Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Just for today- fuck heroin.

You woke up one day.
You were strung out. 
It happens. 
I don't know why you started. 
Were you the shy kid?
Were you the athlete?
Were you the child of uncaring parents?
Were you bored? 
It doesn't matter any more. 

Start where you are at. 
Stop licking the blood off your arm.
Stop cutting the straw from Dunkin Donuts.
Stop killing yourself because someone doesn't love you. 
You need to love yourself. 

You were born perfect. 
A child- capable, lovable, adorable. 
The drugs don't understand you.
The drugs don't complete you.
They compete for your attention.
They mask your affection. 
You deserve more.

I don't know what 2016 will bring. 
I do know this- fuck heroin. 
Heroin is a living death.
Heroin is the jealous lover.
Heroin takes everything. 
Heroin is not a cure.
Heroin is the cancer.
It infects your body. 
It slow eats away your bones.
You become a shell of yourself.
Until you die or arrest it's progress. 
But it waits there, waits for an opportunity.
Fuck heroin.
I am not wasting my life on you




Thursday, December 17, 2015

Fuck the Holidays 2015 Edition

Fuck- the- Holidays. 
If you haven't said it, I know you have at least thought it. 
As drug users, this time of year sucks big time. First of all, if you are in active addiction there are going to be a long series of uncomfortable days. You are going to have to worry about pinned/dilated pupils. You are going to have to explain the flu that never seems to end. You are going to have to figure out how much of x,y,z you need to take with you on those trips "over the river and through the woods." To top it off, drug dealers have the nerve to take that day off. Where can you spend that $50 mom slips you so dad can't see? How can you make the most of that Christmas bonus? Dashing through the snow with one bag on the tray, over the city we go, sniffing all the way... You know who you are.

Secondly, you may be in early recovery. You may be the one everyone hides their purse from at the family gathering. You may be wrestling with whether you should even OPEN your uncle's medicine cabinet knowing that benzos/oxy/whatever makes me go slow awaits. You nod at your cousin from across the room. You know that little fucker has adderall. He gets away with it but everything thinks YOU are the messed up one. Then there are the family stories. Remember "when this happened". Oh no. That was when she/he was in jail someone decides to point out. Everyone in your family gets way too drunk and starts telling stories about how you got special treatment blah blah blah. Bitter, party of one, your table is ready. Here, they tell you, sit right next to some child you don't know because your were getting high the entirely of their 4 or 6 or 8 years. Damn. 

Finally, there is the people who have been clean for a little while. Everyone thinks we can help them out during the holidays. Can you be my designated driver? Can you loan me some money? Should I buy a bunch of guilt gifts I can barely afford so people think I am less of a fuck up? Can I have the spiked egg nog or will I end up taking a few bars after that and blacking out under the mistletoe? Then there is that feeling of nagging loneliness. I am so alone in this winter wonderland. I wish I could see my kids (that you lost) or my friends (that are dead) or go back to the house (that I left). It is tough my friends. Tough to stay off that shit when everyone around you seems so fucking happy and irritating at that. 

I am just going to do my thing. I enjoy the food. I enjoy the fact that anyone wants to have me around. There was one point in my life where I couldn't even stand the sound of my own voice. There was the holiday on meth. The holiday I spent dope sick. The holiday where I tried to sell my Christmas shoes for a hit. I am going to just be happy I am loved and enjoy cuddling with my kids while we watch our kitten destroy the Christmas tree. 

I am not going to say "Happy Holidays" but I will hope you are safe and with people that really care for you. 

XOXO Tracey

Sunday, December 6, 2015

New video

I post videos from time to time to show people that "it works" and you can get better, no matter how down you may feel. Click here

Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Life Without Drugs

I get lots and lots of questions. Some days, I might get up to 50 messages. I get questions about the movie "Black Tar Heroin." I get questions about naloxone. I get a few hate message. The main question I get over and over is "What is life like without drugs?"

What is life like without drugs? That isn't an easy question to answer. First of all, every person is different. Every "bottom" is different. The reasons people want to quit are different. No one was pressuring me to stop. Despite the fact that I was homeless, depressed, and lying to everyone including my family I still did not feel any pressure to stop. Despite the fact that my health was in complete disrepair, I brushed off various symptoms. I was underweight. I was having heart palpitations from stimulant use. I had cavities and a whole in my tooth where a filling used to be. I had a few large healing abscesses. I had no glasses. I hadn't had them for years. I am unable to properly navigate the world without them. Well, I did have some glasses. they were stolen from a car and not my prescription. Someone gave them to me, thinking it was better than having to be my seeing eye bro. I was shooting up in the palms of my hands, my knuckles, the soles of my feet, the veins that run along my stomach.

 Despite all this evidence, I didn't feel any pressure to quit. I felt overwhelmed by the idea of having to climb this mountain of problems. Where would I start? The housing? My health? I was running from probation. Do that first? What about the Hep C? The possibility of HIV? I felt like I was drowning in ice water. I would occasionally come up for air, the heat of the world made me burn in pain, like my skin was being scraped off by the sunlight. 

What is life like without drugs? It is hard. It starts out. You stop using. You worry about shitting the bed. You jack off, you cry. You bed someone to kill you. You pray for death. You feel things for the first time. Generally, your dick comes first or your genitals in general. Then your stomach. Then water comes from your eyes. You realize you are crying, like really crying. Not sneezing and crying from withdrawal, but crying because dope or pills have been your best friend for so long. Dope has been that ride or die. You have spent your time and energy with dope. Why does it have to end life this? Because it does. 

It doesn't matter if you quit cold turkey, use meds, get on subs or methadone or whatever. You still feel that loss. It stings. It hurts. You wake up one morning like "where has the past months/years gone?" You look at pictures and realize you were not there. You look in your phone and realized you haven't spoke to that person. You want to eat something and realize you don't even know what to eat anymore if it isn't sour patch kids or ice cream or something off the 99c menu. Oh fuck. You woke up one day and you are alive again. 

That, that is the brilliant part. I AM ALIVE AGAIN. You will feel this rush one day. There will be this overwhelming rush. After the sadness, after the remorse, will be an overwhelming rush. There will be this feeling life maybe life isn't so bad. Maybe, I can be myself again. The air smells fresh, my dick is hard, there is a few dollars in my pocket. I heard myself laugh today. Maybe I can do this. I can sleep. I can eat. I can smile. I can function without drugs. And I am going to be okay. You will look in the mirror and know you are going to be okay. That feeling is golden. You are golden. Life begins in that moment. 

What is life like without drugs? I cuddle up with my kids, with my cats, with my husband. I enjoy the fuck out of a good comforter. I like to eat, a little too much. I like to walk outside. I like to smile here and there. I don't know how to explain it. I have some FREEDOM. I could return to drugs. I could drink or smoke pot. I don't though. I just don't feel it would enhance my life. I don't knock other people that do. Not everyone fell as far as me. Not everyone is as fucking crazy as me. Period. I don't judge. I get to love people. People love me. Just like they love you. 

Whatever path you chose, be safe. 
Tracey XOXO. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Parasite

I have many regrets.
I regret the day I decided to stick a needle in my arm.
I don't remember why anymore.
Why did we shoot up Vicodin?
Were we really that bored?
Why couldn't we be like everyone else?
Happy with a few beers and our Vicodin.
God, why couldn't we have been those people?
So high off a few beers.
It doesn't matter.
It is done.

I regret the day I turned my first trick.
I got money to buy heroin.
I went to a hotel with old man.
$40 while he stared at me.
I was naked on the bed.
He told me I was beautiful.
I almost believed him.
See, how easy this was...
My friend told me it was so easy.
$40 dollars was so easy.
Now we have some drugs. Yay.
It doesn't matter.
It is done.

