Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Gratitude- Freedom from Active Addiction

Getting things together for my book has really enforced how lucky I am to be alive and off drugs. Readers ask me what the secret is to staying off heroin. I made up my mind in 1998 that I was not going to use no matter what happened to me. I tried methadone twice unsuccessfully, I tried "just smoking pot", I tried switching drugs, I tried moving to a new place. The only thing that worked for me was kicking cold turkey in jail, going to rehab, going into sober living, then remaining totally abstinent. My story and your story may be different. Some people are different from others. I was very sick. I have a sponsor. I have a therapist. I have a program of recovery. 

I have been arrested at least 8 times. I've been exposed to HIV, hep c, violence, and mayhem. I am currently sitting on my couch watching kid television with three little kids that love me. I'm in my house that I paid for with money I earned through employment. I have a life beyond anything I could have imagined in early recovery. In treatment, I made a list of all my goals. I have achieved every one of them. Most of all, I have the serenity that comes from not having to chase a bag of dope. I have freedom from active addiction. I am grateful. These horror stories on my blog all have a happy ending readers. There is life after addiction. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Over Amped

"After looking at these pictures Ms. Helton, can you identify the man who you say assaulted you from this lineup." There is that face. He is staring at me as if to dare me to pass him. "This one. This is the man." I slowly breathe out the pain of secrecy and breathe in a cleansing realization of freedom. "Are you sure?!" I could not be any more sure if my life depended on it. 

I had accumulated so many belongings. I had a large steamer trunk full of all my treasures. So much more secure than a shopping cart but so heavy. "Here- let me help you." When a horrible thing has happened to you, the human response is to ask yourself why did this happen to me. The second part is to replay what could I have done to make this horrible thing. It was me. If I only would not have let him help me. I never let anyone help me. I was tired and alone. 

I have no idea why I went anywhere with him. He said we would be right back. He asked someone to watch my things for just a minute. I had been up for days, months, years. My mind was crashing to a stop. I usually stayed with a small group of people. There was safety in numbers. I was dealing with a predator. He found a way to separate me from the group. That few minutes turned into days. 

It started to lightly rain outside. Yes, I am wiling to go in some where for a little while. I can not see very well. I haven't had my contacts for at least a year now. I could not see much beyond my hands and a needle. The world was full of shadows. I had completely surrendered to the elements. A brief time off the street sounded appealing to me.

As we walked down the various streets of the Tenderloin, my internal compass began to pull me back towards North. Rain or no rain, I hated leaving my stuff. I'm so tired. I wish I could just lay down and rest. On rainy nights, homeless people fight over the best doorways. Keeping dry is a luxury. I had some seniority in my little group. I am going to miss out on the dry spaces if I don't get back soon. 

As we were buzzed into the apartment, I was not sure what to think of the place. The apartment was completely empty except for two people sitting getting high on the floor. Come with me. Do you want to do this hit. I'm tired. What about my stuff. No. I'm not sure. At that moment, I realized this was not an offer. This was what was going to happen. I was going to take these drugs and I was not going to say no. He was mixing them. God. I am so afraid now. I feel the tears coming but there is no point. I cannot scream. I cannot speak. I cannot refuse. In my entire using history, I was always very careful not to use too much. Now this man might actually kill me or make me unconscious and fuck my corpse because I owe him for a hit I never wanted. The crystal has gotten quite clear. He has brought me here to give me so much drugs, there will not be a struggle or a sound. Just a violation.

The condition is known on the street as being "over amped". It was generally done to ply younger addicts into sex that they would never agree to in their right minds. I had been so careful. I was not young or new to the game anymore. He got me though. He had me. This was going to happen. 

As the drugs hit my system, it was if a bolt of electricity had gone into my system. I was rushing and I could not stop. Then he hit the lights. He had all the power. I could not see then. I will not die here. I will not. He started ripping at my clothes. What the fuck is going on. He is trying to put me in the shower. The water will make me pass out. I cannot let this happen to me. This guy has AIDS. Think. Fucking start thinking. 

I'm turning the tables here. Then I remembered an old hooker trick. Stop this train I want to get off. He is grabbing at me. He is not going to fuck me. This is not happening. I gave this man a blow job that became a vice grip of teeth. Not enough to be obvious of course. Just enough for him to say damn bitch I am not fucking interested anymore. In fact, I am not interested in fucking you because you are fucking crazy. He got me some clothes. He took the clothes he ripped off of me, the evidence. He had washed me up. He thought of everything because this was not his first time. Except this time, he had to let me go. 

That is him. That is him. In the pictures. That is him. I know that face. He gave me so much speed, I wandered the city for days until I eventually ended up getting locked up the psychiatric ward of San Francisco General Hospital. I worked in that same department many years later. I was wandering the street in a stupor unable to put together anything but a paranoid delusion. I told them someone had tried to rape me. They told me I needed a detox. They discharged me to a detox center two days later. When they wrapped me in blankets and restraints in the quiet room, I had felt safe for the first time in years. Yes, I recognize that face. I knew him. 

I confronted this man years later, still in my addiction.  "Stop talking about me." I was screaming now. "Do you deny what you did to me." I could not make him acknowledge what he did to me but his lack of denial spoke volumes.  He stared right through me. "Just stop talking about me". 

When I had five years in recovery, I made that police report. It was more symbolic that anything at that point. The statute of limitations had run out on my case. I made that report because it was part of my recovery process. I had regained my voice. I was not going to be silent. Yes. That is him. That is that motherfucker right there. They wanted my statement. Why? It was not the first time he had done it. They would not let me see the case file but he had a stack of cases of violence against women. I was the only one who was willing to point him out. They wanted my statement on record. Yes. You can call me a snitch or a survivor. Either way, I had my voice. I will not be silent. Not now. Not ever again. 

No one is hurting me today. My recovery is a story of my survival. I am not afraid to speak my truth. This is my life today. I am in charge. I am free. 





Friday, June 28, 2013

Black Tar Heroin Tshirts

I am going to be doing another run of black tar heroin shirts to pay for expenses related to getting my book done. If you think you would like to order one, email me at traceyh415@hotmail.com so I can get an idea how many to print. We are doing the TRY AGAIN image.

