Tag Archives: methadone

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.

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My (Personal) Issues With The Cult of NA

Before I start this post, let me preface it by saying that I do not hate NA. I have been to my share of NA meetings, some of them very good. Really, most addicts who have either ever been in trouble with the law or sent to a rehab program have probably been to there fair share of NA meetings. Some of the members are really, really great. You know, there to help you at any time. Ready to drop what they are doing if you feel like using and need someone to talk you out of it. This post is not about these members or these meetings.

This is about the people who treat NA as a cult that is the be all, end all of sobriety. I get it, it obviously worked for them. My main problem comes from the way that I am treated once it is discovered that I am on Methadone (or back when I was on Suboxone). This a group where for the entire hour of the meeting, members get up and basically confess their deepest, darkest secrets without fear of judgement or persecution and know that they will still be accepted, but being on any sort of a prescription maintenance program is a sin that is unforgivable.

What is particularly baffling to me is that NA claims that the only requirement for membership is the desire to want to stop using illicit drugs. A maintenance program is just that. Almost everytime I am at a meeting, there are people present that are currently using. It is fantastic that they are trying to get help for themselves, but the reality of quitting opiates and other addictions that have very physical withdrawls. It is very difficult, almost impossible to just quit. Medication is often needed to detox. For me personally, I have detoxes a few times and have relapsed before, so I am trying it a little different this time.

I don’t think that this is a fault of the organization of Narcotics Anonymous itself, just certain members. I was in a women’s addiction support group for years and one of the women in the group was a treasurer for the Maryland state chapter of NA. She said told me that the literature does not specifically refer to methadone and suboxone one way or another. It is just members who have determined that you are less than them if you take this route to acheive sobriety.

My main issue with this is that it turns people off to the entire organization and to treatment as a whole. I say, let people get well however they want. Let hem get their lives together. If they are not ready to get clean, that is fine too. The group should function as sort of a place for therapy. To let people get off of their chest whatever sins or problems are weighing heavy on their chests. Making people feel bad or unwanted is only going to lead them to feel alienated even more. As addicts we are already the outcasts of society, we can’t ostracize each other as well.

Methadone – My Savior, My Ball And Chain

In March of 2012, I was sitting alone in my bed. My husband was sitting in a Virginia jail being held without bail, a dear friend was sleeping on the couch in the family room. I was taking him out a few times a week to go boosting and getting high sometimes. Albeit less then I was previously. I had some suboxone and was taking them sometimes. At my husbands last bail review, the judge denied him bail because he was already out on bail in Baltimore City on a possession of heroin charge. Actually he had been arrested on possession and intent to distribute, but the felony distribution charge was dropped at his preliminary hearing. In The crazy ass Commonwealth that is Virginia, almost anything (and everything) is a felony, and possession is no different. The judge said that he could not grant him bail on this felony since he was out on bail on that felony. We explained that he was not out on that felony, it was a misdemeanor. He would not believe us. “If you can prove that he is not out on another felony bail, I will grant bail,” he said, all high and mighty as he was just so sure that we were dead wrong. Of course, I knew that I was right, and I knew that I just had to have the lawyer bring the Maryland state laws to show him and my husband would have a bail. 

So here I was sitting, knowing that in three weeks time, my husband would be granted bail. I had to do something. I didn’t want us to go back to the life that we had been living. My friend who was staying on my sofa, got arrested and happened to have three Maryland warrants as well as a Virginia warrant (he was my husband’s co-defendant in the VA case). So I contemplated my options. I was the sole care giver to two children, at the time ages 6 and 3. That meant cold turkey wasn’t going to happen. I only had like two suboxone left, plus I don’t do too well with those. So, I pulled out my IPad and went to my Medicaid carrier’s webpage and looked for methadone clinics that took my insurance. The one that my sister went to for a couple of years before she relapsed took it. I called. It was a Tuesday. They told me the doctor comes on Thursday for new intakes, and the got my information.

