Court Dates…Thoughts

2017-11-09 21.45.37I got home from an 8 hour shift at work this afternoon to be greeted by 3 – THREE ! – fat envelopes in my mail from my attorney.  Fuck.

One was the discovery from my last run in and lock up incident in Portland.  The second…was about a hearing on a motion to terminate deferral and impose sentence because of my being arrested was in violation of my bail conditions, or conditions of release (VCR).  Fuck.

I’m scared of course.  I don’t like the idea of going to jail.  I fully understand that I violated the conditions of my release from the charge from 2016, and by doing so I put myself in this position – where they can choose to impose my 1 year jail sentence and lock my ass up.  I am not sure if they will actually try to send me up for the full year, or if they will want me to do a 7 day “hold” – of which I have already done 3 days – or what will happen.  I have a terrific attorney, who is especially skilled in drug charge cases, and I am going to give her a call tomorrow and see what she thinks she can get them to agree to.

I’ve been going to Groups now – which qualifies as treatment as required by the conditions of release – since last March.  Prior to that I did individual therapy and got myself clean, kicking the habit back in October 2016.  I have been having regular urinalysis tests done every week, which prove that I am clean.  So, I have to gather documentation of those things, plus a letter from my employer, as well as from a couple of other people like my HIV case worker and probably someone else who knows me personally that will write me a letter of support.  I am hoping that by showing those things to the judge; showing him/her that I have been clean and sober and am doing what I am supposed to be doing that I can get a favorable decision to let me continue being out on bail conditions.

Then there’s the new charge.  Fuck.  I am so angry with myself for ever getting it; for ever even thinking that I could get high just once and it would be alright.  Those thoughts and my acting on them are what put me in this very dangerous position now.  I am really not sure what the punishment will be, seeing that this is a second offense 13 months after the 1st offense.  I can only show them what I am doing, and hope that they will give me probation for this charge.  Meaning that I will have to continue treatment (which I intend to do regardless of all of this) and that I will have to report to a probation officer on a regular basis.

None of this is fun.  I regret my mistake very much.  And I am aware of the “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time” aspect of this.  Of course I do not want to go to jail, but I do know that there is a chance that that is what will happen.  I most likely wouldn’t do a whole year, but I could do 9 months with good behavior.  That would seriously suck.  It would literally ruin my life at this point.  I would lose everything I have worked so fucking hard to put into my life.  I would probably lose my home, my job, my vehicle, the trust of my family, friends, and more.  I would be separated from my dogs.  THAT would really, really get to me bad.

I’m not sure what else I can do to show the courts that I am seriously better off not being jailed.  That I am a productive and upstanding citizen who is contributing to my community.  Locking me up would only serve to punish me, cost the taxpayers, and cause losses to the local economy and community.  It would be senseless, but I KNOW it is the law and is a decided possibility.  No matter how good I am, I broke the law – twice.  And now I am in trouble and will have to pay for my fuck ups in some way that will satisfy the state.

I am currently free on $1000. bail.  That may work in my favor.  And I served 3 days; which also will work in my favor, so I can only hope the judge is in a mood to consider my position on the day of my court appearance.  If not, I will be spending Thanksgiving and most likely Christmas, my birthday and 8 months of 2018 in jail.  Fuck.

I feel a bit like a failure, but I am trying not to be overly hard on myself.  I know that recovery is a process, and that relapses do happen sometimes.  Nevertheless, I am very ashamed that I let myself get caught up in this again.  I have learned a pretty valuable lesson, and I won’t ever touch anything illegal again.  Nope, I’m too old for this bullshit and too old to be doing jail time with mostly kids half my age.  Those 3 days I was literally the oldest person in the group that was in there with me.  I don’t want my life to be like that; threatened by jail time and legal issues.  It’s not what I signed up for, and I will do everything in my power to repair this fuck up and move on with a good, clean living kind of life.

My bestie and I haven’t been hanging out much since the “incident”….I think she’s kind of fallen off her wagon and she’s staying away because of it.  That is really the only reason she wouldn’t come around more.  We have talked a bit on the phone, but not as much as usual and there have been days that have gone by with no word from her for a few in a row — very unlike her.  I can’t risk my own sobriety though.  So if she is using again I don’t want to be part of it; see it or be near it, so she’s best to stay away.

