Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Weekly Grind-Methadone Style.

Every night before bed I call an "888" number. Every morning as soon as I wake, I take my methadone.
Every Wednesday, I wake up before the sun and go to the clinic.
I wait in line amongst other "addicts" and listen to their stories.
I listen to all the "Well I have's" and the "I did's". I listen to all the "war stories" as one of them put it this morning.
I listen to all the gossip, and trash talking. I listen to all the complaining.
As the line moves I make my way up to the desk. I swipe my card. A card with a photo.
(This photo is bad. I never knew how much of a junkie I looked like until that photo was taken.)
I show my six empty bottles and wait to see if I have to give a urine that day.
Then comes the other line.
More Waiting. More "war stories." More gossip. More complaining about lines, staff, and policies.
The line moves so slowly.
I wait (im)patiently for my turn to one of the two offices.
(This clinic is better than the one I was on just 5 months ago. Everyone has bottles, not many people are still using. People here are actually wanting to be on the program and not use.)
People love to be behind me, as I only have 6 bottles. Most on Wednesday's have 13.
I make my way in and swipe again.
"Good morning, Nicole. How was your week?"
I hand over my six empty bottles so labels can be checked.
The nurse gives me my Methadone for the day, flavored with Tang, and makes small talk.
(blech, that stuff is horrible on it's own, try adding Methadone to it. Gross.)
As she fills my six new bottles, I cross out my name on the six old bottles with a sharpie marker and throw them into the trash.
"See you next week, Nicole," the nurse says as I zip up my container I store my Methadone in.
And off I go.

Every. Single. Wednesday morning I do this. I am only gone for an hour-ish always back home by 6:30 at the latest.
Every. Single. Night. I make that call to that 1-888 number, hoping my client I.D. isn't on the recall list.
If it is, I get to go back another day. I get to wait in line again, have my bottles inspected, which takes all of two seconds, and off I would go.

I thought Heroine was controlling my life. And it was. I have yet to get back the control I once had before the addiction. I mean, yes, I have more control than I did then. I mean, I don't have to rely on 2-4 calls a day. I don't have to rely on someone answering a phone that many times. I don't have to beg, borrow, and steal anymore to get gas money, heroine, and hope I have enough cash left over for diapers. I no longer have to worry about not being able to cop, which turns into not getting out of bed or off the couch all day.
I do have most of my life back. All I need is this tedious medication out of my life and it will be mine again.

Now, to convince these people I can lower my dose again.

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