Saturday, December 5, 2009

its true

its true its been a while, too long. I looked up this blog the other night with a client at work. i guess the bain of my exsistence with writting is that i do it, i love it and then i dont think its good enough. With work i guess i went threw a patch where to write about it was too much, the burn out the rested onmy shoulders only gave me more pain when i sat at 4am trying to hash out the night. it ceased to help and only furthered my thoughts about working there, only fuirthered my insomnia, only clouded my dreams more. The other night i dreamt i found a new amazing apartment, vast and with high ceiling, it was full of antiques and felt lived in a nd cozy, just withint the living room i glaced to a long bright hallway, attached to my new apartment was the injection room of the safe injection site. There it was, trickling over amoangst the boxes i wsh to unpack wihere my clients, picking htrew stuff and wanting my attention. i found refuge in a hole inthe wall, a latch door opened to someone elses house in the ceilig, it opened right up to the middle of a dounut shaped couch. The attic dwelling was full of prostitutes and drug dealers. I ended up having breakfast with them. Thus is life right. Ha. SInce the last whilem ihave taken a few time outs from work. I have shed some sweat blood and defiuantly tears for that place. I worked threw watching someone become homelss and take a turn for the worse, and yes it can get way worse from just living there to not having a home. My client started to give up onhimslef completly, having to walk away at the end of the night, him crouched down having a smoke, shameful fro yellignat us, embarresed for his situation, mad at the world, hopeless. I went threw the motions of not being able to find any help, emialsmapt , no house, no dice. Finally he goty housubng threw our hotels and now ive watched him coime back tohimself, with shreds of intigirty , the bareminum of confidence withknowing that your shoes wont get stolen when yoyu go to sleep. I have had lots of ods. one that stands out to me. one that got me someome where and may deserve more writting at soem points. I went away, i fell in love, i had my first boxing match, i swore that iwoukd stop working nights, i promised to look for more work. i still show up and feel that something within me is attached to that place, those people, the moments that strike me as being so raw and precious that i rarely experience anwhere else. Am i willing to trade that in for a day life. i dont know. im trying to just do that foot work and stay out of the results. im trying to take care of myself so that i can be the best that i can to the people i love. All the while look forward. The other night i found a 3 month chip from AA at the nurses stattion in the injection room. Oneof the nurses was like " whats that? a chocolate coin?" inside i say to myself..that my dear is the only thing that seperates me from the people that walk threw my door. I picked it up and put it in my pocket. Maybe i wont forget for another day.

My girl, the one that gave me my 6 year coin is back in ..she sounds so here for more time..maybe this is the time..because one of the times, if there will be a time , has to be a why no this time. make sense?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009


This was a super cool event, held in the alley behind the carnigie . Alot of the local services in the DTES had booths and tables will info about what they do. My work had one were we hadned out supplies and talked to people about harm reduction and work ectect.. There was food and smoothies and massages. Tons of shit. This type of stuff totally seals the deal baout what type of work i like. So badley need to be on the front lines, in a job that offers me freedom and independance. In the last month ive been looking into other options, well just with one place. The treatment center i went to in 2003. They have a vacouver branch, i had an interveiw and it went well, the position is good, i mean its a "good job". but the more i thought about being in an office and worse being confinred to one boss, or even way worse i dont know if i coul handle dealing with a different demegraphic after working in the ghetto. I get that service to people is service no matter who they are and hwat ecomnic situation they live in, but after walking threw the bottom of the bottom i dont know how many cup cake problems i could deal with. Anyway i decded to stay were iam and see what happens. My bosses offered and set me up with taking this bearvement training course. Super interesting, basically we are learning how be more equipped to deal with people who are going threw immense amount of trauma and greif, which would be all the couple hundred people i come into contact with during a work shift. Am hopeful that maybe it will help me deal with my own greif, wether thats just the greif of watching human suffering ectect or past greif in my life. iam working at the 3rd floor again tonight..there is alot of time here, time that im pracitcing my typing and blogging before the sun comes up and i go off on some crazy tangent about seagulls..luckly this time i have sunglasses and a ride home..

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

how cool is this?

so resourceful, one of my clients found this bar and Styrofoam on the beach, cut it and created a xylophone. this guy is soooo super amazing at guitar and harmonica, can sing and basically play any instrument.i love how things dont go to waste down here..

spelling mistakes

i realize this computer at work in the staff room doeant have auto spell check- therefore i predict massive spelling mistakes, but hey who cares, no one reads this really. I had a really self centered thought the other day that maybe i would delete this blog. For a few reasons, i always want a space to write and then i want to share it, then i give people my blog address then i get self conscince of qhat im writtng and wish to be anoymous. The reality is most people i gave this address to dont read it, life right people get busy whatever...i should know this. Also i started thinking just about my work, and maybe i wasnt being secret enough, like maybe what i write may reflect badely from an opion i have ectect. Like would my co-workers feel like it wasnt acurate blah blah, this is the garabge that cycled through my head. But i guess after taking a week off from writting i feel like its fine, i feel like my opion is honest and generally in the best ibntrest of my work and the people i serve, authentically so whatever. Plus who the fuck is going to know or care enough about what "iam" writting. seriously right?

so yes i took that week off, and rightfully so. My week was full of madness..seriously...sober madness..diffferent madness from this place..whatver life is madness. So last week..pms like a fucking freight train..equals zero copping skills...had a moment were my roomate asked what was wrong...a million fbombs went off..i took the night off work and did some errrands that were piling up on me. Real awesome, my new roomate also works for us and could take my shift..super bonus, asiodes from the fact that sometmes he is my spitual hero. So helpful it really blows my mind, he reallt actually thinks of his actions say that. So that..also we got a, let me just say note to self;

**** when adopting a cat from a stranger..DONT get an un-nuterted male DO- make sure it has had its shots DONT - put it in a house full of other animals***

the result was a week full of cat piss, it pissed on the walls, on michelles couch, on my couch, on breannas back pack, on her other backpack, on her pillow, onmy computer chair, on michelles boots, on my bag of work clothes, on the table cloths, in the bathrioon, in the bathtub could add infinitum...ectect

right so there was that, we borrowed a blacklight and spent a few evening cracking out with it looking for spray..ive never experienced anythig like that. Thank god for johan..who found a place to get it nutred, got a special littler box and kept him in his room and slowely we reintroduced him back to society. Fail, right..? we have been treating him like he has been in active addiction and now back from detox we are loving him till he loves himself. I named him chaos and he is quite charming this week...i dont think hes peed on anything but again ive had the swineflu or somethnglike it cv\\and cant maybe im just naive..

thats that...falling in and out and back in love..a whole completly different story..a story that my mind barely wraps around, a story that confuses me enough to just set asode(as much as i can) to just focus on whats right in front of is so much easier when what i deal with is looking me righ tback in the eyes..sometimes i can do it other times im lost in a sea of my toughts..tonight was a bitlike that..i guess thats whythis post has primary been about me and not whats up with work...i will get into that when i gethome..helped faciatate a documentary that was filmed here about work and johann.. that went well but perhaps i will write later..

its the eve of check night and the IR is quite..i feel better aboutmy mini rant..hmmm write as if no one is readng,,that needs to be my moto..because really maybe no one is and if they are..well its just my reality..

