I was sitting in my hotel room Saturday morning. I was alone. I could hear the honking of the angry motorists. The whirl of the heater. There was a tiny bit of frost in the corner of the window. It was bitterly cold outside, at least to a person who has been living in California for the past 24 years. I laid on the tightly made sheets and let out a sigh. Today was going to be a difficult day for me. Not because I was going to be taping a segment for television. Not because I was going to have to retell gory elements of my life in front of a studio audience. Because I felt the weight of all the young people who are dying across this country of overdoses that are sitting at home on their couch, hoping to find some kind of connection with anyone they felt might understand them. I am hoping that person will be me, even if they accidentally see this show. I suppose they won't be watching it on purpose. It certainly hits a slightly older demographic. But maybe, just maybe, it can happen.
The insecurities start to roll in. What if I have nothing important to say? who wants to listen to me anyway. I am a haggard old junkie lady. I have scars all over my body. Scars because I used water off of the hood of a car in the rain, because I mixed up heroin with grape crush, because I used alcohol wipes to clean off my dirty face because I was sleeping outside and ignored my arm. I had to have my teeth redone from "meth mouth", grinding my teeth down until I broke the filings. I am fat now. I put down the spoon and I picked up the fork as they say. I am no longer a 115 pound 25 year old from "Black Tar Heroin". I have had four pregnancies and three live children. I have changed. In many ways, I have evolved into a stronger person.
As I feel the tears falling out of my eyes, I decide to myself "Fuck this". I didn't come as far as I have to let this shit get me down. I am here to do good in the world, to defend myself against anyone that would try to make me feel bad. In the end, I went from a cardboard box to a comfy place with cats and kids and love. If I sucked dick for drugs or did horrible shit to myself, who fucking cares. Maybe someone can learn from my mistakes. Maybe someone will use a little less or love their kid a little more because they will know a bit more of what they are going through. I spent Friday night In the City talking about naloxone, foot care for the homeless, and the expansion of online syringe exchange services. THIS is the stuff that matters. My history isn't a mystery- it is the past.
I hope you all had a good work without me. I have to catch up with my messages etc. XOXO Tracey.