Friday, May 30, 2008


One hundred relapses. Hardly seems worth it to most I'm sure. People may think "what a waste of money" or "it didn't help". But on the contrary. Relapses are an evil reality to addiction. Out of over fifty people that were in the Scientology-based rehab known as Narconon, every single one had relapses. Most during and after they got out. Some just during.....perhaps. I have not kept in touch with any of them so they may have fallen since.

For me at least, since rehab, relapses carry with them the burden of accountability . Prior to going through rehab, I called it "partying" not "relapsing". And i still don't know how long you have to be drug-free before your use is called a "relapse". I mean if you skip one day, you're not relapsing because you never really stopped. Is it ten days, thirty days?

No matter what, once out of rehab, the high was different when I used. It didn't come care-free. With it were countless thoughts of family, friends, tears, losses, self-loathing, disgust, even acts of self-mutilization. I never was a "cutter" in my life until I relapsed.

I didn't relapse once. I've been in an altered state at least one hundred times in three years. I know you're asking yourself "why?". Well, there's the mind-boggling question even for me. I mean, nothing ever good came out of getting high. Well, I'm not including marijuana in that because, I don't care what our government says, weed isn't bad. I don't currently smoke it. I mean what job doesn't drug test..other than a stripper. So, I can't out of necessity. Back to my point, I know "using" costs money, requires association with dealers who do not have my best interest in mind, it kills brain cells, thwarts health, diminishes emotional realities, promotes paranoia, consumes the mind, destroys trust, and harms every worthy relationship. There has never been a time, since became an addict, that these things did not occur.

When I say never...I mean NEVER EVER EVER. It is inevitable that tragedy is but moments away if I relapse. So, being a somewhat intelligent girl,with a heart as big as our galaxy, how in the hell is it that I'd relapse more than once?

Addiction is simply fascinating. Whether it be gambling after a past of losing everything or drinking again after years of sobriety, or smoking crack after almost dying from it, the addiction has a real power. It does live. I'm not crazy. But it has a will. No matter how resistant I may be and how many times I can dodge its temptations it will not die. It will lay dormant. It will wait.

Now, am I saying no one avoids relapses? No. There are many who find another addiction as a substitute; working out, God, skydiving, etc... I haven't found my "distraction" from my disease yet. Now don't misunderstand me, I am on a role these days and staying clean. Mostly because my mother died for me. Had her funeral not been at that time and my family had not witnessed my condition, it would have most certainly been my funeral within 2 weeks most!

But, a relapse is only one hit away. Not a thousand, not a pound, a kilo, a gram...just one hit. Just one little tiny hit is all it takes to own me again. And if you're an addict too, you are that close as well. You won't do it "just one more time". Have you ever? We don't end up as addicts because of our astonishing discipline and self-control, my friend. We're addicts because there is never one....there is only the first of so many more.

It might be sad to those who are free of addiction. They may never understand it. Hell, i don't even understand it. But I do have to accept it. It is my reality. It burdens all who enter my circle in some way. Everyone pays a consequence for caring about an addict. Some experience this pain for years repeatedly.

To them I say, thank you. I love you. I hate that I am sick with addiction and I hate that it slashes your throat and stabs your back. I do try to control it every second of every day. But sometimes, I just get exhausted. I am ever conscious of my plight and I vow to fight the fight. Though it may seem I may not always win every battle, the war is long and I'm in it to win it.

Addiction is a monster. Getting clean is only the beginning. Staying clean is the hum-dinger. As cliche as it sounds, it starts with one minute at a time. Before you know it you made it through the whole day. Don't hate yourself for relapsing, learn something. Love yourself a little more so it won't be quite so easy next time for that monster to stay quite so long. If you love yourself completely, addiction could not come around. Why would it? You wouldn't give it any satisfaction .

Rather than using your energy to focus on the hate....conjure up some love for you! You are an incredible being with magical powers granted to you by this Universe....All you have to do is recognize it. Keep fighting.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I find it curious that most people in mainstream America define drug addicts as: unmotivated, loveless, joyless, useless, careless, selfish, and worthless. If I had a dollar for each of these adjectives when heard them used to describe an addict, I'd be financially secure for life.....

