There is no good advice

I keep reading advice columns, even though I know it’s going to be terrible advice.
It’s kind of like watching Dr. Phil: it’s annoying, exploitative, and only succeeds in deluding people into believing there is a simple solution, or an “easy fix” to… anything important… but I keep consuming it anyhow, all the while feeling annoyed, and at times even amused at the sheer ridiculousness of some of these things.

No one really has good advice though, do they? Even when they do, we like to have ourselves believe we came to it on our own anyhow. If you’re feeling down, or missing something/someone in particular then you know what will “fix” it (short term). Sometimes people just want someone to bitch to. I tend to not really talk to anyone and then get accused of “isolating” myself. I just know that no one has the right thing to say, and that I need to come to a resolution on my own.

Sadness is uncomfortable. Especially when you are used to chasing it away with drugs and alcohol (more drugs), or at least finding some way to repress it. This is how the same problems in life keep resurfacing, because sadness is uncomfortable so we find a way to cope with it instead of just being uncomfortable for a while.

We jump into new relationships, hook up with our exes, get really, really, drunk, get high, fuck or fight… whatever it is, it’s a way to stifle growth in the end. Drugs are how you find yourself at 21 years old with the emotional capacity of a 14 year old.

Even now, I’m 24, I’ll mark my three years off of heroin in September, I’ve gone through a lot of therapy, but still… my first instinct when faced with emotional turmoil was to kill it with drugs. Logically I know that I need this time, that I spent my addiction in a relationship, and when that ended I dealt with it by getting blackout drunk (and met my good friend alcohol induced psychosis) for four and a half months, and then began a new relationship. I never dealt with those emotions by myself, I dealt with them while I began this relationship… which but a huge strain on things.

My partner didn’t know how to deal with this, so he cheated on me. That destroyed my self esteem and the image I had of him previously. Who was this man? But I felt so miserable without him. I took this as a sign that we should give this another try, and I would change. I did, but then after a few months, finding other small lies on a regular basis, I felt suspicious constantly, he started to drift… didn’t want to touch me anymore, I got angry because I knew he had stopped valuing me. I was resentful, and bitchy often, which I’m sure made matters worse. We didn’t communicate effectively on either side about what we were upset about, but because we loved each other, and because of how fast and hard we fell in love in the beginning we held on. Maybe things could have worked out if I had taken the time I needed either to begin with, or at least when the cheating happened. I believe in forgiveness, especially when it is reasonable. Forgiving mistakes, I am in favor of. God knows I have made more than I can ever hope to atone for. The issue was that I didn’t take time to weigh my options, and make sure I was acting on a balance of logic and emotion and not just one or the other. (Use those DBT skills, right?)

I know what I did wrong, and what not to do in my future relationships. I’m glad I can do that instead of feeling anger and resentment towards him, of course he did things to me that make me feel underappreciated to say the least… but I also know that there is no good that will come out of resentment, or blame. I can only take accountability for my mistakes. That is all I have control over, and the only way I can control my anxiety is to have control over myself.

It is so easy to hate someone, even though it takes a lot of energy. What is truly difficult is to forgive someone, especially someone who may never know that you have forgiven them and that you, too are sorry… to let go, and move on.

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Dealing with a breakup with BPD, & in recovery

I am not afraid to say that I am feeling incomplete.
In fact, I believe it makes me stronger to come to terms with that.
What do I want out of life, ultimately?
I want to help people, help other addicts, and those struggling with their mental illnesses. All I have ever wanted as long as I can remember, was to help people. Something that gives me purpose is making people smile, or remember that they do matter and are important. There is also something deeply frustrating about being unable to help someone.
Or rather that they won’t accept your help.
I want someone to spend the rest of my life with, and I would like to have a family of my own.
I’m not sure what to do with myself.
Something deep inside of me is telling me that this is wrong. That its not worth simply giving up on so easily… I’m finding it difficult to remain patient. I’m afraid.
I am avoiding addictions counselling… not intentionally because usually I can find a legitimate reason to rebook. I do know I am avoiding it though… I know what she’s going to say to me about this situation, and either I disagree or am not ready to hear this.
Dealing with a breakup when you’re in recovery, have BPD and anxiety… it’s a rollercoaster.
I am aware of what is my “shit” and what is me… usually. But it doesn’t make the pain I’m feeling less real. Doesn’t change the fact that when I wake up each morning I feel my heart being wrenched from my chest again.
I don’t know how to deal with this… I’ve always shot up, or even after I quit using heroin I drank myself into alcohol induced psychosis every night for a few months. I was so so tempted to just break my resolve, to just give in and give up these first couple of weeks but something still stopped me. I physically harmed myself… but not to end my life. To calm myself.
I am well aware that that isn’t a healthy coping mechanism. It is a plus that I seem to be losing the extra weight I’ve gained in methadone maintenance treatment now that my dose is coming down. I have been a lot more confident lately, so there’s also that.
I have self esteem.
I know it isn’t difficult to find someone who I find attractive who also finds me attractive. I know that there are many people who wait their entire lives to meet someone who loves with the capacity that I do. That there are people who value a woman who will take care of them, write them little notes, massage their scalp and back until they fall asleep. That there are countless qualities I possess that someone would kill for.
It’s not so much a fear of being unable to find someone else…
I’ve been a bit hesitant to post these feelings on here, because I was concerned this would be read by the subject. I don’t know that that’s very likely though, if someone wanted to know what I was feeling would they not just reach out to me?
Maybe not, people are often not sensible creatures.

