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My name is Doug Williams, I am 42 years old, raised in a Christian family, grew up in a farming community in Arkansas where everyone knew each other, and I am an addict. I’m not the only one nor will I be the last. In fact there are so many of us I am not known for who I am, or how I got here. Rather I am known for what I am..a statistic. For all anyone knows or cares they could take one picture off of the ‘Faces of Meth’ board and place our names on the bottom. That is not the face of us all. We are the high school football star, the cheerleader, the sweet, shy person that is dressed up with never a bad word about anyone, the friend that sits by you at work. A picture of any of these people would not scare you away from drugs. If you talk to a homeless addict you will get different answers of their past, some at one time were these people, and some never had a chance. 

No one can put a picture up of what we feel inside. I am a statistic, I have the same regrets and was jaded before I reached my twenties, as many who are numbered among statistics are. The drugs effect you, deep inside. Not just your mind, not just speed bumps when, or if, you shoot up. Not just the decaying of your teeth because the speed has striped them and torn them down. Not just the bags under your eyes. Deeper into your soul. You soul becomes callous, striped away and torn down. Baggage piles up.

We all have baggage don’t we? Regrets that if we could only go back in time and erase we would in a heartbeat, wouldn’t we? Noreen and I have a DVR and I get so used to pausing and rewinding live events, that when I am in the Suburban I half way listen to the radio and if I miss something I try and rewind it. I think if they could just create something like that for life, man I would wear that sucker out. Let me share my regrets. Something I think all the other statistics can relate to.

When my friends dad, not biological but the only one that he ever knew and the one that he loved enough to call dad, was on his death bed in excruciating pain I asked him to bring his Morphine tabs over, ending up leaving him short, emptying what he had to be exact. When my friends died from overdoses and all I can think about is who is going to get his stash, and how can I get it first. When my friend went to jail for possession and I hurried and made it over to his house and raided anything I could. Being trusted to take care of a friends house and taking what I could, if not drugs then small possessions, nothing major to me anyway. They would notice the drugs missing first anyway and then because I was close to them I would blame someone else and let them suffer the consequences. I could go on but I won’t, I think you get the idea.

I am not that way now, and I regret each and every time. These are the regrets of a statistic. It is easy to become one, the first time you use, you will again. You might start with a drink, even if you say when you start that you will only do it socially or one drink. You might eventually build up to drinking just one every once in awhile, but when you start that is not what it will be. If you started and that is all you drink then fine, but how do you know when you start which one you will be? Face it beer does not taste good the first time you drink it, yet you go back for the other one, and eventually you acquire a taste for it. The same with drugs, you might want to check out the big to do about it, you won’t get wasted the first time, or you will get so sick that you might not even want to do it again. But just because you got too sick or paranoid on one thing doesn’t mean that you won’t find something that will suit your taste. Next thing you know the social drinking or drugs will turn into a Tuesday night celebration, okay we are celebrating so and so’s raise, it’s fine I won’t do it again until the weekend. And then a night out with friends, it’s a special night, that’s all. A football game, poker night, dinner with friends. Before you know it you have become a statistic.

I smoke, disgusting I know but what else do I have? Cigarettes can be a gateway, why did you start in the first place? Friends? Family? It looks calming? It didn’t taste good the first time, and until you had enough in your lungs to make you dizzy and sick, then you just aren’t smoking. See the pattern? I have digressed from what I originally started with. Maybe I am bitter. Maybe I don’t want to look in the mirror to see who started this cycle. This is odd to say, but drugs saved my life. At a time when I needed them the most they were there. I never sought any other outlet but a violent one. Drugs tried to take my life, and I gave myself openly, freely. It didn’t accomplish what it sought to do, but it left the residual all over the place. I went back to it time and time again like a love sick fool. Now I just settle for cheap dates, things like cigs, coffee, Cokes, over the counter whatevers, exercise stimulants. Cheap dates that leave me feeling dirty and unloved.

I guess you can take this as a warning, or you can just take this as a very small insight to an addicts mind. If you take it as a warning and if none of that dissuaded you consider this. If you use you don’t know what road you will go on. You can end up looking in the mirror and see one of two numbers given to you. Another statistic or a number attached to your toe tag. A little over the top? You might turn into one of the lucky ones down the road that just ends up talking about those ‘good old days’, but the number of addicts and deaths, out weigh the number of the lucky ones.

D.

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I know that it has been awhile since my last post, but we have had a lot of things going on. This is a letter that Mens Health ran in it’s June edition. It speaks for itself. The video at the end is touching, and you can truly see a fathers love. Listen to the letter that was written to the father at the end, it says the same thing I was thinking. This is just an ounce of love given by an earthly father compared to the endless love of our heavenly Father. 

