Quote of the Day

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

~ Winston Churchill

Secret Admirer

Well, it appears that I’ve attracted a secret admirer somehow and I don’t really know how to feel about it. This week I found six roses on the ground behind my apartment building. It was so random that I keep questioning if they were put there for me to find. My first reaction was fueled by my overactive paranoia so I jumped immediately to “STALKER!” If it weren’t for some past experiences with that problem, I might not have been so quick to think the roses were a bad sign. Or set up an IP camera behind my sliding glass door to catch any movement near my patio. I don’t have the slightest clue how I convinced myself that I’d be able to catch the “stalker” hanging out behind my apartment like it was some daily occurrence or something. And how would I be able to say who left the roses when I couldn’t even tell you how many neighbors I have and where they live. The best example of how ridiculous my mind works is that I actually believed a camera recording would protect me from some unknown threat. Threat? Really? After I came to my senses, I realized I was probably taking the gesture in the opposite direction from what was intended. I should be flattered. And I truly am now. I only wish I knew who placed the roses on the ground and if they were really meant for me.

Lost & Found

I’ve been reflecting on my life a lot lately and where I’m at currently in my life’s journey. If you would’ve asked me a decade ago or two decades ago what I envisioned my life to look like right now, I would’ve never thought I’d be single, unemployed, battling a number of chronic health conditions, and struggling with addiction. It amazes me how little control we actually have over where life takes us. Granted, we all have choices we face that influence the direction of our path but there’s so many things we never see coming that completely change, flip, turn upside down everything we are or thought we knew.

I never chose to acquire a life-threatening blood cancer in my early 20’s but I also didn’t choose to become addicted to the pills I was being prescribed by my doctors. I know addiction is now considered a disease in itself but I struggle to believe it even though I personally know the powerlessness I have over drugs. I guess it’s because I did choose to hang out with other addicts for the past decade which took me into a world or subculture of people that was foreign to me. Being the curious person I am, I chose to stay around these people and step outside my comfort zone. Most would assume I’d regret this choice, but it’s quite the contrary. I was taken into places I never would’ve seen, put in situations I never would’ve experienced, and met people I never would’ve become friends with. Because of these things, I wouldn’t change my chosen path for anything.

Thinking back, I remember how naive and how easily taken advantage of I was. Picture a doormat and that would be exactly how I was looked at and treated. It’s like they could smell the innocence on me. Over time, however, I learned how to stand up for myself and gain the strength that I so desperately needed to find. There’s nothing like hanging out with a whole bunch of criminals to figure out real quick how to protect yourself from being “taken down through there.” I’m actually grateful for the knowledge I’ve gained along the way. It forced me to change my thought process into that of a criminal’s mindset. It’s a completely different way of thinking from what I’d ever been accustomed to. It can actually be really fascinating if you listen to the ingenious schemes and scams these people come up with. I honestly believe the most creative and intelligent people I’ve ever met have been convicted criminals, felons, and con artists.

The one thing I appreciate the most about that lifestyle is the relationships I formed along the way. If you remove any judgement from the equation, you can see the good in these people that society won’t allow themselves the opportunity to grasp. I actually take pride in my ability to find the “diamonds in the rough.” I even built the deepest connection I’ve ever had with another human being despite her paperwork saying she “is a threat to society as a whole.” I felt the loss and void in my life every time she got locked up or had to go to another in-patient treatment program. With this closeness came the love but also the pain of loving a master manipulator. At some point I had to weigh the good I always saw in her to the pain that she caused me to hold onto over time. Even now, I can’t help but feel the void of not having her in my life.

I’ve realized that most relationships end up becoming toxic at some point if there are drugs involved. It just goes without saying. When you add a toxic element between any two entities, something is bound to go wrong and become toxic in the process. Even though I’ve had to remove my entire social circle from my life, I don’t regret the choices that took me down the path to where I am today. Granted, they might not be deemed as the best choices but they made me who I am and I’m proud of that. I walked through the shadows staying true to who I am and actually came out a better person because of it.

Imitation Life

I had a feeling we’d be right back here

In this twisted world where nothing’s true

And even now with our goals in reach

We just keep doing what we shouldn’t do

It makes no sense what we’re giving up

A life of love and God and trust

Filled with blessings beyond our dreams

Yet we can’t stay away from what we must

Will this cycle ever end?

Or are we destined to fall apart?

We both know where this always leads

Placing distance between our hearts

What we’re doing just isn’t right

It’s nothing more than an imitation life

I want what’s real that we can share

With God as our focus and love on our minds

It’s time to make a drastic change

And agree to leave it all behind

Create the world we deserve to have

And reject all the limits some try to demand