Thank goodness for some assistance from Pathways to Housing’s nurse. She was kind enough to help reschedule my appointment after my ride never came last Friday for the originally scheduled appointment. So, since regular patients still are not coming into the office, she assisted me greatly in scheduling the appointment and the ride to and from. I have been thinking about stopping the injections for the past few months. Although, I can understand completely why they program would rather see me be safe rather than sorry. They’ve seen me completely alter everything about my entire life just to help avoid a possible relapse. But, it is wiser to be safe rather than sorry, even if, it is to ease the minds of others more than my own anymore. It’s still nowhere near as demanding as methadone or Suboxone. So, it only takes up a small amount it my time once per month. That’s well worth the ease of mind it provides. I’m so glad that I still have them to help me when I need it. I’ve never been so fortunate in the past. Here’s to continuous progress… Even if it is slow, but steady.
Well, 18 months is not much when compared with the 17+ years that I once had. Although, it is a substantial enough amount of time to recognize my progress since that fateful day in October 2018. That day, both, almost ended, and, yet saved my life. Getting struck by the car and spending almost 2 months on a coma actually enabled me to stay still and away from drugs long enough to realize the opportunity that I’d been given. I had an opportunity I’d thought was long lost. I had a choice to make. I could continue getting high and living on the streets (homeless) OR get (and try to stay) clean and accept the offer of an apartment with a team of professionals who were willing to help me be self- sufficient (like I once was). It was not an easy decision for me. Unfortunately, familiar pain is familiar and tends to seem less scary than making such a huge change in my life. Plus, I’d experienced a lot of injuries in the accident, including a brain injury, which affected my ability to care for myself, both physically and mentally. Not to mention the emotional stress at that time. I am so beyond grateful for the opportunity, alone. Words cannot express my gratitude for everything that’s occurred since that fateful day. So, here’s to making it 18 months, and hoping many more to come.
With this social distancing order, it’s been more difficult to stay connected. Fortunately, there are ways around the order. I’ve, personally, done a couple of meetings on Zoom. I’ve also signed up for some virtual yoga and meditation classes. Those are just a couple of ways to stay connected. Even apps such as Facebook or Instagram are saving the sanity of so many. This is a very nerve racking time, but we can and will get through it all somehow. These are just a couple of suggestions and examples of what I’ve done to try and stay connected through this pandemic.
Well, this past Friday, I received my 18th vivitrol injection. I was nervous about things not going as planned due to the quarantine because of the coronavirus. Luckily, everything went well. I spoke to my daughter over the phone a couple days prior to getting my injection, and shared my concerns with her. She said that I needed to make sure I got there to get it one way or another, because I “signed a contract” the day that I “pushed (her) out” to do all I can to do my best. She always has a way of putting a smile on my face. Her sense of humor is definitely similar to my own. She is right, though. About me, basically, signing a contract the day she was born. I didn’t realize that at the time, but that was a good way to put it. That was the day that someone was “more important” than myself. Now, I wish it didn’t take so long to realize that I have to be “good”, myself, in order to be any “good” to anyone I care about. I’m still learning, but getting much better, thankfully. I hope that everyone is staying as safe as possible throughout this coronavirus pandemic.
Due to the widespread nervousness over the coronavirus, along with cases confirmed in the city of Seattle, the trip had been cancelled. I’m a little disappointed since I was looking forward to it so very much. Although, it’s safer for everyone to avoid the situation altogether. I am, however, still looking forward to getting my 18th vivitrol injection this month. I cannot believe how fast time flies. I thought it flew when I was homeless and living on the streets. I still can’t believe I spent years out there. Though, I am probably just as amazed at how much time has passed since I’ve gotten high on illicit Street drugs. I, probably, have more reason to get high after my accident than I did prior to, although, it’s been easier for me to stay away from people, places, and things this time around. Now, I’ve had experience with being clean from drugs for many years without being on medicated assisted treatment (MAT). I must admit that I did “self-medicate” by still using marijuana on and off over the years. For me, smoking marijuana does not give me an urge to do anything “harder” as is the case with, say, alcohol, for many people. Although, I can only speak for myself, and must say that every single person is different and different things work in different ways for everyone. For me, it’s a bit of a comfort to know that if I choose to “slip up” and use illicit street drugs, I’d not only be unable to “feel it”, but also would be made to feel sick/ ill from there interaction between the vivitrol and the drugs in my system. So, for me, it’s reduced the urge even further to use. It’s almost like a “security blanket” of sorts, I suppose. Either way, I’m proud of how well I’ve done for as long as I have so far. Here’s keeping my fingers crossed for more time to come 🤞🤞🤞
This is such a controversial topic and everyone is, as always, entitled to their own opinions about it. I, personally, think that it’s an excellent way to afford drug addicts an opportunity to stay alive long enough to receive treatment when they are ready. I don’t think people realize that it is not condoning drug use, but ensuring that they are in a place where an overdose can be reversed easier than in the streets. It also helps give people a place to use that is not outside where the community could witness the drug use. You cannot get treatment for drug addiction if you’re deceased. This is giving people a better chance to survive long enough to be drug free. It also ensures that the users are not using dirty needles, etc, which will help stop spreading diseases. There are places that offer clean needles free of charge along with supplies that are used to inject drugs, although not everybody uses or even knows about the services that are available. People have mentioned concerns with daycare centers and schools with children being near the facility. Though, I don’t think they realize that it’s contained and under supervision at the safe injection site, rather than those addicts being in the open where children could witness the drug use. To me, it’s about minimizing the impact of drug use in the community, while providing avenues for anyone to receive treatment who is ready for (and wants) it. I’m surprised at the area of the city they decided to open the facility. Although, they may have a better success rate for treatment, statistically, compared to other areas of the city. I didn’t realize prior to this that the Safe Injection Site will be there very first in the country. Canada has existing Safe Injection Sites that have had great success. Now, remember, my opinion is based from my own personal experiences being a drug addict (currently not actively using), having a child who is an active drug addict, and losing my younger brother to overdose in 2016. I say so often that all I want is for my child to survive her addiction, so that she is able to get treatment. So, in my opinion, that is one way to help ensure that. Admittedly, I may even feel a bit jealous that I’d not had this when I was actively using drugs. It may have prevented some major events in my own life connected with my use of intravenous drugs.
