Monday, March 30, 2009

I tend to be long-winded. But this can be summed up nicely by saying, "What the hell is wrong with people who ignore you when you say hello on the street, or have a nice day at the end of a transaction and they just walk away?" I mean seriously? I suppose there are the few times they just don't hear you, but not often. I think it's just plain rude.

When you pass someone on the street, just smile, or nod. At least in small towns like Brattleboro. I guess in the city it's only practical not to be overly friendly, but not out here in the sticks. But no matter where you live, be it urban or rural, you should treat co-workers with courtesy.

I'm going to start calling people out on that shit. Maybe.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Ready to Move - Only Two Days Left!!!! And then some stuff you Never Wanted to Know.

Beware. Before reading this post, you are forewarned that there is talk of abortions and related subjects. If that upsets you, don't read it. Thanks.

Wow, I'm so ready to move. We've been packing like crazy. The one good thing about moving is that you get rid of all the crap that you don't really need. Since this is the second time in six months that we have moved, we've really cleaned out a lot of clutter. I'm a big pack rat. I save everything, all my bills and receipts and school work. It's kind of crazy. So I've been tossing everything that is dated before 2008. Unless it's really important, like my tax returns; those I keep for seven years and no one will convince me I shouldn't bother.

I finally have gotten up the courage to throw away a ton of clothes. I'm not actually throwing them away, I want to donate them because they are nice, I just don't fit into them anymore. I gained a ton of weight when I got clean. I think it was partially because I actually began eating regularly. But I also had huge sweet cravings like I've never experienced before. And I guess because I was so skinny I didn't think much about it and ate whatever I wanted. Now I can't wear anything from back then. I've lost a lot of it but I'm still a ways to go to my preferred weight. I need to lose at least twenty-five pounds to feel like myself again. Until now I've been hanging onto all my old clothes thinking I would wear them again some day. But they are beginning to seem out of style or not age appropriate and I figure a new wardrobe would be good incentive to lose weight. Once I'm back to a normal size, I get to buy new clothes. Until then I have to wear all the bulky crap I've bought since I got fat.

I was doing well for a while. As I decrease my dose the weight starts melting off, but I've stabilized at 30mg for now until it warms up. Coming down in the winter is too hard for me once I get below 30mg, I start to feel cold all the time. I think it might be easier in the summer. I need to at least try every option I can think of before resigning myself to being on m-done forever. I really hate being associated with the clinic at this point. I feel like if that's the kind of place I associate with then that crap will always be in my life. I just don't want all the shit that has to do with using in my life. I don't want know-it-all junkies blah-blahing in my face every morning about why they don't work or why such and such is the way it is when they really have no clue. I don't want feigning freaks sniffing around my car and asking for rides and stealing my wallet and Cd's when I look in the rear view mirror. I don't want to have to hide my wallet in my own car or pad-lock all my doors where I live so the neighbors can't break in as easily. I'm sick of pretending I don't think the whole scene sucks. I just want out. And although I love heroin more than many things on earth, I'm not sure I love her enough to have to share her with all the fucking people who love her too. Sorry, I know I'm bitching and I don't mean to offend everyone out there who is not a sneak-thief junkie. I know because I've been there that not all H addicts are created equal. But the bottom-of -the-barrel junkies outweigh the functioning addicts in numbers and in defining the reputation of addicts and it sucks!

On a completely different note... I was riding in the car on the way to the clinic this morning. Mikey was driving the back way through Winchester along the river and it was foggy and dark. We were listening to early Bowie and watching the sides of the road silently, the mood was melancholy for sure. And I was thinking, as I often do, of the boy who I loved so much when I was younger and apparently still love. And it's kind of terrible because I feel like it's a mean thing to think about especially with Mikey there beside me loyally driving to the clinic like he does every day without fail. And it's not as if I don't love Mikey and the thought of leaving him makes me queasy. But almost every day a moment comes when I picture this man's face and wonder where he is and if he's okay. And I wonder what I would say to him if I saw him, and I feel lame about how bad I look, overweight and pasty m-done skin. And then I hope I don't run into him any time soon. And then I maybe it would have been better to see him when I was using because then I was so thin and had nice clothes and we had loot and partied all the time and I felt invincible for so many years. It would have been so easy then.

Now it would be so difficult it seems impossible and stupid to even wish for because what would be the point anyhow? If it were meant to be, it would have been. But I wonder if I'll ever love someone like that again. And do you give up someone who you know will always be there for you forever and who you really consider a best friend and truly love for something so elusive as this feeling you can't even really define?

