Thursday, August 30, 2007

Recent Articles of Interest

From time to time, I find an article on the internet that I find interesting enough or relevant enough that I’m compelled to share it with others - assuming that anyone other than myself is remotely even reading any of these entries! These few are worthy of mention to be sure. The first two focus primarily on methamphetamine but I’m sure, for the first article anyway, that could be substituted with any other drug of addiction. Ok, not so much the second one. The third article was one that I discovered approx two years ago but feel compelled to mention it once again. It kind of covers the whole gamut of drugs.

You Do the Meth

By Joel Warner

Published: June 28, 2007

Someone was at the front door. Miranda’s two-year-old daughter rushed toward it, figuring that her father was home. But then the door burst open, narrowly missing her, and the toddler saw that it wasn’t Daddy after all. It was a SWAT team. Armor-clad police officers stormed inside, weapons drawn. They pushed a shocked Miranda to the floor and fastened her hands behind her back with zip ties. While her three children - her daughter and five- and nine-year-old sons - sat beside her, the SWAT team quickly scouted the rest of the two-bedroom basement apartment. After that, narcotics operatives from the North Metro Task Force took over, led by Detective Rob Lopez. He’d received a tip several months earlier that folks had been scoring methamphetamine from this residence, located in a shabby stretch of low-lying apartments near U.S. 36 and Federal Boulevard in Westminster. He’d sent a wired informant there to buy meth - once from Miranda and once from her husband, Vince. Each time, there were children at home. Combing through the apartment on this evening in December 2004, Lopez and his colleagues found half a gram of meth in a vitamin bottle and a fifth of a gram in a plastic baggie. In a sealed box in a closet, they discovered meth pipes and other drug paraphernalia, plus digital scales and various plastic baggies presumably used to sell meth; elsewhere, they found two stashes of marijuana.

The detectives asked about Vince, and the oldest boy said that his father was at the apartment building next door. They found him there, along with 26 grams of meth in a throat-lozenge container.

As the three children were handed off to representatives of the Adams County Social Services Department, Lopez read Miranda her rights, which she waived. Flustered and defensive, she admitted that she and Vince sold meth out of their home four to five times a day, making $20 to $50 per deal. She smoked meth, too, she said. Lopez asked if she realized what she was doing to herself, to her family. There was more to life than this - didn’t she see that? But it was impossible to know if any of that got through.

Lopez then talked to Vince, who was scruffy and skinny, with a goatee; Lopez was scruffy and built, with his long hair in a ponytail. Under different circumstances, in a different life, the two wouldn’t have looked out of place sitting down together for a beer. But now Vince said he sold meth to supplement his income - and used it himself. He was already on probation for a previous misdemeanor drug charge, so he was probably facing jail time. Vince seemed resigned to his fate, maybe ready to turn things around, but Lopez didn’t buy it. "When you have them at the jail, they’re willing to give up the world," he says. "In this instance, I just thought it was more of the same."

As a narc, it was Lopez’s job to find the drugs and bust the perps. He wasn’t operating a daycare center. The three kids might go to friends or relatives, but who knew if those new caretakers would be addicts? Or they could stay in the social-services system and bounce from one foster home to the next. Either way, they were just collateral damage in the drug war.

"So I dumped Vince off in jail and turned around and went home," Lopez remembers. "And that’s usually where it ends."



By Alan Prendergast

Published: September 4, 2003

Randy Goin remembers his first visit to a methamphetamine lab six years ago. It was the beginning of a long and disturbing chemistry lesson.

A Thornton narcotics detective assigned to the North Metro Drug Task Force, Goin didn’t know quite what to expect. He’d heard the horror stories about crazed meth-cooks and their paranoia, guns and booby traps. He knew something about the ingredients they use, a vile brew of cold pills, household solvents and acids, iodine, phosphorous, ammonia -- which, if inexpertly combined, can produce flash fires, deadly gases and toxic spills. But all of his training couldn’t prepare him for his first lab bust.

The target was an old barn on a 25-acre property in rural Adams County. Goin’s team found a fully automatic machine gun but no cook in progress; to their relief, the chemicals and glassware appeared to be neatly stored. What caught Goin’s attention, though, was the sink that the lab operator had used to dump his waste chemicals.

The sink wasn’t connected to the sewer system, and the waste simply oozed from a pipe outside -- near a well pump and a trampoline where kids played. It was easy to trace the discharge as it trickled down a hill to a catch-pond. All you had to do was follow the ever-widening kill path in its wake, a swath of bare ground where the surrounding weeds just stopped.

"Nothing would grow there," Goin recalls. "Nothing."

The scene was his first intimation that he was dealing with something beyond the grasp of conventional law enforcement. What kind of dipstick could so casually poison the land around him -- and possibly his children and his own water supply in the bargain?

