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The year is 1985, I cannot remember if I was 19 or 20 yet, my birthday is June 23rd so I don’t remember if it was the beginning of the year or the latter part of the year. Either way this is the year that I decided to do acid for the first time.

My friend and I just scored a hit of acid, this was the first time either one of us had done acid, so we were not sure what to expect. We were told the worse thing that you can tell someone that is about to use for the first time, and that is: ‘be careful what you think while you are on it. Because it will magnify your thoughts.’ So starting off we knew that we would have to control our thoughts, which is not easy to do on or off of acid. We took it and sit at his house and decided to stay there to see how it was going to affect us, It takes thirty minutes for acid to take effect on your mind. Then it takes around 7 to 8 hours for the effects to leave your body. The first hour is alright, and you enjoy the trip as something different, something new. Opening your mind to new things. The second and third hour seems like it will never end, 4th through the 7th or 8th hour feels like you will never come down and you are trapped within yourself.

The first part was okay, we listened to Pink Floyd and realized what they were trying to do with their music. Or it seemed that way to us at the time. We began to watch a live video of Dio, which in the middle of the concert a cross spins around until it turns upside down. We were engulfed in it, I was holding a brass cobra that had a hole in it where it was coiled up, I held it through that hole and had the cobras head resting on my arm. I began to sweat but I had not realized that was what it was at the time. I thought that the snake had come to life and bit me, what I thought was venom was actually sweat. I threw the snake down on the ground while my friend looked at me in surprise, asking what the hell happened? This was the beginning of hell for me for that night. A classic battle of light vs dark.

Another one of our mutual friends came over, someone we never cared for anyway, because he always got on our nerves. He was drunk and we were on acid, in our minds we were so far ahead of him that it wasn’t even funny. He begged us to score him some acid, he had never done acid and wanted to join us. He was so drunk that his ramblings did not make much sense to us. My friend and I had an aversion and little patience for sloppy drunks in the first place this just intensified it. The visitor got sick and when he did it came out like tracers, slow motion. We both tripped out on that, and when the guy went to the bathroom to clean up, my friend said something about him that scared me, because I felt it too. So when he came out, and my other friend left the room, I told him that it would be in his best interest to leave…NOW. The darkness continued to seep in more and more.

After he left we felt hungry, so my friend began to cut some hamburger off of a loaf. He looked at me and said could you imagine that as an arm being sliced up? The thing is I could, and was while he was doing that. Neither one of us were THAT violent in our right mind, but we weren’t in our right mind at that time. I went into the living room were the light was off, and I had this overwhelming feeling of hatred, and then my friend came in and turned on the light, the feeling was gone. However my friend noticed the same thing, he turned the light off and said did you notice all goodness leaves when the light is off. We both noticed this, so we stepped outside for a little bit. That did not help us any, we wanted to go out and just walk the night, thankfully we did not, because we do not know where we would have ended up that night. Our feet felt like they were going into the cement that we were standing on. We were continuously pulling our feet up before we were sucked into the concrete and stuck forever.

My mind was always racing even back then, it would go from dark thoughts to good thoughts, the acid made it worse. No mater how hard you try you cannot sleep on acid, it is just too much speed to allow it. Even when the person becomes so sleepy they think that they could sleep all night, it is not possible. We laid down anyway, because it was getting late, I slept on the floor as he slept in his bed. I could feel the carpet rolling underneath my arms. I kind of got used to it, and played with it a little bit. Then when I tried harder to go to sleep I closed my eyes tight, and I could see a ying yang of dark and light, good verses evil. They turned into dragons, one white and one black. They began to fight for me, once the light became so bright and comforting to me, that I had to smile, ‘Yes’ I thought,’Good conquers evil.’ and just as I got through thinking this the dark dragon re-appeared and they continued to fight, until I heard a scream in my head, and all became black. I tried to summon the light back in, but it was gone nothing was left but darkness. In my head evil had won it’s fight for me. I broke into a sweat tried to pray but no words came out. I knew what shape I was in, how did I have the right to come to God when I was stoned?

