Tag Archives: Makeup

2015, A New Year, A Time For New Growth

This is the time of the year when everyone makes their New Year’s resolutions. Me, I’m not much for resolutions per se, I find that 90% of the time they are impractical and people end up breaking them anyway. What I am about is straying to better oneself. Of course this is something that we should all be working on anyway, but we often forget to do it.
Last year, I got back into Tibetan Buddhism again. It has always been something that I studied, but in 2014, I got back into inserting those teachings into my life. Something that I had not been in the habit of doing when I was getting high all day everyday. I find that for me, personally, Buddhism gives me a great deal of peace, something that I have been searching for my entire life.
One thing that I am going to try this year is to stop be so fucking afraid of failing and go after my dreams. I got a seasonal job at Ulta Beauty, and it seems that I will stay on as a permanent employee, so I have gotten my foot in the door. I have talked to some of the girls that I work with who have a makeup artistry license, and they told me of a really good, world renowned school in our area. My goal is to just do it.
I think that anyone who is a parent wants a better life for their children than the one that they had. I don’t really know when or why I started to become so self destructive. I honestly feel like I was born with a hole or a void in my heart and soul. The death of my father and my subsequent rape (not to mention being molested as a a young child) served to farther stretch this hole. Looking back, I don’t know if I was trying to fill the void or just numb the pain of it being there.
I am well aware of the statistics of children of addicts and their likelihood to become addicts themselves. It is most definitely a gene that is passed on, and my kids get it from both sides. I am terrified to think that they may go down the same road as me and my husband.
I am very conflicted on how to broach the subject of drug use with my children when they are of that age. Do we tell them about our struggles, arrests, the hell that we both personally went through? Will this serve to scare them straight so to speak or will the see this as an excuse to use drugs? Sort if like we would be hypocrites to tell them that drugs are bad?
My daughter is so much like me in so many ways. She is such a rule follower. A goody two shoes of sorts, but so was I. I was probably one of the LAST people that one would expect to develop a heroin addiction. From my family history, my upbringing, my graduating at the top of my class, going to college on scholarship with honors, never getting in trouble of any sorts. That is the thing, drug addiction doesn’t care who you are, it can strike anyone, anywhere, at anytime.
Not just for 2015, but for the rest of my kids childhood, I am constantly working towards being the best mother that I can. Most importantly I want to be a good role model. These are “resolutions” that I can keep.

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Movin’ On Up?

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I wanted off by apologizing for not posting in a little over a week. Shit’s been hectic to say the least. I started working (yeah!) at Ulta Beauty. I was a little nervous to go back to work, as I have been a stay at him Mother since the middle of 2011. My husband was laid off about two months ago and has not started back to work yet, and it is Christmas time, so now seemed like a good time to start. I have been wanting to break into the beauty industry for awhile now, and Ulta is one of my favorite stores in the world. Stores always higher extra help around the holidays,so I applied. While it is only part time, it helps with money, and I love it. I get to work with makeup everyday, and my co-workers are awesome. Hopefully this leads to eventually becoming certified as a makeup artist.
I have also been busy with Thanksgiving and my children’s’ birthdays. My daughter turned 9 on November 28. I had to go into work at midnight on Thanksgiving and got off at six am on Black Friday. It sucked, but hey, I was off in time to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. My son turns 6 on December 11. Obviously, money is EXTREMELY tight the last couple of months in the calendar year.
As an addict in recovery, I find that staying busy is important. Fuck, it is vital, imperative to my sobriety. Boredom is one of the most dangerous things to a drug addict. Of course the first struggle is to get to the point where you are not waking up puking all over yourself, drenched in cold sweats, twitching, rolling around trying to get comfortable with shooting pain in your back, and restless leg syndrome. The mistake that people tend to make is that once the ills are gone they think that they are “cured”, that they are no longer an addict. Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way.
When you are in active addiction, you spend the vast majority of your day either getting high or doing activities that are somehow related to getting high (boosting, hustling money in some sort of way, trying to cop, ducking the police, etc). The immense amount of time that is freed up when you sober up is nothing to play with. You truly do not know how to fill your time. Often, you end up getting high, simply as something to do.
Of course, it is a good idea to stop hanging out with the people that you were using with, but sometimes people think that as long as they cut ties with their “get high@ friends, then they are safe. This does nothing to account for the devil that is within all of us. It sounds so cliche, but your addiction really does want to kill you. It will constantly try to trick you into thinking that getting high to relieve your intense boredom won’t hurt anything. Honestly, it might not hurt anything, that ONE time. The problem is that is very hard to keep it to that one time, and getting high daily WILL hurt.
Having something to do is the number one reason why I am so thankful to have gotten the job. The fact that it is in a field that I love is just a cherry on top!

