A Beautifully Chaotic Life

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I’ve lived a beautiful life, and even though I know my countdown has begun earlier than most people, I am ok with it- the majority of the time. Fact is the kid who had a blasé outlook for so long is absolutely loving life. However, on the way home from the Tool concert, I lost it talking to my buddy.

He saw a side of me few do-the raw, unpolished, unprepared guy whose truest emotions rest at the bottom of God’s murky filled cauldron of mystery stew. My batch is good on salt big guy. Every once in a while though the angel stirring the pot is out smoking or on a more important call-lord knows there is enough tragedy and pain on this planet, it’s a wonder dinner is ever served. Point is, that calm, collected demeanor sticks to the bottom sometimes and I scream out unrehearsed material -which goes like this – “I don’t want to fucking die yet. It’s too early!”

Obviously I am still here, but I felt human the other night at Tool. Maybe diseased  or a cancer-ridden  human is more accurate. The metastasized bone cancer areas made their presence known on a couple hour drive. My last vertebrae is affected, as well as areas in my pelvis, meaning sitting hurt. Talk about something we take for granted. “I don’t want to fucking die, and I don’t want to feel so much pain just fucking sitting.” I don’t get both right now, so the living part will be the better play. Tomorrow when I meet with my hospice nurse, my pain meds may go up again. 300mg of extended-release morphine twice a day and 20mg of immediate release hourly if needed put most of my body at peace, but now there’s this, so 400mg, here we come probably.

I had someone tell me how lucky I am to be getting so many opiates. I won’t be speaking to that cretin anymore. “Yeah, I’m blessed- Look at that, I have some leftover chondrosarcoma, lung and bone cancer there’s plenty to spare. Lucky for you my mom raised me to share.” Speaking of lung cancer, 4 flights of stairs at the parking garage and I could barely breathe to curse the cheap bastards for saving  a dime on no elevators. I needed oxygen, desperately. I’ve never felt that before unless someone knocks the wind out of me. It’s a race of ironies, because  needed it as fast as possible, yet had to pace myself between a narcoleptic snail and a Xanax addicted 3-toed sloth.

By far the worst thing though was the other 5 people I was with-they wanted to do something. As I sat breathing in my oxygen, I began to sob. I just can’t keep up with regular people-I’m sick. I’m slowly dying.

I told one of them about it, and through his Russian accent, I remember him telling me that it was cool, not to worry about it. I was there wasn’t I? Isn’t that the important thing? I was fucking there, and that is a beautiful thing. I turn 43 Wednesday. Pearl Jam plays here on April 8th. It would be the 25th show I’ve seen them, and plan on seeing them.

My life has been a wonderful experience. I’ve truly lived it, through all the pain and bs, nothing has stopped me. I saw Game 1 of the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals. I’ve been halfway around the world, countless countries and historical monuments, like Ankgor Wat in Cambodia, Mayan ruins in Tulum, Stanley Cup and a Steeler  victory parades. On and on with the sights, but then there’s the people through all of it. From Mario Lemieux Christmas shopping at Kaufman’s. As a boy, Jimmy “Superfly” (sadly a Murderer) Snuka, to my guys on the railroad tracks, having their deep philosophical conversations on everything from politics to what dog looks strong in the 8th race at the kennel club. The amount of awesome in my life is just humbling.

I got this text last night and cried like a baby who had his Twinkies stolen. Do babies eat Twinkies? Not important.

You’re the man. I appreciate your strength more than you know. It was a good time. I’ll be back sometime this week.

Funny thing, he taught me how to be that man.

Peace & Love-
MFJ

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Cancer Diaries: What is That Creeping Behind Me?

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Angels represent refined earthly wants and desires, and that allows writers to slap “pure” in front of just about any word to heighten its sense of value and universality.

Truths…those absolutes that play out the same way, over and over in life.  Not everyone is going to pay taxes, so that cuts the cliche down to 50%, and really, Michael Jackson is still alive in so many of our hearts, music turned into data or perilously preserved in vinyl grooves, so is even death a certainty?

Legacies…memories with the brain’s Play button pressed in someone’s head, somewhere, right this minute. Since I just wrote it, I’m thinking about seeing him a few nights ago, on a Motown tribute concert, singing Billie Jean, all those sequins refracting light, the one glove, and of course, those dance moves. Because you just wrote it, you’re thinking about him right now too, but maybe you don’t like his music, maybe you think him having Mr. Bubbles the chimp for a pet was inhumane, but MJ left many marks.