Truth be told, I used to see them through those eyes as well. I didn't expose myself to drugs until I was twenty-two years old. I just assumed everyone was right about the views of addicts. Even the sad stories, theft, violence, and heartbreak were not met with sympathy, but more like a "see, I told you "they" are horrible" attitude.

After metamorphosing into a full blown heroin addict, which took sixteen years of motivation, drive, energy, love, heart, soul, action, worth, joy, use, use and more use, creativity, friends, relationships, family, drama, desire, truth, lies, countless smiles and tears, and exceptional survival skills, I came to realize that addicts are far from different than any person I had ever known. They have an added "ingredient" (drugs) than the mainstream American.

With such "additions or ingredients" there are going to be "losses". But is this not true with all things? When a child is born into a marriage, is there not a loss of privacy, free time, independence, self, sex, time etc......?

No matter what you add there is a going to be a loss. For some, a baby is a "bundle of joy" and for others, they see a bundle of heroin as such. Perhaps what is added and lost vary...but perhaps not.

You can't control the child you bring into this world a hundred percent forever.....what if that child becomes a heroin addict? What is your "bundle of joy" then?? Loved, I'm sure: but joyous, not so much.

Well, my heroin had become that to me. I loved it so much and had a blast at first, when my "addiction" to that drug was "born"....but as it grew up and I lost control, I still loved it but it was breaking me and steeling from me and deceiving me. I couldn't ever be free.

With the death of a loved-one there is much grief, confusion, denial, sadness, anger, questioning, love, broken hearts, and an emptiness. If that loved one brought you immeasurable pain, lies, broken promises, stolen dreams, pain and suffering, violence, heartache, terror, as well as, happy memories, smiles, relationships, comfort, company, hope, joy, inspiration, and contentment would you not still cry at the loss? If you ever "loved" that person....wouldn't you probably make futile attempts at making sense of it all? Would you have regrets of things you should have said or done....even once?

When I lost my habit.....I lost my best-worst friend or worst-best friend...depending on the moment. Addiction is alive. It is an entity that lives inside you. When it "dies" it's always with a "loved" one. It never truly leaves as long as you remember it.

And occasionally, every once and a while, you think you hear it or see it again. You may dream of it like it's still here.

But just like the loss of a family member or friend, digging it up out of the grave will not prove to satisfy you as it used to. It would be rather disturbing and provoke nightmares....

let it rest in peace. It's in a better place now...than it was when it was alive...Time to move-on.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


At first glance I knew I loved this guy. This guy's name....Dietrich. I was working at the club and he came in and sat at the end of the stage facing the dressing room. What began as a glance, soon flourished into a friendship that would pale all others and a love that will never be matched.

He and I had something in common. We were loners. I had a boyfriend at the time, Timmy. He was eighteen and troubled, but he was all mine. We had a lot of problems including violence and infidelity on his part. But I had no intention of cheating or leaving. That was just not my style.

Dietrich soon became my best friend ever. I could be 100% myself around him. I could be naked around him and I never had to worry about him pawing at me or even looking at me with lust. He protected me from everything and everyone bad.

This man came to my rescue countless times when I was in trouble. When Timmy's violent temper escalated, it was Dietrich that took matters in his own hands and kicked some ass.

I guess it was destined that after Timmy cheated for the ninth time, he'd finally leave me. And, also destined, Dietrich and I would end up as lovers. Lovers is a strong word for us really. He never stopped being my friend. And occasionally we would have sex. "Captain Cannon...." well I won't finish the last word, but this was a pet name for his, ahhhhh, asset, so to speak.

Anyway, we experimented with drugs, drugs, drugs, drugs, and more drugs. He was the one who turned me on to Oxycontin's. Whew! What a ride. What a very bad ride!

We ate pain pills and Xanax like they were Skittles and M&M's. We smoked so much cocaine I don't think my lungs would have even recognized fresh oxygen. And we snorted pills, snorted blow, snorted MDMA (molly), AND snorted heroin. We snorted so much, poor Dietrich ate a whole right through his nose. That was a funny discovery. I have to tell you.