Anyhow, I was seventeen when I met this guy I'm talking about, and we were together until I was about twenty-two or three. Wow. As I write this is realize that that means it has been almost eight years since we've even seen each other. Is it totally crazy that I still think about him? We had this crazy relationship, we fought all the time but we had a wicked physical connection. It's like no matter how much we fought, we could always have sex and we would be all in love again. I've been with a handful of other guys since then and it's never quite clicked like that. And even though we fought, it was, looking back, always about the most absurd things. But anyhow, as I was looking out the window this morning I realized that it was me who doomed the whole relationship. I always blamed him - for his short temper and his inability to be steady. I always thought he just didn't love me enough. But now that I have been through years worth of sad moments, I picture his face in this one moment, and I know it was me. If I could turn back time, I swear it would be to that moment. I would absolutely make the opposite choice.

So many feminists would hate me for this, if anyone read this blog. Anyhow, I got pregnant when I was eighteen and as the story would suggest, I had an abortion. I didn't even think about it, I was freaked out and my mom thought I would be throwing away possibilities if I had a kid, I guess there was a part of me who probably thought that too. My mom didn't really like this guy, she thought he wasn't that smart and kind of mean. He was mean, but he was smart too. But you have to remember I was already having this major culture clash happening. My parents had recently been divorced and I had moved out a year earlier. I had just graduated high school early from a public school I hadn't attended since I was in junior high. So I didn't have any friends from the school I just graduated from and my old friends were all caught up in their own little world of prep school graduation ceremonies and parties and college acceptances. And I felt like a total loser, living at my boyfriends mom's house in his old bedroom. I just couldn't picture myself anywhere and I definitely couldn't picture myself with a baby. But I just wish that someone who I trusted had sat me down and made me think about what I was really doing. I wish I had told his mom. She had him when she was fifteen and she was someone I admired and have mad love for even today. If she had told me I would be okay, that she would help me, that I could still be someone, I may have hesitated, maybe at least I would feel now that I made the decision after weighing all the possibilities. But I didn't. I didn't think about it. Like a lot of things in my life, it seemed to happen outside of my body. As if I were floating above this weird girl aborting a baby she had with a boy she loved, as if it weren't really happening, as if I, Nellie, could still change my mind.

But after eight years of swearing I would make the same choice again if I had to, I realize it is a lie. I just say that because it makes it seem less awful, less like the wrong decision. I'm sure for some people it is totally the right thing to do. And I don't in any way condone pro-life agendas. I think everyone should have the right to choose whatever they feel is right for them. I just wish I hadn't been so brash and quick to decide. I know now that I didn't ask him what he wanted. That sounds crazy, right? Why wouldn't he have spoken up? He did, in his way. His face was stone for weeks, maybe months. And he would come and go which he didn't do before. And even though we tried to keep it going for years afterwards, there was always a resentment underlying the whole relationship. I'm sure he resented me for not including him in something that was partially his decision and I resented him for not stopping me.

Why write this? Why even admit it? Just to feel sad? I want him to know that I am sorry. Even if I never tell him, the cosmos should know that I'm sorry.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nine Days To Go