We Are Not the Same, I am a Martian

 

“Bitch, I’m a motherfucking Martian/ I’m a goddamn zombie.” – ‘Martians vs. Goblins’ by The Game

Last night, I was  practicing spooky Halloween looks on myself and my children. I found a makeup academy that I will likely enroll in once the new year hits, and I have been learning and practicing all sorts of makeup tricks. I have only been working on practical makeup applications however. If I one day want to be a makeup artist, I need to know how to do special effects makeup. So, I traveled to Walgreens and bought a Halloween makeup kit and got to work.

I was trying to think of what looks to do, what would be something scary for me and/or my husband to be when we take our children trick-or-treating tonight. I am also doing my kids makeup. My son is a Swamp Creature, so he gets creepy makeup, but my daughter is (one of the millions) Elsa, so she is getting very pretty, soft makeup.  Anyway, it occurred to me that perhaps the scariest thing that I could do woul

What is more terrifying - a zombie apocalypse or realizing that you or your kids could become addicts?
What is more terrifying – a zombie apocalypse or realizing that you or your kids could become addicts?

d be to accentuate my track marks and scars, and go as a junkie. Too be even more terrifying, I could dress up as a lawyer or a doctor and have a needle in my arm.

Even though there are literally millions of people in America struggling with substance abuse, it is still terrifying for people to think that any of those people could be in their neighborhood or even,a God forbid, in their family. Still, in 2014, we as addicts are forced to remain in the shadows, to keep our struggles silent for fear of retribution and ostracism.

My own mother, who has two daughter who are addicts, often remarks about how shocked she is to see certain people at my methadone clinic whenever she gives me rides. “That person is so old, what are they doing here?”, or, “That person is a (fill in doctor, nurse, UPS driver, person in an expensive suit), where they using heroin too?” I always tell her that first off, a person theoretically could have never used heroin a day in their life, but still very much need the assistance of a methadone clinic. Nowadays, the prescription pill addiction problem is at epidemic proportions. So many doctors hand out prescriptions for Percocet, OxyCotin, Vicodin, or what have you like they are giving out Advil. They don’t even usually ask or try to find out if the person has a history of substance abuse. The thing is, though, that if a person takes any opioids for a long enough period of time, they WILL become addicted. It is just a fact. Now if you are not pre-dispositioned to addiction (I.e. one or both of your parents, or grandparents were addicts), or if you have never previously been physically addicted to anything (thus forever altering your brain chemistry), then it will take you longer to become addicted, but you will eventually.

See, despite what a lot of people want to say or think about people who struggle with the living hell that is substance abuse, is that it is not simple a matter of will power. These are very powerful drugs.the fact is that taken for a long enough period of time, your brain and body will NEED them to simply function at all.

I actually don’t have a problem with doctors giving people these medications if they truly need them. Some people are going to be on these meds for the rest of lives due to chronic pain, so dependence is not really an issue. The problem comes for the people for whom the doctors decide after six months r however long, that they are no longer in need of these pain pill, that their pain should be manageable with over the counter medications and home remedies. I find it incredibly irresponsible to just one day, after months and moths of giving a person powerfully addictive medicines, to say, “No more for you!”