I regret the way I stole from my parents.
I regret the way I used their confidence.
I regret the way I lied to them.
Give me more money.
Help me. I'm clean.
Heroin and I live a symbiotic relationship.
We get curled together.
Our mind. Our thoughts.
More. Get me more.
I used you.
I used you.
I used everyone around me.
I sucked people dry.

I have many regrets.
We all have many regrets.
The harm I did to others-
Some days I regret this more.
The people who loved me.
They didn't have it coming.
It wasn't their disease.

Heroin changed me.
I was once a daughter, a friend.
It changed me.

Can you love me now?
Can you love me?
I have freed myself.
Relived myself of this parasite.
Removed the shadow.
It clouded everything around me.
Can you love me for the soul I once was?
The friend I hope to be?
The person underneath the shell.



Friday, November 27, 2015

A first time for everything.

One day, I was sitting next to the Christmas tree in my flannel footie pajamas with Snoopy on them. The next thing I knew, there was a syringe being passed in front of my face.

"Are you ready?" he asked me. What should I say?

In the past hour, I have witnessed my first overdose. The person who injected before me had to get stuck in the shower. He was a tall rocker dude with long hair. He lived out with his parents in a semi rural one story house 45 minutes from the city. He wore motorcycle boots, though he never rode anything except the back of a Honda a few times. He had ripped jeans, a bondage belt, and some type of black t-shirt he got from a concert with the sleeves cut off. His arms were semi developed into muscles. Not from hard work. I am not sure if he ever had a job, but from drumming in various bands around the city. He believed he was going to leave this place one day. He was going to blow this town, forget he ever lived here.

I think we all believed that or secretly wished we could leave Ohio. We didn't want to be living in our parent's house until we got that job that paid for our first shitty apartment. If you didn't go to college, you were expected to work your way up. Go to Taco Bell, go to Kroger. Put in an application, son. Some place where he needed to pull his hair back. Some place where he needed to take out his earrings. He wasn't going to do that. He was going to find a way, anyway to get out of this city. He would go to LA, Atlanta, anywhere but here. Or at least this is what he hoped. Until then, he would be supported by his parents or his girlfriend. They say women can be whores but I saw him get paid for what I assumed must be a big dick and a pretty face. Now that face was blue.

When I pictured an overdose, I imagined someone drifting off into a gentle slumber. I never imagined a person would turn red, then blue, then grip the sides of the coffeetable so hard, they cracked the wood. They were grasping and gasping for their life. I was told later it is called the Death Grip. Some people hold on to things to keep them from smashing their lifeless body on the floor. As he started to slide down, it became clear to all us novice junkies in the room, this was not going to be okay. I hadn't even had my turn yet. This was all of our first time using heroin, with the exception of the people that delivered it to us. They had hung around long enough to help us. They told us to get him in the shower.

As the water poured over this man in his skin tight stretch jeans and boots, I wondered to myself if we are supposed to undress him. Put the cold water on his nuts, we were told. His 6 foot 2 inch frame felt as if it weighed a thousand pounds. Dead weight I suppose. As we dragged him closer to the water, I felt myself question how I got here. A few days ago, I was eating turkey with my family. I was anxious to get outside to take a few puffs of my homemade bowl I crafted out of a diet coke can. Now, I was dealing with a potential murder case. His girlfriend screamed and cried in horror. I suppose she was happy her parents were too drunk downstairs to notice the commotion. Every aspect of this scenario was all fucking bad.

Then , we heard it. That gasp-AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
Then he wanted to know why in the FUCK he was all wet, angry at us. ANGRY. Isn't that rich? Fucking angry at us. I let my friend and his girlfriend do their hugs as I went back into the bedroom.

I threw myself back down on the floor. Exhaled loudly. What the fuck.

"Are you ready?" he asked me. It was time for me to do my shot.

My heart was beating out of my chest in fear. What could I say really? I was always picked last for the teams in gym class. I was always the kid people crank called on the weekends. No one every saved me a seat in the lunch room. Deep down, I hated myself. Is this the reason I stuck my arm out? No. I wish the reason were that nuanced and complicated. In reality, I just wanted to fucking do it. I was young, I was impulsively. I just wanted to get fucking high. I guess there is a first time for everything. With that fucked up logic, I did what many thought was unthinkable.

"yeah," I told him. "I am ready."

That was that. 25 years ago. Longer ago that many of you have been alive. Everything has changed. Our feelings are the same though. The heroin today is cheaper, more available, and more potent. I hope you make it through this day. I hope you find the strength to find a way to survive what kills so many.
Love Tracey xoxo.

Old Scars






Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thank you Blog Readers

We did it. We made it to another Thanksgiving.
We didn't OD and die.
We didn't commit suicide.
We aren't in prison.
We got a third or forth or fifth second chance.
We figured out how to make it to another day.
No matter whether you are:
strung out
sick
kicking
scheming
shivering
hating life
Remember- I love you.
I have been there.
I clawed my way out of that hole.
I hope you are feeling grateful, feeling something
Besides the prick of a syringe
The cold night air
And the desperation of active addiction.

I'm off to make some soup.
In my stove.
In my house.
For my family.
I'm clean today and it feels good.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Commissary Blues

I walked into my cell holding an empty plastic tub and an extra pair of orange pants. The worst part of the kick was spent lying on the cold concrete floor. At various points in the last four days, I prayed for death. This alternated with furious masturbation, the only tool I had to get even a moment of sleep. As I sweated out the last of the delicious toxins that made my life worth living, I felt my legs stick against the surface of the mattress. The fear of moving across the cell to request a shower was real. I wasn't sure if the liquid stool was done evacuating my body with equal force as I had shoved syringes into my skin.

I have known a few girls who turned tricks for food in here. I suppose I wouldn't suck any one's pussy for a candy bar but I would sell my soul for a packet of kool aid type drink. The water here comes out at a minuscule drip from a faucet that is located directly over the shitter. That can't be healthy. When the dry heaves hit me, I wish I had anything besides an empty stomach. My skeletal frame forces itself forward as nothing but foam comes out of my mouth. Fuck this shit. 

The first night, everyone exchanges a "what are you in for." I am being moved out of the "kick tank" and into the main jail. I am no longer as sick as my fellow junkies and helplessly seizing alcoholic sisters. I am free to be shackled at the ankle. I walk a few inches at a time, careful not to pinch my legs. The deputy rolls his eyes at me as if to say "hurry the fuck up". Oh well. I can't walk any faster with this hotly bandaged abscess on my thigh. Hopefully, changing the bandages once a day will be enough to salvage my limb. You can't expect much more from jail health. "This isn't a country club..." the deputy tells me. Yeah, I know asshole. 

As I walk into the main jail, I feel the breeze blow in from the sally port. That smell of recycled air. Women begin gathering at the railing, seeing who has come for a visit. They are sizing me up to see what I can offer them. Drugs? no. The chick in my cell was smoking crack she pulled out of her pussy the first night. Crack, pipe, lighter, the works was up the same place where each of her five kids came out. The drug life ain't glamorous baby, the told herself as her cell mates looked on. She was obligated to share but I could care less about partaking that night. I was high as a kite when they arrested me. I was a greedy bitch, fixing on the nod when the cops rolled up on me. My friend and I both got swooped up. 

"TRACEY..." I see a white girl I know from the street calling to me from the upper tier. I certainly have no desire to be her friend. She promised to send some drugs back inside when she was released. Here she is- back again. Someone will surely touch her up over her debt. Just a matter of time. 

