Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Overhwelmed by petty bullshit

I got my general assistance yesterday.  Huge relief.  The whole application process was really stressful.  I had nightmares every night leading up to the final appointment and was feeling generally extremely panicked, I even missed the appointment and had to reschedule because I had a panic attack on the way there.  But I got it finally, which is great because I really need the help.  Having no income has been really really hard and I have had nothing coming in since I quit boosting and escorting.  One less thing to worry about now.  Now I have to focus on getting the medical records I need for my SSI application and keeping up with therapy and meds, etc.

One of the things I have been struggling with lately is keeping my room clean.  I know how silly that must sound.  I live in an SRO, which means single room occupancy.  Here is what Wikipedia has to say about SROs.

'A single room occupancy (more commonly SRO, sometimes called single resident occupancy) is a multiple tenant building that houses one or two people in individual rooms (sometimes two rooms, or two rooms with a bathroom or half bathroom), or to the single room dwelling itself. SRO tenants typically share bathrooms and / or kitchens, while some SRO rooms may include kitchenettes, bathrooms, or half-baths. Although many are former hotels, SROs are primarily rented as a permanent residence.'

Basically I have to fit my entire living space into a room half the size of most peoples bedrooms.  My building does not have a kitchen onsite, I share a bathroom and a shower, and I also live with my boyfriend.  As you can imagine, space is an issue.  The twin bed that Dave and I share takes up half of the room, we also have two bikes which take up the majority of the remaining floor space.  In addition to that I have a kitchen area with a microwave, hot plates, toaster oven, and space for my dishes and food.  I have a bureau for all of our art supplies and another for all of our clothes.  I have a lot of stuff and it has been really hard to find room for everything.  If you leave one or two things out the place is basically trashed.  Dave also is not the best at keeping things clean and we constantly fight about the state of the room.  It's really depressing waking up every morning in a shithole.  Sometimes the room gets so out of control, I want to clean it, but I don't know where to start.  It's overwhelming.  I feel like in order to get any semblance of structure into my life I need to organize my living space first.  The way things are right now I can't get to any of my art supplies and have no room to work on projects.  I can barely reach my clothes and hygiene supplies because I have to climb over bikes or a bunch of Daves random crap just to get to them.  Currently there is a third bike blocking my sink.  This is the main point of contention in our relationship and to be honest, I really feel like he doesn't give a shit at all, which makes me feel like he doesn't care about me or have any respect for what I find important.

Another issue between us has been food.  We both get food stamps, around $180 a month each, which in San Francisco doesn't really amount to that much.  Historically I have spent my entire card on food and he sells all or half of his.  He's twice my size so he eats a lot more than I do.  Before we were together I usually could make my card last almost the entire month.  Now that I'm trying to feed two people it barely lasts two weeks.  At the end of the month we are left to either starve or are forced to steal food.  When I bring it up he get's angry, we fought about it this morning.  I bought a bunch of cereal on sale the other day, six boxes for $12, which I thought was a great deal and would last for a while.  Within two days he had already eaten two and a half boxes of cereal.  I said something this morning as he was finishing up the third box about how he needed to go and get his food stamp card from the GA office (he lost it at some point.)  He told me to shut up.  I really can't stand being told to shut up and don't think I should have to put up with that kind of shit from someone who is supposed to be my partner.  I told him that sometimes I had a hard time seeing the upside in our relationship past all the petty bullshit we constantly fight about.  I would say that 90% of our fights are about the room being fucked up or us not having enough food.  The fact that he won't even discuss it with me makes it worse, and I start to feel like I would be better off by myself.

Here's the thing...  if I were single I probably would be better off on certain levels.  Mainly superficial levels.  My room would look nicer, I wouldn't have to worry about food, I would get to smoke a whole pack of cigarettes to myself, I'd be able to roll over in bed, etc. etc.  I love my boyfriend though.  He's kind and understanding and he puts up with my emotional instability.  I don't want to give up on this relationship  I just don't know how to make him listen to me or how to make him see how important this shit is to me.  I know he thinks it's petty but to me it is indicative of a larger attitude of not caring about my needs and wants.  I don't really know what to do...  maybe having a place to vent will keep me from blowing up so much at Dave, because I do have a tend to hold things in until I completely freak out.

Anyways, my plan for the rest of the day is to clean up a little bit, pay back some people I owe money to, and go buy a webcam.  I want to start making more videos for my clips4sale site so I can have a little more money coming in.  I don't want to just sit back and collect welfare, I want to use my GA as a jumping off point to make more money.  Clips4sale has been a pretty decent way for me to earn an income in the past and I like making fetish videos.  I might start doing webcam shows too if I can find a decent site to work for.  That's about it.

<3 Zenith Chasing

Monday, September 8, 2014

Relapse is a part of life, My life at least...

So I haven't posted in this blog in several months.  There are a few reasons for that, the most obvious reason being that I relapsed.  Since my relapse a lot has changed in my life and also in my approach to my own personal recovery.  I have been unsure as to whether or not I wanted to continue writing this, and if I did want to continue in which direction I wanted the blog to go.   I haven't come up with any definitive answers, but I have decided that having a creative outlet is very important to my mental health, and I don't see why this blog shouldn't be that outlet.

I relapsed because I was spending too much time listening to other people and not enough time listening to myself.  I felt bad about being on methadone and being in AA.  Some people made comments, but mostly it was disparaging things that I read online on other recovery blogs and such.  This prompted me to stop taking my methadone without detoxing.  That was a really stupid idea.  Within a week I started to get really really dopesick and ridiculously depressed.  I felt like the sunshine had been sucked out of the fucking air, everything I saw was grey and pointless.  Historically when I have felt like this I have dealt with it in one way, I self destruct.  I remember when I relapsed I bought $20 worth of heroin and brought it back to my apartment.  I sat and stared at the bag for a little while before cooking it up.  Then I held the needle in my hand for some time before I actually did the shot.  I remember looking at the shot and thinking 'I haven't relapsed yet' ... then I did it anyways.  Later on after the high had worn off I called my sponsor in tears and told her what happened.  She said that she had expected me to relapse and that it wasn't a surprise.  Initially she invited me over to her house to hang out and talk but then changed her mind, probably because she has a nice house and didn't trust me to be there while I was in junkie mindset.  After that I didn't talk to her for a couple days and she didn't call me.  She said later that she was trying to give me space, but I didn't need space, I needed support.  I stopped going to AA meetings and started hanging out on Haight street a lot smoking weed and drinking with street kids.  Then I started selling meth, shortly thereafter heroin, and then I started using my own supply every now and then.  Of course I got strung out again.  That's the way the story goes.

