Zenth Chasing: This will serve as an introduction

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This is a picture of me though I change my hair a lot so I may not look like this anymore, you get the general idea. That is my friends kitty.

This is some really powerful writing – first of her blogs – from Erica on her website Zenith Chasing. Erica contacted me this week.

The intro to the website reads: ‘A twenty-something, female, east-coast transplant, creatively inclined, dirt poor, recovering addict documents her struggles and triumphs as she claws her way towards her dream of a happy and productive life in San Francisco.’

‘I’ve been waiting for the right time to write my first post and I guess today makes sense because today I’m fucking up.  I am about to relapse, I know this yet I cannot seem to stop myself.  I’ve been trying to get a hold of my dealer since last night. He is notoriously difficult to get on the phone which is probably to my benefit right now, but I know that if he had been available I would have gotten high last night, so my current sobriety is not for lack of effort to the contrary. 

It’s been about a month since I shot any dope, I’ve been on a methadone clinic for two months now, and up until a few days ago I was really trying hard.

I’m going to quickly tell you some basic facts about me.  My name’s Erica, I’m 25, I am originally from New England (Portland, Maine mostly) but I consider New York City to be my home.  I moved to SF in November. 

I was a homeless heroin addict for seven years, I just got clean two months ago and I still struggle with my addiction on a daily basis.  I used to ride freight trains and hitchhike around the US and consequently have been to almost every state and major city in the country. 

I am currently unemployed, though I am trying my best to find work, the economy has basically been shit my entire adult life but I really cannot use that as an excuse any longer. I am an artist and an activist. 

I am queer with a very asexual leaning but that could possibly be attributed to my sexual abuse related PTSD.  As you can see, I am painfully (often excessively) honest. I feel like if I put everything out there people cannot use my faults against me.

Here are some things I do tend to lie about because I am ashamed.  I am on a methadone clinic.  My mother pays my rent at the shitty SRO hotel where I live because I have no source of income. I dropped out of college and gave up on a full ride because I wanted to be a junkie and hang out with ‘crusties’ in Tompkins Square Park. I am very, very shy and sensitive, my feelings get hurt very easily. I have no friends besides my dog Kali.

That’s all for now in the way of introductions, if you decide to read this blog you will learn a lot more about me as I am desperately nostalgic and overly analytical.  Years of therapy have made me adept at introspection and expressing my feelings and intentions.  I do not  mince words and I have promised myself that I will be honest in this blog, so if you are offended by, um, potentially offensive content, this is not the blog for you.  You have been warned.

A couple of things happened to get me to the point of fiending for a hit.  First, I was participating in a judicial program called the Community Justice Center, AKA Poverty Court. This program required me to go to court once a week, go to groups, do community service, document my dosage at the clinic, and speak with a case manager.  This gave my life some semblance of structure and gave me motivation to accomplish goals and get my shit together. 

Last week I went in to court and the judge dismissed my case on a technicality.  I should have been happy about this, so says my lawyer, but I was crushed.  There goes my sense of accountability, there goes feeling like someone gives a shit about my life, there goes people trying to help me.  Now I’m on my own.

My mother, who I have historically had a very tumultuous yet close relationship with, has not been speaking to me for the past three or four months.  I fucked up and made a very junkie-esque move on her that I will explain some other time. 

Anyways, I feel very alone since I also have distanced myself from my only friends in San Francisco, other junkies.  I have no one to talk to besides my therapist and my hippie neighbor, who are both great people, but I still feel extremely isolated.  Most of the time I just sit around with my dog watching shit on my step-dads’ netflix account. 

Before I got on the clinic my days were spent (hypothetically) ‘boosting’, shoplifting from various bay area stores and selling the stolen goods to mexican ‘fences’ for the local flea markets.  This is how I earned money to support my habit and also how I acquired necessities like clothes and hygiene products.  Now that I am trying to get clean I have no income and nothing to do.

Because of CJC I started doing community service at a local arts organization that shall remain nameless.  Initially volunteering there made me very happy because I got to paint and felt like I was gaining work experience and blah blah blah etc.  Unfortunately the lady who oversees volunteers doesn’t like me.  I have to mention that I am very insecure and easily hurt when I am not high. 

The main draw of heroin for me is that it makes me not give a fuck, after spending my entire childhood and teenage years feeling pathetic and like an exposed nerve, not caring about anything was a welcome respite.  Maybe I was being over sensitive but I really think this woman resents me. 

This is really fucking embarrassing but I’m just gonna throw it out there. My wisdom teeth came in about two years ago and crumbled as they did, now I have two jagged half-teeth jutting out of my mouth cutting the fuck out of my gums and the inside of my cheeks.  That shit is clearly infected.  Heroin dulled the pain of the infection and gum-shredding but now I don’t have that.  I don’t have insurance. 

Apparently the cesspool in my mouth makes my breath smell bad, other junkies don’t care about that kind of shit but normal folk do.  Anyways, volunteer lady made a comment about it and now I’m too embarrassed to go back and volunteer, don’t have community service to do anymore anyways so I don’t need to, but now all of the structure is completely gone from my life. 

Back to sleeping all day and watching ‘Damages’ all night.  I already watched the entire 8 seasons of ‘Charmed’ and ‘Supernatural’ plus everything Joss Whedon has ever created, BTVS rawks!   I’m a loser.

Yesterday I got a text from my mom.  My grandfather died. We were relatively close when I was younger.  I did not even know he was dying. She texts me this.  She says not to call because she doesn’t want to talk to me yet.  I know this is my fault, it’s just hard to deal with shit like this alone and without heroin to numb everything.

Anyways that’s why, in a nutshell, I am now desperately trying to buy some decent dope.  Pretty much everything on the street in SF is total garbage these days so I have to buy high grade expensive shit just to feel anything and not feel like I flushed my money down the toilet. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me something by the fact that I can’t get either of my old dealers on the phone. 

I should probably just go get on the bus to the clinic and forget about it, but it tends to stick in my mind once I start the process of fiending for it.  Maybe I should hit a meeting or something, haven’t been to one in years.

Have to go, more later.

Update: It’s 4pm and I haven’t gotten high yet.  Hopefully I can make it through the day without relapsing.’

Comments

  1. Erica,
    I am praying for you right now – fell the prayer and the love all around you and in your heart. Hang on one minute at a time if you have to. You are worth it.

  2. Bash O'Khana says:

    Hello Erica…. Lifes difficult as it is without Heroin creating Hell. I identify with everything you said about using Heroin so not to give a fuck……but you only end up not caring about yourself. We can step outside of ourselves and Act with Compassion and Courage,we deserve that,every Human deserves some compassion. Just dont pick up…go to a meeting or clinic….anything is better than using.

  3. Thank you so much for the feature David, I really appreciate the support and acknowledgement – as you know I am a fan of your blog so seeing my post here was a most unexpected honor. Thanks again for all of the work that you do to help those in our situation find courage and hope! I also appreciate the comments left by your readers, it means a lot to know that people care and understand. It was interesting to read this post again as it was my very first blog post and so much has changed already (for the better) since I wrote it! I wish you all the best of luck and strength in your recovery! Stay strong everyone!
    Sincerely,
    Erica from ZC
    ps – I did not relapse that day, or any day after, and I picked up my 30 day sobriety chip last week! :)

    • David Clark says:

      Hi Erica, Thank you so much for such a lovely thank you comment. I really have to say again that you write so powerfully, I can feel your pain and determination. We’re still only a small readership, but I know that people will read you and may not comment. I know that there are people out there who care about you and please rtake that forward on your journey. And please contact me any time you wish. My love and admiration, David x

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