Friday, October 29, 2010


There is a party raging out in the yard behind my house. There is a small bonfire, and I thought there might have even been a band...but I think it is just the radio. Looks fun. Reminds me a little of some of the gutterpunk parties I have attended, with the bonfire...

I think back to so many parties, outside with a fire. Man, those kids I used to hang out with really could drink. Really can drink, so many of them still drink like that today. Swilling cheap tequila right out of the bottle. The clear shit. The real nasty five dollar fifth. I swear that shit will make your life shorter. Keg stands by thirty year old guys who stink and haven't showered in days. Food grilling up, adding to the sweet smell of the bayou. The smell of the fire, and the food, and the liquor. Sitting out back, on an upturned bucket, or sometimes chillin right there on the ground. I see the faces of my friends around the fire through squinted alcohol eyes, swirling in smoke from cheap swag weed. Looking up, the light of the flames licks the faces of Maya, Shannon, Wick, Paul, Jordon, Kelly, Bald Paul, Mikey, KC, Angele, Kayne, Aimee, many others...

Interruption of thought, slamming right into my thoughts...something that sounded like a pop. Being from New Orleans, my thought first goes to gunshot. Then, cheering. I hear it again. My son's room is in the back. I just have to check. The mother in me takes over and goes to investigate the sound.

It is a hell of a party. I am still not sure what the pop sound was, but I am sure it is harmless. This is a nice neighborhood. I watched out the window for a while. It is loud...and there is a fucking band there! Pretty cool. Except that Lucien is sleeping in the room closest to all the ruckus. It looks fun, but I just really wish they were partying somewhere else.

I understand. It is Halloween weekend. This used to be a weekend that I partied all weekend. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays. I loved dressing up in a costume, and it was always a great excuse to party. Halloween is a big deal in New Orleans...and one of the best times of the year. I fucking love Halloween.

But, things are different for me now. I wish the party behind my quiet little piece of heaven was somewhere else. I am excited about Lucien's batman costume, but I am not even sure if I will dress up. I will not be going out to all the bars, and I will not be doing a lot of shots and lines. I will be trick or treating. And I will be in very early. I probably will not eat much candy, and I have to get some sleep because Mondays are always busy. Things have really changed for me...

And I am happy. I do not want to leave the house tomorrow to do a bunch of running around. I want to spend the whole day with my son...going to the park, taking a walk, cooking, and talking in three syllable sentences. I have an easy dinner planned, and I am looking forward to a peaceful day with my baby. I cannot wait.

My how things have changed. I never thought I would see the day that the party is just too loud. I never thought I would see the day when I chose to just stay in. Solitude. Sanity. Soul. Complete.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Update, and a bit about Perry

Just a little update because I have been SUPER busy!!! I am working with the new media at my college, which involves the online paper and radio station. I start my own radio show in the morning. It is 9am, and I am not sure how many listeners will be out there listening to college radio this early...but I will have been up for hours! My show is about music. I am researching many of the unknown college bands that we play, and talking about them while playing their music. I am pretty excited. Tomorrow I talk about Thievery Corporation, whom I already know and love. They feature Perry Ferrell on one of their tracks, and I have to say I have made respect for anyone who works with Perry Ferrell...

I fucking love this man. And I think he is really fucking sexy. Back in the early days of Jane's Addiction, I loved them. Most of my friends swooned over Dave Navarro, but I always got weak at the knees with the sight of Perry Ferrell. I mean, just watch the man, with his energy and his oddities. And his as shit. He is weird, and I fucking love it. Not to mention, the whole kissing other men on stage is a turn on to me. I just watch perry Ferrell and get excited. I saw him last summer, and he is sexier than ever, by the way. His hair is shorter and more brown than it used to be, and he is in better shape. I always loved his stick thin figure, but recently he had some muscles (lean muscles of a former skinny man...) and I loved the muscles too. He is just fucking sexy. (I also think Billy Corgan is one of the sexiest men out there...)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Conditioned to mistrust
I want to believe...
I want to trust,
But past progresses
To future,
And I am too burned.
Like one two three
I know how it is
To be all alone
I know how it is
To have it all
On your shoulders
I know how it is
To be stuck...
And we single mothers
Have to stick together.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rant at Baby Daddy

Are you serious that this mother fucker is such a cheap bastard? What the hell was I thinking when I had a kid with this mother fucker? I do not even have an excuse, I was not high at the time. I had been clean for a while...

Just bad mother fucking judgement...AGAIN.

He does not even buy diapers. He does not help out with childcare. Or clothing. And he cannot be trusted to watch my baby for more than a few hours, for fear he will get too frustrated...