Since then I have started a relationship with a boy named Dave.  We have been together for about ten months.  He is also an addict but we are both trying to get our shit together. He lives with me.  He is a very talented artist with a million other skills who treats me with respect and kindness.  He knows about my fucked up past and doesn't judge me for it.  I have never felt so safe around anyone in my entire life.  We have our issues but we are working on them.  He brings out a kinder, more trusting side to me that I thought was lost years ago.   Right now we are both on methadone again.  I haven't been to an AA meeting since I relapsed.  I don't plan on getting back into that scene.  Right now I am focusing on my mental health and my financial situation trying to improve both.  I started taking psych meds two months ago.  I am in counseling and I am working on applying for SSI for my bipolar disorder and PTSD.  My depression has been really bad the past few months and I've had a hard time leaving the apartment, sometimes even getting out of bed is a chore.  Sometimes I don't feel like a real person, I feel numb and like my mind is completely blank, that's another reason I want to start writing again.

My birthday was June 20th and I turned 26.  Three days later my father died.  He had been battling liver cancer for almost five years.  My father told me that one of his last wishes was to see me safe and to know that I would be okay.  I am trying to keep this in the forefront of my mind.  I miss my dad a lot.  I don't have much else to say about that right now.

Me and my Dad in Arkansas a couple years ago.

I am going to try and write in this at least once a week.  I'm going to try to write more honestly than before and to write for my own benefit as opposed to worrying about how what I write might be perceived.  I do want to help other people with my story but I think I need to focus more on helping myself right now, because shit has been really fucked up.  I don't want to give up on life but I can feel myself slipping away more and more each day.  This is my way of trying to grab ahold of something.  More later, thanks for reading.

<3 Zenith Chasing

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Formication and hallucinations - when shit gets real

It's been a while since I posted and for that I apologize.  Have had a lot of changes in my life recently and I also went to spend some time with my family in Colorado.  I will be writing an update soon.  For now here's some harm reduction information on a topic that is very personal for me.  It might not apply to you but it does for a lot of people.  Copy pasted from a comment form on some wiki site...

Speed bugs, picking, and formication

"awesome.  I just wrote like three paragraphs and the stupid site randomly refreshed and deleted it.  AAAARGH.  let me try this again writing in notepad so i don't lose my comment again.  

 I could write a book about this stuff.
I used to have a really bad problem picking my skin when I used drugs.  I was an active heroin addict for 8 years, started doing coke 2 years after the H, then used meth for the first time 5 years in, and had a triple habit shooting heroin and meth every day and also smoking crack for 3 years on and off.  I picked the hell out of my skin the very first time i used meth, I also pulled out so much of my hair that i had a huge bald spot in the back of my head and had to shave all my hair off.  At first it was the meth that made me pick but eventually i would pick whenever I got high on any kind of drug even downers like heroin and benzos.  It's a really terrible cycle.  In addition to picking I was diagnosed with something called 'trichotylomania' which means to pull out your hair.  Picking is sometimes serious enough to be diagnosed as 'dermatilomania' aka pulling / picking at skin compulsively. Dermis = skin, mania = insanity / compulsion. I could spend an entire 24 hours sitting on my floor or standing in front of my mirror picking at my skin or pulling out my hair. It was very common for the sun to come up on me while I sat in the same spot picking, having started doing it the night or even day before. I would pick with my fingernails, tweezers (always had a pair on me and i owned like 20 different pairs), syringes, razor blades, exacto knives, a metal 'skin care tool' that has a hole on one end that you drag across pimples to pop them out, sewing needles, pocket knives, and all sorts of sharp metal things.  Sometimes I would pick so bad it would look like i had road rash on my face from a car accident.  i would also pluck out my eyebrows (every single hair) my arm  and leg hairs and even my pubes.  When I would pull / pluck out hairs it was because they would sometimes have these clear or white 'gel' looking tubes either attached to the hair root or stuck in the pore / follicle itself, these would pop out after i plucked a hair out.  When I picked it was because I saw little white worm looking things and black specks coming out of my pores.  I would collect these 'bugs' / 'parasites' and stick them to pieces of notebook paper as proof of my 'infestation'.  When I got sober I threw out like three whole notebooks full of this crap.  It's a really disgusting and scary habit.  Once I started nothing could stop me, i would only stop when my fingers hurt too much to keep going or my hands would cramp up.  I was terribly ashamed of doing it but I couldn't control myself.  I would do it in front of my friends and even in public, if someone asked me to stop I would get mad and do it more frantically.  Most of the time I honestly believed that there were bugs in my skin and I didn't connect it to the drugs.  I thought I had morgellons, or scabies, or bird mites, or some kind of nanotechnology virus engineered by the government to drive me insane.  My mind would play weird tricks on me while I picked.  i would think i was playing a game that someone had invented to test me and the object was to collect as many 'bugs' as possible in my notebook, or that if i collected enough 'specimens' i would make money off of them somehow, or take them to a doctor and help discover a new disease.  I would often see them moving under my skin or outside of it, sometimes I could feel them biting me or hear them make hissing noises.  Weird crazy SCARY shit that made no sense. 

I once got MRSA so bad from picking that I was told at the ER that i was days away from dying of sepsis.  I had to be held for three days and given tons of oral and IV antibiotics and had to take special showers several times a day.  Staph is common with pickers because it lives under your fingernails.  You could also get cellulitis, blood poisoning, necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating virus) and all kinds of terrible infections. to this day i am covered in scars.  They are the worst on my arms and legs, they have gotten a lot better since I stopped picking obviously but in the right kind of light, when it's cold, or when I get a sun burn you can see that every inch of my arms are covered in overlapping scars.  There are scars from when i cut myself as a teenager, years worth of track marks, abcess scars, and layer upon layer of picking scars.  my nose is always red from times when i picked all of the skin off it trying to get rid of 'blackheads' and 'clogged pores', kids in my hometown sometimes make fun of me by calling me 'Rudolph' which is extremely embarassing.  The scars will never go away, but they do get less and less noticeable as time goes on, thank god.