He was blowing his nose and had to clean it out. Probably had some serious pill residue stuck up there. Anyway, he put a Q-tip in and suddenly his eyes opened so wide I thought they might pop right out! He poked the Q-tip through and was like "Holy Sh*t....CHECK THIS SH*T OUT!!!!! Later he asked, how much crap does someone gotta snort to have eaten a hole through his nose? Guess what, it never healed.

Anyway,we soon managed to pawn and sell everything of value. It was the crack that inspired that great idea. We lost so much. We even sold his truck.

As bad as things were, we were in denial. Absolutely! We were living in an amazing 3 bedroom house with our two pit bulls and my fifteen cats. At least that house had enough room for a family of nineteen.

I guess I was getting bored with the same old drugs done the same old ways. So, a friend, named Liz, turned me on to the idea of the needle. Now Dietrich was so anti-needle saying the word would make him pale.

Keeping with our insane"balls to the wall" attitude, fear of needles was brief! We tried it, liked it, loved, it, hated it but kept using it, hated ourselves, and eventually stopped caring for each other.

There are a million stories Dietrich and I share. And our friendship survived through so much crap that it must be real.

Truth be told, I love that man. I'm clean today and he's clean today.

I cant' help but wonder what splendor would have risen, had we not destroyed ourselves for drugs.

I love you, Dietrich. I miss us.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


In my sixteen years of drug use I spent some cash. Here's a break down of the money I spent. I was a little conservative with my usage estimates. The numbers are staggering...even to me.

Marijuana.............. $334,000
Pain pills.................$576,000

Total........................$2,157,580.00 in sixteen years

And to think, I can't afford to buy milk today.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Dope-sickness is the term used to describe a state one is in during the physical withdrawals from drugs; most commonly opiates.

Let me paint a picture for you. Imagine being so incredibly hot like you have a fever of one hundred four degrees. You're sweating profusely and your skin feels like its on fire from underneath it. Then imagine feeling incredibly cold. So much though that you have chills from head to toe. Your gut has pains that are equivalent to being stabbed repeatedly with an ice pick. Sounds awful,, right? Well, there's more, my friends....much more. Keep in mind that you are feeling all these sensations simultaneously. While your temperature is fluctuating and your gut is cramping you also have a horrible feeling of your skin "crawling". It's as though a zillion ants are all over you. You even punch and slap yourself randomly hoping it will cease. It feels like razor blades are being raked over your entire body while someone smashes your lower back with a baseball bat at full force. The need to squirm and twitch is relentless. Every time you swallow it's as if a rock is sliding down your throat only to hit your stomach like a ton of bricks making you nauseous but unable to purge....yet. Even your hair and fingernails hurt. The air against your skin might as well be poison darts penetrating your flesh at high velocity.

This only gets more and more intense; every second of every minute of everyday!!! Oh yes, time is but a master of pain, delivering more with each passing moment. It is the most brutal torture one can endure. The only reprieve I had was knowing I will die eventually. And I prayed and held on to the hope that I wouldn't live another second.

One would assume that after experiencing such agony, the desire for drugs would be immediately erased. I mean it would be crazy, absolutely insane, to pick up a drug that would ultimately leave you in that state of hell again. Well my friends, welcome to the demon I call addiction.

The only thing worse than feeling dope-sick is watching someone you care about feel it and be going through it. I think every time I witnessed another going to that hellish place, I relived the agony as well. All opiates have this similar, if not identical, detox (physical withdrawal).

I never knew there were degrees of this, however. The first time you go through it is the worst. You just don't know how bad it can hurt. Nothing in life can be compared to dope-sickness. It is its own entity. My first time was off the mac-daddy opiate: Oxycontin.

Oxycontin, or synthetic heroin, as it's called, is one of the most brutal drugs to detox from. It was no picnic to detox off heroin either. But because Oxycontin was my first dance with detox, it was by far the worst. I know Oxycontins ( O.C.'s) are pills, but I don't think I've ever eaten one in my life. After removing the time release, I'd snort them. I was up to four eighty milligram pills a day.

I couldn't get out of bed without snorting a quarter of one in the beginning. It wasn't long before I was snorting a whole one in the morning, one by lunch, one before work, and one after work. At forty dollars a pill this was not a cheap habit! But after detoxing once, I promised myself I'd never ever run out again. Ha!