Drugs can really fuck up life.  I wish I had never started dabbling in them as a teenager.  My brain wasn’t fully formed and I developed an addictive disorder.  So for the rest of my life I’ll deal with it.  I’ve been dealing with it for what feels like eternity already.  At least I can recognize it and understand that I have a problem.  And I know all the “right” things to do, I just have to stay completely on the defensive and very focused on staying clean.  I can do it; it may not always be fun, but I can do it.

I’ve always been very honest in my blog.  That’s why I am even writing about this hear.  Plus, it’s what is going on in my life right now and since I’ve written a couple of blogs about it previously I felt I should let you, my readers, know how this situation is progressing.

Everything else has been going very good.  I’ve been spending time with my mother, trying to assure her that I am going in the right direction with things.  I’ve been working steadily, 5 days a week now, and going in at the crack ass of dawn every morning.  I still have my weekends to myself, and have been getting alot done around the homestead.  Things are ready for winter, now it’s just got to get cold here – it’s still unreasonably warm temperature wise.

I put 2 new tires on the truck, fixed the shot headlight and got it all ready for the annual state inspection due this month.  I also got the 4 wheel drive fixed (I may have mentioned that previously) and it’s running great.  So it should get me through the winter much better this year.  All I have left to do on it is an alignment, which I have an appointment to get done next Wednesday afternoon – if things go as planned.

I’ve been checking out the thrift shops and cruising around the back roads of Maine and New Hampshire checking out the fall colors and that’s been a lot of fun and very relaxing.  I’ve done it mostly by myself, with my dogs of course, and the solitude of driving around on a beautiful sunny fall day is so quieting to my soul.

So, that’s my life this week folks.  I’m just hanging in there and trying to keep it all together.  I hope you all are doing well.

Peace.  ~MB

2017-11-07 05.30.34

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Ten Months…

Today I had my Groups: Recover Together meeting.  It’s basically weekly group therapy for opioid addicts trying to get clean, and in recovery.  I have been going to Groups now for over 6 months, and today got my 6 month token.  Its’ just a little pocket coin to fiddle with and remind yourself that you are in recovery and yes, you can do this!

2017-09-13 19.46.10I’m pretty proud that I have managed to kick my opioid addiction and stay clean for almost 10 months now.  Oct. 28th will be my 1 year anniversary.  It hasn’t been easy, I’ve had some really tough days and brutal nights.  I am currently in the Suboxone program. Suboxone is a drug used to curb the cravings and block the effect of opioids.  Basically, as long as I take my daily sublingual strips, which are paper strip that I put under my tongue and let dissolve for 7 minutes without swallowing — yeah, TRY to go 7 whole minutes without swallowing, it’s a real trick!  Anyway, as long as I take those I don’t have the hellish cravings for the drug, and even if I did do any dope it would be “blocked” by the Naloxone in the Suboxone strip.  Rendering doing it absolutely useless…I wouldn’t get high, so why bother?  It’s a phychological thing as well as a physical thing I believe.

Going to the weekly group meeting, where I am in a room with 8-10 other addicts all in the same boat, and all doing the same basic thing – trying to eliminate addiction from their lives.  We have developed a pretty tightly knit group at this point.  We’ve come to hold one another’s feet to the fire.  When you arrive at the office for the meeting you have to take a piss test, and they test it on the spot for any drugs.  It’s a 6 way test.  As long as you don’t test for any drugs except for the Suboxone (buprenorphine) you are good to go.  You go into the group meeting and when you are finished you pick up your weekly prescription from the coordinator on the way out.  You can test positive for marijuana also, it’s legal here so they don’t dock you for having it in your system.  Plus, many of us use it for pain relief, which is why many of us started using the opioid drugs to begin with.  Marijuana isn’t considered to be a problem in this program, and I don’t believe it’s a problem drug if used smartly.  If you test positive for any other drug you are pulled aside and have to meet with the counsellor before you can pick up your script.  You have to explain why you are positive and generally they will give you a break and a chance to continue.  If you habitually test positive, or have a “dirty” or “hot” result you can be tossed out of the program.  And no one wants that!  Going to these meetings in order to get your prescription, being tested weekly, and bein accountable has become pretty damned important to me.  I need the Subs, so I follow the program and it’s kept me on track very well.

The opioid crisis is a nationwide crisis affecting all communities regardless of age, race, gender, religion, social status, or wealth.  It doesn’t discriminate.  I know many very prominent people in my community that hide secret addictions to these powerful drugs such as Percocet, oxycodone, Vicodin, Heroin and Fentanyl.  Once the drug gets you hooked you are in a fight for your life.  Too many times I have seen that fight end in death.  I didn’t want to be another one of those statistics.  Maine has an unusually high number of addicts, and a very high over-dose rate.  It’s a rural state, and for some reason has become a very big state for the trafficking of these potent drugs.

