LIQUID LUNCHES – a short story

I’ve managed now to maintain a journal of one sort or another online now coming up on eight years. Initially I was so self conscious about exposing anything about myself, but after a short time, I forgot that I was actually writing on a public forum, and wrote just for the sake of writing – for an audience of one so to speak, moi! With my first journal I did nothing to hide my identity in anyway, but, I also ensured that I made no mention whatsoever of my alternate lifestyle, so to speak. While it was true that everything I wrote about was 100% honest, the mere fact I completely avoided addressing a substantial part of my life was nothing more than me lying through omission which by definition is equally as bad as if I were lying. I wasn’t really being truthful or at all. Conundrum!

At the same time, I certainly was by no means ready to expose a very private side of myself or my husband, or at the very least, risk the chance that someone reading my journal would be able to put two and two together and figure out what we had fought and worked so hard to remain secret and separate. Ah-ha! A secret identity was in order. Why not? I thought. It works for super heroes now doesn’t it? So with the anniversary of my alter ego in mind, I guess you could say that I’ve been maintaining a journal online, with my entire life 100% exposed, for near seven and a half years now. While I still chose to keep my real name and my families private and hidden from anyone doing a general search of me, anyone that knows me intimately is familiar with any of my online writings now, my daughters included. More than anything else now, my innate shyness and general self consciousness are the main things that stop me from going any further.

One thing I’ve not been able to help but notice is how much change has occurred in those writing about addiction. There seems to be far more relatives of addicts writing now than the actual addicts. When I first started out, I can’t remember anyone other than addicts or addicts in recovery writing or keeping a personal journal. A point of view that I can’t help but consider now, was never a consideration in the past. Nary a glimmer. Keeping current with the ever growing number of this niche keeps me honest, and never forgets to remind me that my recovery no longer affects only me, but any number of people close to me who care about me and my welfare – obviously, there are many other things working away in the background, but each and every time I read one of the relatives journals, I can’t help but feel humbled. I also can’t begin to say enough about any one of them and the suffering they must endure each and every day. Their writings should be mandatory reading for any drug education course in the school system, the penal system and any other type of system out there!

For anyone new to my writing, I first off, would like to welcome one and all. Secondly, I wish that all of my online writing was accessible to everyone. Currently I have approx 200 plus entries from a former site that I have yet been able to upload to this site. It had been maintained by another and for some reason, about three and a half years ago, it disappeared without warning. Miraculously, he did eventually return everything to me in the form of a .sql file which is a file I’ve no clue what to do with. I can open it one of the more sophisticated alternatives to notepad but that’s pretty much it. Buried deep within all of the stuff that stares out from my computer monitor, I can make out my original entries. On days when I feel particularly ambitious, I’ve copied and pasted individual entries into this journal with the entry’s original date stamp. With over 200 though, I’ve never quite felt that ambitious! Maybe one day soon – or maybe an idiot proof method of getting this file incorporated with this site will appear miraculously for me! Never, ever say never!

In the meantime, allow me to share one of the few original stories I managed to write while knee deep in addiction. May be a little graphic for some, but it never fails to make me suitably uneasy every time I force myself to read it, reminding me of how important my recovery and sobriety is to me and mine. This story is way too autobiographical for my liking as I seemed to spend many similar days to the one I wrote about than I cared to admit.


LIQUID LUNCHES – a short story

 
I like to call myself a functioning addict or a responsible junky – an oxymoron if I have ever heard one. You ask what makes me so different or special from other junkies or addicts? Well, nothing really except the amount of work involved. It is much harder to be a functioning addict. You are forced to live two very separate and distinct lives. Your public face is the only face that anyone is allowed to see. no one can be allowed entry into your private world. This you keep very well hidden from view.

 
No one can know that your half hour lunch is not sitting down at the nearest coffee shop consuming today’s special washed down with a couple of cups of coffee. No, instead you have quickly headed over to the local public library and have locked yourself in one of their bathroom stalls. Once you are safely behind its closed door, you carefully remove a brown eyeglasses case from your purse only you don’t have a spare pair of glasses in it. You place a strip of toilet paper across the back of the toilet bowel and gently place a spoon on it.  