So, that was over two years ago. So yeah, it took me a few months to actually use the program right and to get my head out of my ass and get clean. Funnily enough, they were most concerned with my benzo use, and I rarely use benzos. They just stay in your system for so long that I failed a few drug tests for Xanax. Heroin too. It took until August of 2012 before I started to have clean urines. They have been clean ever since and I now only go once a week. I actually should only have to go once a month, but my insurance will not cover that many take homes at once, so it is once a week unless I want to pay out of pocket.

I would, by the way, pay out of pocket. It is $80 a week. I was spending like a thousand a day between my husband and I. You do the math. Methadone has undoubtedly saved my life, my marriage, my relationship with my kids, with my mother. I have gotten used to being sober. I have goals again, and I realize how far behind I am on achieving them. I write. I study makeup tutorials. A friend sent me a thing about what classes I need to become a addictions counselor.

I am not, however, unaware of the sharp and painful juxtaposition that methadone is. I am getting the phrase, “that which nourishes me, destroys me” tattooed on my arm in French. This pretty much sums up my feelings on methadone. I think it is great. I can not stand the holier than thou NA members who will not let you in the sanctity of their group if you are using methadone or suboxone, even if it is with a prescription. No, I don’t believe in that at all. I don’t believe that you should deny yourself anti-depressants or anti-anxiety mess if you need them. I don’t think that if you get a major surgery or some shit like that you should not take any pain meds. I feel no difference in medications that sole purpose is to keep yup sober.

I am not ignorant to the fact that I am addicted to methadone. I am going to have to detox off of it someday. It is a hard drug to detox off of. For me, at least, it is by far the lesser of the two evils. I don’t spend thousands of dollars on it. I do not participate in illegal activities to obtain said funds. I do not get from a drug dealer. I do not have to wait in a line in an alley and have to run to the car, hoping that a cop doesn’t see my white ass anywhere near the area and fuck with me due to my race. I can carry it on me and in my car. I even flew with it to DisneyWorld. My name is on the bottle. It has the doctor’s name, the clinic’s name and number, the date on which I am to take it. It is legal. All of that is good.

I do. I do not want to be on it for years and years. I do not want it to show up on a pre-employment drug screen, and while I have a prescription and they could not legally deny me employment based on it being in my system, they could then decide to look up my criminal record. I only go one day a week, but I still have to plan around it. I have to make sure I can get there. My husband and I only have one car and he works 6 am to 2 pm, in D.C., which is 45 away with no traffic. The clinic is open 5:30 am to 11 am. See the problem there? We are planning a trip to Ocean City over the summer, I have to make sure that we either don’t go there until after I go on Thursday, or that we are back by Thursday. See it is my ball and chain. The chain is just much longer than the one that heroin had me on.

Methadone is not particularly great for your body either. It is bad for your heart, your teeth, and a whole lot more. If I ever do need surgery or get into a car accident or something, normal amounts of pain medicines will do nothing for me due to the daily dose of methadone that I take.

I hope to detox some time over the next year. They drop you like a milligram a week, and you can stop or go back up at any point that you want. They help you to do it in your own time. I do not want to use it as a crutch forever. I want to use it for what it is for, getting you clean off of illegal substances, and it has done that wonderfully.

Irrevocably Broken

Today is my one day of the week that I go to my methadone clinic to receive my take homes for the week. (Actually I should only be going once a month, but my insurance will only cover six take homes at a time.) On the way home, as I drove down the dark highway, a thick coating of fog blanketing the road, I started crying. Uncontrollably and inconsolably.

There is really no good reason for me to be so upset, which of course is all the more upsetting. I am “doing good”. I am clean going on two years. We finally were able to get a new car that we didn’t pay cash for. The monthly payments should help improve our credit (along with the cell phone, car insurance, and credit cards). My husband has a good job. A union job that has benefits. Best of all, I am earning back the respect of my mother again. Slowly, but it is happening. So why am I so fucking sad?

One reason I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders, is that before I started to get high, is that I was not just on the right track, I was ahead of schedule. I graduated from high school with a 4.5 tGPA. I had an almost full scholarship to the University of Maryland College a park as an honor student. My life was planned out. I was on a path for success. Then I started getting high.