And then he has the fucking balls to ask me to bring my 3G modem over for the afternoon!!! Are you fucking serious? I pay for that Internet, and you cannot even buy a mother fucking diaper...and you want to use my Internet connection? Fuck you, you fucking fuck. Get a mother fucking life. Buy your own shit. Pay for some stuff with your son. And pay me some child support, and don't forget about the mother fucking 700 bucks you owe me. And no, mother fucker, you cannot use anything else I fucking pay for, until you pony up some cash, you asshole!

Friday, October 15, 2010


I read an article about methadone, and when it discussed some of the side effects of the drug, I was reminded...

When I was on methadone I sweat profusely. Granted, I lived in Savannah, Georgia at the time, and in the summer it is really hot there. But, it did not matter to my body...I constantly sweat.

Waiting tables in an air conditioned restaurant, and the sweat was pouring down my face. It would just drip and drip and drip. A constant stream of sweat, drip, drip, dripping. I thought it was really bizarre. I had always been cold natured, but on methadone all I did was sweat. I would be bundled up in a jacket, slightly shivering, yet sweating a little. In the summer, it was unreal.

I never remember being like that on dope, and I most certainly was never like that before. Among all the other detrimental side effects from methadone, I think the sweating was the most obvious. And the most annoying.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rambling On...

Thinking about disclosure at work...

I dare someone to judge me for my past, without looking at the person I am today...which happens to be the only person my coworkers have ever met. I dare someone to look at the time clock, and see who is never late. I dare someone to challenge my work ethic and knowledge of food. I dare someone to pass a judgement on me because I was once addicted to heroin, I guarantee that today I do a better job than they do. And I am more reliable. I have been clean a long time, and I don't even drink.

I work in the restaurant industry, where a lot of people drink and go out. And I am pretty sure that I am more clean and sober than the majority of the people I work with. I bet almost every one of them has been so wasted in the last year that they did something they regret at least once. I have not done that in almost five years. I am not late for work, and I work really hard. I go to school, and I write every day...and I am a good mom...I dare someone to judge me.

Go ahead, take a good look at my life. If you are not willing to give me a chance, then you are not worth my wasted breath. My life is pretty good. I have a lot of positive things happening to me, and if you cannot see through that veil of the past...then I don't give a fuck about you.

I feel pretty damn good about myself. I feel pretty damn good about every single thing in my life. And I got nothing to hide. But, that doesn't mean I have to flaunt it either. Sometimes it is best just to keep your mouth shut, act like you don't know anything. But, I never lie.

If someone asks me directly about it, I always tell the truth. There is no point in lying about it. I have nothing to hide. I am not ashamed of anything. There are some things I may not be proud of, but I have nothing to lie about at this point in my life. Lying about my past, makes me look guilty. I am no longer guilty. For the first time in my life, I got nothing to hide.

And I volunteer the information to some. I talk about my addiction a lot in school because I write about it so much. Sometimes, when we are doing a peer edit and I first tell the other student about my memoir about my addiction and experience with the Hurricane, I see a look of partial shock on their face, like they don't really know how to react to me when I say, " I used to be a junky, and here is my story about it..."

I will say, I am glad I did not defend myself to the coworker, and I don't think I could have done that anyway. I really do not like anyone who makes prejudice statements such as this. I think it is moronic to stereotype people. But, I do not want to waste my fight and fire on a losing battle. Sometimes, no matter what you say or do, that mind set will not change. And those are the kind of motherfuckers I cannot tolerate, and I don't even want to waste my time. I would rather waste my time with the type of person who can learn something from my experiences, even if they only learn that not ALL ex junkies are not such and such...

I do wish there was as much respect for recovery as there is stigma for heroin addiction. It seems very unbalanced to me. It takes a lot of really tough work to make it in recovery. It takes a lot of soul searching, which is something most people avoid. If you do not know your demons, well, you most certainly cannot attempt to overtake them. It is a major accomplishment to stay clean and to become something in your life. It is a serious accomplishment to change your life around, and fucking do something with it. I wish more people could see how hard a road recovery really is, but then the only way more people could see this is if they had some personal experience with it because that is the only way you can know...and I do not wish more people had experience with addiction. Instead, I wish less people had this experience.

It is what it is...and its one of the things I cannot change...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Conversation with a Coworker

Talking with a coworker this morning, and the subject drifted to concerts coming to the area. Apparently, MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice are starting a tour together. My coworker wants to see this show, and then he mentions, with a tone of disapproval that Vanilla Ice has his own home improvement show. I point out that while Vanilla Ice may be a musical laughing stock, he was smart with his real estate investments and has made more money flipping houses than he was able to save from his short rap career. My coworker shruggs his shoulders and replies, "Yeah, but he is a recovering heroin addict." I am left speechless. Then, all the questions start spinning for me. Do I defend recovering addicts, and hence defend myself? Or would that merely open the door for problems at my job? I never lie about my past, but I do chose to omit those details in some settings. There is such a stigma with heroin addiction, and the stigma with recovery is never enough to overcome those labels. I feel sure that a recovered addict has put more effort into his recovery than most people put into anything they do. There is nothing I can do about the stigma and attitude surrounding addiction, even the recovery from addiction...but it still leaves me speechless and frustrated to hear these sentiments.
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Obssesion, A Warm Up

I recognize that face, as he stares down from that toilet in the ramshackle of a bathroom. A crazed look of obsession and need painted all over his face. His eyes, glazed and wild, staring intently at the tip of the needle. Sores, open and gaping all over his legs, as he stares intently down at the shiny tip of the needle. Desperation and need, as that fucking tiny, shiny tip of the needle becomes the center of the obsession.

