Guinevere Gets Sober

Recovery news, reviews and stories, by Jennifer Matesa.

Tag: physical fitness (page 1 of 3)

Introducing “Recovering the Body.”

Thanks to all those who, in my absence from this space, have been commenting on posts and writing in. I’m keeping up as much as I can while I begin a brand-new project that I think I can now announce—though the contract isn’t signed, it’s almost signed and I’ve been assured it’s happening.

In June, I was invited by Hazelden Publishing to write a new book about physical recovery from addiction. 

In fact there’s no book in the market like this, so it’s an awesome idea. They found me through this story I wrote last year for The Fix (sadly, now defunct) about four elite athletes who use exercise to stay sober. The idea for that story came from an exchange I had with a friend of mine, a writer, athlete and sober guy I met two years ago when he emailed Guinevere. In the way life works now, we have become close and he has given me a ton of moral and practical support.

So the help just goes around in a big circle. You catch it and you pass it on, a big game of Karmic Hot Potato. Is what I tell my kid, anyway. And what I tell my kid is usually what I need to hear.

The editor asked me to write a proposal, so one night I came up with an elegant design that has five chapters—exercise, nutrition, sleep, and sex, along with a chapter on meditation—to help readers understand the particular ways in which addiction to drugs and alcohol fucks up the body, and what physical discipline and care can do to restore not just physical health but also mental wellbeing and spiritual fitness.

"A Moment in Time," bronze cast by Roxanne Swentzell.

They bought it immediately. As in, within days. The contract is being finalized, and I will spend this fall and winter writing the manuscript. The book will be released as a lead title Fall 2014.

Amidst all that work it hadn’t even occurred to me to start a new site. I was too busy feeling crappy about not having time to push to this one. But a friend, a senior publicist at a big house in NYC, suggested over coffee at the café up the street—she lives in NYC but her boyfriend lives here, in fact five blocks from me—that I (duh) buy the domain name to my working title and make a space for my ideas, questions, stories, connections. A kind of online sketchbook, as my friend Paul said.

This way, you guys can have a way to contribute to the process. There’s a lot I don’t know, and I want to learn from you.

My intention is to keep publishing here when issues arise that concern the subject of this blog—getting and staying sober, as well as pet issues of mine (Suboxone use and abuse, for example, is still a massive blinking dot on my radar).

But I will be publishing stuff more often on my new site. I’ll ask you to share your ideas and experiences. I’ll be talking to some high-level athletes and professional experts and researchers, but mostly I’ll be talking to ordinary folks who squeeze (or who, like me, sometimes fail to squeeze) their exercise and nutrition regimens into their days, along with everything else they do, including working, parenting, and whatever constitutes their recovery programs. I’ll be talking with folks who feel like they might be going overboard, substituting exercise, food, sleep or sex for the drugs they used to use.

If you follow me on Facebook as Guinevere, I hope you’ll click the button below and follow me under my real name. That’s where I’ll be posting stuff about this new project. And if you have ideas and questions, please please please let me know.

Connect with Jen.

Trust: My Sober Family.

Somebody wrote in last week asking me to write more about how to stay sober long-term—when obsessive thoughts about picking up come back, and while the body is healing from the damage substances do. The top three things I do to stay sober long-term are:

  1. Take care of my body (eat mindfully, exercise, get rest).
  2. Take care of my spirit (pray, meditate).
  3. Take care of my mind.

Taking care of my mind means connecting with sober people I can trust to tell me the truth.

In sobriety, my nuclear family is made up of my sponsor and the three women I take through the work.

My sponsor

plumMy sponsor is a 67-year-old woman who grew up in the next borough over from my neck of the boonies.  Our high-school football teams were (still are) fierce rivals—the Mustangs v. the Indians.

PennHillsWhen I talk with my sponsor I usually go to her house, or else we meet at Whole Foods and get something healthy to eat.

One thing I love about my sponsor is that she doesn’t play phone games. We don’t do the work by text or email. We talk over the phone so we can hear each other’s voices, or we meet so we can look into each other’s faces. If the phone goes to voicemail, I trust that she can’t pick up the phone. She doesn’t screen calls. This has taught me not to screen calls with the women I work with. I’m straight-up with them: If I can pick up the phone, I will. If I can’t, I’ll call back as soon as I can.

