March: Parched

On March 1st, 2012, I decided to start a juice cleanse for a month, hoping to detox my body and help facilitate me getting over my all-around terrible eating habits. Well then, I figured, I should probably stop being a raging alcoholic and drug addict too, right? Here’s what happened: a tale of both success and failure.

by Po, Editor-in-Chief

[Po, sad but swag, on her juice liquid fast]

I want to write you something honest in this space. Something real, something that hasn’t been written before, something about which you could say after reading it, that needed to be said. But I don’t know if I have the words for that.

This past month has been one of the hardest of my life. I guess I can tell you that.

For the last 31 days, I have not drank alcohol, done drugs, consumed caffeine, smoked cigarettes, cut myself, or taken my real (prescribed) medications in any other form than exactly as they were prescribed. However, guess what failed? The juice fasting. I think we all saw that coming.

I guess I should write about what it was like to stop all of these behaviors. But I feel like that’s been written about already – the withdrawal, the shaking, the pain. One tip I’ll share: If you have an alcohol and amphetamine dependancy, quitting cold-turkey and detoxing by yourself while huddled under your covers for a week is probably not the best way to go. I suggest going to a hospital, or maybe rehab. Probably have a support system in place. But this has all been written about, too, in other places, on other sites and magazines and best-selling self-help books around the country. Around the world.

Maybe what hasn’t been written about is why.

Why decide to stop? Why suddenly quit? I don’t believe I hit rock bottom. I mean, I created the business model for this website while on as many pills and as much powder as I could get my hands on. I’ve done my best writing plastered in bars. For me, it was a combination of other things. Firstly, I was starting a juice fast for an article (this one) for a website I was launching (this one, again). That was my official reason. If I was trying to “purify” and “cleanse” and all those other words we love to use to describe fasting, shouldn’t that extend to chemicals as well? Didn’t my bloodstream deserve a break?

But that wasn’t the main reason.

I also didn’t like the constant hospital trips, the two near-overdoses, the fact that I was someone who couldn’t function socially without the use of substances. I didn’t like the part where I went crazy last semester, which I’ll write about another time. I didn’t like the inconvenience, the stress, the guilt of constantly having to spend money – money I didn’t have – to function momentarily at the cost of decreasing my overall ability to be.

But that wasn’t the main reason either.

The main reason is that I didn’t like anything anymore. Withdrawal was hell – hell – and I’ve still been admitted to the hospital during the last month, meaning my sober days didn’t lead to happiness. Meaning actively trying to reduce my deathly behaviors didn’t actually combat my intrinsic death instincts. But there’s nothing that compares to the depression of not having, the listlessness of trying to do anything – go to school, go to work, spend time with friends or family, be creative in any way – while only thinking about how you’re just version 1.0 right then, and you know you could be more. Speed and coke and pills made me the version 2.0 of myself. And version 2.0 was better at everything, except when she found herself with a razor blade in her veins without knowing how it got there. Except when she fell asleep in the bathtub, or fell asleep with a cigarette burning. Except when she scared her friends who didn’t deserve to see their friend like that and screamed at her parents who didn’t deserve to ever, ever see their daughter like that. Except when she cried, and cried, and cried. Version 2.0 was both better and worse at the same time. Version 2.0 was just more. And that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be.

All I’ve ever wanted to be is everything.

But now it’s time to talk about how the original impetus behind this article failed. The juicing fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking only that led to rapid-cycle bulimia, which I’ve struggled with for the past eight years. I thought it was a defunct issue, but this month I brought it back. Not in full – not like my sophomore year of high school, or my freshman year of college – but the hunger, both physical and more importantly, psychological, didn’t have any outlet. I can’t tell you why out of all the behaviors I was trying to change, it was the original one I fell back on. Maybe something about time. The past, the present, the future.

Where am I going from here?

This morning, I woke up an addict. Not just the way they say an addict is an addict for life, but this morning, like all mornings, my very first thought was cocaine. Cocainecocainecocaine speedspeedspeed.

You don’t want to hear this.

I’m sorry it’s true. I’m sorry; it’s true.

I’m not Lizzie Wurtzel and I’m not Marya Hornbacher and I’m certainly not Bob Dylan or Justin Vernon. I can’t put into words what hasn’t been said before. And the glamorization of drug use in our culture – a topic one highly debated among our staff and contributors, especially of whether or not I myself contribute to it – makes this article seem trite and boring and she-should-have-seen-this-coming. Or, on the opposite end, not a big deal, kind of badass, maybe even a little cool. But it’s not either of those things.

I just want you to know: I tried to do this. And I did. I did so much. But like Sierra Demulder once said, sober is just another word for thirsty. And I’m parched.



  1. “Version 2.0 was both better and worse at the same time. Version 2.0 was just more. And that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be.”



    “…to function momentarily at the cost of decreasing my overall ability to be.”

    That is beautiful writing.

  2. Your writing is exceptional, gritty, honest and courageous. Your a ‘hero’ just for putting yourself ‘out there’ and making your situation available in words that many of us find difficult to express but share nonetheless. Popular culture and the determinable society glamorizes and worships the status of the ‘individual’ as one who yields to the expectations of the popular voice while saving a kitten stuck in a tree. This voice draws attention or fame to the ‘game-changer’ or in simple terms: the hero. This concept of the hero, or that person who leaves a ‘footprint’ on our planet goes back to the Greek myths where the pursuit of kleos (fame) led regular people or warriors to pursue and accomplish impossible things. There is a reason why this is referred to as Greek mythology because it extends our ambitions beyond ourselves into a fantasy we cannot fulfill realistically. The average person will not get a medal, or a money prize or be a hero in the way TV, the media, the government or your peers ascribe value towards that identity. For most people, being a hero, would concern just waking up in the morning and going about our day. We feel pressure to perform outside our own limits and then we revel in the disappointment that results from failing to live up to those expectations. You drew attention to a reality oftentimes expressed through addicts that the reality of our own denial and despair holds more comfort then the frightening boredom present in the world ( version 2.0 vs. 1.0). In my experience, drugs or deviant behavior starts out as an emotional and spiritual substitute when one is yearning for admiration, respect, attention, love, or companionship and escalates into a full blown mental and physical addiction when those human aspects lays bare and unfulfilled. If necessary, after joining an AA group make this blog your channel towards recovery, lay yourself bare to your peers, we cannot judge your situation we can only learn from your struggle.

    • this is just one story. this website/magazine is a place for us all to share our honest truths, and if the editor-in-chief isn’t, who else can be expected to?

      thank you so much for your kind words.

  3. You’re incredible, I hope you know that’s the truth if I’ve ever said an honest thing in my life.

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LANDFILLS is a grassroots literary, arts and culture online collective based in Chicago. All work is original, except the featured images that accompany text posts (which are blatantly stolen from Complaints should be directed to Po via Twitter.
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