I don’t know where to put these feelings.
When my previous relationship ended I was at least still in contact with that person. I had the luxury of knowing that they were doing as okay as could be. Hearing his voice and laugh.
I saw my subject here yesterday… it was surreal. He has been so cold and distant and even at some times cruel over text messages. We only spoke on the phone one time and got into a rather big yelling match and I hung up on him. He seemed almost happy to see me? Maybe that isn’t the right word… but not unhappy. He was looking at me like he used to, he said he would stay to talk if he could (he had a legitimate reason to leave quickly), and was the one who reached to hug first. He held me for a while too.
I don’t believe for one second that he is playing mind games on purpose. I believe is confused and has a lot of pain from now and the past he has to work through.
I know I need to accept the circumstances, and I have accepted them.
I’m not going to beg, or plead. I’m not going to ask someone to feel something they might not feel or make a choice they need time to think on.
I don’t know that it would be a good idea anyhow considering there was a lot that he did that makes me question whether or not he truly loved/loves me or at least respected me.
I also know that people make mistakes. I have made mistakes. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life away from the people who I’ve hurt or else I wouldn’t have a family anymore.
It doesn’t matter at this point that I forgive. That I am working on changing the things about myself that need to be changed because, if someone doesn’t want it to work out then it won’t. You’re consigning yourself to a failed relationship when you have that belief. You leave no room for forgiveness or companionship if you doubt it.
It is a strange sort of depression.
Maybe depression isn’t the right word… I feel empty and incomplete.
I feel like I’m going through the psychological withdrawals of quitting opiate drugs again.
I don’t know what to do with myself anymore, or how to handle the intense emotions that come up. I can’t even take the medication I used to take for panic attacks because of how it interacts with methadone.
No one’s company warms me enough.
Nothing really quite distracts me.
I am trying, and I’m taking care of myself. I’m doing my school work, I’m going to yoga a lot and working my ass of to get to my goal weight now that it’s finally dropping. I’m looking forward to starting college in September, I’m looking forward to being 100% off of methadone. I’m taking myself out to get pretty dresses and pretty underwear. I am taking care of myself and I don’t feel lonely, because being with people doesn’t make it better.
I don’t know what to think or how to feel.
I would like to start feeling better, I just don’t know how.
Everyone keeps offering unsolicited advice. People don’t know how else to react when you’re upset, especially for a prolonged time. Strangers, acquaintances, friends and loved ones alike are all offering advice that I simply don’t want.
From a taxi driver to the closest of close. I don’t like to bring this up, but when people ask how your boyfriend is doing… you feel you have to say something sometimes. Whether or not the advice is “I didn’t like him for you,” or “It’s for the best,” or “He’ll come around, don’t worry,” or “He doesn’t deserve you anyhow!”
I know you’re just trying to help. But how about “I want you to be happy,”
That is a nice sentiment, because if I want your advice I will ask for it. What I really want is to work this out for myself and make my own choices and have my own space to do so. I might feel differently in a few weeks but the first few have me feeling this way.

Irrationality

Nothing hurts quite like the person you love rejecting you.
Often when things come to a breaking point, I am filled with regret, confusion, anger and fear. I am overwhelmed by this mixture of emotions…

Even if it was for the best.

I keep telling myself that I am sure, and that I’ve made a huge mistake… but perhaps I am fooling myself. I know I am allowing myself to act on my emotions. I don’t want to act on emotion alone, or on only logic.. there has to be a middle ground. What my DBT group referred to as “clear mind.”

I have been thinking for months that I probably need time to “find myself” and that perhaps I shouldn’t date someone younger than me… or at least someone with a high level of emotional immaturity. Doubting myself. But still feeling like I didn’t want to leave…

Love is a funny thing.

I keep trying to meet up with my now “ex” in order to get the things off of my chest I need to say, to explain in order to feel like I’ve had some sort of closure. But he seems just as confused as I do, and I know with men that they can need quite a bit more time to separate their wants, needs and feelings from their anger. They often let it consume them and cannot think through the anger. Especially if you don’t give them quite a bit of space…

I know, logically that the wise thing to do is wait.

Perhaps in a few weeks I will feel a lot better about this. I do think that regardless, whether this lasts a few months, a few years or if it simply isn’t meant to be that this is what’s best for me right now.

No excuses as to why, just because I need to build myself back up to where I need to be. Rebuild my self confidence, and assurance. Stop looking for signs that everything will somehow be okay and just believe that it will be.

I get angry because I feel like I am somehow being wronged because he just needs some space. I want him to get his things, and have our conversation so I can just get this over with and not have to worry about it anymore… but my impatience will be my downfall. If I want to try to leave things on better terms, I need to wait.

Patience.

There is no magic number of days, weeks or months. I will know when its been enough time to have a rational conversation. (If I even want to have that conversation anymore by then…) I need to know that I won’t burst into tears, and he needs enough time to calm down if I want him to be able to really hear what I’m saying.

“I’ve been wallowing in my own chaotic, insecure delusions.”

I know what I am doing.
I don’t believe I’m being rational or fair for a second, and I realize I am not myself right now, and that I haven’t been myself for a little while now… I have felt rather lost- and unsure why. I felt like this had just made things worse, and I have been focusing on every little mistake I made and resenting myself for it.

I know how crazy I sound when I get upset, see what I’m doing and then apologize shortly after. I realize it would have been better to just wait. Send 50 text messages attempting to voice my rapid, anxious, frustrated and depressed thoughts.

I mark dates in my calendar, saying don’t send any texts for 30 days. Be reasonable.

Then something highly irrational in me takes over…
Its incredibly frustrating, being so aware of the fact that I am the cause of my own problems and continuing to make them worse.

Perhaps this is why I had been so tempted to relapse early on in this… It can be so tempting, knowing it is a way to stifle your emotional side… that I probably could mostly forget about this if I were sedated enough.

I don’t know what it is.

