Addiction is a Beast

To highlight the feeling of insanity that comes from active addiction.
Feels about right.

A sense of calm resignation is starting to settle in. So often shunted aside still for madcap panic and desperate flailing as this faltering shell of a body which carries an acidic sonofabitch that wants out while refusing to take pleas, no’s, or prayers as a hint to get lost. It’s there on the outskirts as the magnitude, the absolute fucking magnitude of how colossally I’ve screwed the lives of those around me up, while trying to ruin my own existence..

It always sat there just on the outskirts, even when it should have been blatant. The self concocted cocoon of ignorant bliss I had woven around myself to keep the realities of life and the need for growing up at bay made sure that even if I was looking at it head on, I wouldn’t see. I’d spin it internally, sometimes to deflect the judgement and actions needed, sometimes to punish myself further and feel so amply deserving of it while begging confusion to those closest to me.

God help me. I sat there blind to love, affection, nurturing, opportunity, friendships, my children, the actuality of LIFE itself. 

All in favor of an endless repetition of the same monotonous actions. Awake, chase, get high, drink, crash, rinse and repeat ad infinitum, The same rhythm that most humans are going through their awake, cabinet, coffee, drink, functional, productive, competent portions of their day to day.

What has it cost? 

I’m sitting in the mountains which are my peaceful place, body too exhausted to hike or sleep. Dimly aware that I’ve imploded yet another beautiful person’s life, tucked mine into an 18’ trailer, and spiraled into oblivion while desperately fighting a battle that can’t be won on my terms. Beginning to come around the edges of what that actually means–to be so viral, so toxic and caustic in someone’s life that you can literally see it reshape their entire being from what they were prior–knowing that even if it wasn’t intended, that’s what happened. 

To know that the fiber of your being is so saturated in selfish self-hatred that it closes you off to the possibility of trusting and believing that anyone could actually love you for a person you don’t even know any longer, yourself? Knowing that sounds like Narcissistic Personality Disorder and digging around to see if there’s ways to be less of a screaming manchild asshole only to find that if it’s really the case, there ain’t shit to be done?

To realize that I don’t even fucking know what things I actually enjoy in life? To have focused so many countless hours on a single destructive course that it has literally obliterated all remnants of understanding about what joy means. How love is shown. What fun is. How to treat others or myself in any sort of a humane way laced starkly with the deep confusion of always being at odds with myself to begin with. That I have erased inborn gifts, destroyed my mind, poisoned my body wildly–that I will die younger than I had to and may never have the chance to see my children again. That my children have been growing up without their father.

Being aware now of the wreckage and turbulence behind my passing from those unlucky enough to have had me walk into their life “chaos incarnate” as I used to joke. To not even be able to apologize in any sort of a meaningful way yet because time and action is all that really will matter, could matter at this point. To not be able to say thank you sufficiently where I mean it within such limited scopes as I’m tooled to have the capacity for. The endless dreams that have died in lieu of one more hit, one more drink.The beautiful dreams that staggered onward beneath the weight only to have the carpet ripped out from under them again. The smashed hopes that held them aloft for so long.

It is seriously time for a change. So for the first time in YEARS, I’m throwing in the towel, surrendering, and just going with it. I have a bed at a program starting in a few days, a kennel for the dog, a storage spot for the trailer/home, and a hiatus from school while I straighten myself out and make some so critically needed changes. Peter Pan with a crack pipe and a 100u shot–fuck it’s old. 

The next time I write will be on the back end the next 30+ days probably, so until then, thanks for everything and all the kind words, help, camaraderie, and digital awesomeness that is everyone else out there. Addiction’s a beast. Mental illness is a beast. But neither gives any permission to keep perpetuating that cycle endlessly or to inflict them on those around you.

Time to give up the fight and go back to the drawing board, starting fresh all over again.

Something About Trees and Monsters

Simulacrum bonsai spirit shining bright,

tendril bushings famously tiny

sit so perfectly tight.

Clipped to stand proudly small,

deficiency rests on laurels deep inside

where no one fears the height

but is aware of the fall.

Watered down trivia the company kept,

guessing games fuel creativity

while vices rumble and trouble

until tranquility arrives, envelops and sets.

Your ghost is born on silent words,

freedom found out where they fly

unbound from earth by roots,

out in the open air

where birds sing and lost men die.

