this is why I get high

• I have more patience for things (from annoying people to video games)
• I’m more optimistic
• I get more done because I’m motivated
• I’m not depressed (actually since i started, my depression is less frequent even when I’m clean)
• I’m more organized
• I’m more social
• I work out better (longer amounts of time, more intensely, etc)
• I sleep better
• I’m more confident in myself
• I don’t eat as much
• Everything feels good
• No stress
• Music sounds better
• I notice minor details that would normally go unnoticed
• I fucking like to

When I was eleven I stole my mom’s xanax
Prescribed for anxiety
Covered up as a solution for a pinched nerve

No one told me the depth at which illness runs through my veins
Too sensitive, too weak, too negative
Anxious, depressed, paranoid–
Terms never mentioned above a hushed whisper

Sixth grade I swallowed pills that weren’t mine
Surfed the internet on my iPod touch for different ways to deliver the chemicals

When I was twelve I started snorting modafinal
Lifted from my fathers medicine cabinet
Too tired to handle with care
Crushed between two spoons
That year brought notebooks filled with masterpieces
Written in languages I could not understand in the morning

Thirteen brought study drugs
My brothers adderall carrying me through an accelerated math program far beyond my capabilities
The learning disabilities I was unaware of could not hold me down after a few blue lines

At fourteen years old
OxyContin was a lifeline to which I clung
Surgery after surgery my mom was too busy recovering to manage
her pills
At school the vocab word of the week was insufflate

Fifteen brought trauma as I led a pure life into my line of recreation
She stole her mom’s pills too
We took everything we could find
Chasing a feeling she didn’t know and I couldn’t describe

Sixteen brought weed and alcohol and
Selling adderall in Spanish class
To fund the steady stream of
opioids and benzodiazepines I needed to
keep my hands from shaking

Heartbreak and new love came with seventeen
A new love to share my passion with
She blew lines of oxy off my ass on our first date
And
Rubbed the leftover powder on my gums
Taught me to do blow off of CD’s in my driveway
She carried a rolled-up dollar bill in her wallet
Always ready for the next hit
I loved her
And she shattered me

Eighteen ended the cycle and
A new lover kept me high on marijuana
High enough to let down my walls
But not enough to stop the shaking
Sharing bowls in the backseat of his car
Blunt walks on the beach
He hates when I tasted like cigarettes

Antidepressants stimulants and downers
With my name on them
Rot on my nightstand
As I try to make peace with an addiction recommended by a
Psychiatrist

—  I don’t care if I’m damaged, honestly I think I’m just bored
10 Things I needed after Top Surgery

1. A place to stay and someone to stay with.  Seriously, recovery is not something you can do on your own.  If you know a nurse who is willing to hang out with you it makes life 10X easier because they are used to seeing blood and helping people and cleaning up messes.  My friend even helped me wash my hair over his kitchen sink and changed my dressings for me.  No reaching, no stretching, no bending over, it’s great.

2. Something soft and comforting.  The pain meds made me woozy and a little emotional.  I couldn’t control when I slept, when I was awake, I couldn’t even keep my eyes open sometimes.  I lost track of time, started conversations I didn’t remember, etc.  Having something around that was constant like a specific blanket, a drink you like, a tv show you can binge on that you’ve watched before (you’ll fall asleep and no remember what happened), helped make me feel more stable.  I chose a blanket and pillow that I particularly like.  And have some Arizona tea always around.

3. Bendy Straws.  This is pretty common but they’re really a life saver.  I didn’t have to pick my arms up for anything really. 

4. Something to keep toilet paper closer to the toilet in the bathroom.  Whether this is a cheap toilet paper rack or even a small bucket or stool, I had issues reaching the toilet paper roll because it was either too far in front of me or on the wall behind me.  Consider where the toilet paper is in your bathroom and make adjustments if you need to.  

5. Glass cleaning cloth.  With how much I fell asleep and woke up, my glasses were constantly on and off my face, falling on the floor, and of course I had to pick them up with my toes if I was alone because I couldn’t bend them over.  At some point I was ready to safety pin a cloth to my surgery binder so I didn’t have to keep asking for one when I couldn’t see through all the smudges.  This is also helpful for computer screens and phone screens especially if you aren’t wearing normal clothing like a soft tshirt or jacket.

6. Easy access medications.  If your meds come with child locks on them, you might not be able to open them.  Find a jar or something with a really easy access lid - something that screws off with you having to push buttons or pop anything - and LABEL things according to what you use them for.  Pain meds really clogged my thoughts so seeing words like “OW” and “BLEH” on the top of bottles helped me distinguish which med was for pain and which med was for nausea.  Have fun with this one.

7. A pillow that won’t run away.  If you’re sleeping in a bed, try body pillows around you.  If you’re sleeping on a couch, make sure it’s not a couch that will swallow you between the cushions.  I spent most of my time in a recliner with a travel pillow around my neck.

8. Meditation music or something quiet.  After the first 12-24 hours I found myself holding my shoulders up trying to reduce the pain on my incisions which caused a lot of tension in my back, neck, and shoulders.  At some points they were more painful than the incisions.  Take some time to really meditate and relax your muscles or the tightness will impact everything around you - pain levels, mood, etc.  

9. Easy access snacks.  I love clementines so we found some that were easy to peel.  Chip bags that are small and easy to handle are nice too.  Light plates, bowls, plastic cups, things that don’t require a lot of coordination work well because it’s hard to get situated and then have to reach for a ton of things.  Eat food that only requires one utensil.  Etc.

10. Short Walks.  March in Michigan is cold, so we went to stores to get one or two things, I leaned over a cart and hobbled through.  It made me dizzy and painful, it sucked most of the time, but once I sat down and relaxed I felt so much better than pre-walk.  I wasn’t fidgety anymore, I felt like I could actually sit still and let myself heal rather than getting up every 10 minutes or asking for water or reading a book or scratching or painting my nails.  I slept better after walks, I ate better after walks, and I felt more emotionally stable after walks.  


Okay, those are my top 10 things.  I’m sure there are others depending on your situation.  Some people recommend cough drops for your sore throat after anesthesia, I didn’t experience this.  I also experienced a little more draining than a lot of guys do and thus needed some extra gauze and bandages.  Long phone chargers, comfy slippers, and loose-fitting clothes are often recommended too.  I used my regular 6ft charger, had some slippers but mostly only wore them when my feet were cold, and I wore shorts and my surgery binder for most of the week after because it was easier to regulate my temperature with blankets than take clothes on and off.  

If you have any questions feel free to message me.