MJ…I hear it, I think Michael Jordan. Just my most popular internal search result. The man was the flat out the best to ever play the game. His competitive spirit the thing that should be envied, from playing baseball and gambling, to out-dunking Dominique back when the NBA mattered.

Add up those first 4 paragraphs, you obviously reach the sum of MFJ, the author of this blog, me, physically being consumed by cancer, an unknown quantity of numbered days remaining, who values the one sole truth of love being the answer, and wanting to leave that mark on someone in this world.

I mean clearly, that’s the inside picture from my exact thought process- as one word suggests the next in sequence, albeit my order. A progression where I am denying a very important certainty, we all die. The difference is- I know my time is just about up. Doctors tell me this and the searing pain in my chest remind me there just might be some veracity in their claims, proving they are indeed fortune tellers. Tomorrow there might be a radical discovery curing all malignancies, because a team of doctors have been in the Amazon (which, in this rare case, is NOT a vast place of consumerism, where you can buy Shoestring Theories), find that the feces from a rare moth larvae pulls the plug on this unchecked cellular aggression. That or God is sick of my fucking ‘Cancer Diaries’ blogs.

Bingo Michael.  Enough is enough. I mean, I have given you the PERFECT opening to reignite the halcyon days of Tinderfish, OurTinderTime.com, – that collection comedic genius- that was pure (<- see what I did there?) sophomoric humor at its most sublime. So, you’re going to wrap this blog up, and go edit your Tinder profile:

Ladies, I respect your honesty: that you are not on an app that brings people together based on solely on attraction to fuck and have one-night stands. That somewhere in those right swipes, love blooms. I really want that too, but I have terminal cancer. Do you think we might be able to wave that rule you have  though, because I’m dying – and I know Vanessa Williams is on the money, because I want to Save the Best for Last too.

Enough God, I will not stoop to that level or shut up about my illness. I mean, you’re the one who writes this story line, so at least let me fill in the some of the blanks. That people in similar situations can share exactly how some of this feels, that type of sharing is vital.

I’ve become obsessed with my phlegm. Is that a fleck of red in there? Is that some of my once healthy lung? What exactly is happening on my insides and more importantly, this- you gave me so many shots at dying before- is a shitty way to take me out. I mean it-why did you waste all the time from even my last overdose in 2014 to now. It could have just ended then. My guardian angels would have gotten some extra time off, or re-assigned to someone who had enough to offer he wasn’t just killed off 2 years later.

I am angry. I am sad. Both because I am scared.

I shouldn’t be mad, I should be celebrating life. But I’m in my own panic.

I’m sick of this.

I can’t fall asleep because I might not wake up.

And well, I have more shit to accomplish.

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I’m invested in Star Wars– I have to make it to 8 & 9. Give me that. A legacy. That humor deflects, it never changes the truth. The greatest truth in life- love, for my fellow human being- that is pure. That is joy, to help another human being, to unknowingly pull someone back from the edge so that one day, their faith outweighs their fears, and something beautiful is created.

Never stop living Michael. It’s okay to be afraid, just don’t become paralyzed. Be grateful. Be kind. There’s work to be done.

Peace & Love,
-MFJ

Deep Philosophical Bullshit

Get out your pens, because you can’t make a mistake and there will be a test after all is said and done.

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In a word, authenticity. Existentialism at its core means we determine our thoughts, actions in this crazy, mixed-up world. Left out of the above picture is Jean-Paul Sarte, the man credited with first coining the word and philosophy of existentialism. You’ll probably recognize him from his likeness on the Haitian flag…

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That was a joke. He’s not on the flag. I also don’t think he has any Haitian features. These blogs are getting harder to write, but that word, authentic, it’s a word that can be so inspiring or vile, but either way, the adherence should be respected. Like it or not, but that serial killer who can’t get away from wearing pink chiffon dresses with fishnet stockings who only goes after bearded guys who smoke pipes, well, he stays true and fits neatly into his jigsaw piece in the puzzle of life.

All the above though should be read, at least one per author. This lesson of we make ourselves, it plays out a crazy story line in my life. My surroundings, my traumas, my broken heart never made me put a needle in my arm. A funny thing happened though when I read another loosely existential book, the Big Book, it dawned on me that my essence where all cultivated by my actions. There was no blame game. even though I tried my damnedest to create a herd of scapegoats.

I was incapable of facing my problems head on, to quote Nietzsche:

Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.