Cuts and sores and bruises, I remember my arms. I remember my neck, and my wrists, and my hands, and my fucking soul. Some cuts are much deeper than others. Slicing into the skin every day, a ritual. The brand new needle slices the skin like fucking warm butter. Every single day, the poking and the prodding, the obsessive look of gotta get the fucking shot. The desperate days where the physical bruises and sores and marks were a map to my spiritual demise, but I did not care about anything when that obsession had taken the fuck over.

I remember sitting on the floor in various hotel rooms, apartments, and houses, for hours sometimes, obsessively poking and prodding. My veins were a fucking wreck in these days from the daily invasions of the poking and the prodding. My blood was always thick and coagulated from all the fucking poisons, drugs saturated my veins in those days making them thick and heavy, as my blood simply would refuse to flow back. Reminded me of pancake syrup when it finally backed up into the syringe. Before, it burst a light red, pumping and healthy, like a poppy flower as it flowed into the syringe, beautiful and enticing. But, in the end, my blood flow was thick and dark, syrupy and bitter fucking sweet. Obsession with the needle, gotta get the fucking shot. I ain’t wasting the shit by putting it up my nose.

Hours and hours wasted, locked away in a bathroom with my obsession with the needle and the veins. Blood splattered ceilings and doors, became a staple of this lifestyle I had become obsessed with. Wasted so many hours, just poking and prodding as I pushed and pulled at my skin, slapping and pulling, and turning and then pushing and prodding. Desperately searching for that deep, deep blue that is just below the fucking surface. It is in there, it is in there, I know it is fucking in there!!!

Thinking about all the wasted hours locked in the bathroom, locked in the thickness and the fucking darkness of the god damned addiction. Images pop up, all the fucking time, and this raging demon screams up on upon my fucking, fucking god damn fucking back. Screaming demon, screaming demon, straight from the mother fucking syringe, my ears are a screaming demon, a screaming demon just screaming, screaming a hollowed out holler of a fucking scream. Shoot that fucking arm full of coke, and the fucking train is screaming from the station. Screaming in my ears and screaming in my throat. Ringing, singing, screaming like a Mimi between my fucking eyes.

Absence, absence, the essence was the light, living in the void, the devoid of this mother fucking century…her..oin. Screaming out to the void in my soul, and turning my life from meaningless into a riddled obsession with the fucking needle get the fucking shot…gotta hit….gotta git, gotta git that fucking shot. Look back, at that face, I know that fucking face. I know that fucking face. I seen it all before….

Obsession taken over the desire to live, as this mechanical soul just takes the fuck over. Emotions are melted on the heat of the spoon, and they dissolve quickly, like the second you pour the coke into the clear, warm brown liquid waiting for the speedball in the bottom of the spoon. No stirring required, just dump all your emotions into the warm shot of drugs in the spoon, and they, too melt away. The fix, the fix…it all fades into nothing as the character of the fucking fix takes center stage. Center stage, that mother fucker.

Fuck it all, sneaking around in public bathrooms because the need of the needle has simply taken over your life. Steal away, at work…steal away for the bathroom, and take a quick shot. Taking a little too long in the bathrooms at even the junky bars, I sometimes reverted to just using the alleyways, hoping no one stumbled upon me. Sometimes they did, and other times they didn’t as I was a junky huddled up in the alley way on the side of some bar in the French Quarter. It wasn’t like I was out on the streets or anything; those alleyways in New Orleans are all a fucking maze, winding around throughout courtyards and all.

I miss the fucking city…time to switch gears and start working on the book. Good writing exercise…

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Soapbox Ramblings

have been thinking a lot lately about treatment. I guess these thoughts have been prompted by comments, and also other blogs. I feel like I may be back on the treatment soapbox a little here, but let's face it...addiction treatment has a lot of holes in it.

I left a rather long, and ranting response to Erin about treatment, and my wheels have started turning on the subject again. And then there is No2Methadone, who I believe also has some really great ideas about reform for the methadone program. So, once again, I am going to get back on this soapbox about treatment. Here, with a little more background information about me....