The stuff that you see happening to your skin is going on for a reason.  One reason is that you are hallucinating.  Meth and other stimulants make you hyper focus on things and make you want to do something repetetive or detail oriented.  They also cause sometimes subtle and sometimes very vivid visual and auditory hallucinations.  I have been locked in my second story apartment and heard dozens of people in the street whispering about me.  i once heard someone climbing the wall outside my window and thought i heard them trying to open my window, I have heard people pounding on my door trying to break it down, I have walked down the street in San Francisco and literally every single person on the street was talking about me.  I have been chased by cars, people on bikes, and worst of all 'shadow people' *shiver* I once pulled a two inch long black worm out of my armpit.  The scary part about that one is that I put the 'worm' in a drawer and it was still there the next day and I showed it to some sober friends and they were freaked out by it and couldn't tell what it was.  Looking back on it i think it was probably a long strip of skin and dried blood, but it came out of my armpit when i was picking, kind of popped out of a hair follicle, when it popped out I was so shocked by how long it was that I screamed and started to cry.  Meth causes psychosis, it is very seriously damaging to your mental functions, it is no joke. So anyways, if you are hyper flocused on your skin, seeing things that are not real on or in your skin, and compelled to do something repetetive; that is the neurotic and insane combination that leads to picking.  There is also formication and delusional parasitosis that occurs when you use stimulants.  

Here are some methods i have found useful to heal and repair skin as much as possible after really bad picking episodes.  First of all it is essential that you wash the skin as much as you can.  It will hurt but you have to do it.  I suggest using 'Hibiclens', this is an anti bacterial soap that really works wonders to prevent and treat skin infections and it is very gentle on the skin, just try not to get it in your eyes!  Pour a decent ammount of hibiclens on a washcloth and gently wash your skin.  Use it instead of body wash in the shower.  When I had MRSA and sepsis Hibiclens is what the doctors had me wash my skin with at the Denver hospital i was staying in.  You can buy hibiclens at Walgreens, duane reed, safeway, etc.  Another product that works really well is called 'Prid', it is a homeopathic 'drawing salve' for abcesses and infections that have pus or bacteria in them.  You put a huge glob of it on the wound and cover it with a non stick gauze pad and tape it up.  I have put Prid on abcesses before, left it under gauze overnight, and in the morning the abcess had drained and was almost completely healed.  I have given a container of Prid to several of my actively using friends and many of them have healed their own abcesses using it.  Prid is really an amazing product and it is one of the essential things I always kept around when i used to pick. Prid and Hibiclens are your first line of defense against serious skin infections, both of these products can be bought at Cvs, walgreens, rite aid, etc.  some holistic products that work really well are cold pressed Neem oil for topical use (it smells bad but works wonders) and Colloidal Silver for topical and oral use.  Many people who suffer from Morgellons swear by Colloidal Silver.  You can get Colloidal Silver at whole foods and gNC but i buy mine online because there are alot of fake and low quality CSilver products out there.  Nutrasilver is a good online version.  Colloidal oatmeal and lavender bath soaks for eczema are great. Tea Tree oil is anti-parasitic and anti bacterial but should not be used in deep open wounds.  You can buy diatomaceous earth 'clay' which is good for topical use on abcesses that have not opened yet or started draining.  the diatomaceous clay works like a drawing salve and will bring the abcess to a head.  For healing I use neutrogeena naturals moisturizer and Aveeno excema therapy lotion.  Bathing or soaking your skin with lavender epsom salts can help reduce itching and irritation but is not good if you have a lot of deep open wounds.  Lavender oils and lotions provide a lot of relief for pain and itching as does Dr. Bronners lavender soap.  Grape seed oil and grape seed capsules are amazing to heal and soothe wounds from picking and to fight infection.  Milk Thistle capsules are good for your skins healing when taken orally once a day.  Grape juice is good to flush the toxins out of your system as is cranberry juice.  Try mixing sea salt and lemon juice and soaking your skin.  Swallowing a clove of garlic like a pill once a day or just eating a lot of garlic in your food will flush toxins out of your system and fight bacterial infections.  Swallowing a pinch of cayenne pepper in water is also good to detoxify your body.  Drink alot of water.  Soak in a warm bath.  Wash your face with a warm wet washcloth and lots of soap, Hibiclens or something for sensitive skin like cetaphil or a kind of soap without harsh dyes and scents in it, then lay on a thick coat of moisturizer and sleep with it on so it can sink into and condition your skin.  Steam and heat will reduce swelling and pain.  Cucumbers laid on the skin will reduce swelling, soothe, and provide relief.  Cut a potato in half and place it over a pimple, bump, ingrown hair, or abcess and it will draw the poison out of your skin.  These are just some methods that I have used and found to be very effective.  Do a search for morgellons and eczema home remedies and you will find a lot of other things that will work for healing wounds caused by picking.

Lastly i just want to say that if you are tired of being at the mercy of your addiction maybe it is time for you to seek help to get sober.  I was about as bad as it gets with my addictions and i am currently in therapy and AA and things are getting better slowly but surely.  It is important to have a support system if you want to get clean and sober, nobody can do it all by themselves.  NA, AA, SMART recovery, and Life ring are all support groups that will help you work towards a drug free life.  Reach out to somebody else who has been through it to hear their experience, strength, and hope.  You can recover, people do it every day, you just have to want it and do whatever it takes to change your life.  I sincerely wish you all the best of luck and happiness no matter what you decide to do moving forward.  Take care of yourselves and try not to hurt yourselves.  Your health is very important and you are worth taking care of, don't let society and stigma about drug use make you feel worthless.  Do some research on harm reduction to learn how to use drugs in a safer and less destructive way. >>> This is my blog about my recovery if you want to learn more about what i am doing to change my life and try to live without drugs and alcohol and also to heal from the painful events in my past both drug related and not.  If you need someone to talk to please know that i am always here to listen and offer whatever advice that I can.  Good luck, take care, stay strong, and stay blessed. <3"

- Zenith Chasing

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Some thoughts on how to heal from rape and sexual assault

So I wasn't sure if I wanted to write about this or not but I'm going to go ahead and do it, because why the hell not?  This is a very important topic that I know many of the people who read this can relate to, and if telling my story can help even one person then it is totally fucking worth it.

I am a sexual assault survivor.  I have been raped multiple times in my life.  Not all of these incidents occurred in relation to my drug seeking or my drug use / drinking, but the some of them had something to do with it.  For this reason and a few others it is very difficult for me to not blame myself for what has happened to me.  You know what assholes say; the first time you are a victim, after that you are a participant... or some other rape culture enforced victim shaming bullshit.  Sometimes when I talk about my experience I feel an intense cognitive dissonance, as if I am talking about something that happened to someone else, I have a hard time connecting emotionally to these experiences.  I sometimes worry that because I am able to relate these events to others and, for the most part, not cry or break down while doing so; that people will not believe me or they will think I am over exaggerating or embellishing the truth.  I also worry that someone will point out the fact that I put myself in many of these situations.  Let me make something abundantly fucking clear.  It does not matter where you are, what you are wearing, whether or not you flirt or are friendly, or what you do leading up to a sexual assault.  If somebody rapes you, it is never your fault.  You should take steps to protect yourself, but ultimately if someone wants to hurt you they will, and if you are attacked that is on your attacker, not you.  Nobody chooses or deserves to be raped.  PERIOD.  Understanding that you put yourself into a precarious situation and taking steps to avoid similar situations in the future is not the same as taking responsibility for the fact that you were attacked.  With that said, I am going to tell you about some of the things that have happened to me.

