Gathered in a house the laughter and the awes from family and friends whom cover the air with the sounds of the closing year tales of happiness, sadness, inspiration and challenges. The aroma from the kitchen wisp through the open room grabbing the attention of several male noses whose eyes are fixed focused cheering and hollering around the television, kids running around from inside to outside the house chanting “hoorah and hoorays,” as the cold air and night approaches, the feast is almost ready to begin. The spirit of unconditional love forms the ambience around the table, no hate, no resentments, just a moment where time freezes as family and friends fill their stomachs with a hearty meal of mash potatoes, stuffing, candied yams, green beans, honey ham and the long awaited slice for turkey.
All are seated, all are ready and as the prayer begins, I’m no where around to be seen. It’s an empty seat for a once empty person. This is the life that addiction chooses for us, its the life I traded to have that one more hit, that one more drink, the sprint to the elusive feeling that any substance gave me became my ultimate master. I no longer had control.
Shamefully weeping for the hours to go by all i can do is flush the pain away with more and more drugs, drown it with more and more liquor, this I believed was the only way to live. To me, this was the quickest way to die. The holiday season was period of time that family and friends forgive each other, but the freight train of wreckage torn through it all. It was the comforts of street friends, motel comrade and twisting puddles that placed all our pains, shames and worries in a pipe.
Oblivion, that momentary illusion that we were the victims of life’s wicked plan. The whole world was against us, I was the right one and you were the wrong.
Run! Run! Run! Life is too hard, No one loves me, I can’t do it, I I I, me me me, this one will set me free, this time its different!!!
On November 25, 2013, I tucked away in isolation, Men who are Men never cry on the streets, Men who are Men never show weakness, Men who were Men had answers and Men like me trapped in my delusion needed drugs to live.
Renting a room in home in Westminster after a family moved me from a month of living in the back seat of an SUV and into their homes around November 10, 2013. Getting sober was the goal, one week later, smash, I couldn’t do it. On thanksgiving, I spent time behind a dumpster behind a CVS, hiding from all to see, scrapping the bottom of any empty bag, and then rummaging through the parking lot to find a paper clip to use as a poker to scrape the sides of the pipe. After we were done, I walked about 4 miles back home. Praying that this thanksgiving all the obsessing thoughts in my head would be silenced by the welcoming of death. I was not so lucky. Death never came.
As an addict, I was ashamed this time of the year, the vision of a happy life haunted me, I was never going to have it. God didn’t have me in his plans. I was going to remain in secrecy that I simply didnt know how to adjust to life. I was going to remain a criminal, an addict, a Man drowning in fear of becoming a Man, ready to conform to life sentence never seeing the blinding hell I was in.
One year later, I’m celebrating almost 9 months of sobriety, 9 grateful months of recovery and finally letting go and letting God pave the way in my life.
By Mark Samala