 
You grab one white pill out of your baggy and place it in the centre of the spoon. With the end of your lighter, you carefully crush it until it is a fine white powder. Next you rip the packaging off of a new syringe and open your small bottle of sterile water, placing the tip of the syringe in it to draw up 50 units. Carefully you fill the spoon with water.


Lifting the spoon up into the air, you flick your lighter and aim the flame so that it is centered beneath the spoon. The water starts to bubble and the fine powder dissolves. Breaking some cotton off the end of one of the many q-tips you have, you drop it dead centre into the warm liquid. Quickly you suck the liquid out of the spoon into the syringe. Sit back for a second to breathe a sigh of relief. No clumsy accidents. So far, so good. Taking some more toilet paper, you wipe your spoon clean before returning it to its case. You make sure that your small bottle is properly capped and your baggy zipped up tightly. You crumple the syringe’s wrapper up tightly and place it in the case also. You will have to dispose of it later.


Enough time should have passed so that the liquid had cooled. You perch your rear at the edge of the toilet seat making sure your feet are square to the ground. Taking a look at both arms you decide which one to go for this time. The left looks as if it will yield the best results. You tap your forearm a few times and flex your hands. Carefully you remove the cap from your syringe. Taking a deep breath you stick the needle into your skin gently pulling the plunger back a fraction. A rich red floods the barrel. Bulls eye. With as steady a hand possible and a silent plea for them to remain that way, you depress the plunger at a uniform rate until all of the liquid has disappeared.


Bliss. Now not too quickly, you remove the point from your skin, firmly pressing some tissue over the bloody hole. Once the bleeding has stopped, you qrab the point of the needle with your bloodied tissue and twist it until it snaps off. Throwing both into the toilet, you flush them down the drain. You recap your now empty syringe and return it to its place in the eyeglass case. Wrap two elastics around the case and return it to your purse. You certainly can not be too careful. You want no rude surprises should you ever drop purse with contents spilling everywhere. Too big a risk to take for the functioning addict.


You gather your stuff and exit the stall, stopping to wash and dry your hands. Look for your comb to run through your hair. As everything went smoothly, you still have time to freshen your makeup. Touch of lipstick and a brush of powder and you are good to go. With one final glance back at the mirror, you open the bathroom door refreshed and satisfied by your half hour lunch break.

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The Pen Is Mightier…

I have been keeping a journal of some sort on and off since I was about 10 or 11, so about 34 or 35 years now. I kept one religiously all thru high school and university because it seemed like so much was happening with things changing so quickly, I was afraid that I would forget stuff and at that time in my life, I wanted to remember everything, good or bad. As I settled down into married life in my twenties and then motherhood in my thirties, keeping a journal was but a faint and distant memory. It was the farthest thing from my mind. At that time, there seemed to be no time left to undertake this sometimes time consuming task, plus, for better or worse, my life had seemed to have settled into something of a routine. Excitement and change seemed to be memories of the past. Not that this was necessarily a bad thing, just different.Seven years ago this past June, my father was diagnosed with cancer and he passed away the following March. For the first time in over a decade, I picked up pen and put it back to paper. Towards the end of his life, I found myself in a long since forgotten place, but suddenly it became extremely important that I remembered everything that was happening around me these last seven or eight months of his life. Now more than any other time, I did not want to lose so much as a single memory from what was happening. I was so very afraid that I might forget something about his last days. For all of us, it was definitely a time of change.

I carried my journal with me everywhere. I filled up dozens of blank ones over this period of time, and every time I started to feel restless, I would write, and write, and write. Many days, I had a lot of time to do this. For twenty plus weeks, I spent each and every week day waiting in various rooms at the hospital for my father to complete whatever appointment he had that day. Every day he had his radiation treatment, plus there were a multitude of other types of appointments related to his cancer. To top everything else off, he was also getting chemo at the exact same time as his radiation, although the chemo finished about a month after the radiation. For just over five months, I drove him to the hospital five days a week for his treatments. Most days we would be at the hospital the entire day, but there were others where we were lucky enough to get out of there within the hour.

