Pascale F.

pascaleDOB: 10/14/57; Paris, France. When I used last week, when I went up there to 14th and W, I looked at the people on the corner, and it was the first time that I really ever looked at them. And those people, they look half dead.

I mean it’s really sad. They are really on their way out.

I was born in Paris, France. I lived there until I was twelve. I had a wonderful childhood. I’m the only child. I always had everything I wanted. We moved here in `67 and I hated it because first, I was leaving my friends, my great grandmother. And I didn’t like my step-father. I haven’t figured it out yet.

My life was fine until 1980. I mean it was okay until I started doing dope. I used to drink socially and do some coke sometimes, but I never had a habit until I met this one man, and then things started going down hill from there. I started shooting up cocaine in Montreal and I was too wired up to come home and let my family see me like this and I told him I need something to come down.

So we stopped in Florida and got some dope and I fell in love with it. And he said, “If you do it every day, you’re going to get a habit.” Right, and I didn’t believe him. I said, “Not me, I like myself too much.” And I did. And he said, “Sooner or later you’re going to do any┬Čthing to get the dope.” And I did. Almost killed someone.

I don’t know. It’s been repetitious for the last nine years. I get my shit together, then I start using again. I go back down. I always end up going back to the methadone clinic. In and out of the clinic, treatment, thousands of dollars spent. I wasn’t ready. I would be okay behind walls, but once I’m out, I don’t know. It’s a lot of misery. But I don’t like to talk about it, and plus the fact that I loved getting high and I did, I think that I still do, but I don’t like what it does to me, I don’t like the consequences.

My last eight years. . . I have a daughter. She is six years old. Her father is an addict, and he is not ready to stop. He’s not even — I don’t think he wants to. I’m having big problems with him. He won’t leave me alone.

I know that I can’t do it any more. I am clean for five days. I did it one time since Tuesday. Today is Sunday. I had six weeks. I have problems dealing with when I can’t get my own way. I can’t deal with it and I end up getting high.

I feel like if I don’t use I can do anything that I ever wanted to do. I want to live today, and six weeks ago I really wanted to die. And I always thought that I loved myself a lot but that day I really wanted to die. I even prayed to die. That was something — it was definitely wrong. And I kicked on my own.

I went through a lot of pain, through a lot of physical pain. I was almost dead. I was ninety pounds. I wasn’t eating any more, I didn’t want to do nothing but cop and shoot dope. And then once that was gone I wanted to get some more. I didn’t even want to get up in the morning, because I knew I had to start getting the money. And I mean the last couple of months, I think last month my mother ended up giving me the money every day because she knew I was going to do anything for it. I was off the clinic, but I caught a habit again, and I was very ill every morning.

Until one day she said, “No, that’s it, Pascale. No more.” Because I kept telling her that I was going into the hospital, but I wasn’t. I was just conning her. I had been doing that for years off and on, until she said no more. And I was . . . I didn’t even have the energy to really, to even, at the end I really didn’t have the energy to get any money to get high, and I had no other choice but to stop.

And the first six weeks were wonderful, until I don’t know what happened. I don’t think I take this seriously. I haven’t quite comprehended that I can die from this, even though I knew I was dying like a couple of months ago.

I have hope today. I will stay clean today. I want everything now. I don’t have the patience. The only reason why I lived is because of my mother. I couldn’t live on the streets. She never kicked me out. I’m trying to be more responsible. I’m a mother, but I still don’t know what a mother is supposed to be about. I haven’t raised her. I have a lot of pain about that. I have a lot of pain that I was in a relationship for eight years and things just didn’t work out. I feel like I have wasted a lot of years. I am thirty years old now. It’s not old but still it’s, it is older.

I don’t know what I am looking for in life, to tell you the truth I really don’t. I used to think that life was a big party all the time. I’d travel and eat good food before I started doing dope. Because when I started doing dope, that’s where all the money went to, is dope. I thought that life was just fun all the time. And it’s not. You have to be realistic, I guess.

It really hit me the other day when someone said, “If you keep this up, you’re going to die.” I never comprehended that before. It comes and goes. But I really don’t want to go back to that lifestyle. I really don’t, because I know that I can get there so fast. It would take no time. I really like recovery, I really do. I still have friends from way back.

That’s what happened to me last Tuesday. I can do without drinking, but I had a beer, then I had another beer, and then I got fucked up, and I said, “Well, I am going to do some coke now.” Then the next day I felt really bad, because I fucked up, I really used. So I might as well use what I really like and I did.