Over the next three years, North Metro began to encounter meth labs with alarming frequency. The task force was soon hitting a couple a month, then one or two a week -- labs in apartments, motel bathrooms, cars. Goin was in on 35 or 40 of those busts. In almost every case, his protective gear consisted of a pair of latex gloves.

Goin saw pristine apartments turned into iodine-stained dumps, a once-tidy mobile home scarred by unreported fires. He saw kids scavenging for whatever food they could find after their parents had been passed out for days.

"It’s all about the meth," he says. "Kids get ignored, the property falls apart. Meth becomes their whole world."

At first, few people -- aside from the haz-mat teams that customarily made the initial entry -- gave much thought to the dizzying vapors that permeated the labs. Even after the joint had been aired out, you could smell the chemicals and sometimes taste them -- a sweet yet acrid smell, not unlike the odor of a hardware store stacked high with pesticides and fertilizer. Goin emerged lightheaded a couple of times. Other team members complained of headaches that lasted for days.

Goin saw one co-worker chase down a suspect and cuff him bare-handed. The cook’s clothing was saturated with chemicals; a few minutes later, the skin on the officer’s palms started blistering.

In time, Goin thought less about what the labs were doing to the weeds in Adams County. He began to worry about what they were doing to him.


Generation Rx

By Glenna Whitley

You couldn’t miss him: a teenager dressed always in black, with Elvis sideburns and a hard-charging way of bounding up the stairs, as if life were moving too slowly for him. In the same class as my oldest son at the Science and Engineering Magnet at Townview, occasionally at our house for all-night LAN parties, Luke Stone was likable, smart and had an appetite for adventure, the guy willing to try anything once. He was a natural leader, a person who drew people from all walks of life into his orbit with his energy and enthusiasm. He also had a sweet side. He’d grown up going to church and carried a picture of Jesus in his wallet. He was drawn to beautiful, troubled girlfriends who needed rescuing. Luke Stone was your basic good kid. But on May 14 a year ago, when Luke was a 20-year-old student at the University of Texas at Dallas, his daring nature killed him. The coroner’s verdict: accidental drug overdose. This isn’t another “drugs are bad for you” story. It is a trip into another world, one far different from that of Luke’s parents-even though they’d grown up in the ’60s and ’70s and had their own encounters with illegal drugs. David and Sondra Stone viewed their experimentation, particularly with marijuana, as a normal part of growing up. They didn’t want their kids to become addicts, of course, but as long as they stayed away from “hard drugs” like cocaine and heroin, they figured the kids would come out all right, just like they had.

Luke Stone’s parents know that isn’t true anymore. They didn’t realize the landscape of substance abuse has radically changed.

Today, kids Luke’s age swim in a sea of psychotropic pharmacology-pills, potions and powders legally prescribed for everything from depression to attention deficit disorder. When they want to get high, they’re more likely to turn to benzodiazepines, a class of drugs like Valium that treat anxiety and panic attacks. Instead of shooting heroin, they score synthetic opiates such as Vicodin, Percocet, Dilaudid or Tylenol with codeine. To get a buzz or pull an all-nighter for an exam, they pop pills like Ritalin and Adderall, amphetamines that treat ADD.

It makes sense. You don’t have to find a drug dealer to get Xanax. You just have to rummage in Mom’s medicine chest. You don’t need to sneak around to score Adderall. A pediatrician prescribed it because you were driving your teachers crazy. Why not trade a few Adderall to your roommate, under the care of a psychiatrist for panic disorder, for some of his Xanax?

If you get caught-well, parents who discover a kid snitching a Lortab react differently from those who find a crack pipe or syringe. The explosion in pharmaceuticals has been magnified by the Internet. Not only are there more psychotropic drugs to choose from, it’s easier than ever to learn what to take, how much to take and what effects to anticipate. Luke scoured sites like”documenting the complex relationship between humans and psycho actives”-for information and “trip reports” on everything from peyote to Percocet. From there, teens are one click away from an illegal online pharmacy, a cyber medicine cabinet offering quick, discreet delivery.

A 2004 study at Columbia University found that only 6 percent of 157 Web sites selling medications actually required a prescription. And last month the DEA arrested 20 people, from Tyler, Texas, to Bombay, India, as part of “Operation Cyber Chase,” targeting an illegal international ring that used more than 200 Web sites to distribute prescription narcotics, amphetamines and steroids. Web sites to replace them will pop up overnight like psilocybin mushrooms sprouting in a cow patty.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I Wanna Be Sedated!

Our generation and those that will follow us have had and will have the luxury that our parents nor grandparents were unable to experience. If at any time we are unsatisfied with our lot we can without any real effort redefine and reinvent ourselves. Don’t like that office job balancing columns of numbers? Not to fear…you can start your own business or go back to school or drop-out or whatever. We don’t necessarily have to choose wisely because most likely we are not going to be toiling at the same job and the same place for forty some odd years. Employment has become much more transient. What we did straight out of university will not necessarily be what we are doing by the time our twentieth year reunion rolls around.

