I have been meaning to start this blog for a few years now. I used to blog on MySpace, when I was in the homeless shelter. I wanted everyone to know what it was like to go through the misery of getting better. I had been keeping a journal in the rehab before I went to the shelter, and I copied that into my blog, too.
Then, as I began to get better, as I moved from the shelter to my brother’s home, and from my brother’s home to my own apartment; as my job and bills and social life (a sober social life! I was amazed and happy to find that they do exist, and can be quite fun!) took up so much time, I found less time for writing, which was a terrible side effect to find such serenity.
Writing has always been my passion, since I was old enough to write. That may well be a cliché, but it is also a fact. However, discipline has always eluded me, and even sober, I have found excuses abound to avoid doing what I love best! Why does that happen to writers? It’s such a common dilemma.
I need to write this blog, though. For myself, for my children, and for those who may be using a computer at the library while waiting to go back to their shelter, or may be at a family or friend’s home and find this blog floating in the ether-world. I need to record in the Metaverse all that has transpired in my life so others know that you can go lower than low, but as long as you are still alive, you can always climb back up. Always.
So, today I want to christen my new page with one of my past blogs, to give you a sense of what this journey has been about. There is so much to tell, so much about the years of addiction and the insane lifestyle I lived for so many years. This is not the first writing of a crazed mind; rather it is a plea for understanding from a destitute degenerate fighting to gain sobriety and a new life:
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Those of you who know me know that I am going through a tribulation of great proportions right now.
Yet, I am constantly fed the old adages which are meant to make the sinking depression my situation has created easier to swallow:
If you think you are tired, you will be. (Excuse me…WHAT?)
When a door closes, a window opens (I would settle for a window, if it was really mine!).
There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel (I don’t have a car).
This too shall pass (yeah, like the 50,000 other times life has sucked?)
But my favorite, stated in varying phrases is: I thought I had it bad because I had no shoes, then I met a man who had no feet.
Now, I am not saying the poor guy with no feet doesn’t have it worse off than me; all I am debating is how you can make despair relative. This is relative despair to you, because you are not the one in the throes of such. If you were homeless, would you be happy because you had a box, and the other guys didn’t? No, you would wish, simply, for a bed, a ceiling, and possibly a wall or two. If you had a room, would you be happy because at least you were not living in a box? No, you would wish, simply, for an apartment of your own you could afford.
I am not saying that it’s right to look our present blessings in the mouth, but I am saying that the guy with the house should not feel so smug as to tell the guy with the box he shouldn’t wish for a room, but rather be satisfied that at least he has a box. If it’s winter and I have no shoes, seeing the footless guy doesn’t make my feet less cold.
I for one think the answer to one’s despair should be: “I am sorry you are going through this. I hope you find a way out soon.” Even if you cannot offer empathy, offer sympathy. Whether or not the desolation was created by the sufferer or for the sufferer matters little when one is suffering, so saying, “Now you are learning a valuable lesson”, doesn’t really help until after the desolation has receded or departed.
Be my friend, and care, or don’t be. If you are my friend, just be there. I know what I did wrong. If you can’t offer help, just offer an ear, a shoulder, a prayer; that would be a tremendous help. Reminding someone caught between a rock and a hard place how they got there doesn’t help. Telling them it could be worse only makes it worse! Try to remember, despair is relative only to those not in it’s throes. Though you think you see the shining sun on the other side of this tunnel you refer to, maybe sometimes a smile, a pat, or a hug will help more than tired adages.
Thanks for listening; that clears up some of the despair for today!
It would be another six weeks after this was written until I checked myself into the hospital. Once I was in a safe haven, the writing escalated to almost everyday until a few months after I was ensconced in my new life in my new apartment in South Orange. I will post more of the past tomorrow. Once we get caught up, I will begin to post the present, which will hopefully shine a bright and optimistic light on the future!