Years of addiction, clean time, and relapse followed. Multiple arrests and convictions and probations ensued. Saying that I veered off of my path is an understatement. Granted, I am now back on the trail, and moving forward, but I wonder, did I travel so far backwards that I will never catch up to where I could be, or should be?

I look at the Facebook profiles for my high school friends and become painfully aware of how far ahead of me they all are. This is part of the reason that I didn’t go to my high school reunion. I am humiliated when I see the shocked looks on everyone’s face. I was the girl who went to the straight A breakfast every grading quarter. The girl who tutored other students in my classes. The girl who got into NYU, but went to UMCP for a boy of all things. And yet, I am the girl who let almost her whole graduating class surpass her. It brings up the inevitable, “But you are so smart? What happened?”

I want to go back to school. I have almost two years worth of credits. Some of those were classes that are only useful to a primary education degree, and are thus useless to me. One day, after I had made a comment on Facebook about how I should have become an English teacher like I was planning to because people’s poor grammar drives me crazy, an old friend of mine commented that it isn’t too late. I could still become an English teacher, she told me. Only, it is too late for that. With my criminal record, I could never be a teacher. So I must choose another carrier path. I have stated in previous blogs that I want to be a makeup artist. Other interests are being a social worker, or more recently a writer.

Choosing a career that requires me to go back to school presents a lot of little battles that I have to psych myself up for. One issue is that if you have ANY drug convictions, be they felonies or misdemeanors, you are inevitable of any sort of government financial aid. To me, this has to be one the absolute dumbest, hypocritical, cruel laws or rules in existence. Here everyone wants to preach about how drug addicts and/or criminals need to stop going down their paths of sin and rehabilitate themselves, but you want to offer them zero financial assistance. It makes no sense. Most drug addicts, both current and recovering, have horrible credit and probably very little money. We all fucked all that shit up a long time ago. As a society, they tell us to turn our lives around, but we are not offered the same aid as everyone else? Yeah, that’s fair.

When I last took many college classes, I was nineteen years old. I taught preschool full time (40 hours a week) and took a full course load at the community college. This was following a year at the University of Maryland College Park, where I lived in the dorms. I used drugs occasionally, but was far from having a habit. Now, ten years, two kids, and seven convictions later, going back to school is going to be very different. I am scared. Actually, I am scared to admit that I am scared, lol. School has always come easy for me. Too easy, really. With an above genius level IQ, I was used to just getting A’s with no real work. I went to college with zero study skills, because I had never needed them. I also have ADD. Once I got to college and there was 250 – 300 people to a class and no one taking attendance, I found it impossible to force myself to go to class. I could not sit through a two hour lecture class and I was used to passing with out work anyway. Not just passing, excelling. If I had a lot of trouble going to class back then, I know that with two kids and a million responsibilities, it will be even harder. Online classes are even worse for me. I will keep putting them off because I don’t HAVE to go to a physical building and my kids will make it almost impossible to do them anyway. I never had to write papers with any real distractions (just the ones inside of my mind). Now I have kids, dogs, a husband, and real life responsibilities to clutter my mind, my time. I am almost afraid to even try because I am terrified to fail.

I am afraid that I went in reverse for so long, that catching up is an impossibility. I know that I face an incredibly steep, uphill battle. The percentages of people who are able to successfully recover from heroin is slim, I am all too aware of this. I am not delusional, I know that I will never be “cured”. Not of my addictions, and not of my depression/anxiety/PTSD/ADD.  The best that I can hope for with diseases such as these, are to be in remission for the rest of my life. And it fucking terrifies me. The fact that all of these demons are brewing just under the lid, waiting to boil over is a paralyzingly real possibility. Leaving the clinic, I was hit the extremely copious feeling that this could be all for nothing.

Recovering from addiction, and depression for that matter, is exhausting. Sometimes I worry that I can not do this forever. It is so much work. I get overwhelmed which in turn pushes me down the long, vacuum powered black hole that is my depression. When I start to get depressed, overwhelmed and frustrated, I am hit with rip tide of doom. Yes, I am aware of how corny and melodramatic this sounds, but it is true, I am pulled under by forceful waves of doom. All of the sudden, it will just hit me like a wrecking ball hitting a brick wall. I will instantly feel that my life as I know it is over. That nothing good is yet to come. Just blackness and stress and tears.