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009


just finsihing my break and trying to write before the weekend hits..its my friday and i have a friend coming up this weekend and im easiely distracted. My life is soooooo full, i can barelt manage all the great things in my life. For real my biggest problem is staying on top of all the stuff that is going on..95% of it good stuff. I actually can say in this moment that i really feel grateful. Last night at work was super weird..we had to come in @11 and finsihed the shift, my body was not sure wether it was morning..night whatever..i now itsnot good for you to be working late nights. So i got the opportuinty to go to a 42 year cake right before work> this man has 42 years of sobriety and alot of poeple at the meeting had lots of clean time as well. There really is a certian vibe when your ina room with sooooo much wisdoim and strength, not a dry eye in the house. He also has altimzers so he repreated alot of the same thing. Since it takes me a while to hear things and aparently i need to be reminded all the time of were i came from, i found it helpful. He kept saying that AA had taught him how to not listen to himself, i hear that. AA has taught me that perhaps what i think isnt true, maybe what i think is a good idea is really ooaded with self seeking alterir motives, that maybe its hard to fix my mind with my mind because my mind will always take me back to be self centered. TRUE DAT! another lovely part of that meeting was i got to see two of my clients who are now sober. Seriously, these twon men are like a light in my life, i ran ito them while i was doing a group at the local recovery house. One of them didnt reconzie me from my work untill he saw my tattoo on my wrist, he said that he was always looking down and reconzied my wrist from my work. Amazing right...spent the last how ever many years always staring at the ground. Now both of them are living together and almost have a year sober each, when they see me there eyes shine! itssuch a bond to have known them at the bottom, in the trenches, my fallen soldiars that got to get up and walk again and we both know how truely incredible it is that they are alive and well. SOOOOOO happy, so happy that i can do that before i come here, makes me feel good when i then talk about my experience in recovery when clients ask because i can say 100% that i know there is another way, i know its possible,that they are not different and that it will be there for them if they ever want it. I truely believe that were there is life there is hope!

Table hockey?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

ummm ya

i would like to formally apologize for all my run on sentences..there are thoughts are fragmented and they are reflected in my writ ting. My spelling reeks of the 5th grad and i often type word backwards and mixed up!

Oh well..maybe next year i will pick up an English class. Today io spent the better part of the day learning how to use a defibrillator! a new addition to our life saving equipment we have at work.

Tit for Tat!

lets see if this works...

my at attempt to write while im at the front desk may or may not go over so well. I thought i would get a jump start because i have to get home go to sleep and be back in the hood by 10am for a mandatory staff meeting, to then go to boxing to go home and come back to the hood and work 12-4am..sweet jesus... i wonder if Jesus was sweet. whatever.. my weekend was amazing, really like it couldn't have been better. I needed it after the week of wallowing in my own shit. Graveyards are real easy to justify sleeping till 4/5/6pm... so i spent all weekend immersed in the sober side of my life. i exist in both extremes..and they cross over all the time. weird. anyway i was so unbelievably fucking grateful to be around sober people this weekend, and sober people that enjoy their sobriety. Made coming back here hard on MOnday.

Last night was quite. My close friend came in, i sat in her booth and talked to her while she did her fix. She cried almost instantly.i didnt ask why, dont really need too..i can imagine that even tho i know its nice for her to have me as a point of contact when shes down here i must remind her in someway of being clean,something she doesn't have, or something she doesn't know how to get,its like we both are looking in the mirror of each other on opposite sides, both lives really close to each other yet so far apart. We talked about people we know, we talked about me breaking up with my BF and boys ect. She did her fix and i stuck band aides all over her hands. AHHHH i just want to wrap her up somewhere and keep her safe,,fuck that part kills me, its like the closest thing i can do is to clean her wounds and stick band aides on her...its like the only way i can control the situation. I guess its tangible, a physical action that i can see, softens the blow. She gave me her belt and left, asked me to hold on to it for her, she gave me her prayer beads too that sit on my dresser. god witting this makes me feel sad.. but its real and i need to have it out of my head and out floating in the internet, i guess so that maybe i can digest it better. See were im at, that is the point of this whole blog. SO she left, it always crosses my mind when she leaves if it will be the last time, i try to not fill my head with those thoughts..and the after thought that maybe if i had...what tho.. you know, there really isnt anything i can do but know that when she needs me iwill be there to the best of my ability and maybe stick a band aide or two one.

QV, my buddy upstairs in detox left and went to some recovery house although i haven't heard from him at all. Tonight has been busy for the most part..some serious hustle earlier, lots of cops out. Things have quietened down now but as i say that people are screaming in the injection room.

Top 5 favorite things to do while im at work

1) hang out with, i will call her D73, shes quite schizophrenic and does cocaine, she talk major word salad and is the sweetest thing on the plant. The most Innocent person down here, she probably gets ripped off alot. If i ever saw someone hurt her i might go to jail, but really she know all the words to most 80s metal and classic rock, she will sing her face off and dances like Elaine form sendfield, she also claps and snaps, all the while yelling word salad and once and a while screams out the word "vagina" or least sings songs about it.Anyway i talk with her alot.

2)help a really f0cucked up person clean up their booth, especially the angry loud "tough guys".. its quite the challenge but i feel like my years in the sales industry has helped me perfect the art of tactful manipulation , combined with my genuine compassion makes, for satisfying booth exits.

3)listening to peoples always blows my mind if you talk with someone for a minute what people have been through and the wealth of information and life experience ive gotten from people down here.

4)learning about street culture. I mean i guess this is obv because clearly there is something baout it that attracts me to down here other then just helping and feeling somewhat proud of what i put back into the world, i know that there is a darkeness in me that is fsatinated with how the world opporates in the hood. So im always curious about way that drus are sold, ways that they are prepared, how things are flipped and re flipped and traded and sold and stolen then found and then traded again...its crazy how you will see the same hoodie or stereo or bike going around and around and around.

5)look for blood splatter..this touches on my OCD a little treasure hunt, at the end of the night we scour to walls of the injection room for blood that may have gotten sprayed and splashed or dripped anywere...

i realize how un0normal this all sounds but its work and i like 9 times out of ten. Its painful and amazing. And believe me im not always all about harm reduction- at least when i say that i mean im human and sometimes i get tripped up about the moment, when i think about the big picture i really do believe in it, but there are moments when i stop and wonder if im doing something really wrong, just because at first glance it can feel that way, for brief moments, like with my girl, when i pulled her tye and we were chatting like nothing was going on, but everything was going on. IN another time we would be having that conversation in a coffee shop, her car, on the phone, on a walk, instead of at my work were she legally injects heroin(safely i might add). so ya snipets of time like that were i feel a bit fucked up , but they are brief because i realize that this is the reality of her life, that i wouldnt want her to not have a place to go,i know that overall it is helpful, it does work, it is such an efficient way to connect to people and help them access services. I get to be there in some of the most crucial points in peoples lives and try to better their existence even for a second, how can i feel bad about that at the end of the day right? I guess im just hashing out how to be allow my humanbess while still still being 100% behind my work. I dont want to ever get to the point were it doesn't affect me.

as well i still get to see my friend .Love u girl.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

i get why im addcited to my job..

well maybe just from one aspect...asides from the fact that i was wondering today if its possible to get a contact high..thus being addicted to it. Not that i actually ever feel high when i left work, maybe wound up but not high as i remember it. Fuck almost 7 years..thats strange to me, 7 years will be the amount of time i was active in my alcoholism and 7 years just as much the person iam today as the person i used to be. I both like that and feel weird about it. were was i going..ha ya addicted to my i dont doubt that on some level the energy is addicting..i experienced how strong it really is when i worked upstairs last sat, every time i came down to do something it was like walking into a tornado or shit storm as i like to call it.