10 Grams of Meth in a Toilet

I know a man who threw away 10g of meth. Down a toilet. Intentionally, during a moment of lucidity. He woke up from his dream. He didn’t do it for the posturing or the bragging, he did it because he had a fucking moment and things added up.

He saw his future was his past and all that was going to come again. The regrets. The broken relationships. The self-hatred. The loneliness and the pain. The body count and the desperation. The stagnation. The missed joy and thrill of life. The empty smile and the personal failings. The prayer for death unanswered.

It hit that water in the toilet and didn’t even stain the water with some indication of all the soil and grime that its brand had left over the years. All the marks on his morals. His appreciation of life. His awareness and understanding of the world and himself. His inability to connect and always be “other” – not in a way he was proud of, but in a way that left him sullied and greasy where it would always be felt most.

He wasn’t going to revisit and replay what had come before. He was learning gratitude for all the experiences, painful or pleasant, and that meant realizing that the pain had only needed to happen once. He didn’t need to put his hand back into the fire like always. it was still fucking hot and he was worth more than scorched flesh. He wanted to, could, and will become more. He’ll evolve, be seen in the mirror as true to himself, a good friend, an honest and genuine man, and as a survivor not an unchanging Peter Pan chemical fiend. Wreckage for decades as his only gift to the world, a Lost Boy playing pirate to his own loot.

He had learned, was learning, would continue to learn. He would grow.

I know a man that threw away 10g of meth. Finally took a dive and emptied a bag, got back on the horse, and welcomed in a change for once.

Stay that road fucker, I miss you.

I Was a Stigma to Myself

All credit to Emotive Brand for the image.
So often I would sit and wail about "why"?
The frustration unending,
the obsession ongoing,
a gut wrenching demand to understand
that in itself
kept me from the knowledge,
the peace I sought.

Sick in the head druggie,
psychopath,
crazy as a shit house rat,
lunatic,
insane,
addict,
"something's wrong with that kid" -

Drug user stigma phrases shown on an image with a haloed syringe from the words.
All credit to Stonetree Harm Reduction for the image.

I tried to own those labels
make them something to be proud of.
I tried doing that,
by doing all the things
I imagined people with those labels would do.
I followed that up,
by demanding that I not be persecuted,
not be judged,
not be looked at differently,
though I had just behaved in a way that demanded all those things happen.

Now I come to terms,
sit with the idea of peace,
find pride not in my actions
but in the understanding
that awareness and acceptance bring.
To know that I am not an actor playing out roles,
that I lost myself,
but I am a survivor,
no longer needing to play the role
of victim or perpetrator anymore.

It's a small thing,
Which means so much to me.
To be able to introduce myself,
engage in a conversation,
with confidence.
Know that I accept who I am as a being,
that I no longer let labels
define who I choose to see myself as,
act as a script for my identity,
or be my scapegoats when I screw up.

That like so many others,
I am the hero
and the villain,
of my own story.
That my abnormal mental states,
my addictions,
all the resulting experiences,
are gifts to allow me opportunities,
to shine my brightest
against the backdrop of adversity,
and decide just how much of it there would be.

To know that there are others out there gleaming,
and if we encounter each other
it could be in the form of respect and love,
admiration for the battles fought,
no matter whether they were felt won or lost,
an opportunity to compare notes and grow.

I'm not ashamed of who I am,
or where I am today,
I am disappointed in many of my choices
but they have been mine to make,
and they were made.
I used to have a vision of the perfect person,
someone that I would measure myself to
and inevitably fall short.

Today I am me,
released on the world
perfectly defective,
beautifully abnormal,
gifted with challenge and capacity for growth.

All of it,
so that I have a chance to become
an oh so slowly evolving,
human being.




Hey there Teacher

Fuck-ing bull-shit.

Hey there Teacher,
with the faltering step and the windblown hair.
What’s the story all about,
the one you told from the side of your mouth.
Where honesty met a curve,
tongue lolled to one side and spilled out some verbs.
I know it’s tough to turn the glass,
that shining mirror which overwhelms the past.
Where bullshit shines greasy like sludge,
and all the distortions are gone,
back to the mud.