Many times I feel like I am irrevocably broken. There is a strong possibility that I can not be fixed. With any luck, I may be able to keep my diseases in remission, keep them in check, but there is not a super glue out there strong enough to glue me back together. My flaws and past make me who I am, and that’s cool. I am proud that I came through the battlefield alive, but you better believe that I am far from unscathed. I pray that with time, my wounds will start to close, my scars will start to fade. I look to a path of enlightenment and inner peace. It is more than likely impossible to jump back on to the road that I was previously set to drive down and speed up enough to make it to the mile marker that I would have been at if I had not detoured. I suppose that I need to get on a new highway. Possibly even one that is not even done being built. Maybe I have to build it as I go. I just pray for the strength to continue to go forward. For as long as I don’t go backwards, maybe inching ahead, no matter how slowly, is alright. Maybe in life success is really defined as not being beaten down and halted by the hurdles and obstacles that life throws at you.

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.

Regrets

Warts and all, I own my regrets
Warts and all, I own my regrets

One of my favorite songs, on one of my favorite albums, is “Regrets” by Jay-Z. He states, “this the number one rule for your set/ In order to survive/ You gotta learn to live with regrets”. Don’t I know it HOV.

Sadly, or perhaps more accurately too common to be sad, my regrets start well before my addiction. Everyone has regrets. Addicts have mountains of regrets that can define you if you are not careful. “You gotta learn to live with regrets”

I regret letting my cousin molest me as a child. She wasn’t much older than me, but she was bigger. After the first time, I should have said something but I didn’t. I let it continue. Ok, in my defense I was 5. I regret that I didn’t tell my mother until I was 26. I let that define my views of sexuality, and yeah, I’ve been kind of fucked ever since.

I regret that the first person that I opened up to about the molesting, the first male that I got close to since I watched my father die was a total douchebag. I regret that I trusted him to sleep in my room that night. I regret that I past out only to wake up with him on top of me raping me. I remember the most sickening thing was that when I was trying to squirm out from under him, he kept telling me how good it felt when I “moved my hips”. Asshole. He told me my boyfriend would probably dump me because I was a whore.

My boyfriend didn’t dump me, he was actually the only person close to me who stood by me. My mother didn’t she still baked cakes for the asshole. She told me not to go to the police. Although, in her defense, I never should have gone to the police. All the did was make it feel like it was my fault. Thus started my hatred of police, but that’s off topic.

I regret that I just assumed my boyfriend wasn’t mad at me, knowing what kind of person he was. He never said it, but his alcoholism turned way worse, as did his verbal abuse.

I regret that I stayed with said boyfriend for 3 years. This changed the entire outcome of my life. I was accepted into to NYU. That was my dream. To study music business at NYU and work for a record label. I had a 4.3 GPA in high school 1475 SATs. Did I go to NYU? “Gotta learn to live with regrets”.

I went to University of Maryland College Park. It is a great school, and I was on the honors program on an almost full scholarship. But they don’t have music business, but I didn’t want to leave my boyfriend so, I figured I would become an elementary school English teacher.

This is oddly one of my biggest regrets and one of my biggest blessings. The year that I lived on campus, I started to learn that he was an asshole! and  didn’t need him. I was to weak to do anything yet, but the seed was planted.

I was so depressed the second semester that I failed all but one class (English). Since the dean saw how good my grades had been first semester and since I had a note from my shrink explaining how I had PTSD, anxiety, ADD, and depression, he excused all my failing grades and took them off my transcript. But me and College Park were over.

I regret so much that I didn’t stay at that school. My life would be so different. Although you can not touch the butterfly and only change the bad, I would loose all the good too.

I finally broke up with rage-aholic, alcoholic man. I decided to work full time at a preschool and take classes full time at the local community college. I had gotten almost a full scholarship at Maryland so I was allowed to cash out my college savings. I was single, 19, I had a brand new car, and $25,000 in the bank. Here comes fun.