What My Father Means to Me

My name is Richard E. Hoyt Jr., and I have cerebral palsy. I cannot speak or walk. To write this story, I’m using a computer with special software. When I move my head slightly, the cursor moves across an alphabet. When it gets to the letter I want, I press a switch at the side of my head.

I am half of Team Hoyt. We are a father-and-son team, and we compete in marathons and triathlons around the world. Our goal is to educate people about how the disabled can lead normal lives. We started racing in 1979. My high school was having a road race to raise money for a lacrosse player who was paralyzed in an accident. I wanted to show this athlete that life can go on, so I asked my dad if he would push me. My wheelchair was not built for racing, but Dad managed to push me the entire 5 miles. We came in next to last, but in the photos of us crossing the finish line, I was smiling from ear to ear!

When we got home, I used my computer to tell Dad, “When I’m running, I feel like my disability disappears!” So we joined a running club, had a special running chair built, and entered our first official race. Many of the athletes didn’t want us to participate, but the executive director of the event gave us permission. Soon we were running three races a weekend, and we even did our first double event–a 3-mile run and a half-mile swim. Dad held me by the back of the neck and did the sidestroke for the entire swim. We wanted to run in the Boston Marathon, but we were not allowed to enter because we had not done a qualifying run. So in late 1980, we competed in the Marine Corps Marathon, in Washington, D.C., finishing in 2 hours, 45 minutes. That qualified us for Boston!

A few years later, after a road race in Falmouth, Massachusetts, a man came up to my dad and said, “You are quite an athlete. You should consider a triathlon.” Dad said, “Sure, as long as I can do it with Rick.” The man just walked away. The next year, the same man said the same thing. Again, Dad said he’d do it, but only with me. This time the man said, “Okay, let’s figure out what special equipment you’ll need.”

So on Father’s Day in 1985, we competed in our first triathlon. It included a 10-mile run, during which Dad pushed me; a 1-mile swim, during which Dad pulled me in a life raft with a rope tied around his chest; and a 50-mile bike ride, during which he towed me in a cart behind him. We finished next to last, but we both loved it. Soon after, we did our first Ironman Triathlon. We’ve now competed in more than 950 races, including 25 Boston Marathons and six Ironmans. During every event, I feel like my disability has disappeared.

People often ask me, “What would you do if you were not disabled?” When I was first asked, I said I’d probably play baseball or hockey. But when I thought about it some more, I realized that I’d tell my father to sit down in my wheelchair so I could push him. If it weren’t for him, I’d probably be living in a home for people with disabilities. He is not just my arms and legs. He’s my inspiration, the person who allows me to live my life to the fullest and inspire others to do the same.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. And thank you.

-Richard E. Hoyt Jr

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Patient 1

Patience needed. Doesn’t matter if it is used or new, will pay top dollar for a truck load. Delivery requested, but if you can’t deliver within ten minutes, I guess I will pick up, just please be ready with it when I get there.

 Thanks,

D. 

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It is a well-documented fact that guys will not ask for directions. This is a biological thing. This is why it takes several million sperm cells… to locate a female egg, despite the fact that the egg is, relative to them, the size of Wisconsin.

 -Dave Barry

I don’t mind asking for directions, but I don’t like to read instructions. Manuals confuse me, and I can figure out where plugs go, and if it is a piece of furniture I figure a few extra nails or screws never hurt anything, if I have extra parts left over from anything then it just meant that I did a good job.

We like to be self reliant. We are brought up that way, and for the most part that is good. But it can be a hinder if we don’t ask others for help from time to time. We should always rely on God for direction, comfort, for everything in our lifes. Yet it seems that we turn to Him in times of trouble, and when things are going smooth then we tend to think that it is our doing and we overlook God. I had a friend when I was younger, he built something now I can’t remember what that was, but it was something that I did not think was going to go up as he thought it would. After some sweat and various words, he got it built. He called me and I came over to see it he was excited about something that apparently he had doubted also. I said, God is good. He said, God had nothing to do with it, I busted my knuckles God didn’t. He felt this way about everything he accomplished, yet he would pray for other things in his life that he felt he could not control.

God is our Father, what if we did this to our earthly father, guardian, best friends, mother, any earthly person that we consider a pillar in our lifes? That we only turn to them when times are bad and when everything is good we ignore them?
God has an everlasting love. He is there during the struggles, and He is also there during the good to offer direction, and instruction but we have to think less of our abilities and more of His infinite ability for all things.
Romans 8:31-39

D.

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Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will

      ever regret.                                        

                                                                      -Amber Bierce

Oh man, I wish I would have known that before. I have a hard time holding my tounge. Not all the time but probably the majority. I usually regret it, even if I feel that I was in the right. I don’t have an anger issue, just some things I can tolerate more then others.