Anyway the real reason i feel like maybe im addicted to my job asides from the above would be is that im thrown into situations that constantly bring me the present, constant crisis, constant chaos, that im left with no time to feel sorry for myself about anything i deem "wrong" or unacceptable i nmy life. I know i ramble on alot about how attemping to be selfless helps me with my self centeredness but here at work i dont have alot of choice, i just show up and im presented with tons of situations that snap me to reality Its a win win situation.

blah enough about was smooth..minor moment as we were closing..someone came in and threw the mop bucket all over the floor..took 5 of us to figure out what this guy wanted..there was yelling in french and other clients trying to mediate..,mostly i just had no idea what had happened, but it ended peacefully. We were medium busy, Thursday nights the candyman comes. He stands on the corner of hastings and the alley beside the Washington and hands out candy and snacks and clothes and whatever else..huge line ups and then its constant candy and chocolate all night. Was remarking with same/same(my girl i get to work with on Thursdays)about how much food goes around there..i mean how much stuff in general but food for sure..I get offered food all the time..chocolate and candy ..its bad sometimes, they know its my solf spot too...once a truck pulled up with flats and flats and flats of yogurt and cottage cheese, everyone on main and hasting was eating dairy forlike2/3 hours.. .one time a lady dropped off a ton of cupcakes, stupid women walked though the waiting room with them and almost started a riot.

Went upstairs and visited QV in detox today..hes telling me hes going to leave tomorrow and go to a safe house..i kind of nothing it, i want him to get sober but the reality is he may then what ? he never gets sober and that means he doesn't have rights anymore..or i dont talk to him ..or what i look down on him..not likely, i mean iam all for sobriety but im also for i have no idea what your life should look like or pan out. does the 9 days sober still matter....of course it does..why not...its weird the more i work there the more i really have no black or white idea about things for others..for me maybe..but for others not so were sober 9 had moments of not having to steal meat and sell in on the street for your next fix..good so be it..9 days of less pain is better then 9 days of more pain..regardless...

maybe he will stay..i hope he does but if he doesnt i dont feel as though time was wasted...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My mother nails it sometimes..

“There are times when the
experience of living in this world
is rapturous. And there are
times when it curls us crying in
our beds. Between these extremes
we tell each other what
we know...”

My mom...taken from a review in bc bookworld from one of her latest book "down the road to eternity"...

read it after a day that was really intense and brought me some perspective..

mom speaks the truth..totally is my hero.

On monday I went to waves to get a coffee before boxing, my eye caught
a women mid 60s.. Wearing sequins having a coffee with her dolls. I
really kicked myself for not taking a photo.. I mean it's pretty par
for the course down here but I wanted a photo. Just went to get a
coffee on my break and walked by to this.. Guess she stepped out for a

Triple threat outside my work


solid would sum up my night tonight. Today is oneof those days i couldn't imagine working anywhere else, i couldn't imagine feeling more pride about my job, i couldnt imagine not being able to be connected t some of the people i have met down there. I dont think it was about any major event but i really felt good about who iam at my work this evening. Honestly not blowing myself up at all but reALLY it felt productive. Stuff like actually taking the time to look over someones shoulder and ask why they have been in their booth for 45 minutes..not get mad at them but ask them if they need a hand...they do...i help them..i help them slow down the process..alot of people come in and there dope sick, they need to get the drugs in them stat, they rush...they push the needle thtough their vein, they stress out..they damage their veins and dont use hygienic practices... sometimes it just takes someone to stand by and have them relax a second..threw this process tonight a few times i was able to talk enough with people and fill them in on some really relevant having the needle facing the right way up to cause less damage...hmmm using an alcohol wipe...not touching the site with your dirty fingers..any little small tips that will prevent infection..seems small but it isnt, thats the point, or at least one of them.

So i felt on point about that. Funny even as i write that i realize how hard that cocept might be for people to aren't i helping people use drugs..ya i sure am, but once you make the choice to walk through those doors..thAtS JUST IT, YOUVEMADE THAT choice..and chances are , by even glancing on the streets around u..or anywhere for that matter people will make choices and do them , regardless. As well...even tho im an addict and i know in my deepest of deepest hearts that it doesnt matter if i dont want to drink or use when i was in the cycle, i was completely in it. On a hamster wheel in the self made prison, even tho i know that for me to be true..working there has sealed the deal..talking with people every day has sealed the deal of the insanity of addiction. There is not one person that hasnt at some point talked to me about the fact that they want to stop, everyone does, no one wants to do what they are doing. yet somehow there is this notion that people are just being assholes and trying to disobey the law because they are bad people. So far from the fucking truth..look at cigarettes, same deal, no one wants to smoke..all smokers want to quit, if they say they dont i say they are lying.

Anyway im not sure of the point of that rant but i guesss i just wish everyone could work at my work for a day and see how painful it is, and see how human these people are. I see a good bunch of them more then my own family, they know me like the back of their hand, they know when im happy sad, distracted. Tonight i had a moment were i was thinking about my BF and how we just had to end things because he lives in a different country..i wasnt in the mood to engage and one of my favs( i may have like 200) was asking me whats wrong?whats wrong? nothing i tell him, im tired, he tells me im lying and trys to make me laugh ny recounting a time in the winter when a guy almost killed him with garbage plunger...we wasnt funny at the time, i almost saw him die but manged to stop the guy at the last second,(totally unprovoked incident) but afterward we laughed and laughed out of nervousness and how random it was...he retold the story because he knew it would make me laugh.. Sometime we laugh and how crazy and fucked up everything is..not because its funny but because we have to sometimes...takes the edge off..

so it was good..i felt usefull, i feel like people trust me in their space which really comes in handy when im packing up there stuff and shuffling them off to the chill lounge or to the hospital ectect i think in part its because im really comfortable with them in my space, im totally not guarded unless my intuition tells me to be, and i also dont leave my i \phone lying around to get stolen-....happened once...never again

tomorrow is my friday! as well for the record..i took a few less punches today..or maybe she threw a few less but i did give her a fat lip!!!love boxing,,,hilarious..

We had a good laugh because after I noticed his shirt he lost his drugs!


Wheelchair/bike combo eastside special!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Insite Toronto?

TORONTO - On the evening of Tuesday September 15th at Toronto City Hall, please join Liz Evans, Executive Director and founder of the PHS Community Services Society which operates Insite, North America's first and only supervised injection facility.

Liz Evans will outline the success of life-saving drug harm reduction measures implemented in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside neighbourhood and facilitate discussion on how Toronto can work to reduce drug related harm for individuals and the whole community.

WHO: Liz Evans, Executive Director and Founder of the PHS Community Services Society, who operates Insite, Vancouver's Supervised Injection Site.

WHAT: Discussion on Harm Reduction and building a comprehensive approach to drug addiction.

WHEN: 7 PM, Tuesday September 15th, 2009.

WHERE: Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West. Committee Room 4.

Despite support from the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Police, and the BC Government, as well as evidence outlined in more than 30 academic papers published in peer reviewed scientific journals like the Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, British Medical Journal and the Canadian Medical Association Journal, Stephen Harper continues to ignore scientists, doctors, nurses and his own Health Canada funded reports - leaving Insite's future uncertain.

This special presentation and discussion is part of a public education effort to build support for evidence based, pragmatic and compassionate initiatives like Insite, which have been scientifically proven to prevent drug overdose deaths, limit spread of HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis, reduce public disorder, and move more people into detox and addiction treatment.

For more information regarding this event please contact Mark Townsend by calling 604-720-3050.



Sent from my iPhone



I forgot to post these gems from check-nite last Wednesday...i just want to highlight that's its not always a sad moment in the DTES and yes by looking at pic- i dont mean to poke fun at all but his women was seriously giving it her all while rocking out to her Walkman..doing a two step...side step...snapping fingers..up and down the side of Patrick Swayzes side step in the end of dirty it...


alot happens in general

work was good. thats it- ha not was good tho..i felt solid on the inside to be able to be in the outside...with work that is. I tried to make conscience decisions, in all the interactions that i could be present enough to remind myself, to think of the other person. Trying to train myself to put other peoples needs before mine. Strictly to save myself form myself..i love selfish selflessness. Its funny i was going to write earlier when i blogged, i was sitting here and the phone rang and it was a girl that i sponsor in the program, my first feeling was to not pick up the phone, my resistance is almost immediate, i actually have to tell myself to pick up the phone, pick up the phone, pick up the phone. And i did , after we got off i thought to myself that girl just saved my life for a moment and she may never know,what a relief to talk about whats going on for her and help her in anyway i can...why the resistance...why since i know that its the only thing that frees me from the bondage of myself..and because its the right thing to do- ohhh right i have such an aversion to the do the things thats are right for leat some of the time anyway...just being honest, but really its works ,its with her and others that keep me out of drowning implies of my own shit. Wow that sounds disgusting..but i guess it is really.

