You Kick it or it Kicks You

Yesterday a young mother in her early thirties with three young children died of a heroin overdose. This isn’t truly news worthy as it is a weekly occurrence it seems but she was working hard in recovery so it came as a huge surprise and was devastating to the community.

As a former user of prescription opiates who found myself dependent and went cold turkey off of them I am connected to the heroin community and moreso the heroin anonymous group at our support club.

It appears as I just celebrated three months free and clear of Xanax, Adderall, alcohol and caffeine that my medical detox following my cold turkey opiate withdrawals was a walk in the park compared to these young addicts suffering on the streets with not a lot of places to turn.

I go as a prescription drug addict to a daily meeting at 7:30 am Monday through Friday which is technically an AA meeting but everyone sees it as a drug is a drug. This support group has saved my life and I am reminded today that I was able to get medical intervention and hospitalization, followed by visiting nurses and a massive amount of support group meetings with mentors with many years of sobriety.

My friends on the streets are not as fortunate. Many heroin users start out as opiate users like myself, who liked the pills, then turned to the streets for pills and when the pills got too expensive they turned to the cheapo heroin. Barely nobody makes it back from heroin. I see proof of miracles in the heroin community daily but another senseless death like last night destroys the little progress being made.

I am finally passed the ninety day mark of recovery and no longer battling withdrawals. I wouldn’t wish what I went through on my worst enemy. I was so far from being okay. I couldn’t speak, my entire body shook, my eyes twitched, my arms and my hand shook violently-it was a nightmare and it went on for almost two months. Finally I am back to a better normal and so glad I went through what I did to get through the prescription detox and off the medication.

I am a big proponent of prescription free life and will work everyday to keep my sobriety. I have a foot surgery coming up on July 20, 2K17 and I already have the drugs for pain at my home for the upcoming surgery. I have to take opiates as my foot is getting broken in two places and a piece of bone is being sawed off. I have had for over two weeks prescriptions for OxyContin and oxycodone sitting on my bureau. I wasn’t addicted to them my body grew dependent on them. I have no desire to take them early and my surgeons do not think I have a problem with opiates. My sponsor doesn’t want my to take the OxyContin since it is the closest thing to heroin. Not my gig and I NEED both medications for this severe surgery. I am not nervous about taking them since it is for no more than eight days. I have been referred to a pain clinic and I refuse to go since pain clinics are where addicts are made. This is the very first operation in many operations I have had that I am actually nervous about. Having my foot broken in two places scares me as my bones may be compromised from anorexia and I hope my foot breaks according to plan. I will willingly take anti-anxiety medication once I am at the hospital and let them know I am nervous. I am not asking nor will I take Xanax. I am not that dumb, I know I can NEVER touch Xanax again as I can never go through a medical detox again for Xanax and I know how much I like it and how it stores up in my body in my muscles and it took two months after the medical detox to withdraw from Xanax completely. It was the most horrific experience of my life and how I didn’t turn to alcohol is a damn miracle. It would have been so easy to go to the liquor store and get vodka and take the edge off the withdrawals. I don’t know how I didn’t do it and neither do people in my support groups who really questioned whether I would truly survive my detox. If I told you it was a higher power as I understand it, you would probably laugh, so go on and think I am a rad badass who went through opiate withdrawals and then detoxed off of Xanax, Adderall, and caffeine in a span of twelve weeks.

I see a new psychiatrist now who saw me for the first time two months ago and told me I was violently withdrawing from the Xanax. She put me on a valium regime-a taper of sorts but said I will always need to be on something of some sort. I immediately felt better and she basically saved my life. I was withdrawing from Xanax since March and saw her in May.

I KNOW I am a badass and nobody could do what I did voluntarily. Remember, I didn’t have to come off anything and throw in giving up alcohol with the opiates and I am seriously badass and capable of pretty much anything. It has made an already confident person like myself even more confident. I don’t think there is anything I can’t do or accomplish. My sobriety I wear as a badass badge of honor I will never give up.

