Help is not always a pretty thing. In our life and along the way are the warning signs we’ve seen and ignored.
We knew something was up, but yet, we were hopeful. We were looking to crack a deal and get something for better than say, face value. We’ve tried to renegotiate the terms but eventually, there is always someone looking to collect.
I once wrote, “There is no ground below zero” so build. Become something. Be anything. Do something so long as it’s not being stuck with more of the same because one day, you’ll wake up and look back at the life you lived and wonder why you wasted so much.
There is no ground below zero.
I wrote this because I learned that help does not always come dressed up in pretty clothes. Help is not always a warm smile. In fact, sometimes the biggest help comes in the toughest forms. Sometimes the more painful the outcome, the more helpful the lesson. Unfortunately, this is true. Pain and fear is an excellent motivator. They’re both great teachers but unfortunately, we are not always so quick to learn.
Understand that life will always teach us however, sometimes, we forget to listen. At first, the lessons might be gentle or quiet. After a while, the lessons grow a little louder and more aggressive. The volume grows until finally, the red flags we dismissed and the warning signs we disregarded are exchanged for consequences.
By the way, everyone finds God at times like this.
Keep in mind, nothing comes without warning. Deep down, we knew there would be a price. Perhaps we thought we could defer the payments. After all, there’s always someone looking to make a deal. The problem with the deals are the interest is a bitch and the fine print said more than we believed.
By the way, this is the bottom. Everyone hits this at some point in their life. Everyone has to learn a lesson or two and in some cases, some people have to learn the hard way. Some only learn when all else is lost. This is when the pain you’re in is unforgettable enough that you say, “I’m never going to let myself feel this way again.”
Be advised that bottoms do have a trap door. Be advised that the day we forget ourselves is the day we can fall through the trap door. We can hit bottom again and fall to something worse because the lessons we learn become louder when we forget to listen.
I remember sitting on a hard, wooden bench and hearing the sound of keys that jingled from the belt loops of correction officers. I remember hearing the sound of their heels clacking against the tiled floors and watching them pass the holding cell with new inmates about to face a new and painful truth.
I heard the sound of drunks as they howled into stainless steel toilets, dry-heaving throughout the night, and screaming about their rights.
I remember listening to a man plead from the inside of his cell. He spoke with broken English. He said “Please.” He kept saying the word, “Please,” almost begging for help. he said this all night long. “Please, I’m not supposed to be here.”
I recall the wooden bench and the small room. I recall the smell, which was ungodly at best. I remember the sound of the humming fluorescent light fixtures above my head and the refabrication of the air. Everything was synthetic and remanufactured. The air was stale at best and the room was sad at least.
Every so often, someone else would come down the corridor with their correctional escort. They took our shoes so no one would hang themselves in the cell with their shoelaces. Hence, the reason for part of the smell.
I remember the windows that lined the walls below the ceiling height. I remember how the glass from the windows tilted outward, but only slightly. I can also remember the view I saw. I saw through a sliver from the side of the window. The sky moved from nighttime into daytime and without any sleep, I knew it was only a matter of time before we took the bus ride over to the courthouse.
I swore there was no way that I could feel any lower than this. I remember the cold, soggy breakfast sandwich, which I hardly ate. I remember the dry bologna sandwich with stale white bread and the pint of milk. Who the hell drinks milk with this?
I remember someone asking me, “Are you going to eat that?”
I remember the cells and the bullpens and the people I sat with and waited for the judge. I remember the racial differences. There were all different types in the cell the next morning. And I swore to myself, “It couldn’t get any worse.” and they took this happily as if this was meal fit just for them.
But it does get worse. Things can always get worse. Life can always plummet and circumstances can always become more uncomfortable. Rest assured.
The day we forget ourselves and the day when we forget how we’ve fallen are usually followed by the tomorrows that only become worse. I learned that redemption comes with a time limit. Eventually, we come to a point where although we are given the chance, eventually, our chances to improve are taken away.
Help does not always come with the prettiest of options. Then again, help is still help. And keep in mind, there is always the right to refuse help.
This is true.
I have spoken with people in hospital beds after an overdose. They literally died and were brought back to life. I suppose the lesson wasn’t loud enough. Some listened. Some turned a deaf ear. Some lived. Some survived and some never learned. But the lessons were always there. Make no mistake.
I remember being a kid and sitting in front of a man with a clipboard. He wore a white jacket. He was a doctor on flight deck (A.K.A the psych ward) and he told me, “If you want your help to be easy then maybe you should have listened to the lesson the first time.”
The man wasn’t lying .
The truth won’t always be pretty but that doesn’t mean it ain’t true.