Drugs, Friends, Getting assistance, Homeslessness

Planning for the Future

It has been just shy of 3 weeks since I have been in Jacksonville. I don’t have much of an update but didn’t want to let too much time pass. New Year’s was pleasant. We went to a friend’s house, where I spent the evening quietly watching the kids running around with sparklers. It reminded me of my childhood. I haven’t made it to the beach yet, but I am working on it. My friend’s car broke down over a week ago, and transportation has been a little limited. Though, I have been nagging her about that and about cutting my hair. Over the years, I have never done anything bold with my hair. I decided I was going to change that. I can’t release the details until it’s finished, but I am very excited and looking forward to it!

I have decided to stay in Florida for now. I have always wanted to live in Florida. I love the beach; it is now less than a 30-minute drive away. I have also always wanted the chance to move somewhere that no one knows me and I can start over. I am on the perfect path and in the perfect location to do it.

I got some information on a homeless shelter in the area. I am reaching out tomorrow to see what I need to do to get in for an assessment. I want to explore all the options available to me to get back on my feet. I also want to find out what I can do to help people. I have had someone say that I could help other addicts by telling my story. Another said I could help other people who are struggling with mental health issues. I want to look into helping the homeless. I figure I can speak with a case manager about all of these things. The biggest thing I need to focus on right now is me, though. I do not want to get so busy that I forget the most important thing to focus on: me.

I’ve gained some weight, which makes me disgruntled. But, I am clean. I am happy. I am moving forward.

Being homeless, Drugs, Friends, Getting assistance, Health, Homeslessness, Relationship

I Will Rise Again

Hello, my name is Harley (not my real name if you haven’t figured that out yet) and I’m an addict. I don’t write this particular entry with ease, please understand that. But it is important that I write it. I know some of this is repetitive and I apologize for it. But this ends differently.

Growing up,  I experimented with drugs just like many other kids/teens. I really only smoked weed on a regular basis in high school.  I dropped acid a couple of times. Stole my mom’s pain pills, which she had all the time since I was very young (I was prescribed them myself as an adult for several years after a car accident and ended up abusing them heavily). My little brother slipped me his Ritalin from time to time. I tried coke once. (In my 20’s I did do a pretty hardcore binge on coke for about 6 months to lose weight but once I lost the weight, I walked away without a problem) Rarely drank but it happened. But, I was what some people called a goody goody. I stayed out of trouble, got pretty good grades, was quiet, soft-spoken. The only time I was ever suspended was when I was a freshman and I got caught with a pack of smokes. Sure, I skipped classes and stayed out late at times. But for the most part, I kept my nose clean, so to speak. I didn’t do any real hard drugs (meth, crack, heroin) until the last 3-4 years. And was I woefully unprepared for that lifestyle. 

First, I tried heroin with my brother and his wife. They had to shoot me up at first because my veins are a bitch to hit (seriously, trained professionals have trouble finding my veins). I finally picked it up, though still needed help half the time. I have never really put much thought into that lifestyle because I wasn’t around it long.  I was living with them at the time but one of my best friends, a girl I have literally known since kindergarten, intervened. I don’t remember exactly how it all went down, to be honest. I was unhappy with some things going on between my brother, his wife, and me but I don’t remember the chain of events that led to my friend deciding that I needed to come to live with her.  And to this day I am grateful to her. Opiates are my drug of choice. I LOVE the way they make me feel. I know had she not swooped in as she had, I would have become addicted.

Unfortunately, while living with her, I was introduced to meth. I don’t blame her. I made the choice to use. I only wish I had educated myself better, or at all really. I didn’t know anything about meth except it rotted your teeth and my teeth were already fucked from years of improper care, I really didn’t think too hard on that. I liked getting high on meth. I had more energy, I THOUGHT I was getting a lot done, I was more confident. I just felt better. But early on I started experiencing side effects but I didn’t know that’s what it was at the time. I started getting paranoid. I kept thinking I heard my friend and her boyfriend, who moved in a couple of months after I did, talking about me a LOT. And not in a good way. I thought they were judging me, talking throwing me out, nitpicking things I said or did or didn’t do. This made me want to not be at the house and if I was, locked in my room. 

