I try not to entertain the old thoughts. I don’t give them much room nor do I welcome the old dreams, but yet, they still come. I have them. The drug dreams, which haunt me sometimes.
This is why I never tell war stories. This is why I never glorify the old life because first, that person wasn’t really me and second, there is no reason to glamorize or glorify a lifestyle that does nothing except destroy.
The name of the town was Deposit. I remember the name well because to me, the name was almost repulsive. Who the hell would ever want to live in a town called Deposit?
I never heard of this place before. Then again, I never heard about most of the towns in this area. There were like tiny little compartments of different places that were left behind in a time warp. I saw them as little mountain towns, like something from a Norman Rockwell painting with farms and barns and fields with cows.
The fashions up there were different to me, which is not to say that I was fashionable by any means. But still, everything about the little towns seemed behind.
Besides, I was used to New York City and the Five Boroughs. I was brought up in a crazy Long Island town but at least there was action. At least I was close to what I thought was the pulse of life. I went from this to institutional life. Then I eventually moved to farm life for a long-term stay.
I am four days and a wake-up away from something I call my anniversary. And as for this or to those who don’t know, I am four days away from acknowledging a specific date. I am 30 years away from a night that nearly killed me as well as possibly someone else. I am 30 years away from my last binge and 30 years away from a night of breaking in through the windows of a few suburban homes.
I say four days and a wake-up for a reason. I say it this way because of the roll call I had to answer for. I had to answer for this, each morning at a facility in a place up at a town called Kerhonkson, New York.
Little kids . . .
Bless them. Bless their little lives and their little smiles. Let them run. Let them play. Bless their thoughtful little lives and bless their lessons to take turns and share. Learn from them. Don’t scold them. Don’t change them either. Let them be this way, young and innocent. Beautiful as ever.
Let them laugh. Let them pretend. Let them dream because a day will come when pretending and playing is frowned upon. Playtime will be over before they know it. And yet, they don’t even know it. Time moves very quickly. So, let them be as they are because a time will come and their childhood will be over. And that’s it. It’s adult time. So again, I say bless them. Bless them for exactly what they are, just kids.
I can remember the smell in the room. I remember the family. I remember their faces. I can remember the emptiness and the cold silence. The Mother was shaken.
She had a look of disbelief on her face. Shocked, as if she could not believe something like this happened in her house, right under her nose, without even knowing.
I can remember the deployment call, which was not unlike any other deployment call. The information is brief and simple. I am told the client’s name, if there is one. I am told which emergency room the client is in and whatever details are given about the overdose.
Just a quick note before we begin: I would like to start by saying this note is from the heart. I would also like to say that opinions may vary. Perspectives will vary too and so will perception. However, the following paragraphs are mine. This is about me and my relation to the way I was able to understand my life. Therefore, without apology, I offer this porthole into my thinking without celebration or decoration of any kind.
I understand if you turn back here. I am not here to glamorize anything nor do I condone the flashy war stories that most people talk about. In fact, one of the most common feedbacks in my story is (whether the topic is substance abuse, alcohol, depression, or violence and crime) that I never talk about the acts or the substance itself. Instead, I talk about the feelings and the source. I talk about my reasoning and my motivation. I do this because I would rather be honest than be a misrepresented posture of something that is destroying our society. And rest assured, mental illness, disorder and diseases are painfully real.
So, here it goes . . . .
Who knows where it all came from or why? Who knows if we were just kids looking to fit in or if our need to belong outweighed our need to be decent to one another. The truth is I believe that regardless of our age and no matter where we are in life, deep down, we are all just kids trying to find our place in the sand box.
Inside of me is that kid that never wanted to be picked on because I didn’t understand. I didn’t want to be pointed at because I stuttered when I read out loud. In fact, I could read a page, a paragraph, and even a sentence and yet, I had no idea what I read.
This is why this little piece of me right here and my writings, my thoughts and my journals are huge victories for me because keep in mind, to be able to write this and let the universe take it wherever it may go is a victory for me. This disproves all the crazy myths about me in my head and only goes to show that no, I was never stupid.
Do you want to know where it starts?
I’ll tell you what I know, which does not mean that I know it all. This just means this is what I’ve seen during my time that I spent in the trenches of my crazy life because the rest is history, or so they say. But first it’s a style. This is a culture all to itself.
First, it’s the attraction. This is the draw to something that leads to an idea of something that takes us away from the silly normalities which you and I call life. This stems from status and the different brands of popularity. This is also what keeps people coming for more. This is why people give samples for free; to pull you in. And this is why people say “Hey, do you want to get high?” because they know you’ll be on the dangle really soon.
There will be no apologies for this one so, I’ll understand if you end this here and move on to a different chapter. Either way, this letter is written to the ones that showed me how to live. This is a letter to the ones that gave me hope. And yet, they’re gone now . . .
I have a question.
Where do heroes come from? Or better yet, where do role models come from? Where do we find our idols or the people we idolize and why? What is it about them? Is it the way they walk or talk? Or is it the way they handle their lives or deal with the crowds?
As for the crowds, the crowds mean different things to different people. Acceptance means different things to different people too. Meanwhile, everyone wants this. Everyone wants to be accepted and feel as if they are fit to be welcome and part of the group.
My best analogy of the crowd and the need to fit is related to the first time I walked into the cafeteria in junior high school. I was little and scared. I went from being a small fish in a small pond to believing I was an even smaller fish in a mid-sized pond. Kids were bigger, taller, faster and stronger. As for me, I was small and looked much younger than anyone else my age.