Now I feel like that nothingness, and I don’t know what to do. I used to sum up my life in a single sentence, I was a heroin-addicted pharmacist, who spent a year in federal prison and couldn’t stop until 12 years later when I tried to kill myself and found rehab in the aftermath. 
December 18th, 2015 I hit the milestone of 18 months without using. A lot went into making that happen, too many God/guardian angel interventions (all are recounted though in Shoestring Theories, my memoir, available by clicking the title in fact 🙂 ), lots of coincidences, which I define as  acts of God where he keeps his anonymity in tact, an amazing list of friends and more than anything, becoming an authentic human being. I got honest with myself, another human being and God. That 10-ton bag of bullshit I had been lugging around with me was gone, and let me tell you how much easier it is to walk around without that weighing me down. Life just got better.
I was blessed with the great fortune of waking up today, of getting enough pain killers in my system so I can actually write an entire blog in one sitting and not curling up into the fetal position, just another thing to be grateful for. I’m surrounded by people that love me. I get these phone calls daily, from friends who are in complete shock when they hear why just exactly I am feeling like an abyss these days. I’m dying. And what can you possibly reply to that statement?
I don’t want to be that hushed whisper that’s on the other foot- it used to be ‘he’s a junkie.’ Now it’s, ‘Can you believe Mike’s cancer is going to kill him?’ Authenticity, til the end. I’m not changing, I am still grateful for every morning my ryrs open, for when I have an appetite there’s food to eat, for Holly providing a roof over my head, for the chance to talk to someone and be as much of a help as I can. I’m still the Mike that sent his Michigan State Spartans fan the joke: what does MSU football and marijuana have in common?  Both are green and get smoked in bowls. I told him I am willing my Big Book to him, signed even, because he goes to a fellowship that uses a different set of books.
I know it’s hard on my family. A family who prayed for years that I quit shooting heroin and just find happiness. Well, family, I have. As tough as it is to write any of this, I am peaceful, I am joyous. To all my friends whose support never dies down (terrible pun, shoot me, that’s even worse, I’m shutting down this parenthetical now), I’m grateful you all, even you Eugene. To the man that help forge the man writing this blog, that inspired me to write more with his compliments, Greg, I love you. To Eli, the man who gave me my 1-year medallion, we’re NOT watching the Steelers playoffs. To any of you I call friends, and there are so many of you, I love all of you.
And for shit’s sake, I’m not dead yet. I’m taking every precious second God is giving me. I’m going to be greedy. And of all the shit we put a value on, platinum, gold, silver, Pat C’s mom, diamonds, cars, brand name clothes, all of that stuff added together will never be as valuable as life is. Take that from this blog. The rest, I’ll get back to you all on it.
BONUS: Mike’s Reading List of the Pictured
The Stranger – Camus
The Metamorphosis- Kafka
Being and Nothingness- Sarte
Shoestring Theories- Janflone
Beyond Good and Evil- Nietzsche
The Sickness Unto Death-  Søren Kierkegaard
Notes From Underground- Dostoyevsky
Just thank you all for praying for me, thinking of me, liking me, loving me, just knowing me. God willing, I’ll be around for a long while.
Peace and Love,
-MFJ

Procrastination Remedy

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I’m dying, let’s not sugar coat it. Not in the sense we are all dying, but as in, I’m at the deli counter of life and fell for the Take a Number ploy. I’m in a line now and these mother fuckers behind the counter are moving efficiently. This never happens, what the hell? What I need is for some people ahead of me to not know what they want, to get some samples. Take your time Ethel, Boar’s Head makes a lot of  crazy varieties of turkey. Stop being so plain boring. 

Speaking of diversity, what do I want when it’s my turn? Maple? Salsalito? Should I do turkey and ham? That changes everything. Dammit!

This isn’t real, something happened to the script. Did I miss a re-write? Did that director feel some kind of way and have to have things unfold his way? Was I just a lot of back story that tested poorly with screening patrons? Pace. Things need to move along or people lose interest. Why else are there vines? We live in an ADHD world and I have something that takes a little longer than 15 seconds to explain.

I’m dying, and not alright with that, but the facts are what they are: metastasized cells in my lungs I can deal with, but the bones? That’s the number I have to take to get service, even if I am not even hungry. Some people asked me why I put a pocket watch and a skull and crossbones on the front cover of Shoestring Theories, so I’ll just go ahead and tell everyone- it’s a symbolic representation of life, for me. I’m living on borrowed time. We are all in a sense, just seems others take out a larger line of credit than I did; no, wait, I’m thinking I maxed out at the store of overpriced dreams, and spent recklessly on the most foolish illusions. No bank is willing to extend me any further, and my firebug nature caught up to me, there’s only so many banks and Indian (wigwam kind) payday loans out there to scam.

