Wednesday, October 30, 2013

"Hey that bitch Tracey got married..."

Letter and emails oh my!. I get so many emails, I call the my junkiemail. More surprising, is when I run into people I used drugs with that are still alive and out in San Francisco. First of all, most of them are surprised by my overall health displayed by my chunky figure and smile. I am kind of a grumpy person but I make a daily attempt to smile at homeless people. I say hello to them. I answer their questions when I have a minute. I respond in a kind manner that acknowledges their existence. I see myself in their faces.

Surprisingly enough, I remember being out of the streets. The cardboard boxes houses, the coldness of the sidewalk stay with me. I remember being so afraid of sleeping outside. Many nights I would take speed or sit up staring at the streetlights. People leaving their jobs or the bar or their apartments would stroll pass me ignoring my very presence. Looking at me mean that in some way your soul needed to ponder the fact that people like me existed in your world. I was so close yet so far away. I would spend hours at a time packing and unpacking my belonging. I also spent hours changing my clothes. What would be the perfect outfit to sleep in misery. I had to be able to access my veins, pee outside and still maintain the appearance of barely being female.

I am much rounder now. I am softer around the middle. It is hard to believe that anyone would love me enough to marry me but this weekend, we are making an early celebration of the anniversary of the  event. In my addiction,  I never allowed anyone to take care of me. In my recovery, I had open enough to let someone love me. Then slowly, over time, I realized that love is not about not getting hurt. I was used to dopesick love that turns at the whim of a substance. Now I am learning that life is more than a series of random painful experiences. life is the memories I make when I seize this moment.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Guest Post Kitty from US Heroin- A Morbid Love Story

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown 130 Till human voices wake us, and we drown. – The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot

I love heroin. For the average person, these three words are shocking, grotesque even. “How can you love the worse drug ever” and “It’s such a horrible, horrible drug. Didn’t you listen to your parents/society/church/politicians/DARE? It WILL kill you!” Heroin is a bitch, no doubt about that. She can make the most pious, virtuous person pawn their family heirlooms for a fix. She can make the strong, fall. She can make even the most disciplined, controlled person keep coming back over and over and over. She can corrode the soul. She can fuck up your sense of right and wrong. What is up is now down, and what is down is now up. Heroin is terrible, ruthless, heartless , but that makes me love her even more.

She soothes my troubled spirit and my overactive mind. Forget tai chi and yoga, once heroin is flowing through your veins, you’re in heaven. You’re teleported in your own little nirvana. Heroin is Shambhala. It is true bliss. The voices of disapproving parents, fair-weathered friends, depression, anger, mediocre school or work performance, the little critic inside each and every one of us are drown by the oblivion, by heroin’s special ether that creeps slowly through the toes and up until it hits your skull. Your heart rate slows down. Your eyes softly droop and the world takes on a more harmonious hue and all you can do is exhale.



Heroin delicately cradles me as she further envelopes me in her high. The opinions of my mother and father no longer matter. The lack of support from my so-called friends no longer irritate me. My depression, cynicism, and self-hatred dissolve as beautifully as heroin dissolves on the spoon. Anger? What is anger? How can you be angry when you see that crimson plume of blood flow slowly in the syringe? School and work? It’s for the birds. No matter what you have ever achieved, the rush from the needle surpasses it. The little, hideous critic that questions and doubts and torments us is silent.

Heroin is so sweet, so loving, but ever so selfish. She wants our love, adoration, and resources and in exchange she gives us inner peace. This is the exact moment when hatred, love, fear, and awe swirl together and we no longer know what we really feel. Heroin is like a neuronal, chemical Faust. She beckons us lovingly with hands stretched out. “Give me your me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” The tired, the poor, the huddled masses, the depressed, the fucked up, the derange, the outcast, the cynical, the confused are attracted to her cries of true love and true peace. But heroin is a wolf dressed in sheep’s wool. She doesn’t tell us that we’re going to spend every day, every hour, every second obsessing about when we’re going to see her again. She doesn’t tell us that we will offer everything of value, money, house, family, self-respect, to her. She doesn’t tell us that we must deal with the possibility of abscesses, track marks, and HIV. Oh no, she smiles and laughs at us sweetly. “Track marks are the physical covenant of our love.”

