Rising From the Landfill

When the Cult Doesn't Fit


The truth is I have been dipping my feet back in the landfill. It is almost painful to write the words, dare I admit it aloud.

The other evening I was asked that obnoxious question, “what is heroin like?” Immediately I thought of the word, heaven. My vision of heaven is fields and fields of flowers, sunlight, all of my dogs and huge trees with lots of shade for me to lie under. I’m ashamed to say that I did blurt the word “heaven” out. I stopped and said, NO, NO, NO. It is HELL. How did I forget so easily the pain, the sickness, and the loss? I tell myself I have three plus years clean. Do I? I have smoked and found it to be therapeutic at times. I have also gone overboard with the smoking. There I was “blown” and I loved it. The cherry vodka with my diet 7-up that I naturally nurse all night is just the right amount to get me “off.”  Is my idea of being “clean” just some more bullshit I tell myself to get by? Has it all been a façade I have created to maintain sanity? The Xanax? The Adderall?

Have I made progress? Did I leave the landfill only to find a “cleaner” recycling center? The lies I have been telling myself.  I am tired of just being “fine.”

The Disclaimer

I still don’t fit in. Fit in where? Here in this world or this specific mold that society has deemed I should fall into? I don’t know. Many addicts connect on this similarity alone; the feeling of simply never ‘belonging’ or ‘fitting-in.’ This very feeling is when one can find the rooms of the 12-steps to be most comfortable. You will here strangers share thoughts that you always thought made you absurd. To hear that others have had similar if not identical thoughts is comforting.

Now I must share my thoughts on the many 12 step programs that are out there.   I have participated whole-heartedly in both Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous. I believe there is something sacred in both of the programs and I am not here to bash either program. I use the word “cult” sarcastically. Many times during my long and painful struggle I would say to myself, ‘this is a fucking cult. These people are out of their minds.’ I have walked back into the rooms after being clean to check them out. The perspective I got from a clear-headed mind was much different. I listened and still found myself fearing the sickest of the sick were contagious. I too was once very sick. Naturally, I sat next to two of those souls and when they began to speak I shivered. I wanted my shield, my mask, FUCK, don’t let me catch this shit. Anxiety ridden, I reminded myself who was being the real nut job. One with my attitude needs to ask their selves, “How healthy are you really?”

Once I calmed down and did a self-check and began to listen to others I immediately realized that the “cult” really isn’t that bad; nothing more than a group of people getting together regularly, doing work to keep themselves well and help others. Seems like a win, win. Does this mean I will actively pursue more meetings, a sponsor and begin step work? No. For now, I am okay with doing what I am doing because it has gotten me where I am today. I know I have a lot to work on. Clearly my irrational thinking about addiction somehow being contagious is a clear-cut sign of something not being right! I do know I am no better or no worse than any of those people who sit in the rooms regularly.

Will I ever feel like I completely “fit in” here in this world? Absolutely not! Most days I am okay with this, especially in regards to societies norms. I am 38 years old and have never been married, have come close a couple of times and thank God those relationships never worked out! I cringe at what my life could have been with some of those winners! Life is good, but I’m always searching for more and that is part of what I think makes me feel as if I just don’t fit in. Again, I’m okay with that.

This is the Original Wise Polish Girl signing off for the night!

If you are a struggling person out there with anything and are reading this, DON’T QUIT. Keep trying, move forward and never forget what Winston said, “If you’re going through hell, Keep Going.”

Never Forget to Let Your Soulshine!


You are clean now and life is wonderful!  The new euphoria you are experiencing is one you never felt before and then…… LIFE HITS as usual.  The same shit stops, that were always there are now visible again.  Front and center.  Wait, isn’t this part of the reason addicts start using in the first place?  I thought our total lack of coping with normal life crap plays a role in our using?  Oh God, here we go.  Should I go to a meeting?  Should I find a sponsor?  Panic sets in, what did those books say again?  WHERE are those books?  Dear God, I threw them in the trash!

Calm down, you got this.  Somehow you made it this far.  I’m not even thinking about using, so why am I adding undue stress?  That is what we do. ADDICTS.  What is the issue?  Tackle it accordingly.  Get your panties out of a wad and do what YOU do best.  Make the list, where do you start first?  What is and is not feasible?  Yes it is cliché, but one miserable step at a time.  Smile!  Those steps really don’t have to be so miserable!

Please don’t misinterpret this entry, as it is all one big cakewalk.  It is not!  Currently I am struggling with dealing with an aging mother and care taking.  The inner selfish child in me wants to scream, “This is not my problem.  You have a husband.”  I also carry the guilt that she is my mother and I’m her daughter.  Therapist would argue, and ‘what does that mean?’  I guess for me, it means I love my mom and she was there for me and is a huge part of who I am today.  I feel a sense of duty, respect and love.  Along with that come resentments.  Resentments I most likely will continue to work through the rest of my life.

