Clean or Not???

I believe that labeling people is such a counterproductive practice. For example, I happen to, personally, avoid 12 step meetings. This is mainly for two reasons. First, whenever I began talking about anything in life other than using, I was told to “bring it back to drugs”. I feel that if I wanted to continue to resolve my life around drugs, I’d still be doing drugs. Second, because I’m viewed as being”not clean” by many “in the rooms” because I smoke marijuana. Now, I have worked hard to earn the time I’ve gained away from him and cocaine use. I feel as though that effort is viewed as “less than” when I’m “in the rooms”. Granted, that is not the only place where people share that opinion. What I believe is most important is what I feel and how I view my recovery. Not what others’ opinions are. I am happy that I’ve finally completed the process for getting my medical marijuana card. I had registered online over a year ago. Luckily, I was finally able to get an appointment with the doctor who was able to approve the application for me. I used marijuana on and off for the seventeen plus years that I’d been in recovery prior to my relapse. Everything doesn’t work for everybody, but any step in the right direction is a good thing. Luckily, that does help me quite a bit. As always, this is my quick view on the subject. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, of course. Thanks again for listening to my little “piece” on the matter.


I tend to forget, far too often, that I am still healing. Healing not just from not active opiate and cocaine addiction, but also from so many traumas that occurred both before and during that time in my life. I say quite often that I had ” given over seventeen years back” when I decided to get high again after so much “clean time”. Although, I need to remember that those years helped me to heal even better this time around, since I can use all the knowledge I’d gained the first time around. Plus, that accomplishment is still as valid today as it was then. It certainly isn’t a swift process. That I am for sure. If I wasn’t finished healing after seventeen plus years of “clean time”, then it certainly takes time. Now, I happen to have a lot of scars, both inside and out. Although, I am not proud of how I may have gotten them, I am proud of the strength that has come with every scar I’ve ever received. I believe the scars that cannot be seen by others easily are usually the worst ones. But, the worst scars can bring the greatest rewards. I need to be a little more mindful of all I’ve already accomplished even just in these past couple years, rather than focusing on how far I still would like to go. I’m trying to live more in the present, which is allowing me to be much happier all around. I still have plenty of “moments”, though.

I’m getting so close to my 2 year anniversary!!!!

Who’d have thought that I’d be happy to celebrate the anniversary of the day that someone almost killed me when they hit me with their car as I was a pedestrian in the street?!?!?! I can’t wait!!! That is the event that literally SAVED MY LIFE!!! I just this week received my 23rd vivitrol injection. I’m so proud that I’ve made it this far. I went from being the “Lady In A Box” living under Frankford bridge getting high during a snow storm to being where I am now. That was a difficult recovery both physically and emotionally. Although, I must say that I’ve learned that “ANYTHING that’s actually worth anything in life is never easy”. I’ve been blessed and came a long way. I apologize for not writing much recently, I just got distracted for a bit. Life still happens, unfortunately. Thankfully, things are still having in the right direction. I felt so good being able to purchase some things for the house recently. I never thought it would feel so good to know that money was not going to drugs anymore. Such a breath of relief it was. It wasn’t anything big, but some necessities such as a new vacuum cleaner. I also got a new bed for the bedroom, along with some other small things like new silverware. Turns out that “adulting” isn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I hope everyone is doing well. Hopefully, I’ll be back soon.

Crucial Connections when Dealing with BOTH sides of Addiction…

In my personal opinion, obtaining and sustaining any level of personal connections with others is of the utmost importance in the recovery process. In my own addiction, I was an extremely self-loathing and self destructive person. I was fortunate, however, to have created some wonderful & helpful connections with others that aided in strengthening  my  desire to stop actively using drugs, as well as showing support, especially early in my recovery. I truly believe that if it were not for those few connections I had, I would’ve not been very successful in my recovery. I recall saying that “I know that you mean more to me, than I do to you, but I appreciate the support cuz a little goes a long way”. Mainly, because I felt as though I was just another “face” to them in their outreach work. I, personally, lost any family support a long time ago and was, I feel, very fortunate to have any connections/ friendships during that point in time in my life. I felt as though I would’ve disappointed my support people if I went back to actively using once I’d gotten off of drugs. That was a huge part of my decision making process at that time. I also did it for myself, but due to my low self esteem, it was “easier” for me to care more about what others felt than myself at that time.

Vivitrol Injection #19!!!

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.

18 months opiate free!!!

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.

Trying to stay connected…

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.

Vivitrol injection #18…

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.

Seattle trip officially cancelled…

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 🤞🤞🤞

First Safe Injection Site in the country coming to Philly…

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.

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