She doesn’t tell us that we’re rob our families without care. She doesn’t tell us that we’ll sell our bodies to anyone who looks our way just to spend a few hours with her. She doesn’t tell us that she will rob our souls and kill our spirits.
No heroin is mum about that. But we keep coming back to her. She knows that sobriety is nothing compared to the delightful haze of her high. She knows that life will wear us down and we’ll be back to her in no time. She knows us so well and she has us in the palm of her hand. Sooner or later, she closes her hand and we are no more.
Heroin is the antithesis to life but I keep going back to her. I know one day she’s going to get tired playing with me and eventually kill me. But what can I say?
I’m smitten!

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Fuck the Holiday Season

This is the time of year when the days are shorter and my bank is much smaller trying to keep up with a dizzying array of social activities focused around my my need to reign in my food addiction. The holiday season casts a dark cloud over the heads of people like me. I am always in a a state of moderate depression but as I forced indoors by the rain and the cold, I am given more hours to contemplate my complete inadequacy as a decorator, baker, and selector of gifts.

Both of parents are dead. I think this may have something to do with the feeling as if the holidays are not particularly significant. My mother was always the person who believed in decorative sweaters, earrings, cards, and obligations. If my father ever picked out a gift, I am not aware of it. I know his name was added to many cards. He would get me flowers for valentine's day- an extension of holiday disappointment that reminds people that they have no one worth buying last minute candy or flowers from lest be thought of as indifferent. My mom baked for the holidays. Cakes, snacky things, sweet things were her speciality items. She could follow a recipe as long as it involved the potential for diabetes. Anything that involved cooking or protein was generally not her strong suit. I loved the smell of holiday candles and winter in the air.

My parents are long gone now. I spent at least 6 year that I remember with a needle in my arm at Christmas. One year I got arrested for prostitution on Christmas eve. In the using world, people are more likely to talk about suicide then their families. It seems as if the months better October and January serve to highlight that you could not make it home for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, or whatever the fuck there YOU ARE A LOSER. Or if you did, you hated ever minute because it highlighted you are not normal because you didn't drink the kool-aid and think all this stuff sucks.

I have my own kids. We don't make a huge deal out of the holidays. We try to make sure they know we love them every day. We try to have family meals together a few days out the the week and morning snuggles. We let them know that some people don't have homes. My daughter knows mommy used to be on drugs and homeless. But that sentence end with "but I have never used drugs your whole life. I don't do that anymore." That makes the whole thing easy. Knowing that I can be present in the lives of my children is the holiday. It is magically to be a person of my word. I might decorate or make some holiday dishes but the most important thing I can give them is my love.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Guest Post "Another Day" by Bill

i sat at the bus stop and smoked my third cigarette while checking my phone. my man had said it would be forty minutes fifty minutes ago. i had been sitting there for half an hour. buses had come and gone, people dressed in their work clothes had gotten on those buses and cast confused looks at me when i remained seated. there was only one bus that stopped here, why on earth wasn't he getting on? i fought the nausea rising up from my guts, the cramping in my sides caused me to wince, i checked my phone again while i lit my fourth cigarette, wondering what other people did on their days off. 

i couldn't cop at my apartment. i was lucky enough some friends had a spare room they let me move into. they didn't want drug dealers going into their apartment, and i suppose i couldn't argue, i was a guest after all. my plans to move back home to be with my girlfriend fell through when she broke up with me. she no longer returned my calls. she told me i was a sociopath, incapable of love. i reflected on this while waiting, wondering if she was somehow right. she knew me better than anybody else did, having spent five years together she knew me better than anybody else. maybe i was insane and didn't know, maybe i didn't feel love or remorse. these days i only felt loneliness and rejection. i waited for my man to call me back so i could get high and forget about all of this. i waited for a chance to feel love, administered through a powder in my nose, the closest thing i could get to that feeling of laying in bed with a girl i loved and our cats. all i wanted now was just to get my dope and return back to my room, curl up in my bed and close my eyes. drift off into a daze for the rest of the day, forgetting my problems piling up like the cigarette butts around my dirty boots.

