Let’s make this clear – I am scum. I am so scummy that there is no redemption for me.
That doesn’t mean I am not a devoted mother. I am absolutely devoted, totally loving and I have done my absolute best over the years, despite being faced by huge obstacles and no to little support until my friend Ruth came in with some hope and a lot of acceptance and understanding.
I am a recovered drug addict, an ex-prostitute (I am not sex work positive and support the Nordic model), and my life never recovered from childhood abuse. I haven’t used intravenously in many years, I have not used opiates, weed, or downers in over three years, haven’t had a drink in over two years.
I have been totally absolutely abstinent from all drugs for over three years. I occasionally fell off the wagon after I became a mother, mainly with pills, benzos and booze. These were short lived falls from grace. I never left my children to suffer, they never went without, and I generally pulled it together pretty fast. Before I had children I was a multi drug using piece of punk trash, and to be frank I don’t have the energy to be ashamed.
Doctors got me addicted to diazepam and temazepam instead of providing counselling to help me recover from the multiple rapes and extreme beatings that left with me extensive physical injuries and ptsd. It was easier and cheaper for them. If you give an old ex junkie benzos, they will use opiates again. I am human. Sorry.
I last fell off the opiate wagon when the person I was living with was given a necessary script for morphine, oxys and and dilaudid. If anyone expects me to not then end up disappearing to crush them up and use, then well….I’m sorry to disappoint. It isn’t possible. I do not have self control to that degree. I am an addict, even if I am a clean dry one. I struggle sometimes to walk past the boys shouting their wares in the open street market. I grit my teeth and sit down weeping. Make no mistake, I want to use, I just fight to choose not to.
I won’t bullshit you or myself: it is a constant struggle and the pain of staying absolutely sober can be incredible. I will not use ever again as long as I have my son. If I didn’t have him…..well…
To give you some idea I don’t know anyone who had a habit the size of mine for as long as I did who isn’t on methadone maintenance. I never went on methadone, as I kept watching my friends die from overdoses after they were put on maintenance. So don’t shoot me, I did my best.
At 17 my adoptive father wrapped his hands around my neck pushing me back down onto my bed, climbing on top of me whilst he accused me of wanting to go out to fuck boys, while my fake-mother bleated uselessly in the doorway but failing to save me, and I ran out of there never to return, I made a choice – I was going to be live scum instead of dead meat. I was going to regain my bodily autonomy: he would never touch me again. No one would ever believe me anyway when I told them how bad things were, so I stopped trying.
I took Uncle Lou Reed with me – he seemed like a cat who knew how to survive being unwanted and different, I tucked White Heat White Light under my arm, and got on a bus. Within days I had gone from a bit of speed and weed that I had been doing for a couple of years, to smoking H (hah…watch my fellow junkies work out I had access to free base smack and narrow down my country of origin..please don’t!), and a day or so after that, injecting it. I moved very quickly up the ladder of abuse. I had found my drug of choice, it is what helped me continue to live. I chose my poison, I chose my path, even if all my choices were made for me.
It’s too late for me. I wrecked my life, I destroyed the way others look at me, there is no way back from what I did. There was no way forward for me other than the path I took. Whilst I have not struggled with suicidal ideation since I was a young woman, I was suicidal in my late teens. I had no desire to live. Heroin helped me put life on pause until I was ready to consider living.
All the usual caveats in place, I would never suggest a person who hasn’t used smack take it up as a coping mechanism. In fact stay the fuck away from it, if any young people are reading, it is real game over shit, especially now with the fentanyl problems in the USA. Fent is absolutely devoid of euphoria, it is pointless to the extreme anyway. That said, it is MY truth that heroin saved my life, as well as almost killing me.
I will say this, I want to live. I desperately want to live and I want my son to have me alive and well and able to be there for him. I don’t want to die. I do wish that life was not so painful in the meantime though, and that is not a crime.