Only nine more days until we can move! I am so ready to go. It will feel like a huge weight has been lifted once we leave and our dogs and belongings are no longer exposed to possible mayhem. I dread each night as I leave for work that someone will break in again, really that the same people will come again and take more stuff or hurt my animals. It will be so great to be able to just go to my yard to walk my dogs. I'll no longer have to coax them into their harnesses and stuff them in the Honda, all six of them. Of course they'll still need some sort of harness and leash at our own house but we won't ever have to worry about strange big dogs or their owners bothering us anymore while we walk.
I am so tired I can hardly keep my eyes open right now. But if I get caught sleeping at work there is a good chance I could get fired, and that would suck. I think all the stress is draining me. I can't sleep well lately, I feel fatigued even when I just wake up. I know I need to move around more and get some exercise to feel more awake- but it's a hard cycle to break. I really hope this funk lifts with a change of scenery.
I've even been flaky at work, especially at the end of my shift. I start to get really busy around 4:30 a.m. until I leave at 7a.m. but I've already been working for 12 hours by then and I have to type quickly. I'm generally pretty neurotic when it comes to my job. And lately it's not that I lack enthusiasm or pride in my work, my head just hurts from the stress.
Well there's nothing really in my head right now except a heavy fog and a twitch in my eye (it doesn't appear to twitch, it just feels like it. who knows?). This post is merely evidence that I am alive.
The crappiest event occurred the other day. I bought the weekend local paper, which I do only on occasion, because I was intrigued by a headline I spied. 'Body Found on Stickney Brook Road' it read. It was not long before I read further and realized the article was referring to a woman who had lived down the hall from us at the building we just recently moved out of. She lived in the building the whole time we did, almost five years, so we knew her well enough, saw her daily. She almost took a puppy from the last litter we had but she wasn't really compatible with pets so she gave her back, which I was secretly hoping she would do anyway. Even though she was just an acquaintance, it is still creepy. It didn't say much about what may have happened except that she appeared to have suffered from hypothermia. She was only in her forties and relatively active and healthy. It's just sad.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I really don't understand how some people are so easily able to just let shit go. That was my favorite thing about heroin. When I was high, things didn't seem so annoying. I'd always explain to people by saying, "I could crash my car and be all bleeding and still be like whatever, it's just a car. Oh, shit, is everyone okay?". I understand how to let go while high, just when I'm not do I have a problem. And seriously, despite all the opinions contrary, methadone does not count. I do not feel high on that stuff, all it does is make me not physically ill and slightly lethargic. One of the folks I keep tabs on said it well on his blog today, describing it as "that warm, fuzzy, everything is okay with the world" feeling. Very few times have I felt that without the aid of drugs. I know all the who-ha about how we can transcend the superficial high of drugs through meditation and surrender to a higher power - perhaps I just am not ready to fully embrace the concept.
So I got to work tonight and I have to go inside the warehouse building to punch in and then I walk back out to my little security shack. And yes it is ironic that I work as a security guard. It actually embarrasses me a little - I justify it because it is not a real security job, I just check trucks and employees into the yard. I have no authority, so it's not like a turned into a rat, right? Most of the time I just blog, watch movies or read, waiting for a truck to show. So as I was on the way back to my shack I noticed that the receiving office staff was still here which is late for them. So as I passed, I paused and said, "Wow, you guys are here late tonight." Then I sort of paused and waited for the lady to say something to me, like "Yeah, just doing blah blah blah". But she didn't, she just gave me a look, like what the fuck do you care sort of look. So I was all, "okay, well, have a good night". And I proceeded to shack.
I hadn't been out here more than fifteen minutes and she comes knocking on the door with some paperwork for my shift. Generally this paperwork is already here when I get here. But on occasion, it is not. In such a case it generally is brought to me by some member of the office staff within a few hours so I wasn't overly concerned. But she was all, "You really should have stopped by on your way through". Now this is the very same woman I had just spoken to. So now it is my turn to think what the fuck? I swear I have a sign on my head that reads 'Take out all your fucked up issues and insecurities out on me because I'll let you'. So in my head I'm thinking, "Am I crazy? Didn't I just talk to her? What does she consider 'stopping by', if not that?" So I say, "Uh, I did just stop by, didn't I?" And she seriously replies, "Well, you just ran through saying something about staying here late." Okay, whatever, am I crazy or is she? Is what I did not considered stopping by? What do you do in a situation like that? You can't really make a big deal about it because obviously the lady has a stick up her ass about something and probably won't be reasoned with. So of course I acquiesce and say, "okay, well, thanks, see you later". But really I want to say, "Are you for real? Are you really that miserable of a person that you have to make things up to be pissed about? Give me my paperwork and get out of my shack and don't come back until you seek therapy".
I know it is a petty battle. I know that many people would say to just let it go, it's not worth arguing about. Well, I think people use that excuse far too often. Do you let it go when you see a parent hit their kid in the grocery store? Do you call someone out when they make racist or sexist comments? Where do you draw the line? Maybe if people began to call out other people on their questionable actions, people would not commit questionable acts with such nonchalance?
I look forward to becoming very old so that I can say just exactly what I think and get away with it. People tend to make allowances for very old women or men, they will respectfully listen to comments they may otherwise balk at. I plan to be very rich and very feisty and say whatever I want and I will hire a driver so that I can go wherever I please.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Pieces of our Existence in VT

