9th Anniversary

Created on 27 Jan 1997

, updated 30 Jan 97

This is my anniversary swan song.

It is the morning of January 27, 1997. Exactly nine years ago, I was on my way to cop my last glycine envelope of heroin. I went back to my one room apartment in New York City and wrapped an old fabric belt around my arm, until I could see a vein. It was always hard to find a good place to stick the needle. But after six years, it was disgusting. My arms were black and blue. I had killed a few veins in my wrist and in the middle of the arm there were tracks that looked like fossilized worms. I inserted the orange tipped diabetes syringe, and was relieved to see it register. I saw blood enter the chamber, meaning that I had properly found the vein, and salvation was only moments away. That was my last synthetic opiate induced rush. Of course I couldn't know that then, but I knew that I was on my way to a rehab for another try at freedom. 


A couple of days ago, I got and accepted an offer for a short term programming contract in New Jersey. The salary is not as much as my last contract, but it is respectable. And it is better cause I like all the people, the assignment is one I think I can do and enjoy and keep me current, and they said I can work at home sometimes. I wish i could mention the dollar figure because I want to illustrate the absurdity of my life. Companies do not hire me cause I am licensed or have passed any type of certification. They don't hire me cause I am protected by, or they are required to fulfill any law or quota. They hire me cause I know what they need, and they bite the bullet. I hope to save enough money to finish my independent software project, buy more computer equipment, and move back to California.


I am 41 years old. I shot heroin almost everyday for around 6 years. I smoked pot every day for around 16 years. I smoked freebased cocaine and did speedballs. I smoked cigarettes. I bit my nails. I threw up 3 times a day. I was fat. I ate animals. I ran debts on my credit cards that I couldnít pay. I masturbated till I bled. I didnít go out in the sun, cause when I did, I got a rash. I lived in a city where I couldnít breathe fresh air or hear any quiet. I had no friends. I wasnít really very happy at all.


Hi, my name is JR, and I am recovering from the downward spiral of addiction.

January 27, 1997 marks 9 years since I shot my last fix of heroin, before checking into my second and last rehab. I recovered not because of the rehab, but in spite of it. I was just ready. The staff and patients voted me "most likely to relapse the soonest." But I kept in touch with many of the fifty patients (customers), and there were very few beside me that stayed clean. At one point, the doctors prescribed Haldol for me. I refused to take it, knowing that my salvation no longer depended on a pill. However the doctors insisted that I needed it. They were wrong. But they still got paid. What crooks?


Doctors really werenít responsible for the problem; any more than my parents, the rest of civilization, the police, the voters, the educators, big business, and all my ancestors. However, for a 1-day-old child, I was in no position to know any better. But I do know better now. And this is what I know.






But first here is my war story.


Wow, I told this story so many times; I am bored by it. When I first got clean, all I could talk about were my heroin days, cause thatís all there were. Let me try and breeze through it now.

I wanted to stop.

Everyday I would wake up saying today is the day I will stop.

This time I really mean it.

And without the slightest hesitation, I would put on my roller skates and rush to buy more white powder. I had to roller skate. I had totalled my car, my bicycle was stolen, and I couldn't afford bus fare, cause I needed every nickel for junk.

I needed the drug, and thatís why I couldnít stop. My stomach hurt. I had diarrhea. I had cramps. I always did, as long as I could remember. I was diagnosed by a string of doctors. They said that I had a chronic disease that would eventually kill me. My pediatrician prescribed my first opiate narcotic. I only increased the dosage as I got sicker. I needed heroin to function. I needed it to eat. And it was the only time I could rest and feel good.


But as time went on, it no longer gave me the momentís rest I required. One memorable time, I shot a regular fix, and I was in panic immediately afterwards. There was no rush, there was no good feeling, and there was no rest. I knew that I had to stop. I wanted out. I was wrong. I made a mistake. I was sorry. I wanted a better life. Anything would be better. It couldnít get any worse.


I went to twelve step meetings. I went to narcotics anonymous, alcoholics anonymous, overeaters anonymous, debtors anonymous, sexoholics anonymous, sex and love addicts anonymous, procrastinators anonymous, and artists in recovery.


I became a vegetarian. I was reading John Robbins book called Diet for a New America. I had intended to finish the book before becoming a vegetarian. After all, what was the rush? I had eaten animals for so long; I needed to find out how to eat before taking the plunge. I didnít want to die of malnutrition. But at page 150, I called a nutritionist, and said that I needed to get together and learn what to eat, cause I just became a vegetarian, and I was scared that I would die of malnutrition. So we got together, and my friend explained, as best she could, what terrible consequences I would have to endure. Like I would have to drink soymilk.