i eventually got the call, saying they were a minute away. i thanked him and hung up, threw my cigarette on the ground and stomped on it as the car arrived next to me. i got in and greeted the runner, told him it was a beautiful day. he briefly agreed while pulling out of the parking space, and asked me what i needed. i responded 'two', while pulling the cash i had already counted out of my pocket. $120. this would last me for the day, and hopefully into tomorrow morning long enough for me to make this trip again, hopefully this time without sweating and having my stomach twisting beneath my skin. i handed him the cash, he counted it while keeping one eye on the road, and spit a few bags out of his mouth. he made sure it was dope and not coke, wiped them on his shirt and handed them to me. 'in the mouth' he said, with broken english. they were obviously cautious of police, god knows there are enough of them circling these blocks like vultures on carrion. i did as i was told, briefly thinking of how i was possibly ingesting his saliva, wondering if there was any chance of catching anything from him, dismissing the thought as i positioned the bags under my tongue. he circled the block and let me out on the other side of the street. i thanked him and began walking towards the starbucks down the street, my mood elevated already.

i entered the lame coffeeshop and was greeted by an indifferent middle aged woman wearing a visor. i made sure that i had enough money to buy a coffee, a simple exchange just for the opportunity to use their single stall bathroom. most drug users have a map in their heads of establishments that have single stall bathrooms available, a rare sanctuary where you can break out a bag in peace. i laid out a credit card and untied the clear plastic bag, and poured a good sized line out onto the card. i rolled up a bill and heard a knock on the door. i responded that i'd be out in a minute, then sniffed half of the line as i gagged. the first little bit always seems to make me gag, regardless of size. i rested against the wall and waited for the feeling to pass, luckily i didn't have to vomit this time and had no dry heaves. i wouldn't want to have to make eye contact with the other customers after they heard me puking in the bathroom, it's never comfortable. i managed to get the rest of the line down, and flushed the toilet while unrolling the bill and putting the card and bill back into my wallet. i put the two bags which were now covered in my spit into my coin pocket. i washed my hands and made sure there was no powder visible on my nose. i sighed and looked at myself in the eyes, wondering who i was these days. wondering how long this would continue, how many more times i'd make this journey and how many more times i'd choose drugs over food. i exited and grabbed my coffee and headed back out into the streets. i decided i'd take the long way home through residential streets, i had done a big line and if i had to vomit it would be wiser to be on the side streets than the ones heavy with traffic. i wasn't in the mood to be a spectacle today. i thought of my ex while i walked home, wondering if there was anything i could say to her to make her hate me less. as i wandered through the side streets i wondered if there was anything i could do to make me hate myself any less. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

100,000 Page Views

I feel very proud that as an unknown author, I could get over 100,000 page views in less than nine months. Thank you for reading my blog. I really do appreciate my readers. Love Tracey

Monday, October 21, 2013

The truest words ever spoken.

" I think I am going to be get clean..." The words tapered off into the air. The hotel room is full of the medicated smell of burnt chore boy and butane. My lips are slightly numb. I took a hit of crack. I hate this shit. I don't know why i have to sell heroin so he can fuck off our little bit of extra money on crack. The room is a mess. Full of wrappers from candy, clothes on the bed, syringes, and cookers on the floor. I am trying to shake off a nod. It took me so long to get the money to pay for this room for another night, I am too tired to enjoy it. He sits on the edge of the bed. He is starting to pick at his hands. His tweak is tearing up the beds of his fingernails with small tweezers from a swiss army knife.

"Really. I'm so tired of this shit Spanky. I really want to try to get clean." It feels so nice to have my pants off and lay down on the bed. I have to count the money again. I need $12 for my dose in the morning. I already missed one day. If I miss four in a row, the clinic will kick me off. Trying to sell heroin and be on methadone is fucking me up on a daily basis. I got on methadone to STOP using heroin. Now here I am on both of them.

He finally turns to look at me. "well then do it, babe." He blows out the smoke. His eyes are getting bigger. He is going to want to do a hit of dope soon. The crack is eating up the last bit of precious opiates in his system. There goes my clinic money. This dope is to SELL not for us to do. If I come short, I will get cut off. I will have to replace the money one way or another. Between the room, the crack, and the little debbies there will be no more money left once I sell this bags. Plus, I cant watch him do a shot with out me. This is all we have anymore. No sex, just drugs and the love of them. I know he loves me. We didn't spend all that time cuddled up together in parking garages and alleyways to split up now.

"I want to get clean." I said it outloud. I want to manifest it in the universe. I want to get fucking clean. I don't know what clean is but I know I can't keep living like this in places where I am afraid to turn the light off. I need more from life than the constant hustle and spending an hour or more searching for vein. I need more than chipped teeth and rotting arms and shoving $500, mostly in singles, up my twat in a condom to bring them to the connection to death. I need fucking more than this.

