The Fall of Mayhem

Addiction

Written by an anonymous inmate in county jail

Not long ago I was frantically searching my room in the basement of a D.C. Bloods training house trying to find something to eat my cold can of clam chowder with. The room (not much bigger than this cell I am in) was covered with graffiti: messages of blind hate on every wall. After sifting through a pile of dirty laundry and releasing the previously dormant stench I found my toolbox. Inside was a collection of old needles and a spoon that was still filled with the dried crusty remains of amphetamine I had injected days earlier.

You see, the reason this arrogant white Bostonian came to live in a black families basement in the ghetto of our nation’s capitol…is the result of an unhealthy obsession coupled with the inability to be completely honest with anyone, including myself. So this is me being completely honest, right now. I choose to tell the truth, just for today, which is all I have left.

There is an ever widening hole in my soul called addiction. I managed to convince myself that love was the reason I hit bottom…more lies. The thought almost provokes laughter at this point, as I stare at the cement walls surrounding me. In order to protect the names of the guilty, this unhealthy obsession for a doleful damsel I shall call Eve.

I was so arrogant and blinded by this obsession that one day things would be like they were before, back when we were a happy couple with two beautiful boys…I refused to let her go. I had such low self-esteem I could not be honest with her. Eight years and our two boys and “I love you” was probably the only honest part of our relationship. In the words of Trent Reznor, “love is not enough”, and Eve herself left a message in sharpie on my wall stating: “love can’t survive on lies”.

True enough. I could put point out the hypocrisy in her writing that on my wall but focusing on her faults is what kept lies in my mouth and needles in my arms. The truth is I have spent most of my life judging the behaviors of others all the while behaving just like them. I was a true white trash scum bag. Few who knew me escaped harm. Collateral damage. I meant no harm to others but that doesn’t matter when all I cared about was me and the drugs.

I was a broken man.

I was skipping and bouncing off the bottom headed for certain doom. I had some moments of clarity when the pain got bad enough to bring me to my knees. 12 step programs, prayer, and recently Jesus seemed to powerful allies in this war for my soul, but the arrogant liar inside of me kept taking back control. No one has suffered as much as I have in the history of humanity and I deserve better! Right! Poor me! Two beautiful children and a lifetime of second chances, all the while possessing above average intelligence, looks, and an uncanny ability to entertain. Poor me! It’s laughable now but I really did feel this way, and believed it as the only way.

Fast forward 12 days ago at 2 a.m.

I am giving Eve a ride to a heroin dealer with no license and a warrant for my arrest. Headlights appear in my rear view and I say out loud: “God help me”.

As soon as the words pass my lips the flashing blues come on and I was arrested. I am facing 10 plus years worth of charges with $40,00o bail. God still loves me! After 11 days of detoxing I was on my knees praying in the holding cell ready to accept my fate. “God please help me” I pray, “you know what is best for me, thy will be done.” The door opens, I am brought before the judge and told the Distract Attorney is seeking a “no jail time deal”.

Rehab is the deal. My spirits are lifted and a peace washes over me. Hope is restored. God is the answer but faith without works is dead. We each have a different path to follow and I still don’t know my purpose but I do know it is not MY path…it is His. As I write this in my cell I am at peace. I have hope, and I know love. Gratitude is an understatement and humility is the wind lifting the wings, like a phoenix rising from the ashes we can ALL rise if we can just see the truth and get over ourselves.

Keep the hope. Keep the love. Keep the faith.

Poem: Coffee

Sometimes in life we go through heartache, and heartbreak. Many choose to be silent, decline the world. Some eat ice cream and cry to their friends. But this young writer and poet, Charlotte Davidson, chose to write about it. In this poem, entitled “Coffee,” Charlotte tells the story of a boy who lured her in with new things. He “volunteered things [she] never knew,” so she was automatically interested in him and his tendencies. In the 2nd stanza, she describes how the relationship wasn’t what she expected, explaining that “concord streets just aren’t for [her].” But near the end of the stanza she exclaims that even though she chose to leave him, it wasn’t fair that he left her abandoned. No call, no texts, and no emails. She tells the boy in the 3rd stanza that “we were more than just a social affair,” meaning that he still meant something to her. Near the end of the poem she says that she sees him again, and she tells the reader that she wants to go back to him.

This poem is for everyone who is still stuck on an ex. It combines traditional rhyme with extensive vocabulary, and it uses the motifs of coffee and blue throughout the poem. These motifs are malleable to the reader, and can represent what they think they represent. The repetition really lures in the reader, just like the boy lured in the girl. This poem is one of my absolute favorites, and it plays towards every heartstring out there. Enjoy.