I walk over to my bunk. I am fortunate enough to get a lower one. I open up my locker just in time to here them call for commissary. What the fuck. It is Wednesday- commissary over here is WEDNESDAY. I have nothing coming here. My mom sent a $10 money order to be here by Friday. I will get an indigent bag from commissary. Two envelopes, a pencil, and three jolly ranchers known as "suckies". There will be no spread of ramen and cheetos. No chocolate to mask my pain. I could get a loan known as a "two for one". I get one today and I pay back two. Such limited options. I throw myself down on my bed. I don't have the energy to make it. Five days ago, I was wrapped up in the warm blanket known as heroin. Now, I am sprawled out on my cold, hard cot. Ain't life a bitch? I throw my sweatshirt over my eyes. I pray for just a few minutes of rest. This will be my life for the next six months.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

"As Grimey As I Need to Be"

I stopped looking at the world through rose colored glasses many years ago. After the first time you see a 13 year old girl/boy turning tricks for drugs, you world view is never the same. In the early stages, I would ask questions. What happened to you? Who did this to you? Who created this monster? In the later years, I bore witness to it. I bit my tongue in silence as the warm blood pooled in my mouth.

I knew how things like this happened. When I was first getting introduced to drugs, just some weed and booze laced with the occasional T3, I had a friend who introduced me to the darker side. No, not substances but a world that existed beyond the world in which I lived a comfortable existence. I remember his mom telling him "I need my Kools and my 40z. I don't care how you get it". She meant that literally. She did not care. In fact, she must have known her youngest son sometimes turned to prostitution. How else does a 13 year old come home with $40 and a cartoon of cigarettes. She drank herself into a foamy glass of denial while her son sat on hard benches waiting for men to approach him. Teachers, bus drivers, lawyers, and coaches cruised by looking at him, wondering if they should approach. I never went with him. I only knew what happened when he relayed the stories a few years later while we passed the pipe. I only knew that there would be no food in the house that night unless he found someone to buy it for them. I only knew that a family cannot live on nicotine and alcohol alone.

As the cars breeze by, I see the faces. I see the dreams destroyed. The car seats that get brushed aside for a quick blowjob in the car. I see the shadow of the wife in the passenger seat. Her hair brush sits next to the stick shift, waiting for the next time the wind catches her curls the wrong way. I see the sweaty faces of men, their eyes like high beams as the scan the side of the road for a willing, yet inexpensive companion.

"This is the life I chose," he tells me "I get as grimey as I need to be, sweetheart." He counts his money as he walk into the store to get a pack of smokes for his mother.

I shake my head. No. I am not one of these people. I have morals. I won't do x,y,z. Until I do them.
There is a saying among old dope fiends- are you dedicated to the cause? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to get the things you need? Are you will to trade your self respect in for powders, rocks, and dollars. Self respect is a vague concept out here. Powders, rocks, and dollars- these are things I can hold in my hand. What is a few moments of agony in exchange for a night filled with blurry glory? I am not sure I can pay all these prices. When I see the working girl with her arm abscessed to the bone, I wonder to myself what is really sold here? Is it sex or the illusion of normalcy? How does one wake up for work at 6:00am and say to oneself "I think I am going to roll down to the sketchiest part of town to get sex. This one, anyone will do".

Seventeen years clean. How can I forget all the things I have seen? How can I bleach my memories to forget about the minister who picked up teenage boys off the street? He would ask them to pray before he paid to suck their cock. How can I forget about the mother who sold her daughter or the father who used to come shoot dope with me and his son. I just don't know, readers. Seventeen years clean and I just can't forget. So I write. I reflect. I remember the moral ambiguity and the depravity that was my daily life.



Monday, November 2, 2015

Until that next time

I hear my children screaming in the other room. What are they fighting about now, I wonder to myself. It could be something as serious as who gets to sit INSIDE the fort or something as insignificant as why did you move my shoe. As I check I them, I quickly adjust the blanket that drapes the tent like structure they have created by stringing together a robe, a blanket, and the corner of a bunk bed. I admire their creativity, although I have to take points off for the overall durability. I pat my son's head as I walk back to my spot on the couch.

The IKEA cover is slightly worn now. We switched it last year. Apparently, tan isn't a good color when you have cats and kids. Who knew?  I had never bought a couch before. The only thing I knew about couches was dragging them up from the curb with the hope that they didn't have bed bugs or scabies. My parents had the nearly the exact same furniture my entire life. Ethan Allen furniture was accented by a la-Z- boy recliner. You knew you had reached the lower middle class when your family got a lazy boy to sit in front of the television. There, in the throne, the paterfamilias could sit and cheer their teams. College football was a staple on Saturday, the NFL on Sunday. In other words, I had an ordinary life. Just like my kids have now.

I dragged the la-Z-Boy up to my apartment. Well, Eric actually helped me drag it up. I had slowly been downgrading over the past two years. I started out with a few nice pieces of furniture and a room mate. Now, I was living in what amounted to a shooting gallery. I had embarrassed my parents again. This time, with a DUI. It was almost a rite of passage in my family to get arrested. It seemed like we all had done it, much to the dismay of my mother. Unlike my siblings, I was still experiencing the prolonged adolescence that started when I took those vicodin my senior year in high school. I was dragging a recliner up from the street, a perfect place to "nod and chill". There would be no football in my apartment, no trappings of success. I had no phone, no tv; just a radio, a few CDs, and a large metal trashcan to puke in that was left by the workmen who had prepped the apartment for a new renter. Next to Jane's Addiction, the Velvet Underground, and Motorhead was a paycheck stub that was gone before it hit the bank, the remnants were left at the bottom of a spoon.

If you would have told me I would have ended up a junkie at 21 years old,  I would have thought you had lost your mind. I was the type of lady who didn't even want you to blow pot smoke in my direction at 15. I was voted "least likely to get laid" at my high school. I got a 31 on my ACT. I was going places in life, right? I have to remind myself. I push myself back into my chair and take a sip of my beer. Hell, I didn't even lose my virginity until I was 17. I was in love with a freckly ginger who carved "Tracey, I wanna be your dog" into his leg with a razor blade to prove he loved me. I guess he didn't. He dumped me a few months later. Everyone fucking leaves. You know the drill. I had so much to live for but I never wanted to live my life alone. The beer is starting to kick in, helping me keep the sick off.

Where am I going to night? How will I eat? How can I see my mother with these bruises on my arms. Exactly, I can't. I just can't do that to her. I will find something, anything. I will eat food left on tables at taco bell or find some left over pizza over when the bars close. Next time, I promise myself I won't spend all my money on my drugs. Next time, things are going to be different. Until the next time.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Poem by Martha Frankel

WHAT YOU WEAR TO BURY YOUR SON, AFTER HIS HEROIN OVERDOSE

You want to cloak yourself in your fury, but its too sharp
Like wind on the beach against a bad sunburn
So instead your first layer is the toddler he was,
Grape jelly smeared across his smiling face
Blonde hair sticky and damp
His grandma laughing beside him

You scream his name
And remember him as A Mutant Turtle, A Pirate, Batman
A sword always at the ready
You hold onto that, breathing in the smell of him
The sharpness, before that other smell, that smell of decay, of deceit
That sword, how you wish he could've used it

You’re still seething but next you add on the boy he was on the field
All sinew and charm and goofiness
You’ve forgotten that he was once goofy!
Before the lying, before the stealing, before his mother grabbed him from behind and wouldn’t let go, screaming into the night
Before the lying
Before the stealing
That boy, in his dirt-stained uniform
You wrap yourself in that

You add a layer of grace, for the times it seemed like he would find it
Might find it, please, let him find it, let him know 
A minute of peace in the center of his swirling madness 
The days he dropped the lies and the attitude and admitted
He was scared
You wrap yourself in that

And then it is time to walk out the door
But you know there is something else, and you run back to find it
Your wife calls from the door— “Hurry, we’ll be late!”
You don’t even know what it is you root for in the drawer
Past the tie clips and the golf T’s and buttons and paper clips
Past the coins that say II and VI and X, not even the heaviest, XXVI
Not those, but the cheap white plastic one that says 1 Day
You put that in your left breast pocket, like the sword it is
And go to bury your son

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Overdose

"Do you know where you are?"
 I hear a disembodied voice. Are they talking to me. I feel a sting on my face, some heat. My legs feel heavy. They are numb. I feel a heaviness, like I am trapped inside my body. I am dreaming. Dreaming about football, on a tiny screen. Like that hand held game I used to play as a kid. I see the green on the field. Is this an I formation? My vision is off, like I am heading up a tunnel. I see football at the bottom. 
 