Guest Post- A letter from a reader J from US

The reader gave me permission to print her letter. I get many letters like this from people frustrated with the role addiction still plays in their life
 
Hi Tracey,
I suppose it's safe to say that I'm not an addict. Have I done drugs? Yes. Plenty. I think I was up to an 8ball a day of cocaine when I quit using. I had no job, no real friends and I was so skinny I had to tie a rope through my belt loops to keep my pants up. I've always struggled with my weight and the most fucked up part is people were always telling me how GREAT I looked. I don't know how they couldn't see that I was not doing great at all. After about a year of living like this I "woke up" and decided to get my shit together. I quit doing drugs and going out drinking. I moved back in with my parents. I took a job working in housekeeping in a hospital from 8pm-4:30am so that I would be occupied during the hours that seemed to tempt me the most. Even though they've since admitted to knowing that something was wrong, at the time they were in denial. I was so alone. I couldn't be friends with my drug "friends" or I would use and my real friends wanted nothing to do with me anymore. It took about a year before my life returned to a somewhat normal state and it's been good ever since.
Through my early 20's I developed a much more "healthy" relationship with drugs and alcohol. Drink on the weekends. Smoke a little pot occasionally. Do some coke to sober up from the drinking. And hallucinogens were always fair game. But it was always a sporadic thing after I "quit" using. I always had a job, my bills were always paid, my cats were always fed, there was never a reason to worry. Just like my mother, I was the responsible, independent, one. I never needed help.

No one ever needed to worry about me. Even when they did.
Now I'm almost 30 and living the life I've always dreamed of. I work in the movie business. I have an awesome boyfriend and an amazing little family (3 cats and a dog). I'm not rich, by any means, but I have everything I need and then some. Next month we are packing up our family and moving to New York City. I've wanted to live there since I was a little girl! Another dream is coming true.
And yet, I spend my free time searching for the most disturbing things I can find. Books written by former junkies, documentaries that don't shy away from the dirty details, photobooks about crackhead prostitutes. The grittier the better. Which is how I found you. I had seen BTH when I was younger but like most things, it was quickly forgotten, but I recently watched it again and I have read your blog every day since. I suppose it's somewhat ironic that I would find your blog during such a tumultuous time in my life. My dear friend T, who was with me during all of my shenanigans, who I reconnected with later, sober, has now developed herself a pretty nasty meth addiction. She's been missing. Beat up by drug dealers. Started dating a neo nazi drug dealer who killed her ex drug dealer who was after her. Abandoned her kids with no electricity or food to sell her ass out of a shady motel to feed her addiction. The story is worse than most books I've read and documentaries I've seen.
And then last week I found out my little cousin is following right down that path. I can't decide if I'm pissed at her for doing to her kid what her junkie mother did to her her whole life or if I am sympathetic and unsurprised by her taking the same road her mother took. Either way, my heart is broken.
Like I said before, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that I am not an addict. I am one of the lucky few who is in control of myself. I always know when to say when. But here I am, with my ticket to the 30 train staring me in the face, finding myself not only obsessed with homeless junkies but JEALOUS of them.

 Now, I'm not crazy, I know that is not the appropriate response to have to that and I've discussed it with my shrink.

I just want to know what it's like to be able to completely abandon all responsibilities and even reality and devote oneself 100% to their drug addiction. I see images of junkies in a nod and all I feel is a envy. "Look how content they are. They literally do not give any of the fucks about anything." and the next thought is "How can they live like that?" I find myself almost passing judgement but at the same time wishing I could live with that sort of reckless abandon. I want to know what it's like to be that fucking selfish. I swear, junkies have to be the most selfish people on the planet. I'm doing everything that I'm supposed to be doing. Where's my 90 day vacation where I get to spend the whole time working with a team of professionals trying to get to the bottom of why I am the way I am???
I suppose it's a good thing that I never got to try heroin. My dealer got it once, and was supposed to call me so I could do it with him but (not surprisingly) got too fucked up and forgot to call me. Maybe that would have been the drug that turned me into a junkie.
I know this probably sounds whiny to someone who has lived through the things you have but I guess, if there's a lesson to be learned from this, it's that addiction effects every person in an addicts life. I come from a family full of addicts (and a boyfriend who is a recovering heroin addict) and after 29 years of being surrounded by it I'm still not sure if I'm jealous or sympathetic or angered by addicts but it's something I struggle with on a daily basis.
Keep up the good work and I really hope you do get to publish a book one day. In the meantime I'll keep reading your blog everyday.

Lunch with a reader

I got the chance to meet one of my readers that was visiting from Brazil. I get between 25-50 emails a week. Between writing this blog, having a full time job, and raising three little kids, I rarely get a moment to relax. It was really nice to go out  with someone and have an adult conversation. This was the first time in two or three months I did not eat lunch at my desk while attempting to do two or three other tasks at the same time. Yesterday was awesome. I got meet a fantastic person. Thanks for contacting me. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sixteen Days awake part two

In many ways, I hate myself. I hate the way I look, the sound of my own voice. I feel stupid, inadequate, and useless. Or at least this was how I felt as a young drug addict. Drugs are supposed to help a person escape into a place where reality mixed with sedation creates a hybrid of a bearable existence. What came out of my experience with crystal meth was that I hated the feelings but using was a snap decision. It creates an illusion that you are not addicted because you are not forced to use on the same timetable as with heroin. Crystal gives you the delusion of mastery over the jones. I do not NEED this, I just WANT it so I am so much better off.

A good speed run is known as the Jenny Crank diet- give us a week and we will take off the weight. In the sixteen days, I know I ate food. I'm sure my mouth was full of sores from dehydration and every bite was a labored effort to get the dry bits of nourishment past my aching teeth that I had been grinding for days. At one point, I remember standing still for hours barefoot in front of the hotel people watching or as we like to call it "stuck on stupid". At a certain point of exhaustion, the brain has loops. It will stop. You will stop somewhere in the middle of an activity and sit or stand there for hours. No food, no sleep, no ability to move- awesome! But wait- there are days more. 

On the last days of my speed run, I had torn up the floor tiles. I was hallucinating that it was ancient money and I had to clean it up in the bathtub. Various friends I had came in and gave witness to this scene. They cried real tears. They were the last people left from my old life in Cincinnati. They knew the part of myself that had not traveled out of the city. I was broken by the streets. One by one, they had filed past me and determined I was a lost cause. 

I finally came to after passing out. I suspect people might have given me some heroin so I could get some rest. "Where is my dope?!" I began tearing up the area around my bed. I was surrounded by a few familiar faces. The look of concern was lost on me. "Where is my dope?!" I had a bag of speed. I had a whole half gram. It was right here.

"We used it to pay for your room." A chill went up my spine. My face got flush."who in the fuck told you to do that?! Those were MY fucking drugs. "
The mood changed from concern to something entirely different. At that moment, the hope was sucked out of that $35 dollar a night hotel room. It was not the drugs that were the problem. I was the problem. I had crossed that line into the ungrateful selfish addict who cared nothing about the feelings of others. I just wanted a god damn hit. 