Abrakadbra!

Just before bed I got an email from my father with Richie in the subject line. I already knew and let out something about God…but I wasn’t shocked to hear of the family friend overdosing on drugs. I lay in bed thinking of his life, and how I met him, and what his last moments must have looked like…

We all have a path to walk in life. We all have different stories about where we come from, where we have been, and how we got to be where we are now, today. Well today I want to tell a story about a man who walked a path that not many will ever see in their lifetime, nor would they ever want to see…the life of a famous junkie.

But he was so much more than just a junkie. Society labels them as sub human and writes them off because of the bad behaviors associated with being a junkie. A junkie is someone who is in so much pain that they are willing to do ANYTHING just to feel some release, some relief, anything but the pain inside that exists like a parasite in the heart. If you have not walked in the shoes of a junkie, please do not have anything but compassion in your mind.

The story of Richard Abrazinski, aka Abrakadabra, starts in Worcester in the 60’s. I don’t exactly when or where he was born, but those are minor details. Richie was a special kid, I never met him when he was a kid but judging by the way he acted in his 30’s and 40’s, I can only guess how crazy he was as a youngster.

When I met Richie I was a teenager living on Martha’s Vineyard. How Richie and I met was through my father’s connection with him. My father is a great man and he tried to help Richie when he could through the 12th step of Alcoholic’s Anonymous. I would see him working, and at that age I was just realizing that this man was out on work-release from jail. I remember working alongside him while he and another family friend Jimmy (he was the one who picked him up from jail). The energy Richie had was boundless, and he never failed to make you smile simply because his voice and his laugh sounded so…likeable. He could charm the pants off a panther he was that good. I liked him immediately, and almost looked up to him because at least he didn’t care about acting normal or afraid, Richie was confident in his ability to work hard and have fun.

Richie’s problem was having too much fun. I found that out one day after running into him at Cumberland Farms, which on the island of Martha’s Vineyard is a place where all walks of life co-mingle, and this walk of life was walking tall that day. I saw him about a quarter mile away walking towards the store from the ferry docks. He had a distinct way of walking, a distinct look, that gave him away every time. Richie got closer and noticed me, and this big fucking smile splattered his face and I knew we were in for a good time.

That good time lasted a week, and involved many drugs and a lot of booze, and also a car chase with my father and mother in separate vehicles trying to make me pull over and hand over the keys. I was not in a good state of anything to even be behind the wheel of a car. I couldn’t believe how controlling and oppressive they were, and why they would not just leave me alone to do what I wanted. It was a classic case of denial mixed with fear and dishonesty. I denied the fact that I was sick and running with another sick person who like me did not care that we were driving around high on cocaine, coming off of being drunk, with a loaded shotgun in the back seat going on a mission from god to who knows where.

Luckily that little story ended well without anyone getting hurt. I ended up back in jail and so did Richie. That was one of the many negative things we had in common: drug addiction, jail, and rehab. When Richie was in Jail, I would be in a detox or a rehab, and when I was in jail he would be out in about or in a program trying to work and save money like the rest of us. When we saw each other at an AA meeting it was like dynamite and fire getting together again for one more explosive show.

Until I changed. I saw the truth and I recognized the path I was on was leading to destruction. It had already destroyed my body, my relationships with lovers and family, and now it was threatening to destroy my life completely. I was 26 years old and a mess from doing too many drugs, and they were really powerful ones like crystal meth. One of the last times I saw Richie he was just getting out of Cambridge jail where he was locked up for getting high in an MIT bathroom in Boston. He was using crystal meth, and judging by how powerful that drug is I can only imagine what kind of horror show was on display in that bathroom. God bless him for trying to beat this addiction.

That is the message I want to give to everyone who knew Richie. He was so much more than an overdose, he was more than a junkie, he was more than a crazy sonofabitch who always got in trouble. Did anyone stop to think why he always got in trouble? Sure he needed a place to stay, so he got arrested. Not many know of that level of desperation. No, he wanted love. He wanted to be touched, he wanted attention, and that was the only way he knew how: acting out and getting caught.

He was not a brilliant criminal, in fact he was kinda dumb the way he would do crimes in broad daylight in downtown areas. I heard stories of his Maine life where he was a real bad cat. I heard about how he ran the Maine state prison system, but they were just good stories to me. When we were together, it was usually a crime. We shared mostly intoxicants together, and the times we had were spaced between jail and rehabs. So my memories of him are cloudy and hazy. But I hold onto them and I will never forget that big huge kid named Richie.

