9 Years Ago: Homeless, Heroin & Harm.

Notes from Journals July 2011

The decomposed body of a homeless guy was discovered at a derelict church in East the Water. The newspaper made a point of saying a thorough clean up job was required, what’s that got to do with it, a man lost his life, so because he was homeless it’s kinda expected, I don’t know, wheres the care and compassion in the world. It’s so sad that people can just die or go missing in the world and nobody notices. Before I met Marcel I was consumed with the thought that I was alone, not really having any close family since mum died, I kept thinking if I were to disappear no one would care or notice, I’m nobodies responsibility. I’m lucky to have a partner but so many are alone, and that’s sad. The work of the Harbour Centre, the Church and BPAG is so important. Shouldn’t we all consider others less fortunate, I guess it’s easier to just think it’s someone else problem. A little care goes a long way for people who have nothing and nobody, more should be done to help people, and hopefully tragedies like this could be avoided.

I was homeless for a while, living in a tent. It can happen for so many reasons. Not having money or a home makes you feel powerless and ashamed, it’s hard to help yourself in that situation, a little support can do wonders in starting the recovery and repair process.

I heard some terrible things about drug users exploiting a vulnerable woman, she has mental health issues and lives in supported living, they’re using her for money and a place to use drugs, but pretending to be her friend, it’s very sad, what a tragic world, cruel and unnecessary. People can have their issues but don’t hurt others as part of it, that’s not fair, makes me sick.

Seen a new client today, he seems nice, easy to talk to, recently suffered a traumatic bereavement and just wanted to connect with someone, to feel close, to have a moment of relief from all the pain, now that’s something I do understand, I use heroin, he uses sex and companionship, each to their own. I was happy to talk to him, and shared my own experiences with grief and where it can take you. He said it helped him lots to talk and to just feel for a bit, he said I surprised him, that he wasn’t expecting me to be so nice and sensitive, I’m glad he felt that way. I don’t want this life to make me hard, I know it could.

Amy Winehouse died, so sad, what a loss, and we all just sat back and watched her descend into darkness, as though it was entertainment. It seemed to me that she couldn’t entertain her mind and feelings, intoxication and escape are seductive when you feel so intensely.

It interests me more, who someone is when they’re faced with hardship and despair. It’s easy to be nice when life is going well and no stress is present but the real test of character is faced under strain. When someone can maintain humour and a friendly approach despite life challenges, I’m impressed, being decent to others when life is being unkind takes true spirit, I admire that in people. I always think, if I was living their life how would I be.

So our tent was removed by the site owners, I feel terrible as they must’ve found pins, they’d just taken it when I turned up to pack it all away, I feel bad, I wish they didn’t have to see that, feeling really ashamed.

I was really poorly this week, we got dodgy gear and someone had cut it with something salt based. I thought I’d just had a dirty hit but then got it again, we checked the gear and there was definitely something not right, intense headaches, shakes, sickness, I was dehydrated and in pain, my back felt like it would snap. Why do people cut gear with dodgy stuff, they know people are putting it in their veins, it’s because they don’t care, it’s all just profit.

This period of journal entries was haphazard and scattered, much like my mind at the time. I’m always surprised when I read my journals, reminded of things that I wouldn’t recall without the prompt of my journals. I’m pleased to have them, pleased to remember the details, and to see evidence of who I was, even in the midst of the chaos. I like that I was sensitive to peoples suffering, that even though I was using heroin and numbing myself, I did still care for others, I still had responses to things.

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