What is the point of this entry?  Doesn’t matter what the hell life throws your way.  No reason to give up, throw everything you achieved back into the landfill and pick up again.  I already know much worse is headed my way.  I’ve dealt with worse before through my clean days and yet here I am.  Life is hardly a ball of joy!  Some days, truly are amazing.  On the shittiest of the shit days, “When you can’t find the light, That got you through the cloudy days.”  You know the rest, Peace!








Winston Was Right!

The journey of letting my anger go began on a day I do not remember.  I wish I did know the exact date and time, because I think I would celebrate it like another birthday!  I guess it should be my clean date.  The day I pulled a “Forrest Gump” and said, well I have had enough now.  I’m done!  If one told me I would sit here today and smile at all of the past trials and tribulations, they would have been “told.”  I will spare you with the cliché, “my scars are signs of my strength.”  Please, let’s be real.  People lie when they say they have NO regrets.  Really?  I regret maxing out all of my first credit cards at 18!  That is a lesson I would have preferred to have not learned the hard way.  I could have gone my entire life without the heroin addiction!  There are some lessons I am grateful for.  Some.

How did I ever get so angry in the first place?  There is the obvious of course.  Rape has a tendency to produce that effect.  Did my anger start much earlier than that miserable evening?  I remember that day in the second grade, I stared at a math workshit full of double-digit subtraction problems and the tears flowed.  Those tears flowed like a city pipe busted.  What I do know is I’m not here to try to figure out how, why or when I became angry.  I’m not going to go and lay on a therapist’s sofa and rehash the past.  My past does not define me.  Cliché?  Yes, however it is a truthful one!   I’ll give the past this, I have learned from it.  Unfortunately I will probably always “mean mug” men while out in public alone.  Other than that, the past is the past!

So here I am!  I’m not a victim.  I’m a veteran, the proudest canine mother you will ever meet, educated, home owner, (apparently you are supposed to be proud of this… if I can find a rental situation that meets my standards I AM ON IT!) aspiring law student and happy!  Of course I have days I look up and say, “really?”  Who doesn’t?  Well, maybe excessively medicated people.  We all know those souls are not really living life anyways.

If you are reading this and thinking to yourself this annoying bitch and her happy-go-lucky self, I understand.  Hate away!  Haters are always welcome.  Keep reading and I’ll let you know slowly what I started to do until one day I realized, the anger had left and peace was surfacing.  Winston was correct, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”






The Nuns on The Hill

The Sisters of St. Benedict in Ferdinand, Indiana are a group of women who I owe more than words can express.  Each day I wear a piece of jewelry with the OSB medal.  Please don’t let your head run wild and think, “oh god, she is a religious freak, bible thumper!”  I am Catholic, but if you know anything about Catholics you already know, we really don’t read the bible.  This specific group of Benedictines opened an academy for girls in 1870 named Academy Immaculate Conception and was later renamed, Marian Heights Academy. Sadly, the Academy closed in 2000.  The news hit myself and classmates to the core of our souls.  This was the school we were to send our daughters to.

How does a catholic girls boarding school play into an angry, “privileged“, white girl finding happiness and peace?   The word privilege is misused too many times.   Often it is nothing more than an uniformed belief.  I sarcastically use this word because it undoubtedly will come up in future entries.   I will not go any further on my thoughts on “privilege” and American society’s current use of the word.  You are welcome!

My faith is what started this journey to peace.  Faith is too many times confused with religion.  The word faith by definition is simply total trust or confidence in something or someone.  One day while staring aimlessly at the television I realized I hadn’t bathed.  I was high and not happy.  Oh the irony!  I went to the bathroom and drew a bath.  This is when the word privileged is appropriate.  For a heroin addict, I was privileged.  I sat in the water and saw my body covered in bruises.  The tears flowed, worse than any math melt down I had ever had.  How did this happen?  This was not the way I was supposed to be living my life.  I don’t remember when the tears stopped.  Apparently, they did!

I quietly chanted my Hail Mary’s over and over.  Repeating, “god please help me.”  I remembered at that moment what life was like before I had done this to myself.  Obviously I was still here for a reason.  The only option was to quit fighting it and just start “living” again.  The realization that I was “unkillable” was a fate I had accepted a long time ago.  It was time to stop playing the victim and grow up.  Lets face it, everyone has been a victim of something in their life.  Move on!  If you’re struggling with this, read A STOLEN LIFE by Jaycee Dugard.  That should give you some perspective.

