THANK YOU CARD

If you had told me the day I snuck in that window that I would own a blog with traffic, would be working with a radio station and three of the coolest guys in the recovery community, I wouldn’t have believed you.

The past year of my life has been one crazy ride. I gave up drugs and picked up a mission. The day I typed addiction into the search bar on Facebook, I was shocked. I was an active regular social Facebook user, and I had no idea that this world, our world, even existed. You would think I would have run into a meme or something, but no, nothing.

 

People don’t realize it, but the addiction/recovery community works hard.  I got to thinking today about how I could measure success with the work I do.  Up until three weeks ago all I did was write in my blogs and spread awareness through posters/memes and news stories on social media. So how do you measure success with something so difficult to measure?

IF I HELP ONE PERSON, IT WILL BE WORTH IT.  We have probably all said, thought or at the very least heard this in our community.  So I have good news for you all.  Here goes:

Entering this community  I was in on Suboxone but wasn’t working a program, and my life sucked.  Just like an addict, I didn’t go through the front door of this community, I snuck around back and climbed in the window.  My road to recovery was Suboxone, period point blank ( suboxone saved my life, and this is just my story I believe whatever works- work it) I didn’t need a sponsor, meetings, a higher power or any of that, just Suboxone.  I was adamant about it.  After relapsing too many times to count in the past 20 years, I figured Suboxone was the best route for me.

I went to war with my family and my doctor over staying on Suboxone and being accepted for it.  So if I knew anything at all entering this community it was that I was an addict and I would be on Suboxone for the rest of my life.  I was 43.

If you had told me the day I snuck in that window that I would own a blog with traffic, would be working with a radio station and three of the coolest guys in the recovery community, I wouldn’t have believed you.

The past year of my life has been one crazy ride.  I gave up drugs and picked up a mission. The day I typed addiction into the search bar on Facebook, I was shocked.  I was an active regular social Facebook user, and I had no idea that this world, our world, even existed.  You would think I would have run into a meme or something, but no, nothing.

Within one year this community has turned my life around.  You gave me the strength to give up the Suboxone.  I learned that I am a whole lot tougher than I thought I was.  I found skills that I didn’t know I had and self-worth that I never had.  I have a resume that doesn’t have one single lie on it, and it still looks impressive.  I sold a business and opened three more.  I got two incredible opportunities to continue doing awareness work, but now I can eat too.

Now my friends are writers, artists, lawyers ( that I didn’t have to hire ) paralegals, and so much more.  You’ve taken the time to teach me and to build me up.  In this past year, you have given me life-enriching skills, relationships, experiences and even things to look forward to.

So I wanted to give you guys this Chrismas gift early.  Once I figured out the amazing gift that you guys gave me this year.  I couldn’t wait to give yours to you.

Thank you, for saving ME.

 

Suffering Addict Shows For Christmas

But just for today….
Leave your judgments, questions, and whispers in your car when you walk in and see the chair that has been reserved for me for all these years that has sat empty is occupied today.

 

Hey… Yeah… It’s Me…
Yes, good to see you too..

Here I am in all my glory.
The black sheep of the family.
The let down.
The disgrace.
The addict.

I’m not really sure why I showed up today.. I can feel all your eyes resting upon me with every move I make. I’m not here for your entertainment, I do know that much.
Seeing everyone I haven’t seen since I was a kid is a bit overwhelming to me right now.
Please don’t push me into a corner and surround me with your questions.
And please, don’t offer your advice unless you have walked the crooked mile that I am on.

In your mind it is so simple, just stop doing drugs. Go right on out there and get yourself a job tomorrow and buy that little house on the corner by the end of the year.

It sounds great.. just so puke perfect. When you are talking to me about what I should do with my life, keep in mind that it is easy to sit back and preach to someone when you have never encountered even the smallest of my problems in relation to your perfect little world.

I know that it makes for a good conversation starter.. but I am not living anywhere permanently, and I am not employed. Truth be told, I am wandering through this world relying on dope to keep me numb, so that I do not have to feel any emotion whatsoever.

I don’t have time to explain to you “how it makes me feel when I do drugs” or “when I am going to get myself together”. I’m broken.

What I do need from you right now is to be shown some respect, even though I know you do not respect me at all in my current state of mind.. please.. be a good sport and pretend.

I need to look around and see the faces of my family, enjoying their Christmas time together.. not blank faces and glares from those of you who think you are better than me because of the decisions that I made, and still make.

I’m probably not going to have much of an appetite, considering that my stomach is filled with anxiety and I don’t really eat much these days.

