Wednesday, December 01, 2010

"I'm pretty sure my cat's reading my diary"

"I thought [adultery] meant being stupid. Like being a dolt."

“If we lose, we should throw possums.”

''I was pretty sure Dr. Pepper was a dentist.''

“So, Hairography. It works best when you pretend like you're getting tasered. It's like cool epilepsy. “

“Did you know that dolphins are just gay sharks?”

“People think I went on vacation, but actually I spent all summer lost in the sewers.”

“Mr. Schue taught me the second half of the alphabet. I stopped after M and N. I thought they sounded too similar and got frustrated.”

“Finn can fly?”

“I did a book report on heart attacks if you want to give it to the doctor. I got knocked down an entire letter grade because it was written in crayon.”

“Is God an evil dwarf?”


“Just like I know that the cricket that reads to me at night is totally stealing my jewelery.”

If you are also a GLEE or BRITTANY fan, you can check out more Brittany quotes right HERE.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

No Longer A Pain I’m Used To…

Finally, there is an end in sight to what I hope to be one of our final legal matters relating to our attack of a couple of years ago. The wheels of justice do indeed turn slowly at times. If anyone needs a refresher on circumstances and events relating to this, you can read my initial entry from August 2008 and then this one from October 2010.

Although, I am somewhat reluctant to call ourselves victors, we did receive word about two weeks ago that our employer had decided to settle this matter now rather than take the next step which would have been a proper hearing initially scheduled for June 2011. Thank goodness we didn’t have to wait another eight months to have our day and say in court, although we were fully prepared to go the distance if that’s what it ended up taking. Whew.

We had been hoping that they’d end up settling after what had happened during our initial meeting with the Judge from Small Claims, although we half expected them to dig in their heels even though they were so in the wrong in this case. Have to admit, though, that our initial mediation hearing almost ended up disastrously for us. Their Statement of Defense was riddled throughout with outright lies although they didn’t remotely seem to care – in the end the burden of proof would have ultimately been up to us and until this mediation they had been very cavalier about the whole thing arrogantly thinking we had nothing – they were so wrong.

We ended up being very lucky with the Judge we happened to draw for that initial mediation as the courts only allocated a half an hour of time to hear both of the sides. Our employer initially took the lead as the first words out of the Judge’s mouth to us were how frivolous our claim appeared to be with no apparent merit. Jim and I looked at each other in near panic and despair. WTF?

Thank heavens we had legal representation not to mention that Jim managed to quickly pick up on the fact that their lawyer had been presenting this matter as some sort of landlord tenant issue when in fact it was nothing of the sort. When it dawned on Jim what they were doing he instinctively blurted out his disgust and after we all recovered from our initial shock, you could actually see the Judge’s whole demeanour completely change. By the end of those thirty minutes, he had been completely won over to our side – mostly because we had a very legitimate and valid complaint against our employer. Whew!

Even after their legal representative was duly chastised by the Judge for his and the company’s appalling behaviour in light of the seriousness of our injuries while performing our normal job duties, he was incapable of making a counter offer to us that day. We had been prepared to settle for half of our original claim if we could wrap it up then and there. The Judge gave 30 days for their response to our offer and strongly suggested that the matter should really be settled then and there as if we proceeded to court, he felt they didn’t have a hope of winning even if we failed to come up with an ounce of proof of our claim. He said we’d win on the sympathy vote alone! Of course, they managed to wait the full thirty days before they responded to our offer.

We still haven’t received payment yet although we signed the paperwork 12 days ago – I guess they have 14 days to issue the cheque from that date. We never imagined we were going to get it any earlier than this anyway – certainly not based on their previous treatment! Still, it will be nice to have that bit of extra money as we enter the Christmas season that’s for sure, so regardless of when it arrives, I’ll certainly be happy!

peace, love and happiness…

P.S. I am now down to a daily dose of 22mg methadone. How cool is that? No ill effects either!

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I know that it has been such a long time since I’ve been able to do any proper updates and as a result, I really should try to let everyone know what has been going on in my life since I was last active here. Unfortunately, this will simply have to wait for another day as I’d much rather write about what I’ve spent most of my night doing, which has been trying to locate a nice hotel in downtown Toronto for Jim and I to stay at for a couple of nights in January.

Seems like an eternity since we went on any sort of vacation, and it most likely has been that long! So many things conspiring against us in years past, but now, it would seem, we’ve got none! Feels bloody fantastic also. We're actually only going on a few days getaway, but right now, even that sounds like a slice of paradise.

Jim really wanted to go to the local boat show last year and the year before that, and for whatever reason, we missed both of them and never ended up getting to go. Not this year. In fact, we’ve decided that we’d rather go to the upcoming Toronto International Boat Show which is being held from January 8 to 16, 2011 at the Direct Energy Center. Its been over a decade since we last went so we’re pretty excited. When we were first talking about going to it, we’d thought we’d go up one of the Saturdays or Sundays and come home the same day.

While I was looking up the event information, I noticed that they had a two day pass available which would only cost an additional $8 more than the normal admission price of $17. I then remembered how crazy crowded these weekends tended to be for this event – crushed in like sardines and then some! I wasn’t all that keen on these crowds way back then when I was a whole lot younger, so I imagine I wouldn’t be any fonder of them now!  Plus, after all that has happened to us these past couple of years, there was a great potential that this overcrowding could turn into an issue for either one of us, or even both. Conundrum!!

I thought that the best thing for us would be to avoid the weekends entirely, and consider attending the event midweek. Certainly the crowds would still be there, but if we spread the event out over a couple of days, we’d be able to leisurely stroll through the site rather than try to cram it all into a much smaller amount of time. Plus, during the week, the event closed 2hrs later than it did on Sundays and one hour later than Saturdays. Brilliant. 

Now, that was the easy part. We’ve decided to go to Toronto from Tuesday, January 11 to Thursday, January 13, and will be taking the train there and back. I think I’ve also managed to finally settle on where we’ll be staying.This was by far, the hardest part as there are so many hotels in the downtown area of Toronto alone, never mind within a 15km radius of the event’s location! After spending hours and hours at and and Travelocity, I know where we’ll be staying.

It’s kind of funny but the hotel I ended up going with is one that I used to stay at years ago whenever I was in Toronto for business – the company I worked for  had a corporate account with them so that is where they sent their employees whenever one was in TO. Even after I left this company, I used to be able to get their corporate rate whenever I stayed there when I was in Toronto, but this perk has long since disappeared now – the hotel is no longer owned by their original owners either. No worries.

The Toronto hotel is now owned by Metropolitan Hotels which is a collection of independent luxury Canadian hotels. I can’t wait cause I decided to go all out so we are getting one of their one bedroom suites which has a King size bed in the bedroom area, and a double sofa bed in the separate sitting area. There are two full bathrooms as well as in room coffee/tea and high speed internet and wireless access. The suite measures 460 square feet with the total cost for the two nights only $445.00 (taxes et al included).




Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Computer–finally

Finally, an update. I was truly wondering when I was going to get back online again! Seems like I have been away for an eternity. Even if it hasn’t been quite that long, a lot has happened. My computer finally kicked the bucket last month -  a sad day indeed. It had been acting up for about a week or so before it finally gave up. It had either been freezing for no reason, or spontaneously rebooting for even less of a reason. Initially, I thought that one or all of its fans might be acting up causing it to overheat but a quick check of the unit’s temperature and whether or not the fans were operating correctly, put an end to that idea. Then, I thought that maybe one of the memory sticks had gone bad but nope, not that. After a thorough check, Jim determined that my board was fried and there was little he could do for it at this time. Luckily he managed to scab together another system quite rapidly for me, so now I am back. He also installed Windows 7 on my new computer which I think I shall really end up enjoying once I’ve managed to figure it all out. That’s all the time I have for the moment, but shall be back shortly with some updates.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Spare Tire to Spare

One of the few complaints I've got regarding MMTMethadone Maintenance Therapy – is the disgraceful amount of weight one almost always seems to gain while on it. Sure, there are a few lucky ones that seem to escape this horrible fate, but from where I'm sitting they are most definitely few and far between! I've gone from a fairly svelte size eight/ten to a seemingly, no, actually, lumpy size fourteen on a good day! Most days I am barely bothered, but on those rare days when I am carefully dressing for a particular event where I know that I shall most definitely encounter particular individuals, this fact never seems quite so galling, never mind appalling. The proverbial albatross around one's neck to be sure. Might as well weigh three hundred pounds it seems by the time you've somehow managed to settle on an outfit. No amount of black can be that slimming, nor can any amount of strategic dressing be that flattering. Don't believe everything that you read!

For better or worse though, it seems that once on MMT as a female the sooner you accept the inevitable, the better! Don't get me wrong. I'm not at all suggesting that you use this side effect as a license to eat either, as I know many do. If you gain close to 100 pounds while on MMT, then you were severely underweight when you started or there are whole boatloads of other issues you need to deal with as well. Most seem to be decidedly underweight by the time they start treatment, so it makes sense that this weight should be welcomed. It's all of that extra stuff that tags along for the ride I end up resenting. Keep in mind that I am not at all suggesting that methadone per se is the cause of the weight gain, as I don't believe that weight gain is a recognized side effect of methadone as constipation would be.

I believe this weight gain occurs while on MMT because of the overall, generally positive lifestyle changes that an addict undergoes while on MMT. Just as no two addicts are alike, no two stable doses of methadone will be alike, but once that dose has been found, all sorts of possibilities start opening up for the opiate addict. Until this magical amount has been reached, the addict is still susceptible to old behaviour or habits. On a stable dose, all of those brutal and unpleasant withdrawal side effects will have completely disappeared. Also, the opiate receptors of the mind are so flooded that any attempt to use any other sort of opiate will be a waste of both money and time. The addict will feel absolutely nothing. Now up until a stable dose has been reached addicts will try anything and everything in their power to try to find a way around the methadone in their system. Generally, they've also got to discover this on their own regardless of how many have gone before them. Doesn't matter. Until it happens to them, it's not true.

Until this stage, even though the addict is on MMT and may be on it for months at this stage, old addict behaviours and lifestyles will still figure fairly prominently in their lives. If you're still trying to use while on MMT then nothing has really changed at this point. Things really don't start to change noticeably until the addict is at a stable dose. Once all of the side effects from withdrawal have disappeared, their overall body will start to feel better. With each passing day, the muscles and bones start to ache and throb less and less until one day when you wake up and get out of bed; it no longer feels like a chore. It becomes second nature. When in active addiction, our stomachs tend to be in turmoil because of dope sickness or cause we're too messed up. Either state tends not to be conducive to eating three square meals on a daily basis! Addicts graze at best.

Whatever your drug of choice, whether pills, smack et al, generally there tends not to be some bottomless well providing our vice to us no questions asked. No, that would be far too easy. One of the crosses you have to bear as an addict is the huge amount of time and energy one must invest in the search for their big, ultimate payoff. I am now, depends on my mood though, either the most saintly patient person ever, or I've got the attention span of a newborn kitten. Varies by the day and circumstance, though, I figure for every hour I've invested in travelling to score, scoring, making it back home again and then actually using, there are probably nine more hours where nothing whatsoever happened except for the waiting, and then some more waiting and some more. On the infrequent day where there is a line at my clinic, I can't help but chuckle to myself each and every time someone in line complains about how long of a wait they've got or how they've never, ever been here when there has been such a long line. On days when I can't take it, I chide them and ask if they've never had to wait for a delivery that never seems to arrive! I mean seriously, the absolute longest amount of time I've had to wait in line at the clinic in nearly five years has been twenty minutes. I would never have started MMT in the first place If only the dope fairy had bothered to show up in such a timely manner previously.

OK, now that this weight gain is here and there is nothing I can do to fight it in the short run, I do the best I can with what I've got for the time being. One of the things that I did learn to do the first time I was in MMT over a decade ago was to learn to sew. Now initially, I was crap but I persevered for a couple of reasons. Specifically, the whole idle hands theory was a huge factor, but mostly because I discovered a love, as well as appreciation, of fabric. I couldn't stay away from fabric stores and after each visit, I'd arrive home with more and more fabric, all of which I made sure I purchased at ridiculously low prices. So of course, I just kept sewing and sewing until one day I noticed I was actually getting pretty good at it. Well, actually, it was more my daughters could no longer tell if what I wore was store bought or homemade. Once these lines blurred, I knew I had made it. Confirmation on this followed my daughter's first request for my services.

So over the course of this summer, I've been playing with a top design for myself. It's my very own design and after each attempt a dramatic improvement has occurred. I've been tweaking and ripping and tearing and sewing and testing for the past couple of months until finally, now, I've created a top that flatters and camouflages all of my current imperfections, and for the time being offers me a certain amount of self-confidence that I've been lacking. If I could find my digital camera, and if I knew how to use it, I'd definitely upload some photos. I definitely will get some online very shortly.

peace, love and happiness…

Monday, October 04, 2010

A Pain That I’m Used To Is Almost Done

Just over two years ago I posted A Pain That I'm Used To concerning an uncomfortable situation that had developed with my employer a couple of months after our attack and Jim's stabbing. After all of this time though, we are still dealing with its aftermath although I am hopeful that this will all come to an end fairly shortly. Now, unfortunately, having to go to Small Claims Court to reach some sort of settlement has to occur. This part of the whole ordeal is something I'd like nothing more to avoid, but no such luck. A number of months ago we finally retained a lawyer to help us out, she's been briefed with all details of our situation, all necessary papers have been filed with the court and all necessary statements of defense from our employer have also been filed. Nothing else left to do but show up for court bright and early Friday morning. GULP.

For the short version, we are basically suing our employer for approximately $7500 because they disposed into a large dumpster in front of our apartment building, about twenty or so of our personal possessions and furniture without notifying us in advance. When we attempted to confront them about this matter, we continually received their cold shoulder. They refused to offer us any sort of explanation or apology for their actions against us. We didn't pursue it at the time for a number of reasons. It was so soon after the attack that fear was the overriding emotion driving pretty much every aspect of our lives. We didn't realize that we could actually do something about it. We couldn't afford legal representation for this matter two years ago. And so on…Two years on, our situation has changed on all fronts so once we discovered that we could, indeed, pursue them to attempt to recover our costs for this debacle, we decided we'd be fools for not moving forward. Although we did have to give our lawyer a $2000 retainer, if we are successful then all costs will have to be paid for by our employer.

For the long version, the following is the text of the original entry from August 2008:

Some things stay the same; some things never see to change. As the months pass by since Jim's attack and its savagery seems to fade from some people's minds, the more difficult it seems to become for us regarding our work situation. Immediately after it happened, everyone from the office staff here in London right up through to the VP of Operations in Toronto couldn't get to us fast enough with promises for our physical, emotional and financial security. Now that three months have passed since this incident almost all of their promises seemed to have fallen by the wayside. The only thing that I am not really worried about – yet – is our physical safety. We still have a beautiful roof over our head which we do not have to pay for as well as having all of our utilities looked after. Right now that is all that we seem to have. This fact is disturbing to say the least.

All of our forms were to have been filed and completed, etc. for a Workman's Compensation claim for what happened to Jim and any forms that we were responsible for have been submitted. When I last spoke to the head of Human Resources of the company about a week ago, she mentioned that the company would no longer be paying us but that WSIB would be taking over from now on. Now when I spoke to WSIB earlier today, they advised us that our claim had been rejected because our employer had not submitted a series of forms. Fit to be tied at the moment mostly because I wasn't able to actually speak to someone at WSIB but had to leave messages on two separate answering machines there. GRRRR. Of course when I called through to Toronto, I could only reach voice mail in the HR department. Oh how very, very typical.