As I scan the room, I feel a sting again. 
"Tracey...Tracey wake up..."
I grab my face to stop the pain. Then, I feel the weight of someone on top of me. I feel my shoulders being shaken. That slap again. Then a face. I see a familiar face. 

"Why are you slapping me?!" I ask, grabbing my cheek indignantly. I feel the pressure against my legs again. That pressure is coming from the floor, my friend is over me. His legs have pinned my legs to the floor. Why am I on the floor? I see the glass above my face. I reach up to touch it. It has a smooth, round end. Wait...this is a table. Why am I under a table? 

"Why am I under a table?" I ask this person I now recognize as my friend. I see his eyes are watery. His cheeks are red, he is out of breath. He looks as if he ran up a flight of stairs. He pushes up his glasses as he grabs a cigarette with shaky hands. 

"You ODed bitch," he tells me in his loving way. He pushes his hair out of his face as he lights up his Newports. 

I shake my head as if to say no. 

"You fucking died bitch, believe that" he scolds me as he grabs my hand to help me up. 

I plop myself on the couch. "No fucking way," I tell him. I don't believe him. The last thing I remember was him pulling the needle out of my arm. I was NODDING, he is being dramatic. 

Suddenly, I feel a pain in my chest. I feel this pain. I feels like someone punched me, kicked me. I rub between my boobs,

He takes another drag of his cigarette, points at me, and tells me "Exactly!! I was doing CPR for 20 minutes. Don't try to tell me, I was here." 

I feel the drugs hit me again. A heaviness fills my limbs. I push myself back into the couch. Overdose? This was only the second time I ever tried heroin. I couldn't have overdosed. There is supposed to be a white light, not football. I want to argue but I feel the calming sea of warm water pulling me down again. I curl up to enjoy the moment, drowning from my own ignorance. 
 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Red Ribbon Week Reflections

It is red ribbon week at my kids' school, a time when I always feel generally uncomfortable with both the past and the future. For those who are unfamiliar, Red Ribbon week is when the schools try to find catchy ways to get school children to pledge to stay off drugs. I cringe when my children come home with red ribbons or discuss how they are doing "crazy hair" for red ribbon week. Is this really the best way to keep my kids off drugs?

When I was my daughter's age, I had already smoked pot. This was at seven and eight years old. I had already seen my father falling down drunk numerous times. I had seen older people in my life under the influence of drugs. I am from the beginning of the DARE generation where we were told drugs were bad. No one ever explained to us WHY or what drugs actually did to young bodies. We were also told sex was something married people do and HIV is God's righteous wrath for being a sinner. Except, I already had seen people on drugs, people having sex outside of marriage, knew people that were Gay that were nicer than the uptight judgemental folk feeding me this information. By the time I got to be sixteen years old, I felt adults were liars and hypocrites. It isn't what you SAY to children, it is what we SAW that made an impact on us.

During Red Ribbon week, I wonder if they will ever call on me to tell the children what it was like to be a junkie. That is what they need to hear. They need to hear some raw stuff. Some of the best emails I have ever received were from grown adults who told me they were on the fence about drugs when they saw "Black Tar Heroin". The film pushed them into the "nope" zone. That makes me feel as if allowing people to see me at the lowest point of my life was worthwhile.

I pray to all the Gods that my kids stay off drugs. I do my best to make that a reality. I sit at their soccer games. I cuddle them. I answer all their questions. I want them to love themselves so much more than I did back then. This is my greatest hope.

What was your experience with drugs? Did you see people using them? What brought you to the place where you gave yourself the permission to use?

I see you all as my extended family. I hope you love yourself a little more than you did yesterday. I hope you learn to love those drugs a little less. Those drugs are lying to you. They demand everything. They provide diminishing returns and will eventually leave you for dead.

XOXO Tracey



Saturday, October 17, 2015

Pedicure and Cats

In this picture are two of my favorite things- my fresh pedicure and my cat.

I was reflecting today on how much my life has changed. I was sitting in the spa chair at the nail place. As I was getting my legs rubbed with salt scrub, I was thinking "This feels better than heroin." Maybe, that is an exaggeration but at that moment, having a leg massage certainly felt better than heroin. Plus, here it is hours later. I'm not scheming on how I'm going to get another one in a few hours.

Let's be honest, my legs are fucked. You can't inject heroin into your legs 6-8 times a day for years and come out of that unscathed. In addition to that, street level Black Tar Heroin id full of garbage. When I first started going to 12 step meetings through the rehab, my stomach used to get super upset. It took me about a month to figure out why. It was that cheap coffee smell. It was the same smell of cooking up heroin filled to the brim with instant coffee. "The best part of waking up, is chivah in your spoon..." I suppose that should have been my commercial. Finally, my legs are fucked because coffee and bacteria lead to abscesses. The sanitary conditions of shooting drugs outside is dubious at best. Combine that with enough bacteria to blow up a petri dish. My poor legs- thanks universe for allowing me to walk today.

Finally, my cat. My cat is 13 years old. I didn't know how to love when I first stopped using drugs. Hell- I didn't even cry for the first nine months after I quit heroin. People ask me- after I quit opioids, how long will it take me to feel better. "Better" is relative. You will be able to have your first seriously satisfying poop and orgasm pretty quickly. That is feeling better, right? Emotionally, it is hard to say. For while, you may actually feel nothing. You may get depressed. You may want to break someone's face. You may feel overwhelmed. I don't have a a great answer for you. All I can promise is that your life will change, most of it will be positive. Eventually, you will feel- something.

Back to my cat, after being traumatized, used and abused for many years, I had issues with feeling. Enter Smokey the cat. The month I moved out of sober living, I got Smokey. He has taught me how to love, taught me kindness. He taught me empathy. Smokey had a tumor. He needed surgery. He has loved me. I was able to get the surgery for him. If I was on drugs, I wouldn't have been able to take care of him. I would have wanted to, I just would not have been able to manage. Smokey had a surgery that wasn't completely successful. He is happy and comfortable. I will make sure he stays that way for the rest of however much time he has left. I get to do this. I am honored to help him.

This post is to say I only had to give up one thing to get everything. Massages, cute toes, cats, love, self respect. It seems like I made the right choice.

I love you friends. XOXO Tracey



Monday, October 12, 2015

The tail that wags the dog

Heroin had me searching all over for things I would never find.
The truth was right in front of me.
Like the blood that poured over my skin when I pulled out the needle,
I just missed that point.
I loved drugs. Loved them. Did I mention I fucking LOVED them?
Heroin, amphetamines, MDMA, LSD, benzos, cocaine.
My love for all of you made me insane.
I'd be searching the Tenderloin with no shoes on.
Walking barefoot over broken crack pipes
I thought Jesus called my name.
I'd see Satan at the Civic Center smoking rocks,
Charlie Manson was at the corner.
He was a guerrilla pimp on a bicycle.
The chicks were sucking dicks in vans
Strange men found then on their lunch hours.
What was my life?
Just hand to mouth to bag to vein to pleasure then pain.
Until I did it again. And again. And again.
You were everything I loved and hated.
That syrupy substance that promised me release.
I cast all my burdens upon the poppy.
The promise of relief was too powerful.
I didn't need food.
I didn't need hugs.
I didn't need love.
I didn't need you...just for that moment.