Below this text are several personal stories which somewhat graphically depict rape and sexual assault.  You may be triggered by reading these stories.   

When I was about ten or eleven, I had a close friend who was a popular boy in school, I looked up to him and had a big crush on him.  We had been friends for years because our moms were both single parents and they were friends.  He did not talk to me at school because I was very unpopular, but we hung out a lot outside of school.  Eventually our relationship became sexual and we would experiment with each other and play truth or dare and stuff like that.  Being that these were my first sexual experiences, I fell head over heels for this boy and wrongly assumed that he cared about me in the same way.  After all why would he want to kiss me and do other things with me if he didn't like me?  Things progressed and we started to try more and more things with each other.  Once we got past second base, my "friend" (lets call him C) would masturbate in front of me and started asking me for handjobs and blowjobs.  This is when I started to get really uncomfortable and did not want to try any of these things.  C told me one day that he wanted me to be his girlfriend, but only outside of school, and I wasn't allowed to tell anyone.  He started pressuring me to give him HJs and BJs whenever we were alone together.  This is where things took a fucked up turn.  I wasn't allowed to say no.  He would ask me over and over again until I caved.  He would offer to be nice to me and talk to me in front of people at school if I would do sexual favors for him, if I refused he would threaten to 'make my life harder' in school.  It was already pretty fucking hard, so I would acquiesce to his demands out of fear.  I had a public livejournal (I've always been very open about my personal life) and I had posted that I thought I might be bisexual.  He read the post and threatened to out me at school if I didn't play along.  It wasn't long after that that he brought other friends of his into the mix.  Now I had to watch, and help, C and his friend DB masturbate.  He told his other friends that I was a slut and would give them sexual favors if they asked.  His friend DC, who was my next door neighbor, would let himself into my house after school and refuse to leave until I let him feel me up or gave him blowjobs, then he would tell all of his friends that I did it because I was easy.  Boys left used condoms in my mailbox which my mom found and promptly grounded me.  DC invited another ''couple'' over to my house, made me take off my shirt and bra in front of them, and made fun of the stretch marks on my chest from my newly developed breasts.  This shit continued until I moved away from that town in the 8th grade.  Rumors even followed me into high school in Portland because kids talked about me on AIM.
I was terribly conflicted about this shit and very disillusioned.  I had thought that C and the other boys actually liked me, or at least that's what I told myself, and when I finally realized the truth it was a crushing blow to my self esteem.  This framed a lot of my sexual experiences and relationships from then on.  I felt unworthy of attention, and I felt like I did not have the right to say no to a sexual proposition.  I still have a hard time saying no because in a way I feel undeserving of sexual attention and like I should be thankful for any that I receive and do not have the right to refuse.  I also am afraid that I will get hurt or be forced to do it anyways if I object.  I have gotten over the self loathing and feeling of worthlessness that I felt as a little kid to an extent, it was definitely a huge deal when I was younger and I like myself a lot better these days, but attitudes and thoughts like that are very pervasive expecially when you are female and live in a rape culture society.

Flash forward to college.  I was not yet a heroin addict but I was an alcoholic.  I met these ''townie'' punk kids and started hanging out at their house and sleeping over in this kid Bens' room sometimes.  Then one night he started fucking me while I was asleep after I had said no to sex before we went to bed.  Here's what I wrote in my journal at the time:
"i'm all fucked in the head. i just feel stupid. i always walk into the same fucking traps. like i'm not one for victim blaming but really, with myself, i have a hard time not believing i bring this shit on myself. and thats so wrong.
... okay. whatever. so last night i was sleeping in Bens room. we were making out and such and he asked me if i wanted to wait to have sex with him and said he wouldnt be mad. i wanted to but i didn't want to... body versus mind type thing. i told him i wanted to wait and he was like okay and we made out for a while and then went to sleep. the next thing i remember is being half awake and him touching me, then he started fingering me and i was into it but i didnt remember how i woke up. i don't know how long it happened for, but all of the sudden he had his dick in me and i was still like half asleep i think so it took me a second to realize it. i tried to pull away and made an 'errrr' noise like 'no' 'stop' then i pushed him away, but i couldnt say anything. i could not open my mouth and say no or anything. i wasnt sure if i was angry. i've always been like that, its impossible for me to say no, and this shit always fucking happens to me and it's like, i can't defend myself, because as far as their concerned my silence equals consent or moreso the fact that i act like i'm into what theyre doing at first and then it's somehow fair game to escalate shit. i was all 'oh yeah' until he started.. with the having sex with me or whatever... so he probaby thought that it was okay. after i pushed him away i knew i was gonna start bawling so i just started kissing him and didn't stop for a while, all desperate like, trying to make it seem okay for both of us but... mostly for him. like i was still telling him it was okay. trying to convince myself at the same time. i mean, i just woke up to him with his hand on my vag and then he started fingering me and then he just starts fucking me...... ????? i was kind of in shock i guess. then we went back to sleep i think. in the morning they gave me a ride back to campus and i was quiet but i tried to act like nothing had happened.
i walked to my dorm and just went to sleep. i thought about it a little before i fell asleep. i decided not to tell anyone because it would make me look stupid. like, ericas so fucking dumb, what does she expect? she thinks she meets a nice guy who actually likes and respects her then she wakes up and he's got his fucking fingers in her. of course i can't find someone who actually cares about me. i just wanted to prove to all my friends so badly that someone, someone who doesnt even go here, actually liked me. makes me not seem so bad i guess. just didnt want to hear i told you so.
i went and took a final. went back to my dorm and tried to sleep. the fucked up thing is i kept waiting for him to call. i went downtown with L, she went off with JTass and TS and they didnt even bother to invite me and all i wanted was to be around my friends get drunk and pretend nothing happened. but alone in my room or with my room mate just sitting there, and i cant talk to her, i kept thinking about it. was that okay? i mean, what is that, is that sexual assault? what would i think if that happened to one of my friends? i would fucking kill the guy. but i kept thinking i must have brought it on myself. i want to fucking vomit though. i feel like such a stupid slut. what the fuck is wrong with me. am i over reacting to this? probably. i probably am. i just don't know what to think.
someone tell me what to think. / i feel so stupid. how many times has shit like this happened to me? i think this is the worst time, definately, but i always get myself touched and i never say no and i always am so adament about consent but never when it's important and never when it's my consent. / he said he doesnt like to use condoms. he didnt wear one when he did that. i hope i have a fucking disease. i hope he calls me later and tells me he has something so i can be like 'well its not my fault you stuck your fucking dick in me without asking me and without a fucking condom. asshole.' / but whats so confusing is he doesnt seem like an asshole. at first i thought maybe he wasnt totally awake but that doesnt really make sense. / no that doesnt make sense.
anyways i sat in my room, tried to clean but couldnt, took a shower, washed my hair, called kate from elan. i got to talk to her for a little bit before the phone disconnected. they always get disconnected there. i basically just got to tell her what happened. i didnt get to hear her response. i asked her if that was okay and she said 'i dont think so' / just broke down there for a second.
when i cry i sound like my mom used to. when she would lock her door and i would sit in the hall listening to her. feeling vaguely annoyed but also like a fucking monster for drawing those inhuman noises out of her. such deep womanly sobs. like all mothers. i'd imagine. / it hurts so much to cry / my body basically forgot what it feels like / god / i fucking hate this / anyways so i just wanted to hear what kate had to say.. and i couldnt. at least i heard her voice. i love her so much. she ran all my special womens groups for me, since like the second week i got to elan. us girls, we had such a strong connection, we had the most fucked up womens issues, the most fucking pain. and those other girls came in and we didnt know them and then we started talking about other shit to the point where none of us felt like we could bring up our sexual abuse shit, and we just talked about our parents and drugs and going home and i had nowhere to talk about the other shit. so this is what happens. three years of therapy and i fucking go out and get myself fucking molested again. yeaaaah. go me./ i didnt know who else to call. / i already told my mom about this nice guy i met. / and i even told all of you about him / and now i feel so FUCKING STUPID./ of course it's never going to be what i fucking expect. / i am so lonely right now.
i went to Ls room. she was passed out. i walked up to new res but i couldnt move past the parking lot so i sat down on the sidewalk. wanted to look at the stars but i was really high and didnt want campo to stop to talk to me. plus there are street lamps that block out the stars. i changed the laces on my shoes earlier today. sitting on the sidewalk i absentmindedly went to poke the end of the lace through the little metal hole but realized these new laces dont have plastic tips. i almost cried.
reminds me of this time in daycare, i was five or so, cradles and crayons. besides making me sleep on my stomach when i hate it and making me stand in a closet as punishment this is one of my only memories from that place / we had some sort of little festival out back in the playground and i got my face painted. i got a puppy on my cheek. at one point i went into the bathroom and washed it off. the light was off and i just stared at my reflection, realizing i was somehow lesser without my decorations, and i fucking cried. it was something so pure and innocent and i destroyed it. cried for hours. no one could figure out what was wrong with me. i always used to cry over little shit like that. i still do.
i cant wait to get the fuck out of here. / i dont think i'm going to come back. maybe if i get lost in california and just stay there everything will be perfect and epic and shit. / maybe i'll go back to portland. maybe i'll kill myself. boohoo. / god i hope ben doesnt call me when im traveling. / why did i ever go back with him that first night / stupid / fucking slut / i feel like i might dissapear right now. just fade. out. /jesus / this really hurts.
i'm sorry."