I wouldn't be quite so insane about all of this if something awful hadn't happened here in London with my Regional Manager almost three weeks ago. Shortly after Jim's attack, we moved into our current apartment because no one in my family was feeling terribly secure living on the ground floor of the apt building. Now since Jim was still recovering from near life threatening injuries, he obviously was unable to move any of our furniture or stuff up here. Naturally, one of my daughters managed to break her arm barely a week after Jim's attack so she was also unable to offer much help or assistance. That left just me and Sara who barely weighs a 100 pounds on a good day! Naturally, it was tough carrying some of the heavier stuff for us so a few items were left behind in our old unit. I advised the office of this and apparently it wasn't much of an issue until the time came when they needed our old unit.

The weekend after I was notified that they were going to need our old unit, I moved everything except for one couch out of it. This left behind couch was a monster to move so I had to leave it. When I talked to my boss she said that was no problem that she would get some of the maintenance guys to help. I waited for a number of days and no one came to help. One day Sara's boyfriend was over and we managed to get it upstairs and into the hall of the fourth floor. Could not get it into our unit no matter what I tried. Finally the head of maintenance showed up to help me but no matter what he couldn't get it in either. This couch just also happened to be near brand new. We had had it only a month. Looked like we were going to have to trash it which was a darn shame. Because I had been waiting to get this couch inside before I moved a few more of our other articles in, I stashed some of our stuff in an empty unit which just happened to be located directly beside our current one. This is also standard practice if you happen to be a Building Manager of an apt building – you tend to take advantage of empty units and store stuff in them on a regular basis. This is done by near everyone and is not remotely unusual.

I had mentioned to the office about this furniture being there in the empty unit also but for some reason my Regional Manager decided to take it upon herself to have the contents of this unit emptied into the dumpster out front of our building. There was a lot of stuff of value there also. Why she didn't mention that she was going to do this so we had a chance to move it into our unit or get rid of it ourselves, is a mystery to us. Even after talking to her about it, she had nothing to say regarding her reasoning. I am so sick of everyone telling me that whenever I need help while Jim is recovering to just let them know and then when the actual time arrives, nothing at all. It is beyond insulting. What is really terrible about the whole thing is that when we went to check the dumpster not all of our stuff made it there. Any of our electronic equipment seemed to be missing. When we asked about this, we initially got a whole bunch of different answers until someone obviously started to feel a little bit guilty cause somehow some of this stuff was located – sitting in the paralegals office getting ready for her to take home!

Excuse me? How awful is this? You're stealing from someone not only that you work with, but also from someone who has already had a series of horrific stuff happen to them, someone who's interests that you in your position should be guarding. Insane. I wasn't going to get the police involved but on our last visit to the specialists we mentioned what had happened and one of the doctor's took it upon herself to call the police. I guess that she is a fairly good friend of the detective handling the attack. The police feel we have a fairly strong case for theft, etc. So far I have given a statement but I haven't had them approach anyone in the office yet regarding this although after today, I plan on giving the go ahead. I've also given everyone enough time to return all of our electronics and even though I've received assurance that we'll get them back, we still have not.

Following is a list of the items that we ended up losing – that I can remember so far because I know that there is more but probably won't know something is missing until I go to get it.

  • antique sewing table w/antique Singer sewing machine
  • walnut dresser w/five dresser drawers
  • all components to construct our bed frame i.e. slats/foot board
  • Sklar Pepplar arm chair
  • creme coloured leather love seat
  • creme coloured leather arm chair
  • 20″ tv set
  • 17″ flat screen computer monitor
  • 17″ computer monitor
  • dvd player
  • large collection of various types of cables for use with computers
  • digital camera w/case
  • laptop computer w/leather case
  • collection of electric helicopters plus their accessories
  • all of our winter coats – four individuals for a total of eight coats
  • six fabric laundry sacks of clothing primarily Jim's winter clothes
  • all of Sara's bed linens including comforter, three double sized blankets, set of curtains, sheets, pillows
  • two extra-large Rubbermaid storage containers w/hinged lids w/contents removed
  • misc. hand held tools
  • two basic desk chairs

Thursday, September 23, 2010

private benjamin???

I very rarely mention my two daughters on this public journal anymore, at least not since they technically became "adults". I feel that its really not my place to determine what portion of their lives should be made available for public consumption. The moment that they decided they were ready to take on the big bad world they became independent from us. Now as long as they were minors living under our roof, following our rules, their proverbial arses were ours and were fair game. Now that they are both in their twenties, I do try to respect their privacy - for the most part! Like everything else in life though, there are exceptions to every rule. This would be one of those times.

Plus, anytime a parent is bursting with pride, they get to tell everyone and anyone who will listen the reasons. After completing high school, Sara decided that she didn't want to go directly to any post-secondary institution. She felt that a break away from studying would be the best course of action for her. Obviously, both Jim and I had very mixed reactions to this announcement, but what could we really do to change her very set and stubborn mind? By far, I was the most supportive of her decision. In fact, I think it would be pretty safe to say that Jim and I were in fact, diametrically opposed to it.

Personally, I could empathize with her desire for a break and a change in routine. I went directly from high school to an unbreakable and continuous period of 7 years university and college combined. During this time, I did manage to complete my Honours Bachelors of Art in History at University as well as my Business Management Diploma with a Marketing Certificate at College. By the time I was through all of this, I was exhausted. I did make one futile attempt to take a break for one semester, but that never did work out.

Between my second and third year at Uni, my best friend and I decided to spend that summer exploring the British Isles. We had an amazing time and as the summer started to fade making ready for the fall, I decided that I wasn't ready to return to Canada so I made arrangements to stay an additional few months. My intention was to leave at the very earliest just before the Christmas holidays. I'd found a bar job in London, and one of my cousins got me a bed-sit. All of my Mom's family lived in London, while all of my Dad's lived in Dublin, Ireland so even though I was a few thousand miles from home, family was never too far if I needed anything.

Just before the fall semester was to start in Canada, I got word that my Dad had a massive coronary and was in very poor health. He was due for open surgery by the end of that September. With this bit of news, all my plans instantly disappeared, but then, they no longer seemed quite as important. I figured the British Isles would end up being around a long time after my Dad had gone, so I decided to return to Canada with the intention of going back overseas once he had left us. Even though he'd been given less than five years to live, they hadn't factored in what a stubborn Mic he could be at times. didn't he go on to live an additional eighteen years once he'd had the open heart surgery?

Anyway, I seem to have gotten off topic...Now Jim dropped out of high school before his sixteenth birthday, and while he didn't immediately regret this decision, by the time he was in his early to mid-twenties, he knew that it certainly hadn't been one of the better decisions he'd made in the past. While he did eventually go back to complete his high school education, he had to do this while working full time and a family at home. This didn't seem to matter to Sara as nothing he said could make her change her mind. So, off she went to join the workforce.

Luckily she had been forced to attend a bilingual public and secondary school so she was fluent in both English and French which gave her a bit of an edge over others. she managed to get a nice enough office job with a starting wage of almost$14 an hour. Unfortunately at the end of May of this year, she fell victim to company layoffs and found herself suddenly without a job. To make matters even worse, her former employer was beyond negligent in issuing her Separation Papers, an absolute crucial document required to receive any amount of Employment Insurance - used to be called plain old Unemployment Insurance. Whatever. She ended up having to wait nearly three full months before she managed to get this paperwork released. While one will not receive any monies until this document arrives and is entered into the recipients file, the lack of the document doesn't prevent someone from at least getting their claim started.