I have stated before that the methadone program is good in theory, but falls short in practice. I also have put up my seal of approval for suboxone. And furthermore, I now acknowledge that I personally had to be opiate free to really begin to release and beat my demons of addiction. I am not here to argue or defend any one point of treatment over the other. I think they all have their place. But, I do think things could always be better...

Two years ago, when my son was just starting to show through all the baby fat I had eventually regained in my clean time I started looking towards the future. And taking a serious look this time, for the first time in many, many years. Since I started the journey of recovery, I tried several different career paths. I had lots of half hearted and half serious ideas about what I wanted to do when I grew up. This child growing inside of me had made me realize that I needed to re-evaluate some things...and I needed to get serious thinking about my future.

Up to this point, I was still just floating by, almost flying by the whims from the seat of my pants. Even in recovery, I still had so many ideas about what I was going to do with the rest of my life. My writing had taken a bit of a back seat in the early days of my recovery. I felt like I just never had enough time, as I filled my life up with all sorts of activities to keep me busy. And then, there was the question of what to write about. Writing had always been a strong piece of my past, my history. I may have abandoned a lot of things in my addiction, but I never abandoned my writing. I carried a tattered and blood splattered journal where I would scrawl down all the decrepit ideas that sometimes where vomit ted from the depths of my mind. I read voraciously in my using days. I did not watch tv, and I surrounded myself with other addicted artists. I was tragic. I was the tragic writer addict who would someday publish his works of addiction...I would really get started once i could afford a laptop, and finally start organizing some of these tattered and torn notes.

But, in my early recovery, I put down the notebooks for a while. Let me transgress a jail, I wrote all the time, again all the feelings and revelations from the bottom(jail really was my bottom)...came spilling out. My heart and soul bleed out on that paper in jail, splattering it with reality and ideas for a new future. When I first got out of jail, I was writing lots of letters. I shared my revelations for the future, and God's hand that was guiding me to those I had befriended in jail. But, just as quickly as the blood flow had begun, I abandoned my craft once more.

I cannot really explain why. Part of it was that I had taken on a whole new series of activities. I was also hurting from the terrible heartache that comes with divorce. And then, I think there was some subtle piece of me that was associating my writing with the past. Also, I experienced a writer's block, after all I had always written about my experience with drugs, and when i was trying not to focus on all that, I just did not have much that I was so passionate enough about to just get lost in the words. I stared at a blank paper.

I delved into the restaurant business. For those of you who do not know, food is also one of my passions. I have always worked in the restaurant business, and much of my life that was not consumed with drugs was consumed with food (and drink...) and often, this lifestyle went hand in hand with the service and hospitality industry. I think we all know that the restaurant business always is worked by those who have a tendency to party. It is the hours, it is the high pace, and it is the flexible attitudes of so many in the business.

Anyway, in my early recovery, I focused on my desire to excel in this restaurant business. It was the only way to make money I had ever known besides stripping...waiting tables and bartending. I was well aware that I could not work in bar any longer, so I chose to dive into food. I ended up waiting tables in a really nice steakhouse, and I decided I also wanted to work in the kitchen, in hopes to maybe go to culinary school.

I wormed my way into the kitchen, and excelled at a rate that even surprised me. I really loved it. I wanted to cook for the rest of my life. I wanted my own restaurant. I wanted to stay just inside the gas flames that ignite the burners in every kitchen. I made a plan to move back to Charlotte, and go to college at Johnson and Wales.

Then, Lucien comes unexpectedly along. At first, it did not really sink in. Some women report that they became a mother the moment they realized they were pregnant. Well, it wasn't like that for me. It took a while to sink in. The ramifications of how my life would change are still sinking in sometimes. At first, I thought since I was already on a good path, this would not change anything. I really thought I could just take a couple weeks off from work to have the baby and then just get right back into the grind. I really thought I could start Johnson and Wales, have a baby, and not miss a beat.

As Lucien grew inside of me, and the realities began to sink in with the tiny feet prodding at my ribs while I waited tables, always walking around on my feet. (I am a hard worker, and I did not slow the pace while pregnant...I even waited tables on a double on my due date. ) As Lucien began growing inside of me, protruding for the world to see, I realized that I needed to rethink my plan. I had been contemplating other options for a while, and it became a reality as my son became more obvious to both me and the rest of the world.

One of the things I really considered was substance abuse counseling. I am passionate about treatment, and I am recovered now. I think I have a lot of insight to offer addicts who are struggling to find their way. I think the best counselors I ever had were former addicts. The only methadone program I was on that I would agrgue was a good program, was run and staffed by former addicts. These truly are the best people to be involved in treatment programs. People who know what it is like can better help those struggling. At least, that is what I think.