This was just the first time I did acid, I will take you to other times as my journey continues and becomes more depraved. It was easy to know when others were on acid, for one thing their eyes have a dusty film over them. They will stare at you, talk to you, they might even break out into a sweat if they stay with you too long. Laugh at things that you don’t see any humor in. There are different other ways, but the biggest for me is the eyes. The eyes are supposed to be the mirrors of the soul, I think that fits here. Their soul is dirty, and filmed over from the real world.

Later on that year I took another hit of acid, I drove this time and was by myself. Not a good thing when you are on acid, people need someone to keep them grounded. I went over to score some coke, I couldn’t wait to do the two together. I had also been drinking my butt off, someone on acid or speed can drink and drink and never feel the effect of the alcohol. So in reality I was probably a little drunk too. When I went in to score the coke, I said something stupid about his wife or girlfriend, something off the cuff I can’t remember now what it was but I know that I shouldn’t have, but I did. Next thing I knew he brought a shotgun into the living room, bolt down putting a shell in. He also had a knife holstered on his side. He told me that he has never seen me like that and for my sake I need to take what I said back. I started to laugh, probably nervous laughter but inappropriate all the same.

He told me that he would give me three minutes to apologize to her, as he closed the chamber and readied the shotgun on me. I looked at him and said forget it, you won’t shoot me and she isn’t worth it, and neither is the stuff I came to get. I got up and walked out, this was in the country, if he wanted to kill me he sure could have and no one would have found me. I was an idiot, but I walked to my car. As I got to my car I heard running behind me, I shut the door and saw a boot come to passenger side of the car. It shook the car, I saw the knife in his hand but I no longer saw the gun. He hit my side window as I reversed it and got out of there. I was such an idiot, and I knew that what I did was wrong. The bad thing is I kicked myself for not apologizing, not because I hurt the girls feelings, but because I missed out on a quarter of coke. I risked my life for a tiny bit, a little quarter of coke. I also lost one of my ‘friends’ more like a connection then a friend, but a person that had feelings and was willing to take up for what was right.

Through this I found myself going through the different levels of Dante’s hell. Starting at the outer circle of the ring. I made sure that I had friends with me after that night, because I never knew if he wanted revenge or not, I needed to have someone with me just in case. Drugs make you do stupid things, you become a person that you do not recognize, or if you do recognize that person he has been hiding underneath and was just brought up to the surface. I hid a gun in my glove compartment for a little bit, because I was unsure who to trust anymore, not even myself.

D.

 



 

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I know that I said that I was going to go back to reflections but I feel like I needed to do this one first. God is amazing, incredible. His love is overwhelming, and unfathomable. Nee-Nee has been praying and studying, she has been seeking a closer walk with God. About a week or two ago she told me that God wanted me to talk to Him. That her prayers and all others that are praying for me will not work until I come to Him. I thought of this as odd at first, I knew that God did not actually speak to Nee-Nee, I understand how He communicated with her. The reason I thought this was odd is because in my own little world, just between God and me, I wasn’t speaking to Him anymore. Oh, I would throw the occasional prayer His way, just so He knew that He was not forgotten. But I was not following my own advice, I was not journeying with God anymore.

I kept this to myself, I was so strong in hearing His word, I wrote what He put in my heart, but I found I was becoming complacent. God continued to talk to me, even when I was not talking or asking anymore. I felt like I was an active soldier but I became sedentary in my works. So when Nee-Nee told me this revelation, I felt bad. I looked at how I have been feeling lately. Intense withdraws, depression creeping back in, closing myself off again from the world outside. So I heeded the warning, and began to pray again, more intense this time with a focus on others. The things that God put in my view was amazing.

First I saw a news story on the Today Show, of this young man that was declared brain dead, the relatives were called in to say their good byes and the organ harvesters were in route to take the organs since he was a donor. While the family was in his room, the grand mother fell to her knees and prayed to God not to take this young man. She said that he had so much to offer and please do not take him. The young man recovered, the doctors did not have any answers there was not any brain signals and he was truly brain dead. This story touched me. God works in His way and His purpose, I am sure that this touched others in different ways, but it touched me because it dealt with prayer.