Hey there Teacher,
with the drugs in your system and cheap sex on your brain,
Do you remember when you stopped learning and just sought out pain?
Stopped spitting out wisdom and bought your own lies?
I know you know the system and how it all spins,
I didn’t think you one who would cheat to win.
Thieving and twisting until your charm is clear,
problems abound but you never paused to hear.
Words and actions meant to help and soothe all your fears
but you were too deaf and I was too near.
Fucked up actions that caused all the pain,
hell you admitted the abuse from your side but then changed the game.
Cut out the bullshit and tell it all true,
I’ll try the straight route and see what you do.

I cheated – when I thought things were open,
so you fucked three more guys and used sex as a weapon.
I hurt you with words – called you freeloader and more,
you called me a psycho, a piece of shit, pathetic, and evened the score.
I didn’t make changes in the ways that I should have,
didn’t take the time to address my behavior in the ways that I could have.
Stopped taking my meds to test out a theory,
that I wasn’t so crazy just misinterpreting the scenery.
I didn’t have the courage to stand by my gut,
so I broke like a loser and washed myself free of blood in the cut.
I didn’t trust you completely and thought it was trash,
an actress putting on skins and a falsified past.
I actively ignored you and left you to your own devices,
was bitter and hateful and often times spiteful.
All the while I bent the world to help you realize your dreams,
pulled out the stops, went into debt without question,
begged on street corners when shit went south even though I wanted to scream.
Started school, accepted disabilities, got a job, begged my family,
all to put food in our mouths.
I changed my approach a thousand and one ways,
became more patient, understanding, sought to attain empathy,
sympathized, recognized, and upended my reality,
all so that I could spend time with you for some much needed days.
When I asked for time and some space to calm down,
you pushed, poked, and prodded – gaslit me all over town.
You had me fooled for so long that I lost who I was,
abused me emotionally, mentally, and then called it love.
When push came to shove at the end, long past due,
asked to be friends then found something to fuck with again, even if it’s true.
So I snapped and said I was done and that it was all dead as could be ever
blocked you like I’m supposed to and wished this would all blow over.
I’d forgiven you for everything,
moved past it into the future where I saw smiling people and less lies.
Then you guinea pigged me and question why I lashed back,
you robbed me digitally for the last of my stack –
the money I sent you strings free the week before when I still had nothing,
might as well have been burned.
The cops could have put you in jail,
they have your license plate number now–watch out for that tail.
I asked them to drop charges and they said they would,
my comment was, “she’s in a horrible situation and deep down she’s all good.
But then I find you spewing hate all over my safe place,
the one outlet I find online.
Evidence says your besmirching me everywhere at this point,
reaching out to other exes and raising unnecessary hell all over this joint,
trying to get my goat got – and I understand that’s just fine.
So realize that while you’re smoking that next bowl,
hooked on the shit and getting tagged for it on the down low,
I’m happier now for a month then I have been since I met you,
not intended as a stab, just honesty, since I look back on our time with regret and much rue.
I regret and apologize for all of the fights,
we should have never been together, you and I just aren’t right.
You were my entire world, believe it or not, and by you my sun set and would rise.
Special you wanted to be and special you were,
now you are nothing but a nightmare and a thieving cur.
And if you want to go fire with fire we’ll both of us burn,
don’t make me reopen charges and shine a light on your emotional spurn –
meth, dick, deceit and theft, you’re the one no one should trust,
hell, I shouldn’t have for a second and I hate that I still feel like I must.
So go lay in the gutter all filled with hate,
funny how it rings so loudly as manipulative a classic NPD emotional quake.
Fuck your intolerant and misjudging voice,
you’ve slandered my ass far too often to care, but that was your choice,
I learned enough from you and I’m done with the lessons,
you speak pretty proudly for a someone who treats their latest attachment as a lifelong obsession.
Clearly your conscience is clear, there are no places of doubt,
I wish you would actually finally cough up your bullshit stories and stop playacting on what this was all about.
Shower someone else with a thousand dull points,
bleed your issues on them till you’re all run dry,
except that you don’t want to do anything about them, you don’t even try,
you just want the sympathy to help you look good and pure while you endlessly justify.
Goodbye for forever, and good luck out there,
Please don’t come back into my life,
we shouldn’t have married, I was no husband and you were no wife.