I wiped the pinned from my eyes one morning.
I could finally see again.
My dog wanted to walk.
My cat wanted a scratch.
My snatch had an itch for some company.
My bank account had a positive balance.
My family let me come around.
I was free.
Heroin will never completely let me go.
She waits for me.
That one last passionate embrace.
That last goodbye, the last shot I never gave her.
She wants me back.
17 years later...that bitch still calls me from time to time.
I don't answer.
Not because I don't love her.
But because that love I have consumes everything.
Because that love that saved me once almost killed me twice.
I have to be satisfied letting it go.



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Broken Toys

"Do you always play with those broken toys?" he asked me.
I nervously took a drink of my chocolate Quik. The breakfast of champions- a cinnamon roll, a Nestle Quik, and a fat shot. I had two of those three things this morning.
"what do you mean?" I asked.
He pivoted towards me for effect.
"Those men you play around with girl" he spun around in his chair "you better be using condoms."

I laughed to myself. Condoms? When was the last time I had a period. Six months? Eight months? I lost count. It isn't like I am having sex anyway. Sex to me is having someone lightly scratch my back. Sex to me is coming back to my room and having him say "look babe, I saved this for you." That hasn't happened.

In a world full of seven billion people, I gravitate towards a few people who are absolutely no good for me. The fact that I am a drug addict in the present tense doesn't make life any easier. Relationships between users seem to fall into a few general categories.

 The first would be the whipping boy. This man is nice. He is extremely nice- TOO nice. He puts up with my lies, my deceptions without question. I find it impossible to be attracted to anyone who cannot see that I can't be changed. I am the scorpion. He is my frog. As much as I would like to be in a relationship with a fully realized human being, I am turned off in a way that can't be ignored.


The second category is THUG LIFE. Bring me everything I need. We are in this together. My broken nose or black eye reveals the truth. He always has a plan- a blueprint. The great come up that will never happen. If stay together, I won't live long enough to see it.


Finally, there are my broken toys. The junkie boys that turn my world on end. From broken homes, one step away from the grave. I fall in love with the ones who ran away. The ones who are too afraid to stay. The ones who know too much about me. We share our stories of use and abuse, cuddled up together while we watch the world burn. A fleeting light, a brief shine in my world of darkness before they fade away.

What is love between two users? Is it an illusion or mutual usury? Perhaps, it is the realest thing that ever existed. Who could ever understand more than a person who has been there? Pass me the sour patch kids...


To be continued




Wednesday, September 30, 2015

There was a time...

There was a time that seemed not that long ago when the only thing I needed to worry about was what kind of drug was flowing through my veins. Opioids, benzos, amphetamines where my drug of choice. All at the same time of course. Don't forget the cocaine. Some booze was in there, too. That feeling of being dopesick and chugging on some Taca cheap ass vodka will never leave my memory. That feeling of having my side hurt only realizing it was my liver after washing down a handful of Vicodin with flat beer. There were many days when I woke up broken in my small apartment in Cincinnati that I thought "how much worse can my life possibly get?" I found out.

I don't know if I was born an addict. I know my behaviors certainly molded me into one. That roller coaster of crippling depression briefly came to a screeching halt when I found opioids. There was my solution, my lover, and my best friend in one place. There was a time when I thought the real problem was simply not having an unlimited supply of drugs. When I came to San Francisco only to have unfettered access to them, I began a cycle of self destruction that was past my ability to rationally manage.

8 years of on and off homelessness
11 trips to jail
2 methadone clinic runs
Amphetamines for months on end
Rape
Attempt on my life
chipped teeth
Black eyes
Broken noses
34 abscesses

Yet here I am. There is a scene in "Black Tar Heroin" when I look out the window. I say outloud to no one
"Sometimes it makes me happy."
I kept chasing the sometimes.
The important thing is that I believed some day I would get off that shit. I believe some day I would give up everything I knew, everything I loved (my drugs). Just like you.
Some day, you will too.
Some day, you will send me a message "Tracey, I just wanted to let you know..."
I can't wait for that fucking message.
I will love you until I receive it.
I will do everything I can to keep you safe.
I will work to make the world a safer place for people like us.
Because you deserve it.



My book is coming out in March. A fucking book being sold in bookstores. I got my author page yesterday. I find it hard to look at. I was supposed to be dead ten times over. Here I am.
 For all the people who doubt you, they doubted me too.
Let's prove them all wrong.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The traveler

"I'm here on business..." he tells me. His voice is trailing off. He must be desperate to trust me. 

There is a certain magical place for any all middlemen. That is a place when a person approaches you that is both too sick and too scared to get product for themselves. This person is firing on both cylinders. How he ever acquired a heroin habit, I do not know. I suppose he started popping a few percs after a sports injury or someone gave him a few lines in college. He stuck the straw in his nose expecting something similar to coke. Instead, he traveled down the rabbit hole where heroin became an orgasm, a first love, and a bowl full of fuck you all in one. As he settled in, he told himself this was the best feeling in the world until he began violently puking on his loafers. He couldn't make it to the bathroom so he yakked in his empty big gulp while his edgy female companion told him "I knew you would like it".

I suppose when he stepped off the airplane in that printed polo shirt and zip up grey hoodie from the Gap he considered going to get it himself. "I will just walk right up to the first one I see and ask them for..." He sighed. Ask them for what? A gram of you finest heroin, sir. Or perhaps he would make friends with one then ask. All these ideas must have sounded terrible to him. I supposed he anguished over doing those last few bags he was saving for tomorrow. Why did he have a layover? The San Francisco fog strikes again. It enveloped all of his hopes. 

I saw him standing on the periphery, like a child that wanted to get included in a dodgeball game but was afraid to ask. "Hey?" Is that a question or a statement. 
Despite his outward appearance, I saw what I needed to see. Cops don't have runny noses, water eyes, and the sweaty look of desperation. It had taken many hours after his marathon of meetings to summon the courage to even walk here. "Hey" was the best he could do. 

I caught a whiff. That smell- new money in the air. Yes. Like napalm in the morning. I love that smell. The smell of new money is intoxicating. It signals hope. It signals adventure. It signals a day without putting a dick in your mouth to get well. Unless he wanted that too. Luckily, I'm not that desperate. 

"Hey", I tell him. "You alright?!" 

This is a manipulation. I already know he isn't. I can't scare the gazelle by leaping too soon. 

He asks me if I want to go in the doughnut shop for coffee. Fine. His hand is shaky as he pours himself a cup. He wants to make small talk. He wants to feel better about handing a stranger money. He is going to size me up. Can he trust me with $50? A $100? A few hundred like he is used to spending. He is a business man. He is used to a negotiation. 

"Do you live around here?" He asks. 
Hmm. Live is a strange question. I literally live here. I live on these streets. He is looking for an address, a place, something tangible where he can find me. 

"Not here," I tell him. "I live farther up." 
I decide to risk it all and skip to the point. 
"What are you doing here?"

He tells me the usual. I'm here in the city on business blah blah blah. I'm 25 years old and travel a lot. This isn't a bar. You don't need to pick me up, I think. I notice his face for a moment. Those eyes of his. So beautiful with long lashes. I can see if he smiled he would have dimples. If only we were meeting at a bar. If only we were both two normal young adults going out for coffee. We would go to the movies later. He would fumble for my hand in the dark and wonder when would be the right time to get a kiss. He would smile at me knowing that we would see each other again, those butterflies of starting something new. Instead, we are two dope fiends ignoring mutual attraction because we are in a state of mutual usury. 

After 15 minutes of small talk, I am ready to end this game. "How much?" I ask him. "How much do you need?" 

I can tell he is scared to pull out his wallet. He shoved $100 in his sock before he left the hotel. He reaches in his pants leg and shoves it under table. This man just handed $100 to a stranger. Oh lucky day. 

I know what you are thinking, reader. You are thinking this writer was a sleazy junkie who ran off with his money. You would be wrong. I was there and back in less than ten minutes. I didn't want his $100. I wanted a piece of everything in his wallet. I wanted to be the only person he knew on these streets. I wanted him to ask for me by name.

