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Showing posts from August, 2013

International Overdose Awareness Day

I wondered this morning how many lives Have I known that were lost to an overdose? The list seems to long to even count. It seems so easy at the time- let me just slip off and take a hit. Many of my friends died some where alone with no one to save them. What were the last things to cross their minds?Did they understand that they were dying? Would they have wanted to change their fate? Were they afraid? These questions will never have answers.

Today I think about my on life. Was I worth saving? I am married with three beautiful children. I am a good employee. I supervise 19 people. I have helped numerous people get clean in the course of 15 years. I am a friend. I have friends. I am the PTA treasurer. I am a loving and caring human being. What would the world be missing if I would have died of an overdose before I made it to recovery? Aren't we all worth saving?

We need more access to naloxone, available to users in the US in 200 different location. This may sound like a lot, yet …

Anonymous from Arizona- Guest Post

I'm 17 years old, I started smoking BTH when I was 14 and within a year I fell into intravenous use. It was a daily struggle, and to make matters worse, I lived right next to the border in Tucson, AZ! Everything there was inexpensive and of fair quality (50 - 60$ per g of black, gave nods and pins/needles off of just one point with a high tolerance, knocked you out otherwise), and before long it became a daily struggle of fighting off sickness and finding ways to get money so I could pick up. 

 Thankfully, now I am about 6 months clean now off chiva. My parents moved me to Phoenix earlier this year in February because I OD'd real hard after getting out of a 60 day in-patient rehab program. I didn't have any heroin connections here, so I resorted to doing whatever I could get my hands on once I got here; I downed fifths of hard liquor every day, smoked eighths of bud in one sitting, popped oxys, dillies, percs, k-pins, xannies, whatever I could find to fill this empty void.…

Saving Lives

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I hope my blog is part creative outlet and part education. In addition to my writing, I answer questions from 50 or more people per week. One person had heard about naloxone distribution in San Francisco from something I wrote in a forum. We became friendly and I agreed to send them one vial of naloxone last week. 
Naloxone is used to reverse the effects of an overdose. Sending it through the mail may have been foolish but it was something I felt compelled to do on that day. This is not something I have the ability to do on a regular basis. I have also sent clean needles to people who have no ability to obtain in their city. It is hard to believe we still have places in our country where people have no access to clean needles. They refuse to sell them to non diabetics at many pharmacies and many places do not have needle exchanges. How is our society so advanced yet so backwards at the same time. Harm reduction saved my life. I simply try to give back what was given to me.  If you would…

Now what?

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I am in a similar place as I was when I came off drugs 15 years ago- a questioning place. I finished my book on Sunday. Honestly, I thought I would feel happy or relieved but it is more of a sad feeling. I had this whole relationship with my words. I was constructing them in a way to illicit a response from the reader. I felt a certain amount of importance in those moments. In some ways, it was almost as if I was visiting with old friends. I cried at points in the writing process. I laughed at my own mistakes. Most of all, I felt something and that was exactly what I needed when I write about my struggles.

 It is a good book. I am confident of this fact. I have let some people read it, although no one had read the final version because I completely rewrote the last 15 pages. I want people to hear my story. The goal of the book is to revisit the horrors of my addiction knowing there is a happy ending. I did my best to describe on San Francisco in the 1990's in vivid detail. Most of…

The Extremes

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Are you dedicated to the cause? Will you do anything for dope? I felt like I was completely dedicated to my addiction. However, things take a darker turn at despair and completed desperation. I was not as dedicated as other folks. They went to the far extremes.

I have never let anyone pull my teeth for a Vicodin script but I have known many people who have done it. I knew a junkie who prostituted with a colostomy bag to pay for her needs. I knew another who was out getting loaded with an infection in her arm going down to the bone. I've known men to have sex with other men knowing they are heterosexual. I have seen people shit themselves in public but have to keep moving to get the drugs to cure their illness. 
Addiction is full of extremes. It is full of highs and lows. Not everyone has been the places I have, seen the things I have witnessed in my time. The thing is- many of these people have not survived. I must stay clean. I must be the historian to junkie history. I must be …

Guest Post- Ruvi from Germany

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This is a combination post and email that perfectly explain the struggle
It is now that I am on the journey to being clean that the darkness of my innermost temperament starts to haunt me. I was always, since childhood, remarkable for my morbidity. Nights were perpetual sources of terror, and I was afflicted for many years with the conviction that everyone I loved would die before I awoke. I was only when my mother and father really died that I become both less superstition and more desperate in my attitude towards the world, myself, and my chances negotiating between the two. I really was always inclined to being morbid, and depressed, but 5 years living only fix to fix has a tendency to not only make Poe's rich morphine addicts irrelevant, but also your own self-image of poetry, beautiful decay, and whatnot. Life is not short, it is long. Thank god, and if only it wasn't. Let those statements sort themselves out. Now there is no escape plan. I am determined only on one thi…

The Body Remembers

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A popular refrain from actively using addicts is that it has been SO long since the last time I used how could I possibly understand what it is like for them. Um, wrong my friend. I had to go through withdrawal in October 2007. Let me explain my last bad experience with drugs.