I scratch my face and realize I fell asleep. I was dreaming, dreaming that I got clean. My boyfriend is searching for treasure on the carpet. "babe come up here." The room has no windows but I can tell it must be is daylight and time to go to work selling the last of this stuff. We can do just ONE shot. Fuck, I'm going to miss the clinic again. Maybe I will get clean. Not today though. I am too comfortable right here.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I left a piece of me outside

Drinking coffee until I nearly have an anxiety attack seems to be my only chemical fun anymore. My world seems to be full of the overlapping realities that are polar opposites of each other. I have this great life that creates an outward picture of happiness. I have a great job. I have a family. I have two cats and a dog. I drive a mini van and live in the semi outskirts of a large city. Yet, all the outside trappings of success do not explain all the crazy things that go on inside my head.

 My closet is sort of a metaphor for my mind. It is organized from the outside but once you get in there, it is a whirlwind of things that don't go together. There are boxes of syringes from all my harm reduction projects. Work clothes on hangers, some in piles. There are old things that no longer fit on me or in my life. There are things I swore I would grow into but I just can't make those things work as part of my daily life. I have dresses I say i will take out on a special occasion but the occasion never comes with the passage of time. I have dusty old pictures of my family. There is a cat tree and other tweakables. In other words, i am generally all over the place.

There is no good road map on how to recovery from a crippling drug addiction. People have programs. They have ideas. I try to use what works. This time of year, I look at all my scars and it is a constant reminder that I am different from everyone. Not just that I used drugs but that I was willing to shoot heroin and other substances until my legs and arms nearly rotted off with infection. THAT is nothing explained in a book. Who does that and survives? Not many people therefore I find a way to live with a general sense of uncertainty. I create my own way of dealing with the world around me. I find comfort in sharing my insanity with you hoping you can relate just a little.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Anonymous from Washington

Addiction is a terrible disease. I went from being a top student with a goody-two-shoes reputation to a junkie eye soar living out of her car, scrounging up change to buy food a few times a week. Some how I never made it more than a day without H. Food, doctors visits, dentist appointments, hair cuts, and all hygiene went out the window. I left to college and immediately dropped out because my addiction to smoking Percocet was controlling my life. I would be so sick the few days that I made it back to college that I couldn't even get up to go to class. I dropped out, moved in with my boyfriend, but with in a few months we had blown through the thousands of dollars. When pills got to expensive and became scarce we moved to heroin. We were forced to live in my car barely getting by. In all actuality, I wasn't forced to do anything. I had a loving caring family and many great friends. I had tons of people around me who would have helped if I had asked. I was always the good girl that would never get into drugs. I used for years and was struggling. I was drowning and screaming for help, but no one threw me a line. No one saw what I was going through because I hid it. I have heard so many recovery addicts say that they thought they were so sneaky, but everyone knew. That was not the case for me. I had a couple months clean when I finally told my family I was an addict. They were shocked. Completely shocked and horrified. They want to help, but they are still struggling with the misconception that addiction is a moral problem not a disease. 

I hated the person I had become. I didn't reach some of the lows explained in the movie, but I hit a spiritual low. I suffered a spiritual death of my own. I made it back to college the following year(last year), but I continued to use. However, I built my life up again. I was getting good grades, I had my own apartment, my own dog and a lot of wonderful opportunities. At the end of the school year, the beginning of this summer, I went home to help my family pack and say good bye before they left for their move. They were leaving for the farthest away continental state. They locked up our house, said no one was to enter, and drove a way. I had a nice warm bed and plenty of food at my grandmas house, but as an addict demanding freedom, I chose to go back to the homeless life living in my car. I had recently broke up with my boyfriend and sleeping in my car alone at night freaked me out. So I snuck into my moms old house, would huddle on the floor with a lantern to smoke and hope no one saw the tiny light in the house. After weeks of living with nothing, but drugs and an eery empty house full of childhood memories, I woke up. That's all, I just woke up. I woke up one morning, just like every other morning. I smoked and sat there, but this time was different. I was watching my life flash before my eyes. Not my physical life, but the life I had built for myself. I watched my dog's quality of life deteriorate because of my drug use. I watched my college career end. I watched myself loose my apartment leaving me stranded in my hometown with no where live and no escape. I came home to see my family off. In the month I had with them, I saw them for maybe five hours. I was useless in passing the house because I was too high and too sick. My family, that used to be the most important thing in my life, drove away and I didn't even blink. I watched the people I love leave, but all I cared was that I was high. Not even high anymore, all I cared about was maintaining. I sat there and saw everything left in my life fading away and I realized I had to stop. I was hurting people around me. I had been incredibly hurtful and selfish and they didn't even no why. I owed it to myself and the people I loved to get help. Right then, all I wanted was to get help. 

