Saturday, July 30, 2016

Sicker than Others.

When I was just finishing middle school, I was very meticulous about my appearance. This was complicated as a fat girl. However, I had discovered in the pages of Seventeen magazine the joys of camouflage. This included spending hours on my nails. I would try all sorts of combinations of wet n wild eye liners, eye shadows, and Bonnie Bell lip smackers. I would spend my free time combing the malls for just the right outfit, the one that would make people like me. In the mean time, I always carried gum or candy in my purse so people would have a reason to talk to me.

It is hard to believe that it wasn't too much later than I was sleeping on a mattress that was pulled from the garbage. It was complimented by other scores. I had a recliner someone left for the trash man, a mirror left outside a retail place, and a trashcan that became my vomitorium. As I crawled deeper into the bottom of a spoon, I prayed there would be someone to love me at the other end. Would someone come and rescue me from my life absent of love? Would I be out at a bar one day only to have them see through my pinned eyes and into my soul. It probably wasn't going to happen this way.

When I think about the damage I have done to myself, it is easy to get discouraged. The list is fairly lengthy: destroyed my credit, rotten teeth, scars, felony conviction, estrangement from family, nerve damage to my feet, scars, PTSD, lack of faith in humanity, and an overall inability to connect with others. Some of things have been repaired over time. Some have not. Personally, I find that the love of animals has made it easy to cope in the world of humans. The unconditional love of my furry friends makes me feel loveable and supported after a hard day of being an adult. Going from injecting gutter water into being a public health professional has been a steep uphill climb. The anxiety I feel some times revolves around feeling as if I am an imposter, that my life is going to crumble at any moment under the weight of this fraud.

When I started writing this blog, I got a few eye rolls from people. Why couldn't I just leave the past in the past? Did I really want to rehash all these old events? I complete disagree. I see my writing as a conduit for exercising my demons. The dark cloud of depression still kicks around in my mind. My past is something so incongruent with my current life, I can only understand it by piecing it back together like forensic evidence. The reality is that no matter who I am today, I will always be the person who sacrificed everything for that next hit. I want to know why in the philosophical sense- like why do we (the collective we) cast aside all the trappings of civilized society to pursue a few chemical compounds that inextricably alter the paths we follow. They say in twelve step meetings that some people are sicker than others. Maybe some people pursue a relief from their circumstances with the same vigor that some people pursue their goals. We all need a purpose in life. When you feel rudderless pouring down the eternal stream of life, drugs temporary provide an anchor that pulls you to shore. Until the day, battered and bruised, you crash on the rocks searching for a new way to travel again.

I have a bunch of personal problems swirling around at the moment. I will update you all soon. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I haven't been writing much this week.

I am on a deadline to collect research for my naloxone program. Hoping to use it to get funding for it. 

I'm starting something new tonight. 

Here is a cat picture to cheer you up! 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Numb

I have said before that heroin probably saved my life. I still believe that. I know that doesn't make sense to the uniformed. How is it this substance that grabs the user by the throat and leads them around could possibly have a positive impact? Well, it was certainly true in my case. There comes the point in the life of a suicidal person where there are only sparse alternatives. For me, drugs were the very last one. The crippling depression I had experienced since I was an adolescent was pulling me under like a rip current. I no longer could paddle my way to the sandy beach. The more I tried, the more I felt the undertow. The cold blackness pulled at me until I felt as if I was walking around in life, merely gasping for air.

Heroin, for all the myriad of drawbacks, provided a brief salve for my mental wounds. I didn't go STRAIGHT to heroin, of course. I had to work my way around the other opioids first. Eventually, those had become less and less effective. Never the less, they call them "pain killers" for a reason. They soothed my pain. The pain that I had deep inside of me. That pain told me I was worthless. That pain told me no one loved me. That pain told me day after days in a variety of ways that the world would be better off if I was not in it. So- there it was. The heroin was a triumph of sorts. It gave me the way to navigate all the fucked up things my mind told me. Instead of battling my demons, I was chasing my tail. The struggle to maintain a drug habit is a sudoku of sorts. You are constantly trying to find the right combination to unlock the puzzle of life. It is a puzzle you can never finish once you start playing. The only way I could win was to walk away.