 When I brought him back the balloons full of dope, I kissed him. This was the only way to transfer the drugs without raising suspicion. Two strangers in a strange embrace on the corner in a seedy part of town. 

"What is this..." He looked confused. 

Of course! He was a snorter that had never seen tar before. Good luck with that sweetie. I had my own bag to do- a tip from my favorite Mexican. Plus I kept $20 of his dollars. Felonies aren't free. As I stumbled off into the coffee shop bathroom to do my business, I never expected he would be there when I got out. Of course, he wasn't. I suppose it was a successful trip for both of us. 
 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Dope Fiend Prayer.

Work. Dope. Sleep.
Work. Dope. Sleep.
Work. Dope. Sleep. Broke. Cry. Twitch. Whine. Ahhhhh. Nod.

School. Dope. Sleep.
School. Dope. Sleep.
School. Dope. Sleep. Beg. Borrow. Cry. Twitch. Shit. Ahhh. Nod.

Scam. Hustle. Scam. Hustle.
Tick Tick Tick.
Call. Wait. Call. Wait.
Sick. Sick. SICK!

No, I didn't lie to you.
Well, maybe, just a little.
Yes, I promise I will get clean.
Middle. Skim. Middle.

Another Day, another felony.
Some cheese, some tar, some scramble.
My life inside a plastic bag.
Valium. Vodka. Ramble.

My self esteem? I misplaced it.
My faith in God? I erased it.
I held my future in my hand.
I traded it to my man.

If I die in my sleep,
Promise you won't wake me.
If I have to live this way,
I pray the drugs will take me.

Tell my family that I loved them.
Tell my girl she will love again.
Tell my boyfriend that I am sorry.
As I fade into oblivion.


BBC Interview/podcast

I have been invited on a few different podcasts lately. This one required me to get up at 5:30 am. I try only requests that seem like a good fit and are no going to be saying terrible things about heroin users. I liked the way this one turned out. Link here

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

One simple story- A guest post from an observer

Let me be completely clear. I have never been an addict. I have never lain my head on the street for slumber or been driven to prostitution or acts of craziness for cash.  My perspective is based wholly on being a witness to addiction. Sadly, most of the addicts that I see cannot talk. They are tiny babies born to moms who are addicts. I am a lowly administrative assistant in a small hospital on the east coast that helps babies born addicted wean from the drugs they are dependent on.  There are stories here…stories that some folks aren’t strong enough to tell themselves. Yet. Not strong enough YET. I always say yet because as my young daughter tells me, anything can happen. 
The first mama that I ever encountered was named Sharon in 2010. Sharon had a beautiful baby girl as well an older child which I never met but she talked about constantly. She was in her 30s and her story still haunts me. 
It is amazing what people tell me. I really have no power and that makes me a completely safe ear. I am not a social worker, I don’t have any clout to speak of . I met Sharon at the big honkin industrial coffee maker near my office. I love my coffee so I visit that machine often. So did Sharon, but for fucks sake, she would put so much sugar in hers it was like brown cotton candy.  She had her boyfriend with her. He was a nervous wreck. Talking a mile a minute saying that they couldn’t take care of this baby. She didn’t say much to him but seemed really preoccupied with me…”Hey, I like your necklace?” “where do you live?” “Do you have kids?”  I always talked to her. She was kind. Engaging.  I talked to her a lot. She told me that her baby was weaning from heroin. She was done with all of that. On methadone…couldn’t wait to be a good mom for her two little girls. She was staying at our facility (we are the kind of place where parents can nest with their babies and she was never far from that baby). She walked around with her often….sang “I'm a creep”…made me laugh. I will never forget her saying that she lived “on a main street in a little town in a green house with a swingset in the front”. Life seemed like it was looking up for her little crew. The boyfriend was dick and I hoped she would come to her senses regarding that.  I believed in her.
Then disaster struck. 
Sharon’s baby got a super bad infection in her little toe where the morphine was being administered.  If you have never seen a baby detox, consider yourself lucky. They wail. I mean cry like there is no tomorrow. It makes colic look like a picnic. And this baby shook. Almost like she got out of the swimming pool and was freezing. I mean, this poor little baby had enough shit going on for an army and she didn’t need an infected toe. She had to go to the main hospital. We are considered stepdown. Sharon followed her baby. Of course she did! It was her baby! Before she went back, I saw her in our coffee area. She said goodbye to me and gave me a piece of cake that she scammed from another family. I gave her a hug and told her I would see her soon. Hells yeah! Her baby was strong…they would prevail. They would come back to step down in a jiffy.

They didn’t fucking prevail.
It turns out Sharon couldn’t take it. Maybe it was guilt….She mentioned that she felt like it was her fault that her daughter was in this shitty position.  The stress of a sick baby…this kid was super sick. She used. She uber used. She came in barely recognizable. Full nod. Said she left stuff at our place. She didn’t. She tried to scam me for money. I didn’t have any (I really didn’t!). It was the first time I have ever looked at someone and saw demise. I hugged her. Wished her luck.
The baby came back. Sharon never did. 
That baby cried constantly. You could hear her from every corner of the floor she was on. We have an amazing group of volunteers . They are baby holders and they come in and help the nursing staff by holding babies. They always held her. She had this head of crazy baby hair and enormous blue eyes.  She was utterly irresistible. I always saw a sadness in her though . I know she was only 4 months old but I think that baby missed her mama. She knew. She was with us for a long time. CYF got involved. Eventually that raven haired beauty found a family. I learned much later that she was adopted by a wonderful couple. Two moms. One a pediatrician, one a pharmacist (A little ironic?).
I know the less successful mama. The one who looked at her like she hung the moon. The one that she cried the least with and shared the same big eyes and crazy hair. The one that couldn’t cope with all the shit that life throws at you daily and a needle eased the pain. 
I know in my heart she loved that mama. I don’t know much, but I know love where I see it. I saw it in those two. I really did. 
That’s what haunts me. I worry that Sharon didn’t see the love. She was so busy being hypercritical of herself. She didn’t SEE the love. I should have told her what I saw between the two of them. But I think she thought she wasn’t worthy of that beautiful baby. She was, By God, she really was. 
She must be about 5 years old now. She is probably in some fancy dancy school, playing an instrument, learning French. I bet she is becoming a beautiful person. I also bet that everytime she passes a green house with a swingset in the front, her heart smiles and she doesn’t know why.

Endless Anticipation- Guest Post JF

Endless Ancipation


It's 6am and all I can think about is scoring heroin...I'm not sure how I ended up in this situation, wait....that's a lie. I know exactly how this escalated to black tar. I followed that curious cat down the wrong alley, tripped, slipped and fell nose first into a pile of brown powder...well,fuck me....let's get this show on the road.

630 am "maybe he's awake, should I try calling?" 

I mean, the sun is almost up and he MIGHT be up....That's the logic of an addict, I know damn well he won't be awake for at least 4 more hours..and that's still not likely, my call log is more like a continual spiral into drug craving madness.

745am While my cravings are completely mental, that voice in my head just won't shut the fuck up...That gorilla on my back weighs 800 lbs and he's a mean fucker when he doesn't get his way. He's a master manipulator and will speak to you smoother than a seasoned pimp mackin to a fresh bitch on the track. He's taken up residence on my left shoulder, like a belligerent squatter refusing to leave. At times he's calm and smooth and can give me all the right answers when I need to make excuses about my drug use and where all the money I've made is......but he's Bi-polar as a muthafucka. In a flash he can transform into the raving uncontrollable beast that brings me into the abyss of self destruction..

For the past 3 days he's been on a rampage, he knows my drug break is up...he was on a warpath until I tricked him back into his cage.