Now in the interim, she still needed money to get by so who do you suppose got this honour? Yup, me and Jim. By the time these three months finally came to their end, her father and I had forked over a grand total of just over $4000 - three months rent at $525/month, her personal hydro payments, telephone bill, groceries, some summer clothing as well as a few slightly more formal articles of clothing appropriate for future job interviews, an air conditioner for her frightfully boiling hot apt, and a boatload of cash for misc crap.

By the end of all this, this education vacation, I mean break, was not looking quite as attractive as it previously had. Of course, the moment we started handing over a substantial amount of money to her on a regular basis, Jim felt that this now gave him the right to start pressuring her to return to school - these kind of favours never seem to be given without some sort of strings being attached. Like Jim said to me "what goes around, comes around..." obviously referring to all of the crap we'd been forced to endure every time we got money from his parents. Ironic, isn't it?

Again though, Sara would not waver. She felt confident that she'd be able to get another decent job and had no intention of returning to school just yet. While I admired her tenacity, and was so very grateful and happy with the decorous way she handled herself through all of this, I've never really been able to understand her aversion to being a student. If I could have gotten paid, I'd still be a student. I truly loved school, loved to learn, loved being intellectually stimulated, couldn't ever get enough. I also know that I was fairly unique and pretty much alone when it came to this, but that never seemed to matter. Discovering computers and the internet just over a decade ago turned into being a near religious experience for me personally. I still think the internet is one big encyclopedia dying to be read. Some of my bookmarks are downright embarrassing and definitely nerdy.

And once again, it would seem that my daughter had made the right decision regarding her future after all. She obviously knows what she likes and doesn't like, and isn't prepared to settle or compromise in achieving these. Good on her. Recently, one of her friends mentioned that there were going to be five civilian internships with the army available. She researched the specifics, and once satisfied that this could be something she'd, enjoy submitted cover letters and her resume. She'd been advised to apply for all five of these positions even though each one was different.

First she had to attend an orientation session to become familiar with what this position would entail and to determine whether or not the applicant wanted to continue with their application. She came home excited beyond belief eager to continue. Her initial interviews went so well, that even before she got home from the first one, there was a call made to her praising her interview. She was advised by the Interviewer that, while she could not officially offer her one of the positions at this time, she could say with absolute confidence that Sara would definitely be receiving an offer of employment for one of the five. she said that of all the people she had interviewed, Sara stood head and shoulders above the rest. She said she couldn't remember an interview with an applicant ever going as well as theirs did.

After I got over the shock that it was indeed my daughter they were talking about, I was over the moon. What Mother wouldn't be proud to hear all of this about their child? She starts her new position on October 22, 2010. She still does not know exactly which of the five will be hers, but she has been told it will be one of two. She will either be an Admin Assistant to one of the senior officers stationed at Wolsey Barracks here in London, Ontario or she will be working in one of the Army's labs as a Technician. She says she is glad that the final choice is not hers as she wouldn't be able to choose between the two as she'd like either one of them equally. Starting pay is just over $30 000/annually and after her three month probation ends, she will receive benefits as well as be eligible for funding should she decide to pursue a post secondary education while employed with them. How's that for a wee bit of irony?

Obviously, I'm now more than pretty confident that she'll be able to navigate and manage her way through life on her own fairly successfully. Looks like her head is screwed on right - certainly better than mine has been during specific periods of my adult life... hangs head in shame for a moment...Can't imagine anyone who has recently graduated from Uni with just a general 3yr or honours 4yr degree getting much more than what she shall receive for a starting salary either - unless graduating from one of the Uni's professional schools but that's an entirely different universe.

So, a toast to my beloved daughter. I hope you know how truly proud and supportive I am of you. I've got faith that you can accomplish anything that you set your mind and heart towards with great ease. Good luck...

peace, love and happiness..

Monday, September 20, 2010


Where has the time gone? Seriously!!! Nothing like the mundane of everyday life getting in one's way, successfully obscuring what is actually going on right in front of them, never mind all around them, that's for bloody sure. Combine this with "if it ain't broke..." it is fairly easy to see how we are able to become pretty complacent, soldiering on without giving too much thought to our actions.or ultimate destination. It's certainly pretty, darn easy, of course, when one is on auto pilot. Imagine my surprise when I couldn't help notice that this was exactly what I have been guilty of doing these past months regarding my recovery et al.

In less than a flash of an eye, I find myself rapidly approaching the five year mark since I started MMT - Methadone Maintenance Treatment. When I initially started I had no idea nor intention of being on it anywhere near as long as I find myself today. My original goal had been to get to an adequate enough dose so that I felt comfortably stabilized. For any laymen out there reading this, this is the magical dose/amount of methadone that an addict requires so that all of those unpleasant feelings of withdrawal disappear, as well as any and all cravings to use opiates manage to vanish. This dose will be different for every single addict. This is not where one size fits all will even begin to succeed. Obviously, there are all sorts of factors that ultimately end up determining what final dose a recovering opiate addict will end up needing in order to be successful.

How many years of active addiction? How much? How often? How old? How healthy? How tall? How heavy? How many other drugs involved? How much drink? I could continue...but the combination and permutations are literally endless. For me personally, I required a dose of 90mg of methadone daily before I really and truly felt stabilized. There were lower doses that took away my cravings. There were even lower doses that eliminated those unpleasant side effects of withdrawal. Lower doses even still that flooded those pesky opiate receptors in my mind so that even attempting to continue to use opiates had no noticeable effect whatsoever. There was adequate methadone in my system that I was no longer capable of even getting a bit of a high from using that to try to continue was utterly and completely pointless, not to mention, a complete waste of money.

All fine and well indeed, but at any dose lower than the 90mg, there were more days than not where I couldn't escape the feeling that something just wasn't quite right. Was I restless? Was I ill? Was I manic? Was I apathetic? What? I never really could pinpoint exactly what wasn't quite right with me, until it was no longer there. Even then, it took me a couple of days before I seemed to notice that something was different, something had changed. The methadone was working. Unless I was consciously thinking about my addiction and recovery, I had seemingly started to forgot about heroin and dilaudid and morphine. No longer did they rudely force their way into my every waking thought.It was near nirvana.

A number of factors kept me at this fairly high dose of methadone longer than I would have liked. Fear of failure was the big one obviously. Security blanket of methadone still a way better option than the alternative that's for sure!!! Getting hit by a moped a year and a half into treatment and breaking my arm severely certainly didn't help either. Even after two major reconstructive arm surgeries and four attempts at resetting my arm's bones, I only used my methadone dose to manage my pain. For a brief time, my dose did increase to 105mg daily but the doctor allowed me to divide this dose in two so that it was more effective in relieving my pain so the higher dose was very much required. The whole time I didn't take anything stronger than two 200mg ibprophens when it hurt - not even a Tylenol 3, thank you very much. You know what? I managed to somehow survive this ordeal opiate free. Who knew?

Just when I thought it was safe to...Jim and I get attacked and he gets stabbed more times than I care to count, and again, our timing sucks a bit! With all of this added stress, it just didn't seem like a good time to try to start tapering down our methadone dose - yet, anyway. But, this was now over two years ago, and both of us are well on our way to recovering from this violent and savage attack on our lives and sensibilities. Still getting treated for PTSD, and probably will continue for some time yet.

Now, about six months ago though, I started to notice or feel kind of out of sorts. That restless of old seemed to be rearing its ugly head once again. This time it was different. It wasn't a restlessness born out of any desire to use again. No, not at all. I felt like I was starting to experience diminishing returns from my MMT, or at the very least, my current dose. So, I decided I would try reducing my dose by 5mg to a dose of 85mg daily. After a few weeks, I reduced this dose again by another 5mg. And so on and so on I am at a current dose of 30mg, and in all honesty, I feel no better nor worse for wear than I did when I was at 90mg. In fact, I feel pretty darn good.

