Today I Cleaned A Crack House…

Today was one for lessons and experiences, I will say that. I also will say that if I wasn’t strong in my sobriety, today could have been enough to break me and take everything from me that I have worked so hard for over the last 2 years.

Before getting there, I knew it was a lock out clean out. The tenants likely were not paying rent, so they got locked out and their things got put on the curb. Knowing that, I knew the odds would be favorable that I would most definitely come across drugs and/or paraphernalia… but today just hit differently. It was a small apartment so I am glad it wasn’t any larger. When I got there I instantly was smacked with the putrid smell of vomit outside of the house which was fantastic to find out that it was outside of the house only and not inside of the house. But regardless, the inside was still disgusting and it wasn’t the usual small black rubber bands and cut off tied baggie ends that I usually find… this time is was random pills, crack remnants, crack smoking supplies as well as several insulin needles.

Today could have been a real blow to my life. Today was a test. I knew I needed to make money today no matter what, and I couldn’t just leave because I was triggered in various ways. Everybody always talks about staying clean by “avoiding triggers” and I will say, that in my line of work (cleaning vacant rentals for realtors) you are never prepared for triggers and sometimes you need to learn to work around them because you can’t avoid them. You have to make a choice, whether to put the drugs in your pocket, or put them into the trash…

The drugs triggered the demons inside of me that I have chosen not to feed. After having almost 6 years clean I relapsed with my ex-husband shortly after my son was born, so now this past April I celebrated 2 years of clean time off of hard drugs. The random pills I found today, normally I would have been looking them up online (maybe), crushing them up (definitely), rolling up a dollar bill (for sure), and blowing them with my nose (hoover style), but instead today I sucked them up… with my vacuum.

The needles, or rigs, or whatever you want to call them, that I found today… did not trigger me in the same way as the pills. I was never an IV drug user and have never once shot up (thank god). This was much worse… I am haunted with many memories of finding needles of my ex-husband’s for years, so finding 6 of them today kept me in such an unsettled state. I had so many vivid flashbacks, it was awful. The back room smelled like crack and that was enough to make me feel like I was in the same room as my ex again. I don’t know how I made it through cleaning the apartment but I just knew I had to get the job done.

Mid way through I went out to my car to grab some stuff from my trunk and a man across the street cat-called me, “HEY BABY!! HEY!!!” all waving and wild and I looked at him and rolled my eyes and went back into the house. Like that was the icing on the cake for my day. Why do men think that’s gonna work out for them? It was a wild day for sure!

Walking away from that house today was so empowering. My friend said I cleansed that house of its past just as I am doing with my own life and that was awesome to hear and yeah, that’s definitely real. What a cathartic experience. Not to mention it was like 100 degrees in the place while I was cleaning, so it was tough all around. But as I told my mother, it was awful smelling crack but it was an amazing feeling knowing that it wasn’t my crack!

I love being on this end of everything that I have been through. Today was incredibly humbling and I am so proud of who and where I am today in my life.



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