Sunday, July 11, 2010

journey to the center of myself

Is my glass half full because I’ve been drinking from it, or is the emptiness finally being replenished with the refreshment of life?

Last year I decided to return to school and take creative writing classes. One of the first things I learned was that the best stories can always start closer to the action. No matter how you look at it I am smack in the middle of my past and whatever happens next.

It’s a peaceful moment, where many of my old pains have stopped throbbing and I’ve been given the chance to redesign who I am. That’s not an opportunity that comes along every day.

One thing that will never change though – I am an addict.

I’m not using anything right now but the devil that I was dancing with never stops whispering in your ear.

I have no regrets about what happened. If anything, I believe it has given me a perspective on this world and an appreciation for the joy of living that I might otherwise have lost long ago.

I know that shadows exist because of the light, but where does the darkness inside of me come from?

Today I went bike riding with some friends. There was a time not so long ago when I barely had the strength to walk to the corner grocery store. It was easy to be confident and convince myself that I was successful because I could always get more drugs.

And that’s what I was living for. More.

I stopped reading books. People were just distractions in my process to get to my dealers house. I would disappear for hours and think that only minutes had passed. I lied about so many things my reality became a twisted jungle of situations that I could only keep track of by writing down everything I said in a notebook that I had to carry at all times.

Then one day as I sat in my house I heard someone outside of my window repeat over and over:

“Help me, somebody please help me.”

I opened and closed doors. Pulled the drapes across windows and crawled on the floor so the voice could not reach me.

I hid in the bathroom and when I looked in the mirror I saw my own mouth moving. I was the one asking for help.

When I finally stopped using I was somewhere else completely. My friends were all dead or gone. There was a gap of many years in which what I thought I enjoyed no longer existed and my experiences were all about holding myself back from enjoying the world around me.

I no longer had opinions about what I enjoyed doing. Things that had brought me pleasure while under the influence were now suspect in their origin. I had stopped growing, but kept getting older.

Today after the bike ride I took a good look in the bathroom mirror. I see myself returning.

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