The other story I saw was about the mistaken identity of two girls that were in a car crash, one lived one died. While one was in the hospital the wrong family was taking care of her, during this time the wrong family was burying someone they believed was their daughter but in reality it was not her. They had an interview with the two families that were involved, and I was reluctant to watch it because I thought that there would be blame and unresolved issues. But something got me interested in seeing it so I watched the segment that aired during the Today Show, yes God talks to me through the Today Show sometimes, and I was pleasantly surprised how the two families worked together. It was difficult news to accept of course, but the way that these people were handling the situation touched me in a way that is indescribable.

So my prayers to God came more often, my silence in His presence became longer, my meditation more intense. I went to Wal-Mart the other day, one of the door greeters is a young man who was in a car accident when he was younger and now remains in a wheel chair and suffers with his speech. Every time I see him I shake his hand and ask him how he is doing. He always tells me that everyday is a blessed day. Seeing him always makes my day. As I was shopping I thought of these three stories, each story showed that through extremely difficult times, times that most of us will never come close to, they all had one thing in common, a strong faith in God and that God is in charge, not us. So I offered up a little prayer as I continued to walk around and get the things on my list.

As I was checking out, I could hear Brad, the door greeter, telling everyone coming in and going out in a very loud and distinctive voice, ‘Have a good day!’ As I was leaving he smiled a big smile as I was walking toward him. Usually on my way out I just shake his hand again and tell him bye. This time he held my hand and said that he tries to fire up everyone that comes in about God, and let them know the love of Jesus. He looked me in the eye and told me that he loved me, without shame or any consideration of me interpreting it different then what he meant. Still looking me in the eyes, he said that God wants us to love one another, and if we don’t spread the news of Jesus’ love for us then who will? He held onto a cross pendent as he continued talking to me, ‘The world is getting bad, and we need to let them know of His love for us.’ Then he said, ‘You and I. You go out and let people know of His love. Everyone you meet do not be ashamed. I will fire people up where I go, you fire people up where you go.’

The other night I was reminded to set my sights on things unseen, and to keep my mind clear of the world. God opened my eyes once again fresh, to my ministry. To warn others, and to comfort those that are not only addicted but through my dark journeys and bouts with depression I need to realize that I have much to say. I also have come to the realization that I need to open my ears to hear others as well. Creating a bond that God interweaves through ‘random’ meetings and viewings of others in dark situations. We cannot be sedentary and be about our Fathers business thinking that He will do all of the work. He has a purpose for everyone, and everything, this I believe. In my downfalls and struggles He has made them a light for me to use for Him, in other things He has shown that this world holds nothing of interest to me, the interest I do have is showing others of His love.

Do me a favor, you might not be an addict of any kind. But I bet you have habits, little ritualistic things that you do during the day or night without thinking about. Maybe you might consider yourself a ‘chocoholic’ and laugh about it. Or bite your nails, make little annoying sounds with your mouth, the point is we all have little tics. Try to go a day or two without doing it, maybe if you can a week. I bet you will pick something different in it’s place, or you will think that it is silly and not even try it. That is a small amount of what an addict feels, be it a food addict, drug addict, alcoholic, sex addict, etc.

There is a new show that has been advertised on FX, it is about walking in someone else’s shoes for 24 hours or a week, something like that. The point is I think that it would do people good to glance into someone else’s walk. We are given so much by the grace of God, we become spoiled little children, crying to God when everything is crumbling, forgetting to rejoice despite what the world throws at you. So here I am holding your hand, looking you square in the eyes, and saying I love you. It is up to you and me to ‘fire people up’. Are you ready?

D.