Shortly after this started,  I started hanging out with my now ex. He was/is an alcoholic and was a pretty heavy drinker when we first started hanging out. He was a recovering crack addict as well. I didn’t tell him about my smoking, I actually hid it for a while (though, I’m sure he suspected when he woke up to me scrubbing his kitchen floor at 2am). Due to an incident with my friend (for her privacy I do not want to get into specifics), I moved in with my ex pretty fast, within about a month I was living with him. It got harder to hide my using and I don’t remember how it all came out but I eventually confessed. He was ok with it for the most part (he didn’t like who I had been buying from/through) and we started using it together which led to him drinking less. But our problems started soon after. 

I was paranoid, always suspicious of him cheating. And he got mean. He was no longer the sweet, gentle guy I fell in love with. And he always blamed me. It was my fault he was mean. I drive him to it. He is still incapable of accepting responsibility for his own actions. I caused him to act the way he did. Meth drove me to paranoia, I was hearing voices, and I no longer trusted the man I loved. So when he would tell me that I was hearing things, I didn’t believe him and this angered him. I understand that anger and yes, he did tolerate it longer than most. But it was tolerance. It wasn’t love, it wasn’t understanding or compassion. He eventually became filled with hate and he punished me for it. I don’t think it was always intentional. But sometimes I do think he knew exactly what he was doing and he enjoyed it. Because he was so full of anger and hatred towards me that he enjoyed punishing me for any slight he perceived against him. It got to the point that it didn’t matter what I did, I was met with anger, suspicion, and hostility. Even when I was trying to be my true self: caring, kind, and sweet. He didn’t see it that way. I was always up to something, I was always plotting against him. Only he refused/refuses to see it as a fault on his part, it was all my fault and still is.

So I would lash out at him. I flew into rages, I became abusive. And I am ashamed to admit that. But so did he, at times he was even more vindictive and cruel than I was. It became a vicious cycle between us that continued even into our break up. We didn’t trust each other. We were constantly suspicious of each other and we accused each other of outlandish things. I have come to call him a narcissist, perhaps he is. But I’m more so convinced that that drug destroyed us. The lifestyle that it creates is not normal. I saw the exact same thing happen with my “friend” and her boyfriend. It was like watching my relationship from the outside. And when her suspicions drove her to the point of believing things that weren’t true despite the evidence in front of her, she stabbed me in the back repeatedly by use of my ex. All because she thought her boyfriend and I were hooking up. And somehow that all became all my fault as well, in all of their eyes. And of course, this only fed my suspicions. My ex calls them delusions. Perhaps they were. But what he fails to recognize is his actions, the way he treated me, lied to me, purposely mislead me, that is the reason that my delusions developed into what they became. They started out as mere ideas, suspicions. His actions are what caused the delusions fed by the shit that meth does to your mind.

When I became homeless, he would try to dictate what I did, whom I hung out with. And this angered me. He was not my boyfriend and he took every opportunity to remind me of such. But would then threaten me, basically tell me that we would never get back together if I did this or hung out with this person. He would go days, weeks without speaking to me and then come into my life and try to dictate my life. This angered me and even though I had initially told myself that I would no longer use because that is what he wanted, he wanted me to stop because he blamed the drugs for my delusions, I said fuck it and used more. Why the hell should I stop for him if that is how he was going to treat me? When every time I tried to be kind, and caring, and sweet I was met with indignant hostility and hate. Constantly telling me I would never change. Why the hell should I if THAT was going to be my future? A life of constant broken promises, being controlled, mocked, belittled. I said fuck it and did what I wanted to do. Why the hell should I go out of my way to be nice and kind and sweet when it would constantly be met with arrogance, distrust, mockery, and hate?

But, as I continued to use meth, the hallucinations got worse. I had completely isolated myself for him because he constantly disapproved of whom I kept company with, but he didn’t care. Instead, he threw out his own accusations, tore me down.  So I turned to heroin and I fell into a deep depression. The man that I had fallen in love with had turned into a cold, hateful monster and he constantly blamed me. As the days turned to weeks, my mental state just got worse. I was depressed, suicidal. I tried to commit suicide several times. I was living in my storage unit, in the fucking cold, and no one cared because I was a drug addict. I was hearing voices, constantly on edge, hardly sleeping, and longing for death. One day, I finally had enough. I was sitting in my storage unit one night and I heard the voices of him, my “friend” and her boyfriend. It sounded like they were on a game show and the show was to mock, belittle, and berate me. I had finally had enough and I quit using meth that day. I made the decision that I would no longer sacrifice my sanity for meth. It wasn’t worth it. Look what my life had become! I used to be successful, beautiful, happy. I am now a shell of the person that I once was.