I wanted to open my own treatment center...that worked. I had this heroin treatment utopia facility in my head. I think the methadone program is a good program, in theory. I also think that as an addict in search of treatment, this was the only option I really considered. At least in the beginning. I was not about to go cold turkey again, and I had already tried that several times and it never worked. If not for methadone in the beginning, I might not be clean today. At the point that you have been using for seven years, it is just too scary to consider the fact that you may never, ever use again.

That was what was hard about treatment in the beginning. When it got bad enough that I sought treatment, I was not ready to give it up completely, which is what many treatment programs require. It was just too scary tom think about not ever getting high again. And then the agony associated with withdrawal. Hell no. Oh, and the agony after the initial "physical" withdrawal is over. Yeah, you might just be sick for three or four days, but after that part of the sickness, is when the mental anguish comes crushing down on you. Racking and reeling your brain, pounding it with thoughts of ony dope. And the exhaustion. You just can't seem to walk more than the pace of a snail. You feel like you have been through the ringer, and you just feel like crap. It is those weeks after the initial kick that are the real agony of lethargy and depression, riddled with the anxious spinning and turning from your brain and its obsession. It is hell, and I knew I could not do it. Methadone was my only option at this point.

Now, this was almost ten years ago that I started to seek treatment for the first times. Suboxone was unheard of at this time. It was about three years later before I began to hear of the treatment called buprenorphine. It wasn't even Suboxone or Subutex when i first heard about it, it was just buprenorphine in those days. I wonder what could have been different if my first inquiry into methadone had been treated differently.

Let me fill you in...the first time I ever called a methadone clinic was before I left New Orleans. I had been using for six months or so. Well, I had been using every day for about six months. It was still in my earlier experiences of the agony of withdrawal. I had experienced this agony on occasion when I waiting for the dope man. If I did not call soon enough, and then I had to wait a couple of was miserable. I was still snorting the drug at the time. My dealer got busted, and there was a couple of days when i could not get much. I had to call in for over a week. I would eventually find a little something after about two days of pain, and then another two days of agony passed before I found another little something. I did not have any back up sources in those days, I was relatively new to the game, and my guy was reliable.

Well, in those days of agony I did call a methadone clinic. I was not ready to "recover", but I did not want to take this sickness any longer. One of the first questions they asked me over the phone was "How long have you been using?". When I responded, six months...I was immediately shut down. Nope, there was nothing a clinic could do for me. You had to be using for at least a year to get on methadone. I could have just gone down there and lied about how long I had been using, but in a few days the dope man was released and things went back to normal for at least a couple of months.

I think about how that crucial call, six months into the addiction game could have been handled differently. This is one idea that fed my idea of this treatment utopia. With buprenorhine, you are not required to be addicted for a year. I think that clinics should be able to prescribe both buprenorhine and methadone, and they should be able to evaluate the patient and mutually decide the best treatment. For instance, when a caller says they have only been addicted for 6 months, then the clinic explains that buprenorhine could be used but not methadone. Instead, when I made that call, I was basically told to keep using for another six months and then call them back.

What if there had been some intervention from the clinic I reached out to? What if they scheduled me an appointment, and offered me some other program, some other sense of relief. Maybe if I had been given buprenorphine and proper counseling then, I would have never gone on to the next stages. And maybe I would have simply rejected it, or just returned to using once my source returned. No one can say. (In defense of the clinic, buprenorhine was not out back then, and I am glad they do not put people who have been using less than a year on methadone.)

Also, I wanted to start a clinic that provided good counseling, and that it was mandatory. I wanted to start a clinic that gave financial discounts with an extended amount of clean time. The methadone clinic I attended in Middletown, Rhode Island was a nearly ideal program, and it gave me some ideas. This program was run by a recovered addict, who knew the score. They were not lenient, and you had to follow the rules. They required counseling, and they provided both group and individual sessions that were also covered by insurance. They had an incredibly high success rate, I think out of the hundred or so people on the clinic, only about 15 would test dirty. Most of the people on the program here really had gotten their lives together, and there was not much drug talk here. They were strict about the rules, and if you did not follow could not dose. Most clinics merely want your money, and do not care to provide any service beyond that.

So, I wanted to open a methadone/buprenorhine facility that worked. I wanted to help addicts with counseling, and I wanted to make a difference in live's and still make a buck doing it. I do think that these programs need a lot of fixing, and i want to commend those who realize the programs are worth fixing, but they are definitely broken.

Anyway, my ideas of getting into substance abuse counseling began to fade after Lucien was born. I realized a lot of things that I did not know before becoming a mother. And I had to make a stable living for my child. As things began to get ugly with Lucien's father, I realized i had to get my degree, and get on with my life. I had only a year left for my mass media communication degree, and then the writing started to spill out once again, and I realized I had to pursue my god given talent. The stories started to pour out of me, and the blog was born. The book was started, and school is now well underway. So, I have abandoned the ideas of opening a clinic and becoming a counselor to help others. I hope i can helf them through my writing.

