Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Unusual days.

This was an unusual day for your typical crackhead.

Well, there was at least one crackhead at a free concert of the Erie Philharmonic. There may have been others, but I was the only crackhead I was aware of at this event. Of course, performances by string quartets is not high on a crack addicts list when on a run.

Needless to say, I wasn't on a crack run.

The past few days have been a mix of boring and monotonous. That's really my fault, but sometimes it's a stretch to think of something interesting to do. Beyond sitting in front of this box and beating on the keyboard.

Actually it seems as though I've been doing less of that lately as well.

But, getting out has happened a bit more lately. Mostly by accident. Like having to go to the library because the books were due. Also going to the pharmacy to pick up scripts. Going to the food bank and picking up some stuff to eat.

Mostly stuff I'll probably give away anyway, but then again it will not go to waste.

Now for other news.

Again, two days after smoking some crack I am wondering why I even bother. I also wonder why I can't think this way when there a few extra dollars in my pocket. I see green, a switch flips and the cash goes from my hand to the drug dealer's.

So, I smoked crack on Monday, went to the library on Tuesday and listened to a string quartet on Wednesday.

This all adds up, right?

Monday, June 28, 2010

A comment that requires a detailed response..

A comment on Fridays post to this blog piqued my curiosity and stimulated a little self examination of what I'm trying to accomplish in my life and with this blog. While assuming the comments and questions posed are from a professional in the "recovery industry," I'm not gonna' look a gift horse in the mouth.

I mean even with co-pays, this type of stuff isn't cheap...

So, I'll try to reply as honestly and completely as anonymity allows, since the commenter is also anonymous.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading through your blog from the beginning and I guess some questions came to mind.

Is this what you want to do or do you think that it's all your capable of?

After fighting with crack for almost 20 years, right now I'm think Erie Crackhead is doing pretty good. Not perfect, but things are getting better. Life being what it is, everything could go down the toilet in a heartbeat but I'm OK at the moment.

Besides "Better is Better," right?

Do you have dreams other than where to get your next hit?

I don't know one crack smoker who doesn't have dreams beyond their next hit. I also don't know a crackhead who doesn't curse the day they first started hitting the pipe. So, I do indeed have dreams beyond the next hit. I also know that some dreams may be achievable whether I still smoke crack or not. There also dreams that probably won't come to fruition regardless of what else may happen in my life.

I have gone over the edge in some respects. Without going into specifics, after you've gone that far, some things will never come back to you.

I have read that you have tried everything,(to recover) so does that mean that you are now apathetic and hopeless to your situation?

NO, I'm not apathetic or without hope. I am also accepting the fact that crack has a definate hold on me in ways that aren't entirely explainable. So what I have doing is practicing some Harm Reduction techniques that limit harm to me and eliminate it entirely from anyone else around me. Primarily it's keeping myself from too much money.

Money is a biggy...

But intake of crack has been reduced. And another biggy is the fact that when I do smoke crack, it is not in shame. It's what I do, and like smoking cigarettes, know that it's not good for me but is a area of my life that needs attention.

I deal with that, knwing that if someone trying to quit cigarettes is not going to go on a week long nicotine binge if they have one smoke here and there. Same thing with the crack.

I also think that "recovery" is the wrong word. I'm still not entirely sold on the disease idea. I'll be happy with long term abstinance.

I am also hoping that some day there will be a medication that will reduce or eliminate the cravings. If not for me, then somebody who is in my shoes.

Do you ever wish that you could get out of this situation?

This situation is much improved over other situations I've endured. Trust me on that one.

It's just that I see that your obviously educated, loved by family (but they have detached for love of themselves), have the ability to get to the library and have internet access and blog, can work your ass off and have determination and patience to get into a shelter and some food, have clarity from time to time, so I can't help but wonder, what are your plans? What are you doing?

A great deal of my education was acquired from The School of Hard Knocks.

Now about this love of themselves. That sounds like Hazelden or Alanon voodoo hoodoo. Hazelden's "Family" program is big on that detach with love bullshit. Hazelden is also big on geographic solutions. As a matter of fact I believe Hazelden works hard for the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

But that a topic for latter discussion.

But my plans are to continue on the path that I've taken to write this blog to document in some measure my successes and my setbacks. This is for me and for others who are stuck in similar or worse circumstances. This blog has in many respects has done more to improve my outlook, disposition and attitude than the dozen of counselors, AA sponsors and the numerous rehabs I have been confined in.