My friend, one of my best friends I ever had, left with tears in his eyes thinking I was an ungrateful bitch. And I was. Our friendship died on the 16th day. I traded every last bit of love I had left to kill myself in secret and obsess about how much I hated me, now just a little more. 

My Son Didn't Make it

I correspond with people I meet through my blog and my you tube videos. I was contacted last year by a mother. Her son was coming off methadone. She wanted to know more about the disease of addiction.  I am printing this email because I want people to realize that addiction kills people. Death. Overdose. Infections. Addicts need help. I do my best I can to provide encouragement. I am glad to help you readers.  We also need treatment, compassion, and narcan/naloxone. Get help before it is too late. Use with a friend. Do something.


Hi Tracey-
My son didn't make it. 1yr using, 5yrs methadone. He tapered off, in my opinion too quickly, then used-
after drinks with friends
(non-users)
Killing him - three days dead on the floor I found him.
I thought he was doing great! I kept asking him "are you ok? Are you sure?"
He always said he was fine.
What I was clueless to was how hard it was to come off methadone.
I hate myself for not knowing enough about this insidious disease.

I wish I could save someone.





Here is information about the DOPE Project. It also has a video attached
http://harmreduction.org/issues/overdose-prevention/tools-best-practices/naloxone-program-case-studies/dope-project/

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sixteen Days Awake

In the winter of 1992 I completed a 28 day methadone detox. For the first time in six months, I was free of the grip that heroin had held so tightly around my throat. I no longer needed to demean myself and pander to the God of opiates. The God of Opiates is similar to Shivah the destroyer. One is lead to the height of ecstasy, only to be tricked by their own greed and sloth down the path to utter desperation.

Amazingly, the boyfriend that I had loved so much agreed that we probably loved the drugs more than each other. We were no longer bound by our shame to huddle together for some semblance of a normal life. We quickly went our separate ways as if our previous commitment was nothing but a fuzzy memory. 

One thing did remain from my dark period. It was an antique! My seventy year old sugar daddy of sorts was in Alcoholics Anonymous. He funded much of my treatment after I had confessed to him in a fit of clarity that I was strung out on drugs. Not only was he in recovery, he also had no boundaries and was more than willing to help me. I am sure he was hoping to cash in after my detox with some more lively activities of a sexual nature. I can not imagine having sex with me was anything more than nailing a corpse. He had one foot in the grave and I was dead on the inside. Necrophilia defined by the exchange of twenty dollar bills. 

My sugar daddy liked a place to visit me so he was happy to relocate me to another dingy hotel. At the time, I did not realize the Ambassador was part AIDS hospice, part shooting gallery. It was there were I swapped one drug for another.  Crystal Meth, speed, water, whatever you would like to call it. Within the first month of moving to the hotel, I went on a "run" of epic proportions. 

How does one stay up for sixteen days? First of all, some sleeping is involved. A few hours here and there. When I would try to sleep, I might spend hours or even half a day staring at the ceiling "tweaking". My mind would race with hallucinations. With speed, your body is awake but your mind is desperately trying to shut functions down so you can sleep. Most people who do speed enjoy a good day or two of unprotected scabby  sex or  furiously masterbating with toys and pornography. I was not that person. I would think myself into scenarios and torture myself with my own thoughts. I would pick at my eyes thinking my contacts were still in there or tear my things apart. At least opiates provide a respite at some point. Speed was a big fuck you because obsession became the norm. 

To be continued...

New pics and New guest posts

I need some new pictures readers and some new guest posts. Send me some! I can not pay you but I will put your stuff up where it will get exposure to 150-200 daily readers. Contact me traceyh415@hotmail.com

Scars on the Inside

The track marks are covered with new skin. I ate this morning. I used the bathroom inside. I slept with a blanket and it did not have body lice. A rat did not jump on me. My abcesses are healed, sealed, and secret. Now, my scars are on the inside. 

You are so very perfect compared to me. You would never do the things I did for drugs. Have you ever washed the dope man's dishes for a hit? Have you cried with watery eyes and heavy legs for anyone to get you well? Have you sold your soul, your body, your life to escape down the hatch into a soft nod? How can you understand how very hard I really am? All my scars are on the inside. 

The world could not break me. I am stronger. I am wiser. I am resilient and I am free of shame. You can not hurt me because I am already healed- all my scars are on my insides. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Swimming in Quicksand

Recovery provides me with freedom. Many times, that freedom is overwhelming to me. When you are drugs, the majority of your decisions are based on impulse. In a split second, I'm loaded or in a relationship or breaking your shit or crying in my hands. When I am using, I only have to be accountable to the connection. They only care about my money, not my guilt or shame. 

How am I supposed to live in this world? How am I supposed to manage my emotions? Within a few days of getting off opiates, it becomes apparent that choices are not my strong suit. In the program they told me to "support" people. Of course I did not tell when people had crack in the program. I'm not a snitch. Of course I didn't tell when people were having sex in the program. Of course I threatening to beat my roommate's ass for not doing my chore. I never made good choices so I kept not making them. 

Then I was released into society. I needed money. Should I sell drugs? I hung out with dealers. They gave me money. Should I go work in a brothel? Should I do this, that, the fucking other thing- fuck this shit. Too many choices. 

The best choice- I did not use drugs. The needle doesn't slip and fall in your arm. You have to pick it up. I went to meetings. I got a sponsor. I went to a women's support group. Slowly, I got better. I got some real recovery. 

If you think I am cured, you are so mistaken dear readers. I make mistakes but I learn from them. I have this impulse issue: fuck it, fuck you, fuck this. Sound familiar? Slow down. Take time. Think. Most of all, do not use. We can all get better together. 

I am including my vacation picture. As you can see, I still wear masks. I hope you see through them today. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My Awesome Sober Vacation

I am on vacation with my friends. Because I go completely insane when any mind or mood altering chemical enters my body, I have to plan for my self. First of all, I don't use no matter what is happening around me. Second of all, I make sure everyone around me knows I do not drink. I don't tell everyone I am in recovery. I just make sure the two or three people closest to me are their for support. Finally, I have a plan. I grab a bottle of water. If something bothers me, I call or text people. Or I tell the people I am with about my feelings. Usually I try to have cab fare or my own way home. I just am clear with myself- YOU may drink, smoke weed or whatever but not me. I can have a great time substance free. Thanks friends.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Staying Clean

You got off drugs! Yeah! Now what?! Ugh! This is where the work begins. Welcome to the other side where finding a vein, scoring, or hustling enough money to stay well are not on the daily agenda. 