Now, I feel I have come full circle. I have come back to my writing, and it is getting more and more polished. I write every day. And I am getting a lot of good work done. I am getting a lot of good responses. I think I have come abk to this path I was destined for, in a different light. But, I really hope that someone else decides to open a utopia clinic, and I hope that the system for treatment does eventually get fixed. And although I can stand on my soapbox, I really do not know what is best. And although, I have all these ideas of improvements, I still am not doing anything about it. It is just not my fight anymore. I may talk about it. I may think about it, but my focus is now my writing, and my family. All the rest will have to be taken on by someone else...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Interesting thing happened to me today...and I am happy with the outcome...

Cleaning the yard at a friend's house who lives on a busy side of town, and I see a syringe pushed into the mud of the driveway, near the street. I gasp, a little. There is no cap on it, and it is a long needle, slightly bent and shining in the sunlight. Dirt from the driveway clings to the nasty thing.

Almost instinctive I pick it up, this is a yard where kids live on either side! I pick it up, by the shaft...way from away from the possibly infectious needle. Holding it like it is covered in disease, I took several steps to the trash can and quickly tossed it in.

I looked at for a second when I first picked it up. I noticed the numbers, noticed it had not been used many times. I noticed how the dirt clung to it, and I noticed the needle itself, but I think mostly because of safety. I have to say, it did rattle me just a little.

It almost exhilarated me when I picked it up, but my heart seemed to race in fear. Instinctively I picked it to protect the children in the area, but it was almost like I was fearful when I held it. I tossed it away quickly, almost yelping the same way I do when I have to kill a bug. I knew I was on uncomfortable ground.

Then, the idea of the syringe crept in a little. I thought about what the blood looks like flowing back into it. I thought about pulling back on the needle and watching the deep brown dope fill the chamber. I thought about holding it between my teeth, the warm dope against my tongue while I tightened the tourniquet. I thought about watching the blood splatted liquid contents forced through the tiny tip...

All these images, flashed in the front of my brain. Just a couple of seconds, and these images flashed past while I was left standing by the trashcan. Then it was over. I noticed the pace of my heart had quickened slightly, but it quickly regulated. The images just sloughed off, and I was left thinking about the fact that it did rattle me. I was caught off guard. It was a tactile sense, right there in my face.

I write about getting high a lot. I write about the way it felt, the ritual of the needle, the places I used, the things that I did...but, I am prepared when I do that. When I sit down at my computer, I am a sober mother with a goal and a mission. I am a writer. I am still concentrated on my focus, my angle. And my angle is sobriety. I know these images will be coming up, but I also know how to handle them. Sometimes, I may have a slight physical reaction, like a quickening of the heart...or a turn of slight nausea in my stomach...or a deep breath, almost a sigh. But, it does not rattle me.

Being caught off guard, like that did rattle me little. The images flashed past, and the left as soon as they came. I took a minute alone. I looked at the sky. I looked at my car. I thought about my apartment, and I allowed the pages of my book to turn in my head. My perspective regained. Just a passing montage of imagery...almost like something was speaking to me.

And they said, "Hey, look what you, look what you've got."

Then, I walked back inside to the house and there was my son smiling at me. His beautiful smile, radiating towards me. His eyes twinkling in the sunlight, as he giggles. His golden curls, reflected in the afternoon light like a halo around his head. A rush much better than heroin came over me. And I realized, that this is where the best high is. And I would never trade any of this for even one more second back there.

I sit in the silence of my new apartment, writing. My son sleeps soundly on our first night in the new home. The tap, tap, tapping of the keyboard is the only sound to compete with the traffic outside. There is a steady stream of cars down this road, and it reminds me of Port Street. The house has arched doorways, only much, much smaller than the one on Port Street. All hardwood floors, and a lot of character.

I met my neighbor tonight. He had a son that is only two months older than my son.

I am enjoying the silence. The solitude. It is peaceful. It feels really good to be here in my own place, with my own quiet, with my own work, with my son... I did feel a little lonely when my son first fell asleep. It has been a long, long time since I have lived alone. But, it feels great, too.

I called my best friend, and we talked for a short while. Now, I don't feel lonely anymore. I really love it here...

Sunday, October 3, 2010


I am disappointed. And yet I understand. That is the conundrum of it all. I am worried. I am overly concerned. And I am disappointed. Most of all, I am disappointed. I am not mad, and like I said, I understand, just not from personal experience this time. I wonder if this paragraph resonates with any of the parents of addicts right now.

I found out a good friend relapsed. She has a lot at stake this time, and she does suffer from mental illness. I hate to say it like that, it seems like such a loaded description. I searched for a better terminology, but could not come up with anything. She has been in treatment for about a year, and it seemed she was doing great. Until the demons in her head came calling again.