Regardless of the length of each visit, there was plenty of time for me to reflect and write. It was also a time for me to really get to know my dad all over again, as well as he had a chance to reacquaint himself with me. Bittersweet is an apt description I should imagine. After he passed, I continued to write as an outlet for my emotions. To this day, I carry a journal with me everywhere I go, and any time I feel the need, I write something in it. An entry can be one word to endless pages. I have found that whenever I am restless, upset, bored, impatient, irritated, you name it, the moment that I start writing I am immediately calmed. My recent journals follow no set form. They range from neat and tidy to tremendously disorganized and messy. I paste pictures in them sometimes. I doodle in them. I make sure that each one is different from the next. I haunt stores looking for unique and different books to use as journals. I have become quite creative in my quest to make each somewhat unique in its own way.

Now, I also keep an on line journal, although it is nowhere near as current or updated as my written – I am hindered somewhat by my complete inability to type as well and as fast as I would like. It was about five years ago that I was told about livejournal.com . This became my first foray into on line journaling. It seemed to take me an exceptionally long time to feel comfortable expressing myself publicly, although once I more or less got the hang of it, it became easier and easier. For the most part, I have liked using livejournal, and in fact, initially, I ended up having a number of separate accounts there. In the beginning, I mostly used them to display and store my art work. But these earlier attempts were dishonest at best, half truths at the most. They in no way reflected my actual life, although they did allow brief glimpses of it from time to time.

As I became more familiar and comfortable with this method of journaling, it became increasingly important that they start to actually reflect what was really going on in my life at that time. Initially though this caused me momentary paralysis as I certainly had no desire to lay bare those portions of my life I had spent years pretty much hiding from the general populous. My “alternate” life needed to continue being exactly that – one face for the majority and another for the precious few that were familiar with my drug use/abuse. That face was not yet ready for public consumption.

With the identity that I had been using, I found that this was going to be impossible to be completely frank and open about my lifestyle. Finally one day, I created an alternate online identity to reflect my alternate life. This is the one that I continue to use today. Over the past four and a half years there has been a blurring of my real and of my alternate world. This has become possible because my comfort level continually increases allowing me the luxury of honesty. For the most part, my mask is still there. I try to keep my name and my families and those that are important to me as anonymous as possible in an effort to ensure that their privacy is respected, as there is no certainty that they may feel as relaxed as I.

The majority of my drug use/abuse years are currently not available to read anymore online as the site that I had been using for this particular period of my life, literally disappeared overnight about two years ago. I used to be part of a group of addicts and recovering addicts that all had their personal journals at JUNKLIFE. At any given time, there were about twenty to twenty five of us sharing our stories with each other and anyone else who was interested. Sadly, it is now gone. After a number of frantic months attempting to contact the web master, I finally was able to get all of my writings from my time spent there. Until I received them, I was utterly gutted, as I had well over two hundred separate entries just from the two years I had been writing there. More importantly, I needed these writings available to me as an aid in my current recovery. I had only just started MMT when my site disappeared, so the lion’s share of what was happening to me during this period reflected my very active addiction, as well as documenting how I allowed it to get so out of control. With each passing month, you could see where I was inevitably heading – the proverbial, or cliched, rock bottom.

Now, while I have all of these entries stored on my computer’s hard drive, I have utterly no clue how to get them uploaded once again to the INTERNET. They were sent to me as one .sql file – whatever the heck this means cus I’ve so got no clue! Ideally, I’d like to add them to this site, or even if I had to, start a new site for my archived writings from my addiction period. I can go through this very large file and enter one entry at a time by copying and pasting it, and then back dating said entry with its original publishing date and time. I’ve manually entered a few, but it is just too time consuming, and honestly tres boring to have to do it this way. This site was actually started approx May 2007 when I first started having trouble accessing my previous site. Any writings from that point on are all original to this site, any before this time, were culled from my previous two sites, and are sadly not remotely enough to really paint the complete picture of my severe addiction years. If nothing else though, they are a start. Perhaps I’ll suddenly feel energized enough to enter a few more of my old entries! LATER…

MAINLINER

FROM THE ARCHIVES ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 2005 07 29

OK it has been a crazy day at work which kind of sucks for a Friday as I tend to like to ease into my weekend. I apologize in advance to anyone actually reading this entry as my thoughts are all over the place plus combined with the fact that I am also working I suspect that this entry will have absolutely no flow. That being the case, for some reason there are a few things kind of bothering me today that I need to vent about and this, I guess, is the place that I can do it.