Tonight on ABC television here in the US there is a show that’s going to be on that’s called “State of Addiction” which will talk all about the epidemic we are facing here.  I plan to watch it and have encouraged my family and loved ones to do the same.  I can tell them things, but I think that hearing them from people who combat this every day will be even better for them to understand.  I am very lucky to have a very good support network of family, friends and a very supportive and loving girlfriend.  Without them I don’t think I would have made it back to sobriety….I thank every single one of them, and especially my dear Mother who I put through hell and back with worry and angst.  I’m sorry for all of it, but an addict doesn’t see those things or the way they are affecting people around them when they are actively using.  It’s not til one gets clean that we can look back and realize the damage we have done, and just hope and try to fix it somehow.

Peace.  ~MB

 

The Truth Hurts Sometimes

I’ve met more than one woman in my life journey that could not handle all of the technicalities of being with me.  I admit, I am not easy to process.  I have a bit of a troubled history.  Don’t read me wrong, I’m a good person with some high morals and ethics, but I’ve taken some forks in the proverbial road of life that others have managed to avoid.  I’ve had issues with drugs and addiction.  That’s probably the one thing that I’ve struggled with most in my entire life.  When I was young I sought out a safety net for myself and found it substance abuse and the people involved with it.  I wised up in my late 20’s and got clean and sober for many years.  I did the typical “mid-life crisis” shit in my mid 40’s and backslid a bit.

I strive to keep that stuff out of my life now.  I stay away from the “friends” that I have that are involved in that world now.  That’s a big part of how I am staying clean and following the good road now.  I tend to let myself be influenced by them if I hang around them, so now I avoid them and I avoid the whole drug scene.

It’s really hard to meet women as you get older.  Being single isn’t easy in your 50’s, believe me.  But add a history of drug addiction to the menu and it becomes even more difficult.  I completely understand that some people do not understand me or understand addictions.  That is just the way that it is.  When I begin to show interest in anyone I make sure that they know 3 things about me right up front – why?  Because I would rather they walk away sooner rather than after I become attached to them – or God forbid, fall in love with them.  what are my 3 things?  1.  I am Butch and that will never change.  2.  I live with HIV infection, which is under control but it’s a fact of life for me….which leads me to #3…I am a recovering drug addict.

Those 3 facts put me into a whole new space with people.  Either they are able to handle it, and give me a chance, or they are not, which is completely okay.  I get it.  Those are 3 major pieces of who I am.  I can’t hide them very well.   And I don’t want to pretend that I can.  Those 3 things are only a small fraction of what I am made of, but they are important if you are going to be involved with me – or even be a friend to me.  It’s important that you understand that I struggle with all 3 on a daily basis.  That doesn’t mean that I am unhappy – quite to the contrary, I am very happy in general.  But I am well aware that these 3 things make me “different” than the typical 55 year old lesbian with 2 dogs and a college degree.  I bring a whole different scene to the table.

I have lived with my addiction and my HIV for many years.  One lead to the other obviously.  Yes, I was an IV drug user and this is how I contracted the virus.  I’ve been clean for many years, fell off the wagon and got back on a few times.  So what is involved for me is knowing what triggers me to fall off and avoiding it altogether.  I’ve gotten pretty good at that, and I am proud to say that living clean and right is what I strive to do every day now.

It’s not easy being with someone who has addiction in their history, and it’s even harder when you add HIV.   I know the precautions to protect my partner from HIV but there is no protection from addiction.  No guarantee that I won’t relapse again, except for my sheer determination to stay on the straight path.  I don’t know how to reassure someone that I will stay on this path.  I guess they either have to believe me, or not.  There is no magic bullet or cure – for either condition.

I don’t want to pursue anything beyond a basic friendship with anyone who can’t deal with the baggage that I carry.  I know everyone has their struggle in life and their burdens to bear, mine are just a little more difficult for some people to understand, and that’s perfectly fine.  There are zillions of other people out there to be involved with, I am just one.

I have been fortunate to have been involved over the years, with women who gave me the benefit of doubt; who trusted me and tried to understand my complications.  I’ve sincerely appreciated them.  I’ve been lucky.