What a joke. And I read lots of books. Like Ann Wigmoreís Hippocrates Diet, and Severen Schaefferís Instinctive Nutrition. And the idea that cooked food was death sort of sounded like something I should try. So I tried it. And then I knew. I knew that eating cooked food was making me sick. It was making me perverted because I had no perspective on life. I was out of touch with my instincts and intuition. I had been lost and didnít know why. Now I was lost and I knew why. Big improvement. I still went to twelve step meetings, but I was losing interest.


In Overeaters Anonymous, they didnít understand nutrition, but everyone thought themselves an expert. They relied on other people to tell them what to eat. They didnít have a clue that only they knew what was best for them, and they didnít have a clue as to how to know what they knew.

In Narcotics Anonymous, they didnít know what a drug was. They had books that explained the program, and recovery, and they all knew that they shouldnít do any drugs, but they didnít even attempt to get a consensus on what a drug was. They would smoke cigarettes, buy over the counter drugs, take drugs that a doctor prescribed, and kill their food. They were all positive that they knew what a drug was. And they were all positive in a different way. They also were all experts.


After I became a raw fooder:




It was a long time before I met other raw food eaters. And I wanted to replace my twelve step support groups with a raw food support group. But there was some truth to the twelve steps. The problem was that it suffered the pitfalls of other organized religions. So here is the my personal interpretation of the essence of the twelve steps:


  1. I was wrong. I am not in control. I must be open-minded in order to heal.
  2. I must clean up. I must organize my possessions and also, more significantly, my resentments.
  3. In order to be free of my resentments, I must work through them. I must make amends to people I have harmed including admitting my mistakes, apologizing, changing the way I act, and restitution.
  4. I must stay current by not letting the new resentments accumulate
  5. I must get in touch with my instincts and intuition by exercising them and meditating
  6. I must help other people, as others have helped me.


Number three is the turning point. It is the step needed to start living each day fresh. I had previously thought I could just wake up one morning and turn over a new leaf. But I couldnít. I had to plant the metaphorical tree and let it grow first, before there would be leaves to turn over.


I paid back money that I owed to friends. I returned borrowed property. I visited old friends and family to see what good relationships could be salvaged. I realized that my brother was not my competitor, but my teammate. I finally finished my masters degree in applied math after ten years. I learned a marketable skill: how to program a computer. And I made some money, enough to buy computer equipment. I now have a 3-computer network. I got an idea for a software product to sell, I wrote it and I am working on it. I have been making progress, and there are dreams for the future, instead of only fear.


Around two years ago, I started to lose it. Last year, I started to eat animals again, and mostly all my food was cooked. I gained fifty pounds. I developed a herniated disk and was completely bedridden for six months. I didnít think I would ever get better. I couldnít do anything but lay down. I was a prisoner and a cripple. I was really unhappy again. I guess I didnít really recover. Well, I made due with what I had. I started to build a computer network. I associated with people through the Internet. I built an office where I could lay down while on the computer without having to sit in a chair, which was not a possibility. I started an all-raw diet again, and a raw foods web site. When I was able to walk again, I left New York City to go hiking and camping and read computer books. I learned about Internet programming, and once again had dreams for the future.


Since coming back around 6 months ago, it has been a struggle to be all raw. I have been going through periods of all raw and some cooked food. But the trend has been healthy. I am losing weight; buying smaller clothes; taking walks; hardly ever masturbating; eating less cooked food; keeping current by organizing my papers, bills, lists of things to do, books, CDs, and general cleaning; working on my software program; going on interviews for contract programming; and feeling better life. The goal is to be all raw again. But I realize that being all raw is just part of the picture. It is just one instinctual direction. And the sooner I attend to all of the urges: like food, family, career, physical activity, home, location, people, etc, the easier it will be to be comfortable and healthy.


I feel like I have already taken my last bite of cooked food, maybe this time I will be right. I am getting ready to go to an AA meeting at noon to celebrate my sobriety. This evening, a long timer raw fooder will visit to work on his web page for rawtimes. I have a list of things to do, that I am doing. I am doing.


I still have dreams of making a raw family. Wish me luck.


Please don't forget to sign my guestbook when you leave!

If you have any comments and suggestions about my programs or web page, please send e-mail to me at jrellis2@rawtimes.com.

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