Yep, I love to work but my physical disabilities prevent my gaining any meaningful employment. Added to that is the fact that gaining employment in my particular field will never be possible for reasons beyond just being a crackhead.

So I am "retired" so to speak and on disability.

Do you really believe that you can't overcome this or is that you just don't want to?

Why would I even bother writing this blog if being abstinent wasn't in my goals. But contrary to what professionals and steppers have said, I am working my own program.

Have you ever met a crackhead who wouldn't truly like to stop?

It seems like you have some consistency and wits about you, which isn't "normal" crackhead behavior, so I can't help but wonder.

What is normal crackhead behavior? You can't pigeonhole someone who smokes crack with that characterization.

I know many crackheads, who like myself have never robbed a convenience store, mugged someone, or any other type of violent crime. I have, as there are many others, who have never sold their bodies, never ran a hustle or game or make money for crack.

I have smoked crack with lawyers, doctors (MDs), drug and alcohol counselors, nurses, engineers, accountants and nuclear physicists. On the other hand I have also smoked crack with prostitutes, gang-bangers, petty thieves and con artists. Crack smokers cross through all segments of society.

No shit...

I have run my own little hustles, but those were targeted at the drug dealers or somebody trying to run game on me. Having my wits about me and appearing to be "normal" in many respects has gotten me into places some stereotypical crackheads would never get.

Some of those places weren't all that pretty, but others were great.

So, thanks for your comment. As mentioned, it has given Erie Crackhead some thing to think about. Hopefully my response has also given "Anonymous" something to chew on as well.

Friday, June 25, 2010

An interesting, not so interesting week.

Yep, money came this week and so did the crack.

While not as much as in the past, a good deal more was spent than I really wanted to spend on the stuff. As is usual for around here, the crack was crap as well. Too much cut, too little after recooking and I'm still sitting here wondering why I bother.

If I really had that question answered, I might not find it necessary to write here at all.

But, things were taken care of that needed to be handled. Internet connections were made more reliable, and with that is another small financial obligation has been made. A few tools were purchased to replace things lost, stolen or just plain given away.

Now I have to find something to fix or put together...

The Medical Marijuana experiment continues. While part of my reasoning behind using weed is to see if it has any beneficial effects on my chronic pain issues, the other part is kind of a substitution ploy. You know, get too stoned to call, go out for money or even think about hitting some crack.

On both counts, there seems to be some benefit.

On the other side of the coin is that energy levels seems to be down. Some interests seem to be diminishing and initiative is lowered as well. Doing things inside or out seem to be not as important as before. While high some thought processes are a little skewed as well. In a way, smoking weed has me thinking like a damned conspiracy theorist or trying to make 2+2=5,853.

Did those who developed the "new math" been smokin' Mother Nature?

So, for a little bit, taking a break from everything is in the cards.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Good Things, maybe...

Well, I may have internet service at home shortly.

No depending on a free WiFi signal that may or may not be back again. No having to travel to the library to use the computer or engage their free WiFi system. No worries about sending crap through an unsecured network and little chance of an interruption in service because of the weather.

I have someone, a friend who holds money and knows most all of my bad habits, helping me with this problem. The downside is that the service is in their name. The reason of course is that Erie Crackhead hasn't paid his outstanding balance with the cable company. He's also stiffed the phone company for that matter.

That's what crackheads do from time to time. Not the casual user who's just starting out on this cockeyed adventure. No this is the hard core, put their last twenty bucks in the crack dealer's hand rather then buy food type of crackhead. I guess, as a commenter to this blog wrote, is part of the crackhead persona.

To say that there have been others who have done worse things for a hit would be an understatement. I've seen and heard of some scary ass stuff done for a hit. Right now is not the right time to talk about that stuff. It wouldn't help anyone, except maybe to get one in trouble.

But yeah, I do owe some corporations, some large, others not so large a few bucks. So that's part of the reason I'm trying to stay "off the grid." Well, somewhat off of the grid, as I have been, as well as others, completely off everyones radar for periods of time.

So, for the time being my friend is putting cable service at my disposal but registering it in their name. It may put me in an uncomfortable situation at some time in the future. Not that I would stiff an individual. I am delinquent in paying companies but not people. Well, people other than crack dealers.

The thing that troubles me is becoming dependent on someone.

