Teaching


Alone I sat, in my mentally made cell.
Why was I there, in that self created hell.
Thinking back to school, and my days of dope.
Foot by foot, rolling out the damn rope.
Hallucinogens were my rope, meth my noose.
Heroin in the needle, would have been my cooked goose.
One day in April, in the year ’99,
I awoke, did my prep, and did my last line.
I looked in the mirror, deep into my eyes.
I’m not am addict? Bullshit! No more lies!
I have stomped a mans head, into a curb.
He only mouthed off, something he didn’t deserve.
I broke my glass pipe, and then walked away.
No hospital detox, not even N.A.
17 years, this wagon’s been on this ride.
Not one relapse or slip up, I say this with pride.
For many years I sat, staring at my cell floor.
In the end, it was up to me, to walk out the door.

**17 years ago today I decided to get clean. I hear people browbeat others when they say they have only been clean for one week or one month and it upsets me. The truth is, we all start at day one. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you aren’t good enough, or haven’t been sober long enough to be respected for the amount of time you have been sober. Be proud of your accomplishments, and stick with it. One day you’ll look back at all that time, and your use will be a distant memory.**

  I had gone shopping for a few things today, and stopped by the gas station on my way back. I walked in like normal and stood in line. There was a long line and a woman standing off to the side leaning on the counter looking sad. As I got closer, the clerk asked her, “Are you going to be alright hon?”
  The lady said nothing and shook her head no. The clerk spoke to another customer saying that the lady had just told her that she was about to have a seizure. Then she told the lady to sit down and she would go get her mom in a moment. There were still like 4 of us in line and I couldn’t stand there and do nothing.
  Some people have the ability to sense a seizure coming on, and if she really was about to have one, I didn’t want her to fall and get hurt. I walked up to her and offered to help her sit, as she looked very shaky and was trying to sit on the floor. I got an arm and helped lower her to the floor as I was telling the clerk I would go get the mom. Suddenly the lady dropped into the seizure.
  I told the clerk to go get the mom immediately as I took hold of the back of the lady’s neck so she didn’t slam her head into anything. I held onto her throuought the ordeal and her mom came in after it was over and helped as well. She had been sitting against the ice cream bin, so we slid her down all the way to the floor and another customer gave us a sweater to put under her head.
  She awoke confused and didn’t remember anything prior to it. I understand this happens often. She didn’t even remember leaving the house today. We helped her up and were walking her to the car as she was talking with her mom. “Where are we? We aren’t at home. I don’t remember coming here.” Then she looked at me, then back to her mom while she motioned toward me, “I remember him tho. I don’t know who he is, but I remember him.”
  I was floored. Why would she remember me? I would figure that I’d be forgotten like everyone and everything else. I helped her into the car, told them to take care, patted her mom on the back and told her it would all be ok, and went to my car where I cried almost all the way home.
  This is the second person in the last few months that I happened to be in the right place at the right time to help like this. It freaks me out a bit, because my father had a seizure just before he landed in the hospital where he died so it brings back a lot of emotions that i dont enjoy dealing with. But when I’m there, I am calm and alert. I seem to handle the situation well until it’s all over. I’m thankful for that! Could it be that I’m being shown part of my purpose in life? I don’t know what it means, or if it actually means anything at all… but one thing is for sure… I’m happy I was able to help.