Anyway less about my own personal darkness. Today was pleasant in some i showed up at work, today when i came back from my break on of the guys im fairly close with overdosed. Like literally i walked in the door and looked over and walked over to him with my co-worker, we managed to bring him back with oxygen, which is always in every ones favor. Often we will use narcan if they dont come out of it, for heroin that is, but as soon as you wake up from narcan you are dope sick because its an opiate anitagonist as well it only lasts 30 min so there is always the risk of od again if they get un-sick again...alive but dope sick, so oxygen tank worked and eventually we got him stabilized before calling 911. This as you may not know helps tremendously in a variety of ways...the amount of stress that goes into your body from overdosing..the longer your brain lacks oxygen on all ready comprised immune systems ...the cost of a 911 call, ambulance ride, trip to hospital, intake to then probably leave if they even go to the hospital..oh right and he didn't die.. after a while on
his way out we hugged and he said perhaps wasn't a good day to die, i agreed.

I also go to check out a meeting that one of my friends sponsors ups tars in the detox- caught the last half and it made me proud in a way to be sober...made me feel good to see some more of my fallen soldiers sitting a touch upright..maybe this the time they stay sober maybe not. QV was 6, another one of my favs LU just got up yesterday..i brought them some chocolate.

As well i had one client say something that i really needed to hear. He was inquiring about a change of clothes, i grabbed him an outfit from the back and let his use the restroom to change. he later thanked me and told me that the little minute i spent with him helping him with his hygiene gave him the motivation to shave and wash up and feel a bit better . He said that the little bit of hope i gave him with fresh clothes made him hate himself just a second less in that moment. I could have framed him comment and kept it in my pocket so i remember, remember when i cannot see a difference even tho i know it may be there.

tomorrow my goal is too not get punched a million times like mondays boxing/sparing...dear diary , strange concept, sparing with one of your best Friends... new to me...we have decided to open the lines of communication so we can spar and have it be separate from our friendship while learning how to respect and trust each other while we are training. But i also have a cracked rib so maybe i will ease up on that....

i feel extremely not creative about my post...its feel stagnant- hmmmone thing else i remember is one of my clients told me tonight that the best thing i have going for me is myself.. note to self for myself...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

mini rant..

its dayslike this were i like to use the fact that i have alot of stuff going on as reason to not write. My fear that my social commentary about my work and culture of drugs i am in 4 days a week 9 hours a nite, will turn into me talking about my problems blah blah..but on the real tip is has been an intense intense that iam surprised by my ability to function on a "pretty ok" level. After reading my 7am rant the other morning i got to thinking that i hope it doesn't come off like i dislike my job..i mean ya 8am is disgusting when you havent slept but im not a victim of it and obv i choose to show up at work, i think because my life outside of work is so blessed that it sometimes shields me and allows me to step inside situations, places, moments,sleep dept and be an outsider looking in.. make any sense

So ya dextox was a lovely refreshing change..i think everyone that work at insite hsold pop upstairs and see what sobriety looks like on people. i needed was like a renuinion , alot of the time people you see everyday just disspaear,only to trickle down 2 weeks later for a smoke with like 20 pounds on and a soul behind their eyes..thats were they have been..its amaing that above the swirling choas of the injection site..above the massive amounts of drugs that pass threw that place..all the energy,paraphernalia and drama that floatong above it all are people trying to get sober. The second floor consists of a detox, 7-14 days..i think depending.. super nice facility considering. Vancouver only has 3 detoxs, our is one of them, the other two are a little rougher, at mine you get your own rommectect..

Afetr that phase yougo to the 3 floor were ideally you will be planning what to do when your done, ie/treatment or housing..remembering that alot people that go through our place are even getting clena for a month and getting a place to live is a huge milestone. So the 3rd floor was were i worked and like i said i needed to see it. I think in the future i need to work in that environment, i feel i have alot to offer..i guess i have alot too ffer both on the front lines and behind the scenes but maybe the latter might be good for a change, well see what the universe says on that.

i couldn't believe how when i went downstairs how intense the energy is and how much i dont notice while im in it..its when your in a room with something that smells..and you adjust to it, someone walks in and is like wtf dude..thats how it felt..i walked downstairs and was like wtf..ha only to work last night and be perfectly comfortable down the pit..on the front lines..amongst the pain and chaos..

on a really brightnote QV made it up to detox..the one from ottawa..hey maybe this time is different!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

just quickly...

i really need to get this off my sure later in the day i will want to recount what a lovely timei have had working at the detox program above the injection site tonight. But first i have to say something...and not to take away the fact that i really like the all night graveyard because well the money is better for the 12 ours instead of 9...if you worked full time it would only be 3 days...i am super surprised at how awake iam but iguess i shouldnt be because I normally go to bed like 30min ago so whats 2.5 more hours...but what i really need to talk about is this..

There is nothing more in this world that makes me want to jump out of my skin, nothing that puts the fear of fucking god in me, nothing that brings up my PTS from years ago, nothing that automatically makes me think ive been doing rails of coke all night, nothing else that can make me feel guilty for no reason, nothing that makes me appreciate my clean warm sober bed, then the sound of god damn fucking seagulls at 5 in the morning....6 in the morning...stayed up all night at fucking 7 in the morning.... im not even joking or trying to be dramatic..the ONLY reason why i can take it and havent wrapped tape around ym eyes and stuffed cotton in my ears is that i KNOW IM SOBER AND GOING HOME SOON. Am I the only one... seriously they are like termites knawling in my mind...termites of the to torment anyone that has ever used drugs till the next day and beyond or is currently on drugs..

fuck thats not even the worst part or maybe it is..i just started think about the bus ride home...people up...people normal...doing normal things...who the fuck is up at 7/8am on a sunday, am i normally this bitter or is it that iam. would i be normal and going for a run right now...

i have a camera that shows me the street right outside downstairs..i see people walking by..i wan to yell at them and tell them they still have time...

at least im going home..i forgot my sunglasses...fuck

Friday, August 28, 2009

i want to finish this story

but i probaly wont. yesterday in boxing i bruised a rib and sprained my thumb. i took a mental health day off work.. last night was a smooth welfare. With QV - my friend that was back in town from ottawa and went to jail. Fuck i felt for him, this is defiantly a story i hear often. When guys go t ojail get some clean time and want to change or stop or anything other then what they are doing, but then get released into nothing, no plan, no money no nothing. he came downtown and the only place he could go was my work, or the church shelter up the street. We chated for a while and he was in a totally panic, he wanted so bad to not use but couldnt help himself. While we talked i could see both sides of him.. saying things and wanting them being so frustrated that he knew he couldnt even trust himself, so fucking cholked that he coukdnt just not use, wanting to be locked up. He was going to ask the cops if they would put him back in jail. I really didnt know what to suggest, i told him maybe hit one and go back to jail. WTF solution, we laughed about that. He said my co-worker who does intake for upstairs detox he promised he could go n tomorrow if he was there at ten am. He knew that if he used tonight the cycle would continue and he wouldn't be there at ten am, or want to get clean. Its crazy but in that very moment i believe he would or could if there was a way but it a race against yourself and your moves so fast even if you think your one step a head, you have one justification one rationalization even minor and its complete knee jerk reaction. So i found him a shleter out of the TDES and go thim a safe ride and he left. He called me from there and thanked me.