How unbelievably fucked up is that?  That is literally how I felt about myself at age 18.  This was maybe six months before I used heroin for the first time in Baltimore.  Things have gotten a lot better just because I am older now and I have learned about feminism and rape culture and have been in therapy and worked through some shit.  I have a better outlook on life and a better opinion of myself.  It made me so sad to read that and to remember what it felt like to be that person.  I was so messed up, no wonder I became a heroin addict, jesus christ.

Another incident that I randomly remembered the other day happened when I was a tweaker and a crackhead while I was homeless in SF a few years ago.  I met a guy randomly who offered to buy me food and dope, no strings attached, and said we could watch a movie in his apartment.  Upstairs I settled in while he went out and bought me a box of KFC and a bag of heroin.  He didn't hit on me or try to make any moves and I figured he was an okay guy who just wanted to help me out.  Many people had helped me in similar ways and expected nothing in return in the past.  He came back and gave me the KFC and dope and also a pill that he said was a generic Xanax.  I took the pill, ate some chicken, and went into the bathroom to shoot my dope.
Things start to get very blurry from that point on.  I remember trying to shoot up and my vision being all fucked up.  I was trying to stand and I fell backwards into the shower and banged my head.  I felt really woozy and tried to open the door to leave the bathroom but I was too weak so I just laid down on the floor.  That is the last thing I remember.
I woke up naked in this guys bed.  I could tell he had raped me while I was passed out. You can feel that kind of thing.  He was sitting on his couch watching TV a few feet from me.  I sat up and started freaking out screaming about my clothes and what day it was and who the fuck was he and what the fuck was that pill and where was the shot of dope I had left in the bathroom.  I grabbed his phone and that's when I found out that at least 24 hours had passed.  He told me my clothes were in the laundry.  I grabbed a shirt and some boxers of his off the floor and ran out of the room in a panic.  I went downstairs and asked the management to call the police because I had been drugged and raped.
When the police came they took me and the guy into separate rooms and asked us what had happened.  I told the female officer who was questioning me what I remembered.  They got me my clothes and I put them on while we talked.  The female cop then looked me dead in the face and said "Are you absolutely sure you didn't have sex with him so he would buy you food?" I was justifiably enraged by the question and told her so.  She looked at me with amazing cruelty in her eyes and said "Because you are obviously a drug addict, and you shouldn't lie about being raped, those are very serious charges."  I was in complete shock.  I decided not to press charges and when the police told me I was free to go I left.

I have never felt so helpless, degraded, insulted, and violated in my entire life.  Not really by what that man did to me as much as by how that female pig responded to me when I told her what had happened.  Goes to show why so many rapes go unreported in the United States.  It is amazing to me that a woman could treat another woman in such a way.  I still do not know what that pill he gave me was but I do know it was not a fucking generic Xanax.  It's weird that I did not remember this incident until the other day.  I guess I blocked it out of my head because the memory was so painful and enraging it was easier not to think about it.  I'm still feeling that sense of cognitive dissonance, like that couldn't have possibly been me, like it was a dream or a scene in a movie or something I overheard. 