I have become addicted with Martin Shkerli, the pharm bro who raised the drug from 13 dollars a pill to 750 dollars a pill. He is under indictment for other reasons other than raising the drug as it is not illegal to raise drug costs in this country. His trial just started and he has plastered himself all over social media and I am fixated on this dude and whether he is as evil as the world thinks he is or if like his 100k followers on YouTube or Facebook think he is a fucking hero. I am spending hours over days watching his videos and I am fascinated by his smugness and his cocksure attitude. Best addiction I could probably have right now.

I miss the good old days of Xanax and Adderall but know I am a healthier and better person being clean from the dope. Alcohol went by the wayside with the support group meetings and I have thought of vaping but I can’t bring myself to do it. Everyone at heroin anonymous vapes. It is like the substitute of choice besides the Suboxone or Methadone they are taking daily.

Thinking what I can do to help other addicts. The heroin community is my peeps and they are dying weekly. I mean every time a person uses heroin they have a 33.3334% chance of dying. Surely this is too high a percentage to right mindedly use this drug of mayhem and death. Compared to AA where people have 40 plus years of sobriety HA people are exceptional with 20 months of not using dope. Most of them started out on opiate pills and I have no idea why I didn’t get a happy feeling taking pain pills and get addicted just like all of them. The typical story goes like this: addict got a prescription for opiates for some real pain, they loved the pills and when their legit scripts ran out they turned to the streets for the pills. Then the pills got too expensive and they fucking turned to heroin because it was cheaper. Why that isn’t my story I don’t know and sometimes I feel guilty. I have my deceased alcoholic dad to thank for my aversion to addiction or dependence. I loathe it for myself and I am scared to death of it. I have always worried about liking something too much and I was heading that way with Xanax. Hence the voluntarily detox. If I wanted to go back on it, there are plenty of doctors who will prescribe it to me. NOT interested.

Nervous about putting opiates in my body again, but I haven’t a choice and I am only taking them for a maximum of 8 days. That is all the surgeon thankfully will prescribe. I will be staying at my parents with Stephanie since they have no stairs to climb and my mom will be handling my opiates once I have the surgery. I know I would never abuse them, I just want to do it the right way and not put myself in a situation where I have my foot broken in two places with screws on the inside and a pin sticking out of my foot and let pain decide for me to take pills early or take more than I am prescribed. I will keep you posted on my surgery journey as this isn’t the last one and my next one is hugely invasive per the surgeon’s opinion which means it is fucking really bad since surgeons never think anything is a big deal.

Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2K17

Do You Believe in Intellectual Majik?

I come from a long lineage of debaters of almost anything worthwhile and  playful; summoning as thd404cbe230168eb471437f5c65555914ought-provoking discourse. I grew up in a family where my first word was why? and so it will also be my last word as well.

I question most things worthwhile in a  discourse of discussion but not discord. Many people are uncomfortable with discourse and are not used to having their perspectives  or views challenged in the gentlest ways to provoke further thought and hopefully progression of a given topic.

This is a short rant on those people who can not tolerate being challenged in their thoughts because they play a zero-sum game of conversation where they assume they are right, and well in my world, nobody is right and all conversations and most important topics lend and bend to further  discussion with the hopes of a grandeur understanding of a subject, where perhaps more questions than answers are discerned.

I had the unsavory experience of a person who I thought was secure in their intellect, only to find out in the most unpleasant manner that this was not the case and offense was taken and walls built to exclude further debate or discussion over something I reveled in the idea of growing my trite and uneducated thoughts at the experience that unbridled discourse on the subject matter would have  expounded.

Why is  it we live in a society where everyone has to be right, that notions are set in stone and ideas are no longer fluid like water filling an empty space taking on new shape and form with each further discussion that transpires?

I can not for the life of me identify with people so caught up in being “right” in their minds that they leave no room for growth or expansion or even descent of their original views. I thrive when I meet a person who makes me think, makes me question, pushes me forward to go back and think further, perhaps differently, and contemplate a new semi-permanent answer or better yet further questions than I never originally asked.