So, she relapsed. And has some serious consequences. The real kicker is that she called me after the trouble had begun, and not telling me the whole truth...she called me for help. And I fell for it. She did check herself into a center for dual diagnosis the day after I sent her fifty bucks. For that, I am proud of her.

She has been released from treatment, demons still circling over head. She is clean, but she still is suffering from extreme anxiety. And she did fess up, but then asked me for more money...well, not really asked, but hinted around at it. I just feel like a sucker. I tried to give her some solid advice from my perspective. I don't think she really liked my advice, but I hope it made some sense to her. I most certainly did not give her any more money. I just do not have it to give, I did not really have the fifty bucks to give the first time...most certainly not to be used on drugs.

Anyway, I am so disappointed she relapsed. But, I understand. I understand how it happens, it happened to me in the past. But, then, I had nothing at stake. Now I do. And it is different. She has a lot at stake now, too...and she still relapsed. I was thinking about how I felt in those early days of recovery....the whole first year was hard. She lives in a city with a heroin problem, and she still hangs out with people who use...or are still in some cycle of abuse. And I understand how hard it is, especially when you are still surrounded by it. I understand how it happens, yet I am still disappointed.

I am let down because she lied to me. I am let down because she used. And I am disappointed that she has brought some pretty serious consequences against her. In less than a couple of weeks, she has some very serious consequences. I am disappointed. I feel like I am having a loss of words when I try to put my disappointment into words without sounding cliche.

I think about being clean for only a couple of weeks. My life was still completely absorbed with drugs. It took a long time for that to go away. My friend had been on buprenorhine for quite some time. And I think about my reservation with both buprenorphine and with methadone. I am not against either of them. I actually think buprenorphine is a great treatment, and I think methadone can be a good just have to be committed to getting your life back on track. But, from my standpoint, I do have some reservations with both treatments. But when I was in active addiction, both of these treatments were good solutions. I think these two treatments are excellent stepping stones. And I truly believe that these treatments are life long for some people, and that is great. I think if your life is productive, and together, and free of chaos and bankruptcy, and you need methadone or suboxone to live normally...then more power to you for doing something about your problem. After all, we could all hope the addicts in our lives make their lives happy and productive, however they do it.

But, my reservation with those programs is that you do not shed the cycle. You still have to get up every day and take your medicine. You wake up thinking about your medicine, and if you don't think about it...the sickness will inevitably come calling to remind of your opiate's presence. You are not truly free, and in an small are a slave to a habit. The presence of opiates in your system still has some hold on your life, even if you are in control of it by taking your medicine on time. You are still stuck in the cycle.

It was when I broke that cycle that I really began to be free. When you can wake up in the morning, and the first thought than comes to your head is no longer dope, in some form...I think you making your way to real freedom. You will still think about it for a long time, but as the time goes on, you start thinking about it less and less. One day, you look back and realize you haven't thought about drugs in days. And then eventually, when they do come to mind...the urge to use them does not immediately follow. For me, I still think about drugs, especially because I write about my experiences so much. But now, I think about using, and the thought that immediately follows is "it is just not worth the bad things that could is just not worth it."

Maybe I am just lucky, and I am willing to accept that. I now think about it like this...what if I got caught and they took my son? NOT WORTH THE RISK...AND I KNOW HOW EASY IT COULD HAPPEN. I think...what if I od'ed and my son tried to wake me up for hours before we were discovered. NOT WORTH THE RISK. I think of all the scenarios that could happen to adversely affect my son...even if I just used once. AND IT IS NOT WORTH IT. Even the best high times, would not be worth my son. He is the best high I have ever had. He is the best feeling I have ever had. He is the best thing that ever happened to me, and I realize that drugs could take him away in an instant...AND IT WOULD BE DETRIMENTAL TO HIM. IT IS JUST NOT WORTH IT.

I am blessed to be where I am today. And I am disappointed in my friend. I am really sad for her too. But, it makes me thankful that I am no longer in those shoes. And it makes me even more thankful that I am miles away from those...I never want to wear those nasty old shoes again. For that, I am truly blessed.

In my addiction, I honestly could not imagine a life without drugs. I did not think I could be so happy without drugs. I really had no idea how good things could get once I got my shit back together. And I wish I had known, because I would have done this a lot sooner. It was hard getting here, but damn, I am sure glad I did. And I want to stay here. It really was worth the struggle.
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Something You Didn'y Know About Me

Something you all do not know about me is...

That I love food. I am passionate about food. I am incredibly knowledgeable about food. I love to cook, and I usually create my own dishes...sometimes very elaborate and other times very comforting.

I work in a restaurant, as a server in a pretty hip restaurant that is brand new. I have always worked in a restaurant, both in front and back of the house. I cooked in the kitchen for more than a year, where I was known by customers and staff alike to make the best soups. After the first two weeks of making soup, I never followed recipe but made my owns soups.