A few months later I experienced my worst sexual assault.  It's sad that I have a hierarchy of rapes and can say that I have been 'badly' raped and 'not so badly' raped.  This incident was really horrible and I am not going to go into full detail because I can't do so without having a flashback or dissasociating.  I also cannot write about what happened again so I am going to paste another livejournal entry here that I wrote about the incident.
"when i was in san francisco last year i got raped. ive been raped before, so i dont know why this incident was so significant and has had such an effect on me, but ive been having flash backs, and in general have been really hurt by it. what happened was when i was living on the streets in sf i met a man in an alleyway. it was a black man probably in his fifties. he was smoking crack. i was dopesick. he offered me a hit and i told him no thanks because i was sick, he said if i came to his house he would get me well and then smoke crack with me. i said yes. when we got to his house he told me i could take a shower.  i did.  halfway through my shower he came into the bathroom and opened the shower door.  i covered myself up, he said "oops" and left.  i was creeped out but very very dopesick and figured i could put up with a little creeping in order to get well.  i went back to his room, he pretended to call his dealer, said it would take an hour for him to bring the dope, then told me to get naked.  i tried to demure my way out of it but he kept asking and then demanded for me to take my clothes off, i said no and got up and tried to leave. he grabbed me and yanked me away from the door, spraining my wrist.  then he choke slammed me against the wall and told me not to try and leave again or he would hurt me. he told me not to make a sound, then he punched me in the face really fucking hard and pulled my  head back by my dreadlocks. i started to cry and beg him to let me go. he took my clothes off and made me lay on the bed. he told me to 'open them legs up ashley' and started rubbing himself against me. he told me he just wanted to do that and wasnt going to put it in. he kept telling me to open my legs up and i kept trying to close them. he choked me up against the wall again and said 'i will fucking hurt you, now open your legs up' kept calling me ashley. he pushed my legs so far apart that i felt like they would pop out of their sockets. then he started raping me. i tried to zone out but he kept talking to me and asking me questions. how much do you weigh. how much does that pussy weigh. open them legs up ashley, all the way. do you like this? i said yes because i thought thats what he wanted to hear. he laughed and said no you dont. he was sadistic about it. going really deep. i was crying from the pain and tried not to but i couldnt stop crying. i stared into his eyes searching for some recognizable sign of humanity there wasnt one. he kept making me kiss him sticking his disgusting tongue in my mouth, when it was finally over he made me sleep next to him naked and held me like i was his girlfriend. he kept me there for three days, never left me alone and held me so tight at night that i couldnt get away, i was dopesick this whole time and he raped me five times. he kept me there with threats telling me even if i got away he would find me and that he and his boys would gang rape me and then chain me up in a warehouse and pimp me out for the rest of my life. i tried my best not to piss him off and also to show him that i was a good person and that he could trust me.  i told him if he let me leave i wouldnt tell anyone what had happened. finally he said i could go to sf with him to buy dope. he took me on a train and held my hand and talked loudly to me as if i was his girlfriend.  people were staring.  it was humiliating.  i was so fucking scared. but when i got off the train i ran and screamed so everyone near me could hear that he had kidnapped me. everyone thought i was crazy and ignored me but i was able to get away. i left sf the next day. since then i have been having flashbacks frequently. i freeze and literally its like im back there and i can see his room and smell him and see his face and sometimes i can feel him raping me. afterwards i break down and cry for hours and hours.  im not making this up its all true. its so disgusting and i feel like he ruined me, like im stained forever, like i can never be loved and no one would ever find me attractive, i feel like everyone can see, like they know. the main reason i want to die is because i feel like ill never get his face out of my head, ill always go back to him being inside of me and the smell of it and i dont want to feel that anymore, it makes me sick, and im crazy because of it. when it all happens again, when im back there suddenly and i can see and hear and smell that place and it starts over again, somehow its not me, like its a movie scene, like its some dumb slut. its not me. maybe thats ashley.maybe that's who she is. its not me, it doesnt feel like me, it cant be me."

I left San Francisco and went to stay with my Dad in Arkansas.  I kicked on his couch and tried to stay clean but I couldn't.  I ended up hitch hiking from his house all the way to New Orleans.  One day I was walking down Franklin street taking pictures of graffiti.  A black guy from the ward came up to me and we started talking about graff spots and such.  He offered to show me a place where the local artists did their pieces.  I agreed to go with him.  He seemed really nice and harmless and I didn't want to be predjudiced by assuming he was dangerous because he was a poor black guy from the 8th ward.  We got to a deserted abandonned warehouse.  We went inside and he showed me some graffiti and stuff.  I went to leave the building but he grabbed me by my arm and started pulling me back inside.  I struggled and screamed.  He reached down and pulled my knife from my waistband and with one arm around my neck pointed the knife at my stomach and pulled me back into the warehouse.  He told me to stop screaming because nobody could hear me and nobody cared either way.  He said "Bitch give me the pussy" and held the knife to my throat.  He said "all you gutter punks keep your knives in the same place." He took loosened his grip and positioned himself in front of me and told me to get on my knees, I started backing away from him, he chased me down and told me to stop playing or he would kill me.  He held the knife pointed at my face and made me give him head then told me to bend over against the wall.  I started talking rapidly telling him he didn't have to do hurt me and that I wouldnt fight back or scream or tell anyone.  I told him I had AIDS and herpes and he didnt want to rape me.  I said I was just telling him because I didn't want to infect him.  He seemed to have a change of heart.  He didn't rape me vaginally.  He made me promise not to tell anyone or call the police.  I swore up and down that I wouldn't.  He told me I could leave but walked behind me holding the knife towards the back of my neck.  As I walked in front of him I knew that at any second he was going to kill me, I knew I was about to die.  I was screaming inside my head, I felt like I was going to go insane and reality was going to shatter and then I was going to be in pain and bleed and die.  We made it out to the street.  He told me to walk ahead of him and he would throw me my knife.  I told him that the least he could do was hand it to me and that I wasn't stupid enough to try and attack him.  I looked him in the eyes and told him I had no hard feelings.  He handed me my knife.  I said thank you.  He said "You know you cool for a white girl."  I smiled and turned and walked away and tried to act normal.  At that point everything felt surreal and I couldn't make heads or tails out of what had happened.  I walked back to Franklin street to the median and saw some friends of mine flying a sign.  I sat down with them and acted like nothing had happened.  We pooled our money together and got a half gallon and drank it.  I bought a bag of dope and shot it.  I didn't tell anyone what happened.  It started to feel unreal.

That situation to me is proof that there is a Higher Power that's got my fucking back.  There is no earthly reason I should have survived that and walked out of that building.  I literally talked my way out of being brutally raped and killed.  I was able to connect with my attacker on some sort of basic human level and show him empathy and compassion and change his mind about raping and murdering me.  God is seriously looking out for me.  I don't know what else to say about that.  It was truly fucking bizzare and weird and terrifying and also amazing and a miracle at the same fucking time.  Another time in New Orleans I was sleeping in my squat and some crackheads came in and this guy tried to get me to suck his dick.  I told him I didn't want to and he said "I don't care what you want that's what I want to do right now."  I jumped out the window and ran away.  I was so fucking lucky.  Just like when I got hit by that semi truck in Elizabeth New Jersey and didn't die.  To me that is proof of a Higher Power.  I have survived all of this shit for a reason.  Hopefully it is to help other people so they do not have to experience the same kind of shit or can at least know that they are not alone by hearing my story.