There are some people that need to be told in a certain way. People that do not live on property, and I have to kick them out for wrongdoing. If they continue I feel that I have to put a little ‘stearn’ in my voice, and threaten them with the police. People coming in cussing with total disrespect get the same treatment. Most of the time it is disrespect issues, and what I see as security issues.

I am real protective of my family and I am always measuring people with a suspicious eye. But sometimes people can just call with an issue about their apartment and they can rub me the wrong way and I find that I am arguing with them for no reason. I usually end up feeling bad, and the next time I see them apologies are exchanged and life goes on. Sometimes I do not get a chance to apologize, such as a time when a kid in his early twenties came by.

He was told by me and the assistant to leave the property, bad things seemed to follow him at the places he was visiting. Not that I believe he was a bad kid, he just did not have good common sense. He rang the doorbell and as I was coming down the stairs I saw him and it flew all over me that he was still here, wanting to tell on a tenant no less. I did not allow him to get his concerns out, I told him if he wasn’t here in the first place it would not have happened. I felt bad after he left, I got what I wanted he never came back, but I never got to tell him I was sorry, and tell him that I didn’t think he was a bad guy, but he had to listen to me and not being on property was really more for him then me.

Nee-Nee is so much better at diffusing a situation then I am. I’m more like the fuse itself. I am use to handling a situation with letting the person know their limitations. I have hurt a lot of people with my tounge, words come spewing out before I can catch them. And surprise, surprise I am not always right, which adds to discomfort because after I made such a stink about everything, now I have to admit that I was wrong. I am trying to get better about doing that, and I truly believe that there are times when you have to be stearn with someone, but when anger is behind it I have to hold my tounge and fold it back and catch what I can.

D.

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Discipline

I have noticed lately that I don’t have any discipline. Oh, I have some discipline, like I can pass up a steaming plate of eggplant casserole, and liver. I am disciplined enough to watch NBC’s Thursday night lineup, and wrestling. And I can make myself read a magazine on those special occasions. But since I have started my diet and workout again it isn’t as easy as it was before. Starting a workout regimen for old timers was fun, it consisted of what is known as carb and protein fills, eating cheeseburgers, fries, potatoes, steaks, etc. and then cutting off from all of that and starting an intense workout still filling up on proteins but not so much on the carbs. Now I find that I try to talk myself into McDonalds everyonce in a while telling myself tomorrow will begin a new workout, harder and faster then what I have done. Most of the time I can talk myself into eating at Subway, or just making myself eat a deli turkey sandwich, or tuna, but Mickey D’s still gets me. I find that the couch gets me more then it did before, I work out everyday as my back allows, but the gains are slower then before, I know that if I had the discipline that I once had it would be faster.

I play guitar but most of my songs are Jim Croce style ballads, country pickin’ or distorted rock. I want to learn rockabilly which contains a more difficult picking style, but instead of dusting my hollow body off (literally dusting it off the pick ups have an inch of dust at least) I just listen to it and watch videos of Brian Setzer, Carl Perkins, and country pickers that use the same style such as: Jerry Reed and Chet Atkins, and hope that something sticks in my subconscious so I can play it the very next time I pick up my guitar and play. I don’t even draw as much as I used to.

I started this post yesterday and last night during our meeting on growing closer to God, we talked about discipline. I realize that journeying with God is the main area that demands discipline. I have slacked off on journaling, my prayers, and other areas in my worship. I feel better when I workout, come up with a new song, a new picture and especially when I journey with God. I feel a comfort in all of these but when I slack off I feel horrible. So why do I choose the horrible feeling over the feeling of enlightenment? Maybe if I start my day and end my day with a journey with God then will I feel like using the gifts that He gave me, or thinking more of my health.

I need to pray for discipline, if only I could find the time.

 D.

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Light & Day

I thought that I would put these videos on today. The group is The Polyphonic Spree, the lead singer used to be in a group called The Tripping Daisies, he has been called gay because of his movements and overall happiness, the group has been called a cult because of the robes. There has been more judging for this happy little troupe, I don’t know if any of the rumors are true, I just know that they are happy and they sing uplifting songs, and at times praise God. I think that no one can understand how they can be happy all the time. That seems to get on peoples nerves, they look for any weakness in them and can’t wait to point out any contradiction. Sound familiar? I admit they are easy targets, maybe because they are not worried what the world thinks. I ask you to watch their video and listen truly to your thoughts, did they make you feel good, or uncomfortable? The 2nd video has finishing commentary by Dr. Dorian while The Polyphonic Spree plays in the background.
D.

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