Texas!

Okay. So let’s just say that my devices really do have minds of their own…

I have two words for you. No, not ‘fuck you.’ (I know that’s what you were probably expecting there.) I wanna say thank you. I might not be able to explain or understand everything that’s going on around me but I have faith that there is a purpose. I’m finished being afraid or getting upset with the technology I know so little about. It’s been quite the humbling experience though. Which I’d like to thank you for as well. I am now so ridiculously aware of how far advanced our technology has become and how dangerous it can be. I’ve yet to figure out how to protect myself from certain invasions but I’m guessing it wouldn’t matter what I do to supposedly “secure” my devices. Instead, I’ve just decided to accept that I know nothing and you have access to everything.

I’ve spent far too many years trying to hide when I should’ve been living and sharing my experiences with the world. Maybe, just maybe, I can help someone else who’s struggling with the same issues or circumstances I’ve been through. How’s about that for revelation? So I offer up another thank you. I know you see me now and are watching me fight for a life worth living. If I could ask for one thing and one thing only, it would be for everyone not to give up on me. And I say ‘everyone’ because there’s gotta be more than one person from Texas going everywhere I do. I guess I should say thank you for making sure I get to and from my destinations safely. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, don’t give up on me.

Everything I do is a process and even though it might take me a little longer than others, I do eventually figure it out. Whatever ‘it’ is. And I do love a challenge. So I’m learning and I’m trying and I will overcome whatever is set in front of me. I want my freedom. Freedom from my past mistakes and bad choices. Freedom from what still holds me down. Freedom to live and praise God in all I do. I know this freedom is a gift and I know it could be taken from me if God’s will sees fit. This is something I will forever remember and never take for granted. I truly have so much to be thankful for. I’ve been blessed in more ways than I can count. However, I had to travel through darkness to see a world of people that will never know what it’s like to have a supportive family and genuine friends who all know what love is. Now, as I venture out of the shadows, I just pray that I’ve been able to shine some small light of love into the darkness.

Just for Today

At this point I’m open to just about anything if it will work to break the cycle of addiction I’ve been in for the majority of my life. I tried going to an NA meeting the other night and as I got close to the building, I asked a couple walking ahead of me if I was in the right place. The girl turned around and asked, “NA?” Then the guy busted out laughing and gave me props for the best line he’s heard at a meeting, “Am I in the right place?” Of course I was in the right place. I wasn’t getting high somewhere else.

When I made it into the lights of the meeting room, I realized I recognized the guy from outside. It had been a good 5 or 6 years since I’d seen him last and it wasn’t pretty. I’d say he was at rock bottom or close to it. Come to find out that he was married now. I couldn’t believe how amazing he looked and how sweet his wife was to me. She made me feel welcomed like I was right at home. The kicker is that my friend received his 3 year token of clean time on the very same night I attended my first meeting.

It’s moments like that which remind me of who is really in control and it sure as hell isn’t me or you. I love it when God decides to show His love and presence in such an undeniable way that it strengthens my faith that’s pretty rock solid to start off with. I left the meeting feeling proud of myself like I might have found something that could work for me. The only requirement to be a member is the desire to stop using. Got that. I’m in. I guess I’ll just keep coming back.

Middle of the Fire

Dancing in the middle of the fire,
Praying to God that I don’t get burned.
Sitting in a cloud of smoke,
As the world around me still continues to turn….

Where do I go from here,
When I don’t even know where I am?
How do I tell someone what I want to do,
When I don’t even know who the hell I am?
I don’t know how to live or love or be myself,
Without playing with the chemicals inside my brain.
So used to my own warped sense of reality,
That I can’t simply stop and just abstain.
It shouldn’t have to be this hard
To let go of something that’s killing me.
But I keep straying down the same old path,
Going where I was never supposed to be.

Dancing in the middle of the fire,
Praying to God that I don’t get burned.
Sitting in a cloud of smoke,
As the world around me still continues to turn….

I can’t turn back now,
Even though I wish I could.
I turn around and it’s the same old shit,
Ending up in the same damn spot I’ve always stood.
I need a future that isn’t based on constant lies,
Where I can change what life I have here
Into something that might make my family proud.
I need a life that’s free from fear!
This wasn’t what I was meant to be!
Capable of so much more,
With a purpose that’s been stifled,
And kept me down when I’m supposed to soar!

Dancing in the middle of the fire,
Praying to God that I don’t get burned.
Sitting in a cloud of smoke,
As the world around me still continues to turn….

Wanting to crawl out of the shadows I’m shackled in,
To blind myself with the shining sun.
Please someone come help me before it’s too late.
Before I fear it’s all been said and done.
Rain pour down and flood this fire!
Let my love be meant for something more!
Pour down like the tears I’ve already wasted,
On people, on times, on nothing to live for.
Wash my sins away and each regret,
So as to know my smile is real.
Take off this mask I hide behind.
Show me the way I haven’t figure out just yet.

Dancing in the middle of the fire,
Praying to God that I don’t get burned.
Sitting in a cloud of smoke,
As the world around me still continues to turn….

Control

Somehow I stumbled into a game that I was completely unprepared to play. Hell, I didn’t even realize I was playing until it was too late for me to forfeit. Just like every other child, I was programmed that games are played to be won. And that usually involves following the rules. So naturally, that’s what I expected. But when you’re playing with people that live without rules, the game becomes impossible to win.

When you’re an addict, it all boils down to control. Who has the drug and who has the money and what has to be done to get those things. It’s a never-ending battle for the position of power but in reality, your addiction has all the power and controls all you are.

Functional Addict

Perception can be extremely deceiving and just because everything on the outside looks normal or under control, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a storm of chaos living disguised beneath the surface. Functional addicts are still addicts. I’ve been an addict since I was 14 years old and simply switched addictions throughout the years to suit that time in my life. Being 37 now, it’s occurred to me that I’ve spent over half my life, the majority of my life, in some altered state of mind from how I’m supposed to be. In essence, I created a double life with two totally different worlds that took a lot of effort to keep separate from one another. Does that mean I was fake? I don’t know. And in which world would I be considered fake?

It wasn’t until a little over a year ago that those worlds suddenly collided and I was forced to reevaluate my whole sense of identity. I could no longer hide behind the facade I spent most my life building. That meant I first had to admit that I was an addict. Granted, I was a functioning addict that no one would guess from looking or interacting with me. I used to justify it in my head that there was a difference between ‘using’ drugs and ‘abusing’ them, and I was just using them in order to function better. I figured that any drug I took was just the same as any medication I had to swallow for my chronic health conditions. Come to find out that my longest and worst addiction was included in those handful of pills I took three times a day and prescribed by a licensed physician. It turns out that my physical pain wasn’t as bad as I thought and the real reason I became so dependent on opiates was because I didn’t want to deal with the pain and trauma I’d experienced in my life. That epiphany was kinda thrown on me against my own choosing but it was the best blessing in disguise I could’ve ever asked for.

I’ve been off all opiates now since September 18, 2016 and it changed my whole life around. I haven’t been able to think this clearly since I was in college and in my early twenties. I have a bachelor’s degree in English yet these are some of the first words I’ve written in well over a decade. They stole my sense of self, my passion to the point that I’m not real sure who I am anymore. Yet that was only one of the substances I found to make my life tolerable. I call it the “trifecta”…. opiates, meth, and Xanax. One down. Two still hanging on. One step at a time. It’s a process, you know?