Hey there! It’s been a lil bit since I’ve written anything. I have been looking forward to seeing the movie “Birds of Prey” with some of my Pathways team for about a month or so. We finally went Friday to go see it at the new movie theater in the new Fashion District downtown. I really enjoyed it a lot. I have been so fortunate to have people in my life that help me to go out and do positive things, while encouraging me to continue in the “right” direction. Without that continued support, I most likely would have been back out in the streets and would’ve been getting high again. So few people, it seems, understand that those who are homeless and struggling aren’t always “choosing” to be in such a situation, but are forced into it by the circumstances that life gives us many times. Thankfully, for me, I was blessed enough to encounter and build relationships with people who actually do seem to understand that. I don’t think I can ever explain how crucial the support has been in my recovery from drugs, as well as recovery from my accident in October 2018. I’m also really looking forward to seeing Seattle for the first time next month. Hopefully, I’ll be able to help someone else struggling with issues similar to myself. That, of course, is ALWAYS the goal. Along with keeping myself well enough to continue trying to help others.
All I ever knew was being fortunate enough throughout my years to financially support myself and my family. The first time I chose to depend on another is when I lost everything. This is the first time since then that I am able to support myself again. It feels so beyond wonderful being able to do small things that I used to take very much for granted. This year has been extremely life altering thus far. So far, it’s been in such marvelous ways. I’m so grateful for being able to do pretty well since my accident. Without my wonderful support system, it would not be possible. I just keep hoping and praying that those still suffering in active addiction get an opportunity to recover.
It’s been a while since I was sick with a cold or flu. Now, I spent over a week in bed coughing, runny nose, and a headache and a half. It feels so great to feel better again. I’m super lucky to have a best friend who comes by to drop off soup and other goodies to my sick butt. Luckily, I didn’t have much planned that week, but missed on a couple of outings since I was feeling ill. I had gotten my 16th vivitrol injection just as it started, though. I am so proud to have gotten this far in my recovery. I worry still like crazy about my own loved ones who are still at risk because of addiction. I had gotten into a heated discussion over how it, unfortunately, is beyond my control when it concerns anyone else’s addiction. I am only able to be there to support that person and need willing to do anything I can to help, but only if it really helps them positively. If I were to risk putting myself too close to an active addict, I would risk losing all the work and time I’ve put into my own recovery. If I were to lose my recovery, I’d be no good to that person or myself. As painful as it is and as helpless as you feel, that’s really all you can do. Granted, I wish I were a superhero who could jump into the fire without getting burned. Unfortunately, that is not the case for me. I have so many positive things that I’m looking forward to. I have the Seattle trip coming up next month, and I have plans to go see the new movie, “Birds of Prey”, with my Pathways crew this month. I’m so excited to see that movie, since I happen to be quite the Harley Quinn fan. I loved the trip we took to see the new “Joker” movie a while ago.
I just received a call from my Pathways to Housing team’s assistant supervisor asking if I would be interested in doing biweekly focus groups about their Housing program and my experiences. As always, I said that I’d love to. It’s to help people coming into the program have an idea of what to expect, as well as receive support throughout the process. I am absolutely so grateful to even be asked to do things such as this. The best part of it is that Pathways to Housing PA will be presenting at a conference/convention in March that I’ve also been asked to attend. It’s being held in Seattle, Washington in March. I would have agreed to do what I can to help others without that part, but, I must say, I’m so super excited!!! The opportunity to help support others positively throughout the process of being housed after years of being homeless is the real reward. The trip really is just an added bonus. If I hadn’t gotten (and stayed) clean from drugs, this would not be possible. Life is hard without extra hardships added. Although, when you feel as though you’re not going through it all alone, it helps tremendously. Hopefully, I’ll be able to help someone else change their life for the better. That, truly, is all I hope to accomplish with this change I’ve been given to do better.