Hey there Teacher,
with the red eyed face.
I made mistakes and fucked up your life and made it all bad,
but I thought we made our choices ourselves and shouldn’t be sad?
I adored and admired the person you were,
but now you use my name like some dirty slur.
I won’t darken your days or your nights,
all I ask is you get gone and do what is right.
Teacher, you’re all that I needed,
but it’s time to staunch the wounds and stop the bleeding.
Good luck in life, I don’t wish ill on you despite what you’re feeling, I swear,
someday, hell, you might even see that I genuinely cared.
I found that “me” that I lost,
the confidence now to not get talked in circles like a fighter might box.
I’ll share my happy with the world with refinement and friends,
now that your sickness is gone I can finally breath again.
No more second guessing – nothing that won’t make sense,
Hell, I’m back on my meds and feeling peace and its wealth.
Feeling feelings again that aren’t belittled or kept stealth.
I’m free and wished you well while you stole from the bank,
no more parasite on my soul and my heart watching and mocking
while the ship ran aground and sank.
I’m not perfect, I’m deeply and totally flawed,
but your hate is misplaced, and your speaking all wrong,
if I was more talented I’d try and put it to song.
At least then you’d pay attention and might actually have listened,
which I didn’t do until it was too late,
that’s another fault of mine, an ommission.
but that’s ok, it was an error, something I would have changed, a MISTAKE.
So Teacher, the class is dismissed and we’re out of session,
I’ll end this babbling shit show with some questions.
Why is it that you hate me for everything that’s passed?
You’ve done just the same, mimicked my every action in fact –
each nail you drive home, does it stick also to you?
Do you recognize the hypocrisy your hate is laced thick with?

Do you even fucking care to just look at what good times we had as a gift?
The only thing left when the love died was respect in what you were –
does it hurt to know now that she’s gone, that imaginary incredible girl?
The one who says she wouldn’t tell anything but the truth,
never be vicious, always patient and would never steal.
You’ve broken every value you pretended you had,
why am I’m supposed to be the one that leaves this situation feeling terribly bad?




F*ck Sunshine

I’ve found playful meaning

in the sharpest strands of daylight

while they bleached my night tan

into a wholesome red and brown.

been stripped clean of the unwholesome.

The rasping, the choking, the decaying

scent of another moon laced night

spent chasing dragons down the streets.

In the silver kissed necklace of shadows

that roll menacingly beneath the stars

as a slipshod grasp on tenuous reality

falls away, fast as a bat, never to be caught.

Crawled out dusty and beaten by self

into the unwelcome openness of daytime

Where people have jobs and families

go do things and have fun of their choosing.

There’s always a sick, nasty bitterness

surrounding the way I’d look at the crowds.

In those moments when shame carries

the day and bitterness over the injustice,

of wounds septic and worsening, a brain

melting beneath the heat of inquisition.

A Cadillac of contempt would sit, shining

In the corneas of each purple smudged eye.

Letting the self-loathing and concern go awry,

masking envy as hate and desire as disgust,

riding panic and fear out as arrogance and disdain.

Patronizing seconds as the world creaks,

moans its way out of the decadence of night,

quickens into the tittering joy of form alive.

There’s no surface to touch and manipulate

no interface that allows for a connection across

to that other world imbued with shiny smiles

and unbroken teeth not doing unspeakable acts.

In those moments when the sickness begins,

wafting out of your skin to notify and alert

anyone caring to notice of your diseased being,

your lesser than status, your unworthiness.

Those are the defining moments that show

the defying strength and fortitude you want,

when you have the opportunity tell the world

“get fucked, piss off, I make the next choice.”

or reaffirm the skepticism pandering to your

apathetic acceptance of what life has become.

Those are the moments when the shear grit

required to simply gut out the next series

of bad decisions, knowing how much it will hurt

but owning it, owning that the deeper down

you crawl the higher it will feel at baseline.

When you finally disconnect from the grime

Long enough to breathe untainted air

Purified in the radiance of sunbeams

And the wealth of happiness that soaks

Summer days beneath the blue painted sky,

there is a startling awareness, an epiphany,

a closure to doubt and a recognition,

that sobering up is just getting high in a new way.