Live and learn. That used to apply, but the time has come to build a new bridge and hope that is spending the rest of my life and the best way possible. This blueprint is from the last lesson I learned, another taken completely to heart- a lot of people care. I had a steady stream of visitors at the hospital, a virtual flood of digital love and prayers, and private talks where friends and family don’t like how this blog commences. It hurts them. A leech on society and trust, now people see my inate goodness.

Borrowed time, because I shouldn’t be alive. 18 months ago I literally clawed and crawled  my way into rehab, far beyond broken, only fixable by the supernatural. God put the right repair men in my life, the best in the business, because I needed to let go, I needed to stop trusting the wrong voice in my head. I had to get well.

That transformation happened for me, not overnight, but it happened.

“Aren’t you pissed off God did this?
“Did what?”
“The terminal cancer Mike?”
“Why would I be mad at God for that?”
“Because man, you get clean and are just getting ready to celebrate a year and a half only to find out you’re going to die? Don’t you want to go get high?”
“No, I don’t get mad, and he didn’t sit up there and say, you know what Champ, let’s give that grandson of yours some ass kicking cancer.
“I guess.”
“Faith makes guessing non-existent. Seriously, here’s what God did do for me:

  • Saved my life. Repeatedly.
  • Have my family and so many old friends back in my life.
  • Brought a new, incredible group of friends into my life.
  • Freed me from attachments, which brings me peace.
  • Gives me exactly all I need every single day, the necessities.

I could go on and on, but this- situation- is not going to change my perspectives, it’s not going to give life to that sick voice that wanted me to suffer.”

I used to say I am one of the lucky ones. I am not, I am one of the blessed ones. Right now, with my diagnosis and prognosis, whatever, I am here one more day, and am going to make the most of the gift we take for granted.  Cancer is going to wreck me physically, but it is not going to destroy the peace inside me, it’s only going to strengthen and nurture the connection between God and I.

And those friends and family: I love you all. We’re going to get through this, and it’s going to be something to hold on to, remembering it for the joy.

It’s also gave me the title idea for this blog; it’s going to get me off my ass when it comes to writing.

Peace & Love,
-MFJ

Knives Need A Good Honing

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About a ten days ago I had this post I started, about being thankful all 365 days a year, and not just the one lore tells us of, where the Indians, seeing we were going to bite it, decided to kill those weird birds that always hung around, the ones who never laid an egg, who had scrotums dangling from their beaks. Once a year the most irrelevant, tasteless fowl takes center stage on a dinner table.

Truth be told I’m Italian and much more thankful for the lasagna on the dinner buffet. Yet here it is, Pearl Harbor Day, and I’m just getting around to writing something about being grateful. I’m doing it from a hospital bed. I have had a benign tissue disorder get bumped up into something that has metastasized into my lungs. I sit here waiting for my biopsy results to come in, to see what this hunk of flesh in my chest is made up of, is it bone, muscle, fat, parts of my twin I imagine would have been named Stanley, the one I partially digested in utero or a little bit of everything? How cool would it be if it were just Swedish fish goo?

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That’s me, and my trophy I claimed at the hospital.Most improved satisfaction. The first night I was here, I was scared. 5 people waited with me in the ER. Every day I’ve been here I’ve had company. I’m still scared. Words like metastatic get thrown around, or the simple fact having a ten pound tumor removed is going to be in medical terms, “one hell of surgery,” it would be easy to say to myself I’ve had a great run at this thing called life.

Some things just aren’t meant to be. Love is not enough. Bad things happen to good people. Pick a cliche and run with it. While I had hoped my tumor would have been featured during this past weekend’s closing of Art Basel, there’s always next year.

Some things can’t be rushed. The most important, soul fulfilling things march along at their own pace, on an unseen timeline that only comes into focus in retrospect. I’m thankful though, right this second, I’m going to get through this. Moments like this, I am incredibly grateful to have lived out my life exactly as I have. I am loved.

The suicidal junkie of 18 months ago, the one so alone my shadow was a stranger us gone now. The world had no use for me, or so I thought. Moments of clarity caused full scale shifts in perspective, I had no use for the world. I was a selfish taker, never giving back  to anyone. Now there’s a guest list to see me here.