The last time I saw him alive was in November right around Thanksgiving time. My parents were away from the Vineyard and I was living on Cape Cod, I came over for the week to watch the dog and to meet my sister with whom I shared turkey day with. I was picking up some antibiotics at the pharmacy when I pull in and who do I see walking my way from the liquor store, as if he knew I would be there, smiling all the way. He was moving slow, and rocking from side to side the way he usually did, but something was different. He looked older. All my life I always saw him as young, and full of life, even if he was so filled up with drugs it was pouring out of his pores! I gave him the keys to my dad’s truck and told him to get in I will give him a ride somewhere.

I walked into the pharmacy and immediately I picture Richie driving away in my father’s truck with my dog in the back seat wondering why this crazy pollack is driving, not me. I wondered the same thing as I went back out to make sure this did not happen. He was still trying to unlock the door when I got out there, and I told him to get in the passenger seat. He obliged. I got the keys and proceeded to get my stuff.

At this point in my life I was moving to Florida and trying to be healthy as over the past year and a half I had been through a couple surgeries and overcome a massive addiction to crystal meth. My body was tired but recovering slowly but surely. I was running and beginning to work out. I began eating healthy and meditating so my mind would calm down. Ever since using crystal meth I have never been the same…it changed me, some ways bad but mostly good. It made me super spiritual and unafraid to face the future, as well as the past. Life was taking on new meaning and for the first time I felt ready to accept it and to practice the principles which would ensure I would live a better life.

In comes Richie, my old running partner who I never said no to and who I would have done anything for at one point. I loved the freakin guy! So many people did, and that is what is so sad about Richie’s story. So many people tried to help Richie get on his feet and back on track. When he was sober he was the most stand up guy one could ever possibly meet on the street. Richie had a heart of pure gold and was not bashful or shy about giving it to complete strangers. They would stare at his huge 6 foot something figure which was intimidating when he got out of jail all buffed up, and he was covered in tattoos so you know people kind of glanced at him a couple times to make sure he wasn’t going to hurt them. Richie was gentle giant who mellowed out in his later years. He wasn’t the hardened felon living in Maine state pens, he was just another guy struggling to overcome the darkness that was inside of him.

I get in the truck and he already has a baggie of a white powder ready to go. He offers some to me, so kind. I refuse. I tell him I am all about being healthy now, and that I don’t feel like getting high anymore. I try to talk to him about getting something to eat and talking but who the hell wants to do that when you are getting high? No one I know, and especially not this guy. He already saw someone else he knew, and he knew everybody, so we say a quick good bye and he gets out of the truck. Looking back I wish I grabbed his arm with the might of God and held him close, and told him what was going to happen to him if he kept using drugs. I now see what it was like to be in my father’s shoes, to love someone but not able to help them or reach them as they slowly committed suicide right in front of you. Powerless is a good word. Never has a word become more than just letters and a meaning, powerless becomes a part of you in those situations when a drug addict chooses to kill himself rather than ask for help and choose another way of to live.

I wonder if Richie ever truly lived?

What is his legacy that he left behind for us?

Prison, crime, felony, rehab, detox…I remember he came into detox on Cape Cod right after I did. We had been on a bad run and we both knew it would end with some sort of hospital stay. Actually we were lucky to make it out alive and free from prison. The chances an addict takes with his life is insane, and that is why people love to judge them! There I am, playing cards with some fellow addicts and alcoholics who I had become fast friends with in a few days since I was able to walk.

A woman named Beth spoke up about this crazy giant who came in the night before with one leg in a cast and who woke up half the hallway when he came in. He was quite intoxicated and even picked up this little counselor who Richie just loved because the counselor worked out and I guess he thought that it would be fun to pick him up and carry him around. Anyways, I wondered if it was Richie. So I asked what he looked like.

She described a tall, built guy with light blonde hair and sleeves of tattoos. I asked her if he sounded like this: “Hey, BRO!” I made an impression of someone who drank whiskey and smoked cigarettes their whole life, and she nodded her head yes! She was amazed to find out we were friends. I was out when he came in, but the story goes he was out in the courtyard jumping around with a cast on drunk, and using his belt to show off his moves by whipping it against a wooden post while hitting on the local lady patients.

I told her all about our adventures, and we became lifelong friends based on just knowing Richie. That was the legacy he left behind for us to remember and to never forget how he touched our lives. We should all thank Richie for the sacrifice he made for us. Perhaps the reason he overdosed was to save someone who might have ended up with the same fate. I know Richie helped me more than I realize by the way he lived. His life is a lesson to me that teaches me that it isn’t something to waste and it isn’t something to take for granted.