Please don’t insist on loading my plate with all the things you want me to try, I am not going to eat the things I know that I like, much less something that you are forcing me to take.

Let’s all sit down and just be family. Just be here, together.. laughing and cutting up about old memories, and let’s pass around all the new babies.

Don’t pull me to the side with the “Can I talk to you for a minute” scene.. and take me outside to tell me how I need to do this or that. You don’t know what I need. I’m not me.

When it’s time to pass out presents, don’t make excuses of why you would have got me this or that.. but… Listen carefully, I do not want gifts from anyone in this room. That is not why I am here.

The greatest gift that you can give to me right now is a taste of normality.
Look at me and talk to me like I never fell off the wagon.. like I am not a junkie.
Let me remember what it was like to be me. Before my demons drug me into the life I live now.
If only for a moment, let’s pretend that I am me again.
Let’s act like I can look you in your eyes with confidence while we carry on a random conversation about the news, or sports, or the weather.

I need to find me.
I am so lost.

Please don’t bring up my past, or the life that I lived before.
Do not ask me when I am getting my children back from CPS.

Befriending me in order to get me to open up to you about my life and then using my words against me later on will cut me to the core. Let’s avoid that at all costs.

Please do try to include me in things.. Invite me outside to play tag football with the rest of our cousins. I am an addict, not a stranger to our family traditions after Christmas dinner.

And last, but not least.. don’t feel sorry for me.
I am grown.
These are my choices, and my consequences.
And I live with them every single day.

But today.. I want to feel normal again.
If only just for the afternoon.

Even though you don’t understand…
Help me remember what it’s like to be me again.

And if you happen to be present in one of the emotionally frail moments and breakdowns that I am bound to have happen sooner or later, the longer I am here.. Just sit here in the silence with me. Don’t ask what’s wrong. I’m not sure.

Maybe I just miss me a little more today.
And maybe tomorrow I will keep one of those promises that I make to myself every day when I try to get clean and stop using.

But just for today….
Leave your panoply of  judgments, questions, and whispers in your car when you walk in and see the chair that has been reserved for me for all these years that has sat empty is occupied today.

I am here.
That’s all I need for now.
Love,
The Still Suffering Addict

My friend: Danielle R. Gilliam, we will get through this.

Christmas & Addiction

With some awareness and understanding, Christmas might be great again.

I love Christmas, it’s truly magical to me, in my mind.  Since being an addict for over 20 years, most of my fantastic Christmas’ have been fantasies in my mind.  The truth of Christmas for me always ends up the same.  I was clean last year and have had 4 or 5 clean Christmas’ during my 20 year run with opiates.  The crazy thing is it doesn’t matter, at least not yet, if I am clean or not.  Christmas always ends up making me feel like a subhuman.

These are some ways that Christmas would be easier for me, and this is using or not.  If your loved one is actively using or even new to recovery, they may not have something nice to wear to the get together you want them to attend.  A week or two before the event if you know they don’t have anything to wear, take a bag of hand me downs over and tell them so and so was cleaning out their closet.  Don’t mention they can wear any of it to Christmas, they will figure it out.

As a kid, we craved the approval of our parents. As we mature, very little changes in our need for approval (often beyond just our parents). So if you are the parent, family member or friend of someone struggling with addiction, do your best to let them know that they are cherished and valued. This underlying message opens the doors of communication and brings them that much more likely to confide in you when they are ready for help or just for an ear while they are on their recovery path.  If I ever look into my mother’s eyes and see something other than disappointment, it will be the happiest day of my life.

For the person abusing substances, as well as for family and friends, gifting can be tough. Before exchanging elaborate holiday wish lists, consider trading in material objects for “healing gifts.” This can relieve tremendous pressure that may be placed on addicts who are often just getting back on their feet financially and can’t afford to purchase presents. So you can do like letter writing to each other instead of gift exchanges.  Something where the addict can express their feelings and give a gift without it costing money.

You will be surprised at what a difference even a minor attitude change can make in behavior. Your loved one is likely under a lot of stress just keeping up with the rest of family or friends and staying in high spirits, so remind them of a phrase that’s said a lot in recovery: “It’s progress, not perfection.” It’s a valuable reminder for them to continue moving forward like they say one day at a time and, though it might not always feel like it, a holiday is just another day like any other in the broad scope of one’s sobriety journey.  If the person is still using and they show up to the holiday events that could be a big step in the right direction but make sure that no one yells out OH LOOK WHO GRACED US WITH THEIR PRESENCE, stuff that seems very simple but is huge to an addict.  Just writing this has got me in tears.