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I had built a house for 27 years, it had become decrepit with each stone that was added making it darker and darker. It became a fortress not allowing anyone to enter, and I was in total control of it’s design and up keep. It had so many passages and hiding places that I became lost in my own castle. Though I thought that the work was being done to keep the clutter at bay, it became an overwhelming heap backing me into a corner of my own distress. I became a prisoner to what I had created. A part of me loved it so much that I was willing to put up with the stench and the clutter. Until it became too much for me to bear. No longer did I want to hide from the outside world, I allowed people to live within my castle. The innocent ones were kept blind to the passages in which I took in refuge, greeting them again filled from the inside with dirt and sin, on the outside I wore a mask.

I prayed to my God to remove the mask that had become as much a part of me as the castle that I lived in. To my surprise the mask was ripped from my face, and the passages that I kept a secret all along became opened as my castle began to crumble down brick by brick. I asked God to create new living quarters where my loved ones and I can feel safe and the clutter will be totally destroyed. I asked God that this time, with His help, that this building will be of glass. Transparent for the world to see. He agreed and helped me to rebuild using His strength, knowledge, and comfort into this new transition. The house was becoming a new home for my loved ones and me. One day while I was so tired from the work, and missing the place where I grew up, I went to re-visit it.

As I made my way to the site where my castle once stood, I noticed the debris had not totally been done away with. As I walked I tripped over a block that resembled the corner stone of the old foundation. I do not recall how many days had went by, but I do remember my Saviour picking me up to take me back to the new home. When we arrived I noticed that more people had joined in on the construction, family, friends, loved ones. How could this be? These are the people I had once betrayed and hid from, why spend their time on me? God said He asked them to help and they gladly accepted. I also noticed stones from my old castle visible through the glass walls. I asked God “Why do you torment me with these stones from the past?” He said, “These stones are no longer about you but about others who have built upon their own foundation. To see the darkness that it had brought, to see that with My help there is strength and a renewing of the Spirit within. These stones are yours to carry so you will not live in comfort but to be reminded of what once was.” I said, “How could You and these people love me once again knowing that I turned away from You, longing to hide once again?” He told me that I can no longer hide from Him, with all of my passages and hiding within the filth, I never hid from Him in the first place.

I was told to minister to those who are in hiding, to minister to those who are just beginning to build on their own. ‘Use the stones of experience and write on them a testimony for the world to see. Don’t worry what others say about this, just know you are about My work. I Am the one that picked you up, I AM the one that tore away your earthly love, I tore down your gods, and have opened the door to your heart to enter and create a path that is not without struggle, nor will it be without stumbling. But My hand is their to pick you up, dust off your knees, open your eyes lest you fall asleep in the journey that lies ahead.’ He let me know that others will question my work, and why I cherish a home that is made of glass with the stones displayed for all to see. But let my focus be on Him and He will guide, to make my will strong and to persevere. Some days I will not know who I have touched according to His strength, I will not always know whose hearts I prick because of my journey. But to continue in this marvelous new home, void of secret passages, void of hiding from others.

This is how I see my journey. I learned at the beginning that I have to accept what I can, lay down and forgive that which is not mine. And move forward. Though my post seem dark at times especially when I go back to my past days re-entering my struggles and what got me here. But there is no pity in these travels. When I speak of them I no longer feel sorry for the old person, I am clothed a new. I do know now that just because I found and struggle with God’s desire, does not mean others are on the same path. I know that relapse happens, I made it over a year while others have fallen within days, weeks, or months. God reached His hand to me, because of Him I reach out to others to pick them up without judging, but praying that God will heal them and put words in my mouth, or in this case guide my thoughts in my writings.

I know through counselling that one of the first steps is acceptance, and forgiveness. This is what God was telling me through the counsellors voice. I know that an illness occurred from staying around the filth that was built up around me. Do I hide it or do I allow God to use it to help in the vaccination of others in a disease that has become an epidemic? I choose to use it, I use it without pity, my words are tough, but so is the illness. I write for those that are in their own prison, I also write for those who have never been there so they might look no longer from the outside that they might throw judgment and blame on these who are far away from comfort and God, but that they see these people as sick and are in need of the great Physician. I write that there might be an understanding within the two to co-exist in the love of our Lord and Saviour.