Someone asked me this week how I could have compassion for active drug users. I guess it is because I understand them. I am them. I ate all the candy then evolved into my final form. We found the same joy, felt the same pain, and travel the same path. It bonds us. The fraternal order of the spoon so to speak. We made a blood oath to the same master only to see it change faces.

I love you all. I hope you are having a good Sunday. XOXO Tracey.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Heroin- that bitch ain't real

I wish you could see the person I see
I wish you could feel the way I feel 
I wish you could feel love again-


Heroin- that bitch ain't real. 

A different clip from my appearance on Dr Oz

You can click here to see one or both clips

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Good Girl

There was a time when I was the nerdy kid flipping through pages of my latest book. I would be sitting inside  laying my blanket on the vent of the air conditioner on a hot summer day eating Doritos and sipping on Mountain Dew. Summers in Ohio would get sweltering with the heat mixed in with the humidity. An occasional thunderstorm would roll in to water the grass, only to create a outdoor sauna in the morning. My hobbies included playing video games, drawing, and staying up all night to catch the latest R rated movie while my parents slumbered unaware in the next room.

I was the good girl. I didn't have teenage boys awkwardly fumbling between my legs or weed stashed in a hollowed out book in the closet. I wasn't oblivious to vices, I just wasn't interested in them. I had seen the sloppy way the people in my life moved and behaved after they ingested a substance. They smelled of desperation, the alcohol leaking out of their pores as they swatted mosquitoes next to tiki torches or fading barbecues. The conversations would always end in someone stumbling in the general direction of their homes while the teenagers silently swilled the remnants of their whiskey sours with puckered faces. Maybe someone puked that night. Maybe some one flashed the top of their panties as an invitation to sloppy fornication as the saxophone from Saturday Night Live blew the melody of an ending day.

I don't know how I ended up a heroin addict. Well, yes I do. I tried heroin. I guess that was the first step. But how did I get to that place. How do you go from watching a Star Trek Marathon in footie pajamas to finding a vein between two parked cars on a foggy San Francisco morning. The chilly wind forced goose bumps to spread across my pale flesh. All that matters now is this brown, some blue, and a flash of red in that syringe. If someone would have told me I would become a junkie, I would have never believed it. I was a good girl. Good girls don't become junkies. Until they do....

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Open letter to my readers.

Today's entry is directed at you. You as in the collective "you" that take the time out to read my blog stories. First of all, thank you. I started this blog a few years ago as an outlet for the memories that have haunted me over the years. The memory of the hooker with the colostomy bag, the 13 year old boy who used to turn tricks then cry as he begged people to inject him with the money he extracted from the pedophiles that picked him up. There was the opportunity to explain that Jake was a fully realized human being that I called my friend. There was the legacy of the lovers that passed through my life only to end up dead as a result of their drug use. Finally, I got a place to process all the traumas that occurred in those years while I lay slowly dying. The rape, the violence, and sense of despair that hung over my daily existence.

Over the course of publishing this blog, I ended up becoming friends with many of you, mostly young folk. I use the term "friends" to describe a loose relationship based on mutual affection. I have met a few of you in real life. Most of you remain anonymous through reddit or some other form of social media. The blog turned into a naloxone program, a book, and many long days of texting you while you struggled to understand how to get out of the grip heroin had on you. Many of you died. Many of you have gotten clean. Some of you linger in that place of general dissatisfaction. I respect that.

I wanted to make this post to tell you that I love you. I wanted to make this post to tell me that it is possible you are going to die soon if nothing changes. I wanted to make this post to tell you that in six months or six years you will wonder how you could have spent so much time chasing dope. The only thing constant in life is change. You can change for the better or this can get worse. Only you can decide that. But really, truthfully- it is up to YOU. Take some ownership of your destiny. In the years that I have been writing this blog, I've met a 19 year old that died from sepsis from unclean injection procedures. I met a veteran that survived the war then died in a train station. I met mothers and fathers who have lost their children because of drugs. I have seen car crashes, death, despair, and even HOPE. I get letters and messages daily "hey do you remember me?" Yes. I do. I remember you all. And I am richer for knowing you.