No overwhelming cravings or uncomfortable feelings of withdrawal currently, nor have I experienced either one through this entire tapering down process. Now, that I am starting to feel truly confident I can succeed once my security blanket disappears once and for all, I am actively working towards reducing my dose to zero so that I will no longer be receiving MMT. That's not to suggest that I'm now going to blindly reduce my dose recklessly with no thoughts of potential consequences. Perish the thought. I do, however, now have a goal and a date by which I'd like to reach this goal.

No later than early spring of 2011 is now my ZERO methadone goal! I think that I will be able to comfortably reach this goal, and who knows, I may even be able to beat it!!! It's now time. In the next year and a half, Jim and I have family obligations that will not be remotely conducive to MMT. For one, we've got to go to the Philippines - his Mother's birthplace - for at least six to eight weeks with both his folks and sister and her soon to be husband. No choice either as his folks will be picking up this entire bill so that we'll all be able to celebrate in style and together their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Won't hear any complaints from me either, as this will no doubt be a trip of my lifetime!

peace, love and happiness...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Waiting for Mr Brownstone

To receive methadone, I have to attend two doctor's appointments each and every week. My appointments fall on Tuesday and Friday, and the "clinic" that they are a part of is held between the hours of 7am and 8:30am on both of these days. There are twenty-three other patients that also attend this clinic. This particular one is designed primarily for those on methadone that also work full time. During my clinic's available hours, you are looked at on a first come first serve basis, but as all of us have to follow a schedule of some sort, we almost always arrive at the same time which means we're all pretty much seen at the same time, as well as never really having much of a waiting period before we are seen.

This clinic is pretty much the only one like this that is offered at the Clinic - with a capital C - that I go to, even though there are now almost 1200 patients attending, and perhaps even more than this amount now as our numbers are still literally growing in leaps and bounds. As well, almost all of the patients from my clinic are exceptionally well behaved and well mannered, which can differ greatly with the average patient of the Clinic. As much as I am loathe to generalize I can't help it when I say that the average methadone patient ends up giving junkies a bad name!

I remember one of the doctors who was doing my assessment prior to starting methadone asking me how serious I was about getting clean. When I told him that I was very serious he asked if he could offer me some advice. He warned me that this was not the place to try to make new friends, not if I really was serious about my recovery. He told me to bring a book or magazine with me each time I came so that I would have something to occupy myself while waiting my turn. He said if I looked busy then it was less likely that anyone would bother me. He cautioned me from giving anyone there absolutely anything at all - not change for the pay phone or money for the bus, nothing at all.

For the most part, I've done my best to keep to myself and its worked out fairly well. I mean, I was trying to remove myself from the ongoing drama of an addict's life, so why would I want to add any more? To this day, I continue to bring something to read to each doctor's appointment even though I no longer really need its protection - again because of the type of addict that happens to attend the same clinic I do.

It is easy to marvel at the difference between our lives and the majority of the others. The others tend to be loud and demanding and impatient and intolerant for the most part. Every visit, there are always a few patients from the other clinics that attempt to be seen by the doctor that runs my clinic, and each and every time, the nurses sitting at the counter have to explain that this clinic will only see the patients that have been registered and approved for it, and if they happened to have missed their normally scheduled clinic that they would have to attend another one. Generally their response is never remotely polite. They usually carry on about some injustice done to them, but eventually have to leave with their tail between their legs as the nurses never, ever budge or make exceptions. I mean what were you doing that was so bloody important anyway that you had to miss your original appointment? It wasn't as if their job was keeping them from attending that's for sure!!!

This is one more thing that I constantly find myself marveling about - the number of addicts in the program that are incapable of working at the same time. Most of them that I've talked to or listened to while sitting quietly seem to express similar reasons for not holding down a job while receiving treatment. Most of their excuses seem pretty lame to me also, but then, even at my absolute worst, I always held down a full time job. The more I did, the more hours I generally ended up working so that I could pay for this ridiculous sickness. I've discovered that most of them never even had a job before they started treatment, so I guess this is a strange and unknown area for them regardless of whether they're using or not. Sad. Wish treatment offered some sort of guidance for them so that ultimately they would become contibuting members of society but there is nothing at all available. Again, sad.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Can You Accept the Truth? AND Living Life With an Addict

Just found two more blogs by parents suffering through the trials and tribulations of their child's battle with addiction, and everything that accompanies this horrific disease. These numbers continue to grow at a rapid pace.

My newsest discoveries can be read at Can You Accept the Truth? and Living Life With an Addict.

peace, love and happiness

Here, I am survived thirty years plus on methadone AND Addiction/Recovery through an addict's eyes

Found a couple more addiction survivors. Both have just recently started blogging but you can check out their future entries at Here, I am survived thirty years plus on methadone as well as Addiction/Recovery through an addict's eyes.

peace, love and happiness...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I've managed now to maintain a journal of one sort or another online now coming up on eight years. Initially I was so self conscious about exposing anything about myself, but after a short time, I forgot that I was actually writing on a public forum, and wrote just for the sake of writing - for an audience of one so to speak, moi! With my first journal I did nothing to hide my identity in anyway, but, I also ensured that I made no mention whatsoever of my alternate lifestyle, so to speak. While it was true that everything I wrote about was 100% honest, the mere fact I completely avoided addressing a substantial part of my life was nothing more than me lying through omission which by definition is equally as bad as if I were lying. I wasn't really being truthful or at all. Conundrum!

At the same time, I certainly was by no means ready to expose a very private side of myself or my husband, or at the very least, risk the chance that someone reading my journal would be able to put two and two together and figure out what we had fought and worked so hard to remain secret and separate. Ah-ha! A secret identity was in order. Why not? I thought. It works for super heroes now doesn't it? So with the anniversary of my alter ego in mind, I guess you could say that I've been maintaining a journal online, with my entire life 100% exposed, for near seven and a half years now. While I still chose to keep my real name and my families private and hidden from anyone doing a general search of me, anyone that knows me intimately is familiar with any of my online writings now, my daughters included. More than anything else now, my innate shyness and general self consciousness are the main things that stop me from going any further.

One thing I've not been able to help but notice is how much change has occurred in those writing about addiction. There seems to be far more relatives of addicts writing now than the actual addicts. When I first started out, I can't remember anyone other than addicts or addicts in recovery writing or keeping a personal journal. A point of view that I can't help but consider now, was never a consideration in the past. Nary a glimmer. Keeping current with the ever growing number of this niche keeps me honest, and never forgets to remind me that my recovery no longer affects only me, but any number of people close to me who care about me and my welfare - obviously, there are many other things working away in the background, but each and every time I read one of the relatives journals, I can't help but feel humbled. I also can't begin to say enough about any one of them and the suffering they must endure each and every day. Their writings should be mandatory reading for any drug education course in the school system, the penal system and any other type of system out there!

For anyone new to my writing, I first off, would like to welcome one and all. Secondly, I wish that all of my online writing was accessible to everyone. Currently I have approx 200 plus entries from a former site that I have yet been able to upload to this site. It had been maintained by another and for some reason, about three and a half years ago, it disappeared without warning. Miraculously, he did eventually return everything to me in the form of a .sql file which is a file I've no clue what to do with. I can open it one of the more sophisticated alternatives to notepad but that's pretty much it. Buried deep within all of the stuff that stares out from my computer monitor, I can make out my original entries. On days when I feel particularly ambitious, I've copied and pasted individual entries into this journal with the entry's original date stamp. With over 200 though, I've never quite felt that ambitious! Maybe one day soon - or maybe an idiot proof method of getting this file incorporated with this site will appear miraculously for me! Never, ever say never!