This is Mikey blowing glass. It's been a while since he's really been able to put the amount of time into it as he would like. I wish he could just quit his job and blow glass for a living. It's hard to find people willing to rent out studio space for lamp working because they see the torch and flip. Most landlords are wary that the place could get burned down. The reality of that is occurring is bleak. You can see in the pic that the wall behind the torch is fireproof drywall, as is the table upon which the torch sits covered in firewall. And if the floor and walls are cement, it would be tough to burn it down with that little torch. Hopefully one day in the near future we will be able to make a studio space on property of our own. Our goal is to open a head shop/porn shop (sex and drugs are always in vogue).
Mikey more or less taught himself to blow glass. He knew a few kids that were into it and they showed him a few tricks but not much more. It's an expensive hobby so people don't really want to share their supplies and equipment for free. Years ago we had pretty good cash flow because we worked full-time and had some "supplemental income". So during that time we were able to buy him all the stuff he needed to get started, like his torch, a few simple tools, an instruction video, clear glass tubes, some colored glass rods, oxygen and propane. At first he set up a little studio in a big closet we had in a place we rented in Springfield, Vermont. That didn't really last long because the wicked old lady who lived next door called the fire dept. complaining about a scary flame shooting out our window. That was obviously an exaggeration, as the flame doesn't really ever reach more than a foot and a half, I'd say (keep in mind, though, that all I can make are small beads; so I'm not by any means the glass blowing pro. I'm writing only from the memory of what I have seen). Regardless of flame size, we were far from within town fire codes. We did want to avoid problems as Springfield is a small VT town and cops are not open-minded even in the green mountains. So Mikey started driving almost daily to Dover, about forty-five minutes away, to blow glass at a friend's house. Really they just turned a large tool shed in the back yard into a studio. But that went on for a while.
Then our apartment in Springfield was broken into (okay, I know it sounds like that happens a lot. It does. But when you are nice and trusting, but you associate with other addicts, and house desirable items - it's a no brainer). By the way, I've already looked into security systems for our new apartment and ADT looks good, and cheap. We lost a lot of shit that time, too. We ended up owing a lot of money - but we paid it all back, every dollar. Anyway, we moved to a house down in the Dover/Mt. Snow area. Mike's friend, Tom ,and his girlfriend were living in a big, 4 br house and they had a huge studio area in the basement. That is probably the time in Mikey's life that he blew the most glass ever, and his best glass work ever was then. Tom was probably the best instruction he received thus far, besides a workshop in Jersey. They just stayed up all night blowing glass for twelve, eighteen hours at a time. But we didn't stay there very long before we moved to our own place a bit closer to Brattleboro (closer and closer we get to the current rut). I didn't really get along well w/Tom. I thought he was filthy, careless and lazy. He thought I was stuck-up and not "punk rock" enough.
That's when we moved to Newfane. That is likely the nicest place we ever rented. Structurally, the house was questionable. But inside it was all smooth, golden wood and Spanish tiles. It had huge windows and marble counter-tops and a wood stove and deck. I loved living there and it was only $800/mo. I would have tried to buy that place if they had stayed in Bulgaria. While we lived there, Mike blew glass in a shop in downtown Brattleboro. His friend, Martin, rented a large garage/shop on a side street and he let Mike use a corner. That situation lasted a while - it was Martin's girlfriend who had just moved out of the apartment we moved into in Bratt. Martin ran a big metal business w/his dad out of Jersey. Mike & him had met while M was in college at Marlboro. After he graduated, M would still drive up here every weekend and he and Mike traded metal for a while and made some good money. But one thing led to another and we got him to start using dope and because we all made good money it was just too easy to get and things got crazy. I think one day he must have just looked at himself and been like, "what the hell am I doing?"; because he just baled. Maybe he didn't know how else to get away from it all, I don't know. But we haven't talked to him since before we got clean.
After that, we briefly rented a garage in this big industrial complex. We wanted to have an open studio and eventually serve customers out of there. But we had just started stockpiling glass from other artists and we had a bunch of porn and sex toys and stuff for when we finally opened a legit probably guessed it already....that was broken into. I think of the three times we've been robbed, that time may have been the only one that was random. Before we were really set-up people heard we sold glass through word of mouth and people started randomly showing up looking to buy pieces. So it could have been anyone who had stopped by or maybe it was someone we knew. Who knows? What always annoying is that although we may have shady pasts, we really don't socialize much. I mean, very few people come over our place or even know where we live. So in the other cases, there is no doubt about who the thief is. But I believe in karma and fully believe that those people will get what's coming to them. I really hope for their sake that whatever they stole was worth what they'll end up paying for it. Of course I always feel violated and angry at first, then I remember it's part of the game I play. Money comes and goes and in the end each moment is but a blip. Perhaps my nonchalance perpetuates the problem but it keeps me from being exceptionally bitter and violent. I added some pics of his work at the bottom of this blog (I tried anyhow, my intentions were good). Check it out.

Better Late than Never......

