Saturday, October 6, 2007

Welcome Tanya Marie

Hey peeps. Please take some time to go check out Tanya Marie at "only one way up." She joined The Write Thought, too, but her blog isn't listed yet, just her name as a writer. She is a young woman and mother, addicted to heroin, and trying to recover like the rest of us. Please reach out, visit her site, and support her recovery.
Currently she has asked for some feedback regarding continuing relationships with people who mean a great deal to her, but are still in active addiction. I left her a comment, but ya'll know I'm ill and I don't have much energy right now to leave her much. There's so much more to say...I thought I'd take what I have left in me and post a request for ya'll to check in on her and reach out with your own experience, strength, and hope.
It's what we do here. And we're all pretty damn good at it -- humbly spoken, of course.
I love you guys and hope to get back to posting soon.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Thank you...

Yes it’s time to say thank you to each one of you for helping me in aiding another. I wish I could describe to you the gratitude this family has for each of you that helped by either reposting, by commenting, and of course those of you who were in a position to donate your hard earned money.

I knew this would raise controversy, I know there were risks involved in putting myself out there on the line by taking personal responsibility by tackling the idea of asking others to help one of our own. But I was deeply surprised by the overwhelming positive response that I received from so many people. I also have deep respect for those who spoke their minds regarding how they felt about what I was doing.

I can tell you with tremendous gratitude and respect that every penny was well spent keeping our friend’s family warm, helped them to keep their electricity on, and for them to be able to take hot showers and warm baths. This act of kindness from each of you has restored my faith in human nature, in a time where most people look out for themselves, in a society that shuns and looks the other way as American families are left out in the cold on the streets, hungry and without shelter.

This was a deeply spiritual and amazing experience for me. Yes, you and I, helped another, that in itself felt amazing to do. But there was more to it for me. I was able to give something back to the world I have spent a lifetime ripping off. It’s not about Karma, or trying to do the right thing, it was about doing what I felt needed to be done. In this case, not only was that accomplished for myself, but also one of us, one of our families was helped in a time of need, and I think it may have restored their faith in human kindness as well.

But don’t stop now. No, I am not asking you for more money, but just pay it forward. Practice random acts of kindness simply because it feels good to do so. Next time you see that homeless man with his sign sitting on the edge of the off ramp, give him a dollar. Or gather your old blankets and jackets that no longer fit your growing children and drop them off at your local homeless shelter. Ring bells for the Salvation Army this Christmas season. Let’s get the ball rolling folks. We as a community, one who has been shunned by most of society, labeled as substance abusers, junkies, drug addicts, can show that we too have the capacity to do good things, to have compassion towards others, and most of all, we are capable of selfless acts.

I can’t thank you enough!

With love to all,


Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Nickel And Diming Of My Perspective or Change is Cheap.

This is my everyday view. It's right outside the bedroom where I am staying. I do not own this view but as long as I am here this is what I get to see each and every day. It is an extraordinary view. The picture does not do it justice.

No matter. I take it for granted for it is what I have seen every day (and night) for almost a year. It was there yesterday and I know it will be there tomorrow. Rarely am I wowed by it despite it being such a beautiful vista to have any time I like.

This got me to thinking (Uh-oh).

San Francisco is an unbelievably beautiful city with many, many beautiful vistas. Despite knowing that, I rarely avail myself of such scenery. I remain mostly in this one place with this one view that, as I have stated, I take for granted. What if I changed my perspective every now and then? What if I looked at the same city from a different place? What would I see?

Below are just a few of the sights I would see if I would just consider a different point-of-view. There IS a message here and that is how a change of perspective will change what we see. And we need not look at the same thing all the time from only one perspective and in only one way. If perception is reality then are we not able to change our individual perceptions and, thusly, our reality? Makes you think, huh?

Something I ask myself more and more these days—Who knew?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Question For All You Recovering Addicts Out There

I have just posted an article on my own site called Addiction Recovery: What Have We Become. This article is more of a question posed to all my fellow recovering addicts/alcoholics out there.

I want to know what are some positive things that you find yourself liking, seeing, doing since entering into recovery.

I would love if everyone could take a couple of minutes, head on over to What Winners Do , and just give an example of something that you are interested in now that you never thought you would be while still in active addiction.

I think it will be fun and positive to see some of the good that comes out of addiction recovery. I've already listed mine in the post so don't use the excuse that you don't want to be the first one to comment...I've already taken care of that for you.