Books, Booze and Blues

Boozehound image from dadadreams showing a dog drinking scotch.
Image borrowed from Dadadreams

John Lee Hooker says whiskey and women,
the blues man before asks for another pint.
Pour me a tall glass of that liquid summer
down the hatch and off into the night.
Pounding embers of wisdom shed into fluid form
its time to get wasted to the tune of a misfire
and the sobbing caterwauls of mans plight.
Joy measured into shared company is compounded
misery dissipates in that carefree state. .
Spider Robinson says that Callahan’s is the cure
that telepathic understanding would make us pure.
Three shots of jack and the curtains reveal
magic bullets in glass containers of sin.
Esoteric breakdown of barricades sitting strong
imagining the beauty in words as music hits the song.
Dusty lungs coughing out something foul
to the satisfaction of another cigarette horked down
sitting numb eyed in a daze that seems to follow.
Chest sits warm in dispassionate easy grace
somber living never gets you to these places
never breathing deep enough to indulge in phantom chases.
Down memory lane and into the brambles
a stumbling mess of skull fucked cobwebs
and woven disasters of recollection branches.
Drop those spiders on my spirit and proud face
its not for nothing that they call it a sad display.
But here I’ll sit until the noonday sun
calls out my moon tanned skin for daytime fun.
Polish the bottle child and don’t leave a drop
there’s a ride to be ridden this evening,
no conductor to guide us
and no idea where it stops.





A Divorce for the Past, Present, Future

So as something of a preface to the following let me just say that it has been an extraordinary (in both positive and negative ways) period of weeks since I last punched together something to share with the webs’ people. I had a few challenges about a month and a half back which resulted in my being asked to write a divorce letter to my “disease:….but not the quintessential “goodbye forever drugs” – but rather, towards however I envisioned that sickness which had driven me to be were it to wear a physical form. The suave smooth talking salesman, a blundering and demanding gargoyle, a bad ass mans man with a beard, a sexy woman teasing and seducing….whatever form i chose.
Hey baby you sexy thing,
Hey brother you filthy rock star.
Thank you for the stories,
Those staggering rides up with the comets,
Them epic nights rolling without pause into endless days.
Damn but we fucked well and,
Damn we sped past those pathetic sheep on the streets,
Damn we were a fireball of excitement,
A hurricane of insanity.
My sweet goddess of sin,
My destroying titan of hatred.
You blessed me,
You cursed me,
It’s time to walk away,
Sky, John, off with you and your false matrimony,
Off with this slavers collar on my finger,
Just like you spit in my face when the fun was done,
Feel the scornful gaze that your wisdom brought so many I once loved to cast upon me.
Sky, my lovely succubi, take your sinfully beautiful body,
Those promises of impossibly intense bliss that would never end,
Taste the disgust you draped me in before all I encountered.
My gruesome and powerful spirit,
My depiction of remorse,
Of emotion to be understood and chased,
My devil-may-caresofuckitallandwatchtheworldburn charmer,
John, even when you convinced me that I was doing something positive,
Always those that I wanted to hurt the least caught the brunt.
You made loving tantamount to self-inflicted emotional trauma,
Never again.
You both served your purpose, goodbye.
I divorce myself from my past including you.
From the present wherein my personality is lost in yours and all I can see and be seen as is as you made me,
From the future of which I know little,
With this freedom,
I embrace myself again to stand tall and walk with purpose and confidence to something brighter.
Where the voices are new,
The suggestions more pure,
Life lived more passionately instead of intensely.
-S

Geographic Cure for Addiction and Sanity

Beautiful image of Smith Rock

There is always a wild and unpredictable feeling that accompanies a move to a new area. In very rare instances, that area is not an unknown arena but rather a time tested experiential location filled with either positive or negative memories and feelings.

 

With several cases in point over recent weeks which stand out even amongst the 40+ different housing and city changes over the previous 24 months it strikes me that perhaps I am not alone in these occasions.

 

First, New Bedford – a city built originally on the whaling industry and once the single wealthiest in the entire western hemisphere. It was the New York City of its time. Today, it sits as a sprawling and squalid shadow of its former self. A huge portion of the city hovers under the illegal immigrant status, yet both they and their families are able to regularly and quite effectively work over an already overtaxed system in creative and remarkable fashions. Far from an irregular event is it for a young woman to show up at the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA or “welfare office”) and secure nearly free housing, food stamps, and a guaranteed check on a monthly basis – only to walk out and begin making calls on the newest phone the market has to offer.

 

The city itself is predominantly populated either by the indigent, nearly indigent, or fisherman who fluctuate between those states depending on the last trip and how much was blown on their return to the docks where the prostitutes, drug dealers, and other “entertainment” providers sit with cars at the ready to ensure the checks are cashed promptly and whatever is desired is immediately available at their fingertips. It is one of the densest concentrations of opioid addiction in a state that is under a crises the likes of which has never been seen. The yellow brick road is a literal pavement of syringes, nowhere more than a casual eyeshot in any direction.