I tell them something Sluggo told me: always have three women on hand you can trust will take calls from you in the middle of the night. I always have three in mind. My sponsor is one of them.

This connection is important. When I got sober, I had no clue that anyone would want to have anything to do with me, maybe ever. I couldn’t trust myself; why would anyone else want to trust me? I thought poorly of myself (I’m still tempted to think ill of myself; this is part of my alcoholic-addict mind: the warped thinking will somehow pull off any fucked-up contortion to entice me to pick up) and just picking up the phone was difficult. It was easier to pick up a drug or a drink because I didn’t have to risk my pride. Drinking or drugging meant I didn’t have to be vulnerable with anyone.

In sobriety I’ve learned the only way to protect myself from the fear of making mistakes is to avoid all relationships. I can only do that if I use. I’m wired to be social—we all are.

When we make connections with other people, it changes our outlook by changing our neurology. The hormone oxytocin is released when we form a new relationship. Powerful substance, oxytocin: also released during breastfeeding; also, in both sexes, during orgasm. The “afterglow” hormone. The comfort-and-joy chemical.

The women I work with

This comfort-rush is good for me, and I get it when I pick up the phone for the women I work with. There are three right now.

Georgia came first. 24; artist who studied at NYU. (I’ve gotten permission from all four of these women to write about them here.) Went for a while to the (private, expensive) high school my son now attends. Hipster. Vegan, wears no makeup with her simple haircut and skinny jeans. I learn so much from this young woman. The first time we sat down to do the work, I could see she has a very strong internal guide, a kind of compass that invariably swings to True North. The main thing I do when I talk or meet with Georgia is to gently help her stay in touch with this compass. Which helps me stay in touch with mine. We’re all born with this guide. Quakers call it the Inward Light. It can become warped by sitting in the coals of addiction.

Watching Georgia walk the walk gives me so much hope.

Then there’s Phoebe, who used to live in a house I own as a rental property. I mentioned to her that I have three apartments on this one street, and she said, “I used to live on that street.” When we drove by, we determined that the house I own was indeed her old digs—and the place where she used to deal drugs. What a coincidence, huh?

She was busted 20 years ago in the second-floor flat. The cops got her cash and her stash, pulled it all from the kitchen drawers. For Phoebe it’s been hardest to kick the drink. She relapsed hard late in 2011, racked up a bunch of DUIs, and is now on house-arrest. And she’s doing well. What I learn from Phoebe is to take life, even at its most difficult (especially at its most difficult), one small step at a time. At one point Phoebe had been facing jail time. A bunch of us wrote letters to the judge in her support, and today she is not incarcerated. She’s working, volunteering, staying fit (she was a gymnast as a kid) and living a sober life. Phoebe teaches me to be vigilant and persistent. She also reminds me to be grateful for simple things.

And then there’s Dora the Explorer, a 20-something cyclist and yogini who originally comes from the Pacific Northwest. She loves my city—this makes me so happy, that she loves my city.

The meeting place of three rivers.

The meeting place of three rivers.

Dora and I first met online when she wrote Guinevere an email one day. We met IRL (in real life) for a business thing last year; then she decided she wanted to try to quit smoking weed. She popped up at meetings. We’d have coffee. She asked if I’d be her sponsor. Some time passed, after which she looked at me shyly in the Quiet Storm one night and admitted that she had been reading my blog for a year before she’d written me.

“Your online voice sounded a lot like my mother’s,” she said, “except sane, and sober. So I thought of you as my Sober Blogger Mom.”

Turned out that she lived exactly three blocks away from me.

Small world. Or so they say.

I can’t describe how all this makes me feel—the Sober Blogger Mom thing, the woman dodging jail teaching me vigilance and gratitude, the hipster kid whose compass points to True North trusting me with her inventories and her life-story.

I trust all these women, and they trust me.

Trust. That’s what keeps me sober long-term.

Trust, and good organic food, and exercise—yoga, running, strength-training. And prayer and meditation—spiritual strength-training.

Trust is a powerful force. I believe there’s a certain percentage of folks who need “medication-assisted therapy” or what we used to call “maintenance,” folks who can’t stop picking up no matter what they do. But I also think a lot of folks don’t give the spiritual solution enough of a try. It requires me to trust, which is tough for an egomaniac. In addiction I lied a lot. The lies warped my sense of truth.