The other thing is what if my friend starts to become judgemental in regards to something that I may or perhaps may not do at sometime in the future. There are always things that can happen that make me nervous about the arrangement.

On the other side of the coin, my friend knows that I do what I do. My hope is that over the years they have come to accept me for what I am and keep it as that.

I also don't want to take advantage of anyone.

One last thing. Money is coming. Soon.

Lists have been made, or are well in the process of being made. Budgets, and what money goes where is being set up as well. I, the Erie Crackhead, am getting comfortable with some things now in his life. Yes, they are things, but they help make life a bit more manageable.

I guess getting comfortable and not wanting to lose things yet again are part of my Harm Reduction plan.

I already know how shitty life can be for a crackhead. But there can also be some balance, even with a hit here and there.

But you have to have a plan...

Friday, June 18, 2010

This Sucks!

I've been spoiled lately.

No need to go out. No running around for this that or another thing. Safe in my cocoon with few trips outside the most necessary. Occasionally a walk to the park, but even on beautiful days those have become rarer.

But the fact of the matter is that I've holed up in my apartment and isolating from the rest of the world. And as I have mentioned before, outside and being around people is very good medicine for the Erie Crackhead.

Now I have no choice. You see, Erie Crackhead has another addiction. Yep, he's hooked on the internet and the freakin' World Wide Web. Now that's not really new news, but I'm not sure he would go through this all for crack.

No..wait, he would.

This is what happened. My free WiFi, which I've been using to connect with the internet world, has disappeared. I thought the connection was a municipal setup from City Hall. This is beamed into Perry Square, which is just a few blocks from my house. It may also have been a WiFi signal from Gannon University, which is right across the street from me.

But Wednesday afternoon the signal went POOF! As in it disappeared without warning. I wasn't online when it happened. Later in the day, when I tried to get my homepage up, there was no signal. No big deal I thought, as it was kind of windy and sometimes that messed my reception up a bit.

Thursday morning came and still no signal. What to do, what to do....

I can to the library, my old stand-by connection for my internet fix. Read my emails. Sent a few emails out. Read some message boards and before you know it, the meter runs out. 90 minutes is what you are allowed at the library. That's so everyone can have a turn at the 'puters.

Today I brought my laptop to the library to use their WiFi. Everything seems to be working fine and there is no time limit. Well, their usual business hours are a limiter, but I can't see me here from 9:00AM until 5:00PM pounding on this computer.

On the other hand, this table isn't too bad to sit at. The chair is relatively comfortable and the power outlet is inches away from me. Sigh, but no smoking or food or drinks or....

I'm gonna' have to do sumtin' to fix this situation!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I surprised myself!

It was something I thought I never would be able to do...

What was that you ask?

I turned down money.

The fact that that actually happened now amazes me. I never turn down money. When someone says, "Do you need a few bucks?", my answer is most always a resounding YES! But I have enough of everything I need until check time comes. I don't need any money so I turned it down.

The money was offered by someone I mostly trust. Mostly trust as in Erie Crackhead doesn't totally trust anyone anymore. That's my problem and I'll have to work on that some more. But the money offered was my money, so I could have gotten more than what was offered. I could have gotten enough money to make a call to the Dude.

So, this is a victory of sorts.

You see, I don't want to smoke crack. But you also must see that I do very much want to smoke crack. Talk about a life of contradictions.

If this confuses you, think about what I'm going through.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I had to get outside.

And so I am sorta'.

I was tired of just sitting around in that apartment doing not a damned thing other than pound on the computer, listen to NPR or watch TV. So I got myself together and cruised on down to the bus stop to catch the trolley. It was a little too late to go to the Mission for lunch.

So what do I do?

Well, here I am at the library pounding on the computer.

But, besides the fact that I'm doing what I would probably be doing if sitting at home, is the fact that I am not at home. Big difference in little ways. The ride down here had it's little adventures. Watching a disabled old lady and her blind husband negotiate their way around the bus and then getting off at their destination was amazing. I never would have experienced that sitting inside my apartment.

I also ran into an old acquaintance and shot the breeze for a few minutes. He knew my father and we talked about him for a bit. I also brightened up the day for the clerk at the convenience store for a few minutes. Well, it brightened my day for a little bit and it's good to talk with people other than myself. Yeah, I talk to myself at times. And you're gonna' tell me you don't.