 

This finely tuned squalor was where much of the insanity that I ran through following my crack cocaine induced destruction took place. It’s where I lost my wife, my home across the river, had my first new love in nearly a decade before losing her to the grips of heroin and finally seeing what it was like from the opposing side of the table – watching an addict you love destruct, and NOTHING you can possibly do will help. It’s where my best friend went from the consummate and brilliantly arrogant healthcare professional I had met originally became an absolute animal. It’s where I learned how to inject speedballs and began my foray into the truly sickening world of dope.

 

It’s where I went insane for the first time since my years as a teenage meth addict. But as an adult voluntarily living homeless on the streets, refusing to sleep and food in lieu of drugs for days at a time until my body would demand rehydration and yet another trip to the hospital for IVs would begin. New Bedford taught me the real meaning of ignoring tomorrow and living strictly under the immediate need for a fix of any kind. Overdosing and being left for dead under a bush in a bad neighborhood along with the terrible shock of waking up. That there was no light, no memory, no message and just a blackness that was closest to blinking. The initial experience of simply expecting to wake up from death, and the frustration that it seemed that for whatever reason I was not to be permitted such a simple escape from the daily frustration and misery.

 

New Bedford taught me to pawn everything in sight, that material items, even the most sentimental, intrinsically have only a single value – that of cash. If you refused to close out the memory and loss of each component of what you once considered to be your life it would be enough to send you over the edge. I learned to numb even when the drugs were gone and there was only an aching feeling that something was terribly wrong.

 

I learned to expect and understand what would transpire if I called certain dealers who would demand sacrifices of the more physical nature. That there was a way to close it out, embrace the pain as deserved an simply shut down whichever part of my brain should have been screaming no in a vain attempt to preserve a sense of personal value. My first true experience with a jail where no one was there to offer their assistance in easing the situation.

 

New Bedford taught me starvation willingly, arrogance, desperation, abandonment, hysteria, psychotic behavior, willingness to overlook, junkie pride, losing trust, a taste for anger always bordering on violence, loneliness, resignation, degradation, disgust, hatred, shame, isolation, manipulation, lies, betrayal, deceit, hope, disassociation, confusion. It taught me for the first time since I had been in the deepest portions of my meth addiction what it really meant to crave the release of death and how cowardly I was.

 

And I had pride in how my stories always elicited shakes of heads and the inevitable, “you’re fucking nuts man.”

 

So I left.

 

I moved away to program after program, always staying as far as I was able to from a city where it was impossible to walk a street without encountering someone I knew or was known by. Once you’ve been on the news you even become recognizable to those upstanding members of the community who would have had no reason to associate with you other than to comment about how you looked so familiar.

 

Of course wandering through the streets shirtless with blood streaming down your arms from injection sites and asking strangers for needles is not usually considered to be a low profile method to avoid notice either.

 

Aside from the point – I left.

 

Nearly two years later I was offered an excellent job….in that goddamn city. Fresh out of jail, my rationale was that if I maintained several cities as insulation than surely I would be able to avoid the swirling pool of madness that seemed always to draw attempted escapees back in.

 

I was wrong of course.

 

There were a million memories on every corner, a recollection of some obscure event, some half remembered person, a story, an event, a failure, a SOMETHING.

 

Inevitably as always is the case, it became known that I had come back to the area and my phone started to ring again. Even though I was living nearly 10 miles outside of the darkest areas of my past, there was no escaping it. At points of relapse over the previous years there were times when I would willingly spend $75 on a taxi or Uber in order to get to “Brockton by the Sea” (another moniker for Whaling City, or New Beige). Instead of a confident no, it was soon to be a short push into acknowledging myself to be a short bus ride from wherever I needed to be.

 

When the other shoe fell, and the house I was living at asked me to leave, I was forced back into the more affordable region of the Beige – at $500 a month, which was okay despite the fact no running water existed during the walkthrough, sewage had backed up, dishes had not been done in nearly 3-months, a closet was filled with trash bags since the previous week’s pickup had been neglected.

 

But it was okay at the time, because it was affordable and temporary.