Agenda items for today:
1. Don't use
2. Don't use
3. Don't fucking use

Hello stubborn addict?! Are you getting it now?! Your priority in the beginning has to involve putting distance between you and that substance. Getting off drugs is just the first step to rehabbing your whole life. 

Let us take a look at reality. If you have used for one or more years, all your friends are junkies. You are probably broke or damn near close to it. Your dick is broken or it least it was while you were strung out on dope. Now you may or may not have an erection that won't go down. For the ladies, you might be feeling some unfamiliar stirrings too but your last two boyfriends could not fuck so you gave up on sex. Having a period- do not be surprised if it returns after a few weeks of eating food. Surprisingly, you may add a bra cup size or two. Nature starts to put our humanity Bach in order. 

I suspect you might be ten pounds under weight. Haven't seen the outdoors in awhile? While you were kicking, fresh air was the last thing on your mind. Get out of the house. Especially since whomever you are living with is probably pissed at you or strung out. Or both. 

Return to living my friends. Get a program of recovery. Go to meetings, go to groups, talk to people that support your recovery. Find a job, volunteer, find a reason to love yourself again. 

Let us return to our to do list:
1. Don't use
2. Don't use
3. Don't fucking use

The drugs do not fall in your arm (legs,feet, neck, groin. I suspect no arm veins left). You have to pick them up, seek them out, buy them, accept them back into your existence. 

You can stay clean today. You can do this recovery. I'm here with you. 

Pitching a tent part 2.

I am exaggerating a little. I did not go STRAIGHT to the Tenderloin. I had to eat first! I had to walk over to the Haight Ashbury district. I was told if I went to the beginning of Golden Gate Park, I could find someone who could help me navigate the dope scene in SF. I was also told to stop and get a burrito first. This may have been a mistake as it ended up on the floor of the muni bus later in the day. I remember the puke sloshing back and forth under my feet while I was falling over in my seat. 

After a tall can of beer or 40oz, I felt prepared to take on my mission- find drugs. When a junkie rolls into a new city, they like to do some footwork to save time. We look at maps. We talk to cab drivers. Before the Internet, we would sniff around by greyhound stations. A sure shot in any large city if you need dope is to find the methadone clinic. I was young and naive. I had to go by word of mouth and luck. 

I found a dirty young punk with a Mohawk. Yes. Help me. I need the Chiva. I will give you a cut or five dollars. This was a pretty standard finders fee. In the case, I easily could have shared the dope. I was actually nervous about dying in a strange place but that didn't stop me.

Scoring dope can be a real "adventure". When I say adventure, I really mean pain in the ass. In this case, I was passed off to another junkie because the first junkie only liked speed. Useless! By now, I was on my third bus and fourth San Francisco neighborhood. We had to go to the mission. I wanted to buy a gram which easily would have killed me but apparently I needed to get this guy high AND and had to get his friend high for letting me use in their apartment since I did not have a hotel. The bills on this journey were racking up. It was extremely hard to let someone walk off with my money up into the spot but I had no real choice. By this point, my stomach was flipping with the knowledge I would get high soon. 

Using in a den full of junkies is dangerous as hell. They WILL leave you and go through your pockets. I have seen friends do it to friends. I have seen lovers do it. I have heard recounted tales of people dying for 45 minutes of an asthma attack gasping for air at the crack house. No one was willing to call the ambulance until they finished their hit. 

I will spare you the details but I survived the first time. I wandered down the street and found a friend. I topped the dope of with some pills and booze. I puked from one end of Polk Street all the way down to market. My final resting spot was slumped at the bottom of a stop sign with $800 in my pocket. Some Good Samaritans stopped by to help me. "Where do you live ? " they asked. "Ohio". Well they could not take me there but they took me back to my friend's dorm room. The beast was released that day. I would never be the same again

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pitching a Tent in the Gutter

Arriving off the Greyhound from Cincinnati on April 6th 1992, I had stars in my eyes. I had no real choice. I had to get out of town. In the days prior to my departure, a person had mistakenly believed that I had stolen $2,240 from their sock while they were passed out in my apartment on Cisco. Cisco is a cheap wine in the same vein as Thunderbird or Mad Dog 20/20. it was also known as "liquid crack". This person had owed that money to a loan shark. When they awoke to find that their money was gone, they held me hostage with a pair of rusty scissors. They told me "Bitch, I am not going to kill you. I am going to put your eyes out so you can live the rest of your life like that." I learned a valuable lesson that day. I did not take their money nor did I steal things from people in my career as an addict. By the time the morning rolled around, he quickly realized I was not the person. It had been another person who had been sleeping in my old apartment. When he finally decided to let me go, I formulated a plan. I had my college tuition check refunded to me. I was on the greyhound with $900 and no plan.

I had two junkie choices of either New York or San Francisco. These were the only places I was SURE I could get heroin in either place. I had been to New York City in 1988. We slept in our car at Tompkins Square Park. We drank blackberry flavored brandy to say warm. This was the first time I saw a dead person (or thought was dead) on the street. His body was blocking my path. I asked my friend "what do I do?" He said "This is New York, step over him". It was in the 30s at night. I was freezing cold. We never found heroin or pills. We got loaded on something or another but it was not the place for me. I had it in my mind I would try my hand at San Francisco.

I was staying with a friend briefly but he was going to the University of San Francisco. He agreed to let me stay in his dorm. I must heartily apologize to him in this public forum. I was a train wreck from day one. I needed to get out in the mix. Where can I get some drugs? Where could I find  someone? They would be able to hook me up with what I needed if i could only find them. I also had a few friends that had moved to the city. I  knew if I could find Slick, I would be in good shape. That money was burning a hole through my pocket.

Up until this point in my life, I used drugs but I never had easy access to them. I also was the kind of person that had a job. I either went to school or worked or both. My parents did help me out but most of vices were funded by my own labor. San Francisco would become a total departure from everything I knew of life. No job, no place to live, drugs everywhere. When I was a teenager, my friend and I used to listen to the band Fang. They used to sing songs about the Tenderloin, being a junkie, being completely free and not giving a fuck. The cab driver told me on the way from the Greyhound station : "This is the Tenderloin. Do NOT come here." That moment will always be cemented in my memory. That was the day when I found everything I wanted in one place. My life changed when I set foot on the bricks of the Civic Center. I had a return trip ticket but I never came back. My life was here.

I need directions. "Can you tell me which bus will take me downtown? I need the Tenderloin..."