The MM experiment is continuing, but I only smoke the stuff at the end of the day. When I have no emails left to reply to. No threads in discussion groups to add my wit and wisdom to as well. When it is no longer necessary for me to communicate with the rest of the world. It's just that I don't think the responses that I come up with when I'm stoned on pot are as edgy and, well as coherent as when I'm straight.

Also, when I'm smoking crack the computer doesn't even get turned on.

One other thing.

I know there are people that for various reasons smoke pot from the moment they wake up in the morning to the time they go to sleep again in the evening. I don't know how they can do that and function. I have been told that some people don't even get high at all from smoking their medicine. Maybe my tolerance is way low, and from what I have read anyway, one does not build up a tolerance to cannabis. After a couple of tokes I'm happy to sit in my chair and listen to the radio and watch the TV with the sound off.

But it helps, even if I am not stoned it helps to ease some physical discomfort and take my mind off of crack.

You know, better is better.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Yes, it is Sunday all day.

It's raining, but that hasn't been a factor in my going out or not. Well, actually when it's raining my physical self is better prepared than my mental self. I can't do the "Old Soft Shoe" but I am getting around here a lot better than at some other times.

But I will be getting out for a little bit. A church, not too far from me is having it's monthly dinner. Mostly homeless and people who frequent the food banks are present. Some people, who I haven't seen in a while will be there. I'll say HI! to those I know and maybe engage in some small talk. It all depends on who actually shows up.

Maybe my old high school buddy and his wife will be there.

My neighbor Don may make it, but you never know until it's time to go. He called earlier, and sounded halfway sober, but that could change in a heart beat. But he's still alive. One of these days, if he keeps that shit up, I gonna' find him stiff as a board. The other option is I might find him flopping around like a fish. Neither picture is pretty.

The problem is that I'm pretty sure I know what he's doing.

The MM experiment is going along, but I did get a 20 yesterday. It was again a waste of money and time. Waiting 3 hours for the dude to show up didn't help, but waiting is part of the deal. I ended up smoking a half joint then going to bed early.

What an exciting life a crackhead has.

Friday, June 11, 2010

It's been a little foggy lately.

Well, cobwebs seemed to have been forming as well.

It's been 4 days into my Medical Marijuana experiment and to be honest, I'm not feeling as sharp. Not to say I'm all that sharp to begin with, mind you, but some things have been a little tougher to riddle out lately. You know what I mean.

Well, maybe you know what I mean.

Sleep, until last night came pretty easily to me from smoking a bit of weed. I don't over-do it at all. I've rolled a few joints and will take a few hits late in the day. After dinner and sometime before bed 2 or 3 hits are usually enough. Never more than four tokes. I have a low tolerance, and that's OK by me.

But, sleep didn't come as easily last night as the previous 3 nights.

Whether it's a product of acclimation or whatever, as each day goes by, the morning fog is a little less than. I just want to be sure that is the case and not just my mind telling me that I'm acclimating. A bit of conversation with the outside world should provide some proof one way or the other.

Should I keep repeating, "Hey, Dude" or "Far out!" or "Kewl!" I'm gonna' have to re-examine this course of action. One positive has come from this so far though...

I haven't smoked any crack!

So, "Pass that joint, Dude!"

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's Raining Today

Too wet to go out and see the world. Click the title for the current weather forecast!

Yesterday was a beautiful day and I spent it indoors doing laundry. How's that for a page in the life of Erie Crackhead? Not all that glamorous at all. Just another boring day to do things that need to be done. Besides there are just so many times you can turn your underwear inside out and back again before declaring them absolutely unwearable.

New news!

I have started a new technique in Harm Reduction. It also is helpful in other areas of concern to me as well. I have started smoking weed. As a substitute for crack and to ease some of my physical ailments. It also has helped me sleep much better lately as well.

Getting a full nights sleep has been a real problem as of late.

Medical Marijuana has been helpful for problem drinkers to lower their intake. So, while alcohol isn't my problem, and I while have smoked weed and crack together, this should keep me from making that call too soon. If this isn't the answer, well we go back to the drawing board.

The pot I got is good enough to keep me immobile and amused for awhile anyway.

As in too crushed to make a call.

Last Monday, I did smoke a twenty. I would like to say it was terrible, but this time the shit was decent. There was a short period of time when I thought the IBI was going to come knocking, but that was short lived. The thing is they wouldn't of had to knock, the damned door was wide open.

Well, the screen door was locked.

Monday, June 7, 2010

What's to be afraid of?