I haven’t always worked as a Building Manager. In fact, this is actually my first undertaking of this as a career choice. Most recently I worked in an office supporting computer software. Exactly a decade ago, I owned my own business - a 100 seat bar that was primarily a live entertainment venue for the local punk rock bands. Those literally were the days. We were absolutely depraved during this time. It was one never ending party which we were able to float with relative ease because of the success of the bar. We always had cash on hand and with that cash we bought copious amounts of dope - I actually hired my dealer to be my doorman so we never even had to travel any distance to cop! Very convenient indeed, not too mention so wrong in so many ways. These are stories though left for another day and believe you me when I say that I have many stories to tell of my days as a bar maid.

Instead of tales of debauchery though, I thought that I could wet your appetite with a review of my particular establishment that originally was published in my local paper.

Hit-and-miss funk of ******* Lounge worth checking out.
CLUB SPY 1998-07-17

There are a few places in town I wouldn’t recommend to anyone and there are a few places I’d say you simply shouldn’t miss. The trouble is, I don’t know in which category to place ******* Lounge.

For years, I’ve been a semi-regular patron of the *******. If you’ve never heard of it, that’s OK. It’s the smaller lounge directly beside the ******* on Dundas Street East and it’s used to taking a back seat to the more prominent bands that play the larger room next door.

I’m not sure how to categorize the ******* because while I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of live music, it certainly isn’t suited to everyone’s taste. But, like sushi or bungee jumping, it’s the kind of thing you should probably try at least once, if for no other reason than to say you did.

At first glance, the ******* Lounge might not seem like much to look at, but it’s the kind of place that has a strange way of growing on you. The decor is 1960s mod and you can tell that when it was first built, it was the kind of place where Austen Powers might have liked to hang out. The room is long and thin with funky lighting. The bar itself is also quite long with puffy vinyl padding that’s both cheesy and comfortable. Most everything in the ******* Lounge has seen a better day, but to renovate would be to lose some of its strange appeal.

For years the ******* Lounge has been a kind of proving ground for undiscovered and burgeoning talent. You’ll find live entertainment there almost seven days a week. Its stock and trade is punk rock and many bands have names like Eating Disorder or Urban Goons, but the lounge also features just as many solo and acoustic performers, many of whom are from well-known bands trying out new material.

For example, Bill Eldridge, lead singer for Laughing Sam’s Breakdown and formerly of Ten Seconds Over Tokyo, appears there Monday. His solo show is remarkable.


In my travels, I’ve seen my fair share of talentless wonders hit the stage, but at the same time I’ve seen just as many fresh and remarkably unique performers. And if you’re lucky, you might see someone on their way up.

One evening I was introduced to an up-and-coming singer/songwriter performing an acoustic show. I was duly impressed with his material and rightly so. His name was Hayden and a couple of months later, he signed a six-figure recording contract with a major record label.

That being said, I should also say that the size of the crowd has no relative bearing on the talent of the performer. Hayden’s audience could not have been more than a half-dozen or so.

The same goes for my visit there last Saturday. Performing was Jennifer Mclaren, who, without a doubt, is one of the city’s finest singers and most under appreciated talents. She played a knockout solo set to about a dozen people, several of whom wandered back and forth from the show at the ******* next door.

Beer at the ******* sells for $3.25, draft for $1.75 a half-pint, $3.25 for a pint and $9.50 a pitcher. Bar shots are $3.50.

I can say this much: You can’t judge the ******* Lounge by one visit. The nature of the place is hit-and-miss. But, like London’s weather, things change overnight and the next time you’re in, you might well be amazed.

The ******* Lounge certainly isn’t everybody’s cup of tea and even for those who enjoy it, it isn’t a place you’d go all the time. But if you’re in the mood for something different, it’s worth checking out. You just never know who might be there.

*** out of *****

Ten years later, I can look back on this with great fondness. It truly was a wonderful time of our lives those few years that I ran my establishment. I was fearless for the first time in my life. This undertaking initially was a huge risk not to mention potential disruption to our previously comfortable family life. Thank heavens we succeeded far more than failed during these preciously now, short years. Think I'm going to take a moment or two now to bask in my memories of the past.

Monday, August 27, 2007

She Works Hard For the Money

While I was a student at university I waitressed and then finally graduated to bartending. I absolutely loved working in the service industry. Never in my life have I made as much money as I did then. The mid to late 80’s were still the golden age of the service industry. Expense accounts still existed for businessmen and women and the GST had yet to rear its ugly head. I was fortunate that I got into one of the more upscale establishments that my city had to offer because there was a small fortune to be made. I remember going to school full time for my third and fourth year at uni plus working at least 30 hours a week serving. I was taking home a minimum of $600 to $700 each week which was a small fortune to a 21 year old. After graduating university I found it very difficult to give up.

