On this day of giving thanks I have much to be thankful for…

I am thankful for my sobriety. I am thankful for employment. I am thankful for food. I am thankful for shelter. I am thankful for family. I am thankful for friends.

I am thankful for the generosity of others; both friends and strangers near and far. I am here today because of the kindness and generosity of others. I can’t possibly thank everyone that has helped me through the my journey, but I do want to mention a few by name.

I am thankful for my friend B.H. and the staff at the GHC in Sacramento for maintaining a community center that has given hope to countless people including myself. I am thankful for my friend K.B. who I hadn’t seen in over ten years, yet she opened her home to me and let me stay far longer than she had initially agreed to. I am thankful for my friend B.B. whom I’ve never met in person, yet she was kind enough to help purchase a pre-paid cell phone so I was able to be contacted while I was searching for work. I am thankful for my friend L.Z.; one of my biggest supporters and cheerleaders. L.Z. conceived and executed a plan that got me off the streets and brought me back to New York. This fresh start has allowed me to stabilize and begin to move forward. I know she did not do it alone, she enlisted financial help from several other people who I will likely never meet. There are several other people I need to thank, and will use means other than Facebook to do so.

In the past I took many things for granted. I always assumed that I would always have an income, transportation, food, and shelter. I spent money on what I wanted when I wanted it without any regard for the future. I was always looking for something better and more of everything. I took friends and family for granted. Today I am a different person. I am thankful for everyone in my life and everything I have.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone near and far. Stay safe.

Time For Work

Tomorrow for the first time in fourteen months – 423 days to be exact, I am going to work. For the first time in my life I can go to work as the real me, I don’t need to pretend to be something I’m not.

Considering where I was six months ago today – restrained in a bed in the emergency department at Kaiser Hospital in Roseville CA, with near lethal levels of Norco and Xanex in my system and ligature marks around my neck, it is amazing that I am even here at all. The last nine months have been absolute hell… battling addiction, withdrawal, homelessness, self harm, and mental illness. I’m looking forward to finally having some stability and normalcy in my life. The fact that this day comes on my 46th birthday is true serendipity.

Anxiety Levels Falling

I’ve noticed that in the last couple of days my anxiety levels have been lower. Social Services is letting me stay in my motel until the end of the month. I don’t need to worry about shelter for a couple of weeks. I start working in a couple of days, so I’m hoping to have a place of my own by the beginning of December.

I think the biggest factor in this is that I’m away from the person I was staying with. She’s an introvert who would be perfectly happy to never interact with another human being. In addition to this she is verbally abusive. Her house is in a fairly rural area, the closest coffee shop and bus stop is over four miles away.

Now that I am away from her I feel like I have more freedom. There’s a donut/coffee shop a 15 minute walk away. The bus runs right past the motel. I’ve been able to get out and be around people. I’m amazed how much more centered I feel in such a short time.

How Is It a Possible?

The urge to cut has been overwhelming. I couldn’t take it anymore so I decided to go to the mall and looked for a new blade. I wandered around the hardware department of Sears for close to half an hour before I was greeted by a salesperson. I asked if they carried box cutters or exacto knives…

I was informed that it is illegal to sell them in New York State.

Really New York?

I Didn’t Realize How Addicted I Have Become

I am addicted to self harm.

I have been struggling with self harm for the last several months. It is my coping mechanism for dealing with stress and and quieting the voices. The longest I have been able to abstain is six days.

Right now the urges are very strong and I can’t do anything about it. I’m currently staying in a dump of a motel that has drug dealers and prostitutes roaming the parking lot. I’m here on a voucher from Social Services. One of the conditions of the voucher is no weapons. I have to return to Social Services to report my progress in finding an apartment. I have to pass through a metal detector at Social Services, so I’m not able to even hide a blade. The urges are so strong that the voices are screaming at me and my hands are shaking. I need relief.