Went to my girlfriend’s before work today cause I owed her a little bit of money and I wanted to get that out of the way. Not only is she a good friend but she is also one of my dealers, one that I am ever slowly fazing out because it is getting harder and harder for her to separate work and business and as a result I am now having difficulty also so…Slightly veering off topic now. Told you there would be flow issues. I was a late bloomer so to speak as far as drugs are concerned. I never actually tried any until a few months before my twenty first birthday when I smoked my first joint. Now I am fairly confident that I have made up for lost time. And except for a six year period about a decade and a half ago when I didn’t use or abuse anything except for cigarettes and alcohol I have pretty much used some sort of drug every day since my first joint.

This being the case, I also want to state that I think that the reason(s) I still use and abuse and don’t seem to have this overwhelming guilt about my usage is that I really haven’t had any dignity stealing experiences relating to my use. By this I mean that I have never had to use my body in any shape or form to acquire whatever happened to be my poison du jour. I know alot of female addicts who suffer terrible self-esteem issues because of some of the things that they may have done to get that much needed fix. I am not judging. I know how lucky I am to be in the position that I am in. I was lucky. I have never stolen to feed my addiction – well, I didn’t return all of my father’s painkillers to the pharmacy after he had passed away but I rationalized that one away. And I did bring back the majority of the stuff that my Mom had given me to return so…

Now I know that this seems to be going nowhere but trust me I have a point. OK so I have never had to sell my body or my firstborn or my husband but over the past year I have been loaning my vehicle to my friend to use while I am at work and for the use of it I usually get some sort of tip. Call this a rental charge. Now as we are first and foremost friends she tends to take a lot more liberties with me than I suspect she would with someone else. I know she does. She has become sloppy in what I think her responsibilities should be when she has my truck. Like I will ask it back at a certain time and she will show up three or four hours later or she won’t be here to pick me up when I am done work or even better she will end up giving some lowlife creep a ride in it and then suddenly $750 worth of my husband’s tools are missing. And she tells me that she only left it unlocked for about five minutes while she ran into her house to get this guy looked after. Yeah well that is all his friend, who was literally waiting in the bushes, needed to grap everything that was in our backseat. Then she says that this could have happened to anyone. Well, no that is not true because scum like him would never have been in my truck so he would have no idea what goodies I had stored there. Plus she doesn’t think that she should be held financially responsible for these items yet the outstanding bill of $385 that I have with her has to be paid immediately or else.

Or else what? I won’t get any more of your crap dope? I won’t be left standing outside for an hour and a half at night in a rainstorm waiting to be picked up by my vehicle? I won’t have stuff that my husband, not even me, uses to make a living stolen from my truck while you are looking after it and then don’t do crap about it? I won’t have to put another $1200 in repairs into the truck a day after you have had it for a three day period in which you towed a trailer that I specifically told you not to tow? I have put $5200 in repairs into the truck since Christmas plus have also paid the $440 a month we have to pay to get the stupid thing insured.

Anyway it is times like this that I end up getting kind of depressed about my habit. I feel dirty or compromised or something that I can not quite articulate. I resent my usage I guess. Like I said I think for the most part I have been really lucky. I have never had to pawn all of my worldly possessions. In fact I have only been to a pawn shop maybe twice in my life and the visits were totally not related to dope. I have never been homeless or even jobless. I have never been really hungry. Like there have been lots of times that I haven’t wanted to eat but I pretty much have always been able to eat. I sometimes shudder when I stop to think about the shear amount of money that I have probably spent over the last twenty years but it is not as if I can take that money with me either so I can usually shake that thought pretty fast.

Again I am not entirely sure what I wanted to really express today. I was just mad and what actually set me off is that when I went to pay part of my debt she of course was out of pills – so, yes I am actually at work having not gotten anything prior which is a minor miracle in its own right – so I said that I would grab a bit of speed instead. I just wanted a quarter so I gave her another $30. She said that she didn’t have any broken out that I would have to take a half but that I could use this as a down payment towards the next time she needs the truck. So I look at it just as she is hustling me out the door and I say to her that there is no way that this is a half and she said that I would have to weigh it at home. Now she knew that I was on my way to work and that I did not have any scales at home so I don’t know what game she was trying to play. I said no that it was a quarter and that she in no way was going to get the truck and say that she had already given me something. Yuck, feel gross just writing/typing this out.

