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.