Monday, July 1, 2013
A Question About Life
*Some things in this post pertain to my personal life but I'm posting it here because I think that everyone can hopefully take something from this. I tend to be a pretty open person anyways and this particular post means a lot to me. To the strangers who have fallen here into my small corner of the blogosphere I hope you find something that you can use in your own journeys. To my friends and family who I've brought here I just want to say thank you all for taking the time and thank you for simply being in my life and putting up with my shit. As always feel free to add your own two cents in the comment section and give me a follow.*
Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome. - Booker T. Washington
Were I ever asked of my feelings and thoughts on my life up to this point in time I would struggle to come up with an answer. From early on I've had a lot of troubles. I've suffered a lot of loss. Loss of freedom, of love, of drive, of ambition, of strength, of hope, of trust in myself as well as in others. Above all else the most damning thing I've lost has been time. I'm twenty eight years old and while I realize that's not old to some of you it still is to me. There is so much that I still desire to do in my lifetime and since getting married and becoming a father I can feel the clock ticking away faster and faster like a midnight freight train while I'm still in stasis the only thing moving is time.
This isn't going to be all negativity. It can't be. In those twenty eight years I've also taken a few valuable lessons with me. I believe that I have learned things that most people my age have yet to because...well because they're not me. They haven't worn my shoes, danced my dance, laughed my laughs, or shed my tears. This journey I've been on might not be the grandest or the most exciting, but it is my own and nobody can ever take that away from me.
I promised some positive things and I'm going to deliver right now.
On this winding little road of mine there has been a lot of good. I was blessed with a great family for starters. A family that has had it's own struggles, it's own ups and downs, but a family who has never lost sight of what the true depth of that six letter word for a minute. My Grandmother raised me from an early age and though I've not always shown her the respect nor the love or the gratitude that I should have she has never truly given up on me nor has she ever not been willing to help me in some major ways. I have an aunt who is like a sister to me. I'm still close to my father and my mother and my brothers. I have a wife whom I love dearly who has stuck by my side through this roller coaster of a life and has fell down right beside me and taken every single lump and bruise that I have and still managed to help me get back to my feet during times that I felt that the load had finally snapped my spine in half. This woman, my wife, has never once not believed in me. Never once has she given up hope. Never once has she ever asked for anything in return. This woman, the mother of my child, is who convinced me that true love is a real and special thing when for most of my life I thought it to be merely a word we sometimes said. Madison...my daughter. Words could never begin to express the power that she holds within herself over me simply by being. From simple things like conning me into letting her eat ice cream when it's past bedtime to major things like giving me back some ambition and drive to better myself so that I can better her life by proxy. Before I end this paragraph about my family I want to say that I know I did not mention everyone but that there's not one person that I am not thankful to have in my life nor a single one that I do not love (wether we are speaking currently or not)
Friends...my god have I made some epic memories with a lot of my friends. I've got a million stories I could tell but I think most could still put us in jail so I will just say that I'm grateful for each and everyone I still have. I say "still have" because down the road I've lost quite a few for various reasons. Some that were entirely my fault and some that were not. I've never been one to worry about making friends so I'm not one to worry about the ones that have left either. The last time I checked coffins didn't come with bunk beds and my life is what it is and I accept that there are some things that I just have no control over. To those who remain loyal, both old and new, all I can say is thank you.
As many of my friends and most of my family know I have struggled with addiction for many years. Remember all that negative stuff I started off with? Think back to all of that and keep in mind that what I could manage to put in words isn't even half of how miserable I have felt during some bad parts of my life. Drugs and alcohol started out as an experiment that led to a party that led to dependency. Drugs became my escape hatch from life. A way to escape this shitty little town of Van Wert but even more so they were simply a way for me to escape myself. From Alcohol to Marijuana. From Marijuana to Psychedelics. From Psychedelics to Cocaine. From Cocaine to prescription pain killers and from pain killers to what became my ultimate addiction, Heroin. I've tried almost everything once and the majority if it multiple times. Remember those friends and family I spoke so dearly of? Addiction made me a monster. Those very same people I lied to, I stole from, I cheated, I used them to get high and the irony of it is that I had to keep on getting high so that I didn't have to feel bad about doing treating them in that manner. I'm not going to go into wether or not Addiction is a brain disease or not but I will say that I believe it is very much so. Want some good news? Seven weeks and four days ago was the very last day I used Heroin. I still struggle but I've not allowed an addicted to anything besides Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, and nicotine since that day. Was it easy? Hell no! Is it easy now? Nope. But is it worth it? Fuck yes it is. Things aren't perfect by a long shot. In fact, at the moment things are very hard and troublesome and stressful due to things like unemployment and some other troubles. All that I mentioned at the beginning is how I feel right now this very minute. On the flip side, my first thought when I wake up isn't about getting high and I no longer spend all day just trying to keep from getting sick from withdrawals. Now I focus on other things...like digging out of the hole I manically dug myself into with a shovel made of an almost mindless urge to fulfill the cravings and to get busy forgetting my problems again.
*Before I go on I want to clarify to you my stance on a few substances I mentioned above. There are certain drugs, namely Marijuana and Psychedelics such as LSD, Psilocybin Mushrooms, Peyote, and DMT that I feel are not only non habit forming and safe when used responsibly but that are so beneficial to the psyche that I don't even want to show them in a bad light on here. I used these psychedelics but never became addicted to them and they honestly helped open my mind in ways that are indescribable and currently science is proving that its not just me. And of course Marijuana...I think we all know how beneficial and safe this miracle plant is so I won't go into that here either.*
So here we have arrived back at the original question that caused this massive wall of text. How do I feel currently about my life? Well, I feel a lot actually. I feel beaten down and bruised but no longer do I feel broken. I feel like I'm still trying to claw my way up out of my own personal deep dark hole but no longer do I feel like its a hopeless struggle anymore. I feel like I have a lot of hard work and sacrifice in front of me but no longer do I feel feel unable to carry on. I feel like I want to quit and just forget again but no longer do I feel like that's even an option. I feel depressed, I feel happy, I feel hopeful, I feel angry...I feel feelings and emotions that for years I struggled to smother out. So how do I feel about life? I feel alive and I feel like maybe one day I can make my family, my wife, my daughter, my friends, and myself feel proud of what I've become. Life rarely ever seems easy and when it does it doesn't for long. In the words of The Grateful Dead, "When life seems like easy street there is danger at your door.". Life is trial and error but you only get one go at it. We all wish for a reset button but all we get is a broken fast toward button that's stuck down. To end this I will just say that I feel like ultimately life is worth it. When things look bad you just have to make them get better and I believe that maybe if you keep on trying to do that then one day they will be. The only thing that still scares me is that I do not know when it will be too late. None of us do. Life is scary, strange, and the ultimate unknown but it's still good to be alive and as long as I'm breathing I'm going to keep trying and THAT is what life is about.