Well, this is good ol' Brattleboro, Vermont. This picture was taken at least five years ago when Mikey and I first moved into downtown. I remember when I first moved here I was excited to finally be closer to town, thinking it would be so much more convenient for shopping and doing laundry and getting to school and work. Really, however, it was a lame decision all in the name of saving money to spend on H instead of rent. We had been living in a house about 30 mins north of Bratt., we rented it from a couple who lived in Bulgaria. When they decided they were moving back earlier than expected, we moved here because a friend of ours was moving out and it was simple. What was initially supposed to be a temporary move turned into years of being holed up in this teensy, tiny one bedroom, drafty apartment. In the end, I couldn't look at even the outside of the building without associating it with H. Something about the way it smelled in the hallway reminded me of copping and I'm so glad we are not living there any more.
I've been hoping to post pics since I started this blog. It's just that after we left this apartment and moved into the apartment from Hell I haven't been able to find anything. Most of that is because I have not been able to bring myself to put our stuff away. I'm glad actually that I did not put a ton of effort into the place we are in now, mostly because we are finally leaving and also because I hate these people and I don't want them to benefit from another speck of my effort (I know that is petty and childish and I don't care!).
Anyhow, in packing up to move yet again, I found this lone disc of pictures from many years back. Not so many years that they are no longer relevant. Everything still looks pretty much the same as it did when these pics were taken. It's not like I'm twenty-five in these pics and fifty in real life. Mike and I still look the same except our dreads are longer and we gained some weight from getting off H. As soon as I find my camera and charge it and what not I'll take some recent pics for the sake of comparison. Plus, I really want to post some pics of the freaks who fraudulently rented us the place we are leaving. They are a trip, as is their house. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Warning: The Following Post is an Exercise in Venting

Well, Mike and I just put a deposit on a new apartment. It's nothing great but it's not the place we're in now. It's expensive but the guy doesn't care about us having the dogs; he just said if we ruined anything not to expect our deposit back. That's fine, I never do. Even if I don't think anything is wrong, like normal wear and tear. I only ever got a deposit back once from a really old woman who was super nice and honest. A lot of the time I think the people don't even have the money to give back to you. So this time around we rented from a man who has been renting for forty years and it's his business. I think he will be more stable of a landlord. Like we actually received a receipt for the deposit amount, although having been screwed so many times we brought a bank check just to be extra safe - no more cash exchanges for me.
So the main catalyst for this move was our apartment getting broken into. Property of much value was taken - I don't really know how safe it is to divulge the specifics on the Internet. I imagine anything written here could feasibly be incriminating. More than the actual items stolen, what makes me the most angry is the invasion of my privacy and the effect it had on my dogs. They were throwing up and had diarrhea all the next day and into the following night after the whole incident. That says to me that they were most likely terrified and sick with fear or perhaps the thief gave them some kind of food to get them to back off. The woman who lives behind us said that the morning we found our house robbed she found a huge chunk of rotten hamburger in her yard. She has a really big German Shepherd and maybe someone was trying to get him to shut up too, but he's really old and not used to people food and didn't eat it. Our dogs would because Mike cooks them their own food every day. Like they get chicken or hamburger cooked with rice and vegetables and they even get their own vitamin supplements (we don't have kids if that helps explain such oddness). Plus, they're assholes when we are home but I don't know what they would do if we weren't there. I'd like to think they put up a fight but for all I know they jumped up and licked the intruder.
Anyway, it's no mystery who it is when you get robbed - I mean there are those flukes when a total stranger breaks into a random house but in most cases you know the perpetrator. In our case, it's really easy. There are only two choices. I guess it's sad and pathetic in a way that I know for sure. But I do because only two parties know where we live and what was in our place since we moved there. And the doors were damaged but had been locked upon exit by whoever broke in. There is only one person I know who could accomplish that and he happens to be in the running. The other people who could come in and take shit and re lock the door would be the guy downstairs who rented us the apartment - he's not supposed to have a key to our place but I'm sure he does. We obviously have pad locked everything now for the next two weeks till we move.
Any locksmith type people out there??? Is it even possible to force entry into a door with a bolt lock and then have it back in place upon exit without having the key??? Does that make sense?? I wish I had pictures of the door. In fact, I need to get on the visual scene regardless of the stupid door. I need a profile picture and I want to post pics of the dogs and Mike's glass pieces - he blows really nice glass and I want to show it off - that will be my priority after this whole hellish episode blows over.
It's just really bothering me. If it was the people downstairs, I can at least see their logic - they feel owed because I refuse to pay full rent with no heat in the building. They don't see it as a problem. I'm like, you lied about the amenities this place had, we moved in here based on a string of lies - there's no heat included, no cable, no Internet, and the place is generally shabby, leaking and in overall disrepair. The police told us we don't legally have to pay at all and referred us to the court house dealing with civil matters in Newfane. In fact, the day this happened and the police came, they informed us that Dan, the guy who rented us the place, was in no way a legal owner of the property. His brother who lives in North Carolina or something actually inherited the house. The brother seems like he wants nothing to do with it because he didn't show for the funeral and he's not paying the taxes apparently. So maybe this is a blessing in disguise because we got out now before the place is condemned or foreclosed on. Blah, blah, blah I know this probably doesn't make much sense to anyone but me. My thoughts are so scattered, I feel so violated and angry. We work so hard and then someone just comes along and scoops up the bounty we've been slaving over. It makes me want to vomit.
The second guy who could have done it I really thought was a friend. And that hurts my feelings more than anything. If he had just asked for some money or help we would have given anything we could spare.
This whole thing sucks because it's really enforcing my bias against people who have any sort of addiction. I mean I know there are good people out there who are addicted and recovering. I'd like to believe I'm one of them and I have one really good friend who I met in a women's group at my old clinic. She is honest and clean and responsible and a great mom - so I know there are exceptions. But once we are in our new place - NOBODY is coming over except for immediate family and Katie. That sucks because it just fuels my own disease not to be able to have a social life but I feel like I can't trust anyone I haven't known since before I could talk. Any new potential friends will be put to a rigorous set of tests - I'm not really joking.
Most people are like, "If someone broke into my house, I'd fucking shoot em. Let's go fuck them up!" But that's just not our style. I just want people to leave me alone. If I have nice things it's because I work hard for them, they don't fall from the sky because I'm blessed. Both culprits do not have jobs and they figured easy money I guess. I just want to count my losses and thank God my dogs are not severely injured which could have happened and I'm looking into alarm systems for the new place. I want to believe that I may have learned something throughout all of this. I'd like to hope that I will not make brash decisions like taking someones word about an apartment and renting it without inspecting it first. I know I sound naive, maybe I am. I like to believe people are genuinely good but maybe I have to reevaluate?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Boring post #27