I was admitted to the hospital in September of 2007 to induce labor with my first child. I was experiencing high blood pressure and with my advanced maternal age, the doctors thought I needed to be admitted to the hospital. In the middle stages of labor, I really believed I could have a simple pain free birth. I accepted the epidural and the fentanyl. After 27 hours in labor and three hours of pushing, it was clear I needed a c-section. 
I was upfront from the minute I landed in the hospital- I am a addict. More like- I was a junkie. They already could figure it out when they could find no veins for my IVs. They debated putting a line for medication in my neck because they could find no other veins. Luckily, I i…

Have I Ever Been Close to Relapse- A cautionary tale

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The only time I ever seriously thought about relapsing was in Ohio. I had like 10 months clean and I was visiting my family. In retrospect planning a vacation to visit for ten days was probably way too long. The tension started building the first night. My mother settled me in. I was to sleep in the room where I spent my earliest childhood. I became flooded with emotions. I was in the room next to my father. I could hear him snoring as I had as a young child. I was reflecting back to my life. All the things that had passed in that house. I was overwhelmed, unable to communicate my feelings in brief calls with my friends.

I went through the things I had left there. I found old drug evidence- acid wrappers, a syringe . My heart sank to imagine that my mother had left my things perfectly preserved as I was going to return in a few days. Those things had stayed frozen in time. Although I did not use in the house, I had came back loaded when my parents let me move home as a lost 20 year ol…

Cravings

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One of the questions I recently received from a reader : Do you still have cravings? This is an excellent question. The answer is complicated but i will attempt to explain my view. There are two types of cravings. The first type is the fuck it all cravings. I may have a day or a week clean but something sets off that feeling in my brain. I know the drugs have some power of me. Why? Because I am willing to say fuck it all. Fuck you, fuck this, fuck it. I need a hit. I can not take this shit anymore. At this point, it takes some type of near divine intervention to stop the process ie you can't find it, you can't get money, your kid or mom calls you at the last second, you car breaks down etc. 
After the compulsion to use ends, you get different kinds of cravings. These are the kind I experience today. They aren't quite fuck it- I'm clear using drugs doesn't work for me. They are like - damn I wish I could have some relief right now. I may be upset, tired, angry, or wh…

Love is My Drug

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I worship all your flaws as you fall before me.
You stagger in my direction and fall to the floor. You laugh at all my jokes but you don't include me. I just make you bored.  Love is my drug and your smile gets me high for awhile. But I can't entertain you anymore. I can't rearrange you.  I can't control your urges, splurges, and purges.  I'd bleed for you if you would only stay, My recovery pushed you away.  Love is my drug and your smile got me high for awhile. Our affliction, your addiction.

My inner critic

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I am in a very fragile place in my mind. In the process of writing my book, I have dragged up a wide assortment of painful memories and real life horror stories. What I do not need right now is critics. There are always critics and haters. Generally, I have a pretty thick skin. Now, right now, I am not in the mood to deal with critics. I am not listening to you.

Long, long ago there was a young girl named Tracey. She was very naive and she still believed in love. She met a man. He was a hustler. This was long before drugs. Long before the Tenderloin. This was naive Midwest love where it is supposed to have a happy ending to the story. 
This man claimed to love me. I let him into my being. I absorbed him. He conned his way into my life, my heart. He promised me I was the one. Instead, I was one of many. Most of all, he made me question my confidence in myself. He told me I was fat, I was stupid, I was never going to be shit, I was never going to do shit, and I was nothing with out him.…

Repost- Morning Meditation

I AM NOT GOING TO USE TODAY. THE END. Or, if you are feeling extra determined- I AM NOT GOING TO FUCKING USE TODAY. Another popular one from my collection- Please do not let these people try me today. I am not using but I am still crazy as fuck. A meditation does not need to be a jumble of spiritual catch phrases. It can be whatever helps you get through the day. Make a statement about your intentions. Make it personal. Use your own voice. THIS IS MY LIFE. I AM NOT USING. I GOT THIS. 

 If people are encouraging you to use or getting in the way of your recovery, they are in the way. Forget get them. Ignore them. Better yet, tell them to fuck off.  I AM NOT KILLING MYSELF TODAY BECAUSE OF YOU OR ANYONE ELSE. Your recovery is just that- your recovery. It is a precious gift that other may not understand or appreciate in any sense. Do this for you. Wake up and live. 

