That Sinner Might Just Be a Saint

Because of my current situation, I am repeatedly forced to live in the past. It’s what I signed up for, and it’s kind of ironic that my once cloaked, never discussed past is out in the light. By reliving it over and over, I build a promising future…even if I am constantly telling people to remember theirs, but learn from it, never dwell. Get over it, all the lying, cheating and stealing, by truly forgiving yourself.  That’s the message or part of it.

Still, chunks of memories keep me in some level of personal hell, where I sit for a bit. Let the emotions so many days removed, sink into my heart today. I squirm, my brain won’t shut up long enough with its debasing commentary…wounds fresh, scabbed and scarred receive equal attention these days. Today is a special one, a huge leap forward might just require trudging to the edge, and just allowing myself to fall into that abyss. Lost forevers, tainted yesterdays, wilted and decayed. Things I would love to forget, and can’t as I throw on some fertilizer to see them come back again.

Sometimes the glance is in the rear view, other times it’s just the mirror or I stare. Timeline facts and figures, 1995-2011. Most of 2002 clean. A month or 3 here and there. How in the world am I still here? A lot of luck and solid work of guardian angels, and understanding it comes with a price. My voice. Slowly working, day by day to overcome. Remember to stay grounded, resolve not to lose focus, on what today means.

Is my ground melting in the sun? Icy avalanches to avoid with a sliver of the moon isn’t giving much light. Slide. Take a number, I am really sorry for the back log. It is reading rainbows in the middle of the night. Being whatever I choose to be. I still find the past has a little bit of a hold on me…Will I ever really let go of it all, will certain sins stain my soul? Does anyone or is the bar artificially set super humanly high to keep the sickness on life support? Kind of the herpes argument I have with the pharmaceutical industry. Develop a cure or go the monthly maintenance route. Sickness is great business.

I learned some more a few nights ago about my now passed on to the better side friend, Marc. He kept letters and pictures of is first true love, for over 16 years in fact. I get that one, being the hopeless romantic, wanting the one that got away. Soul mates…Have to be honest, I haven’t thought about love in the relationship sense in a long time. Upon coming home from a girl’s house who just lost her father due to complications due to bypass surgery (heart attack Saturday night, died Monday afternoon) wondering now that 3 have passed in under 2 weeks, if I am done with the grieving for some time, I had a long text conversation with someone who will remain nameless.

I have known her in blips, for a crazy brief period on my first Florida experience, and we reconnected down here in early 2011. Similar demons lived through, we each fight the daily battle to never go back to where we’ve been. She helped me through the darkest days, not by throwing out advice in a no win situation, but just by listening. Last night I wrote words I thought I wouldn’t say for a long, long time. That’s life though, always having fate shove something in your face to make you see when you aren’t looking.

Maybe the ground is falling out from under me. Ever notice how all over the board I am? Pretty much where my brain is these days, but there is a thread tying all of this together, one that provides solace, if not complete forgiveness. The past got me to this moment, a slice of time where I am smiling. I am so apt to label given actions, events, whatever as mistakes. No matter the label placed, here I am. The past should be my teacher, and it dawned on me that I am not a prophet, and I can’t sculpt a situation into perceived destiny. Just let it unravel, and enjoy getting tangled up.

Accepting a situation for what it is, and enjoying the purity of those minutes in time, that is living. It is not delving into the slop of the past and regretting things. Growth as a human being can only come when we learn, and continue to do so. A few months back,  I spent 4 days with a kid whose parents wanted me to try to help him out. I talked with his parents for a while, told them words no mom or dad wants to hear, you can’t stop him.

The good old serenity prayer…I can only change myself, no one else. I can treat people with love and kindness and they can call me a dirty junky. A stranger can send me an email thanking me for courage and helping them understand just what goes on inside an addict’s mind. I try to simplify life, take it as it comes and handle one thing after another, as they come, and deal with them in the right way. Not always easy, and I certainly make my fair share of mistakes. Using the past as a way to break open the scar tissue, pick scabs or finger a wound, not happening…or at least recognized when it does happen.

Back to the addict I attempted to help. Once I finally got in touch with him, and told him where to meet up with me, I waited a few hours. No doubt he was out copping dope of some form. I know that’s what I would be doing in his shoes, knowing some stranger was riding in on some stallion to force rehab on him. After telling him my credentials (I always had more respect for any counselor, or opinion that was of the same ilk as I), I asked him if he was happy. A pretty simple question that active addiction turns into quantum physics problems. He actually let his guard down and told me he was miserable.

The past was eating him alive, his addictive mind (sadly the changes in the brain occur in the limbic system, and that we have no control over) changed by repeated pleasure/reward firings. Much like chocolate, sex, and that warm fuzzy feeling one gets when hitting the wall when running a long distance. Combine that addicts won’t let go of pain, and that their coping skills revolve around substances, and it is a tough battle to wage. No amount of tough love, threats, etc affects change in the other person. It may motivate them to take action, but recovery is all about self.

He actually went to rehab, was amazed I was not going to make him suffer until the Friday a bed was opening. We talked a lot, watched mindless TV, and he did well for 3 months. His mom called me a few weeks ago to tell me he moved in with a girl he met in rehab and he now resides in county jail. It is sad.

The past. I am a student of my own history, learning, stripping memories down to emotions, and knowing I never have to go back to the way things were. Clean AND serene? Without the first part, the second is unattainable. Life and its issues never stop coming, which is why I began writing this blog in the first place-I never wanted someone who read my book to think,wow, this guy has the answers. His life must be perfect!It is actually perfect, true friends are by my side, my family’s love and support is always there,  there is that tap on the shoulder, and I stare at her face and understand I am exactly where I need to be. Everyday is a lesson to be learned, an opportunity to seize,  and a ton of gratitude to have the chance to live out the day (Insert overused Latin phrase here).

Anyway, stay tuned, going to have an article published online soon, and from there it is working my ass off to make my past sins somewhat holy. Give yourself a break world. Do the right thing, and be thankful for every little thing you can think of. Every day is a blessing. Every joy and pain is a chance to grow. This is why I love life.

The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be only the beginning.”  ~Ivy Baker Priest



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