I just finished 'America Anonymous' by Benoit Denizet - Lewis, another book about addiction. This one was a little different in that it wasn't just about drug addicts. It cycled through the stories of eight addicts - two sex addicts, a food addict, an alcoholic, a shoplifter, two drug addicts, and a gambler/drug addict who was also an addiction recovery counselor. It was interesting because I'd never really thought that much about anything other than drug addiction. Rather than labeling a million separate addictions, maybe we should simply categorize addiction as a disease itself and the compulsion could be for anything in the world from sugar to crack to clothes. Isn't that what addiction essentially is, a compulsion to do or behave in a certain way despite negative consequences? So in that sense a person could become addicted to anything which makes them feel better or numbs feelings for any length of time?
I mean these people seriously seemed to believe that they were powerless over food or sex, it caused havoc in their lives, it even led to physical ailments in the case of food especially. But where do we draw the line, when does something stop being a conscious decision and become an addiction which we are supposedly powerless over? Because the word powerless would imply that we have no control over our actions and many people find it difficult to accept that someone who shoplifts is not in control of their actions and is in fact addicted. Does that mean if a person gets caught shoplifting they should be offered rehab over traditional sentencing? Perhaps a combination of methods, such as a fine and mandated treatment, would work the best for almost all addictions?
Anyhow, I thought the book was worth reading, especially being an addict. I've always tended to be the type of addict who thought I was somehow different, even better than other addicts. Simply because I had been a pretty well functioning addict the whole time I used, not stealing money for drugs or prostituting myself, I have an unfortunate habit of scoffing at other addicts. That's is my big problem with meetings, I have a hard time relating. But when I can read about people's feelings and experiences and process them on my own I realize that we are all more similar than we would all probably like to admit. It's an easy read too, the language is casual even as the content can be challenging at times. Check it out.
It seemed like it may have been warming up for a few days there. Kids were wearing t-shirts even as the sun went down. And now we have a drizzle of freezing rain, not quite snow but not really rain either. I think that is the worst combination as far as driving goes. I may as well count on not getting out of work on time because the woman who comes in to work after me is always, without fail, always, always late when it snows. Often she calls out altogether, I suspect that happens on days her kids have school cancelled. I can't get upset at that because I would want the same understanding if I had kids. Only she waits until the last minute to call out and then I'm always stuck here for her until my boss sees fit to come to work. So I should just plan on being here until at least eight and then driving to the clinic in the icy rain/snow. It really wouldn't be such a big deal if it were just me and I didn't have to ask Mike to wait around until who knows when. Plus, our days are already so short, working 12 hour shifts sucks.
I've been feeling so lethargic lately. I'm so tired of feeling weighed down and gunky and I know it is related to being on methadone. Sure, it takes away a lot of the need for heroin but it creates other issues. If heroin didn't make us euphoric we might notice the damage it does a little faster, well, that's methadone - heroin with no euphoria. But it is so hard to get off. I'm on such a low dose compared to what I was on and still it feels like too much while also feeling like not enough.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Books, Boarding School, and Boyfriends