I am back at my university another year. I am an accounting major currently, but I intend to switch majors next quarter. I hope to receive a Bachelor's in Social Services. I hope to work with youth struggling with addiction. I moved out of an apartment with a roommate into a nice little safe haven that I have all to my self. I love it and love that I don't have to worry about the influence of other college students in my own home. My dog is a year and a half old now. She is my best friend. At times she was my partner in crime. She has been to hell and back with me and I am happy I still have her and can show her the life she deserves with a real home and a consistent schedule. Through Narcotics Anonymous and the twelve steps, I have started working on myself and my recovery. I have made tons of great friends, have a wonderful support group, and an amazing sponsor. I had almost three months clean, but I recently relapsed for a weekend. I regret it, but I try to be grateful that I had the tools I needed to walk back into the rooms immediately and start again on the path of recovery. The experience from my previous three months has not been lost and has been the greatest tool I could have asked for. I am happy to be clean today with the tools necessary to remain clean and improve my life.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Who Are All You People?


The Elephant in the Room

Some days I hold back things in my writing because I am concerned about the impact my words could have on my family members. Today is not that day.

Growing up with an alcoholic parent has clouded my idea of a healthy relationship. There is a general sense of dissatisfaction in my personality. There is a general sense of uneasiness of not feeling comfortable when things are going well. I am fully prepared to deal with chaos at any given moment. In fact, I have the tendency to lean in and create my own drama. I gained this from having my life on edge from the time of my earliest memories until I left my parent's house.

I remember sitting on the stairs with my brother in my foot pajamas. I must have been around three at the time and my brother was around eight. We were sitting on the top of the stairs listening to my parents argue in not so hushed tones. I was clutching a stuffed animal. We would get out of our beds and sit there some times. My parents were completely oblivious to the fact that we were both afraid of what we were hearing but too young to understand the implications. In agreement, we decided to go back to bed. At first, the arguements were infrequent but that changed as my father's drinking accerelated with the years.

Within two steps I could identify if my father was drunk. It was not unusual for him to get drunk two times per day. He would drink in the morning, come home and sleep it off, and return to work stopping for drinks on the way home. He would drink a mile from my parent's house so he would drive home on alcoholic autopilot. My mother would not let him drink in the house which was semi-absurd because of the amount of money he must have spent in bars. I would tense up every evening upon his arrival. Would he quietly get his food or would he start some sort of  ridiculous argument based on his egotistical feelings of having been slighted somehow? I would just be waiting for some kind of upheaval on a daily basis. I learned to trust that no setting can be truly comfortable, including your home. Something is always bound to happen to fuck things up.


That addict gene, that desire to stay completely numb. I see that in myself. How he could work up to 80 hours per week loaded- that is a mystery to me. That feeling though of never being present, I understand this as an addict. I also understand what it is like to have someone tell you they love you but their actions show something completely different. When is it okay to believe someone loves you when they hurt and disappoint you nearly every day of your life? We would get brief reprieves that slowly faded over time. For while, my father would be sober on Sundays. When that stopped, we could look forward to his frequent business trips. When those ended, he would return with gifts and stories. There was that attraction and repulsion as I wished he was in my life but when he was I wished he was not there because it was full of pain and embarrassment. When he started getting drunk BEFORE work, as in I would see him at the bar as I took the bus to school in the morning, I went from embarrassed to angry.

The last straw came when he went into rehab when I was 16. I actually was foolish enough to believe my father was going to stop using his drug. I sat through and actually used the family therapy. A few days after he was discharged my father got drunk. This happened to be the night my mother's mother had a her fatal stroke and my mother needed to get to see her at the hospital. As my mother began throwing up and crying at the same time from stress, I saw that nothing in life could be trusted. When you need someone the most, they will never fail to disappoint you in some monumental way. After the horror of that scene died down, my parents proceeded to needle me about things I had said in the family therapy. And my new motto was born-
Fuck you, fuck this, fuck it. I didn't say it out loud but that is what I felt.