By then I had become so accustomed to the tips always having money available to me rather than waiting a fortnight for a pay cheque - which we actually also got but that was just gravy - that it took me a year to finally leave the industry. I had made a lot of great friends my four years serving. Some of them were like me, students, but many were “career” people, this is all that they would end up doing. Unfortunately serving is looked down upon in the frightfully white collar city that I reside in that had I stayed in service, I would have been perceived as a failure. Back then that apparently mattered to me although I have long since gotten over that mentality. I was dragging my feet though in making my exit. Not only would it be difficult to get used to the substantial reduction in earnings but suddenly I would be expected to be part of the land of the living. Part of the allure of bartending was that you didn’t start work until dark and the people that you encountered were by far much more interesting than their daytime counterparts.

As luck would have it, the decision was taken out of my hands when I had a bad fall the week before Christmas and broke my kneecap. After crutches, a cane, physio and not driving for five months I knew that it would be tough to go back to bartending or waitressing anytime soon but I now desperately needed an income of any sort. Plus my confidence had taken quite a beating. Getting my strength back in my leg and as a result my back, et al was slow going plus when I did make an early attempt at returning to bartending I had forgotten how messy we could be and those we floors behind the bar were just another accident waiting to happen.

My immediate loss of income right after the accident also made things tough going. But you gotta take the good with the bad and as the majority of tips are never declared by servers, they end up never paying tax on this income. As a result they are then denied the benefit of collecting any type of Employment Insurance as you can only end up collecting what you contribute and if you contribute a big fat zero then you are not entitled to any thing more. So hah on me. After about three months sitting at home with my dog I started to get a little restless and started to look for a “real” job. I found one and I went to work for what turned out to be a pretty darn nice company. For nine years they treated me well and in return I think that I was a definite assest for them but I always remembered my serving days with fondness. I was starting to get itchy feet. I wanted something a little less ordinary than going to work Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm with three weeks vacation each year and some time off at Christmas and blah, blah, blah.

I was bored and I was getting bored with myself. Surprisingly enough I even managed to spend seven of those years pretty darn squeakey clean. For shame, for shame…to be continued…

HIGH PRIESTESS OF PUNK returns in high style next!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The "C" Word

In June 2002, we found out that my father had cancer, cancer of the esophagus. This particular kind of cancer is fairly rare, less than one percent of cancer victims will get this type, as well as being particularly harsh. If you are a candidate for surgery, you may extend your life by as much as five years but less than five percent of those that contract this cancer are able to have surgery. So going into this, my father's chances looked pretty bleak.

He had had open heart surgery years ago and now had a pace maker. There was no way that he would be able to have surgery which meant that the next set of options would be chemo and/or radiation. My parents decided that both treatments were worth trying although right from the start, I had my doubts. This meant that he would have to go to the hospital five days a week for close to six months. Seemed like a huge commitment with no guarantee of even a little success.

After the first month of treatment, my father felt that he could no longer drive himself to the hospital every day so he asked me if I would do it. Seeing how I wasn't crazy about my current job I said I'd love to even though it meant an incredible commitment. For five months, five days a week, I drove my father - and mother who accompanied him everywhere but unfortunately never learned to drive - to and from the hospital. It took me twenty five minutes to get from my house to theirs and then another twenty five minutes to get to the hospital. Some days we had to be there by 8am and could finish anywhere from five minutes to five hours later. Never knew from one day to the next.

I didn't mind in the least although it made getting a job unrealistic and because of where we both lived, it made no sense for me to leave him at the hospital and return when he was finished. It was around this time that I started keeping a journal again in earnest. I had a lot of time on my hands but I also wanted to remember every last minute of my father's final days. This was going to be my last chance at really connecting with him and I didn't want to lose or forget a second of it.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Notebook

I can't believe that in half year my beloved daughter will be turning eighteen. This is mind blowing - for a number of reasons. The simple fact that its been nearly two decades since I discovered I was pregnant barely seems like yesterday I remember it so vividly. Doing the math this also means that I will have turned 44 by the time her birthday rolls around. Again it seems like yesterday that I was heading off to university while in fact it has been exactly 25 years since I was a freshman. My how time flies.

I met Jim twenty seven years ago next month. I marvel at all of the things that we have experienced, and sometimes endured, together. No one in this entire world knows me the way that he does and even today, I consider myself one of the luckiest girls in the world to have been able to share my life with a magnificent partner. I know what I have and try never to take this for granted.

I guess what I kind of want to ramble on about today is time and one's perception of it. I've been keeping a journal - although way back when it was called a diary - for as long as I can remember. I started my first one when I was about eight years old after I had received this smallish red leather book with a little lock on it for Christmas. For months I stared at in fascination without writing anything at all in it. I was afraid that I would get it all wrong so I hesitated for ages before putting pen to paper. Suddenly, one day something "traumatic" happened and I had this overwhelming need to write down every little thing about this tragedy for fear I would one day forget its nuances. Of course, now thirty five years later, I couldn't recall the actual event to save my life but that no longer matters.

