Stranger in a Strange Land

I feel so utterly helpless and lost. Three weeks ago I moved away from sleeping in the streets in Northern California to live with an old friend in a relatively rural community in Upstate New York. The two worlds could not possibly be any different. I grew up about 80 miles north of here, so I should have known what to expect, but I was not prepared at all. I have changed so much in the 16 years since I left here that I now feel like I live on a different planet. 

I am having a difficult time locating vital services and support that I desperately need. The very limited Narcotics Anonymous meetings I have found have been more stressful than helpful. They are disorganized, almost chaotic at times. The people talk while others are speaking, they are using their cell phones in areas that cell phone usage is prohibited by law. Overall very disrespectful to the recovery process.

While I was able to get all of my medications refilled before I left California, they aren’t going to last forever. As a transgendered woman I need access to a therapist that is competent in gender issues as well as medical doctors who are competent in Hormone Replacement Therapy. This is in addition to finding the therapeutic and medical support I need in treating my Borderline Personality Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and what may be the beginning stages of schizophrenia. The one LGBT focused website I was able to find for the area only had 9 members. I can’t be the only one who needs these services. I know this area is far more conservative that California is but I at least expected to find something here. 


I feel so alone.



  1. Could you try AA meetings instead of NA? There tend to be more of them, and they tend to have more attendees as well (which, at least in theory, would result in better organization). Maybe not as specific to you, but it’s still a meeting of addicts trying to get help.

    And–again, in theory–more people = greater chance for community & for individual connections. To at the very least have a sympathetic audience for bitching and moaning and screaming.

    Here is a question that might sound stupid & that you should feel free to make fun of mercilessly if it strikes you the wrong way. Would taking a walk be at all helpful? A super-long, lost-in-the-countryside, away from people and judgment-type of walk?

  2. I do attend one AA meeting a week that is actually right across the street from where I am staying. Unfortunately that meeting goes to the extreme opposite and the entire room sits in silence for an hour.

    On the rare occasions that it is not raining I have gone for walks. One day I walked until I could find a wifi hotspot and ended up walking 3.5 miles before I found one. It was good to clear the head.The road is fairly busy and traffic runs at 45-50 MPH so I am constantly worried about being struck by a car though.

    1. Aye, I realized as I was typing that that country roads are total bullshit for walking along. If there are worthwhile fields or forests (or decent parks) you might give those a try instead. Anything that involves walking to clear the head and not to dodge traffic & be reminded of how frustrating people can be. To put it mildly.

      Even if the room is silent, you could get up and start talking. If what you need is catharsis, sharing, unity, some kind of affirmation, it would probably be healthy & helpful both to say “Fuck this noise” and just take the stage.

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