The addict inside of me, this monster that we call “illness”… it is still very much alive. Very hungry. Ravenous, and shaking with rage, waiting to break out of its prison. Sometimes. Other times it sleeps, but it never dies. It whispers in my ear when I’m down. It tells me just how pathetic I really am. It says, no one will ever love you, because you just won’t let them. You are a burden on all of those around you, when you let them in, they will leave you.

I begin to believe people are just better off without me.

But somehow, something still stops me.
I will be shaking, irrational, angry, miserable, and so in need of some inner quiet… but something stops me. Sometimes its not good how I try to stop myself, I burden others further. I tell someone what I am thinking of doing… in this case I began to essentially harass my former lover.

What the fuck am I thinking here?

I am not intending to emotionally extort him, but that is what I am doing.
I want to be talked off that ledge… but I am burdening someone with something they don’t know how to handle.

This obviously isn’t fair to him.

As addicts, as those who suffer with mental illness, anxiety, BPD, depression, or whatever it is… we have to remember that just because people who we love don’t, or can’t handle our baggage on top of theirs doesn’t mean they don’t love us back… they just aren’t as strong as you and I are perhaps. Because of what we have survived. They don’t know what to do with the feelings we present them with. They feel afraid, and then angry because the thought of us doing these things makes them upset. Then because of this they become overwhelmed and lash out… or ignore it. It is not a product of carelessness, but simply they have reached their emotional capacity.

Something some of us find unfathomable because we have such a large emotional scale, but we cannot compare ourselves to others. My life and emotions are not a blueprint for anyone else’s life.

I also have to remember in these instances, heartbreak, dealing with my addiction almost three years off of opiates… dealing with my mental “illness”, etc. that I cannot change anyone else, only myself.

Getting Better all the Time

I haven’t really been doing so well I guess… I wanted to relapse, to hurt myself. I couldn’t stop crying, constantly, my neck was always leakng… (it does that when I cry, and for you googlers no, it isn’t a cyst, its just a tear duct that didn’t close at birth).

Things came to a sort of a head yesterday.
I woke up, feeling the worst I had felt so far this past week and a bit.
I cried for so long, and had a complete and utter breakdown. I began writing a suicide note, unsure if I would go through with it but I didn’t want to go without an explanation.

I knew I was acting repulsive, and that all I was succeeding in achieving was exactly what I feared the most in that moment. I was just pushing people away further insead of being patient, kind, and loving. These are things I should do best, things I take pride in and I need to use these things to my advantage.

I will never get what, or where I want by wallowing in misery. I may not enjoy a circumstance, but if the outcome I desire is important I need to be patient but also know when its time to move on.

These intense feelings of sadness, berayal, rejection, and the fear of uncertainty get me so caught up in the moment that I forget about the bigger picture.

I forget that this is merely an opportunity to build myself up into someone better and stronger. It doesn’t mean I feel okay in the slightest, but that doesn’t mean its time to give up and give in.

People need time to miss you, and if you never give them the opportunity it means they will always see you in a negative light. Smothering people when they just need space just makes the problem bigger than it has to be.

Logically, I know this.
I let my emotions cloud my judgement completely.

I will likely wite many more depressing blogs, but as a tool for healing. To get those ugly thoughts out of my head. So I don’t sit there, overwhelmed by my pain degrading myself, driving myself so far down that I can’t see the light anymore.

Perhaps it was me who lost sight of my good qualities… rather than wallow in self-pity I have decided to stay active, keep going to yoga, eat healthy, always look fantastic, get out, and drink lots of green tea.

Can’t think of a title

Sometimes I just want to give up.

Stop fighting and being accountable. Fuck my responsibilities. Just give up and give in. Because what is stopping me when I’m feeling this way? Judgement. Anger. Disappointment.

No one trusting me again.

It mostly has to do with the reactions of others… how is that a good enough reason? That just makes me want to keep it all to myself. So what if I end up relapsing? So. What. ???

What changes? The irrational, NA-minded fears that if you poke a toe into the rabbit hole, down you’ll go face first? That somehow, if I grab a couple of pills, or heroin to shoot that I will wake up tomorrow, 100lbs soaking wet, life/limb threatening abscesses and infections, waking up in withdrawal, dopesick. That everything I’ve done up to this point will be for nothing?

Is that right?

What if I did it… and I just didn’t tell anyone? Did it alone, where no one would see me or perceive a difference in my demeanor… and eventually sleep it off. Wake up sober, continue life as normal? Do so strategically so that I don’t have to worry about it affecting my results on my weekly drug test? Calculated… Spiteful, fearful, hateful, pitiful and pathetically sad… but well thought out. You couldn’t call it irrational… a mistake.

What then?

 

I’ve gotten to a point inside at the moment where I feel like everyone either just doesn’t want me around somewhere inside of them, that they’ve abandoned me or that they will. That everyone gives up on me eventually, and if they don’t realize that they’d be happier without me, they will.

Perhaps I am what is toxic.
Perhaps that’s why I am so drawn to drugs, and how they silenced my rampant thoughts.

I begin to wonder, if, perhaps everyone is just better off without me?

Food tastes like ash.
Music doesn’t make me feel anything.
No matter what I do I can’t bring myself to want to be around people, or to truly smile.
I can’t feel anything in my heart today… I feel empty.

What sort of good could I do for anyone like this?

I begin to think ugly, ugly thoughts like these. Plan a way to at the very least hurt myself in some way. Anything to numb this.

I find even in my recovery when it gets bad that I’ve resorted to cutting myself a few times. I have come so far but there is still a lot of work to be done… I feel like maybe I’m destined to be alone. That the degree of intensity to which I love, hurt, feel and fear is just too much for anyone. It’s too much for me sometimes, how could anyone else want to live with this? Especially when I struggle to.

People promise not to give up on you. To be there but they don’t realize just what they’re promising. It still crushes me anyhow… I want to believe it, but something in me never does. I am always so disappointed to be right when it happens again.