I don’t live to be right: I live to think, to be spurred on by novel thoughts and new ideas, my mediocre brain has yet to think or ponder.

This is what I mourn today: the future discourse that was capable of pushing my brain to new levels of thought and processes has been decimated. All because of an ego too great for the challenges that might lay ahead, I am denied the opportunity with this fine person to grow my mind and my thoughts.

Here’s looking to making better judgements about people and their securities with themselves and their insecurities with knowing they really no nothing and discourse is just a means of bringing some slight closure to answers without questions and questions without answers.

You know who you are-our discussions will be sorely missed.

Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2K17

 

 

 

 

Precipice of Authenticity

It is far from a secret to most that I am an Ally to the transgender world. In my few years of meeting and getting to know some of the most beautiful people, I have come to realize just how brave every transgender person truly is.

In a world where meretricious people finagle  nothing more than Instagram pictures, Facebook posts, and fleeting Snapchat fades, we as a society have relegated ourselves to nothing more than a wile quip or image on some form of social media.

It is rare that we get to truly know a person beyond the façade of posts and images, and when we do we are often disappointed by the discrepancy of the social media world and the real world. It takes an act of bravery to allow someone to get to know us beyond the fey walls and cages of social media these days.

There is one major reason for this apparent discord in what we “post to be” and what who we actually are: authenticity. Nefarious behavior and people decimate the validity of all forms of social media in these days of virtual reality which has replaced in person formalities.

Authenticity is what makes people real: makes them true and tried friends, makes them people we truly want to know and are ultimately interested in, but the façade of social media and invidious people acts as a fortress of a delusional mirror to forsake and forgo such intimate and real interaction.

Transgender people are polymaths and  have had much to actually deal with when it comes to authenticity-we all do for that matter but it is much more glaring for obvious reasons in the transgender community in a world where they must evince.

Transgender people must decide at some point in their lives if they are to live in mendacity or as their true selves; to embrace their laudatory natural-born truth to whatever extent they are comfortable and capable of doing and brave the world nekkid in their soul’s reality for the entire world to see and sadly malignly judge, with mendacity a lot of the time.

I have no greater appreciation, apotheosis or awe for the transgender person who steps outside of their lived selves  and decides to shed the costumes and the protections of necessity and bear their succor truths for the world to see, love, and in lots of cases reject and hate. It is called transition by many folks in the transgender community, but it is more of a self-actualization of sorts where one’s true self is finally recognized for all to see and bare witness after years of living as someone they were not and never were.It is a catharsis of sorts. Of course transgender people are real, and their personalities, love, friends, relationships are real even though they themselves are not living their BIG and truly only TRUTH prior to their brave avatar of self.

Lots of times this someone who they are not, is a person who has been quite successful, perhaps married and had children, and spent their entire life being loved and admired by friends and family who may have not had any idea that the true person inside the body which doesn’t match the soul is not the TRUTH in gender at the very least. They have built full lives filled with undeniable memories and experiences which make facing and braving transition all the more painful on the way to the greatest form of liberation.

Authenticity is something we as humans struggle undoubtedly mitigating our entire lives to overcome this debacle and actualized to the best of our abilities to mollify if we are inclined to seek our inner-most truths and realities. Transgender people face this formidable task straight on, imputing  the moment they decide to break free, scuttling from the prisons within which they have lived their entire lives, now ready to  gambol and  decide to free themselves, imputing to  be their true selves whatever that may look like.

I find it ironic that so many transgender people look to the cis-gender world for guidance and assurance when that couldn’t be farther from what should be happening. Cis-gender people have so much to learn from transgender people regarding truth, honesty, and most of all authenticity.

See transgender people in order to traverse the landscape from former self to true self have no choice but to deal with the issue of authenticity on some level, and well the same is not true for cis-gender people at all. A cis-gender person can live their entire life without every searching for their authentic self or actualized their authentic selves if they are not brave enough to choose so. This can not be said for the transgender person who bravely choses to transition in their life to embrace their inner most truth, which many have come to realize is not a choice or an option but a necessity to take their next breath.