And this is what happened, he came back at like one, stuck in his head, sleeping with the enemy he decides for whatever he tells himself to come back. He sees me i know hes disappointed in himself and i think for self preservation sake tells me hes going to go sleep at the church and be here for detox tomorrow. We both know this inst going to happen but i say sure. hugs and goodnight. He didnt make it in, its check night and i havent seen him. Im sure he will stay away a few days because it makes him feel shity. I wish there was something and somewere that worked on an emergancy basis. Its stuff like this that i know makes working with addictions for some people so frustrating and so easy to give up on.

I had texted a friends earlier about whether or not he knew anywere QV could go, this friend also used to use in the DTES and his reply was that he would but has a thing with QV and all the help he has done for him in the past. i dont blame him, i understand and kind of resent him for saying that at the same time. I get it, how many times, how many heart breaks, how many suicide attempts, how many infections and charges, right i get it. But fuck man how many times have i heard from the podium people who had nothing and one person believed they could change, one person believed that maybe one day were there was a life there was hope, that anything was potentially possibly, that i never really know when or how someone will make that choice bt maybe they will , maybe i can love them anyway. I guess the trick islearning when not to be chump about it, when to not give them your last 5bucks or have any sort of expectation. nto going to lie its hard an di cant say im 100% there but i wont give up on being me for the person who has no one.

Anyway im happy to be off..nursing all my wounds..bruised rib-sprained thumb ect..on sat i get to work in the detox...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


well no reason why i didnt write last night..felt like i deserved not to because i actually made it work after trying to get it covered for the better half of the day. Glad i went though, want to stay away from falling into the rut of using "sick" days when really i want to layin bed and think abou tmy problems abd feel sorry for myself. So ya for me didnt do that. Instead i wore my pajamas to lovely was that...thnk that migh tbe my new thing..felt like a day off at work- really it doesnt matter what i wear long as im not exposing myself!!!

it was also brough to my attention that it was welfare eve. Totally slipped my mind, we expected to get hit hard when direct depo hit between 1-230 but i think it was late because when weleft at 315 there were still massive line ups at the atms. Spent the begining part of my shift calling around to get people into shelters. Something we do alot more of in the winters..arranging "safe ride" to pick them up and take them there..trying to get people to stay in one place long enough to talk to the people who run the shleters..sometime even walking people down there, last winter in the snow storm..holding hands with like 4 women walking themdown to a kids on a feild trip- endearing i must say.

There is one guy- i will call him QV- ive known him for ahilw and he would be one of those clients that crosses the line inmy life becuase we have mutual friends in recovery. He is on the cusp in both worlds , a while ago heleft the DTES on a bus back to ottawa. I hoped i wouldnt see him again but i knew i would, months later he came back..missing van, had some clean time and had no intetion to use, but to an IV user, vancouver in and of its self is like a shadow inthe mind. At least downtown must be..especially when your doing it yourself with out support. So he showed up and was using again..spent ten days injail just got out yesterday and had 10 days i need more time to tell this story but i have to go to boxng and to work...i will write when i get home tongiht.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ummm ya

first off i just have to say, and im sure it obvouis, i have a hard time with spelling and grammer, most of it is due to lazyniess. And the late night writting doesnt help either. Im trying to edit..trying..

so tonight i got off early, well i just left. Not due to anything stressful at the work place, if anything work was quite pleasant. My head was else were, i did the worst thing posisble tonight. Ive been an on/off hypochondriac for the last 6 years ish and the other day i had some health stuff come up. Rationally i know im probably fine, i made the doctor yesterday repeat back to me that im not dying.But tonight i thought i was okay enough about it to jump online and GOOGLE everything. Ya note to self..not good ..i sent my self into panic and had to leave. My fault, shouldn't have done that, not a job were i can be distracted like that. I tried really hard to pull it together but i foresaw a client asking me how i was and breaking down. They dont miss a beat down there, every mood, every pound,new sweatshirt, people you like, dislike, if its your time of the month, nothing goes un noticed. And thats another phone gto stolen a long time ago and i know who it was because i watched the tapes and i didnt tell anyone who i thought i t was and yesterday some one asked me about it..word on the street..literally. So ya i foresaw one of the many people who know how iam very well, knowing that something was bothering me..asking me and then i break..glad i left..feeling a bit better and with a more solid realization that im not okay to start goggling ans self diagnosing myself with things..

A few weeks back i was doing all these tests online that tell you if your a not for the record, maybe a narcissist but not sociopath.

Last week i had a few different people i know come by and use the site.. not people that i didnt know had relapsed or are using but close enough to me for sure.. There really are some grey lines man. One in particular was hard, i would classify them as another same/same..we are similar in many ways, so of corse (being the narcissist that i am) i see me in them. I see the frustration and know those hugs that are a second longer then normal because its like you want to say something but you dont, ya heartbreaking. Im glad i can be there though, when they walk through the doors..which ever doors they are.

i really dont know if i have much else to sAy, i guess the highlight of my night was picking out a t-shirt from the donation bin for someone..they had blood allover their shirt and i offered a new one and it was like fucking Christmas..totally but ugly shirt that found a happy home! When we have lots of clothes in the bin picking stuff out for people is my favorite thing..i used to style people in what feels like previous lifetimes ago..last year my old boss donated a ton of tshirts that never sold in our store..they retailed some of them up to 250$$.. how satisfying was that ? to give them out by the handful to my homeless army on the DTES..for like 2 weeks everyone was wearing them, such poetic justice for all the high maintenance clients i used to have to cater to. Almost like closer for my purgatory in retail!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


this is me and my girl that i work with. I will cALl her same/same. If she wasnt someone else i would think she was me, or vice versa. Have you ever met someone that was the same breed of person as you? its a good feeling for me theses days...i bet there was a time in my life when someone so similar to me would have sent me through the roof and i would have depsided them but for some reason now i welcome it. Especially with girls..totALLY A GIRLS girl now. We only get to work one shift a week together because she has my old line- thurs-sun nights..the fucking madness- props to anyone that takes that on long enough. Those shifts are the least desirably so your often stuck running the show amongst hoepfully sometimes compitnet people. I did it for 9 months before i realized i was lsowley crossing over to the dark side of life.. this summer has given me my friends back sinced i switched. Anyway this photo is of same/same and i taking a kit-kat break in the injection room with our same/same love of nike air max sneakers. It really helps in our line of work- which i dont even know if there is a classified "line of work", to have poeple who i can talk to and more importnaly relate too. She has the same underlying compassion and common sense when it comes to how to treat the demographic of people we deal with. It helps to have people like that in your corner.

Random item number two...

Stuff like this is one of the many highlights of my job. Very very random things come into my work, in the waiting room i was walking threw the chill lounge when i looked threw and saw this giant..dragon? just sitting there all by clients..just a fully blown dragon thing and then its gone! a pleasure...

this i just thought was straight up kind of creepy

see them all the time


Super sad right..i see them all the time, people come by my work and post letter and notes to people they have lost or cant find. Call home, we miss you, we love you. Its so devastating but just as sad is that they people whos these letters belong to cant even stand the sight of them because they cant even stand the sight of themselves. I remember how painful it would be to talk to my mom when i was fucked up, or see my family..somtimes i could block it out but get me on a rough morning and that shit cuts deeper then anything else, at least for me it did. For a lot of people (ones who dont hate there family for whatever reason)its hard to talk about the people that care and miss them.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

last night

was in a terriblemood when i got home. wel lmaybe not terrible for irritable, i think a combo of giant rockstar and non stop caffeine didnt help. i caught myself in a few moments wanting to act out in my mood, a few times not so honorable. Was really irritated with this blind women that comes in all the time for juice and not just a juice like 2 thermos..usually this doesnt even phase me because as i go home to my lovely life and cup cake problem a litre of kooliade is not relevant. But none the less iam human, im glad i can feel these things and act the opposite, i wanted to say no! ha WTF.. As well there is this guy who comes in ALL the 5/6 times a day, more then that. Super quite, polite always takes like 5 minutes in his booth which would normally be derserving of gold starts on a busy night. But the things is he doesn't actually inject drugs. Like ive watched for the last year..everyone has multiple theories, and its always a topic at staff meeting built nothing has ever really been done per say. Clearly he is troubled and lonely, helives inthe hood at a hotel and i always see him around on the street. But really? fake injecting? I kow this for many reasons, first of al lhe says he injects morphine, fair enough except morphine is the most time consuming drug to do. Most are time release capsules beads that need to be crushed and cooked or soaked for a while. Thats clearly not the case when your in the booth for 5 min..i asked him the other day..more just out of fascination about why???? I asked him if he buys his morphine in liquid form? to which he said yes..i asked if it was cheaper? he said about the next question wanted to be, well maybe you could point out your dealer to some of the other morphine users that take 3 hours in their booths..