As I said, most people give up on me.
It just goes with the territory.

Please don’t go calling 911 or something to those reading… I just want to give you an honest look into what my depression can feel like.

If I was on my way to buy drugs, or about to kill myself I wouldn’t tell you first.

I Don’t Feel Clean

I keep listening to the same Gordon Lightfoot song repeatedly. Sundown. Some of the lyris are very me, sometimes I think it’s a shame when I get feelin’ better when I’m feelin’ no pain.

I feel like I never react the way I expect myself to.
Two years of hurting, wondering where the hell you went and why you could leave me so easily. When Eddie died you were no where to be found. I felt lost, and only a few weeks ago did I begin to fully realize just how lost I have been feeling.

I suppose I never once believed I would reject you, should you decide to return.

You know you’ve been in my dreams?

When you spoke to me finally… all of the pain I had been feeling just became so insignificant compared to the immense amount of relief I felt.

I was just too happy to feel angry.

I think you know I could never feel angry with you.

Perhaps I love you too much.

I suppose the only resentment I feel these days is at myself anyhow.

Not to say I don’t know I’ve accomplished something great. I’m almost three years in now, and I am still figuring out how to live again now that I have risen from my proverbial ashes.

I am really loving the responses I’ve been getting to this blog… so if you have been reading and have felt like reaching out please don’t hesitate. I think you will find that I’m extremely approachable. 🙂

It’s a bit strange being in ‘recovery’ and being relatively open about it. Half of the time people think you’re made of glass, and that you will relapse at the drop of a hat. People don’t believe you can do certain things, even if they are noble, because they will be ‘triggering.’

They tell you in treatment programs that essentially you are made of glass… because you cannot ever forget what you are. Because, if you do then history is doomed for repetition.

To paint a picture of recovery, you are slitting your wrists, heart, and throat open and bleeding profusely all over the place. Except, it never kills you. You just have to find a way to bandage it and keep on truckin’.

Some people are afriad to speak with you, some people look down on you, some people look up to you, and some just look sideways. Rarely though, do they look directly at you. Sometimes, people try to relate to you and end up making well-intentioned-asses of themelves. Some believe that they can never measure up because their addiction just wasn’t ‘as bad’.

Let me take you through a day in my life when I was lets say 20.

I would wake up.

If I’m lucky, I still have a hit saved for morning. So by this time I had learned if your heroin was relatively pure that you didn’t need to cook it. Just mix it up in saline and draw through a cotton swab into a needle. The stuff I liked best was a brown colour… I have never had access to black tar.

I would do my last hit and then it was time to figure out how to make $360 so I could get through the day. Now, at this point me, the type 1 diabetic did some heroin before I would even eat breakfast… I had a garbage can next to where I did my shots because I usually dry heaved for awhile afterwards. I also don’t have great veins to begin with, and I am prone to dehyration so before I found my femoral veins it was quite the task. I would sit for hours sometimes, stabbing, stabbing, stabbing and bleeding everywhere. Sometimes I would get too frustrated, too impatient and too afraid of the shot coagulating with blood (which is the worst) that I would just inject it into a bubble under my skin. Not caring that I had ‘missed’ because at least it was still getting in somehow.

As there was some bad stuff going around for awhile, I had quite a lot of nasty infections as I have mentioned previously. Abscesses the size of baseballs in my wrists, hot to the touch and bright red. The drainage, when it finally happened, was something to beheld.

I knew how to take care of them, there are amazing street nurses out there who have a rather thankless job most of the time. You guys save lives. I used to sit with a nurse named Isabelle at the Urban Core needle exchange. I often used our little talks as a front for my mom to drop me off there but those talks made the day a bit more bearable.

In any case, back to finding cash.
I stole from my parents often, but I would attempt everything else first. I would ask for money, manipulate into getting it. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not. If I couln’t get money from someone I would begin collecting up whatever I could find. I started with jewelry, moved onto movies and collectible items like my grandpa’s old penny collection.

I would eventually, somehow always make enough money. Usually I would be sick in the mornings so that would be added incentive.. if I couldn’t find enough stuff to sell I would sell prescriptions, I had quite a thing going with that for awhile actually. I had even forged a cheque in my mothers name and took it into a money mart. I used her cellphone to call the money mart later to tell them it was fine to cash the cheque. Money mart is a 24 hour establishmet.

I knew they would send a copy of the cheque to the bank, I knew I would get caught and possibly kicked out but I would deal with that later because my first priority was making this dopesickness disappear.

By the end I really only had one dealer I trusted. The only other guy with good smack was from Milton. That is an eighty dollar taxi each way, and you can bet that was a fun conversation when it showed up on our taxi bill.

I hated to shoot up outside or in public washrooms. Everyone always thought that because I bought a lot of drugs that- that meant somehow they were entitled to them and it was rude of me to do them without sharing.

Well, everyone except for Eddie, Echo or Eric. I am not just tooting their horn because they’re gone, but they never expected anything from me. Which made me want to share with them even more.. as sick as that may sound to you.

We were sick though.

Towards the end though, I usually wanted to be alone or sometimes I would go visit Eddie at her apartment. Echo and Eric were both already gone by then. Sometimes Alex would be there using the shower. But the best times were when we could just be alone and chat.

Most days when I would finally score though, as sometimes it took hours of wandering, perhaps getting ripped off, robbed or just having shit luck. Spending time with a lot of people who just wanted to use you.

By the end of it all I just wanted to go home. To be alone with my drugs. Or sometimes I would go spend time with Robbie. He was one of my only friends for awhile too. Hes as old as my father, but he always treated me with respect and protected me. He is a good man, I don’t know if hes still alive but I hope so. I would still visit him today.