I have found acceptance, yet my heart still gets pricked, and my words prick the hearts of others. Some things I would rather keep quite, it is not my bravery to let you know the lowliness of my heart, but it is God in His infinite wisdom and love that guides me to take a deep breath suck it up and show a side of my life that had been behind solid walls for too long.

D.

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Age 19, 1984 I had already dropped out of college, I quit the Pizza Hut after making head cook, and training to be a manager. I quit that job for one that I thought that I would enjoy more, and I was right. It was an arcade/pool hall, what I thought of for a long time as one of my best jobs ever. Here I was at 19 already experienced death, and an overdose, found it easier to move away from God then try and keep up with Him, and I was in overdrive in hustling, drugs, alcohol, and sex.

The place was Ziggy’s in the farming community where I was raised, Morrilton, AR. This was the hangout for all of the kids and cons of the area. Lot of ex-cellmates came in for the pool and I immediately befriended them and learned a lot about hustling. Here I was at 19, my paycheck alone was over 500.00 a week, I was pulling in almost that much in pool and after hour poker games. Unfortunately, I could cheat a good game of cards, but I never got the straight playing down. I was a mark for the guys that would stay after hours for a little extra money. One of the guys was the owners son, he and I had became good friends. Everyone there was my friend and would either let me owe them, or a chance to win it off in pool. I always liked the latter because I could usually get my money back, and sometimes a little extra.

I would go through my money like water, I had no bills at the time I was still living with mom and dad, had a 1984 Mustang with a Boss engine, all I had to worry about was gas and partying. Some might have considered that spoiled and I knew I was I would admit it, what I didn’t admit was I felt like all of it was payback for never measuring up, I would have rather had the acceptance of my dad then the material things that were thrown at me, why shouldn’t I enjoy it while I had it? After my shift ended I would always stay there, go out get high, or pick up some girl from the place and go get high and party. I never had an official girlfriend while I worked there, but I had some that thought that. I would pull up with one girl in my car while another one, hanging in the parking lot, would either storm off, or try and start a fight. I was pretty calloused at that time, I didn’t care. I did not want them to fight, but as far as getting nervous I would usually just laugh it off.

One of my friends and I would go out and hustle wherever there was a pool table. We had different set ups that we used, one would be that we would come in and play crappy until a couple would want to play us in partners for money. We would purposely throw the first game or two, and then we would clean them out. We would come into a place separately as if we did not know each other and one of us would always win the others money, pool players notice how others play, size them up and wait for the kill. Say if I was losing all the time against this person that I supposedly did not know, and someone put up there quarter for the next game I would ‘accidentally’ win. This made them happy, they could get an easy mark, and make some easy money at the same time. Afterwards we would have to leave separate also, as not to blow anything. Sometimes we both would join a pool tournament until we would end up facing each other and combine second and first spot and split the winnings.

I got caught hustling at Ziggy’s by a con, he was a pretty big guy all I could do was stand up to him and tell him that I just got lucky is all. He was mad and later pulled me over in a parking lot, he had a friend with him, and if I didn’t have one of my friends with me also, I don’t think that I would have made it. It was more arguing then a fight, and we both just walked off. That was the end of it and he later was one of my fellow hustlers. Hustling became a part of my social life also, I already knew how to hustle street drugs, and began to learn how to hustle prescription drugs. I was in the world and as far away from God as I could be. I still prayed sometimes, more like deals then prayers. I figured if God would do something for me then I would do something for Him. I never kept my side of the deals.

19 years old, that should have been the time that I was finding myself instead I was too busy losing myself. Drugs were my life, I had a circle of true friends though I was surrounded by a lot of people all of the time, those ‘friends’ couldn’t care less about me, as I for them. There are two sets of friends that you get when you are a druggie, friends you can count on, and a circle just there for the drugs you can supply, or a rowdy time. At that time though my circle of true friends were my family, we were all misfits with troubled lives. We would stand up for each other, we would watch each others back, we actually enjoyed each others company, but we were always high. Not a one of us would hustle each other, it was an unspoken rule. What drugs you had was what you had, you shared, if one of us had just enough for ourselves then it was understood that respect was to be shown. So then we would go and hustle someone else, or find a party, depending if we wanted to be by ourselves or not.