Authenticity is not a destination but a journey regardless of who or what we are. Courage, bravery, sadness, loss, enlightenment, and freedom to name a few are all part and parcel of a circuitous pathway to a lifetime of empowerment and uncertainty. But through the quest for personal authenticity we are guaranteed a journey and a life lived with freedom and self-actualization that surpasses any road block that comes with the pursuit of our personal truth.

Very few people have the honest and courageous ability to look into the mirror that is not faded or cracked and face the undeniable search of their true selves in this world; where we are not rewarded by society for being our authentic selves in part and parcel. Coming out of closets, out of caves, freeing ourselves from shackles, coming out from under rocks are all amazing and beautiful transitions that lead to self actualization of our beings but guarantee nothing but personal satisfaction and the incredulous truth that we are who and what we are supposed to be. There is nothing more beautiful and more priceless for a human being participating in this world than realizing deep truths about ourselves and the people we are meant to be here on this earth.

As an intersex person I have spent a great deal of my life working through my authenticity in this world where I really didn’t fit in. I worked hard, I went to therapy, I created my own universe and lived a life without pronouns to be clear.

As I crested forty I felt liker I was in a good and solid place with myself, and the truth I figured out about myself over the ensuing years left me in a solid place as a parent, student and partner. I was quite sure of who I was, and lived accordingly in this world where the world received me as my reality defined me.

All this changed as does authenticity over time, but my change was sudden and drastic and not one I was comfortable with in the least.  This past January I found myself dependent on opiates from a fall I suffered in August. Prior to the opiate dependence I was a successful parent, student, partner and worker on a National Presidential Campaign, who had started a political group following the election which was quite successful and gaining momentum. The opiate dependency left me fractured, disposing of the rest of the prescription and going cold-turkey off the opiates into a whirlwind of vicious withdrawals.

The opiate dependence started a cascade of punitive actions from other health care professionals even though I did the right thing by tossing the rest of the prescription and withdrawing instantly from them. I was found non-compliant with a controlled substance and hence found to be unworthy of any other controlled substance I was being prescribed. This made little sense to me, as I could have stayed dependent and gotten the opiate prescription month after month without any medical intervention.

As a person with pure mania and vicious anxiety I was prescribed controlled substances of Adderall and Xanax at very high but approved dosages. These prescriptions were no longer an option with my provider so after twelve years I faced a barbaric 16 day medical detox off both drugs. I never thought it was right or in my best interest.

I went through the medical detox in March of 2K17 and suffered tremendously from the withdrawals and dependence. I was put on a host of other drugs to try to combat the anxiety I was dealing with but nothing worked. My authenticity was non-existent during the weeks following my detox. I knew nothing of who I was or where I was heading. I was in pure survival mode.

As the weeks passed and now I have surpassed two months since leaving the hospital I see a glimmer of who I was and still who I believe to be. Loved ones comment that I suffer from slurred speech, have lazy eyes and move more slowly, but I am here somewhere in this mess of medical mayhem.

I want everything to be the way it was-for my authenticity to be the secure facet I knew it to be. That is not the case, sure I am still me, no pronouns, in my own universe, but my confidence and my effect as well as my physical looks are off. It has only been two months and lots of progress since those initial days has been made. I want what I was, and the TRUTH is my authenticity changed dramatically and now I must figure out my new, evolved truth and embrace it even if it hurts and causes me pain, loss, and grief. We are always changing, we just like to think we have ultimate control over our changes as we grow deeper into our authenticity.

Being truthful is paramount to authenticity and it was glaring until today in a major part of my life:my Facebook community. I had not been honest or forthcoming with my on-line community that has become an extension of my family with some friends becoming more than just social media acquaintances and even some meeting in person. It has nagged on me for a month that I couldn’t return to Facebook without first facing my truth to the community. I didn’t want to be seen as an ordinary addict, for whatever reason I don’t see myself that way.