I would often go home, lock myself in my bedroom or the bathroom and run the shower or the tap. Do my drugs, sometimes very quickly, I had no self control.

In 2014 the shots of heroin I was doing had a half gram to a full gram in each hit. Which at the time was $120-$240 a pop.

Today I still lay awake at night often, as my guilt eats me alive- and I know that I deserve every second of it.

And when I think about the friends I have lost… I often think of Jackie my addictions counsellor who tells me that I am here for a reason.

While I appreciate the sentiment… tell that to Shari, Gisele and Carrie. My friend’s respective mothers… is there a reason their children aren’t here?

She doesn’t mean it like that, and doesn’t look at it the same way I do. That woman has done a lot of good for me and many, many others. I suppose the only point I am trying to get across is that there is literally nothing that can be said. No words of reassurance or comfort when a life has been taken so early and senselessly.

It forever changes all of those affected.

The worst part is, in that world… the ‘drug world’ it is just so common. Everyone is dead, sick or in jail. Or they get clean, but sadly those tend to be far and few. I could never really picture my life without it to be honest. I still cannot wrap my mind around how much things have changed and that -that was truly my life.

and I spent seven years with my mind put to sleep. Going nowhere and drowning in a pit of my own dispair.

I have spent the past two years and eight months in sensory overload. I spent the summer of 2015 drinking myself into alcohol induced psychosis. I got blackout drunk every single day that summer, which is why I said before that I had replaced heroin with alcohol. I removed myself so far from reality… alcohol is one hell of a drug.

Heroin just made the pain okay. It made my head shut up, just for a second but it was quiet.

First World Problems

My internet is down.
So I cannot use the web to write…
Pen and paper for now.
The only problem is my hands move slower than my mind.
But I’m using my data.. listening to music that sets my soul on fire.
The only way to get this all out is to let myself bleed one way or another…
I’m cold and I’m shaking… is this normal?
I get goosebumps from extreme emotions.
I can get annoyed very easily, as if every sound is too loud and each light too bright. I hate when I get like this because I know that there is something there that I am not “dealing with”. That is what recovery is, “dealing with it.” Except it never ends.
Sometimes I just want to be alone with my dog.

Except when I get the opportunity, I feel afraid and abandoned.
I ask to be left alone, and then when I am I cry.
But then I find comfort in it.
Have you ever listened to a voice that sends chills down your spine?
That helps you to find solace in a vast emptiness?
Sometimes I don’t even make sense to myself… I know what I’m trying to convey but the words come out jumbled.
I scare myself sometimes…
Picturing my suicide, or slowly pushing down on that plunger and watching the blood in the needle disappear back into my veins.
When I think like this, I am thinking heroin.
Although I enjoyed pills more than heroin, before my tolerance became too high… heroin feels more destructive.
Yes it’ll be three years in a few more months… but it never truly goes away. It can be a little underwhelming, the farther you go the more people think that its safe to snort coke in front of you, do pills, even shoot heroin.
Because you’re clean now.
So you can’t be an addict anymore.

Sometimes I wish I had the capacity to be cold.

It would make making decisions that are for the greater good of my wellbeing a lot easier.
Alas.
People used to always tell me that I “didn’t seem the type” to shoot heroin.
Unless you knew me, then you knew that I was exactly the type.
Am exactly the type.
And yes, before you ask.
I. Am. Fine.
I need to put this shit somewhere, I have just recently decided to start sharing it with you.
Yes, you.
Whoever you are, reading this, whether you’re an addict or not.
I miss James. I used to feel like he was the only person who got me, and in a lot of ways he is.
But he isn’t coming back. I keep getting weird messages like he used to do… but I don’t know. It could be anyone I suppose.
But I could really use his presence right about now. I miss just driving and listening to music.
I have a really difficult time trusting people. I guess now is as good a time to explain why I’m so messed up in the best way I can…
When I was seven I was molested by a close family member. Over a period of time.. not sure exactly how long. But it was a while. I wasn’t sure what was going on, and I would use defensive and coping tactics to get through the situation.. and then afterward I would always curl up into a ball and cry.
But I didn’t know why I was crying.
We are taught to listen to our elders, and that when they watch us that they know what is best for us, so do what he says.
My dad eventually found out, and the abuse stopped and was dealt with.
This was how I learned that the mind is a powerful, powerful thing.
I forgot.
Or rather, “blocked out” these memories. For three and a half years until I was up north the summer after grade five. I have no idea what triggered the memory, but I remember exactly what I was doing. I was sitting at the edge of the dock, wondering if there were giant dock spiders underneath me. I put my feet in the water, I looked down and suddenly I. remembered. Everything.
Well, I remembered the last time that it happened.
I remembered my dad finding me, curled up with no pants or panties on and crying.
He knocked before that, asked what was going on.

He told me to say we were hugging. I said we were hugging.
When dad found me, he said “you weren’t hugging were you?”

I got up, I asked my sister if it was true… she just began to cry.
So I walked up to my parents, and I asked them. They said, yes. It happened.

I started to cut myself the next month.

I have forgiven this family member. That’s all you need to know.