I might get ideas from recipes, or from something I saw in a cook book. Or I would get ideas from what was in the walk in. Whatever you need to go ahead and use will make a great soup. I eventually made the nightly fish specials. I was allowed a lot of creativity with it. I must mention here, though...that it was a fine dining STEAKHOUSE so the fish special usually was not a top seller. It was a great restaurant though, and everything we put out was quality.

I once made an pecan crusted catfish with a maple and cayenne buerre blanc served with bourbon brown sugar sweet mash. I ground pecans into a flour like consistency, and then dredged the catfish in it (with an egg wash). It was awesome...I make a blackened tuna bloody mary where I blacken a big thick piece of ahi, and I sear it just barely so the meat is rare and it is topped with a "bloody mary" salsa, which has stewed tomatoes, picked okra, picked green beans, pepperincini, horseradish, and a little green olive. I make a leg of lamb that I coat with oive oil and them rub down with fresh rosemary, mint, and garlic then it is roasted until medium rare. 15 minutes before lamb is done, I rub a thin layer of grated fresh Parmesan and bread crumb so it bakes crispy and brown. Then I use all the leftover juices and make a herbed cabernet gravy. It is divine!

I am struck, now for the first time, with the fact that I use alcohol in my gourmet cooking. I often deglaze the pan with white wine or beer, depending on what the people around me are drinking. I use wine in my sauces, and I use the flavors of famous drinks. For instance, I make a Mint Julep Creme Brulee that I put fresh mint and a little whiskey. For a recovered addict, this would seem odd.

And I honestly never noticed until I wrote it on paper. I never even thought about it. I do not drink anymore. But, I cook with it. My mom will have a beer while I am cooking on a holiday or gathering (I cook for almost all family events, often with my brother who is also a superb cook.) and if my pan is sticking, I just ask her for a little splash of beer. I never think about wanting a sip.

I think in those first few years of being in recovery, my mom would get nervous at the mention of alcohol. They never drank around me at first, and then my family would have a glass or two of beer or wine at a special occasion. No one in my family got sloshed. When I asked to get a splash to cook with it one time I sensed my mom's trepidation. They never questioned me for cooking with it, but I saw that questioning look. I am not sure if they trusted my judgement, but I had been clean more than a year when this first happened. I could tell they were worried. But now, my mom just hands me the bottle to splash some in. She knows I don't want to drink it. And alcohol is part of the culinary experience.

In the world of food and food writing, alcohol is part of it. But, that does not mean you have to drink to be able understand this pairing. Now, I am not sure if you get the knowledge you would need about wine without drinking it. I used to drink, and when I lived in New Orleans...I drank a lot. I worked at a great restaurant there that had over 1,000 wines on our list. We had a weekly wine class, and I learned a lot about wine in the three years I worked there. Now, I have the knowledge, so it is just keeping up with the trends and products. I can read a flavor profile of a wine, and I can generally pair it with that alone. Anyway, I think I have ventured from the point of this little piece with my discovery of the mention of alcohol....

One of my goals is to win the James Beard award for Journalism. The James Beard awards are the most prestigious awards in the culinary world. I did not know they had Journalism awards until recently, but I knew several restaurants that have received these honors in various other categories. It is always an honor. I hope to win this award with a blog. I plan on doing a food-photo blog, where it has a picture every day with piece of writing crafted around the image. I plan to write stories, and information, or whatever that food inspires me to write. I want my knowledge and LOVE for food to be the driving force of the food blog. I want my readers to feel my passion for flavor, and cooking, and the experience of eating. Food is a life force. Food is an art source. Food is divine and yet necessity. Food is a universal human experience.

I am currently finishing another writing project, that I am hoping to craft into a book. When the book is finished, the blog will be my next main project. Right now, I am gaining experience by writing for my college's online newspaper, and of course by writing on this blog. I only need one big project at a I finish the book AND THEN start the food blog.

But, I am always scribbling down ideas for the food blog. I think I have six months worth of ideas! I do not have any pictures yet because I am hoping to buy a really nice somewhat professional camera for this. I took several semesters of photography in college, and I actually have an eye for it. And,food,food...who doesn't love food.

I make a mean shrimp and grits. I make an amazing Gumbo Ya-Ya. I make grilled seafood and top it with my own fruit pico de gallo. I make homemade pimento mac and cheese. I make a great black and blue pasta, with blackened chicken and a blue cheese cream sauce. I make the best green beans, and excellent healthy collard greens. I love to cook!!! And I love to eat.

And I love to write. It is a gift from heaven that I am talented with both writing and food, and an eye for photography. I am very blessed with talents, and I have finally have the means to use all these talents together. I am very excited about the future.