Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I am forty years old.

Thirty five years ago I had what was probably my very first alcoholic beverage. It was a tasty concoction named 'Cold Duck'. I remember drinking some and asking at least three adults for more before my mom caught me and made me stop. I don't remember being drunk or bursting into hysterical tears when the New Years gunfire began. Unfortunately everyone on my mothers side does, as they remind me every chance they get. I did not have a drinking or drug problem.

Twenty five years ago I smoked my first joint. I didn't get high, but that didn't stop me from smoking another one the next day and getting different results. I did not have a drinking or drug problem.

Twenty years ago I was in the Marine Corps and drinking heavily, borrowing money from other marines to go to the bars to get drunk. I did not have a drinking or drug problem.

Fifteen years ago I snorted my first line of cocaine. Soon after that, I no longer bothered with paying rent or buying food. I began living on the roof of the nightclub I worked at. I wasn't homeless, my home was on the roof of the nightclub. I was merely houseless. I did not have a drinking or drug problem.

Ten years ago I was a full fledged crack addict. I was working but still homeless. I knew where the best crack and never worried about where to get my next meal because I knew what churches served food and gave bus tickets (aka the 'Tramp Trail'). I had low self esteem, I smelled bad, and I would pray for death when I lay down to go to sleep and get angry at God when I woke up the next morning. I was beginning to think I had a drinking and drug problem.

Five years ago on April 19, 2000 I had a strange knowledge: not that I would die soon, not that I needed help, not that I was a crack addict but the only certainty I had was that the next day I would go to rehab and sit there until I was admitted. I had five dollars in my pocket. I went to the shelter and laid down to sleep. For the first time in a long time I didn't pray for death. The next morning at 4am I woke up and checked into rehab. I still had the five dollars.

Last week I saw that someone had dropped a bag of weed here:

Posted by Hello
I paused, looked at it, hesitated, snickered and stepped over it and went to the train station to go to work.

Today my landlord trusted me to deposit his rents into his account (I manage his boarding house).

Next month I am officially off parole in the state of Georgia.

I'm not bragging about these things, it's just that sometimes I'm a little hard on myself and I need to remember these things to remind me how grateful I truly am.


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5 Comments:

Blogger David said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

I really enjoyed reading your post.
It spoke volumes of where you have been and where you hope to go.

And a staple? No shit that had to hurt.....

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Cassandra Dear said...

Sweet pea! This was a great entry, thoughtful and well-written, never soggy and ra-ra I'm sober.

I heart Loy!

1:55 PM  
Blogger Desultory Girl said...

Thanks for sharing that. It takes alot of balls to do do. One day at a time, buddy!

My thoughts and prayer's out to you.

2:46 AM  
Blogger Rowan said...

Wonderful post. desultory girl is right, it does take a lot of nerve to tell that kind of story to the world. I've been around a lot of drugs in my life, and have seen what it can do. Congratulations on turning your life around!

12:04 PM  
Blogger Ms. Maybelline said...

That's deep...you have really made strides in your life. I hope you are able to stay on the straight and narrow because YOU, my dear, have a testimony! You should be proud of yourself!

12:17 AM  

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