My sober family helps me sort the truth from lies. Dora and Georgia come to a Buddhist recovery meditation meeting my sponsor leads at the Shambhala Center Tuesday nights. I sometimes see Dora and Phoebe at a Saturday-morning literature meeting. And Friday nights, at a women’s meeting, my sober family and I are quite often all in the same room.

Working Sober In Washington.

I am in Washington for this awesome government fellowship. A bunch of seasoned public speakers are teaching me how to speak in front of audiences. They’re putting me in front of huge camera lenses and telling me, “Talk.” And I am! It’s surprising. I can do this. I can do it largely because I’m sober. Also, they note, because I’m willing to try.


I’m staying in Foggy Bottom. Right around the corner from the Foggy Bottom Whole Foods Market.

Foggy Bottom was always my favorite Metro stop name.

I came to Washington when I first got out of school. Washington was the place a lot of young people who grew up near the east coast went after graduation. It was the mid-1980s and we were in the Great Reaganomics Recession; the steel mills that had hired my uncles and cousins in my childhood had already closed up and other industries were cutting back. It was tough for new grads to get jobs.

So they came to Washington. Because, it was thought, The Government always has jobs.

I came to Washington to see if I could get a job writing. I remember taking the Metro out to Arlington and talking to the people at Gannett, which was starting a newspaper called USAToday. I had set up a bunch of other networking meetings and spent the very hot summer days taking the Metro and learning the layout of Washington.

I stayed with my college friend Angie, who had left school a year ahead of me. She generously let me sleep on her couch. Angie lived on the Hill, in Southeast Washington. It was June and I remember how, when we were walking back from the bars at night (that summer in Washington everyone, it seemed, was drinking Amstel Light; in New York City it was Rolling Rock long-necks), legions of roaches would part like the red sea before our trudging feet. Even the armies of red-backed roaches were exotic and interesting.

Foggy Bottom Metro station

Washington is the place where I learned how to ride a subway. I’d come from the country and had never seen a subway before. Yesterday, when I took the train from Foggy Bottom to Gallery Place, I noticed that the Metro stops look the same inside as they did 25 years ago , they smell the same, the maps are the same, the blinking lights at the track-edges are the same, the turnstiles are the same, they take the same kind of tickets they used to 25 years ago. It’s not like the New York City subway, which used to take metal tokens before they switched to paper tickets. The Metro’s consistency was comforting.

The most romantic date I think I’ve ever had in my life took place that summer in Washington, D.C. Angie’s friend Bruce had a crush on me. He was a legislative aide by day and a singer in a band by night. One Saturday he asked me out. We rented bikes and rode all around Washington under a clear blue sky. I remember red and yellow tulips and blue and purple pansies in the roundabouts; I remember the scent of grilled beef at lunchtime; I remember the boulders and the bridges and the water in Rock Creek Park. I remember how we’d hit a red light and we’d stop and Bruce would lean over his bike bars and kiss me. We wound up in Adams-Morgan at twilight, sharing a bowl of pasta.

I liked Bruce but I was scared of him. I was scared of all those legislative-aide dudes who threw back hard liquor and wore Brooks Brothers button-downs and wanted to drive Beemers before they were 30. They looked destined to get thick in the waist too early in life. Bruce wasn’t like that: he was working-class, his ambitions didn’t include the brand-names of cars; but I was still scared of him. I was scared of most men my age. I didn’t know what they wanted from me. I knew what my mother said they wanted. It took me a long time to figure out that I didn’t have to believe everything she said. (In fact, I’m still figuring that out on different levels; I suspect every woman is finding that out about her mother.)

I was scared of life.

After those two weeks in Washington, I ended up moving back to Western Pennsylvania and taking a staff-writer job at a small newspaper. Which was probably the best thing I could have done. I sometimes think every college graduate—at least, every writing student—should work at a community newspaper. It teaches you how to write, and a lot more besides. It teaches you about municipal government, about taxes and the ways money moves, about the law, about politics both petty and major; most of all it teaches you how to ask questions.

I rented a house in the country and my roommate and I drank cases of Gennessee beer.

I’ve worked mostly in print, but somehow I’ve always been trailed by chances to speak in front of audiences and to be on camera. Early on, I’d go out on stories as a print reporter and I’d be there grilling the firemen about the destruction of a house or the cops about some shooting or car-crash, and the video guys from the news channels in the city would be shoving their cards at me. “You need to be on camera, honey,” they’d say. “Call me and we’ll shoot some clips of you.” I never called them because what I wanted to do was write. I didn’t want to be on camera.