I think it is probably a really poorly kept secret that I attempt to help some of my readers get clean. I enjoy interacting wi…

My life in pictures.

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Book Update

I have finished writing all the stories for the book (this morning). I am starting to do revisions and rewrites on existing stories. I am probably going to have to raise some funds by selling 10 electronic pre-copies of my book. If you are interested, email me traceyh415@gmail.com

Jake

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Jake B. came into my life around 1993. At the time that I arrived in San Francisco, scores of young adults and teenage run always were arriving on a daily basis from all over the United States. San Francisco was alive with activity at the time. As my boyfriend at the time and I would walk around the city drinking our 40oz bottles of Mickeys in brown paper bags, we saw flyers for big shows we would never see because we were way too strung out. Beer was a cheap and easy socially acceptable way to get the sick off. It never did much except make you feel slightly full and sick to you stomach. It was fine if you were splitting a beer. A full tall can was enough if you were alone.

When the boyfriend and I went our separate ways after a successful methadone detox, I felt like I needed a change of scenery. I needed a new hotel to live in. Plus, I was behind on the rent at the Civic Center. I moved into the horror show known as the Ambassador Hotel. Within a week of my relocation, I became a t…

Ben (revised)

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Ben was heroin addled fantasy from a time when I would rather be with someone that barely loved me than be alone. I had just been released from jail after six long months. I had been using in the jail up until the last 45 days. This is did not give me much time to construct any type of recovery. I had spent most my time of planning for things that would never happen. My first week in jail was spent recovering from surgery. When I was arrested, I had four large abcesses. An abcess is a place where bacteria gets under the skin and the flesh starts to rot. I had to have surgery on my arm. When I took of the bandage, I cried. Not because I was in the hospital, not because I was in jail. I cried because they had sliced open my tattoo! The horror of it all. I used to take a sterile needle and cut them open myself. Needless to say, my nickname was the abcess queen.
When I was back on the streets, I felt hopeless. I gave up my homeless encampment living for a hotel with some financial  help o…

Guest Posts

I am taking close to a week off to finish my book. I would love some guest posts. Discuss with me at traceyh415@gmail.com. Another alternative is reprinting my old stories buried deep in my site. Maybe I will do both. I can also throw up some old pics to show the changes in my life. Leave comments and let me know your thoughts.

Let Me Sink Like a Stone

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No one can save me now. No one can save me from all that I have done. You were the only one that understood me. I pushed you away because I wanted to play. Now pay for the rush that swept me into the swirling ocean of despair. I see you standing on the shore. You were waving for me. I am slowly slipping under the sea. My breath is slowing, my eyes are rolling back into my head. I wipe the blood on my pants. I am stuck on the dope like sugary candy rotting on the sidewalk covered in ants. I take my piece away and go off into my colony, wallow in my misery, walking backwards off the sidewalk into traffic. I feel my skin so leathery, my nails are bitten to the bone. My hands shake as I contemplate my fate. “this detoxing thing is just not for me.” I’m more bitter than suboxone. This world  turns my stomach like naloxone. I gave you an inch and you took the whole damn thing. I just wanted to get high. I forgot the reasons why. I am invisible and unknown. Let me get this hit and sink like …

Scrounging up Money For Drugs

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When I got to the Tenderloin at 22 years old, I had mostly worked or sponged off my parents to use drugs. I had never had much of a habit, unless you count booze. I could drink up my whole paycheck at the bar drinking Jagermeister shots, falling down drunk ripping my fishnets on the way home. I used to open my eyes in the morning. My first thoughts were: "where am I, who are you, where is my purse?". My first thoughts were always "get me the fuck out of here!" I feel very sorry for any man that cared about me. There were some very nice men who wanted to know me in some way. They would hold my hand and gently guide me home, half carrying me if necessary. I would come over there apartment, smoke their weed while I was detoxing from one thing or another. They say some light in me. While they saw it as some beacon of hope, I should have let them know it was actually a flashlight pointed at their things to see what I could find to continue to use.

By the time I came to …

Exactly What I Wanted

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When I found myself settled into my routine as a junkie, I found exactly what I wanted in you. “how do you know all these things about me?” Your skin is translucent from the ashing and the scratching all night. You rub your tattoos as if they will bring you luck.  You can barely hold a thought together as you drift off into the absence of burdens. “why should I believe you. No one even means what they say.” you light a cigarette to keep yourself propped up into our conversation. Slowly I lean in. “I’m not sure what it is.” I say this but I know it is not the truth. I do know. You are exactly what I wanted in life. All the pain you wear illuminated in scars make me see beneath the chemical facade you show to the world. As your breath slows, I hear your heartbeat beneath the ribs that poke at my nose There is some type of connection that drives me to awareness of the futility of our situation. Your eyes are glassy and pinned. Your lips are dry. Your hands are swollen from the circulatio…