To be continued...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Open letter to my Readers

I have no story for today. I thought I would speak from my heart. I was up crying last night. Why you may ask? I was crying for a few reasons. I get between 25-50 emails a week. These emails are from addicts around the world. Some are from people who have been in recovery. These people want to reflect on their experience. Some emails are from people who have never used drugs. Many of them thank me for making "Black Tar Heroin". The movie is the reason many people decided to never try opiates. Finally, the last category of emails are from active users. These emails bring me to a place of overwhelming sadness. 

I have not used drug in fifteen years. That is a fact. Yet I can easily recall the feeling of being strung out and desperate to have hope. The feeling readers describe of questioning "will I ever stop using?!" Strangely, it is so easy for me to remember that place where only the pain remains and desperation was my only friend. 

I answer all my emails. I text and email people in acute detox. I have sent words of encouragement to anyone and everyone. The reality is that it will never be enough. That makes me sad. There are so many still suffering addicts. Big Pharma is creating new ones every day. 

Someone asked me recently if I am a narcissist and I use this blog to get attention. If that was true, I certainly would tell more flattering stories about myself. I was an addict that would do almost anything for drugs. Now, I'm clean. The blog is about the transformation. I am living proof that ANYONE can stop using substances. I wish I could tell you HOW to stop dear readers. I do not have those answers. I can only give you my experiences. 

I am happy to have helped you. I am happy to provide you with a brief reprieve from your daily insanity. I think of you and wish you all the best. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Guns, Bitches, and Money

I will state for the record that I am incredibly grateful that a confidential informant told on me. This was the reason I was arrested, which lead to me going to treatment.  The last few months of my addiction were completely insane even by my standards. For whatever reason, the people who had been supplying me my drugs decided it was time for me to start selling them. This idea almost killed me.

The fantasy of every user is to have a bottomless supply of drugs. I think there are two kinds of addicts: drug hogs and maintenance users. I was a maintenance user. I never did more than I thought I could handle at one time. I also never used more than what I thought I could hustle up in one day. I liked my drugs. I also liked being alive to use them. I have seen many addicts get pissed when they are revived from an overdose -"why didn't you let me go? It was my time!" Okay, you selfish bitch. Next time, I will let you die. See what happens. Not only will I go to prison for not doing anything but I will probably feel bad because you are dead! These people are usually the drug hogs. They want to do ALL the drugs then complain how sick they are when they should have saved a little.

Selling drugs sucks when you are an addict. How much can I use of my own supply? Then you are having to turn sick people down all day long. Then people are willing to degrade themselves while you are witness and collect on their misery. In addition, there is the issues of storage of said drugs. It seems like drugs and money spend a lot of time nestled in the crotch area. And five hundred dollars in a condom in your vagina is not comfortable in case you wondered about it. Nor is a package that has to be sorted through by touch while one leg is up on a car. It's a wonder I ever had children at all with the amount of bacteria that was up in that area.

 Having a bottomless supply made it easier for me to use more, care less. Not more heroin, more of everything I could get my hands on. I liked to use heroin, speed and coke in the same syringe. I would feel normal, just for a few minutes. Then my mood would be as dark as my circumstances until i had time to get that perfect combination. nothing made me happy except money and freedom. Honestly, I did not have much of either. I was working around the clock but I was always alone. I trusted no one, including myself.

Finally, there is the paranoia. Is this person trying to rob me? Yes. It happened a few times. I have had a knife to my throat. Ive had guns pulled on me. That time I told the person "shoot me, kill me, do me a favor". Nothing really made me afraid except facing myself.Where are the cops? I've been stopped, searched, choked by the police. It all is part of my experience at the time. Then I would have to go back to my room, drink tons of water, and throw all the drugs back up. Counting balloons in my puke. Good times. I would do hits of coke to celebrate, feel like I was going to die of a heart attack but I couldn't tell anyone because  I was too paranoid they would take my stash and leave me to die. Good friends, huh?! Many times, I just used alone. I would be sticking needles in between my toes wondering when all of this would end.

When I finally left in handcuffs, I was ready for a new life. There were some guns, a few bitches (mostly about "I'm so sick") as oppsed to reall bitches,  and some money. I was not a legend nor a hero. No one missed me. I was replaced within a few days. My new life, however, is completely irreplaceable to me. Clean and slightly crazy.

This is me and my homegirl in 98. We were clean but not cured by any standards.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Guest Post- Anonymous from US

Dear readers- I like to have guest posts from all perspectives. Some of you are into 12 step, some are not. Realize the feelings and the desperation are all the same. Love Tracey 

THE DEPTH OF MY INSANITY

 Step Two: Came to believe a Power greater thanmyself could restore me to sanity.

 The first time I sought help from a 12 Step program I became acquainted with Step 2. My first reaction was that it did not apply to me. Being a devout atheist I had no reason to succumb to this concept of weakness. Also, I was clearly NOT insane.

 Up until this time I had defined Insanity in much the same manner that I’m sure most of us do. By my own definition: which I had come to with my own personal experience with the mentally ill. You know, the folks on the bus talking to themselves.  Clearly I was not of this lot.

  Like most Drunks I had come to the realization that my drinking was a real problem. I had transcended recreational drinking. I had arrived to the point where every time I drank, I got drunk. Well, not “every time”. But to be honest, in the last five or so years of my drinking, the only times I drank and did not get drunk were because it was impossible; ran out of money, at work etc. I had, on several occasions, drank myself into actual alcohol dependency, whereas I needed medical detox to get off the sauce. In every instance where I was in detox I always drank the day I was released (you know, to celebrate a job well done!)

 OK, so maybe I was insane. After all, I did a lot of CRAZY shit when I was drunk: stealing cars, getting into fights with police officers, public nudity etc. Oh yeah, I did drugs! Now I do not consider myself a drug addict, though I have done far more drugs than a lot of people I have met in NA meetings. I believe that my drug usage was a result of my ALCOHOLIC thinking.

  Let’s take crack for example. I have smoked a few thousand metric tons of crack. But, not one single time was I ever sober and decided to smoke crack, the thought would never cross my mind. Yet, add some booze to me and the idea of smoking crack seemed like a WONDERFULL idea. Pretty SANE huh?

  Modern Psychiatry defines insanity, in a nutshell, as: “The complete inability to know the truth”.  Sound familiar?

 The last five years of my drinking was an absolute nightmare. I was married with three children and was completely unable to care for my family; booze had rendered me completely un-employable. I could not go to work because when I would woke up (come to) I was stricken with tremors and anxiety attacks that only a few drinks could quell.

 Booze is a mysterious thing. It is a vehicle to delusion. My mind was as deeply addicted to delusion as my body was to the alcohol. I was Peter Pan and Vodka was the Pixie Dust that brought me to Neverland.  I had come to AA believing I had a drinking problem. I was wrong. Booze was NOT my problem. Booze was my SOLUTION. Booze was the solution to happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, success, failure ad infinitum.