I mean, really what was there to be afraid of that kept me in my hole.

I was planning on going to the local Rib Fest. I really did want to check it out and taste some good BBQ. I had the money to go out and sample the efforts of this traveling food show. The weather was an excuse not to venture outside. Sitting in front of this computer has to a degree made me more of a shut-in.

But not an anti-social hermit.

So I was afraid to go outside but not too afraid to call for a twenty piece. So I am wondering if it was the crack that was talking to me. Maybe it had a bit more to do with fear. And I certainly know what to expect when I smoke crack. No warm fuzzies, but a comfort zone in a way. Adding to that is the fact that I am self conscious about my disabilities, I am also sensitive to what people may think of me. Especially those who know what I've been through. I know this is stupid thinking.

But, like I said, there is about 3 degrees of separation in Erie, PA.

I hate talking to people about some matter and they come back with "But."

It's a dodge.

On the other side of the coin, I have revealed this blog to others that are very close to me. Relatives and friends who have seen me at the top and most certainly at the bottom of the barrel. While these people know that I have and still do smoke crack, in many respects they haven't really known the real inner and outer struggles the Erie Crackhead has gone through.

Letting these people in on my life this way has a strong element of fear. But the fewer secrets I keep, the better off I'll be in the long run.

So, no Rib Fest and a bit of crack was smoked. Choices and I hate to say this, but a rational person would have gone for the food. So some little improvements and just a choice was made.

I think...

Friday, June 4, 2010

This is a Only a Test

"This is a test of the Emergency Blogcast System. The author of this blog in voluntary cooperation with no one but himself has developed this system to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency, the Attention Signal you just heard would have been followed by official information, news or instructions. This blog serves the Erie Crackhead's local area. This concludes this test of the Emergency Blogcast System."

Well, I am facing a test of sorts. I have money in my pocket and I have to make up my mind about something. It's the do I stay or do I go conundrum. To the Rib Fest or call the Dude. To hang out with people or shut myself up in the apartment and geek for a few hours.

I shouldn't say hangout with people I know, because those I might run into may want nothing to with me anyway. They might feel that being seen chatting with me would put them in an uncomfortable situation with others they might know.

Erie is a small town. Everybody know everybody. Well alomost. The six degrees of separation is cut to about three. What am I worrying about anyway. Do I care at this point what anyone thinks of me. Damage is done and now I'm crawling out of my hole to see the world, Kinda', sorta' anyway.

But there is enough money in my pocket to go one way or the other. If I buy crack I certainly don't want to wander down to the fest without any money. Just to watch other people eat. Get real.

But this is a test. and there is no pass or fail. There just the choice to go one way or another. Is it good choice or bad choice? Or is it just a choice? Like the Lovin' Spoonful tune, "Did you ever have to make up your mind"

So any of you out there who wonder what a Crackhead goes through when they have a few bucks in their pocket, can now see what's up.

I'll let you know how this all plays out.

Fuck, I hate tests !

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Nothing's happening

That is not all bad. That is also not all good.

While life has settled down to a simple routine, my routine has been scaled back for a few different reasons. One is that getting around is not as easy as it once used to be for me. No car is not as devastating as once thought it might be for me. There is the bus and the help of friends. I also don't go out because I've gotten attached to this damned computer.

This box has allowed me to participate in Internet conversations with people who don't really know me. I really don't know them either. Message boards where short quips mark me as a sociable smart ass. Emails lists for people who are in the same shoes I'm in or worse. Trying to be helpful where possible and trying not to pass on bad advice.

I try to pass out the location of this blog to those who may benefit from what's here. I don't go all out splashing the address all over the place, but in some discreet ways to point those who might be interested in what I have to say. There are probably a few who read a bit and never come back. That's OK. If something comes up in the future, they can always return.

In many respects, I hope they never have a need.

But I'm not going to the library nearly as often as in the past. I'm not getting around downtown much either. Staying in away from the world is not a good place to be. Fresh air, sunshine, free vitamin D and interaction with the folks on the streets is good medicine for me.

Hey, and the Rib Fest is this week. That's more than a good excuse to go outside. Sample some food, maybe get a t-shirt and run into folks who thought I was no longer around. Or dead or...

I used to say that if you want something to happen, you have to make it happen. Activity has a way of breeding more activity. It works in business settings as well as in one's personal life.

I haven't gotten high in a few days either.

Better is better.