I haven’t used meth since that night. But I can’t say things have gotten better. He continues to harass, belittle, accuse, mock, and torment me. And he thinks it’s ok, and there was nothing that I could do because I couldn’t get away. Thanksgiving came and I sat, alone in my storage unit. I cried and cried that day. Not one person reacted out to me. Then the week before Christmas, he rudely asked to stop by. I don’t know why I allowed it. I knew what to expect and I was right. It never changes. I felt hopeless and even though he assured me that I would not be alone on Christmas, I knew he was lying. Christmas came, and I was alone. I got angry and lashed out, something I was just not allowed to do. And then I beat myself up because I WAS NOT THIS PERSON! I had allowed myself to become angry and mean and vengeful. I hated myself for what I had become. I can’t even count how many times I tried to kill myself since October. I knew I needed help but I was so depressed, I didn’t do what I needed to do to get that help. 

A couple of days before Christmas, I reached out to a friend that I had not talked to in a while. I really don’t know what made me do it. I saw his name on Facebook messenger and something told me to reach out. He happened to be in town the day that I reached out to him. He came, picked me up, hung out with me for a couple of hours, and we had breakfast. I told him what all had been going on and he told me about the rehab facility he was in (I was aware he was in rehab). It was the first time in a long time that I felt somewhat normal again. It wasn’t because a guy was talking to me, please. I don’t mean to sound conceded because I don’t see what other people see when I look at myself but I get hit on all the fucking time. It can actually be annoying. It was the conversation. It was another person actually LISTENING to what I said and hearing the words for what they were and not searching for a hidden agenda or a game that I might be playing. Another person who CARED without their own hidden agenda or game they were playing. It felt fucking normal. I was still depressed, I was still living in my storage unit. But I finally had a slither of hope that things COULD get better. He wanted to help. We have talked every day since he has helped more than he knows. We were talking the other day about how I don’t trust people now and he was explaining that not all people are like the people that I have been dealing with. He said “The type of drugs and shit that we’ve done… creates a dimension of evil and demons willing to fuck over whoever and whatever. Feelings are out the window. Trust is out the window. When the drugs and all that bullshit are gone.. that portal is closed and you wouldn’t even allow yourself to be around people still in that lifestyle because you will have changed so drastically and you will feel so much safer and value life so much more and love yourself so much more. It’s just a lifestyle of people. Trust me, that shit changes when you get out from around it.” As I read those words over text message, I don’t know, it just really stuck a cord in me. And I knew that he was right and I started looking at it so much more differently. And I vowed that I was going to get out. 

I am currently on a bus ride to Jacksonville, FL. Just a couple of days ago I posted something on Facebook asking for donations so I could get a hotel room and take a shower. It was the first time I had really posted anything about being homeless on Facebook and my friend reach out immediately. When she found out where I was, she didn’t even hesitate. She offered me a place to stay in her home for the winter. She would connect me with resources in FL and would help me get back on my feet and all I have to do is the work to do it and help her around the house. So I am on my way to Florida as I write this post. I don’t know what the future holds. I have an opportunity to go to rehab where my other friend is getting help and he speaks very highly of it. I spoke to a woman at their office yesterday and she was very non-judgmental and more than willing to help. I haven’t decided. But I do know this, I will no longer let hate and anger rule me. I am not the person that I became while I was using and I refuse to let that drug destroy me. I am KIND, CARING, and SWEET! I am TRUSTWORTHY, TRUSTING, DEPENDABLE, and HONEST! I AM A GOOD FUCKING PERSON and I won’t let anything take that from me. As this bus carries me further from Mableton, GA, I feel lighter with every passing mile. It has been a month since I have used and I won’t use again. Because I am better than that. And I don’t need an ex to validate that for me. I AM BETTER THAN THAT! And I DESERVE better! I will be happy again, I will be me again. And the closer I get to Jacksonville, the easier it feels like it will be to do that. I am letting go of my anger and hate because it will only destroy me. I will fucking rise again.