A bunch of mushroom trips helped me to remember the rest of what happened, showers, sleepovers, everything.
When I was ages 12-14 another family member molested me. Her mother walked in once, turned around and didn’t say a word. I mentioned it once, one of the many times I was in EPT (emergency psychiatric treatment) and was told I could identify this person, or they would read every journal, go through my room, my computer, etc. in hopes they would find out since I was a minor.
So I told them, and I had to make a statement to the police. I could choose to press charges, or send them to therapy. I chose therapy.
You can bet that was fun, being interviewed in that cold police room. When I think back I am above the room looking below.. rather than seeing it from my own eyes.
Then when I was sixteen I was raped.
It was awful.
I went to this guy’s house with a friend and a guy she liked. He lived with his mother. It was around the time I had first come to realize I had a drug problem. I had vowed to stay away from opiates. We went upstairs, I had a few drinks, not too many, I knew what was going on. I was going to leave, then the guy took out some oxys. Weak ones, but oxys.
I decided to stay.
Later on, my friend began to make out with her date.
The guy, began to shut the lights off, and move things around so that the only place for me to sit was on the bed.
I had never been with a guy before.
He started to kiss me.
I grew uncomfortable, and I kept asking him to stop and he kept saying “shhh” while he pulled my tights off. He ripped them down the middle.
He began to push me down, I said no,
He continued to push me down, I said no, he said it was “already in” and I said no.
He asked why.
I stammered out a few reasons, one of which being that he wasn’t protected.
He got up and left the room, I thought it was over so I began to get up and get ready.
He came back, he said he had a condom now.
He pushed me on the bed, I said no again so he flipped me over and held me down.
He stuck it in my ass.
I said no, and I began to cry so he put a pillow over my head.
He kept saying, “it’s okay. It’s okay.”
The entire time my friend was maybe six feet away.
When it was over, I got my stuff and got out of there.
He followed me, I knew I was near the general hospital so I began to go there. He kept trying to hold my hand, I could feel blood running down my legs and when he saw me walking into the hospital he ran.
They gave me a warm blanket and told me I had to go to McMaster where the sexual assault clinic was. My friend’s mom was there first, she gave me a hug.
My mom came to get me and took me to Mac. It was probably about 1 or 2 in the morning by this time.
They gave me another blanket, asked if I wanted to press charges, but I didn’t remember the address, I didn’t know his last name… I said no. For the next month I took horse pill sized antibiotics that were supposed to fight against getting an STI. I had to come back every week for the next pack of antibiotics, and you had to take three different kinds. They made me very sick, and made the world very hazy. I was given a plan B and told to come back every 6 months for HIV testing.
My dad also didn’t really understand how to help me for a long, long time. Basically until I was already in recovery, but he has learned now and we have a great relationship. We get breakfast every Friday before I go to the methadone clinic.
I became homeless a month or two after the rape occurred.
Shortly after I moved into an apartment I started doing morphine again.
Then I began to inject.
Then I switched to hydromorphone.
Then my friends began to die.
Then I switched to heroin.
But now I am here, “clean” since September 23 2014.
There is still a lot to tell, but my mind is overwhelmed right now.