About 3 weeks ago I told my dealer to cut me off...this was after several scary black outs at home, my girlfriend definitely knew I was fucked up on something.... Xanax and heroin can throw you into a helluva stupor...if you are reading this you have either been in one or have seen someone in one. This is the walking zombie syndrome, when the nod takes over and you fall asleep standing up...mid speech...in the middle of the he meal..it doesn't matter, you will only know it's hit you when you snap out of it.

Like an extra in "the walking dead" your body is there but your mind and soul are ultimately gone

This is known as the "dope fiend lean " and it defies all logic of balance, some people will be full on touching their toes while nodding out while standing...others turn into bobblehead dolls and their heads just dangle about.

I was the walking dead...slamming into walls, almost crashing through the shower doors and shattering them in the bathroom. .. I snapped a chair in half after collapsing into it...it was pretty scary that she saw and heard me like that. If she catches me I'll lose her...there's no coming back from "oh yeah by the way I got a small problem, it's heroin but I promise to stop"

Knowing damn well I wouldnt...

"THE ANTICIPATION ON PLEASURE OR PAIN IS ALWAYS GREATER THAN THE REALITY OF IT"

As I sit here thinking that the high I'm chasing is some fantastic orgasmic feeling of pure euphoria, it's not...and it hasn't been for a long time. I use alone so the social aspect is gone, and having to hide the habit and the high is getting to be too much. How the fuck am I supposed to enjoy myself when I have to hide it?

The answer....a drug vacation day. I put in an order for 5 grams of black tar, knowing that the chances are slim of this happening the way I am planning it. Called in sick to work to score heroin and get high....Yeah I'm sick alright..sick in the fucking head. One day this whole shit show will be exposed to the world and they will know my secret. While I clean up nice and can play  chameleon on most situations to blend in, I'm sure everyone I know has caught me in a nod once...and I've been able to blame my insomnia for most of it.

See, I've battled insomnia ever since my last long term relationship...and it was with that bitch Crystal. See, before brown sugar was my sweetener of choice I dabbled into the world of high grade stimulants. Beautiful shards of all shapes and sizes were crushed and sniffed or smoked. My girlfriend at the time liked it, and I was trying to play it cool and party with her even though it wasn't my thing.

See, the stint I served in the Amphetamine Penitentiary was during a different era, we didn't have the quality these tweekers have...our shit was just that, shit.

Crank was a filthy predecessor of crystal meth around the 90s, but it was what we had. Rose, Peanut butter, and others dirty white powders were the flavors available. We didn't have these magnificent  shards of glass that looked like they were stolen from a chandelier...we had shit that tasted like it was made in a motel bathroom. You could see the pink from the benadryl they were using...sometimes the dope would still be wet. Leave a line of this stuff on a CD case too long and it would seemingly begin to eat away at the plastic ...and we happily snorted this shit by the boatload with no concern.

I didn't enjoy smokin meth because it never really got me high like everyone said...until one day. I was renting a room in these shitty apartments by the freeway, most are occupied by section 8'ers or dopefiends...I ended up with a section 8 dopefiend, such a winning combo

I was green to crystal meth and the glass pipe wasn't my specialty, she would fire it up and tell me when to hit it...and after a few hits I got the hit that changed my life.

"Whoa....so THAT is what everyone is talking about!!!!" as I feel a tingle just flow through my body like a low voltage electric buzz...we smoked more and fucked like rabbits until the next day. I was selling crystal at the time and had around an ounce or so usually with me at any time....until I broke the commandment of "never eating high on your own supply"
Little did she know I was barely sleeping 3 hours a night after that, and was smokin my way into meth psychosis.  I was able to hide it well enough, but what happened was just more of us using together. She wasn't hooked but liked to party...so I played along. While we'd get high on the weekend together...

"First me and Crystal on saw each other on the weekends,

But now Im hiding my tweekin

and seeking her out everyday in between em"

And that's how I ended up on meth for about a year or so.

I sit here at Ocean Beach and watch the waves roll in and outt... pop another xanax to hopefully calm the beast....and wait.
I picked up some good weed from the club to try and calm King Kong down for awhile. They called the stuff Gorilla Glue,ho fitting,hopefully it will do the trick... the names of weed nowadays is pretty interesting...hopefully this glue will keep my mind stuck on something other than heroin.

As I smoke my joint and watch the waves flow, I feel the warmth of the sun on my face and for a split second I forget all about dope and just enjoy the view..the weed elevates my mood for the moment and I'm at piece...

I look down at the halfway burned  joint and mumble to myself "this shit is the bomb" I drift off into a dreamy haze with the sound of the ocean and seagulls. For a brief moment I forget about heroin and fall into the comfortable bliss of the xanax and weed...it's such a beautiful day, I remember so many good times here. My car engine still running, I pass out and let time fly.....worry free 

And then the beast jolts me from my slumber....fuck, did I miss his call? How long have I been asleep....? FUCK!

It's now 1130 am....is he awake yet?  By my logic it should be a decent time to try and call someone...or maybe not? I dialed his number and listen.....one ring....2 rings, 3 rings..

The 4th ring means he not answering and inside I pray he answers.

"YEAH...what's up? "   

Why does he bother asking this?

You know what the fuck is up, I need to get high because I sure the fuck didn't call to say good morning, make small talk, and discuss the weather. 

"It's all good but you gotta wait until around 3 to get it"

A four hour wait for heroin feels like 12 hours in my mind, but what can I do? I make sure to remind him I need 5 grams, because he'll forget and only have 2 to spare. He sounds annoyed but at this point I don't give a fuck, I want my dope....

It could be worse, I could be left to scouring the streets of the Tenderloin and taking my chances with strangers hopin for a friendly face....which is an endless roulette wheel of possible rip offs. I should be thankful that I have a direct phone number to the devil himself and he answers my calls for the most part.

How can so much emotion and joy be created by this small ball of black goop. This sticky tar has so much power to be just an inanimate object..once it touches you, there are thousands of unseen teeth that sink deep into your soul. 
Heroin has no soul, but it can permeate yours and cause it to disintegrate rapidly and causes necrosis of the soul. When Im high, nothing matters...I am numb to the world and my mind is no longer racing with madness.

I enjoy the bliss off slipping in and out of a conscious reality and into my personal dreamland. In a nod..a single thought manifests into a  detailed dream, each new nod takes me down another rabbit hole in my twisted mind. But the true bliss is the complete numbness to anxiety, worry, stress and fear..

It's funny how this can ease the pain on life in an instant. The most stressful day is instantly relieved once that double wrapped plastic package is secured. After 3 days of a drought and no connections, today felt like fucking Christmas and Junkie Jesus smiled upon me. 5 grams of tar and I'll get through another couple of days before the carousel begins again.

The cycle of addiction is hard to break when the monkey lives on your shoulder and is constantly whispering sweet nothings in your ear....life itself doesn't feel the same without hop and I hate that my peace of mind and happiness is routinely based on copping. I try and pass the time by reading stories on r/opiates to help me realized I could be in a much worse situation..

I could be using dirty toilet water to try and get a hit from old cottons, or I could be puking my guys out and I fully blown withdrawal shitting on myself in a SRO in the TL. I'm not trying  to say my struggle is worse than anyone elses, because I know it isnt...but it is still a struggle for me mentally and controls me more than I would like it to..and this is just my story.

36 phonecalls in a single day to the same number are a clear sign of a problem, and I sit here and wonder how much of a dopefiend he sees me as. See, my dealer is also one of my best friends....while dope brought us together, we formed a bond and treat each other like real family..a twisted misfit bunch of dysfunctional addicts. We don't just meet up for transactions, we actually hang out and have a friendship..

This friendship of course gets rough when the main dope man aint around, he can't cop, meaning I can't either and it turns into phone tag and text relays.

Yeah, I could hit 16th or head over to the TL and try and cold cop....but I got a family, a job, and a lot to lose if I were to get busted. My boy Irish aka Big Rich was my sidekick in the L's, he knw every spot, every dealer and could get us some action within few blocks of browsing.. Rich died alone in an alley in the Central Valley during a relapse and overdosed. Xanax and Heroin killed my boy.

