Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Recovery and Relapse (and recovery)

As of late, many of my emails have been questions about the nature of my recovery. Firstly, I would like to say that my recovery is relevant but ultimately you have to decide what works for you. There are a few contributing factors to my discontinuation of drug use. 1. No Veins 2. Poor overall physical health especially heart palpitations from stimulant use 3. My mental health was very poor 4. I was extremely socially isolated 5. DRUGS WERE NOT FUN ANYMORE. I was just using because that had become my life. I spent from 1990-1992 deep in hardcore drug use and alcohol abuse. I got to the place I really didn't know anything else besides the lifestyle. It seemed a huge stretch that I would ever go back into any semblance of a "normal life". But I feel like that is that negative self talk that permeates late stage addiction- the lack of hope.

Recovery as a concept is not just about abstinence. Abstinence is just one in many forms of recovery. The goal is to progress to the point where you have things you enjoy doing on a daily basis and your are a slave to the next fix. Trust me, if I thought I could smoke weed I would but that shit makes me paranoid and I'm already paranoid enough from low level PTSD. If you want to try abstinence, there is going to be some pain. Withdrawal is a physical and mental mind fuck. It takes a solid week to feel better in most cases. But/and it starts to get better fairly rapidly. MAT is a softer landing, especially if you intend to stay on it but if you ever taper, just know that physical bill comes due and you will get some shitty feeling and days. PAWS fucks us all unfortunately. The depression is real and it can be deadly.

It is should be known that relapses are pretty par for the course with opioid users. We are risk takers and like to test the waters a few times. This is pretty much the norm. Unfortunately, our treatment systems are still catching on and behind the times. Tossing mfers out over one relapse is still the standard. Now, that person feels guilt/shame AND is homeless. Also, at high risk of OD death.

Whatever you decide to do, be safe.


  1. You said this perfect. I tell people constantly a SLIP IS NOT A FALL. Just because you relapsed as most of us do doesn't mean you don't have a place marker in recovery. Look at all you've learned some of your triggers, life skills,coping mechanism and most of all if I know about your 2 day slip you reached out. You ASKED for help. You took the skills you learned in recovery and applied them. That's the start of the road in my opinion.

  2. Tracey, You are amazing, I have just read your book and although some of our circumstances may differ (I am in the UK, have thankfully never experienced homelessness, etc) the majority of what you experienced and the chaos (that ironically can be almost as appealing) of addiction are identical.
    Your intelligence and potential always shone through in the documentary - even when it appears you can barely stand/ stay semi conscious for a second due to drowning in the inviting seas of opiates!.
    I admire your strength in recovery and your commitment to other addicts (like you, I began my tumultuous love affair with heroin in the ‘90s when the ‘hands down miriacle worker’ that is narcan did not exist and I often wonder how many of my fellow users would be here today if it had), Your input is not only saving lives, educating the masses, etc, I feel it is also helping to eradicate the stigma that surrounds hard drug addiction, that we aren’t all lazy, cheaply tatted , untrustworthy, uneducated, ‘track marks in tracksuits’!
    You are the patron saint of the voiceless junkie! let the sermon commence!.
    Thank you for flying the flag for the marginalised and those that are shoved to the edges of society.
    I am 5 yrs clean (although still on 2mg subutex) and your book has been serving as a hard back therapist for me, sorry for the NA ‘talk’ but I do feel truly grateful, keep up the good work!.
    Kerry from London.

  3. Ha! Yes, we love them, especially up in the North!

  4. I’m from PA what resources would you recommend to obtain Naloxone? I’ve been in recovery since Jan?

  5. Where can I get that 'got narcan' t-shirt? It's dope!

    1. From the DOPE project or Harm Reduction Coalition store