 The truth was, every time I took a drink a chain reaction occurred. Every time I took a drink I wanted another, the more I drank, the more I craved. My thirst for alcohol was insatiable. Every time I drank I COULD NOT STOP. Every time I drank I would do absurd and tragic things.

 So when drunk, I did insane things. This was NOT the insanity of my alcoholism. The INSANITY of my alcoholism was the fact that prior to drinking I had no idea these things were going to happen, despite the fact that they happened every time I was drunk. (Remember: The complete inability to know the truth)

 Today, I know the truth about myself. The first drink gets you drunk. How does that even make sense? Well, let me tell you: if you get hit by a train, it’s not the caboose that kills you.  After seven years of sobriety I can clearly see that my behavior could not be described as anything short of mental illness.

 I have mastered my drinking problem. By that I mean that the problem of the drink no longer exists for me. I have recovered from a seemingly hopeless state of mind and body. What was it that did this for me? It was a Higher Power. At first, that Higher Power was the meetings themselves. Then it was sponsor. Today, I have a profound relationship with a God of my own understanding. Today, I believe that I was truly insane, lost in a dreamlike existence where I could not cope with reality. Today, I live in reality and have learned to roll with the punches of life. I believe that I have transcended insanity to sanity and it was a power greater than myself that did it.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Merchandise

"I think you are beautiful". I slowly try to chew my food. My mouth is so dry. Why does he want to take me to eat fish and chips. Everyone walking by the window will see me with this guy. It is hot outside. The bricks and concrete are baking in the sun. I am not starving, I am just thin and I hate French fries. 

"Really?!" I ask. "What is so beautiful about me?" I never should have done a half gram before I left the room. This was a WEIGHED half gram, not a street half gram which was usually short and full of cut. My eyes feel so heavy. The edges of the world are fuzzy right now. I hear him talking but I am somewhere else. I am somewhere and I am nowhere at the same moment. It feels like I am sliding down this bench. The date had to shake me and wake me up. I was so sexually enticing passed out on the sidewalk- he had to have me. 

"Maybe I should get you something to drink? A coke." A coke. I need some coke. Or some speed. Something. I'm dreaming about Ohio again. I'm thinking about my parents house. I love laying in the grass in the summer time. I'm looking up at the clouds. This time I am young. I am still happy. I am laying in the roots of the maple tree with the grass. 

"Do not fucking touch me like that!" I am bolted awake out of a nod by a rough hand on my thigh. "I'm just checking the merchandise" he says with a laugh. This is what I have become- merchandise. And he is free to grab my snatch. No. He caught me off guard. How long have I been nodding off? It seems like an hour. No, just a few minutes. The clock does not lie. Plus, my coke is not here yet. Coke- yes! I still have some speed in my purse. Where is the bathroom? I need to wake up- now. 

"What was your name again?" I scratch my arm. I feel so dry and itchy. I am going to have to use this same connect again. I am wasted. "Okay Woody. When I get back from the bathroom, you can tell me more about how beautiful I am."

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Don't turn this rape into a murder

I would not describe myself as a person who was an actual prostitute. When I think of prostitutes, I think of the ladies of the evening flagging down cars to make their living by any means necessary. Prostitution is not the world's oldest profession as many have been brainwashed to believe. Farming is the world's oldest profession. Prostitution was created out of need and survival. You have something I want, I have something you need right this minute. Turning a trick is part sex, part power struggle. It is not always unpleasant but it is dangerous at every level.

As an opportunist addict, I was willing to do dates if the price was right or if I was desperate. I turned many men away over time. I was young and pretty enough to be selective to a certain degree. I had my own rules and I stuck with them for the most part. I never went out at night. I got money upfront. I would never, ever spent the night or agree to go to an apartment at night. I knew three or four girls who were raped and tortured after being put in special rooms created to hold them in. I preferred my own spots or random semi-public places I knew around San Francisco.

I am not sure why I went with him. As I remember it, I was not desperately in need of money. It was getting dark. I was on my way back to the Civic Center Hotel, to the room I shared with my boyfriend. This boyfriend loved me. He did. He was kind. We were strung out but shared everything equally. He was the only one who ever understood me because he was doing the same thing with men. We cuddled at night, two skeletons on the bed, and lied about what we did for the money. We did not want to hurt each other with the truth. 

The guy wanted to give me $40 to go out to drinks with him. This was pretty standard stuff. Many men were lonely. They wanted your time after a long day of work. Many men paid me to go places with them. I was always a good listener and a good counselor. It is extremely hard to listen when you are about to throw up from being dope sick. That's why girls like me get our money first. This man kept me waiting 

He was a white man. Glasses,starting to go bald in his mid 40s. He drove his work truck. At least I assumed it was his work truck. He had tools. He wanted to talk to someone.  I could tell right a way he was angry. He started talking about his divorce, his ex wife. He is going to pay me when we get to the place. Ok where are we going? We start getting farther and farther away from my comfort zone. What is this place? Yes yes, your wife. That must have been horrible. Ok we crossed market. Wait where the fuck are we going? We are over by some wear houses. I am high- really high. I should have just gone home. 

He stopped the truck. We are back in the   Old industrial abandoned area on the other side of Potrero. I'm about to bail here. He grabs the back of my head " you WILL fuck me" he bashes my head into the dashboard. I see a hammer and a hacksaw on the floor. Don't let this rape turn into a murder. For once in my life, I have on shoes with a small heel. I start kicking his face. He is grabbing at me. I struggle for my life. No one can hear me screaming. I got free. For once being loaded was in my favor because I could not feel the gash on my head. He tried to run me over with his truck. Where the fuck am I? It's dark. I have to get home.

I walked two or three miles back to my place. It took at least a mile of walking to figure out where I was in the city. I did not cry or scream. I stared at the green neon lights of a building. Another illusion shattered along with my face.

My boyfriend held me. He paid for the drugs that night. I did a little extra to dull the pain. And I went off into the street the next day. That was my life.

I am not the same person because of days like that one. I survived. I am alive. Do not judge my mistakes. Love me as I love you. Live today. Enjoy your second chances. 



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bad vein day

I'm having a particularly bad day with my veins in my feet so I thought I would capture it for you. The damage from shooting in my feet has progressed into what is in the pictures


Give me the Chiva

Black Tar Heroin, also known as Chiva, is primarily a West Coast of the US poison with pockets of poison distributed along the South and dotted along the map. It smells like vinegar, the acid used in the process and breaks down into a sea of cut in a cooker including coffee, corn starch, baby laxative, and occasional actual tar used for roofing materials.

