HAPPY NEW YEAR! I am starting off the year in Los Angeles reflecting on the differences between this year and last year. Last year I started out with a big wad of sugar daddy cash on my person because Christmas in the Bay Area had blessed me with an amazingingly generous client that allowed me to get my solo theatre show “Modern Day Asian Sex Slavery” off the ground and have a cabaret with a full jazz band and sexy sex worker burlesque performers…Those are the two big accomplishments of 2011 that I wrote in my list of things that I was proud of having accomplished that year.
The OTHER big one is more recent and carries a different weight for me. 3 months ago I attempted to go on a weed cleanse because I was sick with a cold and had stopped vaporizing for a few days because when I am sick, I don’t really feel like being high because my head is already light, so I took advantage of the 3 day streak I had already started and tried to push myself to continue it for as long as I could. I vowed that I would go easy on myself if it was a decision to medicate or have a major mental breakdown, I would medicate. I believe in 3 months I may have vaporized about 3 times only. but I EAT edibles on the weekends to get high and have fun dancing and enjoying my life as opposed to using weed to just get through each day.
Previously for me, marijuana was the anti-depressant that I felt was the very thread of my survival. It was painful for me to think of not having it in my system and there were many many times when I would be driving to the dispensaries in LA with tears in my eyes. I’d sit down with my grinder and vaporizer tube and count backwards 5-4-3-2-1 and then after 2 inhales I would be relieved of my pain, my tears would dry and I would feel better. Medicated. Positive thoughts again. In July of 2011 it was getting really bad for me, the weed was not really working that well. I was ready to get on psych meds, the intake staff person told me he had an art gallery so I sent him some of my artwork (which is sexually charged) from my phone giving him my number as well and he started pursuing me in hopes of trying to PIMP me. (he told me he had experience in that game and then ended with a “I’m kidding” when he noticed I reacted negatively). No lie. My path is full of vultures, I constantly have to breath fire in their face and make them back down. Thank God for the ability Sprint has to block numbers from calling and texting you. During the time he was trying to contact me a lot, he had just gotten fired from that place and just got out of jail for a getting in a fight he casually told me in our 1-2 ever conversations which always ended with a “sweetie” at the end of them. Remember, pimps can live anywhere, be of any race, age or gender but most noticeably seek you out when you are at your most vulnerable with offers of help and resources.
That center did a half assed intake and never called me again even though they charged me $20. I wanted my money back! Apparently, although they didn’t inform me in any way, I guess I wasn’t insane enough to need their help. I was disenchanted to say the least. I decided I would try St.Johns Wort and it worked a miracle on me. A true saint indeed. As an uninsured American, herbal remedies are the KEY to my survival. I use St.Johns Wort (SJW) in combination with Passionflower (for anxiety) to ease my pains and it helps me get through each day without marijuana. I wanted to prepare my body for the baby that I wanted to have in the next 5 years and although I do know mothers who have used weed to term and bore healthy babies I thought it would be better if I cut down. I NEVER thought I was going to be able to. My weed use as decreased by 75% with the help of my other herbs and I haven’t had a medical card since August which means I haven’t been able to enter any medical marijuana clubs since then either. My vaporizer is shelved, my bongs are dusty, my grinders are put away. I am a marijuana supporter and sympathizer forever but I’m no longer a stoner. There are no actual weed flowers in the house! That, to me is amazing. For me to go 5 straight days without medicating with weed is no less than a miracle. Its been 3 months and I am still amazed every day. In previous years when I’d done cleansing experiments, I’d used passionflower to be clean during the day, but then I’d eat an edible every night. I’d try to make rules saying I would only smoke when the sun was down, but I’d be anxiously awaiting the sunset. But I wasn’t using SJW yet. St.Johns Wort helps with mood elevation and depression. It helps me balance my brain chemistry. I have been resistant to daily anything in my past. You couldn’t get me to take vitamins, supplements, birth control pills daily nothing. I’d forget, I’d skip, I’d stop. But I take my herbs with my coffee every single day now just like I used to sit there all day in front of my home office computer with my vape tube in my mouth every hour because IT WORKS. and it works well. Some herbal remedies don’t always work on me. People swear by 5HTP but I tried that and it didn’t do the trick like what I have now. For me personally, I wanted to go back to a time when marijuana was recreational over the time when weed was something i would fear being without for too long.