i didnt obviously but a days he actually "preps" 4 1/2 cc syringes at a time..OF WATER... its water..i see thats its water..he used to muscle it now i think he injects it..i wonder if thats harmful, probably not. Anyway i go threw phases of caring and not caring..using contingent on my mood but am always nice and considerate, more so i just want to know why????? was it a conscience decision? do you ever want to inject? are you an informant? cause you would think if you were you would at least pick like cocaine or meth something you didnt need to heat up

anyway baffles me

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

mixed bag

YUP TODAY was most defiantly a mixed bag for me..i woke up feeling a tad disgrunteld, rode my bmx to a meeting about 10 min away..the whole bioke ride i went on and on in my head about the time i have spent inmy sobriety..why i havent gone back to school sooner, why i didnt become more disaplined about certian things blahblah...feelinglike i waste time, i have this fear of time and its passing, then i have fear of the fact that im wasting time fearing it and tus the cycle. So im in that and i get to the meeting and on my way up im caught by a poster on theboard of a girl i know from my work. She died this weekend and her memorila was today, 22 years old. It didnt say obviously how she died but unfortanly i can only make assumptions. For the rest of the meeting i didnt feel sorry ofr myself and mt "wasted time" being alive and all. The fact tha im alive threw the bullets ive watched myself dodge, i mean i know everybody didging bullets some peoples hails are just a little more obvious. So i continued on my way after the meeting to boxing then to work. I felt for her and i felt for her family, death is weird...your there, your not, thats it. Shes gone, nto there anymore to the eye.

Tnoight was a good night at work..i felt like i had soaked up enough love and a spalsh of gratitude that i came out level..even..content with my nights work.Had a good laugh with one of my favorite JK(i will cal lhm that) he was noddingout and i went to check on him, when i squeezed his shoulder he started yelling that he couldnt see..i reminded him to open his eyes and we laughed a while. One of my other favorites D ( i will call her that) rocked out to our choice of "80s flock" on satleiete radio, shes full blown , im assuming not medicated scizfrenic, its hard sometimes to have a fluent conversation with her, but man get some 80s hair metal and shes losing her shit. The other night she sang an entire journey song like 2 inches from ym face, amazing.

No drama, no overdoses, no bars actually, was super quite home early in time to sleep..tomight i feel seperate from the world i just left..sepertate in the healthy way !

Sunday, August 16, 2009

commitment to commitment

so this weekend i took 5 people super close to me to a place thats super close to my heart. The place i grew up, i travel there as often as i can. Its only a ferry ride away but sometimes it feels alot further. My dad and his brother built the house on a piece of property that bought for 30,000, i moved in a few days after i was born and had the experience of growing up there my whole life. Every crumb and corner of the house i have a million memories in, every square inches marks my life in some way or another. Good and really bad. The last time my parents let me house sit i lost alot of their faith in me. I ruined my relationship just a bit more with them and the people who live besides us and watched me grow up. I hammered one more nail in the coffin of disappointment and to be honest, ive done aot of things in my life but this one stands out to me as one thing i would take back.

This weekend, although just another weekend living the dream with some of the best people i know, is so very symbolic of how different my life is, how different my values are and how incredible things can be. I say incredible and i mean that even though all we did was eat and laugh and validate all of our narcissism by having endless photos shoots of ourselves!!!! oh well!!! but really it feels good and i need it..i know i ve written a few posts back about how important it is that i live in the sunlight on my days off..( and more importantly my life_ not to confuse my life happening only when i have days off) but just considering the old work place, it really is true.

Last week i didnt write..every night i came home and thought briefly about the night and considered that nothing worth witting about happened. I think whats really happened is that i have a huge issue with following through on things that are remotly good for me..i seem to be real cosisnet with following through with that bag of peanut butter m&mss. But hence the title of this post, we were sitting around the table eating blackberrie crumble talking about what we would like to change about thing... Mine is commitment..following though..cant stand my flakiness... why is it...and i know its niot only me, i think the whole entire world suffered from this...and just for questions sake..why is it that i cant seem todo the things i want to do, like i have zero self discipline half the there an ideal that im over shooting..? anyway thats how i feel about this blog, my work, my commitments to thigs i would like for myself..and again i think i may actually have 4 other blogs that say " no really this time im going to write everyday " ha but really this time im going to write...well lets be "human" about it...almost and one day at a time- no pressure but for real try every(most) days...

wait sint this a work blog.... all the same shit...i love my addicted to my job..i completly 100% support harm reduction and feel so passionate about human rights and addiction, but even with that said, sometimes i dontknow if its right for me..or maybe sometimes i need soooooo much sunlight to come out on top from there, like this weekend i felt like i was shotgunning a bottle full of friendship serum to keep me going. Well that sounds a touch dramatic.

I will say it again and again, i have so much love for people that live outside and have nothing and spend every waking thought and moment finding their next fix. I see my storie intertwined in theirs, i see allife in the lives of people who suffer and in those moments i feel like im doing the right thing. By being connected and myself , sometimes just having a conversation with someone like i would any other person means something even if just for a second. Sigh i guess i can find that anywhere and everywhere with everyone i come in contact with. I guess its just somethings i feel karmaclly in debited to those down and out.

Tonight i feel grateful to be sober..

Monday, August 3, 2009

firday night

maybe i will start backward...the last thing i did tonight was yell at the cab driver for not taking one of my clients home because he was sick. i waited outside with him for ten minutes and they guy drove off because he was too messed up to take him 4 blocks...he layed on the sidewalk and drive heaved while i tried to convince him to go to the hospital. no dice.. alot of people dont want to go to the hospital in case they are completely dying...for the following reasons
1) they get treated like shit
2) they have to wait a long time
3) they have no way back to the downtown eastside
4) they get dope sick
5) most of the time they kicked up..and if i didnt already mention they get treated like shit...

so i wasnt surprised when he wouldnt go in the ambulance after we called 911 or the cab which we called... He though he had bought cocaine but it most defiantly was not. The nurse seems to think it was kedimene, commonly used as a tranzulizer for veterians.(hilarious..just re-read this and noticed i wrote veterians not vetranarians..thnk i will leave it) He lost his shit for the first 5 minutes then threw up violently for 15min, then couldnt walk. Apparently the drug goes through his system pretty fast and he should be feeling better by now. Hard tho, hard to walk away. And believe me i know he is a big guy and can defend for himself. Like he literally is a huge guy and when he yells its really terrifying if you dont know him, but none the less im a sucker and always find it hard to watch people in pain, even if its was their "choice".

everything before that moment was completely calm, in fact i have a hard time remembering what the night was like. i worked the front desk for a bit, ate an entire bag of peanut butter m&ms crashed super hard, i guess i had a feeling and so i ate it. to be quite honest it was a super uneventful night..Sundays usually are..especially Sundays following a check week, money has run around, people are sleeping, the world will be ready for a new week tomorrow. A new week thta i most defiantly will not be apart of, down there that is. This week will be spent in my other life, my life were the company i keep will not be living in a perpetual motion of drugs and husling, this week i plan to be completely on this side of the fence and i couldnt be more excited.