In the meantime, allow me to share one of the few original stories I managed to write while knee deep in addiction. May be a little graphic for some, but it never fails to make me suitably uneasy every time I force myself to read it, reminding me of how important my recovery and sobriety is to me and mine. This story is way too autobiographical for my liking as I seemed to spend many similar days to the one I wrote about than I cared to admit.

LIQUID LUNCHES - a short story
I like to call myself a functioning addict or a responsible junky - an oxymoron if I have ever heard one. You ask what makes me so different or special from other junkies or addicts? Well, nothing really except the amount of work involved. It is much harder to be a functioning addict. You are forced to live two very separate and distinct lives. Your public face is the only face that anyone is allowed to see. no one can be allowed entry into your private world. This you keep very well hidden from view.

No one can know that your half hour lunch is not sitting down at the nearest coffee shop consuming today’s special washed down with a couple of cups of coffee. No, instead you have quickly headed over to the local public library and have locked yourself in one of their bathroom stalls. Once you are safely behind its closed door, you carefully remove a brown eyeglasses case from your purse only you don’t have a spare pair of glasses in it. You place a strip of toilet paper across the back of the toilet bowel and gently place a spoon on it.  

You grab one white pill out of your baggy and place it in the centre of the spoon. With the end of your lighter, you carefully crush it until it is a fine white powder. Next you rip the packaging off of a new syringe and open your small bottle of sterile water, placing the tip of the syringe in it to draw up 50 units. Carefully you fill the spoon with water.

Lifting the spoon up into the air, you flick your lighter and aim the flame so that it is centered beneath the spoon. The water starts to bubble and the fine powder dissolves. Breaking some cotton off the end of one of the many q-tips you have, you drop it dead centre into the warm liquid. Quickly you suck the liquid out of the spoon into the syringe. Sit back for a second to breathe a sigh of relief. No clumsy accidents. So far, so good. Taking some more toilet paper, you wipe your spoon clean before returning it to its case. You make sure that your small bottle is properly capped and your baggy zipped up tightly. You crumple the syringe’s wrapper up tightly and place it in the case also. You will have to dispose of it later.

Enough time should have passed so that the liquid had cooled. You perch your rear at the edge of the toilet seat making sure your feet are square to the ground. Taking a look at both arms you decide which one to go for this time. The left looks as if it will yield the best results. You tap your forearm a few times and flex your hands. Carefully you remove the cap from your syringe. Taking a deep breath you stick the needle into your skin gently pulling the plunger back a fraction. A rich red floods the barrel. Bulls eye. With as steady a hand possible and a silent plea for them to remain that way, you depress the plunger at a uniform rate until all of the liquid has disappeared.

Bliss. Now not too quickly, you remove the point from your skin, firmly pressing some tissue over the bloody hole. Once the bleeding has stopped, you qrab the point of the needle with your bloodied tissue and twist it until it snaps off. Throwing both into the toilet, you flush them down the drain. You recap your now empty syringe and return it to its place in the eyeglass case. Wrap two elastics around the case and return it to your purse. You certainly can not be too careful. You want no rude surprises should you ever drop purse with contents spilling everywhere. Too big a risk to take for the functioning addict.

You gather your stuff and exit the stall, stopping to wash and dry your hands. Look for your comb to run through your hair. As everything went smoothly, you still have time to freshen your makeup. Touch of lipstick and a brush of powder and you are good to go. With one final glance back at the mirror, you open the bathroom door refreshed and satisfied by your half hour lunch break.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Grass Is Never Greener

I love my brother to death and am so excited that he’s able to come home for a quick visit thanks very much to the generosity of our Mom. He arrives home tomorrow evening and will be spending a week in Ontario before he has to return to work down east in Nova Scotia. This time though his family will be following him a week later as they all finally are able to make this permanent move. He found a nice four bedroom semi-detached house to rent which he says is pretty reasonable etc. This is a tremendous relief to him as he has spent the past year stressed out to the max drowning in an every increasing debt load with no apparent relief in sight. I guess after spending the past ten months or so trying in vain to convince his wife that they were in an incredible mess financially, she has finally accepted this most unpleasant fact. Of course, only since her father sat  her down to talk to her a week ago does she believe any of this. WTF? After listening to some of the things that my brother has recently told me, plus some of the things that she has been saying, I now strongly feel that their living well beyond their means is something much more serious than an inability to stick to a budget. She seems to have an addiction of sorts, an illness it would seem.

Besides the $200 000 mortgage that they have, she has managed to accumulate close to $150 000 in personal debt alone. How is this even possible? They’ve got three lines of credit alone that total almost $103 000, plus about a dozen or so credit cards all maxed right out to their limit. They may own more for all I know as these were the numbers that my bro quickly rattled off to me the other night while we were on the phone. I kind of have the feeling that this is but just the tip of the iceberg. This almost seems worse than a drug addiction. She obviously is incapable of practicing any sort of self control either. He says that all she ever worries about is what her friends or neighbours would think if they didn’t have this or that or whatever…

I knew that she was the type of individual that always seemed envious of what others had. She rarely seemed satisfied with her lot in life nor was she shy in letting others around her know  how she felt. I also knew how very important it was to keep up with those proverbial JONES, apparently at any cost. I knew that she was concerned with appearances but I had no clue the depth of this behaviour. I know my bro has spent the past 15 years providing for his family like few other men would be able to, and yet, she continues to find criticism in what he does.

She was the one that made him take this job out of province. She applied for this job on his behalf, sent out his resume to the company that he now works for as well as arranging his interviews, etc. Like the obedient husband he is, off he went to a strange province with no benefit of any sort of family or real support, and for the past four months  has worked and lived like a dog with nary a word of complaint. Literally every penny he makes is sent back home, and how is he rewarded? Every night, he has to listen to her sob and cry and carry on about how hard it has been since he left, how she has to do all of the housework and gets no break at all from the kids. I guess she berates him and goodness knows what else – this according to my Mom who has been told all of this directly from the horse’s mouth herself! Apparently, she says a whole lot worse stuff but I’ve not got the stomach right now for all of that garbage.

Nor do I think any of this mess has really registered with her properly as just the other day she was telling my Mom that there was no way that she would live in a rental less than $3000/month, nor would she live in anything but an immaculately maintained home – this from someone who hasn’t a clue how to even do housework! She said that she wouldn’t take anywhere that already had carpet as she didn’t want anyone else’s dirt near her. Only hard wood or laminate would do. No townhouse or apt either. Goodness gracious. Wonder how she’s going to react when she sees the $1200 beauty her husband has rented for her? And, who is she kidding? The only reason she is accepting anything right now is she has run out of time. She is literally getting out of Dodge the day before the bank seizes her home, vehicle and then shuts down all of the utilities - this will happen when you fail to pay any of these bills for months at a time!

Karma. It’s a bitch. Not saying that she deserves it this bad but she did make this mess pretty much all on her own. Again, its my bro and nieces and nephew that don’t deserve any of this and yet, they’re the ones that end up suffering over and over. It is really so very, very sad.  

Saturday, August 07, 2010


This entry is sort of a continuation of my response to Hashish Dreams and Heroin Nightmares entry Number One. She had been discussing mothers with young children who were still in the midst of active use and addiction. Even though she, herself, had once been a very heavy drug abuser, finding out she was going to have a child and then his subsequent birth had really been the impetus needed to straighten out her life. She found herself questioning how other women in similar situations were able to continue to use and abuse drugs. This particular issue is one I have very strong feelings about and the following is my response to what she had written:

I am also a recovering addict with just over four and a half years clean time under my belt so far..this time anyway...I am also a mother to two beautiful girls - no, women now - both of whom are in their twenties. Pretty simple math to see that I was indeed an active user at some point of their lives as they were growing up these past couple of decades. I make no apologies now, although I have and did many times over to reach my current space.