Sometimes I still have anxiety and hard times but I’m able to push through them without weed now. I am stronger. I made myself stronger and I am proud of myself. I’m not sober, I’m not clean, I’m just a new version of the same old me. To not have the kind of depression problems that I have been plagued with for years is such a relief. If you have never been there, you probably don’t know how dark the darkness feels even in the light. I would be at the beach trying to lift my mood but I’d still feel hopeless, negative, worried about the future, hearing voices of defeat and the worst lonliness, even when I was trying to fix my situation by try to go out and dance (alone and go home alone w/o conversing with another person), watch a movie (alone) or go eat (alone) or to martial arts or yoga classes. I would make a log of the time when I’d just sit in the car in the parking lot and feel that there wasn’t anyone in LA who was lonlier than me at that moment. It is still an ongoing battle for me. but I am happy to have this under more control. I just got high yesterday, because, hey it was FRIDAY!! i started to have inspirations about ideas for new paintings and decided to start painting again. I was going off on idea after ideas and facebooking manically with joy. That’s what weed does to me. The ideas are real. The ideas are still good. Its just that now that is not me everyday, the amount of ideas that I spew out are more manageable and realizable. If I was feeling like that on a daily basis, I noticed I would get frustrated at how I knew I was never going to follow through on these ideas because it would be impossible to manage them all well. Idea diarrhea got annoying at meetings as well. I’d be like hating my own interruptions and blurting outs. Fuck I shouldn’t have said that. o well i just said it. i wanted to be in total control of my thoughts and actions again. Before I met my first majorly unhealthy partner at 22 I smoked occasionally and didn’t even own a bong of my own! But after we broke up was the beginning of my new found lifestyle which I was totally content with and loved. I will never renounce it. I’m just happy that I am able to overcome certain difficulties in different ways and the major suffering has eased. And I don’t rule out that I may go back to those ways, but probably not. I went from bong to vaporizer for almost 2 years, then SJI/Passionflower and edibles on the weekends. Weed/drug use is kind of like sex work for me. I’m not concerned about knowing when it will end, I can’t know that. I will stop doing what I am doing now when I am no longer doing it. Period. I STILL have no regrets about ending friendships to people like Kristina Wong (who tried to shame me into quitting) or my ex roommates at the Basswerks (who ran an intervention on me as a condition to staying in the) house I lived at in LA who made me feel like shit for needing to medicate with marijuana.
I’ve been trying to cut down for years but I couldn’t. I would not compromise my survival because I knew what I needed to be well. If I don’t have my herbs I will also start freaking out in the same way I did when I was out of weed because I can feel when I am not medicated. I am now just medicating with something else. I am also super relieved that I did not have to get on any expensive and long term destructive pharmaceutical anti-depressants. I love herbal remedies as well because it fits my budget. If you are trying to ween yourself off of any substance: TRY PASSIONFLOWER. It takes the edge and craving off of life and it works. I swear by it. I swear by both these herbs just like I used to swear my life on my indica weed. I was in San Francisco for December 17th “International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers” and Robyn Few, the founder of SWOP was there. She gathered a circle of known potheads to share in her homegrown joints as usual and I did not partake! It was the first time in the history of my sex worker activism that I didn’t smoke weed with Robyn Few when she offered. Robyn’s love and her shameless weed smoking was the reasons that I joined the sex worker rights movement in the first place. I had finally found my family I thought. A bunch of loving prostitute stoner women hanging out in a room? Wut? I’m IN!!! It was a beautiful thing. Robyn is still battling cancer with 2 joints in her hand, and I am still battling my demons too but we are both STILL ALIVE and kicking and smiling and looking hot. SURVIVORS. I asked her if she would ever stop smoking weed and she replied defiantly,”NEVER.”