It’s Not a Habit…

I started methadone August of 1999. By then I was a solid year and a half into a pretty heavy opiate addiction. It had started with dilaudid but as soon as we were able we had moved on to heroin. We live in a funny city. While it is reasonably large with close to half a million, it is near impossible to find heroin here. Except for a time in the 1970's - so I have been told - it is one drug that does not seem welcome. Very white collar town so there is lots of pot and cocaine. Crack has had some effect as has speed but not like those other two. Because this is also very much a university and college town, there is also lots of ecstasy and its ilk. By the time I had even given a dilaudid a try, I was about two years deep into a large coke and speed habit. Funny can't even remember what that was like but I know that we were using every day and had been for a long time. Then along came a little yellow pill and it was as if nothing else existed. It was wondrous and it didn't take long to develop a tolerance for it. Thank heavens we knew someone that could get us heroin. He was out of town three out of the seven days and he happened to be working in a place that was literally drowning in it so every Thursday night right after getting off his bus, he would drop by our place with our weekly package. Sunday night we would wave him goodbye as his bus left town, our money in his pocket. This went on for over a year.

It started to get quite expensive as all habits tend to but this one also felt different. Where before, I may have been a bit of a bitch if I couldn't get blow or speed, I could get by at least but not this time. When I was without I hurt, I felt sick, I was in severe pain. I couldn't or wouldn't want to go to work and I had always prided myself on never letting any of my vices interfere with work and to be honest, life in general. Suddenly I had become single minded, nothing else mattered but not feeling sick anymore. I had to have a hit no matter what. Came close to bankrupting us. Sad but at least we had a house to sell to get us out of debt. And selling this one, our favourite, meant that we still had two others left although they were nowhere near as nice and they were in a much rougher part of town but that didn't seem to concern us so much anymore. We moved. We had to. We had someone else very important in our life now that very much needed to be accommodated. I had never lied before but suddenly I found myself doing just that. When my family doctor confronted me I couldn't admit it at first. I was every which way of denial until I couldn't take it anymore. This drug eventually wears you down, strips you of every vestige of dignity and self respect. I fessed up and when he started talking about getting us into a methadone program, I pretty much said yes just to humour him plus he said that as soon as we were on the list, he would be able to help us out and get us from having to buy our dope on the street at ridiculous prices.

I had never actually intended to follow thru with the methadone. The moment we were accepted our doctor wrote us each a prescription for 30 dilaudid a week. It was as if we had hit the jackpot. Between us we had 60 pills that would normally have cost us almost $20 each - quite a savings. He said that he could keep us supplied until we reached a high enough methadone dose that could sustain us on its own. I figured that we would ride this out as long as we could. Looked like it would be at least eight weeks that we could get our prescription and I figured that was long enough for us to get our finances back in order. We would in theory save a lot by not having to buy opiods for a two month period. As it was we were spending about $700/week and that was barely keeping us from getting sick so I knew that we were living on borrowed time if we continued spending at that rate. We were long overdue for a financial break.

But a funny thing happened while we going to methadone. It started working. I stopped grieving for any of the others. I went a day without a hit, then two and then a week. A week turned into a month and then two and three and we were still going. Suddenly two years had passed and I no longer did anything except for my methadone. I didn't even drink anymore. I forgot about heroin and dilaudid and morphine - oxys had yet to make their appearance but that was only a matter of time. The methadone made me so very tired though even if it did seem to work a small miracle. I would start to nod off at the worst possible time something I rarely did while addicted to the others. I needed to stay awake. So before we knew it we were back doing speed but this time we vowed that we would keep our spending under control and we did for a long time. Speed wasn't the same anyway now that we were on meth. Yes, you could kind of feel it but you never felt as if you were way out there. Oh well, it was still better than nothing. And we were spending about half of what we used to spend on the other.

Suddenly twenty seven months had passed. We were starting to get tired of the daily grind of having to grab our methadone. Yes, for the most part normalcy had returned to our lives. We fell into our own little routine. Gone were the hours upon hours dedicated to finding that one hit that would take away the pain. I could go back to work full time, we both could. Methadone gave our life structure once again. My credit card debts were now paid off. We had sold the other two houses and purchased a three story apartment building. Our self confidence and esteem had returned. We didn't want or need methadone any more. It was time to say goodbye. I had two weeks vacation at Christmas 2001 but a week before my vacation started I got a terrible flu. I was down to about 20mg of methadone a day. I felt so sick that I just didn't feel like grabbing my methadone one day and the next and the day after that. I just stopped going and when my flu ended, any withdrawal that I may have been going thru had also ended. It was hard to tell one from the other so I kept telling myself that there was no withdrawal just crappy flu symptoms.

Fast forward three and a half years. I am once again severely dependent on that little yellow pill. Well now it is the little white pill. No more #4s for us, we now need #8s. We are back spending ridiculous amounts of money and are consumed by abject fear whenever we find that we have run out or that none of our dealers is holding. It is no longer pleasant. But what of the intervening three years you ask? Well that is obviously a story for another day...TO BE CONTINUED