I Fought the Law – Kinda

FROM THE ARCHIVES ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 2006-03-15

Both Jim and I pretty much knew that it was simply a matter of time before he got pulled over and notified that his license was under suspension but neither one of us thought that it would be done in quite as spectacular way as it was yesterday. We knew that he was very much on borrowed time but we were hoping that our luck would hold a little bit longer than it actually did. He had two outstanding speeding tickets from last year that he has never bothered to pay the fines for and both of us have been driving long enough and are pretty much aware of the laws of our land also to know that both of these facts would put his license under suspension. The only thing going for him is that technically you are still able to drive while you are under suspension as long as you have not already been notified which he had not been – until the nice officer yesterday!

What really burns me is where he got nailed for all of this. The cop pulled us over less than a block from the methadone clinic as they are always loitering around the area where the clinic is located. I don”t agree with this but what can I do. I feel that it is a form of harrassment and intimidation, etc although I am sure that the cops view it as something entirely different. I was in the passenger”s side looking out the window when I noticed the cop car beside us. He signaled at me for us to pull over so Jim pulls into the first available parking lot. He rolls down his window as the officer approaches but the officer signals for him to exit the truck so Jim gets out. Right away the cop puts the kuffs on him stating that he is arrested for driving while under suspension and drags him over to place Jim in the backseat of the cruiser. Now we had offered a friend of ours a ride but the moment the cop asked both him and I for our id, he booked it out of there. I started to get mine out when I realized that I had our bag of gear in my book bag as well as five dilaudids in my silver pill case. Oops.

I doubt that anyone that has just started reading my journal here would have gone back to all of my old entries but you may want to check out this entry and also this one cause it will give you the necessary background info why it is very bad for moi to be pulled over with anything suspect on my person! My trial isn”t until the end of June as I am challenging the search of my vehicle stating that my civil rights were violated and my lawyer thinks that I have a really good chance of beating it cause of a lot of stuff that the arresting officer stated in his report after the fact. Not going to bore anyone here with the details but it kind of gives everyone a bit of background, etc concerning our truck.

So moving right along. The five pills I quickly swallowed. I have to admit that I was a tad concerned with how my body would end up reacting concerning I had just had 70mg of methadone not fifteen minutes earlier. The only thing that I had going for me is the fact that when taken orally, dilaudid has next to no effect on me. This is actually what ended up happening. Even though I swallowed 40mg of dilaudid, I barely flinched. Now my little bag filled with the other thirty five or so pills plus my bent spoon and some unused syringes was another thing altogether. Not to bright on my part for dragging all of that crap around with me as normally I wouldn”t have it with me but I didn”t want to leave it all at home unattended while I was at work. Jim will be the first to admit that he has no self control when he has that much readily available to him so for the four hours that I was away at work yesterday, I had left him two good hits already preloaded for him to entertain himself with until my return.

As our friend was bolting, I casually walked over to stand by a tree and dropped my bag in front of it so that it was out of sight of the officer. It was a good thing cause while Jim was waiting in the back of the cruiser, the cop came over to the truck and started poking around everywhere although he didn”t go near my book bag. He was being a right idiot also asking me what the screwdrivers that were floating around the truck were used for and what were the pack of ear plugs sitting in the glove box doing there. Excuse me? WTF? Whatever. I said that this was a working vehicle and that Jim used it for work. He told me to sit tight and that he would be done with Jim soon. Fine. So I sat in the passenger”s seat chain smoking until he released Jim who ended up getting a ticket notifying him that his license was under suspension – no monetary fine for this – and one for not having his driver”s license on his person – he had forgotten his wallet at home. Duh.

The cop should never have even kuffed him nor stated that he was under arrest because he was the one that was actually notifying him of his suspension. We obviously couldn”t drive the truck so we just left it there and jumped in a cab which was just as well. When we were pulling away in the cab, I noticed that the cop had moved his cruiser about a half a block away and was watching to see what we would do. Jim went back after dark to grab the truck and drive it home. Currently it is parked safely in its spot beside our house! I took the bus to methadone and work today!