01 December 2009

Going to Court! (Unreleased: 09 October 2007)

This was originally written on 9 October 2007, but due to its poor composition, I never posted it for public consumption. Here it is, in all of its glory (albeit heavily modified):

I arrived at the courthouse — which, by the way, is two hours away from where I live — not fully knowing what to expect.

Three weeks prior, I had received a citation that simply prescribed that I was to arrive in the Hamilton County (Chattanooga, Tennessee) General Sessions court at 13:30.

One by one, people were called to the stand and testified on behalf of their case. From what I could figure, it was your basic traffic court; if anything, a slightly elevated traffic court for more serious offenses. I awaited my turn. The judge — who happens to be a woman — was making light of what could be considered fairly serious infractions (that is, in the world of traffic court). She even kept her cool when a girl, at best 18, obviously had no respect for authority. Her hearing was but a series of derogatory statements intermixed with juvenile laughter; she was a repeat offender who was caught driving without a license. Even with the complete lack of respect for the court or the infraction itself — not to mention the multiple offenses — the judge gave her a warning and sent her on her way.

It was at this pivotal moment that I, internally, resolved that I would receive such treatment at worst. I wasn't a repeat offender and I surely was not going to make a mockery of the legal system.

By this time, I notice that the court room is all but clearing out. A few unremarkable cases conclude and I hear my name being called out.

Slightly shaken, I stand up and proceed to the podium where I'll soon learn of my destiny.

I was professional; I spoke to the woman using only the utmost respect. I told her that I was remorseful for what I had done and that it certainly would not be happen again. She listened, but I could tell by the look on her face that she had already made up her mind.

Within seconds, I was being handcuffed and soon afterward I was escorted to the side of the court room.

"Please remove any watches, phones, wallets, money, or otherwise 'contraband' type items from your person," an aging, frail man requested.

"Your belt, too," he reminded me.

I had not been prepared for this. It had already been over sixteen hours since my last dose of Suboxone and six or more for Xanax. Both of these medications were in the car and I had decided not to take them until after court. Well, that was one promise I was able to make to myself.

I was sentenced to 48 hours in the county jail. Panic set in. This was going to be tough physically, emotionally, spiritually. I had enough experience with jails at this point to know what I would be in for. At best, I would be in a dorm-style room that housed fifty or so others. This would give me my own bunk and the ability to shower when it was needed.

As luck would have it, the entire 48 hours were spent in holding. This is an area where detainees are held prior to being placed in general population due to a few different variables: one, if you're getting out in the next few days, you are most likely going to the end of the list to begin with, especially if they are backed up — which they were; two, I was there on a Friday, further exacerbating the overcrowding issue. It surely didn't seem as though I would be getting to lie my head down on a mat of any sort. While in intake, you sit around with between thirty and seventy guys depending on the cell you've been assigned to. Time has a way of slowing down in such cases. When I was certain it was midnight, I caught a glance at a clock that smirked 19:00 back at me. I was an entire five hours off! This only compounds the soon-to-come complications of my impending opioid and benzodiazepine withdrawal. One guy had already had a seizure due to extreme benzodiazepine and alcohol abuse. Hopefully this wasn't a sign of what was to come.

To break up the monotony, every inmate goes through a book-in procedure. It takes several hours to complete each individual for what consists of snapping on an armband ID, snapping a photograph, being fingerprinted, and given jail-issue shoes. They surely have the dragging their feet thing down to a science. Furthermore, there are meals. My first meal was not a total loss; I was still not feeling so bad as to prevent me from having an appetite. That would be my last meal for the next 48 hours.

As time went by, my anxiety levels began to shoot through the roof. Soon after, I was feeling each and every opioid withdrawal symptom known: hot and cold flashes, sneezing, runny nose, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, goosebumps, and restless leg. This, to give you a sense of time, was around 23:00 on the first night.

Needless to say, I did not get a wink of sleep that night. I tried to keep my mind busy by thinking of positive things awaiting me on the outside; unfortunately, I was in such bad shape that I couldn't conjure much up.

At one point, I asked for a Xanax; I mean, why not? I have a valid prescription for it. The look on the lady's face was one I'll never forget; it was like I had just suggested we murder the President. She just could not, or would not, entertain the idea of giving a medicine to a known junkie. It's experiences such as these that make me ever so skeptical of the talk of drug reform (read: legalization). There are too many people that have unbelievably warped understandings of drugs and its subculture for it to ever be a realistic platform for discussion.

While in pre-holding, I watched the police bring in a guy that was obviously under the influence of some kind of narcotic. I spotted him as I scanned the holding cell. Still a bit out of his mind, I decided to approach him anyway. What else is there to do?


Fast Forward: 21.5 Months

No, I didn't die. This was the most common topic of discussion in e-mails I received regarding the site's inactivity. Thank you for caring enough to e-mail me.

Guys, I am back; and — perhaps more importantly — I have decided to stick around a bit, too. Let's hope I stick with this trend.