I’ve become someone just true to myself. I embrace my talents, use them to make a person laugh, to view life from a different plane of view. I encourage others to do the same and am so excited for upcoming Mind Shrapnel projects. As for cancer, I don’t fear that one either.

I’ve got time to leave some more marks on the publishing world, and a few people I can allow to rule the Mind Shrapnel  empire after I’m gone. Point is, I could die tomorrow and not worry the most minuscule bit about things left undone. I accomplished something huge, I got clean, I became recovered. Those people coming to sees me, baking and texting me, I want in their lives 18 months ago. Everyone one of them can tell you who I am. Until the day I step away from gravity, I will always have my integrity in check. Accomplishing that is the ultimate blessing and god gave me that chance- to be someone instead of a something.

Peace and Love,
-MFJ

I Got Clean For This?

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Active addiction sucks. Take my last ‘run.’ I came to Florida with nothing and in about a year and a half, I had a wife, house, car and most importantly to me, normalcy. When I started using, the highs were not like I remembered, because there was this huge cloud of guilt hanging over me. I had clawed through the sludge and gotten what I always dreamed of, a Norman Rockwell painting of what defined happiness, everyday life, enjoying the simple things.

For a while my use was justified, back pain from auto accidents. A doctor prescribing mass quantities of oxycodone, and I was just snorting it. Then buying more from acquaintances because 210 were not lasting. Then realizing I was doing too many per day, decided the smart thing to do would be to boot (inject) them. I would use less. The pressure of keeping my secret was slowly crushing me. My wife’s suspicions were growing like weeds in a forgotten garden. Everything precious, everything beautiful in my life was getting choked out, so bad wild flowers couldn’t even bloom.

When pill prices went out of control thanks to the pill mill crackdown, that logical voice spoke up one more time, heroin is way better and way cheaper. I had painted myself into a disastrous corner, and the lies were so plentiful there was no way to keep track of them. The inevitable happened, I was divorced and mad at her. That’s how addicts think, and I knew how to play the victim so well. It was her fault I was going to sink deeper into the quicksand.

I most certainly did, because we got divorced around August or September of 2011. My clean date is June 18th, 2014. If there was a single day clean between the days, it was because I had to gut it through for a day until whatever plan for money I had launched would deliver. By the end I was homeless, and had given up on life. If I had bothered to look over my shoulder, I would have seen the smoldering ashes of all the bridges I set ablaze, faces in the smoke of the people I fucked over. And I would fuck you over and over until finally those people had to throw in the towel.

“That can’t be Mike, he’s not that kid of guy.” Yeah, I was, way worse in fact. People existed to help me spiral down. By the time I added cocaine to the spoon, all I wanted was to just die. And when luck didn’t intervene, I grew some balls and did enough to kill myself.

One more failure. I ended up in rehab beaten up physically, completely destroyed mentally, and completely empty spiritually. Slowly but surely I began looking human again. I remember a guy asking a question of why there needs to be a CA. There’s AA for alcoholics, and NA for drug addicts. The difference was the Big Book. A few days later I read Bill’s Story. It rocked me. A few weeks later a guy asked about working the steps, and time.

I don’t remember what the speaker said, but if the promises of the Big Book came true, I wasn’t waiting around to get them. I was masterful when it come to creating and enduring tragedies. A few weeks later I was getting out, I met my sponsor the very last night of inpatient, and 2 months later I had done the steps, I was recovered.

One of those torched bridges cried when he heard my voice for the first time, the first time not all scratchy and deeper thanks to opiates. The words that came out were different too. There was a sincerity when I spoke. I held my head high without even thinking about it.

There was a peace about me, that people that really knew me sensed just over the phone. I wasn’t miserable anymore. I wasn’t manipulating a system or person to get something from him or her. A stranger collecting signatures for something gave me $10 to go get him cigarettes. Not even 5 months before that, I couldn’t get a fucking quarter.

Two major things happened to me- gratitude and a shift in perspective. I’m thankful for waking up, food, a bank account, a cell phone, friends and family, of which there are so many. I’m blessed. Truly blessed. And a new perspective, life isn’t a series of positive and negative experiences, they are all opportunities for me to grow as a man. In short, I found my conscious contact with God.

I didn’t get clean to be miserable. I got clean to finally live life. That’s a beautiful  thing, a peaceful, joyous thing I’m not giving back because I try to give a piece of it away every day.

