The Other Side of the Looking Glass

People are fragile man. Really, you just never know. This past year I've lost people I couldn't imagine my life without. Figuratively and some well, not figuratively. I either gained a lesson or grieved the loss of people through COVID and addiction. Every moment gains more value than the next, because the next one could be the last one. Lately everyone has just felt a little out side their skin as we try and normalize what has changed all of us. Everything around us is constantly changing. The veil lifts. We grow older. These young whipper snappers friends of mine come in with venom and fire. It reminds me of all the fear I let rob those same years from me. The ambition without fear, with more years to do it in. My encouragement lives for them. They've altered my perception. Too many battles lost on the streets. Too soon. People every where see that they up hold what we all wanted, to find recovery sooner, to live, and really live with this same vigor. Their testimony surpasses mine. Mother's that don't raise their children from a bathroom door. What I have learned is the strength of trying to hold up the future because it does rely on us. It effects us and it effects the world our children live in. Things will change for good when we stop seeing it all as "other people's problems". The ability to heal one has changed the way we can heal us all. My daughter very simply tells me if I just keep doing something every day I will just get better at it. She holds up these pictures that take my breath away. She's got books filled with characters and pictures and it's my favorite thing when she explains each one. Imagine all the things you could be good at. I've had to push myself to learn these things. Push play on a YouTube video, buy a couple of cheap paint brushes, and practice. This shell I've lived in has been nothing but a self imposed prison. I had to begin somewhere, cause no body really tells you how important it is to do these simple things we get away from. Some day the masterpiece will come, but today it is constant practice to live and stay right in the moment. It always ceases to get away from us. Every step at times feels like inches. Some day you are going to be some where and some one will make a statement about your life and it will attest to all you have fought for. What a big statement it will make. No body really knows everything, all of it. I remember when I recognized something had changed. No longer the studious soldier marching from one battle to the next. It all occurred to me in a different way. It put all into perspective the days that seemed to be overwhelmingly unachievable. Had I gotten anywhere at all? Some days it feels like I am just borderline just "making it." Just sleeping, eating, breathing, trying not to break into tiny little shards, that from which had made all this mess. It made me think of the value I have added to my days. It was no longer the battle ground. It's hard to think when our minds obsess about what can kill us. Its got to be the most passive aggressive kinds of suicide. We fight back with any type of manipulation to our mind so we can roll one again. You know why they say "To thy own self be true" because for years we lie to ourselves. All of it was happening outside me, it was like I was watching someone else's life unfold. I disconnected from anything that would be hurt by my next relapse so it could cushion the blow to my heart. If you stay in the dark long enough, they say you go insane. I assume they mean in more ways than one. My higher power was always there but he was closer in people because my faith had not yet evolved to a place that I couldn't see. That changed eventually. Now I know different. My skins a tad thicker. Most days I can resist the temptation, but sometimes the temptation is in everything I do. A guy blazing a globe at a seven eleven possessed my mind for two weeks, but hey we don't need a golden sticker from your page of rewards to validate the thousands of victories we make it through daily. We are just trying to explain it in a way you can understand. We have to find a reason to keep on living. We have to find the millions of reasons to keep smiling. What's starts out as survival turns into life. When it turns into life, we seem to elude the fact that this wasn't always our life. For a minute I think about it and realize that we start to be thankful even in the most unlikely of situations because we are able to accept the pain. There were people that were on my side that my brain convinced me they weren't and I had to wake up to the fact I was wrong. Our hearts are devastated when we have to leave behind families we broke apart because we can't steady our attention on how to really treat others. We have to forgive ourselves for not knowing better or being taught better. Set aside all prejudice. Want better, for ourselves. For me that meant that I had to undo all the things I thought I knew. We cant put our faith in just people but we can watch others to see if what they do works. As we do some of those things we see for ourselves that they work and a little bit at a time life changes for the better. Perfect strangers have taught me over the years how to live. Only learning, they've become my best friends, and now they are companions I share life with. Any sort of religion that I had grown up with caged in a god that has given me my own wings and rite of passage to this life. You must excuse the blasphemy sir but we probably saved a lot of lives by the one we got to create and live by, because we can believe in him a lot more. I guess that was the most important one of them all. It wasn't the way I was raised but it stood for everything that helped me recover. No body gets to decide what we become. No one gets a place next to you unless you give it to them. When I gained that power back to my life I realized that I had accepted and settled for a lot less than I deserved. No one stayed any longer than the time I had allowed them to stay. Drugs, they weaken our ability to make reasonable decisions for ourselves and the people we end up associated with. Hell, we are guilty for welcoming some of the worst things close to places that have the ability to alter who we are and how we think. As I peel through every layer of what has happened it wasn't always as it seemed or the way people said it was. I think the hardest thing is realizing that some of the closest people are the ones that have hurt us the most. Every day pushing past that pain when we get sober is unbearable. At times you are so angry you obsess at how you can get back at them. Then you just realize that somehow after nothing is around, how much of it you really never needed at all. Then you find strength you never knew you had. God comes back around again, I mean, you see how this works? Even when you see it and you can't take one thing good out of it, recovery taught me that there is. We can't buy strength. When you get stronger, you get strong enough to think you don't need anybody. Then we gain more strength by learning how to love in a very general sense. To accept compliments first. Then to accept that people don't just want to hurt you. All of it is all very uncomfortable to say the least. If you are not growing they say you aren't living and that has blessed my days to think about the ways I will continue to. Millions of out comes that I wished I never had to accept in this past year, but they were a lot better than the ones that I made using. That has been best for all of us. Not always the one that would keep me from pain, but now I have the strength enough to make the right decisions even if I know the pain might come. The greatest challenge was keeping strong the beat inside my chest. There's not a person on earth that knows how many nights I spent praying diligently to God to take my life because I didn't have the balls to pull the trigger myself. I was hopeless. Meth remedied my heart when no one else did. I just don't know how you can put down my best friend when no one else was there when I fell. People can't judge what they haven't lived through. The world can be loud at times. People's opinions rip us to shreds and sometimes I think it makes life that much worse when we are just learning how to live. You can't give up, and I've found that you will always just keep living those same days if you can't have faith to live new ones.

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