Sitting in church this morning it came to me that I missed my Facebook community and they deserved my TRUTH as ugly as it might appear. I bravely and painful crafted a post in summary detailing what I had been through. I tagged certain people on it and while I was writing it a huge wave of grief and sadness overtook me and drew me to tears I could not escape. They flowed freely for quite some time and I wasn’t really sure where the pain was coming from. As I sat with the grief it became apparent that I was filled with shame and guilt because in my mind THIS was never supposed to happen to me. I let the tears flow, I finished the post and I sent it.

This was the first major step in reclaiming and figuring out my new authenticity that has definitely changed my appearance, and my social effects, but perhaps not quite so much more was established today. I was left feeling today that there was more of me left past the physical ailments than there was parts of me that were newly  deficient in nature. Three weeks ago, I was unable to write freely and had to think and concentrate on each word. Now like times of old, I can readily type sentences and paragraphs without pausing to think about the next thought.

Facing Facebook was a major challenge and it hung over my head. I knew I had to be truthful to be a member of my community but I didn’t know how to do it. The response to my post has been nothing short of incredible. People have offered advice, shared similar experiences and let me know just how cared for I am in this community.

Today my authenticity is solid with changes to my physical being and my motor skills, but my mind and my soul which truly makes me, me are whole and not broken like I feared. I learned my authenticity will forever be changing and growing as I am, but my core, the part that makes me Corey is solid and something I can count on and so can others.

I weep gratitude and I ooze my evolving authenticity.

Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2k17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Madness As I Know It-A Series Part 1

My life has been a series of jarring events since January when I found myself dependent on opiates for a traumatic fall I took last August where I broke something on every limb.

I have always been petrified of addiction or dependence as my late father was a raging alcoholic who tormented my family until my parents got divorced when I was a young teenager.

I was never one to try illicit drugs, drink in high school, or even try a cigarette. Forget about pot, it was out of the question. I knew I had my father’s addictive personality as I was similar to him in many ways. Drinking was something that scared me through high school and being a promising athlete looking to go to college on a full scholarship, my body was basically my temple.

Once I got to college drinking took on a new social meaning and by my sophomore year I spent the spring semester imbibing on Absolute and pink lemonade everyday instead of going to classes I really didn’t need to show up at. I was also heavily involved in the gay club scene at the time in Boston and went out to various clubs Thursday through Sunday nights. My MO was to do a shot or two of Tequila and spend the rest of the night dancing on the floor with a friend with whom I had no romantic interest. I was basically out for the music and dance and the Tequila made it all the more relaxing and liberating.

That was the extent of my drinking in college and I never developed a taste for it or a desire for it outside the club scene.

When I started working in the financial industry I found myself going out a lot more but my drinking was very limited. I basically could not hold more than one drink so I would buy a drink, usually vodka and sprite with lime, and sip it for the duration of my time out. I did go through a brief period one summer with a particular roommate where we froze glasses and made nightly gin and tonics during the summer months prior to making dinner. I never worried about having a problem, for whenever I got on a roll of consecutive drinking I would immediately stop to make sure I could stop and also to make sure I didn’t like it too much.

When I turned twenty-nine I developed unexplained panic attacks like the ones my mother suffered when she turned forty. I was unable to ride the subway underground and suffered periods of sheer panic and fear that left my soul vacant without any substance. I went to see my primary care and he put me on the classic cocktail at the time for panic disorder: Klonopin and Paxil. Within months I was better and even able to fly to my sister’s house in Atlanta for Christmas.

The rest of my story, broken into parts is not so clean or sterile. It is filled with polypharmacy, misdiagnosis and maligned mental health treatment that would affect my entire life until now when I decided not to be a patient or a prisoner to psychotropic drugs and do everything I can to take back my life. I hope you will continue to read my ride through psychiatry and the world of big pharma.

Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2017

 

Corey

BORN THIS WAY-2017