I was remembering this today when I was on camera. It’s freaky to stand in front of a big camera lens. It’s weird to have hot lights on your face. But also, I was used to it. I’ve been shot for documentary films. I’ve been interviewed for television news. I had hundreds of still shots of me taken for my first book project. I hate seeing my face onscreen or in photos but other people don’t seem to mind it.


I’m ready to go back to work tomorrow. We’re in another recession, The Great Bush-Cheney Recession, which is lingering into Obama’s second term. There are no armies of roaches in Foggy Bottom in December. I’m older and a bit wiser and a lot more experienced. I’m sober. When I got sober four years ago, I had no work at all. Today I get to wake up and go to work in Washington. Tonight I get to text with my son.

Hijito-hijito, I write.

[“Hijito” is Spanish. “Hijo” means “son”; “hijito” means boy.]

Madre, he writes. He is on his own in the house, 250 miles away. Feeling a bit lonely, he writes.

Let’s do some push-ups together, I write.

OK let’s start at 13, he writes.

So over the next 15 minutes we knock out 13 push-ups, then 12, then 11, all the way down to the last one, which he decides we must do military-style, with hands underneath the shoulders and elbows next to sides.

Good job dude, I write. How many was that?

A moment passes. Then the phone buzzes:


Recovery: From Pneumonia, From Self-Censorship.

Last time I wrote, my editorial about how addiction is not a crime was coming out. (In case you want to read it: here it is.) After it ran, I got really sick. I was ill already, but my cough got worse, I could hardly talk without coughing, and I couldn’t sleep.

I tried everything—antibiotics, steroids, allergy medicine, expectorant, plain Robitussin. So my doctor gave me prescription cough syrup. Not codeine, as I expected, but my very favorite awesomest drug on the face of the planet: hydrocodone, in Hydromet syrup. “Take it for a little while,” she said, “and get some rest and your body will heal.”

I’ve known addicts who, before they got sober, used to carry bottles of hydrocodone syrup around in their purses and take a nip or a slug every so often. I knew one person who had trouble quitting his smoking habit in part because every so often the tar in the butts would give him bronchitis, and this would enable him to get Hycodan (same drug, different name).

I told everyone: sponsor, meetings, a bunch of people on Facebook, anyone who would listen, “I have to take hydrocodone for this cough.” Be careful, they said. The weird thing is, I was taking it when my op-ed ran. So people were writing in to thank me for speaking up for addicts, and there I was, on a drug.

The drug stopped my cough, but my body didn’t heal. The cough came back worse when the drug ran out. It was dry; it strained my back and sides and finally I had to go back to the doctor and tell them I wanted to know what the hell was going on with my lungs. My doctor was on vacation; I saw another doctor who conducted a more thorough history and ruled out a bunch of stuff and decided I had “atypical pneumonia.” Walking pneumonia, from some kind of extraordinary tiny little microbe that produces almost no phlegm. So she gave me a different antibiotic. And she refilled the Hydromet.

I didn’t tell as many people, because there’s only so much patience you can expect addicts to show about how you’re allowed to use your favorite drug. I mean, alcoholics never go to meetings and say, “I’m allowed to drink this week.” I didn’t want to sit in meetings and tell them, “I get to use my drug-of-choice AGAIN!—psych.” Still, I didn’t abuse the drugs, and I didn’t get obsessed with them.

Instead, I just got sad all over again.


The antibiotic and the cough syrup ran out four days ago. The cough mostly went away, and now it’s coming back again. I seem to be powerless over it.

Or am I?

People have volunteered a lot of explanations for why my lungs have been sick for six weeks.

“Are you barking at the world?” someone asked me. “Do you need to be heard? Are you trying to shut yourself up?”

“Lung illnesses are about grief,” another person said. “You must be experiencing delayed grief, or anticipatory grief, or fear of letting go of something.”

“Who’s choking you?” someone else demanded. “Who’s trying to gag you or shove something down your throat?”

One may well ask.