Not using was the easy part, rejoining life was the most arduous.  I did it, slowly but surely.  The main thing I did was remind myself what the nuns on the hill taught me, “live your life the right way.”  What is the right way?  My interpretation was that I was not here in this world by some accident.  I serve a purpose.  Find your purpose and do your best in life. Help those in need, give back to the community, admit your faults and wrong doings.  Work on them.  Never judge.  Take steps to better yourself each day.  Love yourself and find the beauty in this brilliant world we live in.  Life is supposed to be hard.  Don’t quit, keep going.  Question your faith.  It really is simple, be a good person.

I spent my whole life in catholic schools.  I graduated from a catholic university.  There have been times I have been embarrassed to be catholic.  Many times I have questioned my  beliefs over and over.  I have reached out to a very dear sister on that hill.  She wrote back enthusiastically she was thrilled I was in doubt and questioning.  With my jaw dropped I continued to read and discovered the time of questioning is when your faith is growing stronger.  I smiled and said to myself, “okay Sister, I trust you.”

All those years I sat in the pews during school hours and on Sundays with my family,  years of religion classes, it was a group of Benedictine Sisters in southern Indiana town that taught me what faith is through their actions.  Those angels on Earth had an impact that my words can never do justice or accurately describe.  Sometimes I feel that I am failing them.  I’m not the best catholic.  I don’t go to mass regularly.   Sometimes I should speak up instead of remaining silent.  What I do have is a relationship with a God of my understanding.  I have the utmost respect for several saints and pray to many asking them for help daily.  My faith is private and between me and a God I assume is similar and very foreign to so many of us. So again, remember what the definition of faith is.  Rediscovering my faith was my first step to finding peace.

Shout out to class of 96″!  You all know you are.  You are my sisters my mother and father had to buy me!!  Thank you for the unconditional love over the past 20 plus years.





Desperately Moving

Fat?  How does a heroin addict need to lose weight?  Isn’t it the opposite?  One would think!  Descending into the landfill I remember thinking, “eh at least I will be super thin!”  Joke was on me.  When a person goes from being extremely active to dormant, the body reacts unkindly.  Like countless others I am my harshest critic.  Perhaps the mental fog prevented me from seeing the severity of just how LARGE and unhealthy I truly had become.

I had reached a point in my life where the scale read a number I never believed would be connected with me.   Honestly, I held my jeans up and thought to myself, “this should be a crime.”  I ate junk while using and while I slept my life away on suboxone, I ate some more.  Please note I hate suboxone.  It is nothing more than a substitution for escaping reality.  Once I quit abruptly it was a whole week before the inevitable relapse happened.  To each its own.  Back to those abnormally large jeans, I looked in horror.  I did not cry, I knew what needed to be done.  There was NO time for tears.

I called my favorite man in the world and said, “What is that guy’s name you keep telling me about?”  My father had been telling me about a local St. Louisan whom he would listen to on the radio.  He really seemed to like him because he had helped a local catholic priest lose weight.  At this point the man could have helped the devil himself.  If the guy could help was all that mattered.  I had crossed the threshold of fat to a whole other world.

My appointment was set.  This man has a very Italian name.  I was not expecting what came walking out of the office door.  My stereotype of a fat, Italian doctor was stomped on.  This guy is not a doctor.  I was skeptical and desperate.  I was immediately weighed and then questioned.  This guy really had me puzzled.  First question, “Why do you want to lose weight?”  I remember looking at him and thinking is he serious?  I know he isn’t blind.  The entire process felt like an awkward interview for a job you don’t want, but need.  Luckily, I got the job!  I was to report several days later with additional instructions and a check.

The state of being desperate is a powerful thing.  It can destroy you or move you to victory. Finally, triumph was in the horizon.  That Italian from South City is one of the kindest souls I have had the honor of meeting.  When I reported to duty for my instructions I was a nervous wreck.  I was rejoining life in all aspects.  I was coming out of hibernation.  I burst into tears in his office and then started laughing.  He immediately said, “Whats going on?  Am I dealing with a crazy person here?  You just started crying now your laughing?”  I laughed more.  This might work!  I appreciated his blunt question.  Truthfully, I felt bat shit crazy at that moment and like a five year old at the same time.  I apologized and quickly told him; “Look, I essentially checked out of life for some time.  Just recently I have decided to rejoin and now I’m a bit overwhelmed.”  The magic plan was given to me and I left.  I followed through and some of the anger slowly began to ooze from my pores.

Years later here I am.  My weight is exactly where my doctor wants it.  Six pounds less.  Bragging rights!  Personally, I think my doctor likes people a little larger than we should be.  I forgot how much I love physical activity.  Running was my drug long ago.  Science does not lie when they say exercise is a natural anti-depressant.  I’m far from a health fanatic, but I always notice the difference when I put garbage in my body vs. clean food.  When I haven’t worked out or been very active I notice a shift in my mood.  So it is simple to keep the anger away and the mind right, do what needs to be done; MOVE, eat right and never stop eating cake.



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