Some people would say that because in all of these situations I did not fight, scream, and struggle throughout the entire event that It was not rape.  I feel that the fact that I did not do this is what saved my life.  By making the decision to stop fighting and to shut down emotionally instead of struggling I was able to prevent myself further pain and trauma.  If I had reported my attackers to the police and these cases had gone to trial I would likely have been blamed for what happened and my rapists would have received light sentences or been aquitted.  This is a result of victim blaming and the rape culture.  Read more about  victim blaming and rape culture.  The issue should not be 'how not to be raped' but rather 'how not to rape someone.'  It does not matter what happens before a sexual assault, during, or afterwards.  No one chooses to be raped.  It is always the rapists fault, never the victims, because the rapist chose to commit the act of rape whereas the victim simply did whatever was necessary to survive the assault.  Sex without consent equals rape.  Silence is not consent.  Ten "no"s followed by a "maybe" or an "okay sure" or a "whatever" or a period of silence is not consent.  Sex by coercion is also rape.  Rape does not have to be violent.  If you have been the victim of rape whatever the circumstances were please please hear me when I say that it was not your fault.

Having all of this shit in my past is very confusing and hard to reconcile.  Sometimes I have flashbacks or nightmares.  Sometimes these thoughts come up randomly and I shut off emotionally or break down and cry.  It is impossible for me to have sex while sober and even when I used to get high I needed to take on this alternate persona that has little resemblance to myself to make it through the experience without freaking the fuck out.  I am able to talk about these experiences without feeling anything most of the time.  I cannot connect with them emotionally without disassociating. I have a therapist who is a trauma specialist and we talk about these things sometimes.  He says it is normal to not be able to emotionally connect when relating traumatic events, it is a way that our minds protect ourselves from painful memories, he tells me I am strong and I am a survivor and that I possess incredible inner strength.  I don't think so.  Deep down I blame myself for every single one of these experiences.  Rationally I know that I am not to blame, but the urge to blame myself is so deeply ingrained that I am often unable to see the reality of the situation.

I recently made an attempt to hook up with someone while sober and failed miserably.  I did this because the person I was hanging out with expressed interest in me and asked if I wanted to hook up.  I wasn't 100% but did it anyways.  I had an attack of PTSD and had to stop half way.  I shut down and even though I tried to force myself to continue I could not.  I felt deeply ashamed and embarrassed and hated myself for not being able to 'just be normal.'  I also felt afraid that if I tried to leave the situation the person I was hooking up with would hurt or rape me.  This was an irrational fear, the person is a nice guy who would not hurt me in reality, but I could not think straight at the time.  The whole experience was very triggering for me and it took me a few days to recover.  I shared vaguely about the experience in a meeting and also talked to my sponsor about it.  I realized that I am not ready to be sexual, the only time I engage in sexual activity is when I feel somehow obligated to do so, I rarely think about sex or have the urge to have it on my own.  I need to not rush myself and I need to learn how to assert my boundaries without feeling fear or shame.  I have a very long road ahead of me in relation to healing from past sexual abuse.

Here are some articles and websites that have helped me deal with some of these issues that I highly recommend to any victim of sexual violence and assault:
I hope that I have been able to help by sharing my experience and thoughts.  If you didn't get anything from this post and you feel like saying something mean or disparaging I urge you to keep your fucking mouth shut.  On the other hand, If you need someone to talk to as always do not hesitate to contact me either by commenting or using the contact form on the sidebar.  Sometimes the first step towards healing is telling your story or sharing your thoughts.  No matter how fucked up your thoughts are they are normal and I can probably relate.  Please know that I am always here for you.  Stay strong everyone.
<3 Erica

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Triggers, Safety, & Dimly Lit Tunnels.

Had a very productive morning once I forced myself out of bed.  I have started using this online alarm clock and it has been helping me quite a bit with my over sleeping issues.  I had a group at the womens center this morning, it was a 'healthy relationships' class.  I initially didn't want to go to that particular class because I thought it was about sexual and romantic relationships.  I have avoided these altogether in the past few years and thus have nothing to say about them.  It turns out the class is just about relationships in general and I actually really enjoyed it.  We talked about how to deal with 'contention' in our day to day lives and how to handle confrontation constructively.  I ended up sharing about my relationship with J and how he physically and mentally abused me while we were together. We talked about how my past history of physical and sexual abuse carries over into how I approach my current relationships, or the lack thereof, and about my PTSD and paranoia. I also talked about not knowing how to deal with the homeless junkies who hang out in the parking lot below my window and basically party all through the night making it difficult for me to sleep.  That whole thing has made me reflect more on how my perspective on the neighborhood I live in has changed since I got sober.  I just didn't realize how bad it was back when I was part of the problem.  Now every time I see a dirty needle on the ground or hear a car window get smashed out in the middle of the night it really fucking irritates me.  I haven't known how to deal with the junkies in the parking lot, even though they significantly effect my quality of life in a negative way, because I don't want to be a hypocrite and I definitely don't want to be a rat and run to the police.  It has gotten to the point where I am afraid to walk Kali to the park after the sun goes down because I know I will have to walk past them and I worry that they will attack me or try to rob me and she will get hurt. Most of them are mentally ill and / or on meth and they are just so unpredictable, it's not too far-fetched for me to think something like that might happen.  A lot of my old junkie aquaintances have gotten the idea into their heads that I think I am somehow better than them because I'm not getting high anymore.  It's true that I have cut off contact with all of my using connections, but it's not because I feel superior, I just don't need that shit in my life anymore.  Last night at 4am this guy Cielo, a homeless crackhead I used to get high with, started pounding at my door and yelling my name.  He's been kicked out of my building several times for sleeping in front of my door when I wouldn't let him in.  Obviously he woke me up and I couldn't go back to sleep for an hour after he left, I just sat there with my taser in my hand staring at the door and holding Kali with my free hand. I was terrified that he would try to break in.  I thought about calling the police, but it goes against everything I believe in, and I know that getting them involved would only make things worse.  I just do not feel safe in my environment, my stress level is through the roof, and it's making my life suck.  I'm going to continue to look for a sober living house to move into but in the mean time all I can do is try to not make waves or piss anyone off.