Personally, I managed to abstain from everything except alcohol for the first ten years as a mother. Shortly after Sara's ninth birthday I ended up opening my own business which just happened to be a small live entertainment venue - a bar where the local punk bands had a place to get their first start et al...OK? Now, for the next two years a lot of my time was spent building my business and everything that this entails. Obviously I had to socialize more than I had previously and from this, everything else seemed to follow. I know I don't need to paint a picture. This lead to my first go-round with methadone.

Spent five years completely opiate free until towards the end of 2003 when, after nine months of living my Dad's battle with cancer and radiation and chemo and then his death finally, I made the arrogant mistake of believing I would be the exception to the rule of just being able to do it one more time...

To say this was an error in judgment would have to be the understatement of last century. And from there I am now here. Those couple of years of use during their early teen years I now regret very much. At the time, I was able to rationalize with the best of them cause I never, ever disappeared, I was always there when they went to school and again upon their return. I never ever missed an opportunity to volunteer at their schools and attended every single one of their school trips/outings even when they had started high school.

But, honestly, I was probably just there in body and not really in spirit, but this topic still causes me a lot of discomfort so...I understand though, your feelings on this subject from the perspective of a new Mom cause this was one realm I simply was unable to understand - while pregnant and especially during your baby's formative years, you really can't be both an addict and a mother. Make a choice. Choose one. Stick with it. Don't be so bloody selfish that by your actions you end up creating one more victim of this disease that the world does not need, nor does this innocent deserve.

Please, understand me, I was not at all suggesting that you would happen to fall into this category either. I get we both are very much on the same page regarding this issue. If interested, I ranted about this very topic over a year and a half ago but in much greater detail.




Please, excuse my very long post. I apologize for carrying on as long as I did and I thank you in advance for allowing me to do this.

peace, love and happiness...

This particular issue has driven me to distraction for an eternity...I remember a couple of years ago while having  a conversation with a friend she happened to ask me if I  had ever hit in front of the girls. Boy, I have to admit that this question really took me aback as I’d been having 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 accommodating 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 preschoolers. 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 addiction 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'll stop this entry here as its quite long, and I'd honestly be rather shocked if anyone has even managed to get this far!!! Cheers.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


OK…Need to count to ten before I continue. Should know better and yet…Just lost the entry I’d been working on for the past half an hour cause one of my husband’s computers is retarded. Actually its not so much the computer, as it is the bloody, stupid mouse he uses. GRRRR…He can’t use a normal mouse like the rest of the planet, no, he has to use one of those stupid and challenging ones with a scroll ball attached. And, yes, of course, its the mouse’s problem and not the operator! Duh.

OK. What I had been attempting to write about prior to my being rudely interrupted and sabotaged had been the announcement of us having actually gone to the cinema today to see a movie, something we’ve not done for a number of years now. My Mom, Jim and I decided to take a couple hours break from trying to shop in yesterday’s oppressive humidity by taking a bit of an air conditioned cinema break. We decided on seeing INCEPTION. It did not fail to entertain. It was everything that the critics have been going on about these past couple of weeks – almost. Just a small, a minor one really, complaint regarding the unneccesary length of the two main action sequences of the film. That’s all I’m going to say about that cause anyone intend on seeing the film while its in the theaters really should try to go as spoiler free as possible, and to say much more now would just be cruel and unfair.

One thing I can mention about the film, or more specifically the particular copy that the cinema got, is that about two thirds of the way through it…KABOOM…screen goes completely black while dialog continues on for an additional three or four minutes until nothing. Apparently there were some technical difficulties involved. We actually didn’t mind this little bit of an interruption as we took this opportunity to slip out for a quick smoke and bathroom break. Plus, for our troubles, we all received coupons to see our next movie free of charge. Sweet.

All in all, I ended up having a most surprising and pleasant day. Absolutely love these unexpected moments, and have now learned to truly treasure and enjoy each and every one that comes along.

peace, love and happiness…

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Don't Drag Me Down

Talked to my brother for the first time in over three months. It was so sweet to finally get to talk to him. He’s finally got a phone so he’s now able to keep in touch with his family in Ontario while he slaves away all by his lonesome in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He had to move out there at the end of March for work as he had been unable to successfully find anything suitable here. Last August, after having worked at the same company for over 21 years, he found himself without employment when his employer went bankrupt. No owed vacation pay, no severance pay and now, apparently, none of the monies he’d been contributing for his retirement for the past two decades! For this last one, his former employer is now under investigation for having used his employees benefits illegally for other stuff that he shouldn’t have. Imagine that!!!

My brother has been finding it pretty rough all by himself, and I certainly don’t blame him. He had to leave a wife and four kids behind. They’ll be here until his house manages to sell as they can’t afford to join him until and unless it does, and unfortunately, right now it doesn’t look good at all for them. First off, they paid way too much for it when they bought it five years ago, and even though he has made more than $100 000/year for close to a decade now – plus his wife also works – they don’t have so much as a bean saved up between the two of them. Never mind the fact that neither one of them bothered to put some money away for a rainy day, they’ve also managed to max out four or five credit cards, have a line of credit with the bank which is outstanding, as well as a car payment that all had been a challenge to meet financially while gainfully employed. So now, things are looking bleak indeed for them.

I really feel badly for my brother and the little ones cause they’re all more or less victims in this situation. They have all been at the mercy of my sister-in-laws neverending nor never satisfied quest of keeping up with the Jones. She is incapable of being thankful for what she has right in front of her and has spent the last fifteen years constantly criticizing one thing or another. Its so tempting to remind her how absolutely and utterly terrible she treated me back in 1999 when I found myself in a bit of financial trouble. The names she called would make your toes curl, and at times, I’d love to throw all of this back in her face, but to what end? I know I wouldn’t end up feeling any better, in fact, I’m guessing I’d feel worse. Won’t accomplish anything either. Just knowing I could do this is powerful enough for me – plus, she has finally shown her true colours to my mother after years of subterfuge that I even have someone to talk to about her ridiculous behaviour and treatment of others!!!

If you’re interested at all you can get some background if you start HERE, then read THIS next and finally take a look at this ONE. This should give you a better understanidng of what I am ranting about at the moment, plus saves me a boatload of typing especially cuz I suck at typing!

Live Fast, Die Pretty

Another young sole lost forever, gone too soon due to a drug overdose. The newest victim in the city where I live was a teenage male barely sixteen years young. Although, the official autopsy report has not yet been completed, the local media is reporting that his death was caused by snorting powdered methadone. So say many of the deceased’s family and friends, including his mother and her boyfriend and many who attended the same party as the teen. Obviously, I feel for his loved ones loss. A tragedy of epic poportions that should never, ever have even happened, but it did…nothing can change this fact.

My daughter and I ended up getting into a bit of a fight over the whole ordeal too. She was too emotional that she wasn't quite prepared to actually listen to what I was trying to say. I told her that while I empathized - one of her best friends was close to the family and had to attend the funeral - I also said that good kids do not do some of the things that he had done, and good kids don't end up overdosing. When she heard this, she lost all sense of reason and nothing after that could even begin to help my position. Whatever...Unfortunately, no matter how hard it may be to hear this, it is true, very true.

Good kids do not get suspended three times while in Grade Eight nor do they get expelled from their first year of high school, expecially if they're attending the most liberal and lenient school in the district - believe me, same school my girls attended and the school and I butted heads numerous times over their laissez faire attitude towards their students and their behaviour. Good kids do not go to parties prepared to snort up whatever pile happens to be put in front of them. Good kids...I could go on but I'd like to think that my point has been made and understood.

I think as parents we want to believe that our children are good kids and because of this, end up excusing behaviour we probably shouldn't. It's a terrible way to learn a lesson, but maybe we can all take something away from this tragedy and turn it around. Maybe we need to police our teenagers much more strictly than we do currently. Maybe they'll hate us for this but maybe they'll thank us for saving their lives.