What matters is that I had finally started on what would eventually become an integral part of me. Over the years I have had periods where I would write frantically and constantly, filling notebook after notebook with no end in sight until suddenly I wouldn't write at all for lengthy periods ranging anywhere to a few weeks to literally a few years. Also over the years the journals themselves have ranged anywhere from being as plain and ordinary as a simple black school notebook to something horribly ornate and tacky and over the top covered in all sorts of decorations - and this was just the outside! Inside there would be collages of photos of actual friends as well as whatever celebrity I happened to be crushing on at the time to anything and everything imaginable. I often ended up putting more work into creating an aesthetically looking book rather than a book of any real substance.

I have been keeping my most recent set of journals now for almost five years without any substantial breaks. I had returned at this time after a break of close to a decade. Obviously, my thirties was a period of my life where I was just too busy and active and involved leaving me precious little time to write. In actuality, it wasn't that at all, not exactly anyway. In fact, I think more than anything else this period of my life was notable for the lack of drama and upheaval.

Sure, important and significant things most definitely occurred that ultimately contributed to the person I am right now but looking back, it certainly was a quieter, tamer period. It wasn't just complacency or resigning to the fact that this was probably it but I definitely felt calmer, less frustrated than the recent past.

This time round, my written journals anyway, took on a different tone than previous ones. I started writing again when my Dad was in the middle of his radiation and chemo treatments for cancer. Suddenly during this period of my life, I had a compulsive need to suddenly start writing. If I had so much as an idle second, I couldn't help myself but I had to write. It became compulsive in nature.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007


Had a huge post all composed and completed in my head but the minute that I sat down to my computer everything completely disappeared. Didn't help at all that I've had too many interruptons now to remember plus I had a reasonably horrific day at work - and it was only a half day! Am already dreading tomorrow because I know that I'll not only have to clean up today's mess but contend with a whole assortment of other goodies.

My darling girls returned from Toronto safe and sound and absolutely floating on clouds - they had a marvelous time. Obviously I am thrilled for both of them. At least they'll have one magnificent memorable experience to share on that dreaded "what did you do this summer?" question that will inevitably be asked of them upon their return to school in the fall.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Leaving On A Greyhound

Well here I am with the apartment all to myself - for a moment anyway. Jim should be up from the garbage room any second. Big weekend for me and my girls. They left yesterday morning on a Greyhound bus for Toronto and are not returning until Sunday evening leaving Toronto at 7:30pm. For all of us, this is huge. It is the first time that they have been away from us, out of town and doing it all on their own. Very proud - but equally nerve wracking moment for their Mama dearest!

About three months ago, just as their school year was coming to an end, we bought them Slayer/Marilyn Manson tickets for the Molson Amphitheater in Toronto. The concert was for Friday, August 10. For both tickets, it cost us $156 but we felt it was well worth it as they had done well in school and had been a pretty good help to me when we were moving house. We picked up their return bus tickets on Thursday evening and with their student card, were able to purchase them for $98.80 total. I wanted to make sure that whatever luggage they brought was in good shape with no rips or tears or broken straps or zippers so I also bought them each a brand new knapsack which they didn't expect at all.

Jim had about a dozen Toronto subway tokens left over from one of our TO visits so we gave them to the girls so it will be easier, hopefully, for them to get around. I gave them $120 in spending money. Luckily they don't have to worry about accomodation because they are staying with a friend who originally is from London but had moved to Toronto last year. At least they will be with someone that will be more familiar with the city than the two of them on their own.

I am so proud of them and equally worried to death that they will arrive home tomorrow evening safe and sound. We've at least received a text message from them this morning in which they said all was going fantastically, that they're having the time of their life.

I Miss You, Heroin! (Epilogue)

I read the first article just over two years ago and at the time it literally blew me away. I could have written it. I know that I lived it. I searched for a long time hoping to find out what happened and voila, finally the aftermath. Enjoy!!!

I tried it one last time after I wrote “I Miss You, Heroin” in November 2004. A month after the article was published on, I took my last shot. Sometimes in life you find yourself doing things you no longer need or want to do. This is epitomized in the awkward conversations you get sucked into when you’re spotted by a high school chum you no longer know. My realization, inevitably came to late. It appeared as the drug swam over me and numbness smothered my body. And that was that. When I came back to Sobriety, I knew it was the end. It wasn’t just the last shot, it was the last thought too. Hundreds of people asked me for my help after they read my story. They asked me how to quit, how to help loved ones, how to be strong. The thing is, strength comes from within. You know that, every one of you. It takes courage to even consider quitting whatever it is that you find yourself addicted to whether it be heroin, meth, alcohol, or TV. And I think that everyone has their weaknesses. But imagine how it feels to know that you are not part of the norm. Imagine how intoxicating it feels to be free from the clutches of addiction. I find myself addicted to something that doesn’t cause money or health problems. I find myself addicted to life.

