that doesn't mean the female user is always up for a trade. It is as if when the drugs enter the blood stream, predators decide you no longer have ownership of your body. Sometimes the female user just want to get high and not be bothered m'kay? And and yes, sometimes I am willing to trade. Or I was. Or I will. 

My voice can get irritating. True. No, I can't carry all of the homeless crap as well as you. I can't use the bathroom outside as well. No, I don't need to use less than you. Please don't water down my drugs because you think you need more. Yeah. I notice sweetie. 

I no longer carried the emergency tampon in my purse that had the half ripped wrapper just in case I got caught off guard. One time in my addiction, I was wearing yellow shorts. I hadn't gotten my period in six months. I wasn't sure if i had a miscarriage or my period but I bled all over myself. I was so depressed at the time, sleeping in an alley, I just stayed like that for days crusted in my own blood. No one tried to help me. No one cared for me and no one cared. I let myself get that way. I was strong enough to clean myself up. The story is not in the suffering but in the overcoming of tremendous obstacles. 

I am not the sum of any guilty shameful thing. I am not the sum of all the things that I have done. I have endured, I have witnessed, I have enjoyed, and I will thrive despite my imperfections. I am a woman. If I using but I am not to be used. I am recovering from many things. 

the scars still remain

Sunday, December 1, 2013

I appreciate the warmth

I was laying bed last night reflecting on the past few days. I decided I would focus on how different my life is from when I was using drugs. My son is sitting here cuddling with me. He likes to get up in the morning and put his little hands against my face. He has on his Christmas pajamas, the kind with the feet. They are brown with smiling animals like foxes, deer, raccoons, and beaver. I am not sure what these cute, but generally nuisance type animals have to do with Christmas but my son loves them. Some happiness is appreciating things the way they are in the moment. I have been typing this same paragraph for ten minutes because I am holding my son with one arm. He still has his hand on my face.

It has been cold in my house so I have been sleeping with my hoodie on at night. Have you ever slept outside? Have you ever slept in an alley, a car, or a park? Even if you are high or drunk, it pretty much sucks to sleep outdoors. If it is cold, you wake up and your hands are like swollen rocks. The concrete sucks the heat out of you. Your eyes sometimes start to swell shut from the elements. Your face looks puffy within a few days. If it is hot outside, your mouth gets so incredibly dry. You can look ten years older in ten days from constant exposure to the sun. In rainy season, the homeless fight over dry areas to sleep at night. storefronts turn into encampments that must be dismantled at dawn. There are mice, lice, rapists, and thieves to contend with on a daily basis. Most shelters are scary and require residents to be in at 7pm and out at the crack of dawn. If you are young, you are a target therefore most avoid the shelter system.

I have been bitching about my life. Not out loud, mostly to myself. This thanksgiving, I did not sell my box from the food pantry for $10. I suspect I won't sell my shoes that I got from the outreach place for dope. I am not getting kicked out of a parking garage in the rain. I am not lancing my abscesses on a street corner only to have some steal my saline and my gauze from behind my head while I am asleep in an alley. Who does that anyway? If you are reading this gauze thief- that was some low bottom addict stuff right there.

I guess what I am trying to say here is that I have come a long way from my using days. I know it is easy to point the finger at me and say "I will never be like that." However, you may not ever fully experience that same joy I have knowing I am NOT in the place anymore. My son just crawled off my lap to get his blanket. He likes to cuddle with me for hours and I need to appreciate the warmth while I have it.