    I saw a vet today. A Vietnam era vet. He was having to use a motorized cart. I came up behind him and he dropped his cane off the cart. I was too far away to help. I heard him sigh in exasperation and he picked it back up. I could tell it pained him to do so. It saddened me to see such a sight. Here we have a person who risked his life, for an ungrateful country, gaining years and not as spry as he once was. I could tell he felt like shit because of his inability to walk.
    I did what everyone else seems to do and just let it be… but I continued to see the image in my mind’s eye. Around the corner, I was putting away some vegetables and I heard something drop. I turned to see this man trying to grab a pot pie that dropped. It landed in front  of him and slid across the floor. I picked it up and handed it to him.
    I pay a lot of attention to my surroundings, and one of the big things is looking people in the eyes. As I handed it to him, I noticed tears. He accepted the help graciously, but I could see that it hurt him to do so. We could all use a bit of humbling from time to time… but this was too much. He made a “joke” about the eyes going first, then everything else, but what I heard was, “I didn’t used to be this way. I was once young, strong, and almost unstoppable.”
    How quickly our youth goes huh? One day we’re climbing trees, jumping from great heights, and the next we’re in an electric cart trying in vain to pick something we’ve dropped up off the floor.
He thanked me and went on his way as I told him, “No problem.” And I was left thinking… One day this will be me. A mere shadow of what I once was. Not able to do the things I once could. Possibly relying on help from strangers just to get through my day.” Then I started thinking. I believe in karma. And I believe that at times, we can become karma incarnate. Today I got to be a good part of the karma for a man who has done noble deeds in life… and for that I am thankful. I only pray that one day I deserve good treatment like that.
    He went on his way and I went back into the freezer at work and cried my eyes out. It was too much emotion for me to contain. Many good people are looked down upon and treated like crap because they aren’t as mobile as the rest of us. That’s no way to treat people!! Treat them with the same respect that you would treat your mother or father. I mean hell… they have been through more than you most likely… and if not… who cares… they’re human beings, and everybody needs a kind word and deed in life.

  Well, I’ve been here in Texas a little over a year. I got a job, car, and place. A lot has happened in this time, and there have been many ups and downs.
  To those that used to follow my regular writings, I’m sorry I kind of fell off the face of the earth. I’m still here… but things are looking a bit grim. Recently my roommate and her bf screwed things up with the landlord and as of Thursday, I will be living in my car.
  Not exactly how I pictured things going at this point in my life, but it is what it is. I’m trying to stay positive but as you all know, sometimes that can be hard.
  I don’t know when my next post will be, but it will happen eventually. I’m looking at this as an adventure. I won’t ever be late to work, and it’ll be a very short commute, as I’ll be in the parking lot of my employer. Lol. I have a friend that will let me do laundry at her house and shower too. I haven’t told many people because I really don’t want everyone to know… but I have to tell someone. You all are the lucky ones. Lol.
  At least I have a car this time. Last time this happened I was in high school and there were a few nights I couldn’t couch surf and ended up on the street… so, since I have a car and a cellphone, I guess I’m a high class homeless person.
  Anyway… hope all is going well with you all, and don’t forget to take a moment this Thanksgiving to make a mental note of what and who you are thankful for. I certainly will be, because no matter how much I could whine and cry about my situation… it wouldn’t change the fact that there are plenty of people out there worse off than me. Thank you all for reading. 🙂

   I heard this song and found that it describes depression better than anything I’ve heard.
    Here are the lyrics in case you can’t understand them. I just hope that maybe this song helps you understand a bit what it’s like… but even this can’t fully describe it.

“Migraine”

Am I the only one I know
Waging my wars behind my face and above my throat
Shadows will scream that I’m alone

I’ve got a migraine
and my pain will range from up down and sideways
thank God it’s Friday
cause Fridays will always be better than Sundays
cause Sundays are my suicide days
I don’t know why they always seem so dismal
Thunderstorms, clouds, snow, and a slight drizzle
Whether it’s the weather or the letters by my bed
sometimes death seems better than the migraine in my head

Let it be said what the headache represents
It’s me defending in suspense
It’s me suspended in a defenseless
test being tested by a ruthless examinant
that’s represented best by my depress…ing thoughts
I do not have writer’s block
my writer just hates the clock
it will not let me sleep, I’ll get some sleep when I’m dead
and sometimes death seems better than the migraine in my head

Am I the only one I know
Waging my wars behind my face and above my throat
Shadows will scream that I’m alone
But I know we’ve made it this far, kid
yeah, yeah, yeah

I am not as fine as I seem pardon
Me for yelling I’m telling you green gardens
are not what’s growing in my psyche
it’s a different me
a difficult to be, stop feasting lumber down trees
freeze frame
please let me paint a mental picture portrait
something you won’t forget, it’s all about my forehead
and now it is a door that holds back contents
that make Pandora’s box’s contents look non-violent