After the group was over I walked to the clinic.  I have been walking and riding my bike more often whenever I have the energy to do so.  It keeps me from having to ride the Nasty Nine and also gives me an energy boost throughout the day.  I'm beginning to see how important exercise is, everytime I do it I feel much better, it's just working up the motivation to start that's difficult.  I rode the bus back from the clinic on my way to the Food Stamp office to turn in my recertification paperwork.  My review is in two days.  The ride to the welfare office was relatively uneventful, thankfully, and after turning in my paperwork I walked home safely.

I have written before about how uncomfortable it is to ride public transportation in San Francisco on a daily basis.  You can read about it in my post 'Muni Sucks and So Does Methadone Maintenance'   for some specific examples.  At it's best, riding the Nine is just awkward.  I was coming back from the clinic the other day and this girl I have a huge crush on sat next to me in back.  The bus was packed and she squished up against me to avoid touching the total stranger on her other side.  She said hi to me, I only managed a very quiet hi back and a shy smile before I pulled out a book and started reading to avoid having to have a conversation.  The fifteen minute bus ride, with her soft skin pressing against mine, was very tense for me.  As I exited the bus I told her to have a nice day and skittered out the back doors looking like a total tool.  I was kicking myself for hours afterwards over my inability to start a conversation or even act like a normal human being around a girl I like.  Then again it was a lot worse when I used to ride the bus stoned.  I remember one time I had just smoked two or three bowls with my hippie neighbor and had to immediately afterwards get on the bus so I wouldn't miss the clinic.  As I was walking out my front door my benefactor neighbor Uncle Tony handed me a stack of cookies and cream filled oreos.  The heavens parted and angelic voices rang out from the skies.  As I sat and ate my delicious oreos on the bus I was consumed by the feeling that everyone on the Nine was staring directly at me and watching me eat, and also that everybody knew I was stoned.  A massive samoan drag queen (she looked a lot like Divine from Pink Flamingos) got on the bus and sat in front of me and I had a very difficult time not staring at her while I ate my cookies.  I was positive that this was only happening because I was high and that the universe got a kick out of throwing weird shit in my path whenever I smoked a lot of weed.  I think I also had to go to the DMV that day.  I have since stopped smoking weed in an effort to at least try to do sobriety 'the right way' even though I do not consider weed to be a drug, much less a harmful one, and fully intend to smoke it in the future once I am more confident in my ability to abstain from more destructive substances.  More on that later, I'm sure.

When a bus ride is bad, however, it is usually really bad.  The news is full of stories about muggings, even a recent shooting, occuring on Muni vehicles.  Smart phone thefts are common, so are screaming matches between passengers and random physical altercations.  I recently saw an older black lady threaten to beat up a younger latina girl for accidentally kicking her foot when the bus stopped abruptly.  The lady was being so aggressive, and the younger girl was so obviously scared and shocked by her unwarranted anger, that I felt compelled to give up my seat for the girl so she wouldn't have to deal with the older womans abuse.  I also had a guy spit in my hair once and call me a bunch of names for accidentally stepping on his foot.  At the risk of sounding totally racist, I really gotta ask, what the fuck is it with black people and their sneakers?  The shit is on your feet, it's going to get dirty, and it's going to get kicked or stepped on by another foot at some point, it's inevitable.  People need to chill the fuck out.  As I was taking the 14 Mission to a meeting on Saturday, an older man was coming out the back door as I was getting on.  As he stepped down onto the sidewalk he reached out and grabbed my ass.  I moved away and sauid "Woah dude, not fucking cool!"  to which he merely smiled and winked at me.  It wasn't until I went to sit down that I realized my (cheap and shitty) phone was in my back pocket and thought that maybe he was actually trying to steal it instead of trying to grab my ass like I had previously assumed.  I guess I'll never know.  But yea I think you catch my drift here.  San Francisco public transportation, especially the bus, is out of control.

It's not just riding the bus that's sketchy either.  Waiting at the bus stop can be an equally unpleasant and harrowing experience.  Case in point: this is the wall of a Muni bus shelter.  The glass has been punched out and the map that usually goes underneath it has been removed or stolen, but can you see what else is wrong with this picture?

No?  Look a little closer...

That's right, now every Muni bus stop south of market comes complete with its own loaded syringe full of black tar heroin!  And you all thought there was no such thing as free dope.  Incidentally, on my way back from the meeting, I checked and it was still there.  San Francisco is a really gross city.  It would be really lovely to not have to encounter peoples dirty rigs strewn all over the fucking place on a daily basis.  I would really like to at least get out of the Downtown area as soon as humanly possible.

So anyhoo, I didn't finish sharing the last bit of my Step One work with you guys in my last blog post because I was feeling too neggy, and it was tainting my writing and such, so I will post the rest of it now.

More ways in which I would like my life to become manageable
  • I would like to work through my issues about my past and be able to use my experiences to help other people and become a stronger person.  I want to stop being afraid all of the time and to feel safe.  I want to feel sane and in control of my emotions and behavior.
  • I want to feel more comfortable in social situations and not feel so shy and awkward all the time.
  • I would like to have a better relationship with my family.  I would like to make amends to members of my family who I have hurt and for them to forgive me as well.
  • I would like to be able to take better care of my body and to feel more confident about the way I look and present myself.
  • I would like to have a spiritual aspect to my life and to form a relationship with a higher power that I can trust and put faith in without being cynical and over analyzing everything to death.

Basically I just want to feel like I have control over my actions, emotions, surroundings, and how I structure my time.  I want to feel safe, happy, and cared for; not only by my family and friends, but by my higher power in whatever form it may take. I want to live a life that is productive and has meaning, I want to create beautiful things, feel accomplished, and help other people.  To me manageability would manifest mainly as a feeling of safety and security, as a sense of control over what happens to me, this is what was lacking in my life when I was actively using and was powerless over my addiction.  It is hard for me to imagine what this would really look or feel like as my life has always been chaotic in one way or another, but I have to believe that it is possible for me, this is what I am working towards.  Even if I can't see the light at the end of this tunnel, I need to have faith that it's there and keep walking, even if I have to stay in the dark for a while.

Finally picked up my 24hour and 30day chips.  I will hopefully be picking my 60 day chip up soon if all goes as planned.  I am very grateful for my sobriety today and that I get to go to bed and wake up without needing to shoot heroin.  After so many years of hopelessness and slavery to drugs and alcohol the freedom I feel is really amazing.  Even when my life seems like it sucks and everything is nasty and fucked up at least I can be happy about the fact that I'm clean. It really means a lot that I was fully ready to give up on life all together and now I have a chance to turn things around.  If I can do it, I know for a fact that anyone can, so stay strong you guys and remember to reach out to another addict or alcoholic if you need help.  I'm always here to listen or offer advice if you need it.  More later.  Take care everyone.  <3