I wish there was some sort of law where doctors were forced to give patients a prescription for suboxone or methadone for a very brief period (decreasing the dose daily as to not trade addictions), or ween them off of the pain pills slowly once they determine that the need for these medications with regards to the patient’s pain level is not there any longer. They should also probably make, or strongly recommend that the person attend NA meetings, or they should at least make them take some sort if class on addiction and the brain.

Patients who have no history of addiction in themselves or in their family will not think they need any of this. The problem is that more than likely, they have never gone a day or two without taking any of these pills since having their script, so they do not know that they are addicted. A lot of these people find out the hard way that they are addicted and turn to illegally buying what they previously prescribed. Now they are “junkies” and “worthless”. Funny how that works. Some of these people end up at the methadone clinic.

I also try to explain to my mother, and to others, that if I have learned one thing from my years of waiting in lines to cop, is you never know who you will see in the hole. Addiction does care about class, race, gender, socio-economic status, or your job, it hits all walks of life. It can sink it’s claws into a millionaire as easily as a homeless person.

I think that that is the aspect of addiction that is so petrifying to people, especially wealth, educated, WASP sort of people. A lot of people that are outside of the “ghetto” feel safe and comfortable believing that addiction stays within the confines of the projects, that it does not venture into the suburbs. Seeing a middle or upper class business person as a drug addict is scary because it means that they are not safe. It is almost like holding up a mirror, but it is reflecting back a version of themselves if they got into a car accident a need a script for pain pills. It is almost their life. It is easy for people to ignore what they perceive as far away from their own lives. Maybe this is why we as addicts are shunned so much. People do not want to look closely enough to see that we are no different from them.

Moral Inventory

Let me preface this post by saying I am not doing the twelve steps. I do attend NA meetings from time to time, and I do see a lot of merit in what they teach. I also have issues with the program, or more specifically many people in the program. My main conundrum has to do with methadone. Now, no where in the literature does it say that one is not sober if perscribed methadone (or suboxone for that matter), it doesn’t really mention methadone at all. There are many, somewhat patronizing, members who say that you can not count any time on methadone (even if during that time is is ingurgitated with a prescription) as sober or clean time. By that account I have zero days sober. I feel like whatever helps you to stay sober is fine, as long as it is legal. My methadone is 100% legal.

I also have a problem with people who sermonize the literature the way some people push religion. No one is going to become abstinent until they are ready. Pushing NA on them is not going to help.

I am not doing a moral inventory because I am on whatever step number it is. I am participating in this art of self reflection because I feel that everyone should every so often. I do wonder though, can we ever really see ourselves as others do? Do others really see the true nature of or being? Think about it, if you asked a room full of people to describe you, you would get a multitude of answers. Some themes, traits, would be repeated by most people. Some people would say something that would be in total contradiction to what someone else said. Who gave the right answer.

People often tend be on either side of the extreme. Their self-esteem is too high, or it is too low. We either think that nothing we do is wrong, that we are never at fault, or we think that we are the worst person in the world, and that everything ww do is wrong. I fall in the latter category. Everything is my fault. If someone fucks me over, I usually think that I deserve it. It took me over ten years to admit that being raped was not my fault. The guy actually called me from jail, where he was doing time on two – yes TWO – unrelated sexual assaults, and told me that he wanted me to know that he was sorry, that I didn’t deserve what he did, that it was not my fault. This actually helped my healing process a lot. It helped me to forgive him a little. That helped me to forgive myself which in turn help the late night flashback to slow down. I wake up screaming in the middle of the night far less than I used to.

That little seed of forgiveness has helped my recovery immensely. I can no longer use my rape as a reason, an excuse to stay on drugs. Ok, so I got off dope almost two years ago. now it is time to work on myself. The first step to fixing a problem, is to identify what the problem is. I have to force myself to find my strengths and my weaknesses. It is time to take a long hard look inside myself and do a moral inventory.