 

Even after I saw the Narcotics Anonymous (NA) pamphlet and learned – so I thought – that my new roommate, a remarkably charismatic and intelligent young woman had been in recovery for nearly 8-months. It was thrilling and welcome to be able to share a commonality and bond as we were both working on building up our lives to become more than they had been. There were no qualms about the upfront cash I had given her for my move in, I was back to trusting people, holding onto a naive and woefully childish dream that people were what they said and taking it at face value.

 

Until I was asked not to tell anyone I was living there, and informed that her father controlled her money and I should give him the rent from there on out, and that she really wasn’t working full time, and that the rent was actually going to be $700 as the landlord had vowed to increase it if someone else moved in, and a million other signs.

 

Within three days it was simply volunteered that she was actively using, and that the money I had given her had been spent immediately which was why my presence at the house had to remain a secret. Moreover, would I consider lending a few more dollars and shoot her up since snorting the brown wasn’t cutting it anymore – a fact witnessed when nearly two grams did nothing visibly to change her behavior.

 

She had a dealer that would front and she was into him for several hundred. The issue was resolved initially by introducing her father to her connect and having him pay the difference directly. Than taking in a cat to watch for one of his friends. Eventually the turn was taken as it always is, sexist though it may be, commonly for women and sadly for some such as myself, occasionally for men.

 

The used condom belied the prior night’s lie that it had been a blowjob and nothing more.

 

It was amazing to speak with her father, a man of compassion who had not yet been broken of hope and was convinced that a bottom had already been reached. That if he were only willing to selflessly offer support with rides, money, food, hell – a brand new phone that lasted all of 12hrs before hitting the market – everything would be all right.

 

I saw my mother in him. At least in the earlier years of my spiral.

 

He was likeable, smart, well read, and easy to talk with.

 

His daughter reminded me of myself. A face that was easy to trust, a personality open and quirkily cut with intelligence that wiped away suspicion and confirmed.

 

It was an interesting perspective on how terribly effective what I would consider normal behavior is in ousting others character evaluation and ensuring that there is an immediate thread of trust built. Underneath the easy smile is a raging fire of manipulation and capacity for widespread destruction, emotional scarring, and selfishness.

 

As things fell apart, in retrospect, I have to look at her as a manifestation of what the world must view me as – that’s a painful thing.

 

To shorten this up a bit, New Bedford helped terminate my determination and weaken the walls of resistance i thought were built strong.

 

After so many years away – my family (bless them a million times over) and IIIIMiMiIII decided that it was time to bring me home. Oregon. The one place that called me.

 

3,000 miles from the insanity, the black balling at hospitals and rehabs, from all the connections and memories I was constantly assaulted with. An opportunity to rebuild my passion for life, and reconnect with the individual I was supposed to, and wanted, to be.

 

I nearly didn’t make it. I stepped out of detox with a blood pressure of 170/130, but I had to catch a flight and there was no other option….I took the risk of a seizure, because fuck it – I had one shot to do it, and I wasn’t going to miss it for all the tea in China.

 

At the airport, it crashed in on my (as well as the night at the hotel prior with MiMi). I was going to lose more than just the bad aspects of my life, but the immediate access to the biggest love of my life. I was in many ways abandoning the woman I admire most in the world. Despite my deepest desire to stop hurting her and everyone else that cared I was going to do it again because I was selfish enough to “just go”.

 

MiMi encouraged me to do it as the right thing. That kind of strength is astonishing.

 

I am fortunate to have such an option presented to restart my life, I recognize that.

 

Currently I work serving coffee, beer, and climbing gear at a pay that accounts for a 70% drop. But you know what, I’m happier and more relaxed than I’ve been in years. Climbing again, an old obsession that consumed my life in a very positive way.

 

Sometimes what has to happen is to jump ship and swim to a new shore.

 

Though addiction and mental health issues are not immediately tied to the landscape we occupy, there can be an enormous feeling of relief in leaving behind that memory crusted wasteland to one that offers opportunity to plant new roots in welcoming soil.

 

A geographic is what brought me to New England originally…I arrived with one backpack of clothes. Twelve years later I got off a plane with three.

 

Let’s see where this goes.

 

Much love.

 

-S

Addiction Recovery & Borderline Personality Disorder (from PsychCentral)

This is a fascinating and detailed read highlighting some of the specific challenges facing addicts seeking to recovery and dealing simultaneously with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Great material for anyone interested in the overlapping issues and frustrations in treatment for these two damaging illnesses.

hand-on-glass-for-addiction-and-borderline

PsychCentral Article