Friday, April 15, 2016

The constant state of want

I haven't been around much for the past few weeks. I apologize for that my friends. On Friday of last week, I was in Woodstock New York speaking to a group of over 300 people about harm reduction, addiction, and recovery. It was an amazing feeling to be stopped all over the town by folk who had been touched in some way by addiction. I got a chance to meet the family of a young man names Ryan. He has died recently, a young man loved by many in a small community. Unfortunately, we all know a Ryan. There is no longer a place in this country that is not touched by opioid use and abuse. After vacationing a few days, I then traveled to Washington DC to do a panel on addiction and mental health. You can watch the video here if you are interested. One of the main points I wanted people to understand is that we are receiving NO input from users on what they feel needs to be done in this "crisis". We are mounting a large scale intervention without even valuing the voice of those that might benefit from our efforts. Sad. 

As I sat on the panel Friday, I became fixated by the bowl of Halloween style mini chocolate bars that was left in a bowl in from of me. While mostly, snickers bars, there were a few milky ways to tempt my senses. As a person who has put down the spoon and picked up the fork, it was easy to distract me with tasty treats. Then, I noticed something appalling- some asshole ate a chocolate bar and left the wrapper. Here, I am supposed to be the addict, yet this is the type of behavior generally pinned on drug users. Instead of fixating or even tasting the candy bars that were there, I was focused on the empty wrapper. 

It then dawned on me that this was a metaphor for my life. My life as an addict has been constantly focusing on the things I don't have while I ignore the beautiful things around me. Someone had cared enough to gently place these candy bars in front of me for my enjoyment. Not just one, but an assortment. Yet, I was so focused on the one thing I couldn't have, I was blinded to my gifts. This is the same feelings that drove me to drugs in the first place. The constant state of want- of thinking the grass is greener inside a substance. Of my absence of pain being contingent on something outside of myself. 

In the end, I didn't even eat one candy bar. I'm in recovery now. I ate some high grade dark chocolate from a local chocolate shop. I even had enough to share. 

I hope where ever you are this weekend, you are safe. 
I hope you are able to see the gifts around you. 
I hope you live through this. I will see you though to the other side. 
I hope you find some peace. 
XOXO tracey


  1. Nice writing Tracy. I'm more of a Coffee Crisp, Oh Henry type.

    1. It has like a nugget centre, surrounded by peanuts and a layer of caramel, all coated in chocolate. It been around for as long as I can remember. But I am in Canada, so maybe it is a Canadian bar....I know that Coffee Crisp is a Canadian bar.

  2. This resonated with me. Thank you Tracey, for all that you do, you are truly an opiate angel (even if you are clean as a whistle). Your contributions will never go unnoticed

  3. Frank Sinatra never ate no cheap ass chocolate either.

  4. I ask myself did I want to tayser the person even if for a split second. Whether yes or no I ask myself can you please forgive and move on with a chuckle.