I miss the excitement that was always present when I was still getting high. Even on shitty days when it was hard to cop or if I got hassled by cops or ripped off or whatever I was still occupied by something outrageous at all times. It makes the average existence seem so bland.
I just finished reading 'Girlbomb' by Janice Erlbaum; it was entertaining enough. It's a good book to read for anyone who ever thinks about writing about their using experiences. There are many blog authors out there in the world of addiction/recovery who express interest in writing their own memoir. I like reading about what other people have been through. I guess I'm no different than most every American in that we are all obsessed over the lives of celebrities, neighbors, friends, and family as can be attested by all the tabloids and newspapers lining the shelves in grocery stores. Maybe it's simply that our own lives don't seem so bad once we realize other people live life the same way. Anyway, Erlbaum did not have a really fascinating or traumatic life. It was rather ordinary, unfortunately, in that so many kids these days live in single parent homes or in state custody. But that is partially what makes it so interesting; it's shocking that it is so representative of so many kids' lives. She hates her parents because they are unstable and unable to provide the security that she craves, she moves to a shelter at fifteen, does a smattering of drugs and drinks for several years until she grows up a little and reconciles with her mother.
While reading this book, I was thinking about all the crazy shit I've been through and I know so many people who have done way crazier shit then me; so that makes me think it might not be such a bad idea to turn a million insane journal entries into a short book. It can be daunting living in a time when so much has already been discovered before our time; it makes it difficult to come up with an original thought. However, I think people are such junkies for a juicy tale of misadventure that there could never be an excess of books written about the human condition. So, I only brought this up as suggested reading material for would-be writers. I want to encourage those people to keep on chronicling their lives and hoping to publish one day because I bet they have way more insane things to write about than this lady and she sold a ton of books.
Until I read this book, strangely enough, I always considered myself to have been on my own since I was seventeen. Because this is when I actually took all my stuff and moved out to live with my twenty year old boyfriend on an apple orchard in Ipswich, Massachusetts. But in reading her account of living in a group home, I realized I was on my own way before seventeen. I'm sure some people will balk at my next few sentences but anyone who has been through the same will probably agree with me. See, I went to a boarding school from my freshman to junior years in high school. So I was fourteen going on fifteen when I went to live in a dorm room for eight months a year. Granted, it was an upscale version, but in many ways it resembled a group home.
The food was probably better, but either way you slice it, it was institutional living. Our days were structured but it was essentially up to us to get it done or not, if you didn't get it together you were out. We didn't have anyone holding our hands to get to breakfast, classes, and required athletic practices. We had to be responsible for doing our homework and getting up on time and going to bed at a reasonable hour. And in our rare moments of free time we were largely unsupervised. Sure, we had to tell someone where we were going but we didn't tell the truth. Once our butts hit the seat of the cab we could go wherever we pleased. There are teachers who live in small apartments in each of the dorm buildings but they played a limited role in our upbringing. They were there for emergencies or to make sure we were all in our rooms by our curfew, but other than that we didn't see them often. In many ways it was like a premature college experience.
I suppose the main similarity is that we both lost touch with our parents, our families. I felt like an outsider. My youngest brother didn't know who I was until we both got much older and I grew apart from the brother and sister I had lived with until then. I'm now relatively close to them all but it took a lot of time. Also, even though the state home Erlbaum lived at and my boarding school were quite strict with their expectations regarding expected behavior, they didn't really care how we arrived at the final result as long as we got there. As long as we got an A in chemistry and arrived at Chapel on time and didn't flaunt our exploits nobody really asked about the sex and drugs we did along the way. There is never a shortage of drugs at a preparatory boarding school. First, we have all the prescription shit like xanax, klonipin, aderol, ritalin, et cetera. Then, it being the tail end of the Dead years entering the era of Phish, we always had good weed. And because nearly everyone was rich, there was occasionally cocaine. Heroin didn't come until later for me....oh, don't forget alcohol the good old standby. After my class graduated, they amended the dress code to prohibit dread locks.
Of course I began my stay as a rather naive fourteen year old and probably left more tame than many, I had a long way yet to go before arriving here as an underachieving, sober junkie.
Although many people consider boarding school part of a privileged upbringing, I would personally never subject my children (if I ever have any) to such a fate. I did receive a really thorough education and had some unforgettable experiences, however, I don't think any of it can replace what I lost.
My parents ended up divorcing when I was a junior. My dad wouldn't pay for my senior year at boarding school and my mom couldn't get the school to work with her until she could get the money out of him and pay it. I was probably considered poor to most of the kids at that school and my mom didn't have the money herself. So that was pretty much when I rebelled against that whole boarding school, privileged lifestyle stuff because I blamed the school more than my dad for not being able to graduate with my class. That summer between junior and senior year was my first trip across country and then when I got back I moved in with the boy and finished my senior year at public school. I had doubled up on some required classes at my old school and I had mad credits so I was able to graduate early in January. And that was the beginning of a really long journey from there to here. Where did all the time go?
Writing about this time in my life makes me think about that first boy I lived with...more than I usually think about him anyway. I have a serious boyfriend now who I've been with about five years now, and I had boyfriends before him, but he was, like, my biggest love. He's off and married and has a pack of kids so I've moved on but will always remember back when.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Snowy and Lacking Adventure