Teenager's Death Sounds Alarms
In most ways, he was just a normal teenager.

He got into a bit of trouble, but he was smart and loved, say the friends and family of **** ********, 16.

He called himself "Lightning," after the Disney Cars character Lightning McQueen, and his sense of humour never failed to light up the room.

Now ********'s light is extinguished, and his friend lucky to be alive, apparently after an experiment with a drug that has appeared suddenly on London streets, a drug far more lethal than many think.

Friends and family say ******** snorted a lethal line of methadone, and drug outreach workers have confirmed a supply of the dangerous powder has hit the streets.

"It is exceedingly lethal if you don't know what you are doing," said Henry Eastabrook, an outreach worker with the London InterCommunity Health Centre. "Word is, powdered methadone is on the street right now."

Perhaps because it is used by heroin and OxyContin addicts to kick their habits, methadone is seen as less dangerous than other drugs.

"I wouldn't think the average teenager is aware of how dangerous it is," said Dr. John Craven of Clinic 528, which uses methadone to help opioid addicts.

"Methadone is extremely dangerous, especially if you have never taken it before. It is far more dangerous than OxyContin."

******** died at a party he attended July 12.

According to several of his friends, one boy brought the lethal drug in a powdered form to the party. ******** and another boy snorted more than the others. All the kids started to feel sick and fell asleep - some of the symptoms of methadone overdose. When the other boys woke up, ******** was dead. The other boy who had snorted more than the rest was unconscious.

That boy ended up in hospital, on life support, but has since been discharged.

It's not clear if the boys knew exactly what they were snorting, and that kind of experimental approach by London's youth is alarming police and addiction workers.

"It used to be pot, magic mushrooms and acid," said Const. Carl Noel, a secondary school resource officer. "Now, there seems to be a popularity of illegal prescription medication, like OxyContin or Percocets. I don't think they understand the severity of taking those drugs. I think the stuff is available, someone says it's awesome and they try it."

Methadone had no business being in the hands of a 16-year-old boy in the first place, said ********'s grieving mother, ******** ********.

"How did kids get powdered methadone? Something needs to be done to stop this stuff from getting into the hands of kids," she said, tears streaming down her face as she spoke in her south London home this week.

"Kids experiment. But this methadone is very lethal, and 16-year-old kids don't know that."

Asked about an investigation into ********'s death, London police said the matter is in the hands of the coroner's office. Regional coroner Dr. Rick Mann would not comment.

Family members said Mann told them the cause of death won't be known for sure until toxicology tests are complete in several weeks.

But the family is convinced ******** snorted methadone and believe a crime has been committed.

"Someone got their hands on someone else's prescription and it leaked out and now my son is dead," ******** said.

Powdered methadone is so tightly controlled, pharmacists wondered aloud how it could have reached the streets.

"It comes hand-delivered to us," said one pharmacist.

Every bit must be accounted for, she said, adding there have been no thefts from her pharmacy.

"It is a very controlled drug," said London pharmacist Suresh Kommineni, adding there have been no thefts from his pharmacy.

Methadone is prescribed for pain relief or to help people get off other drugs.

It is dispensed in two forms - tablets provided by drug companies, which can be taken home, and the powder, which pharmacists mix into a liquid.

Methadone clinics provide the liquid form. Most people drink on site, but some are allowed to take the liquid home.

Some people sell the liquid for other drugs. But the liquid can't be boiled into powder and the tablets aren't much good ground down either, said pharmacists and addiction workers.

"If someone has methadone powder, it is either stolen or diverted from a doctor's office or pharmacy," Craven said.

Any form is dangerous, he hastened to add.

********'s boyfriend **** ******** said methadone users must be aware that the drug that helps them can kill another.

"To leave this around, you might as well have a loaded handgun on the table," said ********.

Many of ********'s family and friends used Facebook to discuss the need to educate others about the dangers of methadone.

"This is also for the kids that never got the privilege to know ****, to look up the dangers of methadone, and what it can do to you," said Londoner Steph Lefave in an e-mail interview.

"Spread the word. Everyone has their own **** ********. We lost ours. Hold onto yours. Protect yours."

Intelligent, Funny Teen Will Be Missed
The next time you see a bolt of lightning, remember **** *******.

That's what many across the city - and particularly in Old South - will do as they cling to memories of the 16-year-old boy who sometimes jokingly called himself Lightning ******** and who died suddenly last week after a night of partying.

The teen's parents wait for police or a coroner to confirm what they know - that their son died after snorting a powdered, prescription drug, methadone.

In the days after his drug overdose, nearly 1,000 people joined a Facebook page set up in ****'s memory, filling it with memories and general warnings against snorting methadone.

He didn't know it was methadone, said several friends. Someone brought it to the party. He thought it was crystal meth, say some. He thought it was Percocet, say others.

It doesn't matter, they insist. All that matters is **** is gone.

On the page, one friend recalled ****'s devastation on seeing a dog hit by a passing car, and recalled him sitting with the dog until its owner came looking for it.

Others wondered if he was responsible for the bolts of lightning seen over London since his death.

"He loved lightning," said his mom, Colleen Morton. "Called himself Lightning ********. He loved purple, he loved camping, smores. He was a clean freak."

Clinging to whatever she can remember, Morton said she still has an old Mother's Day card he gave her as a boy. It was filled with promises, and all of them involved cleaning.

"I don't remember him crying, ever," she said. "Does that make me a bad mom? I don't know, I guess it does."

She hasn't stopped crying during a two hour interview.

**** was smart. In and out of trouble since he was young, he won the Grade 8 math award at Princess Elizabeth public school, despite three suspensions that year.

He went to South secondary school for Grade 9, but ended up suspended and at the school board's U-Turn alternative education program before starting fresh at H.B. Beal last year. Within a few weeks, despite absences, he was excelling in academic math, she said.

"He could have been anything. A doctor, a lawyer, an astronaut. ... He could have invented things. I don't know, maybe this was his purpose in life," said Morton.

**** was closest with his dad, **** ********. The elder ******** told The Free Press he wanted to talk about his son, but wasn't ready yet.

"His dad's not doing so well whatsoever," said his on-and-off girlfriend of four years, **** ****.

**** still had ****'s skateboard this week. He rode it over to her house the last time they hung out.

"He was good at skateboarding. He was really gifted at a lot of things," she said. "Literally, he was the strongest, most positive person I knew and he did get suspended and stuff, but really he was polite and very respectful and he was just an amazing guy.

"Everybody loved him," she said, laughing for an instant as she recalled their first meeting. They were with a group of friends, going to watch Shrek 2 at the theatre.

"Right away, he started telling jokes. That's who he was," she said. "He'd tell you a joke, or do anything to make you smile in some way, and then you would just love him."

There is a lot of pain and guilt among those who love ****. Many contacted through Facebook wouldn't comment, afraid whoever brought the methadone to the party is racked with guilt.

Nobody wants to blame anybody for ****'s death. Boys said to be his closest friends didn't want to talk, but others did.

"Man that kid could make me laugh," said Steph Lefave, 22, in a Facebook conversation. "Although I did not have the privilege of knowing **** as long as I would have liked, I will tell you ... he did not judge. He did not boast, he didn't hold grudges."

His mom is gutted by regret.

"I regret letting him go to his friends so much on the weekends, thinking I had the rest of his life.

"I never pushed those issues. I wanted to let him be a teenager. Maybe if I had put a tighter chain on him."

She clings to the memory of their final conversation.

"He always said 'I love you' and I know my last words to him were 'I love you,' and his were 'I love you, mom.' "

The family is planning a public memorial party for **** next Wednesday night at Rouge nightclub.