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.