I am a Taurus. As such, one of the first words that people use to describe me is stubborn, bull-headed. This is good and bad. I don’t give, or back down on things that I believe in. I am trying to be slightly better about this. It is an admirable quality to stand up for what one believes in, but you have to be willing to listen to other people’s opinions. I am trying really hard to do this. For example, don’t worry – this blog will never become political – this is just for example, I am extremely liberal. Always have been. I believe in welfare, food stamps, section eight housing, rehabs instead of jail – the works. I am willing to now listen, I mean really listen, to a conservative view point. No one has been able to change my mind yet, but I listen.

I am shy. I got better at this after my years of waiting tables and bar tending. I can start conversations with strangers on a superficial level. My love, obsession really, of sports is usually my lead in. I have told many times that I could be a reporter on Sportscenter (which happens to be one of my favorite programs on TV). If you like football, we can talk for hours. Ironically, it was jail that forced me to learn to come out of my shell a little. Being in Baltimore City’s Central Booking and Intake Center will do that. I call that place hell on Earth. You are in a “single” cell with no less that 15 people. I kid you not, it is so crowded in there that once everyone is situated, no one can move without causing everyone to have to move. it takes about 24 hours (which is the maximum, legally allowed length of time) before you see the commissioner. If you get PR’d, or releases on you personal recognizance, you then wait in a cell for your property where they can re-run your name for warrants for two more hours. If you are given a bail. You wait in a cell for everyone that went upstairs to see the commissioner, then you go back down to the holding cells where you came from. Only this time you are put in one of the cells at the end of the line, where you wait to go upstairs to general population. After a few more hours, you taken up there and you can finally call your loved ones and try to get them to pay your bail. Even after your bail has been paid to the jail, it takes six to eight hours to actually be released. Being so dope sick, in such close quarters, forces you to talk to people. Trust me. Being the only white girl in the cell, and also refusing to talk to anyone is not going to make you any friends. I learned to make friends fast. In fact, I was so sick in the cells, that my new found friends would bang on the doors shouting, “Yo, you gotta get this chick to the nurse. She looks like she is going to die!” This skill helped me when I was locked up with four warrants, no of which I was being held without bail. I learned to find out what I had in common with people so that we could relate. This helped me as a bartender.

Problem is, I have learned to talk to people, but is mostly on a superficial level. I have been hurt by so many people that I was close to. Aside from my husband, who is also my best friend, I let no one in. I push people away. I catch myself doing it, but am not yet strong enough to stop doing said offense. As a result, I am lonely. I have very few real friends. I just can Not get close to people. This is one of my main faults.

I am vey protective over my family. Too protective almost. I can forgive something that you do to me, but not to my family. I require absolute loyalty. If you fuck me over, I may forgive you, but we will never be friends again. I am far too willing to cut people out of my life.

In that vein, I hold grudges for far too long. I never forget anything. I am still mad at someone close for critiquing my parenting skills, calling me “white trash”. I try really, extremely hard at being a good parent. I am not perfect, but my kids are my life. I would do anything for them. I need to learn to let go of a grudge. I need more people around me, more of a support system. I am never going to have that if I keep pushing people away.

Probably my other main character defect is that I am so afraid of failure that I don’t even attempt a lot of things. Deep down I know that you can’t do anything if you don’t try, but still here I am.

I was able to overcome my fear of admitting to the world that I am an addict by starting this blog. Next is trying some more things. I have been studying makeup books  and how-to videos on YouTube. I am going to try to get a job at MAC or Sephora and get certified through them. Then I can try to be a makeup artist. I was also thinking about maybe selling MaryKay. That could be good experience. A nice way to get my “foot in the door”.

I am a work in progress for sure. I need to work on seeing some of my strengths. I can proudly say that I am a good listener, that I am compassionate. In fact, I have been toying around with the idea of being a substance abuse councilor. I think that I would have a lot to offer others.

I don’t know if anyone can do a totally accurate moral inventory of themselves, but I will continue to try to accurately judge myself. Hopefully this has inspired you to look at yourself and determine what attributes make you the wonderful, unique person that you are, and what traits you could work on.