Holy shit, that sounds ridiculous. Life. What a load of crap. To tell you the truth I’m still unhappy and annoyed and frustrated. I’m still pissed off that Dubya “won” another election. I still yell at my computer, and I still look in the mirror some days and wonder how I got here. But I don’t run home in the middle of work so I can puke my guts out and blame it on an eating disorder. And I feel better. I have enough money to spend a month traveling around, and every cent would have been heroin money if I would have just given up like so many people do. I get positively drunk on the knowledge that I am not a statistic. It tickles me pink that I beat the unbeatable.

I know, for a fact, that anyone who wants to quit these things can. They’re all just too chicken shit to do it. They’re afraid of change, of the unknown. Drugs are easy, nothing matters if you’re high. And I know how easy it is to stay there. Take it from me though, it tastes better when your brain can actually register the taste.

To read the original.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Junky Mom

This is something that I had started to write in May of last year but never got around to actually finishing it. At the time of this writing, I had been attending Methadone Maintenance Treatment for exactly four months and had not used any other form of opiates in close to two months - excluding my daily dose of methadone of course!

OK so today there is actually quite a bit of ground that I would like to cover. Generally I have this intention each and everyday when I sit down to update my journal. On my solitary half to hour long walks I create these brilliant entries but unfortunately they never seem to get any farther than my mind, never seeming to get thought put to paper so to speak. By the time I start typing these brilliant thoughts have vapourized and I find myself giving nothing more than an update on my oh so uneventful day. Does anyone really care if I bought a new blouse or four for that matter? Doubtful. I'm not even terribly thrilled to be honest either.

So all these great thoughts and ideas that seem to whirl around in my head when I am furthest removed from my computer or even my actual journal for that matter never seemed to get expressed - today I have every intention of changing all of this. Now with this sort of intro, you are all going to be expecting some earth shattering revelations no doubt and these I certainly do not have either.

About a week and a half ago I was having a conversation with a friend who asked if I ever hit in front of the girls. Boy, I have to admit that this question really took me aback as I've had a hard time even accepting the fact that they know that I was/am a user. As long as they were unaware, it was much easier for me to remain actively addicted with far less guilt and greater denial. Even though when Sara was much younger though I wouldn't even use in the privacy of the bathroom if she was in the house. I'd sooner say that I was going out to get coffee and doughnuts and do it at the nearest Tim Horton's than sully her safe place. Always felt that to use when she was anywhere around would ultimately be bad karma for her and me regardless of how well I happened to keep my use hidden.

I mean I was so protective of this form of lifestyle never intentionally crossing her path at any age that except for one brief bit of time which didn't end up working out anyway, no dealer has even ever set foot in my house nor any other obvious user. We always took our business far away from our home and as she got older and more aware, unless I could hook up with someone prior to her getting home from school then I would also never leave the house once she was home for the day to hook us up. My regular dealers got used to my peculiar rules after awhile and did attempt to be as accomodating as possible once they realized that this would be to their benefit considering the amount of money that Jim and I would be spending and spending consistently and on a regular basis.

The only time that I would break my rule of not using while she was in the house would be late into the night while she was fast asleep and then of course, I would lock myself safely in the bathroom but I still always felt a certain amount of discomfort. I know that the question to me wasn't meant to hurt or insult as I myself have encountered my share of junky moms who drag their kids to their dealers house with no regard to their mental health or even physical safety. Discreet these ladies are not. And yes I know that many of them will also use in front of them while they are infants and even pre-schoolers. This makes me cringe like nothing else either.

To be honest, most of my past dealers weren't even aware that I had a child and the majority of the users that I would encounter at my dealers certainly were in the dark about this part of my life. If this subject did happen to come up, generally the first question that someone would end up asking me was whether or not I got to see my kid on a regular basis. WTF? Well of course I do as she has never been away from me for so much as an evening. The majority were always stunned that after all these years I still had custody as most of them had long since lost custody of theirs due to their negligent behaviour. Colour me shocked.

This part of my addicted past has always caused me the most trouble emotionally and mentally. The one thing that I learned early into my opiate addiction was the relative ease at which a junky is able to rationalize away any type of their behaviour. This is one stereotypical characteristic that I was not immune to although prior to my addicition nothing could have caused me to act in manner that would be considered morally or ethically grey. Opiate addiction seems to strip this away from the most upstanding citizen rather quickly. I was no exception. It is shocking how easily I was able to slide into a previously unfamiliar area with no thought to any possible consequences.

In my entire life, I had never once opened my mother's purse unless she had expressly asked me to but the moment that my use moved away from recreational, searching to see if she had any spare money gave me no qualms of guilt whatsoever. I remember walking by an unlocked truck one day which just happened to have a purse sitting in view of me and without missing so much as a beat, I had that door opened and the purse in my hand and me down that street out of view in record time. Where this even came from to this day I don't even know but I can vividly remember how excited I was when I discovered that there was close to $400 in it. I am sure that I was at my dealer's front door less than fifteen minutes later.

