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Welcome to my blog. I hope we can help each other endure the pain of the addiction of a daughter or son.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Got the Keys

Beth and I went to sign up for the new apartment. She was neat and clean. Her hair was blown dry and loose over her shoulders. She was nice to the apartment manager and me. Her pupils looked normal, her speech, coordination and driving were good. She did keep her foot drumming in constant motion.

Then I noticed a big bruise on her hand where she used to shoot up. She saw me notice and said that the trunk fell on her  hand. Yikes!

Look at my hand Mom, there is no hole in the bruise. There would be a hole there if I were shooting up. I wish the scars would fade.

I just said OH and changed the subject.

Don't most addicts shoot up someplace that can be hidden? She used the most obvious spot on her body.


  1. Most addicts will shoot up in a place that is not obvious, until their veins become too bad. And at that point, most of them do not care who sees. (I know I did not.) When your veins become really bad, the hand is often an easier place. These veins are closer to the surface, and they often stick up a little more. They are easier to hold if they roll, and there is nowhere for them to hide from the invasive intrusion because there is only bone below them. It is more painful here, and easier to miss and bruise because there is no give in the hand. After your veins become damaged, it is hard to hit any of your bigger, better, less obvious veins. And when an addict wants to get high and can't hit a vein, they can become obssesive about getting that hit. (I know I did.) Where ever, or how ever. Once the shot was cooked up, and the needle had pierced my skin with an unsuccessful attempt...I felt like I had tasted it just a little, and I became obbssessed with getting that shot. I would poke and prodd for way too long. When all the nice big veins became unusable, I used my hands, my feet...and eventually my neck. I would try to cover it up with chokers or gloves, but let's face it, that was just as obvious to the trained eye. (I know when I see long sleeves or gloves in the summer now, I automatically think...needles.) Even after not using certain areas for quite a while, these veins did not come back. Four years after my last shot, the doctors still had trouble drawing blood from my damaged veins. There would not nessacarily be a "hole" in the mark, either. If you puncture the vein all the way through, a bruise occurs. You could pierce the skin once and get a bruise. I really do hope that the trunk slammed on your daughter's hand. But, be forwarned, that if she is shooting up in her hand, it is because other veins are in bad shape. If she is shooting up in her hand, she is at a point where trouble is likely to follow. (I hate to bear this news, and again, I do not know your daughter and I could be wrong. I do know needles, and I do know addiction, and I have been clean for over 4 and a half years, so I am able to really look at my past with honesty and truth.) I hope that I am wrong. And I hope she is not shooting up.

  2. Blemons,
    Thanks for sharing. She always has her arms bear so she is not covering needle marks there. I pray that she starts stringing together some moments of clarity. She is always at a point where trouble is likely to follow weather or not drugs are involved. I can only pray, encourage the good I see and not be a source of drug money.

    Congratulations on your sobriety. It is the most precious thing you have. Every day of sobriety is a miracle!


  3. Anna...I was thinking about something else last night that I wanted to share with you. I wanted to comment last night, but it was very late when I finished all my homework. When I was on methadone, I often had to attend these group counselling sessions because I kept testing dirty for other drugs (mostly coke.) The sessions were required of anyone who had failed the urine tests in order to keep recieving methadone. One thing that always struck me was the combination of mental illness associated with heroin. I, myself, have no mental illness. I was always fascinated with this side of opiate addiction. I heard this many, many times...people did not feel comfortable in their own skin until they first used heroin, or people felt like they were normal when they used. It struck me as odd...heroin made people feel normal? It made me feel anything but normal. It made me feel extraordinary. I always listened intently to those who shared this "normality" sentiment. Many times they had suffered from mental illness, often before they ever started using. Several girls I knew well had been in various mental hospitals and had tried so many legal doctor prescribed drugs used to treat mental illness, and none of that seemed to work. But, somehow, they were able to feel more stable and normal with heroin. The insanity that was naturally in their minds would quiet down just a little. Now, I know that addiction will ALWAYS lead to greater insanity in the end, and such was also the case with these friends as well. But, because I heard this sentiment from many different people I encountered in both addiction and recoveey...I think there may be something to it. Maybe, on a chemical level, opiates do ease some of the insanity. After all, opiates are naturally occuring in our brain, and dopamine is affected by opiates, and dopamine is also often irregular with mental illness. And then again, maybe it is just another excuse a lot of addicts use, and I just fell for it. I am not sure. But, I do think it is a common experience among dual diagnosis addicts to feel more normal with heroin (at least in the beginning.) I wanted to share this with you because I thought it might sound familar to your daughter.

    Also, I have two vey close friends in recovery who have serious mental illness. I knew them both back in the day when we all used together. One is schizophrenic, and the other is bipolar with a lot of post traumatic stress (and she is the worse case of the two.) They struggle with their mental illness in their sobriety, and in turn, they struggle with sobriety. They usually call me in times of crisis, and I try to do what I can. Which is usually just talking to them and trying to calm them down or give them some solid advice. They both most constantly monitor their meds, and they must be vigilent about their illness and its treatment. The first of the two just had a baby, and things started getting real unclear for her, and she checked herself into a facility immediately, for the sake of her baby. She wants to be a good mother, and she realized she could not do so with her mind spinning. I am so proud of her. She got out today, and she is more dedicated to here child than before. It is beautiful. The other dear friend is really struggling, and they have changed her meds yet again. She has a lot of trauma from Hurricane Katrina, and I am very worried about both her safety and sobriety. I am calling her later tonight, as a matter of fact. I worry so much about these two dear friends. I cannot imagine being their mother. It is hard enough sometimes to be their friend. Strength of character is essentail. I have a lot of admiration for you. Your daughter is lucky to have a mother like you.

  4. sweetie. addicts shoot up wherever they can get a vein. then they come up with lies to explain away the bruises.

    women often shoot up in the veins in the breast. also between the toes and on the feet. inside of the upper thigh is good.

    addicts are junkies and junkies shoot up wherever. its a vein, it's dope.

  5. Anna...check out my post for today on my blog. Rmember I mentioned my friend with schizophrenia who just had a baby? Well, the post is about her. It is called "Disappointment." She relapsed, and she of course lied about it to me. It is really heartbreaking. I thought you might like to read it since I just told you how proud of her I was. Such is life, to quote Ned Kelly. I am just thankful to be where I am today.

  6. I hope that she has moments of clarity as well.