My mom would think that I was high when I wasn’t, and straight when I was high. I don’t know if that says more about me then her. I was learning trades for the world, I was not going to have anyone take advantage of me again. Now it was my turn. I still would not allow anyone to hurt a woman, if I saw a couple arguing I would step in the middle rather it was my business or not. I couldn’t stand it. All of my friends that were girls were raped, they felt like they could talk to me about it, I don’t know why they felt comfortable with me about it because I never told anyone what had happened to me when I was younger, but it infuriated me anytime I heard about it. Saying that, I have to say that I would take advantage of almost anyone if it benefited me. That is why it is hard for me to accept anything from anyone now, I don’t like that feeling. It feels like a hustle to me, or I don’t want them to think of me in that way, because I am so far away from who I was. I honor and cherish any trust that comes my way, I will defend it with all that I have.

At that time in my life though I now knew what the world had to offer, darkness. And if I was going to survive in it then I was going to be part of that darkness, anyone that wasn’t was foolish to me. Being guarded is one thing that I still am, it is one of the things that is the hardest for me to lay down, besides the drugs. That was the year I decided that it was time for a change, my heart was becoming harder. Coke, Meth, ‘Scripts, and a circle of friends that was all that mattered to me, I had no other family left. I had been a black sheep in my other family, here I was someone else, I found where I fit in, with people like me, young and jaded.

D.

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Age 18, 1983 I was working at Pizza Hut in Morrilton and trying to go to school at UCA. I had a scholarship, a job, I was on the road to success, should have been the best time of my life. Should have been anyway. I could not focus on anything but drugs by this time. I was going in for Psychology one of my friends was becoming a Pharmacist, he would later die from a brain aneurysm in the shower. There are still questions concerning if that is truly how he died. He was 25 when he passed away. I received a lot of pharmaceuticals from him, but I am getting ahead of myself.

In High School jocks and heads became friends because jocks did drugs too. It did not change much in college, they began to use heavy and they still needed their contacts. I would skip classes sometimes to get high, and when I did go to classes in between classes I would ride around with my friends and get high again. Some of those days are a blur, I just know that I blew my scholarship. I was in the marching band and after one of the games my friends and I rode around with one of my jock friends, who did not attend school at UCA, he wanted to score some coke. So I obliged with getting an eight ball for him. I went in with him on scoring it so I could have some too. At this time I was under the impression that everyone had a high tolerance as I did. I was wrong.

We dropped him off and everything was fine, until I got the news the next day that he had died from an overdose. Man, the guilt ate me up. Still does sometimes. Was it his time to go at such a young age? Would he have died if I had not picked the eight ball up for him or did I intervene with his life? Questions seemed to plague me daily. Again, it still does at times. I guess like someone told me before in comments if he didn’t get it from me, he would have got it from someone else. He was a good guy and it bothers me that he had so much to live for. My thoughts went to the time that I overdosed not even a year before that, yet I lived and he didn’t. Why? My thoughts went to how he felt before he died, it was odd knowing what was going on when someone overdoses. Anxiety hit me and the feelings rushed in like a bad dejá vu. What made me so special? I don’t feel so special. Looking back on the other times, and seeing that I shouldn’t be alive today, I ask myself questions about my friends that didn’t make it.

They called our High School graduating class jinxed, we lost two even before graduation. After graduation we lost more to overdoses, cancer, suicide, murders, etc. I think that it was a sign of the times, and our graduating class was one of the biggest ones in Morrilton history. I remember the commercials at that time; I use cocaine, so I can work to buy more cocaine, so I can work to buy more cocaine… The guy going around in circles faster and faster, we thought that the commercial was funny at the time, not so much as we got older. We seem to become more complacent in our use, saying flippantly that we should quit. After the funerals we sit around and said that we needed to get together and just visit. That this is not how another person should end up. Yeah, yeah..can’t agree more let’s do that. Then I know the majority of us left and got stoned. Escaped the world that was crumbling under our feet.