It is only now that I am back on methadone that I am moving out of this ethically challenged underworld.

When Sara was blissfully unaware of what we did for our recreation pleasure, I was able to use with absolute abandon. I suffered no or very little guilty feelings due to my use because I was able to rationalize it away with the fact that she was looked after first and foremost before any dope was even purchased. My child would never, ever suffer because of our addictions or weaknesses. In this regard, I may have actually done more harm than good but only time will really tell. To compensate for my weakness, Sara was never without anything that her heart desired. If all of the kids had the hottest pair of bluejeans then I made sure that Sara had half a dozen of them.

My intent was to ensure that she would in no way suffer because of us. I remember when she was in Grade 8 talking to some of the part timers here at work, some of whom were still in high school themselves, and asking them if I was being fair with her giving her an allowance of only $50 a week. Each and everyone of them was stunned silent and once they had found their collective voices they wanted me to adopt them. They thought that I was insane giving a thirteen year old that kind of pocket money considering that she didn't have to even buy any of her own things out of it either. Plus they also knew that if "extra" events popped up that I would pony up money above and beyond what she already got. Talk about overcompensation. I know that I am still very much guilty of this habit to this day but this one is actually a real tough one to break.

I made sure that I never behaved in the same manner than some of the other junky moms. None of my kid's toys would ever find themselves in some pawn shop - in fact, none of our household items - nor would she have to be content with thrift store clothing or never having money for even the cheapest school outing or having to wear some cheap hand me down graduation dress. No, nothing like this would or does occur...

I stopped here for now long forgotten reasons - probably doing updates from work knowing me. In fact if I struggle really hard, I'm pretty sure I can remember the specific day that I actually wrote this. I am pretty sure that the reason I never did get a chance to finish this entry or even post it, was the fact that the day I was writing this ended up being my last day of work at that particular job. If my memory serves me correctly, I believe that I was able to hastily cut and paste this into an email that I hurriedly sent myself before I had to leave the building. Yes, it is all becoming remarkably clearer. What a day that turned out to be!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

New Home

Well I guess that this is it, my new home. Goodbye to That's really too bad. I had spent quite a bit of time really making that site my own. Lots of hours went into creating my own graphics as well as all that time wasted now, stumbling through learning css, html, php, etc, etc. Never mind the time I'll never get back. This I can get over and move on. The near two hundred posts made there over two years are now gone like the wind. I'll never be able to recover or remember them and it is this that may take a bit of time to get over.

These past two years there had a pretty detailed account of my addiction at its absolute worst as it was occurring. Of course I can remember particular events of the past couple of years but these entries allowed me to transport myself back in time with absolute accuracy. Also there was my story of getting back on MMT and how I was doing with it and how I was feeling about the whole recovery thing and what a success its turning out to be for me and mine.

I also thought that my archives could one day possibly help someone else struggling with similar issues. There was a lot of detail and hopefully some inspiration there too, plus I had spent a good chunk of my time putting together a massive amount of links related to addiction and recovery and the whole darn thing.

Who knows, maybe it was my time to move on from and start a new chapter somewhere else. Perhaps this is nothing more than fate doing what its exactly supposed to be doing. I don't really know. I know this whole experience has left a bitter taste in my mouth especially the way I had to find out and all. If it truly was my time to move on, I wanted to be the one to make this decision not have it arbitrarily made for me.


OK, back now, although for how long, I am not too sure, as everyone seems to want me to be doing anything else but be on the computer. Anyway, I suspect that my time had probably arrived where I actually should have been thinking about packing it in over at I haven't been an active junky now for a year and a half and while I know that this is something that will forever be with me, it no longer was the primary focus of my existence and being.

Again, all that I really wanted in the end was to be the master of my own fate as much as this is realistically possible. I was also gutted that I wasn't given some sort of heads up so that I could have been prepared for my discovery. Not to know what is actually happening with my site at all is what galls me the most. I suppose I expected more and I still do to be honest. I'm doubly distressed by the total lack of response from the other end.

I find it all very confusing and disconcerting. It's not only not responding to any of my emails that troubles me but I've left a couple of comments at his blog plus filled out and submitted the contact form at twice. Again nothing. Someone suggested that perhaps my site was inadvertently lost and he is afraid of having to deliver this bad news. Until this was said to me this never even crossed my mind. It certainly makes a lot of sense and I could see something like this happening.

Doesn't make this any better but...I suspect that may also be on its last legs as parts of the site that should be accessible are no longer. Hopefully this will be only short term. I did have another journal at for close to a year before I started writing over at jl and for a few months after I joined, I continued to post identical entries at both sites. Yesterday I started the task of copying and backdating these entries so when I am finished this site will appear to have been around for a few years. Is this cheating? Don't think so.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Marilyn Who?