Everyday I wake up and I find something to be grateful for, even if it takes a while or I feel depressed or sad or out of it. I find something to thank God for being alive today. Today I woke up and I thanked Richie for the memories and the moments that I will never forget as being times when I was truly myself, and it was because of Richie that I was able to be myself. He had a power inside of him that I regret had to wither away and die. He was in his 50’s, and I can’t believe he survived so long that way he lived.

Today, let’s take a moment to be silent in our minds and hold someone we love in thought. Breathe in love and breathe out any sickness which might have taken them or us…breathe it out and let the healing power of the universe respond by the opposite reaction which is health and positive vibrations return to your body and uplift your soul to a higher level. A level beyond the suffering hurt or pain that might exist between you and another…and transcend the pain to a certain kind of peace: serenity…God grant me the serenity…do you really believe he grants it to you, or are you just saying it because everyone else is?

Today, let’s remember our good friend and family member Richie Abrazinski. I will miss his laugh, and I will miss his stupid voice, and his love. May you finally be in a place where you don’t have to run anymore.

2012-12-28

I’m a good person.

Forgetting modesty for just a minute, I want people to be happy, if there’s a way to help someone I will, and I try to put the needs of other before mind. Sometimes my good intentions can stray from where they should be, but then again so can every ones. I tell the truth when it matters most, I don’t do drugs, I don’t drink, or smoke.

I know what hard work is, and unlike a lot of people I know, most the time I would choose that over the easy out. I grew up in a place where I never heard the words I’m proud of you. I grew up in a place where the words I love you only came after things like “Okay it’s time to go into surgery.”. (I tried to come up with another example, but I couldn’t find one.)

The place I grew up was hard, strict, and unforgiving. I don’t say all this for sympathy, or for pity, because no one benefits from either of those things. As I write these words I remember things that I have said to people for years after telling them the stories of unfairness at my “home”. (Yes notice the “”).

I do know that the people that raised me raised me right, and the person I am today is a lot because of them. In way I would like to thank them, because, as sad as it may sound, it taught me who I should not be. It taught me the different between wrong in right. Examples: 1.Kicking out their 18yr old, because she slept over her friends house after them saying no? -that is wrong.

2.Trying to push them to wear certain clothes, by insulting them? -wrong.

3.Threatening to take away everything, because they don’t want to go to church? -wrong. 4.Giving one of their kids piano lessons, but not giving the other one guitar? -wrong The way I see it: 1.Communication at a very early age is very, very important. 2.Who cares?

4.You can’t force religion on someone.

5.Be fair. Anyone reading this could say that I’m being stupid, and hey I might be, but when you see that you’re being treated unfairly especially from the ones you want to make proud, it’s hard.

When all you want to to be told you did well, even if you know you did, it kills you slowly to realize it’s a losing battle.

~Hayley Fray

There Will Come a Time

When no human power will stop you from doing this one thing…you are powerless over it and I can tell you now that your mind will not think so. Your mind is the ruler of your life and unfortunately it will lead you down the wrong road to pain, suffering, and our good friend misery.

Listen to your thoughts…

What do they smell like? Some thoughts stink of negativity and fear, and leave you with a sour taste in your mouth. We as humans do not understand our own thoughts and where they come from. But once a thought comes in, it is how we deal with it that matters, how we act out the thought is the crux of all behavior.

Everything begins with one single thought.

Say a thought comes in to your head that is so completely crazy, yet legitimate and almost reasonable that you consider it, you play with it, you entertain it.

For example: you just got out of jail after serving a year for getting high on drugs…

And a week after you are out…the same thought that came into your head that got you into trouble in the first place reappears. At first you dismiss it like a bug, but it keeps coming back and landing on your consciousness…

You know in your rational mind that to do drugs again is pure suicide and will probably end in either jail or death, if you’re lucky.

Yet something is not right inside. You spent the whole year playing cards, playing ball, and working out. Not to mention many many many lonely nights masturbating to pictures in maxim and curves…nothing really changed you are still the same person who went into jail a year earlier…just another year older…inside you are carry the weight and load of resentment and rage born out of a traumatized childhood…but it went undiagnosed and there you stand at the crossroads for the thousandth time.

All it takes is a decision.

The fear can seem so real and the lies so convincing that it looks impossible to not take something into your body to escape the demons hunting your peace and hunting your sanity…

You keep imagining that drug and how it will make you feel, that rush, that sweet release….

Then God gets tired of helping you and realizes you are not ready to serve the good army and help others….which is why we are all here…

Try again next life…

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