One thing I am still trying to learn about death, is to accept life for what it is. Short. I have learned that life is not about me. Life goes on so quick, I have a problem with wanting to leave a legacy behind, because that just seems that I am making it about me again. If I have helped anyone in this journey, then I pray that it is God that they remember. Many people have experienced what I have, some not as bad, some worse. The difference is it is an embarrassing road, no one wants to appear weak. God gave me the strength to come out with this, though I find it hard sometimes and I second guess myself, I cannot second guess God. There have been people that don’t want me to come out with this truth about me, because of how it makes them feel, or they feel like I am giving them a bad name. I struggled with that also. But I have come to the conclusion that is more about their growth not mine. Again it is not about me, and how my journey effects them, but how their journey intercepts with mine and how bumpy that road became because of how God laid my road. They had no choice but to go across it, no detour sign to warn them of the impending work ahead. May God bless them in their journey.

My question was at that time, how can I talk to God again after I have turned my back on Him? I felt like I broke a commandment of murder. This was no small act that happened this was death. I spoke before about the Church I attended it was legalistic, and though some do not like me using labels, I apologize but I still will not sugar coat my words. I could not go forward with this sin, think of the ramifications if I had. Even if I could I felt like no amount of prayers were going to fix my situation. I felt doomed to Hell, away from my Saviour forever. Have you ever felt like this? It causes a mental strain you would not believe. In my mind God was mad at me, I felt like if I went to Him and admit such an atrocity I was to be punished quick and severe. If I went to anyone with this feeling I would be outcast. How could I face my friends family again without them focusing on me with an accusing eye? I held on to this guilt up until recently, and I still struggle with it at times.

I wish that I could finish this up by saying I learned how to talk to God again, but that would be a lie. I went on going to Him when I needed Him, but not when I truly needed Him, if that makes sense. Two years using at this time, and I had been shaped into being someone different then what God had intended for me. I needed a different road but I asked the question of how do I go back to God, yet I never received an answer.

D.

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Age 17, May 1983 I graduated from High School. In June of that year I would turn 18. In May I did not think that I would even make that. I went to my graduation party, actually parties. I am a big guy I could always drink a lot, by this time my body needed more drugs to function. When I walked down the aisle of my graduation I was already stoned. I graduated from a class of 300+ and I knew the majority of them. Being a ‘W’ I was one of the last ones to get my diploma. The high was wearing off, and I could not wait for the parties to begin.

I hit the first party and this girl I knew took me to the back room, she handed me four quarters of coke, told me to sell three and keep the one for myself. It was cut thin and mixed so bad it was yellow and still wet. Only one quarter looked good, that would be the one I keep. How in the world am I going to sell this useless waste? That was my thought, but I looked at the one bag that I wanted and I looked at it as a maze, if I could get past those three bags then I could make it to the pot of gold. I ended up taking it to sell, I went to the next party which was at an old Victorian style house, which was later used as apartments. There were several different little rooms to go to, so I passed the word around that I was holding and if anyone wanted they could find me in the designated room.

I talked it up to a lot of people and two men came in that I never talked to before, I did not like it and I felt uncomfortable. After they left not wanting the junk, I decided to cut my losses. I did not want people to think that what I had was like this anyway. I paid for it all just to get to the one I had chosen for myself. At this time between the two parties I had already drank immense amounts, and done a few lines with others that felt sorry for what I had. I was also high from smoking joints from each party. Some would say that I was already wasted, I was just starting.