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Peace & Love,
-MFJ

Guilty Bystanders

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Well, it’s been an interesting few days. Thanks to the over 400 people who stopped by to read about an occurrence all too common down here. One of my favorite things I heard was it’s none of my business, that if I were working a program, I’d ignore this person’s bullshit. I was labeled passive aggressive, probably accurately, because that is something I tend to do.

So, let me be a little more clear this time around. If I have already eaten a Five Guys burger, and get a second one on my way out, you know, just for later, and I see a cachexic human being digging through the dumpster, I sure as fuck better give that person my other greasy Godsend. It’s beyond right, it tears at that part of me that is instantly taken back, to those moments when I would look over my shoulder, make sure no one is looking, before I picked up a half eaten bagel from behind a Dunkin Donuts, because my options were just that dire. Desperation, acutely primal, yet incomprehenibly vain. Really Mike, you are starving to death, haven’t showered in days, and you have the gall to look around ONE more time to make sure no one sees another secret?

Isn’t that addiction at its core though, fear.? Scared to death to be rejected, to fail, to face the consequences, to admit a multitude of mistakes. The truth terrified me- when I was sick. When I wanted to pretend I had my shit so together even though I was shattered. When I was married, my then wife actually pulled up my sleeve, and I lied straight to her face, that I had given blood once, or another time I had used a syringe to gather ink for a journal entry. Yeah, I was that sick I wrote in my own blood. Tell a bigger lie with a lesser truth, that was my way of convincing myself I had nothing to hide.

Working steps, I faced my self-perceived inadequacies, have made amends wherever possible, and keep my slate clean daily, and make sure I erase my marks daily. The alternative will be the end of me this time around, no doubt about it, I can’t go back to heroin. I can’t smoke a joint, do a line of cocaine, or have a beer. The misery of that life…no way. The gift of grace is only given so often, and who do I think I am to throw that back in God’s face?

As has bore out across the nation, addiction is not some slap on the wrist disease. More people overdose and die than are killed in auto accidents. That doesn’t include the incredible number of near misses thanks to Narcan and quick action of first responders. It could be so much worse.

That blog, it was written because of all this. If it were someone I saw drink some beers during a football game one weekend, then pick up a year the next weekend, that’s none of my business. Maybe that person hasn’t made the concession to self that he/she is an addict. Maybe they are a problem drinker. Not my inventory to take. When actions however directly affect others, putting those looking for help in a situation where they get nothing even resembling assistance, well, do I sit around and say, none of my fucking business? In case anyone missed it, I’m not going to let that person pick through the dumpster.

Just like I am not going to walk by someone being strangled, I’m not going to just say, “Hey, that person probably had it coming.” When a situation is blatantly wrong, and lives are at risk, it’s everyone’s responsibility to speak up. When greed wrecks a system that could have helped so many more people down the line, well, shame on me for not speaking up even more so than allowing places to get away with $3000 urine tests.

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I’ve dealt with enough shame in my lifetime.

I’m not going  to sit around pretending there isn’t a mother and father sitting up in New Jersey right now, praying for their son or daughter to get help. That right now, they think that anguished scream to God was finally heard as their child says, “Please help me,”and South Florida is the answer. I don’t want their moment of relief to be one of agony a few months later, because instead of the kid relapsing, then going back through the cycle of detox and IOP, they’re coming down here to collect the body.

No, I am going to speak the fuck up. If that bothers anyone, I am not sorry at all. What would a father say if they knew their daughter reached out for help and instead of that, it was deemed cool to stay there, to shoot dope as long as she gave it up and slept in the same bed. How the fuck is that helpful?

The reality of it is there are a lot of people in recovery that are dangerous to those who really want a new life. Shoot your steroids, fuck as many vulnerable women as you can, rape insurances, pretend this is all okay because that’s what ‘everyone’ does. Not everyone lives in such a selfish way. Sorry, there are great rehabs. halfways, great sponsors. I’m not condemning you if you take any of this and get all up in your feelings over it, because it’s Marathon Man dentistry and that pain comes from inside. Is it safe? 

Not at all, but I am not even close to alone in this fight.

In fact, there are so many people earning an honest living down here, that run rehabs and halfways where the goal is recovery that I consider this place home. There are men and women who take others through the steps, that put Step 12 in front of everything, that endeavor to live a spiritual life, not just 60 minutes at a meeting, but all the other waking hours as well. They walk the talk. Those who have been there for me, that have showed me how to live a selfless life and give back. God-given.

-MFJ