You must, must, must use a cotton at all times or you will end up with a nasty skin infection known as an abcess. I was known as the " abcess queen" for having up to four abcesses at a time, thirty two in my life. I was always in too much of a hurry from dope sickness to use safe injection precautions . The main offender was tainted water. Instead of clean water, I've used grape crush, vodka, gutter water, and water off the hood of a car in the rain to mix with the dope. I paid the price with infections. Many of those I drained myself with a sterile needle, gauze pads, and saline solution. If I was going to be my doctor, I might as well be my own nurse. 

On an average day, a junkie needed to beg, borrow, steal, or suck enough dick to buy a gram which was $50 from a good connection. The weight was always short, or at least it seemed that way. The dealers always held all the power except when it came to sex. Many of them were in love with blue eyed hookers that contrasted their brown skin and eyes. I've seen many a dealer arrive straight from Mexico and trick off half their package on blow jobs until they settled in to the daily grind of selling heroin.

As everyone hated their dealers, we all found ways to seek revenge. I personally was strong armed with knives twice. I never gave up everything,  just enough for sick junkies to feel satisfied they got over on me. A popular technique was to have a telephone connection get comfortable with you. Then, one day, it was time. Jake was very good at "give me the Chiva or I will give you the el Sida"(AIDS). A bloody needle and the threat of AIDS works every time. Whether anyone would have sunk the needle in them, I'm not sure.  I believe at that state in our lives, we would  have done it. We risked death every day. Why not spread the misery around?  When you are a desperate hustler spending money in the hundreds and that connection will NOT front you a bag, it is time for retribution. We all have our breaking point. Remember what was taken from
Me? Well now, I'm taking everything...

Do not judge us for the sins of our past. Love is the only cure for our redemption. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Thank you to my readers- 30,000 views

Some time this week, I will pass 30,000 page views. I started this blog in late January as an online journal. I never suspected anyone would actually READ it with the exception of a few friends. Over the course of the past six months, I have developed relationships with many of you readers. I am blessed with the opportunity to inspire or educate a global audience on addiction issues. 

Honestly, I have not done much work on my book for a month or so. I have been pouring my energy here. I know some of my posts are being used in treatment facilities (rehab) and others are being printed out by addicts as daily reflections. 
The writing process is painful to me at times. Writing involves opening myself up and accepting criticism which I detest because it stifles my process. I'm going to have to find some resolution for this to push on with my book. 

I am going out of town for three days next week on vacation. If you are interested in guest posting, let me know. As always, thank you for reading

Monday, June 10, 2013

What doesn't kill me

What is it like being a homeless drug addict? I would wake up at 4:30 or 5:00am if i even went to sleep. I would wake up in some alleyway covered in a blanket. The moist San francisco breeze would blow in. Im shivering under the blanket, luckily I am alone. I have on two pairs of pants so no one can get in them and rape me while I nod off. I have on three shirts. One is for a bra, a tight sports top. One is a long sleeve layer with a finger hole cut our of the sleeve so I can use it as gloves. Finally I have on a hoodie or tshirt to seal in the warmth.

Today, I have a small wake up. This requires me pulling both pair of pants down to my knees while I am still warm enough that the veins are up. I can sit behind teis shopping cart and dig for at least twenty minutes before anyone will really notice. I am camped with two other people. One has been up on speed for four days and finally crashed. He won't wake up even when the street cleaning truck comes six inches from his head. The other is still sipping on a forty ounce left from when the corner store closed at two am. If he can hold on a little longer, the store will open again at 6 before he gets the shakes. I think he smoked some crack or something because I see his eyes are full of black pupils. He normally avoids my morning ritual. He says he hates needles.

I have two outfits (aka syringes) and some sterile water. There is so much cut in the black tar I can smell the coffee. I have a burn cooker from the bottom of a can. I will have to take some cotton from my sock. This five dollar piece of dope is going to do nothing but take the sick off of me. The matches start to burn my fingers but I dare not move. I need this hit. The dope is hot. I am cold. I feel it burning. I pull up the poison. I find a vein, a roller in my leg. I pray to the God of junkies. Let this be the hit that relieves my suffering but does not kill me. A five dollar piece never should kill someone but I might die from the infection that goes with it. I feel the hot liquid overflow into my muscle. Damn. I missed part of it. I rub it in a circle. I feel nothing but a sore spot and some regret. I should have tried somewhere else. Im cold now. I pull my pants up. The guy walking through the alley must have gotten quite a show.

I should get up now. I have no food, no money. Its almost time though. The dealers will be on Eddy soon. Maybe I can make some sales. I have one clean needle left. I have the whole day in front of me and a habit. Time to get to work.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sadie

I have loved many people in my life. No love has been as unique as the relationship I have had with my dog Sadie. I would say "our dog" but really she is my dog. She was rescued from a crack house in New Orleans shortly before the hurricane. She lived there with her sister Polly, a sweet dog with a homemade crop job on her tail. I'm sure the dogs must have sighed in relief after being removed from squalor only to tremble in fear during the hurricane. 

Sadie is a survivor. She was airlifted out of the City by a rescue group and sent to a rescue in the Bay Area. Sadie quickly became my emotional support animal within days of moving in. At first we joked about naming her matches or Brillo which are tools used to smoke crack. She was scared of her own shadow. She also came with a case of mange that was so bad, she had to be treated with medicine designed for cattle. 

Sadie was there through many study sessions as I plugged my way through college and graduate school. She laid at my feet when I lost my first pregnancy. She licked my babies as if they were her own. She never questioned why I used drugs because she never knew that person. She knows me as a person who loves her. She is curled up to me night now. 

I got a tattoo of her face long before the children. She will always remind me of the love we can give when we are given a second chance at life- hers and mine. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

The wife part

I talk a lot about my self, my kids, my opinions on things but I rarely speak on my role as a wife. My husband and I have been together through thirteen years of highs and lows. I do not assume I am the perfect wife by any stretch of the imagination. I am stubborn, I keep my feelings bottled up inside me. I like to help other people which frequently turns my attention away from home. I also have my own "unique" way of looking at things. In other words, I like to think I am right most of the time.

When my husband and I met, it was through a mutual friend. We had many of the same interests but there was also some barriers. We were friends. One day I got that fateful phone call- I did I want to go out to the movies? The rest is history. I did not want to fall in love because I was afraid my judgement on the subject was so flawed, it would lead to despair. My husband is a wonderful person. I got that right from the start. The rest of the relationship is work. 