Things to consider: your supplier getting busted or your funds being depleted. Not to mention the way it blankets your soul. Eventually, I wasn't even getting high. My opiate receptors needed the drug to simply be "normal." People would notice more if I wasn't on it than if I was. I couldn't''t do anything.

The bad thing about picking up after your first run with dope-sickness is that you know you lived through it...somehow. And you know what to expect. Every time is still an unbelievable nightmare, but you get used to it.

I must have gone through detoxing a million times. There is no way to make iit stop early but to pick-up and use again to relieve the pain. My advice, ride it out. Yes, it is going to feel like it will never end. And you will welcome the idea of dying. But remember, everytime you interrupt your body's desire to rid itself of these poisons, you only post-pone the inveitable. You will have to do it eventually unless you overdose and die first. Think of it like this: it's going to be at least three days of the worst you've ever felt in your life. Probably more like five days before you get slightly better. You can plan on feeling crappy for a month. A month may seem like forever now, but after it's over, you will thank yourself.

I promise it's not easy....but you're worth the effort!

I know I couldn't go through it again. If I pick up heroin or Oxycontin again I might as well do it in the cemetery. My only detox left is death.

Friday, April 11, 2008


When I say I loved my "X", I'm referring to ecstasy, the designer drug. Ecstasy's main ingredient is MDMA (methylendioxymethamphetimine). Ecstasy is a synthetic, psychoactive drug. The main ingredient, MDMA, affects the neurons in the brain that uses serotonin. Serotonin directly affects things like mood, sleep patterns, sexual urges, and response to pain as well as aggression.

If you've ever been on it, or around others who are "rolling", you can see how "touchy-feely" people became and how easily aroused everyone can become. After a night of eating about ten pills of Ecstasy, I asked a boy, Timmy, to move in when I had only known him for about twelve hours. Whew! What a night! It turned into three crazy years that I wouldn't trade for anything. But the majority of our relationship was spent using Ecstasy.

It was virtually impossible to get the same "high" from Ecstasy two days in a row. We used about three or four nights a week. When we were on it, we seemed to perform the same rituals. For example, we always listened to techno music. Everything becomes so heightened on Ecstasy that music transcends you to another realm, or so it seems. Because, MDMA, in high doses, affects the body's temperature, we'd need it very cool in the apartment. Sometimes we'd take a shower or bath. Wow, I struggle to accurately describe how incredibly altered sensations to the skin become. A soft touch on your arm can be felt through your whole body as if angels are kissing your skin with lips of velvet.

Sex is out of this world. It's no wonder this drug was designed to be used to aid couples with counselling issues. Psychiatrists used it for couples in small amounts to help them be more open with one another.

This amazing state of euphoria came with a cost! It wasn't cheap at all. Because Timmy and I had such a tolerance, we each ate at least ten per night. So twenty pills per night at three nights a week was sixty pills weekly; eqivalent to six hundred dollars per week. Doing more calculations, this was $31,200 each year! Buying whip-its, gum, pacifiers, Vick's vapor rub, orange juice, vitamin C, bubbles,black lights, laser lights, body paint and music was all part of our "rituals" and expenses.

Not only did this fantastic state of being cost dollars, it came with a price we paid in health. Let me go over some of the physical effects of Ecstasy: increase in heart rate and blood pressure, muscle tension (massages are given for hours), teeth clenching (pacifiers are used to aid with this), nausea, blurred vision, chills, sweating, liver and kidney problems, confusion, anxiety, brain over-heating, even death. I'm sorry to say I have lost friends to Ecstasy related deaths.

Somehow, when faced with the potential "scoring" of Ecstasy, we were willing to chance death.

There are serious psychological effects of ecstasy and MDMA as well. From personal experience, depression is imminent after use. Occasionally I would crave it the next day, but after trying to use it a couple times, I discovered it was better to wait in order to attain the desired affect.

I spent from age twenty-nine to thirty-one using Ecstasy every week with my boyfriend at the time, who was, incidentally, eighteen years old when we met. Once we stopped using ecstasy our relationship fizzled out.

MDMA, after prolonged use, does impair judgement and reasoning up to seven years after use. Also, brain neurons are damaged for years. I never met a drug I didn't fall in love with. Ecstasy was no different. However, I deal with the residual effects on a daily basis.