This year music and art are my big goals. I am going to Japan finally for an extended stay THIS YEAR for sure. 6 months to a year. I’ve decided to leave South Central LA. Sell my stuff. go to Japan and make my own cultural journey without my mom’s help. It is my lunar year. The year of the dragon. This has got to be big. I will accept nothing less. I stopped going to weekly therapy at the start of 2012 and decided to direct that $25 into paying my pianist and start rehearsing with him on the regular again. time to get this music train BACK on the track with NO excuses. Music is therapy anyway. Singing sets me free and gives me immeasurable joy. I need to do it like my other art forms. Including my martial arts. I had done my cabaret in January and then totally abandoned working on live music. It got reprioritized, like my painting did. I come back to things. but I don’t always know when. I just had no desire to paint after I sold the last painting for $1600 and after David Perry died. he was my painting partner. my inspiration actually. he was an awesome painter and the best friend I ever had. I still miss him. I make a mantel for his stuff in every house I live in and I told him I was going to paint again. I said it to the mantel. I told it to his face which was painted in his paintings. Wendy Babcock is with him now. I put her photo on his mantle. I’m sure he’ll enjoy the company.
I’m already doing an exciting group show at the Aljira Gallery in Newark, NJ near Manhattan NYC and it feels like I’m going to start going somewhere again higher than where I am at now. The curator is trying to get the show to travel to Boston as well. There is another show at The Museum of Sex in the nearby NYC area at the the SAME TIME as the one that I am already in that is asking for a call for submissions. I would simply have an art orgasm if I could actually have two major NYC shows at the same time! Even just having the one show is amazing. I am thinking that I am glad that I quit teaching and started focusing on my art and music again. It is what I was meant to be. not a teacher. not a non profity worker. Mariko Passion. exactly who I am now. I want to be singing in a club or restaurant with my pianist this year too. But this always seems to be a goal. It’s really nice ot have the visual art thing come back though. trying to sell my shit in the back of bars and clubs in LA wasn’t going well.
I have decided to start painting again because I have been hit with inspiration for WHAT I would paint. I haven’t painted for almost 10 years, I gave all my brushes and paints to my sister and quit until…perhaps now. I’ve done a few small projects here and there but nothing has inspired me to start seriously painting the way I used to until yesterday when I get high I had these great ideas that I knew that I would actually follow through on. These are NOT hallucinations. It is just easier to produce my great creative ideas when I am not hearing voices from my family’s rejection telling me that I am a fat, can’t sing, too sensitive, wasting my life, not interesting, always broke. When I am high I am nothing but positive almost always. and more than that I am a creative genuis!!! At times like last night I wonder why I need to cut down in the first place. It started with wanting to stop smoking because asthma but I still have asthma even though I don’t smoke or vaporize but its way more in control than last year. I am always thankful and grateful when the pain is relieved. I learned how to manage my asthma with plant medicines too. Lobelia tinctures with water taste like shit but stop the wheezing. Much better than paying big pharma $200 for an inhaler that lasts a month. I learned how to use an alternative because I HAD to. I like it that way actually and am really proud of the many many natural remedies that I have to cure asthma, yeast infections, bladder infections, depression and anxiety! fuck yea! I’m an amazing broke girl! Really. FUCK BIG PHARMA.
It’s the weekend, I’m high and practicing new songs to sing. I’m bursting with creative flow and ideas and working on a proposal for the Museum of Sex due in 5 days. Getting the New Jersey show was the first step. The Museum of Sex is the 2nd. The snow storm will follow. I feel good. I feel great. Gonna have the whole world on a plate.