My friend P at first told me I have to “speak up” in situations where I feel silenced. (She consulted her amazing Dutch Medical Bible that gives insights into all human ailments—I love to hear her translations.) The morning after I got the pneumonia diagnosis, on the way to the dog park, I texted her to ask if she could look up “pneumonia” in her bible. I expected like two sentences, but she photocopied a whole page of the book and brought it to me. Under “Longontsteking” (pneumonia), it told me why, apparently, I’m sick (“You’ve ended up in a life which is not appropriate for your real, true nature: an unconscious choice. Thus you must liberate yourself…” it began). And here’s what it said I have to do to heal:

Let yourself not be determined by past roads, or by a partner, etc. Build a new life on a more stable basis than formerly: on your deep, powerful Self. Draw your roots up from the old ground and hurry them elsewhere. Realize your complete existence and its dignity. Become conscious in each cell of your body. Turning away from your own divine source doesn’t let that internal fire heat your body.

It just kept on hitting the nail on the head.

I’m sitting there in the dog park and P is reading this to me sentence by sentence, from Dutch to English. The dogs are chasing each other through the grass, dew is covering everything, including my back and my butt, because we’re sitting on a dew-covered bench (“I don’t care, I’m wet already,” P said), and I’m listening like Nic Cage hearing Cher “tell him his life” in Moonstruck. Except I don’t then jump up and upend the bench and kiss P. I sit there and try to hold back my tears, and I cough.

My Deep, Powerful Self.

Draw my roots up.

The internal fire heating my body.

And get this part:

Babies and children with pneumonia: the above causes are also sometimes the parent’s experience. So when you help yourself, you thus help your child.


Let me tell you a story: Baby G had pneumonia when she was two months old. Normal pneumonia, double-lung pneumonia. The phlegm consolidated under G’s fragile baby-kitten ribs and she couldn’t breathe. It was December 1964, Christmas week. G’s folks drove G back to Braddock General Hospital, where she’d been born, and Dr. Tomlin put tiny baby G (she had been born very small, 6 lbs. 2 oz.) into an oxygen tent. Back then they didn’t have ventilators or even isolettes—they’d make a little cloth tent, and they’d pump oxygen into it. If G’s mother had lit a cigarette (they used to let you smoke in hospitals; the way she told it, she smoked right up until she pushed in each of her pregnancies), she might have blown the whole place sky-high.

The nurses sent G’s folks home, and instead of going home they went to G’s father’s family church—the Croatian church where just a month before G had been baptized. They knelt and prayed in front of the manger (back then, the church doors were open day and night). The church was dark, and the pastor came out and saw that G’s mother was crying. They told the priest about the baby in the tent, and he patted G’s mother’s shoulder. “Go home and go to sleep,” he said in his Slavic accent, “I vill pray for baby. Baby vill be fine.” And G’s parents made their way back to their newlywed apartment, in the latticed shadow of the roller coasters of the old-style amusement park.

Meanwhile, back at Braddock General, Dr. Tomlin was working overtime, monitoring the baby, giving her minute doses of a relatively new drug called penicillin. She was so small and so sick and the drug was so new (less than 20 years old in clinical use at that point) that his pediatric training hadn’t yet taught him how much to give her.

In the morning G’s parents came back, and the baby’s fever had broken.

What saved G—was it “God” and/or G’s parents, and/or the priest, and/or the doctor, and/or the drug??


Who knows. But my mother blamed the pneumonia on my “immature lungs” and someone with a cold. She never took a look at her own contribution to the situation. It was a long time before I considered how dangerous for a baby it might have been to put her in a house full of smoke.

At any rate, I’m alive today. Even if I do have pneumonia.

My mother is not. And neither is my father.

Become conscious in each cell of my body.

Realize my complete existence and its dignity.

And to stay alive, my life has to keep changing. An amends to myself.

Addiction And Self-Care.

The new puppy with my friend P, who's helping me train her.

This is the new puppy I adopted two weeks ago. Her name is Flo. She’s 10 weeks old. You want to talk about unconditional love—there’s nothing like curling up and having a nap with a puppy. I’d never experienced it before. It’s different somehow from napping with a cat.

So last week I had an emergency D&C because I was basically bleeding to death. I had been scheduled to have one this week, tomorrow in fact, but my GYN called last Thursday morning and scheduled it immediately: my hemoglobin was so low that I was on the verge of needing a transfusion.

Question: How could an intelligent woman with two degrees and an IQ north of 130 possibly let her health descend to that state? How could I allow myself to bleed to death and not take care of myself?