And that's the same combination in my system now.....I pray for the strength to break free from this. I've done it before, it can be done again.

Until that day comes, I'll live this life day by day....praying for the courage to face life without the need to escape reality, but to face it head first without a crutch.

There is something in life I have yet to discover that will mean more to me than getting high...I struggle daily to find and accept this, and pray for the epiphany that will save my life in the long run.

Until then I'm taking my spare change, tossing it into my pill bottle with some mannitol and a chunk of black tar and drift off into my personal land of peace....without worry, anxiety or the ability to give a fuck for a few moments of incoherent bliss...

May God grant me another day of life and allow me to wake up from my self inflicted euphoria....

Thank you for reading.....you are not alone..

CivilizedInsanity

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Heroine of Heroin Podcast

I forgot to post the links when I did the official reddit podcast Here. Follow and it will give you a variety of different ways to listen to the podcast

Saturday, September 12, 2015

2 bags please guest post JF

"2 bags please"
As the words of Curtis Mayfield are on an endless loop in my head...the thought of heroin is the only competition it faces for my attention. Days blend into nights, night blend into weeks, and it all becomes a blur until you're staring at yourself in the mirror trying to figure out your life. How can such a small pebble of joy cause such a reset in my brainwaves...the joy of having the dopamine production of a dopefiend...joy is only found in a pile of brown powder. 
I check again to make sure I still have my score...a black ball about the size of a large marble, portable pitch black onyx love measured by the gram. This 3 grams won't even last 3 day before I'm back in the endless rat race of copping. I am best friends with the devil and he feeds my addiction happily..a sick twisted friendship of mutual self destruction, our bond is heroin and his habit is worse than mine. 
The feeling of hopeless addiction sets in deeper as I look through my call history for the day..15...maybe 20 attempted calls that went straight to voicemail. He's not picking up...he's probably nodding off peacefully while I'm dialing his number like it's a radio station holiness and I'm trying to win tickets to a concert.
I feel soft and squishy like an OP80 that won't dissolve in your mouth. Oxycontins new formulas fucked off the joy of OC's, instead and breaking down and dissolving they become a ball of gel that you could spend 20 minutes trying to chew up.
Imagine trying to chew up an indestructible  gummy bear...only to have to wait and hope you feel something in an hour or so. A smart move to curb the abuse but you can't stop a determined addict from finding a way.
Addicts can become resourceful as Macgyver at Home Depot...and where there is a will there is a way....
The lyrics continue to echo in my mind
" Silent life of crime
A man of odd circumstance,
A victim of ghetto demands.
Feed me money for style
And I'll let you trip for a while.
Insecure from the past,
How long can a good thing last?
No, no, no
Got to be mellow, y'all
Got to get mellow, now"
Everything will be ok as long as I have my bottle of brown sugar..filthy heroin tarnished coins scattered throughout my room, something only another addict would recognize as a dead giveaway of a hop snorter. I feel the mixture of heroin, xanax, and benadryl drip down the back of my throat, the sweetish aftertaste of the mannitol lingers. I savor the flavor like I'm doing fucking wine tasting in Napa..
."ahhhh subtle hints of opium interlaced with back notes of psuedophedrine, a light wave of folgers with a smooth solid black tar finish"
I daydream of a opiate convention at the Cow Palace where all the finest of opiates are sampled and sold....the entire place turned into a opium den with Persian rugs and hookahs filled with tasty blobs of black gold...Curtis Mayfield hymns playing over and over as heads bobble left and right in and out of conciousness, harm reduction seminars for the shooters...hey we all can dream right?
Happiness for me is sold by the gram in exchange for pieces of your soul. Yes, I'm an addict, but I'm a functioning addict that works 110+ hours every 2 weeks to earn that check. OVERTIME EQUALS LESS SOBER TIME..more money equals more dope....it's funny how motivating heroin can be, if I show up at the office with a a gram or two in my pocket I become the most productive and helpful employee you could imagine. 
My paycheck pays for my dope, my dope keeps me motivated to keep working, I keep working so I can I can get a bigger paycheck, I get a bigger paycheck so I can buy more dope, I buy more dope to keep me happy and motivated to keep working, so I can get more money for more dope, more dope equals better days at work, which means more overtime...it's a sick and vicious cycle and the gears on this hamster wheel are wearing thin.
My father died in September of 1998 and was dead for awhile before his body was found..he had a heart attack while getting high and they left him to die is what I was told by my dad's junkie friend who heard the story after it happened. While listening to his old answering machine messages there was a guy that kept calling and I felt the need to let him know my father was dead. When I was able to get the words out I remember this guy's tone became so serious it scared me...he said he had information on how my dad died and gave me a spot to meet him in Hunters Point..and told me specifically not to drive my father's Cadillac El Dorado since it was well known in the hood...I didn't know how to take this news, and I was already fucked in the head from his death. I got shit faced he night before I was supposed to me him, I cried like a baby all night to my girlfriend at the time and she was worried about what I was planning to do...I woke up the next morning hungover as shit and drove to the Point to meet with the man that would tell me in detail how my father died.
He drove me around and showed me the crackhouses they would get high at, told me the name and description of the dealers and how much dope they'd have on them at any given time, and we began to plan revenge. I wanted to kill everyone in the house and didn't care if women or children were there, in my eyes they all deserved to die for leaving my father to die by himself.  I was able to find 2 grenades for sale and planned to blow up the main house. I mapped out the route, selected which will windows would be best to throw them through and he told me the best time to hit them.  After weeks of plotting my revenge, I found  myself sitting in my dad's empty apartment smokin crack alone..as I was leaving the building I heard a voice that sounded like it was coming from my dad's apartment. I froze and couldn't move, my legs would function and tears poured from my eyes...it was the sound of my father arguing with someone about something, which he usually did after getting drunk..so clear and distinct it scared the shit out of me.
Here I am crying my eyes out and trembling, while high out of my mind and paranoid. I put one ear to the hallway way outside his apartment and heard my father's last argument...and I was hearing the last moments of my father's life being replayed back to me somehow. My father had heart problems and a crack habit, and the argument and stress combined with the drugs and drinking just was too much. He was found collapsed on the bed in a pool of blood..I remember seeing the brown stain on the mattress and knowing it was my father's blood...and the smell of his decomposing body that still haunts me to this day.
I never purchased the grenades I was offered, and fell so deep into addiction that there's several years around that time that are still just a blur..maybe it's better I don't remember them.
As I make my way down 16th st...I catch a whiff of good dope getting smoked..and for brief second I miss the mouth numbing taste of a fat rock ..a tweekin latina girl walks up to me and asked me if I want some crystal...I've seen her plenty of times out here, and meth has fucked her world. At one time you can tell she could have passed for model out of Lowrider magazine..but meth has robbed her of her youth and beauty, I know she's younger than I am, but she's had it rough and now she's probably turning tricks to get high and looks closers of 45 than I do.
If I was still tweakin this would have been a goldmine to come across...I would have bought the dope, got a room and fucked her until there wasn't any cum left. She's just the type of whore I would be fielding for after hitting the pipe...just wants to smoke and fuck the day away.
No time for dopefiend dreams...it's time to get to work, a I've got maybe half a gram to get me through the day and keep me motivated..a bump here, a line there and the day will simply disappear into nothingness, only to be repeated again...life in the endless cycle continues on.
"Two bags, please
For a generous fee
Make your world what you want it to be
Got a woman I love desperately
Wanna give her somethin' better than me
Been told I can't be nuthin' else
Just a hustler in spite of myself
I know I can break it
This life just don't make it
Lord, Lord, yeah"
Got to get mellow, now
Gotta be mellow, y'all
Got to get mellow, now
Memoirs of a Madman