For someone who was always so adamant about living on the edge for so many years it feels strange to think about my life as it is now. It feels like I'm running out of fuel, like this is it, which is ridiculous because I have quite a bit of life left in my future I would guess based on average life expectancy for American adults. I suppose funks are part of life, all people must have cycles, times when we feel either on top of our shit or the opposite. I'm the opposite of on top these days. I feel tired all the time, so I sleep and do nothing which seems to only make me more tired. I've noticed that during the best times of my life I was really busy, usually in school and working full time also. I work but it feels like all I do is work, eat, sleep, and clean up after my dogs.
My poor dogs, they are so tired of being cooped up inside. At least they have each other to play with. We took them all out for a walk on Saturday when we both had the day off. It's always a major event to go for a walk when there is snow on the ground still. We can't really go where other people take their dogs because we like to let them off their leashes once we get on a trail and honestly they are not extremely friendly. People with big dogs also don't realize that their dogs can hurt mine and also that my dogs are small but will still bite. I'm always stunned by how many people encourage their children to approach us and touch the dogs. Who in their right mind would tell a kid to go up to a pack of stray dogs, especially as the owners are ushering them the opposite direction, calling them away? A lot of people are guilty of just that around here. But if my dog nips at them it's my fault. Anyhow, our walk didn't last long because they kept sinking in the snow. We tried to get them to follow us in a line which worked for all but Junior the lone boy pup who is a little slow; he kept wandering off the footpath and getting lost up to his head in snow.
See, this blog is so boring. I wish all the Internet communication that is available today was around when I was younger. I kept journals of course, which in some ways I am glad about. Journals have a personal quality that even the coolest web sites and blogs lack. It's like the difference between reading a real newspaper versus an online version, there is just something lacking for me. But maybe I would have a more thorough history of my life if I had had a computer as light as a purse and a digital camera back then. But all I have is rolls upon rolls of undeveloped film.
When I was younger I was afraid of nothing. I would try almost anything and it didn't matter if I didn't have enough money or if my car maybe wouldn't make it, I would still try and I have a lot of good stories as a result of those times. And then there were the years where I would really do whatever it took but not because I had courage but I had drugs behind me making me courageous. The lack of excitement due to quitting H has always been one of the more difficult aspects of not using for me. There is not a lot of down time when heroin is your whole life. You are either busy trying to cop or you are content because you just copped and now you are high, or hopefully sleeping at least. Either way there is not a lot of time to think about all the mundane moments life contains. Now I have all the time in the world. Twelve hours at a time to simply sit and think if I want to.
So I read a lot of books so I can immerse myself in someone else's life. That annoys Mike so much, when I get really into a book and I read all my waking hours away. He talks to me until he is so pissed off because he has to keep repeating himself and then he gives up. I get hooked on anything that lets me forget about work and bills and mortality. If it is enough of a distraction, I'll ignore cleaning the kitty litter until the smell is sickening, I won't eat until I'm starving, won't do the dishes until I have none and then I'll buy paper plates. And when the book or the movie or drugs are gone it's like a family member or part of myself died and there is a short time of mourning and then hopefully a new distraction appears. School does that for me in many ways too. I feel at least I'm moving forward when I'm in school, at least then I can tell myself 'Better late than never'.
It's snowing hard right now. I'll firmly stick to my belief that we get more snow in March than any other month in Vermont these days. For the past ten years or so I've been living here, the winter appears to be creeping up on spring leaving us with a soggy spring and a weak, cloudy summer. Anyway, I'm at work now and it has been a quick night as opposed to the nights that drag on as if they will never end. I only blog at work because I don't have Internet access at home and I'm too lazy to lug my laptop out to a wifi location on my days off so I just utilize the 48 hours a week I'm stuck in a shack with little amusement other than books and blogs. I get out in about an hour, at seven. I have to shovel out the doorway to my little shack and throw down some salt before I leave. I can't wait until the days are longer and I can sit outside and read in the warm morning sun and eat strawberries.

Ooh, at least I don't have to haul myself to the clinic, or more accurately endure the ride while Mike drives. We got storm bottles. That saves so much time!

VV is the shit

VV is the shit
We all have to love VV