I read the acknowledgement section in my book a little while ago. That shit is humbling. A year ago, I was in a spartan treatment center, jealous of people who had friends, girlfriends and family members sending them cards and letters with money in them. I remember getting cards from a few people, and being pissed off that there was no money in them. True story. Left that out of the book because it didn’t dawn on me until I was cleaning out a drawer in preparation of changing addresses. I got a card from my Uncle Duane, who I hadn’t heard from in years, or at least it was that long according to my ever accurate, in need of constant correction by those conscious at the time, timeline.
It’s kind of apropos, no, it is totally fitting that was the first card I got in there besides from my mom and dad. He is a Franciscan monk, truthfully I have little idea what that entails, but in hindsight I look at the obvious ironies…one I reacted like an ungrateful dick, and two, it hit me that I was acting like an ungrateful asshole within 5 minutes. Something inside me had changed. When I got a card from my friend Andy, it meant everything to me that he had even bothered to write me, given the fact I used his reputation to get “help” i.e. have people send him money so I could shoot more dope in my arm.
When I found out he told my father that he wished he had 1/10th my imagination and writing skills, I was humbled. That the funny glitter unicorn card would make someone laugh months later, and who is a dear friend of mine now, well, that’s just it…she is one of so many friends I have in my life. It was impossible to think of all the people in my life today, so many friends from the past that said some prayers that someone must have listened to up there, people I had no idea cared about me. People I haven’t talked to in forever.
Ex-girlfriends blindsided me with well wishes and how happy they were to actually read something on this blog that wasn’t me being a straight clown, or just outright lying. Then there are all the new friends I have met that only know the guy I have worked my ass off to become. That anyone can look up to my character and ask me to help them work steps, that’s an incredible feeling. That others ask me for advice, and I answer spiritually, a wholesale change has taken place in my heart and mind. Peace is beautiful.
So I am the sum of my actions. I am in this place, doing this, on a big day for me. I wronged so many people, and I continue to endeavor to live life the way I am and fix things wherever possible. I am blessed.
Then I remember to look back at the dedication in the book, to my friend Adam, who passed 4 days after I was laid off and told I wouldn’t be getting a $2000 commission check. We talked the night I was let go, about a lot of stuff, the job, a fantasy football league, girls, and where I was internally, how the steps had brought me closure, given me neutrality and so many other things, priceless things. I can’t believe he died. I can’t believe that was the last conversation we would have.
So I am signing books today. How many times have I used the word humbling? Terrible writing, but I am too tired, too stressed, and too lazy to go to thesaurus.com and type in humble. Actually, as I typed that I thought to myself, why not go there secretly and show people how smart I am, even though my brain is struggling to put together long run-on sentences tonight, but the synonyms suck. Except one, or two, simple, polite and respectful. That would be three. I can count, even when brain dead.
A business is supporting me and my book, as well as the effort to get some proceeds to a charity, when before they wouldn’t have let me in the door, certainly would have banned me from the bathroom, and at best, given me a glass of water. I get to go home and do the same thing. I have come a long way, and while I put in the work on the book, God wrote the script. Or at least named the book. I am or will be reaching out to friends in Atlanta, NYC and LA, to do the same type of things. I am so grateful for these chances.
Being an addict sucks. Loving an active addict is even worse. That I understand today. Maybe the book can help someone when it comes to that, that who I was, was a hopeless, broken junkie that was going to die. Very soon. God’s grace intervened. I get to tell my story, to reach out and tell people addicts are human beings, but change is most definitely a realistic goal. Don’t ever give up on him or her.
Peaceful, and grateful,