This blog has been good for me to just process whatever after the night and i will probably continue it. I was talking to a kid that works with me tonight who is really for another planet..i say that it a matter of fact way, like he really just has had a completely different life experience, he grew up super sheltered and knows nothing much of drug culture(welll he does now) or street edicit(if there really is any) and self loathing or pain, but we were talking about work, im like how do you feel about our job, does it ever get to you? like do you ever feel weighed down or comsumed with sadness or compassion verging on co-dependence for people down here.. his reply for like, not really..that he feels stressed if he works too much but otherwise doesnt really notice it. i really dont know which is he the one who has healthy detachment or am i the one who has an appropriate(most of the time) attitude of compassion... not sure but its defiantly a differnet take. Maybe its my past and how much i feel like i can relate sometimes...i mean i think in a way the whole fucking world is addicted to something somehow in someway that they tell themselves they arent going to do anymore and then they do..feeling insane for going against something they set out not to do(so many late night mumble wrong on sentences) ...that really its just the human condition..just life...

maybe its just a spectrum that we all experience but in varying degrees..maybe i just notice it..maybe its chemical.. maybe i think about it too much. All i know is when i look at myself , real talk, like super-time truth( i really just said super-time truth) i see everything that i see in the people that come to my work, just more magnified, just uglier, just more tangible and i feel like it makes me no better. Does that make sense...its makes me feel even, thus i feel so comfortable doing what i do were i do with the people in the state they are in.

anyway again..going to bed..sending myself and the world good thoughts..hoping for dry sleeps to all my kids down there, maybe clean socks, a coffee and a smoke..

Sunday, August 2, 2009


it really feels like its taking me alot to actually sit down and write this evening/morning. I find so much resistance to writing even though i love the end result. I love being able to look back at moments in my time. I always wish to freeze frame them and keep them in my pocket . This way i freeze frame my life on the Internet. My hope was that writing about my work would give me material and motivation to do so, sometimes yes, sometimes no. Tonight again, and i really have to say, again that this week has blown my mind in manageability, was totally pleasant.

No overdoses, no crazy bars, no temper tantrums, one stabbing in the back alley through word of mouth, a little bit of hand holding.., no line ups,alot of methadone power going around. Which i never got how you shoot methadone but now know that it comes originally in a powder. Which is really strong because obviously its synthetic so it isnt stepped on by many dirty hands.

had one moment today helping a guy, he came in and i didnt notice him at first. He asked me if i could shoot it for him, which i explained was a big NO,we call that doctoring and its completely against our policy. He said he hadn't done it in a while and so i watched to make sure he did it safely. We got to talking and he told me that he had been clean for 17 years off cocaine, recently he had started drinking gain and was super depressed, he told me that early this evening he had thought about killing himself but instead came to insite to use. There are many different factors in this story and as you can imagine sometimes i get mixed feelings..strictly coming from a sober perspective. Its like my personal view on absence and my global philosophy on harm reduction are very close and very not. For me with this mans story , he talked about the fact that the pain of living had just gotten so great that he needed to go out and do more research, he told me he thought alot about it and wanted to use. In no way during this conversation did i agree or disagree with what he was saying, because i really dont feel either way about what he should do, but when it comes to my life and sobriety i absolutely disagree. hmmmm does that even make sense. i guess that particular interaction stuck me because in the moment i feel a pang of guilt or disservice when ifound out that he had been clean, but in the same breath i know that i have to separate those things with my work because iam providing a service and im not a councilor or the morality police or of any authority to decide what people do with their life, im merly a there to make sure your breathing and use alcohol swabs...and a million other things... its just sometimes i gothrough work like the back of my hand..going through the motions and then get reminded of whats actually going on in front of me, and even more so what goes on in front ofme in realtion to my own life/past/experience. Weird shit.

Anyway thats one thing that stuck out for tonight. i hope that man finds what he was looking..

It felt good to go to work after a day or sitting in the sun being with a bunch of fucking amazing people i know, its soooooo unbelievably important to me that in order to step into the darkness every night i need to be filled with the light man. I really cant forget that...its crazy how much people down there notice every mood, thought, vibe, change i go though. I cant loose (or gain) a pound without someone noticing..tonight people noticed that there was a light in my eyes and it felt good to relay my day to them through my attitude..its really incredible how much that can have an effect on people. the world. myself.


Friday, July 31, 2009

frazel dazel...

hmmm how do i start. well im defiantly bailing on working 7 nights in a row...i was thinking on ride home that even tho right now i feel like i could just keep working, in fact im so much in the mode that i feel like i could work the next 2 weeks straight, that its good fro me not to. Funny how once your in there you just become adjusted to the swing of it, work that is. That its easier in the eye of the storm then on your way through it. The ride home was super lovely, right now the weather affords tank top and warm breezes at 4am. One of my most favorite times to ride my bmx home..its like you own the time stopped..or the world ended..or i guess in reality everyone is sleeping..but i prefer to think of it my own concrete jungle were i run stoplights and ride on the side walk..helps with the come down...of work.

Tonight proved to be less then expected. Not as busy a little more high pun intended... per individual. I think as the weekend rolls along when tempers and tantrums and tired takes over. Sleep dep completely is the worst free drug out there.. most of what people see on the street when others are totally flailing about is lack of sleep...Onyl one overdose tonight..but a defiante life was saved, he went down hard. He came in right prior then left because he lost his flap, he bought a new one came back in and od'd. I wasnt present for itbut we almost had another later on...sometimes people come out of it once they have had enough oxygen, which is good because it is was less stressful to already compromised bodies.

I worked the front desk for the beginning..i was thinking baout how you could actually describe what its like up there, especially when it get s crazy..I had a vision of standing in front of a hail of bullets...but the differnace being im not dodging them, more like catching each and everyone..imagine how satisfying that is. I have mastered an art of multi tasking..k in the same breath the phone rings, 8 people walk in, one wants into the chill, one wants a garbage bag, ones picking up supplies, 4 want on the list and are fighting about who was first, one of those are barred and imon the phone trying to tel lthe, while pouring a glass of water and grabbing a garbage bag. i hang up the one, buzz the door, it rings again, i have everyone down on the list 6 more people come in, one leaving a message for someone else..another person is looking for someone and runs into the waiting room to try t o get into the chill, i have to get up tell them to leave with remembering the 4 poeple that are on the list on my way back they want to know the order while i realize im out of rigs and i phione back to the ir to get some, in the same moment someone comes in to see the nurse ectectetctetcgetc6tetcs w"HRFwoihfwpkihf;kwiphfkwihnfkwlif.....and all of this is the MOST IMPoRTANT THING!!!!!!!!!!!

and that doesnt even come close to describing it... can you beleieve i actually like AND THRIVE IN THAT KIND OF CHAOS.. well most times, if im not onpoint i dont want to be up there because i dont believe the other people should suffer from my intolerance.

Otherwise had some nice heart to hearts..seemed like the topic of the night was the end of the world, Armageddon, global warming, were all the bees and birds have gone>? global warming? Man there are some people i love down there with all my heart.