Behind my eyelids are islands of violence
my mind shipwrecked, this is the only land my mind could find
I did not know it was such a violent island
Full of tidal waves, suicidal crazed lions
They’re trying to eat me, blood running down their chin
and I know that I can fight or I can let the lion win
I begin to assemble what weapons I can find
Cause sometimes to stay alive you got to kill your mind

Am I the only one I know
Waging my wars behind my face and above my throat
Shadows will scream that I’m alone
But I know we’ve made it this far, kid
yeah, yeah, yeah

And I will say that we should take a day to break away
from all the pain our brain has made
the game is not played alone
And I will say that we should take a moment and hold it
and keep it frozen and know that life has a hopeful undertone
[Repeat]

Am I the only one I know
Waging my wars behind my face and above my throat
Shadows will scream that I’m alone
But I know we’ve made it this far, kid
We’ve made it this far, we’ve made it this far, kid
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there. And also, to the women who have to play both mom and dad. Don’t ever question your worth. You might doubt it, but in the real world, you are your childrens’ heros!!!

Hey everyone. It’s been awhile since I posted. I’ve been going through a lot lately. Just before the lacrosse season ended, I was told that my ex wife was looking for job opportunities in Australia… and my 8 year old son wanted to go. I knew two things in that moment. I could say no, and hold it up in court for 10 years, or I could allow it to happen.
  I ran these options through my head for weeks. I talked with my ex, her parents, (whom i love dearly) and my son. I know it will kill me to be that far away from him, but can I really deny him this opportunity? In the end, the answer is that I cannot deny him. He has an opportunity to see a part of the world that I have always wanted to see. And he has a chance to experience the world.
  They will be gone for two years. Then, after they return, she will be looking for work in Ireland. I have looked into the possibility of moving there to be close to my son (as my older son was actually my stepson, and he is moving far away with his real dad) but, without a degree… Most other countries won’t let you in for more than a visit. On a travel/vacation visit, it is illegal to work or earn money. So I guess that plan is out of the window… for now.
    Then, my best friend, who’s car I have been borrowing, since i can’t afford my own, decided that he needs it back because his other car is broken down. I can’t be too upset… it is his car after all. But now I’m kind of in a lurch. He still drives me to work, but I hop the bus to his house in the mornings. So instead of leaving at seven a.m. I leave at 10 to six. I get to his house, and we ride to work at about 8:30. Then on the way home, he drops me off at a trolly station, and I hop on that and get home.
    So now, I’m facing life without the option to see my kids whenever I want. (A tough thing for a father that is very active in his children’s lives. Hell, the day I broke my leg, I still drove to pick them up for the weekend…. 6 hours after breaking it.)  I have no more vehicle. (Although, if the ladies ask, I got rid of the car to be more green. 😉 lol)
…. I have let this writing sit for about a week now. In that time, I have had a lot of time to think. I had forgotten what it was like to slow down, take a walk, and just appreciate your surroundings. The first thing that happened was, I needed to get somewhere that the buses don’t travel. I thought about how I was going to accomplish this feat. I’ve had a vehicle for so long that I had almost forgotten how to get around without it. I had to go get a money order to pay rent. The closest place for me to do that, is 4 miles away. I had already been up early, taken my son to school on the bus, gone downtown to pay some taxes for my uncle, (totaling about 4 miles walking already) and made it almost home. “How would you have done this as a teen?” I asked myself. I debated going home and grabbing either my rollerblades or skateboard, which have been sitting unused since I broke my leg in 2010. I decided I would just walk. As teens, we used to walk everywhere. Now we jump in our car and go wherever. I was gone from the house most of the day, but in the end, I had walked 12 miles and accomplished everything I had set out to do. I also got to take my time, and actually enjoy seeing my neighborhood at walking speed, rather than whizzing by at 60mph.
  I have had a few other adventures, but this post is long enough already. I plan to start a series called Adventure Time, discussing the adventures I have while navigating this world with no vehicle… Stay tuned. 😉

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