Again I say, it's just insane to put a drug in your body that ultimately is going to destroy your health and metal well-being. It catches-up....I'm living proof.


It was 1996. I decided to take a break from "dancing" . There was a little dive called "The Scoreboard". It was a strip club with a pool table, video games and a bar area. It was definitely a "3" on the scale of one to ten (with ten being the luxury "gentleman's club" like The Cheetah and one being barely a hole in the wall).

It was a step down from my home club, but I was waitressing and making great money.

It was April 18th. This night started like all the rest. I worked until two a.m. and Jesse came to hang out. There was a group of us that "partied" together; the bar tender at the time, the owner, D.J.'s, and a guy we called "Stick, Jesse and I. We all liked cooking up cocaine and smoking it. It's like crack, but not. It's simply cocaine, baking soda and water. No nasty additives. Well, no nastier than cocaine that is.

We all got quite high. Jesse and I got some more to take back to the house like usual. We were serious drug addicts. We were taking hit after hit for a good five or six hours when I started getting one hell of a headache. It was like someone had my head in a vice.

I kept smoking coke for about an hour longer when I began vomiting after every hit and rushing to the bedroom to lie down with my eyes closed from the pain. By this time, my headache was monumental. Jesse encouraged me to just stop and chill out. He was worried. We had done this for days straight sometimes and I never had this reaction.

After about another hour, I couldn't smoke. I just lied down and cried. In a few minutes I smelled burning rubber. It was so strong it was like someone was peeling out in my house! Jesse came running and demanded I let him take me to the hospital. I conceded begrudgingly.

I wanted my mom there and she did live on he same street up a ways. We rode by, but she was at the AA room collecting her chip for staying sober some odd number of years. The AA people didn't know about her crack addiction, but the chip was for alcoholism. At the time I didn't know this was where she was.

The hospital was a surreal experience. They did CT scans, and blood tests but couldn't see anything. They were just going to send me home with pain pills. While I was with Jesse in the room waiting to be discharged, a doctor we hadn't met yet came in. This was the first and only time we ever saw him. He explained that I shouldn't be having that much pain still and he asked if I'd sign the waiver allowing a spinal tap.

I was willing to do anything that would subside the pain. I agreed and soon thereafter another doctor entered. All I can remember is the doctor telling me to get in the fetal position and cough. It was over before I realized it. Jesse, being the jester he was told me to cough again. I was so out of it I thought it was still the doctor for a second. After I realized it was just him we both laughed.

When the results came in they said there was blood in the spinal fluid which indicated a problem. An angiogram was then ordered. For those that don't know, this is where you lie on a table and a needle is inserted into the groin area where they shoot dye into your vain up to your brain. This illuminates every vessel when they look at it through a scope.

Finally, a resolution! They found a berry aneurysm. That is when everyone stepped up the pace. Jesse had gotten in touch with Mom and she came in explaining an aneurysm. She said it's like an air bubble on a tire, the vehicle being my brain and the tire being a blood vessel . The bubble gets bigger and bigger until it pops. Once it pops death is imminent.

Two percent of Americans are born with a berry aneurysm. It is a congenital defect. There are usually no symptoms. As crazy as it sounds, had I not been smoking cocaine and agitating the aneurysm, it probably would have grown for years and one day popped with no warning in my forties.

Needless to say I needed brain surgery.

There were no guarantees on what my condition would be following the surgery. I remember telling my Mom to please "tell Daddy I'm sorry". Although he and I had a strained relationship, I've never stopped wanting his approval. Although becoming a stripper and drug addict weren't the best choices for that!

Once the doctors had cut open my skull and exposed the brain, my aneurysm ruptured. This added to the chance of paralysis, loss of memory, and speech impairment. Luckily, they were able to re-route my blood flow by putting in a titanium clip.

Miraculously I came out with everything "normal". I had staples from behind my left ear to the center of my head and much bruising on my face. It was a seven-day stay in the hospital after I got out of I.C.U.. I went to recover at my grandmother's after that for a month or so.

I'm amazed I'm alive. I'm amazed how that incident didn't stop me from doing drugs. I used for ten more years! I didn't stop with crack.... be continued