It’s natural for an addict to use, right? But then I started really feeling disappointed in myself. So I called a friend in recovery. So I guess I have to start all over again. As long as I can stay away from slippery people. There is one in particular. That’s always been my downfall. I really hate having a person being able to manipulate me like that, manipulate my principles.

But in my heart I really want this recovery and to stay clean, I really do. And I want to make something out of myself. On dope I knew I wasn’t doing anything in my life. Today was, well, I had to work last night, I didn’t go to sleep until four, and I didn’t get up until one. I am a bartender. I am going to have to find something else.

I work for my mother and it’s just the easy way out, but I know it’s not good for me. Nobody is in recovery where I work. My day’s been okay, I was able to — he called me four times, he wanted some money from me to get high. He said, “Don’t worry, I’m not going to take you. I just need the money. I’ll pay you back.” I kept saying, no, no, no — and that’s good for me. Because I didn’t give in, because I knew if I saw him I would end up getting high. So I didn’t do it today, and I feel good about that.

Before, it was a big deal getting clean. Well, I was able to get clean, but now it’s staying clean is not as easy as I thought it would be. But I started going to two meetings again since last Wednesday — two meetings a day — and talk to my new clean friends every day.

When I turned eighteen I became completely wild. I think I lost it or something. I started doing a lot of black beauties. I would go to my friends in Atlantic City and Philadelphia and I don’t know what happened. One day they left me somewhere in Philadelphia, and I lost it. I was three days in Philadelphia and I don’t remember what I did, who I was with.

I don’t — a paddy wagon picked me up and took me to a Philadelphia General a psychic ward. And then my mother picked me up a day after that. Then a week later I ended up in the Bethesda Naval Hospital in the psychic ward for three months. I was schizophrenic, through speed-induced drugs. I spent my nineteenth birthday there. And my psychiatrist told me, “Pascale, you cannot use drugs.” And I didn’t for. . . I did, but I didn’t really go back heavy into it until I was about twenty one or twenty two.

But that still bugs me, those three days, I want to know what happened, I’d like to know. I guess my main problem is if that, if something is bothering me, I need to either pick up the phone or go somewhere and talk about it. Most of my life, if something was bothering me, I would keep it in or use on it. I can’t do that any more — not today.

Anyway, when I used last week, when I went up there to 14th and W. I looked at the people on the corner, and it was the first time that I really ever looked at them. And those people, they look half dead. I mean it’s really sad. They are really on their way out. And I was . . . I used to go there as much as I could every day, five times a day. And that was my whole life. That was real sick.

All that money. I don’t have a dime to show for it now. Just to put in my body. I even had a needle stuck in my neck one day. I had to get surgery. They had to take it out. I had cellulitis, I was in hospital for a month. They said I had a hundred and five fever. They said I almost didn’t make it. But even that didn’t stop me. I think when I really wanted to get cleaned up, is when I was sick of it, I was sick of myself. I couldn’t even look at myself.

My daughter is going through a . . . well, she went through my whole addiction with me. I used to get off in front of her, so I don’t know if it’s going to affect her, if I stay clean. She is younger, so it might not affect her. But I don’t think she trusts me, because she knows every time I always . . . She tells me to go to meetings now. She is six going on twelve. She is a great kid. I love her. It’s just a lot of stress for me right now and I guess eventually that will go away.

Where I live — my mother’s friend, he freebases off and on. And that’s affecting my mother. But she’s in denial, because she says he does it once and a while. And that’s bullshit. Freebasing is worse than shooting dope, I think, because you can never get enough of it. You have to do it constantly. I never really liked it.

One of my goals is to eventually move out of that house. I moved out 20 times at least, but I always moved back in. But I want to move out and stay out because I am, I’m not eighteen any more. I think I should live on my own. My mother pays for everything, car payments. I guess if I start paying for it I would feel better about it. As far as my mother is concerned, as long as I stay clean, she doesn’t mind, she’ll know sooner or later. I’ll get my life back in order.

I guess I am just playing it one day at a time. I’m not making any big plans. My biggest plan is going away at the end of the month. I don’t worry as much as I used to. I used to worry myself crazy. One of my favorite things to do clean is wanting to get up in the morning and starting a new day and having a positive attitude, doing positive things for myself and people I care about. I’ve been so selfish, taking care of myself all those years. I didn’t care about anything else. I like caring again, I really do.

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