Talking to this one women who ive built a relationship with..i dont like the way that sounds, this women...hmm one of my favs..?love her..anyway she was having a tough time and she was telling me how she felt like she had no way out, couldnt see it, defiantly couldnt feel it. sometimes when i have those conversations i really dont know what to say...and i realized a bit more that i dont have to say anything, i dont have to find an answer for her or a light at the end of the tunnel, i dont have to do anything but listen, most of the time thats all anyone wants..unless she asks me specifically? or directly..and of course i might make light suggestions, she knows we have a detox upstairs and i would encourage her to go but for the most part she just needs someone to listen. Thats a pretty liberation thought from my arrogance of having to solve the worlds problems. Anyway tangant but we were talking and she says "i have to get out of here, wait you have to get out of here too..why do you work here? dont you get attached to all of us?"...
im like honey, are you kidding me, of corse i get i come home sometmes and cant shake the shit but no word of a lie working down there has afforded me the opportunity to practice loving people in that exact moment, loving them knwoing that tomorrow they may tell me to fuck off,loving them while they tell me they want to die, loving them not knowing any sort of result or outcome intheir lives, loving them with no security or guarantee of return, loving them not knowing if they will live or die the next day..real talk...learning that and then taking it into the same world that i live in. That , only now retrospectively is one of the reasons i most defiantly work down there.

Think thats it for me tonight...night off tomrrow!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

photo below

coworker...i will call this photo "pop-squat and serve"..left over coffee from the chill...on any other given night there would not be leftovers..handed out to passerbys..nothing goes to waste down there

all around magical evening

bets cheque night i have ever worker by far, i think the concept of this blog really has had an effect in the level of stress at my job. Tonight was completely manageable. About 4 overdoses, 2 heroin, i morphine and 1 cocaine and two other cab trip to the hospital. The fireman that came to each one would leave and sayz'see you in a bit", which they would... i think htere might be some strong heroin going around, that and people have the cash . My favorite fireman has a huge gash on his forehead, last week i enquire on how he got it...saving a kitten from a tree perhaps or a child from a burning building..nope..going down the fire poll and smashing his head on the second florr...amazing.

spent the first part of the night in the chill lounge conserving my energy, last night killed my canckle in the IR for 7 i took it easy at first considering that no one cares much for coffee or juice with the money flows. took an early break, this is actually week 4 without smoking at my job, a pretty big deal i think. I some how built up quite the connection between smoking and working in that environment, it really can be justifiable. The air is obviously full of comspumption, i still even tho not smoking feel as tho i need to be consuming, coffee, water, gum whatever...perhaps i just notice it more.

A friend of mine who recently took a job upstairs at the detox told me that since he doesnt work at downstairs anymore when he comes in he can completely feel the energy. Clearly that makes sense that somehow the vibe must infiltrate our bodes and go somewhere ? do something?

wow i feel super neutral writting its really another day in the park, not even close to articulating some of the events, that people would have totally died had they not done their drugs at insite. I guess it just seems so obvious to me when really there is a world of people that it really isnt that obvious to. Sometimes i lie and say i work at a clinic or a shelter just because i can smell the ignorance and cant bear to engage, but then sometimes i do engage and it becomes a very enlightening experience, and very important i believe to educate people on my experience and what iknow about working down there. I defiantly dont claim to know all the answers or solutions but i feel very satisfied to be involved in something that at least is taking a chance were no one on this continent has takenone before.

Working so closely with people this last year down there really has put a face , A real sense of humanity to addiction/homelessness/mental illness and multitude of other issues, even someone like me who has lived there own hell inthat relm, its really given me a chance to see the realness in people across the board. now my only challenge is to take the compassion that i feel for them and apply it to EVERYONE..with the same openness..thats a fucking challenge. See if im just as tolerant to someone dialed up in Ed Hardy...i defiantly have along way to go but tonight i think i will sleep well knowing we did our job well..


one last thing...poor kid man...well in my eyes anyway, i helped this guy at the front desk who was down sick and one of his friends had given him a point of down in a rig.. turned out he gave him the wrong rig and it was crystal meth..kid chewed all his fingernails..4 of them completely off, never seen anything like it, i bandaged up his finger tips. thats straight up harsh.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

a slow build

i better count my lucky stars..i really anticipated this week to be alot crazier..but again im sure it will ive up to its reputation, im already plotting to take friday off. So tonight, slow for the most part. Usually direct deposit welfare cheques go through anywhere from 1am to 230..thus we get a rush around then, i took my break at one and cruised the block for streetzia( street pizza) and the buzz was in the air, line up around atms, dealing around line ups, abundance of lighters and butane being bought in the convient stores. Nothing major to report, had one guy almost OD, spent a good 15 min with him and a nurse reminding him to breath everytime his oxygen went to slow, eventually we put a mask on him and he was ok. Pretty standard story when people eget out of jail and maybe there tolerance is low or they do more then they normally do because its been awhile. Defiantly felt for the guy, by the end of the night he had misplaced his jacket , his bag and his wallet which i found later one wit hjust his bank card left. As we were closing and i walked him he was super thankful for us helping him, at one point he came back into the IR and didnt remember that he almost od"D 45 min prior. I suggested that maybe he "sit this round out" and he did, he tried to give me his watch as a token of his appreciation.

Asides from one of my clients telling me i put on weight it was a pretty tame night. Oh vanity, i really could be breaking up a fight between two extremly angry and intimidation guys and be completely calm, but drop a comment like that at the wrong time of the month and shit flys inside my head. Of course i didnt say anything because i really think that he was trying to be nice? like i lokk healthy? ha really tho? Its one of those things you really straight up dont say because last time i checked i was defiantly NOT mal nourished and in need of "healthy" weight. yup vanity will get you every time.

Right back to work...see how i can side track so easily to talk about myself talking about myself talking about myself......

tomorrow will be busy. I have a swollen canckle..aka tendentious in my ankle..maybe he saw my canckle and thought that i had gained weight>????


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

smooth as butter..

i was thinking about how the fact that i decided to blog this week may perhaps off set the entire normal way of life in the DTES. That maybe by claiming that my job is chaotic and insane might actually have some reverse effect , tonight woulD BE A PRIME-TIME EXAMPLE By far one of the nicest smoothest nights ive had ina while. A touch of fatigue followed by a splash of irritablitaly but for the most part super uneventful. It would be nice if my hopes of an alternate DTS reality were anything close to the truth but the reality is i knowthat the calm monday before the storm is pretty natural. At least one shift down in the seven. It gave me an opportunity to catch up with some of my favorite clients..and i know idealy i wouldnt have any favorites at all but it happens and you build relationships with people, Alot of them i see more then my friends or family...

Tonight i had a moment of trying to rap my head around cocaine phycosis. I mean i well into understanding the nature of addiction no doubt about that, sometime though i am just more i guess blown away at how powerful it is based on what people deal with when they get high. sorry run on sentence...super bagged. But especially with cocaine, tonight i had a client then whenever he uses he is 100% sure that there is a snake in his jacket and it torments him, as much as i tell him i cant find one, try his jacket it on, make suggestions that maybe to put the jacket away untill he comes down, he really feels it and knows its there. He knows this when he is "sober" before he takes his hit that this will happen at soon as the drugs hit his vein yet it doesn't matter... thats pretty powerful and as well a little more mild then some of the more severe cocaine phycosis. Like naother that is sure people are coming up behind her with knives to kill her. As if anyone would rationally choose to do that repeatedly to themselves without being completely powerless..

And like i said i get it, but there is a real tangibleness with that specific reaction that really hits home for me. Its hell, its complete purgatory. hmmmm 5 more minutes of writting...

sooooo unbelievably tired, my goal this week asides from day to day sanity is to not rely so heavily on chocolate to get me through the night.

thats it

Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 1

For some reason i ended up switching my shifts to have a week off on the exact week of welfare day. For most people it means nothing, for alot of people it means everything. For my coworkers they get it and are perhaps desensitized. For others it may be interesting. For the most part im doing this for myself. Many a night i get home completely wired from the nights actions only to lay in bed trying to sleep, still working ,still thinking... Maybe this will help. I think if anything it makes me somehow justify this week that i can at least have a creative outlet because of it. Justify the storm, one day at a time. Tonight i anticipate anticipation, Tuesday alot of people in the DTES get direct deposit..Its hot in Vancouver today, maybe nothing will happen at all.