It was not much longer until I wanted to see what all the fuss it about with alcohol and drugs. Why can't I do it? I tried so hard to be "good" to be "perfect" so people would love me. I was stuffing my feelings with food. I was cutting myself. I was just fucking miserable. I was tired of trying to hold myself together. I wanted to let go. When I did those drugs, I breathed a sigh of relief. AH yes. Freed of the burden of self. Later, the solution became the problem. I didn't care that I was fat or from this fucked up situation or awkward as we all feel as a teenager. I felt as if I finally found what I needed and god damn that shit was GOOD.

I am still never settled. I don't use drugs anymore but I always question happiness. I always have that feeling as if something was missing. The personal work I have put into my recovery has done tremendous good but so many things have happened since that night on the stairs. I have trouble connecting with other people. I have trouble connecting with myself. The relationship I have with your readers is authentic because I know I can tell you anything and not be judged. I hope you can find some connection today, some connection in my writing.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Masks


I stick needles in my body.
I manipulate myself so I feel okay inside.
I watch you spin outside my fishbowl.
There are stones on my chest when I breathe in.

You want me to stop this thing that makes me feel complete.
You provide no guarantee happiness remains beyond my dreams.
Tears of withdrawal from the drugs as they leave my essence
Afraid to touch my skin as I made you crawl.

I wear these masks. I wear my masks to keep me safe.
I wear these masks to keep me free.
I wear these masks to keep you love
No one hates me more than me.
No one loves drugs more than me.

Harm Reduction is Sexy

Some of you are aware, I run an underground syringe and naloxone distribution project. If you want to donate or buy my book, my email is traceyh415@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Fat and out of breath

I am fat and out of breath jogging for the train. It is cold outside. I am scanning the concrete looking for ground scores as I head to the station. One day I found two shiny quarters. Another day I found a hair tie. I am living in the present as my backpack slings back and forth in my haste. I am intrinsically tied to the past. I eat like I am still in jail. Done in three minutes. I shower like I am on the tiers- leave the door open so I can see who is coming. I cover my eyes with a sweatshirt sleeve like I have for the past twenty years. I sleep so lightly, wondering  who is sneaking up on me. 

I am fat and out of breath- running for my life. Addiction is always one step behind me. I got a Benadryl hangover that feels like I have not rested since the day you tied my arm off. I cannot relax. I cannot waiver. I am a lonely hungry animal surviving on scraps of what others consider affection. My affliction- the ever present desire to destroy ever thing I touch and call it normal. I dreamed of you again. The two lovers that can never touch in Dante's Inferno. The desire is there but you withdrew from me long ago. 

I am typing on my phone. I am alone. I made it through once again. The ride to normalcy commences . 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Dreams

I had a dream during nap time. I was at my parents house in West Chester. I was going through the closet in the living room. All the jackets were there from fall and winter seasons that were long past. My plaid jacket was there from the third grade, the one with the hood I bled all over during a tornado drill. Got a nose bleed as I sometimes did spending winters in the house with the heaters blazing all day. Sometimes we would light the fireplace and make s'mores.

I went farther into the closet. The blue jacket was there. It smelled like my father's cigarettes and old spice. All the shoe boxes were there from boots I had long grown out of and left behind.

There was always the comfort in my addiction of some day being able to return to the only real home I had ever known. When I came home in 1990, my parents let me move back in after a failed relationship that accelerated my addiction. In 1993, my mom let me come home to dry out. She drove me to get my AIDS test. After battling thrush, the doctor felt I may have the virus. I told my mother I was a junkie. She never lost faith that I would some how beat the test and the odds. 

That day came in Dec. 1998. I was clean. I was off drugs again for the first time since I was a teenager. I went through the house and found the life, like my past had fallen into disrepair. Time had passed and my parents' house was a dysfunctional time capsule welcoming to visit. 

I visited home a few more times. I had my own home, my own life. Eventually, I had my own children. I never thought I would stop using drugs. In fact, I never really wanted to until the day I finally wanted to really stop. 

