Illegal Smile

John Prine, Illegal Smile

When I woke up this morning, things were lookin’ bad
Seem like total silence was the only friend I had
Bowl of oatmeal tried to stare me down… and won
And it was twelve o’clock before I realized
That I was havin’ .. no fun

But fortunately I have the key to escape reality
And you may see me tonight with an illegal smile
It don’t cost very much, but it lasts a long while
Won’t you please tell the man I didn’t kill anyone
No I’m just tryin’ to have me some fun

Last time I checked my bankroll,
It was gettin’ thin
Sometimes it seems like the bottom
Is the only place I’ve been
I Chased a rainbow down a one-way street… dead end
And all my friends turned out to be insurance salesmen

Repeat Chorus:

Well, I sat down in my closet with all my overalls
Tryin’ to get away
From all the ears inside my walls
I dreamed the police heard
Everything I thought… what then?
Well I went to court
And the judge’s name was Hoffman

Ah but fortunately I have the key to escape reality
And you may see me tonight with an illegal smile
It don’t cost very much, but it lasts a long while
Won’t you please tell the man I didn’t kill anyone
No I’m just tryin’ to have me some fun
Well done, hot dog bun, my sister’s a nun

10-4 Good Buddy

Had the day off today. I couldn’t really muster up the energy to do much but some grocery shopping and then went to the 1530 yoga class. Class was pretty good but I’m still getting really tired towards the end of class. Not normal tired like totally exhausted, but I guess that is par for the course just coming back.

I’m glad that I hit a meeting after I had dinner with my friend Jon. Now I’m waiting for my sweetie and we are gonna watch the last 2 episodes of LOST! Thank God it is finally over!

..Almost A Week..

So it’s been almost a week since I had my last surgery on my ankle. I can walk again with any aids and I used the stupid boot for the last time yesterday. I was able to do the warm up series via the cd this morning and while I was a bit sore and swollen I’m sure I’ll be fine for tomorrow. I’m going to practice the noontime class and go in a bit early to do some work Brad.

Overall I’m fine, but over the past few days I’ve noticed that weird feeling in my stomach that signals “somethings wrong”. I’ve gotten so use to being able to practice every day and when I’m doing that I almost never get this feeling. Life, for me, is about perspective and usually this feeling is connected with negative perspective. In other words, I’m not feeling good about myself and the world around me. What is really cool is all I have to do is take a yoga class, go to a meeting and I’m back in shape. It really is amazing just how much those activities right my mind and put me back in the drivers seat, or is it take me out, not sure depends on how you look at it :).

I also like to do this. To write about what is going on in my life. Hell I hardly ever even go back and read these entries but something about writing this stuff down and getting it out of my head helps me and has helped me for so long.

Having this week off was cool. It gave me a break from teaching and practicing and also gave me a chance to heal. My plan was to learn additional dialogue, read, watch lost and do all of this stuff. Turns out I only watched lost and did a few other things. The first three days were pretty cool. Sarah was here with me and then when I was alone I did some computer work. That is when I noticed my perspective changing and a sort of going into myself. Wanting to be alone and not wanting to do anything other than things like watch TV. I realized that I had to do other things too because anything that I use eventually uses me and leaves me with very few ways out.

Luckily for me I went to a few meetings this week. A friend picked me up for one and I took the train to the other. Going to meetings helps a lot, but it isn’t the whole equation. The longer I’ve been clean the more I need to do to continue to stay clean. Body, mind and spirit three intricately connected things each providing access to the next.

Sometimes I just feel bad. I think the biggest part of my problem most of my life is choosing to not recognize or accept that. I’m human and experience a range of emotions there is no reason for me to be in denial about that fact (that I’m human). It’s fine. I know that I’ll be OK and am grateful that I have a range of emotions today and not just the same feeling everyday.

It’s no coincidence that I’ve wanted to use over the past few days. Shit I basically had to when I had my surgery but there were a few things I could have done differently and will do next time. Like talk to the doctor about medication alternatives. I say I had to use for surgery because although the medicine was administered by a medical professional my body has no way of knowing that fact. As an addict it becomes hard to discern whether the drug is being used for recreation or pain. In my case it was for pain and the pain that I remembered in my first surgery was so great that I wanted to make sure I had enough medication to treat the pain in this one. The difference was the second was much less traumatic and therefore didn’t require the same amount of medication. Never mind all of that my brain was telling me to get as much of the pain medication into my system so that I wouldn’t have to experience the pain. My brain will even manufacture the pain to get the drugs, or whatever it is to not have to feel. So cunning…the worst part about all of this is the disease lies to me in my own voice.

It has taken me so long to start to trust myself. It took about 5 years before I even began to start trusting myself and my actions. Now it has been a decade and I trust myself a lot more but no matter how long I’ve been clean when it comes to narcotic medication I can NEVER trust myself once it is in my system. I will always have to count on other addicts to make sure I’m making the right decisions. I’m not saying that I’m helpless here. My heart is in the right place and even when I’ve used the medicine I still know what is right and wrong but left completely to my on devices I’ll start telling myself the right lies in order to be able to use.

The disease of addiction is incurable and fatal if not arrested. One day clean is all I am promised and all I can ever hope to achieve along the road of recovery and for that I am grateful.

Got Pills?

Woke up feeling OK. I was still a bit off because of the medication and the anesthesia. I took my last dilaudid at 6pm the night before and was a little torn around wanting more. Yea my sponsor says it’s totally normal for an addict to want to use drugs. Me I didn’t want to use I just wanted enough of the drugs in my system so I didn’t have to feel pain. OK I guess I wanted to use :). It’s all about justifying and rationalizing. Our literature talks about how we created “plausible but untrue reasons for our using…” For me in active addiction I just got sick of making excuses and just used-all of the time.

It’s been a long time, 10 years, since I used so now I’m back to looking for excuses. Nevertheless an addict, me, with drugs in my system has little defense against the disease of addiction. But that is when then ULTIMATE WEAPON comes into play: another recovering addict. I called my sponsor and he helped me get back to reality before I used and fucked up my clean time along with my life and probably the lives of all of the people closest to me.

Sarah came over and we had a nice day together. Went out to eat and she helped me go grocery shopping and the it was back home to watch more LOST. She helped me so much in these past few days I’m so grateful and love her dearly. It is really nice to have someone in my life that cares about me and loves me too.

Slice of Life


Sarah and I woke up and headed into MGH around 7:30. We got there and were processed pretty quickly. I was in a gown and in the back room awaiting surgery by like 10:30. At least we got to sit together until 11:45 when the came in to give me pain meds (fentanyl and versed) and move me into the OR. It was really cool: They brought me into the ER and then had me move onto this X-Ray table with a little doughnut thing for my head. I got comfortable and then they gave me “Oxygen”. After about five or six breaths I was unconscious…

I woke up crying and in a lot of pain. My ankle was killing me. More pain meds and a strong desire to just check out of the show…The pain started to lessen as the drugs took hold…Soon I was in another recovery room with a nurse getting papers ready and processing me out of the hospital. Luckily Sarah was able to be there with me so I wasn’t alone.

A little food and some throw-up later and we were on our way home…