It has been over twenty-one months since my last contribution; that is nearly two years. Looking back at everything, it has actually been just over two years since my last post with any semblance of punctuality.

It has — many times, actually — occurred to me that I simply start anew; I keep wondering if this isn't but an old, worn blog mere moments away from a final ride to the glue factory. I figure I owe giving this blog another shot; and, to be totally honest with you, as I write this, it feels sound. So — for now, anyway — this site will press on.

One resounding question is entangled amongst what's left of my brain: where do I even begin? I feel it best to return to the hybrid of essay, rambling, and status reports it once was. This will instill a sense of normalcy at worst. Afterwards, time permitting, I will begin filling everyone in on what has happened in the last two years. Sound good? No? Well, tough luck.

I will end this by logging a status report: I have one year, seventeen days of sobriety! I'm going to do my best at addressing possible reactions to this. First, there was a period in which I relapsed and, boy, did I ever. I was using all day, every day and going through $200 to $400 per day on my habit. This went on for numerous months and ended rather abruptly — this was not something I elected to do. How is that for a bit of foreshadowing?

More to come, I promise! Oh, and for the technically-minded out there, I plan to move this to a domain and host this myself. Does anyone have any recommendations on domain names and/or hosting companies? It needs to have PHP5, MySQL5, and a pretty sweet control panel at the bare minimum.

If you feel you may be able to offer me some technical assistance, or, if you'd simply like to contact me personally shoot me an e-mail at heroindiaries@gmail.com.

15 February 2008

Wow, wow, wow.

Firstly, thanks to anyone that as much takes the time to skim this posting. I all but abandoned this blog; and, realistically, I shouldn't expect to have a single reader left. Additionally, I stopped posting during an immensely weighty point in my young recovery.

Left and right, I have become witness to numerous people falling off of their respective wagons. I wish each person well and hold out hope that these people will be able to reverse their derailment.

On the bright side, however, I was able to persevere. I have broken through the initial barriers that ever surrounded me and am extremely excited to announce that I am becoming a stronger person each and every day. It truly is one day at a time. So, without further ado, I am officially announcing my one-hundred thirty-ninth day of sobriety! It seems like but yesterday when I was boldly gleaming from within for being clean a handful of days — I have come so far!

I do not want to falsely illustrate the "typical outcome"; this is more of a miracle at this point than anything else. I still very much aware of the dangers that surround me and just how quickly I, myself, could jump ship.

I want to extend my arms to everyone out there still suffering, still in the same daily cycles of addiction: give sobriety a shot, it can work. I am living proof who never thought I'd be able to say so.

Now... not everything has gone as planned; but, then again, whose life does? I have had a lot of recent setbacks that have nearly tossed me across the line. I will write about these instances in numerous soon-to-come entries.

Until then, take care everyone. Beat the beast that addiction is!

06 November 2007

Status Report: 17 Oct 2007-06 Nov 2007

Hey guys. I apologize for seemingly abandoning the blog; I've been extremely busy both at work and at home.

I would like to announce that this is my thirty-eighth day sober.

Every day gets a little better! For everyone out there that is struggling: it IS possible to break away from this deadly cycle. I know I surely was skeptical when I began this blog.

16 October 2007

Status Report: 13-16 October 2007


I really hope that I haven't lost out on every one's interest due to my lack of writing.

Things will soon change; I just moved into a new apartment and am beginning to have everything switched over, so to speak. My internet connection is supposed to be up and ready to go by this afternoon, but we shall see when that time comes. I've learned — pretty quickly, in my short life — that cable/utility companies are a bit overenthusiastic when selling their services; yet, when it comes down to actually providing said service, it is a bit of a toss up.

I'm now approximately one-quarter mile away from work. This makes it very simple for me to walk to and fro. I'm beginning to get used to the routine and actually quite like it. It's close enough to not be a burden, but far enough away to ensure some type of seclusion.

This is my seventeenth day of sobriety. Each day is an uphill battle, sure, but with each passing day I find myself feeling better and better. To all of those that are currently struggling with an addiction to opiates/opioids such as Heroin, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, or even codeine: it is definitely worth fighting the good fight to abstain.

12 October 2007

Status Report: 04-12 October 2007

I know, I know. I've been busy.

I am happy to report, however, that I have been sober for thirteen days.

I am moving this weekend to a new apartment complex that's right over the hill from where I work. I'm very much looking forward to it all. I will soon no longer be as reliant on others for rides to and fro. I will be nearly a quarter-mile away from work and, perhaps, a half-mile from a decent shopping center. Heck, I'm in walking distance of food, shopping, and entertainment. There's a nearby grocery store that borders both a Circuit City and Best Buy (along with other stores tied in), as well as a movie theater.

Things are definitely looking up!

04 October 2007

Judgment Day

I have court today (for the Driving while Revoked infraction); wish me luck everyone!