Here is where the drugs start. Remember, I was working full time too, so I had money. Neiman Marcus every week, sushi lunches everydya, and coke on the weekends.

Here comes turning point. One night after snorting coke all night, the new guy I was seeing offered me some dope (heroin) to come down on. I was hesitant, but the coke was gone, so, fuck it.

Biggest regret of my life. I started with almost all coke with a couple dimes of dope to come down, before you know, it is mostly dope with a little coke.

That boyfriend got locked up on a bunch of violation of probation warrants. One had no bail attached, so he was sitting. His brother in law, Aaron, called me for a ride in town. I told him my boyfriend was locked up, but ok, I would pick him up.

At first it was once or twice a week, then I am picking him up daily. After about two months of this, we finally slept together one drunken night. That was all she wrote. A few weeks later he told me that he loved me, and over 10 years later we are still together. Except we are both clean.

I should have been smart enough to know what was going to happen. Shooting dope everyday for months, come on! Actually I had gone through minor withdraws when my last boyfriend got arrested on the warrants. But they were so slight that I just thought that I was a little sick. I figured it out later. I would wake up throwing up, but I assumed that I was hung over or it was food  or something.

By now the money was long gone. I was 20, I already had one arrest and was stealing all day, everyday. I was racking up theft and possession charges. Then Aaron and I started hanging out with a guy that I had known from elementary through high school, but hadn’t seen since. Straight crazy motherfucker. We got him stealing too. Now my habit is up to $1100 a day on coke and dope. I had four warrants, my husband had three, the friend had some, so we were living in hotels. That of course didn’t last forever and in December of 2006, we all went down. Seperatley. One of my warrants, a failure to appear on an assault charge, had be assigned no bail, I had to sit in jail until I could see that judge, and it was December 22. I spent the next three weeks in jail including Christmas and New Year.

While going to jail and visiting my daughter in half hour increments through glass should be a huge regret, it isn’t. I got my shit together. I quit drugs in jail (fun let me tell you). I got a job. I did the single mom thing, while Aaron did a year in prison, driving an hour each way twice a week to take my daughter Ariel to see he dad.

We did great, but I regret the shame that I felt about being an addict. Aaron had knee surgery while I was pregnant with Aidan. With surgery came pain pills. soon he was back on dope, but I was clean.

I regret not being strong enough to continue to stay clean while he struggled to get sober. We fought endlessly, I understood why he fucked up, it is easy to do, but I was mad. I regret not refusing to let his dickhead “friend” who continually brought it to him, in the house. I regret that I didn’t ask for help.

i stayed clean all through the pregnancy (his surgery was when I was like 7 months) and for a few months after. I regret that I lacked the streghtn to stay clean. I really knew better. I knew how this story was going to end.

By 2011, Aaron was back in jail, and I was taking care of kids alone. This time it was two. This time I joinee a methadone program. I was not going to be getting high when he came home, or he would star using again, and we would both be down the rabbit hole.

I don’t regrett he fact that a lot of people say you aren’t clean if you are on methadone or suboxone. Are you not clean if you have a prescription for pain meds? A doctor writes my script. I have been clean long enough now that I only go once a week. It is legal. I don’t have to hustle to get money for it.

i live with my regrets, because I would not be me if not for them. If I had gone to NYU, I would not have necessarily had a drug problem, but I might still have, I had done most other drugs except heroin during high school, but I wouldn’t be me.

I wouldn’t have met my husband, my soul mate, the love of my life. We have been through hell and back together and we are still united. Most couples would have split or turned against one another if faced with the adversity md obsticles that we faced, but not us.

I don’t regret dropping out of Maryland, because that is when I got together with Aaron. With him, I made my reasons to live, my two children. They are everything.

Lastly, I don’t regret the drugs, the jail, or any of it all that much because it made me who I am. I  look past peoples pasts, their covers, to see why they act that way. I am compassionate (honestly I was always a bleeding heart liberal, but now I really am). Jigga man told me “You used to hold me/ told me that I was the best/ Anything in this world I want/ I could possess/ All that made want is all that I could get/ In order to survive/ Gotta learn to live with regrets”.