Answer: Self-care has nothing to do with intelligence. Neither does addiction.

Here’s a story for you. My mother had a hysterectomy at my very age: 47. I remember being on the phone with her from my office at my first reporting job: she had been having horrible long periods, basically bleeding to death, and she hadn’t had a pelvic exam in seven years. SEVEN YEARS.

In the Al-Anon books it asks us: are we taking care of ourselves? Are we going to the doctor, the dentist, are we getting haircuts?

I go to the doctor. I sometimes put off the dentist. I get haircuts every other month. But do I really pay attention to my body? Is it a place where I actually live?

A lot of the time, it isn’t. A lot of the time, I’m living in some alternative reality I’ve created in my mind. I was, after all, raised by a woman who ignored her body so effectively that she made it seven middle-aged years without a pelvic exam and had to have a hysterectomy because of the grapefruit-sized fibroid tumors that grew inside her in the interim. All the while, the rhetoric that came out of her mouth was this Catholic stuff about the body being “the temple of the Holy Spirit.” Some temple: the curtain in hers was rent, the cornerstone broken, by the time she was 58.

This was my model for being a grown-up woman.

And my dad: I won’t even get into how well my dad ignored his body.

Physical exercise helps me pay attention to my body. But still: I was bleeding for three weeks! I just told myself it’ll stop sometime it has to stop sometime just be patient just wait it out i don’t have time to deal with this so IT MUST NOT BE HAPPENING, and in the interim my hemoglobin dropped to 8.5 (the low-normal level is 11.5; the standard level for transfusion is 8.0) and I was feeling “a little bit tired.” Yeah. I believe this is called something like psychosis: refusal to acknowledge reality.

So I go in for the operation and they tell me it’ll be conscious sedation and I know what conscious sedation is, because G is a person who knows her drugs: conscious sedation (also known as “twilight sleep”) is Versed (the drug that makes you forget what’s going on) and Propofol (strong sedative: Michael Jackson’s favorite candy) and fentanyl (the drug I was on—on? I was as tall as the fucking Empire State Building on fentanyl in August 2008). I had to have these drugs because it’s surgery and they were going to open the hood and scrape me out, and I didn’t want to have these drugs because I hadn’t taken drugs in more than two years.

My sponsor said, “Sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do.” If the alternative is bleeding to death, I guess she’s right.

I was scared because I’d had two surgeries while I was un-sober. The first was an appendectomy that was torture because they couldn’t control the pain, they wouldn’t give me the shitload of drugs I’d have needed to control abdominal laparascopic post-surgical pain, so I just put up with it. It was horrible. And then I broke and dislocated my elbow in a bike-fall in 2006, and during the conscious sedation to put the bones back into the socket the ortho guy told my husband he’d never shot so much fentanyl into one person in his life. So I was afraid I’d be in pain.

But of course I was in no pain, because I’m now what physicians and pharmacists call “opioid-naïve.” I woke up in post-op feeling as though God’s own sunlight was shining on my face, feeling sheer gratitude to all the nurses, telling all the staff how thankful I was for their willingness to take care of me. The surgery had gone well and I had no pain. And I was sent home with a couple doses of Vicodin, which I took because later when the fentanyl wore off, I had shooting needly pains below my navel.

And for a day after, I had a headache. My body getting rid of the drug metabolites.

And then on Monday it occurred to me: I had felt so good, so grateful, because I was high. I was high. Why do the drugs have to make me feel so goddam good?

“Every feeling passes,” my sponsor says. “All the ‘good’ feelings, all the ‘bad’ ones—they all pass.”

And this morning my husband goes to the dentist because he has pain in his tooth and the dentist X-rays his jaw and discovers an abscess, he prescribes Vicodin, my very favorite beloved awesomest drug on the face of the planet, especially since I’m “opioid-naive.” I just had drugs in my body last week, I can remember in my body how niiiice they made me feel.

David Foster Wallace once said, You think you’re an atheist, you think you don’t worship anything?—let me tell you, everyone worships something. Listen to the way I talk about Vicodin.

So I call my sponsor and tell her: I don’t want to use the Vicodin that is now living in my house. She says, You know what you have to do. I say, Yes, I know.

Part of that is writing it here. The truth.

The truth is, if I listen to my body, what it really wants is not drugs.

What it wants is love.

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