The thing is if you are smart enough you can make one bag last depending on who you share with, and make that bag grow. I would match lines with one person, and of course it would be gone. So they would turn me onto another quarter I would repeat that cycle until I found someone that would front me an eight ball. After I scored that I went to my last party which was on a farmers field that rented it out for the night. A live band and many people to keep me going. I helped polish off a couple of kegs, and did more lines. My last line I felt my chest tighten, my breath was short, and I felt claustrophobic. I did not feel right at all. I was seventeen, I should not have had chest pains. My eye sight was shorting out, everything was becoming a blur. I found a car that sit alone in the field beside a pond. I lied down on the hood and started to look up at the stars. The stars danced for me, the moon light played tricks with me. There were two, three moons. My vision was becoming worse. I passed out. The next thing I knew I had someones lips on me, and my chest hurt like a baseball bat had hit me. My head was pounding with every beat of my heart. I have never had a hangover, but I imagined that is what one felt like. I had experienced my first overdose. Maybe alcohol poisoning along side it.

I never wanted to feel like that again. I could not focus for a long time. I felt like I was in a haze. I told myself that this would be the last time. I could quit I have only been doing it going on two years, that was not long enough for me to be addicted, was it? That next night I was using again. This time roller coasting on speed and downers. Idiot, I called myself as I did another joint laced with coke. I still did not realize this had become my god. I had abandoned my God for a lesser judge. Where it led I followed. It could take me anytime it wanted, it chose to let me live. That was my thoughts at the time, even though I did not know it, that was still my ideology. It let me live not God. Why would He be around me while I was so far away from Him?

As I got older I realized that death comes at you fast. I did not realize at the time that I was already part of the walking dead. I was on the road of lease resistance, I only followed my rules which lead to destruction and decay. The easy way is not the best way. I would feel almost insane at times, that is when I would pull the bible out thinking somehow it would save me revive me until the next time I was able to use.

D.

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During a Spanish bull fight, four different areas are hit, the first is in the neck by a Picador with a lance. Second and third the bull is hit by Banderilleros with barbed sticks called banderillas, in the two flanks as close to the first wound as possible. Then the third is by the Matador between the shoulder blades through to the heart. By the time the Matador gets to the bull it is more of a ‘work’ on his part, the bull has all but bled to death by the time he gets to him.

I feel like when God returns I will be all but bled dry. The difference is He will restore me. Beautiful thought. I speak on here all the time about how tired I am. I need to pull the banderillas and the lance out of my back and hold my head up high for I am not defeated. The horses that the Picador rides on is covered with a protective shield, up until the early 1900’s the horses wore no protection and would get gutted by the bull. I will charge through the fiery horse that carries my death. I will sharpen my horns and charge through the attacks of the enemy with my Savior by my side. I need to become the bull, not just grab it by the horns.

Easier said then done it seems. It makes for great poetry and shows a sense of strength that I pray I had. I went forward Sunday for prayers. I was just going to ask a certain few that I talk to on a regular basis for prayers, I do not like going forward, for different reasons. But for some reason it seemed that I was pulled forward to ask for prayers. I have been ignoring God, I have been pulled in two by addiction, I felt the need for prayers. I had several people coming up to me and told me how brave I was, how strong I am. I cried on the outside but inside I laughed in secrecy. I am neither strong nor brave. I felt like the Matador was dancing in front of me, and me blindly reacting to his sound.

I had an old acquaintance call me last night wanting to know where I could score some for him, with it being New Years and everything. I told him no, I don’t know anyone any more. I wanted to tell him if he finds some call me and let me know. I wanted to tell him the long drawn out story of my hell and say pull me out. We just told each other bye and hung the phone up. Again even with me asking for prayers the bull fighters surrounded me. All around me it seemed. I dreamed last night of doing a line, and it felt so good. I woke up at 5:00, I thought that it was 6:00 because we never set our bedroom clock back. I woke up in fear that I broke a rule. Then I realized that it was just a dream, and then I was disappointed, yet relieved at the same time.

I want to believe in prayer, and I do for the most part. I see God’s hands in a lot of different areas in my life, I do. Yet I can’t see this. I can’t see why my addiction hounds me. God knows my feelings, He knows how hard it is to get myself going, yet I do. I know that He is helping get me up and around, why does He allow the shafts to be thrust so deep? Why aren’t the pills working like they should? Am I bitter? A little. But I am fighting like the bull.

D.

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