I Can’t Feel Guilty Enough

Yesterday I went to yoga in Sauble Beach. I slept maybe 4 hours the night before and got up early so I could make it and as I was laying in savasana at the end of the class I felt good. Sometimes, that still makes me feel guilty.
I don’t know why, I don’t know if its something about being an addict in recovery, about a past of self harm, or simply a product of survivors guilt. Why can’t you be here feeling good with me?  
Yoga isn’t what inspired me to clean up, but I believe it is one of the things that help to keep me “clean.”
As I mentioned before… I cannot pinpoint what “clicked” inside of me but I can say what happened leading up to it.
The first thing I think of is the DKA episode. (I will also disclaim here that I am sure while I chronicling the things I went through and survived that I am sure I’ll repeat myself a few times.) My dealers had run out of heroin, and my tolerance at the time was such that pills wouldn’t do anymore.. I was always insisting that I would (at some point) go through my withdrawals “on my own” (without medical assistance, and certainly without methadone (I was determined of that)… So as a heroin addicted type one diabetic, I got sick. I couldn’t get out of bed, the days and hours began to blur and I couldn’t stop vomiting. I was so thirsty. I just kept thinking “water.” My boyfriend at the time, my mom, they kept coming to my room and asking me to please go to the ER. But like I said before, I detest the hospital. I began vomiting what looked like coffee grounds sometimes, or a black sludge. But before that I was vomiting bile… Later on I learned that was blood and stomach lining. I had chemical burns in my throat from the stomach acid coming up and I still wouldn’t go to the hospital.
Eventually, I couldn’t breathe properly anymore. I was hyperventilating and I couldn’t stop. I later learned this is called kussmaul breathing. I didn’t want to go to the hospital, this was at a time when I would lance and drain my own baseball-sized abscesses in my arms, and even perform my own debriding instead of going to the hospital.
But there comes a point when survival instinct kicks in, I finally listened to my mother. I knew before I was told that I was dying. It felt like dying.
My veins were, and still are incredibly damaged and scarred from the damage and abuse I have inflicted upon them and myself. I was also profoundly dehydrated so there was no chance in hell of finding a standard vein for an IV. My life depended on that IV so they had to try unconventional spots. They started with the jugular vein, I barely remember this but I remember they were using an ultrasound to look for veins. My mom told me I just silently lay there and let them stab my neck over and over again until eventually I quietly said “I think I’ve had enough now.”
They ended up using my femoral vein, right next to the femoral artery on the groin area. Unfortunately it provided me a map to a brand new vein when I left the hospital… I am lucky to still have all of my limbs. I am blessed.
A nurse named Nina treated me like garbage until my mother got there. She degraded me, insulted me and humiliated me. I was otherwise treated well by the staff at juravinski. (Henderson)
I was there a day or two, and when I was stabilized and out of diabetic keto acidosis.. I had a stern talking to from the doctor.. they told me they were sure I was going to die and that I must have a guardian angel or something.
I called my heroin dealer, he had picked up.
I was supposed to wait fifteen minutes with pressure on my femoral vein laying down when they took the IV out. I waited eleven minutes and left.
When I got to my dealer’s apartment building, and got out of the elevator I could hear my shoes squishing. I looked down and the entire right side of my pants were soaked in blood.
I kept walking and tore necrotic skin out of my left arm that looks like a crater still today.
I picked up a gram and went home.
There was some “bad” heroin going around in the summer of 2014 that killed a lot of people in Hamilton and Toronto. When I got home I did a hit and I had my first of multiple seizures. I had no idea that was what happened at the time, I had thought I fainted from blood loss.
I continued having seizures. I would be sitting on the toilet to access my femoral vein and then I would regain consciousness 20 minutes later across the room.
After many hospital visits later… including a trip to Toronto to CAMh emerge (my stealing from my parents had come to a breaking point- more about that another time -and my option was go to CAMh or get out), where they refused to admit me to medical detox on an emergency basis… even though my withdrawals were life threatening. I finally agreed to begin methadone treatment. I realized that if I went to medical detox they would put me on methadone, if I went to rehab they would put me on methadone… or I could try to stay home and just go to a local clinic from the beginning instead of transferring to one out of a treatment centre.
When someone begins MMT (methadone maintenance therapy) they put them up as high as they safely can (depending on how much the patient is “using”) and from there you can go up by 5mg or less, two times a week maximum. So, most patients continue to use their DOC (drug of choice) until they are on a “therapeutic” dose, or one that is high enough to treat their withdrawals and not so high is makes them sleepy. Methadone does not “get you high”, at least not the kind you get from a clinic. It is an opioid analgesic, so it reacts with the same receptors in the brain but does not have the same affect.
After I started methadone I had at least a couple more seizures… the last seizure I had when I finally found out that I wasn’t just “passing out” I believe was in July of 2014. I started treatment in June and my date that I quit on was September 23, 2014. I was in the downstairs bathroom, Cam just got home and knocked on the door because he knew what I was doing and wanted me to come out. I told him I’d be out in a minute. I had a loaded needle, my pants were down and I was leaning back on the toilet to access that vein… I took the shot, put the needle in the drawer and my eyes started to dart back and forth… it felt like they were bouncing. That is the last thing I remember until I woke up with my dad, leaning over me, wearing only his underwear. He just kept saying “Katie? Katie, you had a seizure and the aambulance is on its way.” I felt scared. Scared and very confused. My dad kept asking me questions to see if I was coherent… “What is your name?” “What is your address?” “When is your birthday?” and “Who is your methadone doctor?” I answered them all, slowly but correctly. Me being me said I wasn’t going to the hospital… but they said I had been unconscious for more than five minutes and I had to have a CT scan to make sure I didn’t have brain damage.
Although I didn’t suffer any brain damage, I have now broke my jaw, I had an abscess in my jaw, I have now lost four teeth (over the course of two and a half years), and I just had a reconstructive bone graft because of that seizure.
I still kept using after that for another couple of months…
I still don’t know what it was exactly… but as my dose got closer and closer to where it needed to be I would spend a day here and there sober for the first time in years. Sober without intense physical suffering. The mental suffering still had to be addressed, and it was very difficult to sleep. Most nights, much to the protest of my longtime boyfriend at that time I slept on the couch because it took so long, and I would just take naps.
Maybe I was thinking more clearly without so much heroin in my system?
I have no idea… but on September 22nd 2014 I took a taxi to Burlington to meet my dealers at a motel. There were police across the street, but I had long learned to not act suspicious so I waited. His girlfiend got there, got in my cab and yelled at me awhile about waiting outside. This woman was awful to me all of the time, she would send me angry messages, whenever her boyfriend was in jail she had “ripped me off” (robbed me). She threw the bag at me, grabbed my money and told me to “get the fuck out of there.”
On the ride home I thought about all of the bullshit I had to go through every day to pick up. Now that I wasn’t feeling so powerless and deranged from withdrawal, it just didn’t seem worth it anymore. I was sick of it.
That night I burned my bridges with all of my drug connections, and changed my phone number… and I have never bought heroin again since.
After having gone through seven years of countless needle exchange visits, countless drug dealers, thousands upon thousands upon thousands of dollars… maybe more I have no idea other than the fact that at one point it was $360 a day. Countless infections, necrosis and pus filled abscesses, dopesickness, septicemia, having my friends die, stealing from my family,  selling all of my stuff, countless other things that I haven’t mentioned… I hated who I had become… I was done.
So, sometimes I feel guilty for not being guilty enough I guess…

Today I am still a hermit, but I go to school, and yoga, and I hang out with my dog. Thats kind of it… and additions counselling and I am weaning off of my methadone with my doctor. I really didn’t want to go on methadone, and I have gained a lot of weight on it… but I needed help. I am certainly a proponent for MMT. It’s just not something I want long-term. Its like the ideal of a good welare system, to use it to get you on your feet again, not for the rest of your life. (I am not talking about ODSP, I am signing up for ODSP benefits for health coverage.)

I have been accepted into social service work for September… so believe me when I say that if I can turn things around, so can you 🙂

This isn’t pretty

I’m shaking.

Brittany told me that I need to write it all down.

I think she may be right, and I’m going to try to start doing that.

What got me going on another tangent of traumatic memories was how my body began to fail in the end.
I nearly died three times. Twice while I was still “using” and once in the beginning of my treatment.

I had pus filled abscesses that were the size of baseballs. I nearly lost my arm, my hand… I even had an abscess on my femoral vein once.

It’s not a contest, but a race.
Who can die the quickest?

  1. 20. 22. Were the respective ages of the people I love who are now gone.

I did my own debriding when my hand was literally dying, starting with my thumb. This is when you remove the necrotic skin with a scalpel until you get to a layer of skin that is alive. I did this myself to avoid the hospital. I hated the hospital more than I hate going now, and I still hate it. But when you’re a heroin addict in the hospital, the nurses tell you if you wet yourself again you can lay in it for the rest of the day. And you can shit in a bucket if you have to go.