Right now I am trying to deal with quite a full plate of issues in my personal life.  I’ve avoided bringing anyone else into my life for this reason.  But I so want someone special in my life on a regular basis.  I would like to let down that wall that keeps me by myself.  I’ve punished myself for the past 2 yeas now and I’m sick and tired of it.  I’ve seen people who say they care disappear more than once.  I built a wall around myself, insulated myself from hurt and despair.  But it’s not a happy place all the time.  I want to learn to trust again, and to love again.

I’m a good person, I am strong, sensitive and caring.  I deserve to find someone good who can deal with life with me and who won’t be afraid of my past.  Someone who sees me for who I am now and not who I once pretended to be.  But how can anyone believe in someone who has such a history?  I don’t know if it can be done, which is exactly what I fear the most.  (although my ex did it for almost 14 years and never let it sway how she felt about me…so perhaps it could be possible again.)  I long for a good strong relationship that will endure.  Something beyond “just friends” –dammit, I want to be loved and understood.  Maybe it’s just too much to ask for at this point.

Ok, let me close this up before my mind explodes.  I am trying so hard to just be cheerful for the holiday season, and to keep on keeping on.  But tonight I was reminded of my flaws (see above) and it stung hard.  I am hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst – as always it seems.  Sometimes the truth just hurts.  There’s no way around it.

Peace.  ~MB

An Addict’s Disclosure

I got up this morning to get ready for my daily hospital visit and Jamie Ray’s post A boy and her dog was just stuck in my head. He wrote about losing his friend Ryan to a heroin overdose recently.  I didn’t know Ryan, and sadly now I never will.  I don’t know a little about the struggles that were his to bare; those struggles where using made it all better for a while.  But I do know first hand the attempt to make that happen.  Drug addiction is no stranger to me.  I battle it whenever I’m down and that little voice deep in my head says “I know what will make it better for a little while…” Fuck that little voice, it just drives me insane sometimes. Sometimes even there is no reasoning with it.

We don’t talk about some things out loud. There is a heroin epidemic in this country, it’s rampant and is just getting worse. We’re losing wonderful people over this, not just your street users as everyone pictures, but we’re losing kids in high school,  teachers, lawyers, Prince even!   (fentanal is what most heroin is cut with so the dealer can make more money, and it’s 100’s of times stronger than the heroin itself).

It’s a fairly easy drug to be stealth about.  You can snort it which leaves no trace that your doing it – except for the inquisitive person who wants to know how you get your pupils so small.  And you can shoot – or inject it.  This poses a slight problem of keeping your injection sites out of sight but believe me when you want it badly enough you know all the tricks.

Our government has this thing they cal the War on Drugs, started in the 80’s by Reagan.  I think it’s a farce. If we took the money we spend doing that and opened some quality rehabilitation and recovery programs  – both medical and non-medical (let that be up to the individual seeking treatment and recovery).   One can kick this aweful habit.  I did it back in 1992 and stayed clean for many years, but then I slipped up and started to back slide into it again.  Yeah, I admit it I am not perfect, I have this demon that haunts me to hell and back. How can such a small amount of a powdery substance get ahold of a person like this shit does?  It baffles me. I’ve been fighting like crazy not to give in to my cravings.  I’m doing pretty good, trying to keep myself upbeat and positive and away from anything to do with it.  Problem is that it seems to be everywhere up here in the coastal area. I wish it was eradicated from the earth.

I know my triggers, and am constantly working on staying clean.  I have a good amount of familial support, as well as friends who have been there that I can talk to when I have to. My doctors are pushing me to go to the rehab program and medically maintain my cravings with a drug called Methadone. It blocks the pleasure receptors that the heroin attaches to and keeps the cravings away.  I, as block headed as I am, have thus far refrained.  Seems like I would be swapping one drug for another in a way.  Plus I heard that the Methadone can be addictive too. I don’t know what’s best yet.  I’m clean now, and putting all I have into keeping it that way.  I’m just afraid of slipping again, and I don’t’ want that kind of life.  And I don’t want to repeat the cycle of using/clean/using….it’s like a roller coaster and this Butch is OFF. Plus, I don’t want to die from it for sure.

I haven’t previously written about any of this because I have a good healthy amount of shame about it.  I never wanted this to be part of my life.  I didn’t get born and say “hey I’m going to be a junkie!”  No, these things seem to happen through the course of  life events and moments of weakness,experimentation or curiousity, and sometimes even peer pressure.

So.  Now you know a shameful secret I have kept for many years.  I feel that until I said it out loud here that it was just going to eat me up inside.  This is part of my recovery, coming clean with what’s going on and has gone on.