I went outside in the dream. The new owner was living there. Suddenly, the house and the closets were empty. The whole house was empty. My parents were gone and I was alone. I was crying in my sleep as I usually do when I dream of the house. Much more frightening then any dream about dope is a dream about what it would have been like if I would have never gotten to see my parents again. But I got clean, I did these things, I wipe the tears from my eyes and get coffee. Because I have to keep living. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

The Sum Of things to Come

I look down at my hands. I see them starting to age. Time is getting away from me. I see the skin crinkling and wrinkling with the passing days. The veins have slowly reemerged as I put a few days between me and the last time that I used drugs. The lines on my face show a life lived in the open. I show myself to you. I attempt to keep nothing hidden from view.

When I stopped using drugs, nothing was promised to me. No one told me that I would be anything but free of my chemical chains. To the uninitiated, using drugs is a series of highs but the lows are lower than anything I that I have ever seen. Imagine you wake up one day. Your life has been completely rearranged by a substance. You are put into a state of suspended animation. My family was no longer a priority. My health was no longer an issue. Using spit and dirty water in a fit of weakness become part of the spiral of unknown depth and location. When will the the madness stop?

Could I have ever imagined that I would suck an old man off for $15 in drug money because I was so fucking sick, I needed it? Could i have imagined turning a trick with a dealer between two cars in a parking lot barely out of view? Could I have imagined lying to everyone including myself. Why, why why would I do these things to me. This was not every day. But these things happened and I was an active participant.

Why do some people never stop using? Because life may have been full of pain. If you were not in pain before you started drugs, you certainly will be after a few years of accumulated misery. If you were ANXIOUS before opiates kicked in the door to self confidence, you certainly will shrink with fear when you are forced to raise your hand in front of thirty strangers and tell them "I am an addict." If you like to get high, getting off drugs causes a new kind of low. I understood all this and I still understand it.

I am not the sum of all the things that I have done. I am strong. First the substance made me forget. Now, I chose to remember.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

You want me to bring it

You want me to bring it? Come over to the dark side. Chills are running down my spine. Bells are a ringing.

The first year that I shot drugs, I was always dependent on someone else to inject me. This meant I was also forced to share with another person each and every time. Despite claims to the contrary, I believe there is a certain level of planning involved in getting a naive young creature like my former self strung out. I worked or had money from family. I would borrow from Peter to pay Paul in my utter devotion of Junkie Jesus.

I was out by Aquatic Park with friends from Ohio. They had gotten lost in the junkie shuffle. People would migrate to the area in search of a chemical vacation and never make it back to the part from whence they came without a parental or criminal justice intervention. My friends had set up a scam that would eventually cost the City and County of San Francisco hundreds of thousands of dollars. They has figured out a way to dismantle parking meters and remove the jackpot boxes. I am not sure what drug dealer they found to accept hundreds of dollars in quarters, dimes, and nickles but this tourist area was flush with receptive boxes.

"What are we doing down here homey?" I had been rolling around with my friend and his old lady in his truck. In a sad twist of irony, I had gone to high school with this girl. She was from a social group that teased me relentlessly for four year. Now, drugs had made us equals. She was just another dope fiend like me. Hey lets bring this up at the reunion, k? The fatty nerd and the popular stoner bonded by dope.

"We are about to put in some work. " I had came along on this ride to cop some heroin. Copping dope rarely goes as planned. There always seem to be waiting, bullshit, and lies involved even in the best of situations. This was turning out to be a BUNCH of bullshit. They were planning on committing all types of felonies before I could get them to cop my dope.

"You ever shoot crack?" Apparently, they have many, many times. He pulls up his shirt and shows me the bullet wound where he got shot in the housing projects. I realize that we are going off on a tangent and I need to be flexible in my pursuit of a high. "Yeah man..." Before I can say another word, I being pushed out of the truck to be a lookout. The fog is rolling in. AH HA. I get handed out a full syringe. It is cold out and I am too afraid to let this twacked out motherfucker butcher my arm. I have a red shoes string I pull out of my boot.

If you are hoping to hear about the amazing rush or the chiming bells, that is not the moral of the story. When I stuck that needle into myself, my life changed forever. I no longer needed a man or a friend or even much social interaction. "I gotta go man...." as I tweaked off into the night, my fear dissolved into the night air. I was at least three miles from my room but I would walk there with ease. For the first time in my life, the streets were my home. The four walls of security could not longer hold my cravings for more. The beast was unleashed and the predator learned to navigate her way through the city. Until it all came crashing down with the next bang.