I hate the hospital because I am always treated like a prisoner instead of a patient with freedoms and rights.
I hate the hospital, because when people have absolute authority over other people they tend to show their true colours. It can be ugly.
I hate the hospital because every time I stay in the ICU I hear elderly people completely overwhelmed by senility, screaming. It is a scream like nothing else I have ever heard.
I hate the hospital because my father sent me there every time he felt he had lost control of me.
Which was often.

I began to cry tonight while I reminisced what I had experienced with my parents. I’m at our cottage right now, and I burst into tears because I thought about my pharmacist from my methadone clinic wrapping and cleaning my disgusting hand. Every damn day. Thinking about when Meg Meg came to look after me while I tried to quit, but I always gave in when I’d start getting really sick. But she’d still stay with me, and we’d try again. Thinking about the way Cam would make me soup when I was sick, even though he hated what I did to myself he still took care of me.
I continued to cry because I thought about Eddie, and Echo and Eric, and just felt overwhelmed by loss. Not because it could have so easily been me, but because it just isn’t right that they can’t be here now. It’s just that simple.

I haven’t written really, in so long because I always felt like my words were never beautiful enough.
I have come to realize that beauty has nothing to do with it.
Sometimes the ugliest words are the most relatable.

I write because I am overwhelmed.
I write because I have to put it somewhere and I can’t just turn my brain off with heroin anymore.

There is some unwritten rule that if you tell a story, start from the beginning.
Well I’ll tell you, that isn’t how my head works.
Mine is all over the place, and that’s how I’ll tell my story.

Because, it is mine to tell, isn’t it?

I don’t really know where to begin even…

I have always found pleasure in hurting myself as long as I can remember.
Cutting, drinking, snorting, then injecting.
And when you become accustomed to instant gratification, nothing else will do.

And somehow even in my recovery I managed to push away the one I love.
Because I just didn’t know how to deal with life without fucking it up completely.
Though we were always fighting…
Maybe it was for the best but that wound still feels fresh some days.
It’s not like I’m never happy, because I am. I find joy in life every day, but there is something inside of me that is just melancholy.
It’s difficult not to feel regret about something that ended in such an ugly way.

My best friend hasn’t spoken to me in close to two years.
I still don’t know why.

But I have two lovely friends I made at school this year. Girls too, I can never trust other girls. At least, I find it difficult.
I have friends in general that I don’t feel like I’m dragging down, or vice versa.
I have a dog, though I don’t know how I’ll live without her one day.

I don’t know how to tell people to help their friends and families suffering with addiction because it is all up to the sufferer to figure out their way to end their personal suffering.

You can’t force someone into rehab, to quit.
All they will do is find a better way to lie. Believe me, I would know.

All of the gifts, and “sorry’s” can never make up for what I’ve done, but I have accepted that.

Vomiting up my stomach lining, chemical burns in my throat from stomach acid due to DKA from just trying to suffer withdrawal had me on death’s doorstep… No amount seizures, rotting wounds, septicemia, giant abscesses or the people I love dying was enough to “wake me up.”

How can you expect a person to reason in such a state of mind?
Anything, anything is better than being dopesick.

All I can tell you to do is wait and hope they’ll see reason.

Because, really one day it just clicked that I was fucking sick of this shit.
And I was never, never going back.

But getting clean is no picnic.
Its adjustment, learning how to sleep again, learning how to feel again, and everything hurts.
Like hell.

It’s group therapy after group therapy trying to find yourself.
Drinking yourself into oblivion every day until you realize you’ve replaced heroin with alcohol.

It’s eight months of intensive DBT that felt like a chore every single week.
But looking back on it, it’s one of the best things I have ever done for myself.
Because, the one thing Dr. Phil is right about is that your emotional development arrests in active addiction and this therapy taught me how to deal with life. Let me tell you while I’m at it, that I am not a functional addict. I am the -my room becomes a pile of needles and mould kind of addict. The falls asleep in her own puke kind of addict. Stops eating, brushing her teeth regularly, or putting any effort into her appearance kind of addict. Never doing my makeup, even though it’s always just been because I find it enjoyable.
But life stops being enjoyable when life is one fix to the next. I stopped writing, playing piano, singing and playing guitar. I stopped going to school. Eventually I stopped seeing people for the most part too, I just wanted to be alone with my drugs; because whenever I spent time with people, they just wanted my drugs. Not understanding what I had to get through to get them, and sometimes I just got ripped off anyhow. Then I had to find money again.
By the end, I managed somehow to get $360 a day for my gram and a half I needed to keep me from getting sick.

I’m the steals from her family kind of addict.
Manipulates the people she loves kind of addict.
and it wasn’t just the drugs, it was what I let the drugs turn me into.

But what made me cry tonight was the people who took care of me when I needed them, despite everything I had done.

I am still not the type who likes to accept help.
But I now know how to recognize when I have no choice.

Unfortunately, it often still has to get to that point before I will ask.

I started doing drugs when I was fourteen.
One day I tried morphine, and I rode that train all week.
I couldn’t get enough.
I rode the bus when I ran out, I was going to go to school and the whole place started spinning.
I screamed until the driver let me off the bus, and then I cried.

And bought more pills.
When I realized I had a problem I quit for a while, spent some time in the psych ward when I was seventeen.
Echo came to see me.
I ran when I saw her, I’d been phoning her every day from the call room on the ward.

We smoked a joint with blueberry papers outside.
I got my first off ward that day.

When they let me leave the ward for a couple of hours, testing to see if I could leave… I showed up at her apartment in my slippers with my teddy bear.

Eric used to stay over until 3 am listening to radio shows with me, and listening to vinyls.

And Eddie… I loved her more than I can ever explain. I still do.
She was heaven on earth, too good for this world.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t have it all together, I just have an idea and I’m going with that…