I want to add a footnote, an update of sorts. Today I got into a political argument on Facebook. This person reminded me of something that I have gotten mugh better at: the need to have the last word. The person that I was debating with was a man. I tend to notice (no offense, because I know that all men are not like this) that this is a major problem amoung men. I don’t know if this has to do with their testosterone or their need to prove that they have the biggest balls (metaphorically of course) or what. I say my piece and leave it be. If the person keeps prodding me, eventually I will say something, but I no longer need to get in the last word.

Makeup and Feminism – can they coexist?

One of my Christmas makeup looks.
One of my Christmas makeup looks.

“I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.” – Coco Chanel

I, as a recovering addict, am trying to reinvent myself. Originally I went to college to become a teacher. Elementary school, with a focus on English and writing. After a year at University of Maryland College Park, I dropped out. I took a years worth of classes at a community college and then the drug era started (my drug era that is). Addiction and multiple arrests for theft, assault, and possession of a controlled substance (not marijuana) followed. Due to these arrests, I can never become a teacher.

I have decided to follow one of the great passions of my life – makeup. I want to be a makeup artist. I love everything about makeup. I spend thousands of dollars a year on new makeup. I watch YouTube video, read beauty blogs and Kevyn Aucoin books. My poor eight year old daughter is my guinea pig.t I love the transforming properties of the art of makeup.

i grew up with a mother that did her makeup, as soon as she got up (after coffee that is). I mean I never even really saw her without makeup on. She always said that a woman never goes out looking a mess.  I took this lesson to heart. Even when I was in active addiction, and sick as a dog, throwing up all over the place, I at least put on foundation, blush, and mascara before we drove in town to cop. I mean I may have been ill, but I had to at least look at little bit presentable.

During the one year that I studied at University of Maryland, I took a Women in the Arts class. Pretty much a feminism class. I always was some what into feminism due to Courtney Love and PJ Harvey. This class, however got me into Betty Freiden, and “The Vagina Monologues”, and Elizabeth Wurtzle, and even Candice Bushnell. I adored the Gorilla Gurls. I understood the feminist statements made by Lil Kim and Missy Elliot. I read a great book written by a Rolling Stone writer, Gerri Hirshey called “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” which was a book about “the true, tough story about women in rock”. Courtney Love became my hero (in all fairness, Courtney Love still is my hero).

I still consider myself a feminist. I am also a civil rights activist, but that is a topic for another day, another post. So here in lies my dilemma, is being a makeup artist, making women look pretty, perpetuating stereotypes that women need to be beautiful? “When I wake up/ In my makeup/ I’m glad I came here/ With your pound of flesh” – Hole, “Celebrity Skin”.

I will admit it, I like to look pretty. I am a little embarrassed that as such a strong feminist I still feel the need to be pretty, but it’s true. But makeup is so much more than that. I love playing with colors. I love try different eye looks. I love copying looks from Kevyn Aucoin’s books. I love making my daughter look like a Monster High character.

For me doing makeup, be it my own or someone else’s is an escape, an art form. I can’t draw. I can’t paint. The arts I always did, was dancing, playing guitar, singing, poetry. This is my form of painting. I love transforming myself (or someone else) into Harlow, Monroe, or Cher.

I love high quality makeup. I love how high end makeup brands like Nars, Make Up Forever, lorac, MAC, and Smashbox have themes and all the makeup for that season follows the theme. Nars did Warhol and Guy Bordin, MAC has done Barbie, Hello Kitty, and Wonder Woman to name a few. They become collectible pieces of art. Wearable art. It is awesome.

In short, I don’t really think that makeup is a defector of the women’s movement. I put on makeup when I am home with the kids and my husband is at work. I do it for me. I do it because I love it. I get myself put together, because I feel good about myself. Doing something to care about me, helps my depressive personality. It is me time. My husband would love me the same with or without eyeliner on. I hold my head a little higher with it on though. I don’t think that my self worth is tied to it though. I don’t wear this look or that look to be as society thinks that I should be or wants me to be I wear different looks because that is me. I am a woman who loves makeup. I am a lipstick wearing feminist, and isn’t just as bad to say that a real feminist doesn’t do her hair and makeup as it is to say that a real woman does?