Relationships are hard, let alone trying to have a relationship when you have suitcases full of emotional baggage. I had to spend years by myself before I was even willing to try one. In my mind, a relationship has to progress past that first feeling of butterflies. Before you jump head first into a relationship, make a list of the things you want and don't want in a person. Be specific. Have some interview questions for the person- they are applying to be in your life.  Be firm on your boundaries. Most of all, find your recovery first.

Three kids later, it's time to put in more work. We have to learn how to relate to each other again as a couple and as people. I have to learn to be more than a mom or a wife. I have to be Tracey again. I'm not sure who that person is but I'm sure I will tell you all about her when I find out.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Best of Me

Today was a sweet moment in time. I went to see my daughter's kindergarten graduation. I have worked very, very hard to transition from a scandalous dope fiend to a person of merit. I saw the results today. My daughter is one of the lights of my life. When I saw her sweet smile on the stage today, I realized that she is in this recovery with me. As I get better, the lives of others around me improves as well. I *almost* did not take the time off work. I am so glad I made time for things that are important in her life and my life. I am present. 

As a huge cosmic joke, the PTA voted me as the school treasurer for next year. Today was the second time they have handed me an envelope with thousands of dollars in uncounted checks and cash. I am a convicted felon, model citizen. 

We all have that duality. The desire to do good, the ability to participate in things that are not in our best interest. Today, I am choosing the good. I got my eye on you. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Letting Things Go

Sometimes I need to learn to cut my losses and move on. There are things I can not fix. There are situations I cannot change with love. There are people who by no fault of their own, are not compatible with me or my recovery.

It is hard for me to let things go. I feel like a failure some how when something is not working in my life. I want to fix it, control it, manipulate the outcomes to make something work for me. When I have expectations, I am always left disappointed in the end. 

What are the things in your life that are taking up too much of your energy and time? What would it feel like to let go of those things? I only have so much time and energy. My love is endless but my time is limited. It is time to adjust my priorities. 


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The epicenter of disease and decay

Many people ask me what it was like to be a young drug addict in San Francisco. It is important to realize that I came to SF in April of 1992 when people were dying daily from AIDS. I think that clean needles and drug education are some how taken for granted now. For a young addicted with limited options, a used syringe was a frequent companion. We had to clean our needles with bleach, if you were willing to take the time. Many were not. I also personally have had the experience of accidentally laying bleach on the dope thinking it was water then shooting it anyway because I was that dope sick.

I lived in the Ambassador Hotel in 93-94. At the time, it was a place that rented weekly rooms and doubled as housing for people with HIV and Aids. I've seen people smoking crack in a diaper in their hospital bed. I've seen people use with enormous open wounds. I've seen people get their rooms emptied out while they lay there dying only to survive. Horrors beyond the imagination. 

The long term impact of the hotel for me and my peer group was that as young people came to the city in search of a high, many of them contracted HIV behind closed doors there. HIV is not a death sentence but it was in 1993 for many. Young people would trust there drugs to others, have dangerous sex, get raped after too much speed, or accidentally use the wrong syringe. The rest of your life changed in pursuit of a high. 

In 1994, I had a bad case of thrush which was one of the nine illnesses commonly linked to AIDS. Until the test came back, they thought I had the virus. I know for a fact, I slept with three people with HIV and accidentally used dirty needles multiple times. Finding out I was negative should have changed me but I just did not want to stop using. 

We all have our "bottoms". The bottom is where you stop digging. You may never go to the depths of despair that I have but you have your own pain. Crawl out of your misery and live today. Rejoice at our survival. I am not sure why I am alive while others have perished but surely it is to help you. I love you today. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNmx1r0Cx8M Including one of my favorite songs ever

Monday, June 3, 2013

I am not letting the past steal from my present.

Let us all take one week to focus on the positive thing in our lives. I have been stewing in some negativity recently due to my own fears around getting older. I woke up today with a fresh perspective. I am challenging myself to live in solution for one full week. Instead of focusing on the negative, what if I focused on the positive as much as possible?! My tea is hot. I LOVE hot tea. My hair looks good today. a simple bit of happiness.  My clothes are clean. My kids actually listened to me this morning. I got LOTS of hugs and kisses. My chair is pretty comfortable. I texted with a friend today who I love- a girl friend because I need some in my life. I did not use today. I am not even having a CRAVING  to use. How remarkable is that? I need to appreciate it because tomorrow might be a different story. Live in the now.  I MIGHT even save a life today. I've done it before. We can all work miracles if we do not use today.

I am letting the past steal from my present when sit and feel sorry for myself. Boo fucking hoo. No more. Not today. Not this week. Join me. Make a list. Set a goal. Take some action.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

When the Dope Starts Doing You

When did it happen? When was the day when you realized you no longer were experimenting with drugs- the drugs required your daily attention. We all like to feel we have self-determination, that we are able to make our own choices of our own free will. Yet, over time, it happens. There is a familiar feeling. I need to use. I want to use, yes, really though I need to use to manage my physical being. 

Other drugs are more subtle. Cocaine tells us "I don't really use coke. Do you have some?" We might see speed or MDMA as some type of adventure trip. Opiates on the other hand make addiction and it's physical dependence very clear to me. It's starts with the dream that ends, a runny nose, a twitchy legs and huge pupils. It says "Bitch, get up." Heroin was the only pimp I ever had-  that drug had me working 24/7. 

My addiction may be different but the suffering is all the same. The only difference between me and many others is I drove that car until the wheels fell off. I abused my body, my mind, my spirit until recovery was my last option before death. Make no mistake- heroin will kill us. The bitch demands a body daily, a sacrifice to our utter distain for the evidence of our inability to function as normal human beings. 

I will send positive thoughts your way today if you are using drugs. I will pray for the dealer denying life in every plastic baggy. I will give my love for the hooker who is taking an extra $20 to not use a condom right now. I will grant you my readers the option to release your pain in these four paragraphs. Chose to live today. Make just a few good choices. Love the body you are in and nourish it with forgiveness. Pray for change. 

Below is a picture from intra nasal naloxone. Get some and save a life. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I'm not a hero

I'm not a hero. I'm not a role model. I'm an addict who is clean. I'm a friend to some. I'm a mother. I have tons of imperfections. The best thing I ever did was stop using drugs in 1998. I used drugs hard. I exhausted all idea that I could use successfully and moved on. This blog is both cathartic and difficult in that it puts my self esteem under a microscope. In some ways I'm screaming "love me" (fuck you very much to a friend who pointed this out). In other ways, I really really really want to help everyone. So there is the truth. I'm no hero. I'm just like you. I'm clean today. You can be too. Let's do this together