in late november, i was walking to the popeyes on flatbush avenue – more to get out of the house than out of hunger. i had just started listening to sorority noise, thanks to spotify’s pre-made playlist for people who like modern baseball, the front bottoms, and other post-2010 pop punk bands (read: me). i didn’t know any of sorority noise’s songs back then, mostly attracted to their name (see: my obsession with greek life) and their proximity to mobo. i kept pressing replay on one song, though. “i started sleeping again / traded late night and sheep for vicodin / the guilt burning in my chest set in / i started sleeping again.”

with trainspotting 2 coming out at film festivals worldwide, i thought i might dedicate an essay to my experiences with opioids.

after phalloplasty, i stayed at the maximum dose for both vicodin and percocet (2 pills every 4 hours) for the better part of a month. i remember my last pills vividly: 2 big pink percocet, swallowed at SFO right before takeoff. then the withdrawal started. i was constantly itching and trembling, the tremors waking me up at night while my boyfriend slept nearby. i stopped sleeping.

now i take vicodin to feel better. i take tylenol 3 with codeine to feel better.