Trust my daughter to cause me no end of anxiety and irritation. I suppose that's what they're here for anyway - to keep their parents inline and on their toes!

For the girls successfully completing Grade Eleven in the spring, Jim and I treated them each to a ticket to the Marilyn Manson concert in Toronto which is being held this month, on August 10th. This is their current favourite band so they were over the moon that we got them tickets before they sold out cause they are playing at the Amphitheater which holds approx 20 000 if even that. Combined the the tickets cost us $156 - no small amount.

As part of the deal, they promised that they would help me with some chores - ensuring that the kitchen is always clean or pretty darn close plus cleaning out the litter boxes of their four cats. Neither chore is terrible either so I thought that Jim and I were being way reasonable. Other than having to remind them about three times a week what their chores are, for the most part, they have been pretty good. They also promised that they would have jobs so that they could pay for their transportation to this event. They've also had three months to do this too.

Now they're teenagers so of course their word and promises don't always translate correctly - far from it. I managed to get them a job working with the same company that employs both Jim and myself. For each apartment they clean, they get $50, no deductions either. This is pretty easy money also because they don't go into the unit at all until all of the painting has been done as well as the carpets cleaned or replaced. With the two of them working together, it takes them approx one hour to an hour and a half max to do a really great job. So far this summer, they've cleaned ten units for a total of $500. They've also been hired by one of the other Building Managers which means now they'll end up getting approx double the work. Of course, all of this money has long been spent as well as the pocket money that Jim and I continue to give them.

They got a second job each but their first pay cheques will not be ready until after the concert but each of their cheques will be approx $480 each! Also by then, their next cleaning cheques will be ready. As you can imagine they are in a panic and begging us for money which of course, I will give them.

Now when I touched on the topic of repayment, I pretty much struck a brick wall, an illogical brick wall I might add. Sara says that she was really, really hoping that when all of her money came in that she didn't want to have to pay any of it out for prior debts. Excuse me? Oh yes, about two weeks ago, I payed off all of Sara and Katie's personal debts i.e. money they had borrowed from their friends. What did they expect would be happening had their money arrived before the concert? Wouldn't they have to take money from their cheques? Of course they would but whenever it comes to the Bank of Mom the rules are extremely flexible!

No matter, I can't help it, I'll end up doing this cause I'm a sap and a pushover. Below are recent images of my little darlings. First Sara, then Katie. Clicking on the small image will open up the actual image in all of its glory! Take care.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Well, I Guess That is That

Well, it looks like two years of my life have been wiped out in an instant with nary a thought od me and how I might feel about the whole thing. Grrr...

It has now been a month since I've been able to access my previous site, the site where I have spent the past two years updating, meeting and healing. It appears that it is no more and it appears that I've got no say in this matter either. How utterly devestating if the truth be told. I never thought that it would actually come to this but I've obviously been sadly mistaken. You know that this site had almost two hundred entries which was a lot of work, not to mention all of the work that I had put into making the site graphically appealing. Hours of my time that I'll never recover.Obviously it's more than just the hours of time but this is the easiest item to point toward because its somewhat tangible where everything else is not. had become a real safe haven for me. I also managed to meet a lot of wonderful people through this site. I realize that I hadn't been updating as frequently as I had been these past six to eight months but never the less, I was still updating at the very least bi-monthly - way more than some of the sites that still remain. Double Grrrrr...

I had good reasons also - my broken wrist combined with returning to work full time and to a job that was brand new to me. I also managed to move in this time also, so realistically I didn't have a whole bunch of time available. But that shouldn't even be the point. There were other sites that updated less frequently than I and certainly no where near as often, and yet, they are still standing. One site that wasn't removed hasn't bothered to do an update since February!!!!

I'm also mad and frustrated because all of my recent emails have been returned to me. I've even left a couple of comments at his site and even filled out one of the contact forms at the main site but nothing of mine has been answered. This is the most frustrating aspect of it all. A small acknowledgement would end up going a huge way with me but no, nothing at all. Obviously there are a few other things equally frustrating but there's nothing I can do about them by the look of things.

When I initially signed up for a site two years ago, I was promised that should I leave for any reason that my entire site would be saved and sent to me. I was also told that my site would not be archived unless it had been inactive for three months or more and even still, people would still be able to access my archives for at least an additional six months, and that, of course, my site would be sent to me. I also was under the belief that I would first be given the chance to update before my site was archived. Obviously I've been under quite a few misunderstandings.

No, wait, I don't think so. I think that someone that isn't me has neglected his obligations entirely and now is attempting to ignore any and all of my pleas, perhaps in the hope that I will meakly and quietly go away. Not going to happen. I am moving from feelings of despair and sadness to full blown anger that will be hard pressed to be satisfied successfully. I mean, come on, you couldn't even take the time to send me a head's up email that my site was going to have to disappear? Instead, I have to find out all on my own. That's pretty low if you ask me not to mention cowardly but whatever...