Don’t Hover:  Have the strength to let your loved one feel safe, even if it means giving up some control.  If they need to skip out on the customary touch-football game to go to a meeting or meet up with recovery friends, you should give them room to do that and permit their absence at this event. No accusations, no judgments. Period.

With some awareness and understanding, Christmas might be great again.

JoJo Tears Up Over Late Father’s Addiction Battle: It ‘Broke’ My Family — But ‘I Just Couldn’t Give Up on Him’

“I knew my dad was struggling with narcotics when I was 11, 12,” the singer, 25, said in the moving clip, in which she reveals her father had to quit working and go on unemployment after becoming disabled

JoJo is sharing her family’s harrowing battle with addiction in hopes her story will save others from the same heartbreak.

The “F— Apologies” singer — who released her new triumphant new album Mad Love. last month — is participating in Vevo’s “Why I Vote” video series, in which celebrities including Kesha, John Legend and Andra Day discuss issues that have affected them personally and how seeking reform is driving them to the polls next Tuesday.

“I knew my dad was struggling with narcotics when I was 11, 12,” the singer, 25, said in the moving clip, in which she reveals her father had to quit working and go on unemployment after becoming disabled when she was a child. “After he stopped working is when he really got into narcotics. I never knew why he was out of it or why he would fall asleep at the wheel or why he would slur his words. I didn’t understand that, and my mom kept that from me because she didn’t want to upset me and she didn’t want me to look at him in a certain way, and I really respect that.”

JoJo has talked about her parents’ struggle with addiction over the past year, recently opening up to PEOPLE about her own drinking problem.
JOJO SPEAKS ABOUT HER DAD DYING OF ADDICTION
In the clip, she said her father’s dependency on narcotics put a strain on their relationship, and they were even estranged for times.

“I got a call when I was in L.A. that my dad had overdosed for the…I don’t know what number time it was and that he wasn’t gonna make it,” JoJo said, recalling a relapse in recent years that led to her to return to her native New Hampshire to visit him in the hospital.

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“He was hooked up to a bunch of machines, and he had fallen, and he was out of it; he didn’t know what was going on,” she said, getting emotional and tearing up in the clip. “Me and my aunts had discussed what we were gonna do this time: We were gonna practice tough love, and we were gonna cut him off because it was too much for us as a family to keep going through. But I looked at him and saw him hooked up to these machines, and I just couldn’t give up on him…that’s my one dad. I just couldn’t do it. In that moment, I felt, who am I to give up on you. I just decided that I was gonna love him, and I’m really glad I did.”

I missed you even while you were here. I will miss you infinitely more now that you’re gone. Thank you for holding on as long as you did. I know you tried your best. You are free now. I will love you always, Dad. I can feel you with me. Rest now. In PEACE. I miss your voice. I wish more people could have heard it. I promise I will keep singing for you. Joel
A year ago, JoJo announced that her father had succumbed to his demons and died at the age of 60, and today she’s speaking out to call for reform in how people struggling with addiction and drug abuse handled.

“I don’t feel that he had the resources or the tools available to him to help himself. I don’t want other families to be broken up and have their lives ruined as a result of addiction,” she added. “I really, really do think that there are ways to help. Throwing an addict in jail is not doing anything to help the problem…We’re wasting our money, we’re misusing our resources, and I think we’re hurting ourselves. It’s important to elect politicians who will make a difference with drug abuse and addiction because it’s affecting all of us.”

The singer added: “It’s hard, I guess, to have sympathy for a lot of drug addicts because we think that it’s their fault or they asked for it or something, but you do not ask to have your life shaken up that way and to have everything taken from you. That’s what addiction does: It strips everything from you…

“I see the way I lost my own father to addiction—and it makes me sad that people feel so distraught that they risk it all and end up losing everything.”

 

 

BY @NELSON_JEFF

http://people.com/music/jojo-why-i-vote-video-dads-addiction-broke-family/

What it Was Like Then, and What It’s Like Now

After my rehab stay I moved back home. My mom was very skeptical of me living in the house because my teenage years were a disaster. I assured her that no matter what, I will not use, steal or lie to her. She slowly began to trust me again, which I never thought possible.

Today’s guest blogger, Benny Emerling, got sober at 19. It’s valuable for parents and professionals to have this perspective in mind when working with young people. MWM

As a young kid, I always felt like everyone around me was given a golden textbook on life. Mine must have gotten lost in the mail. I was different, but not an outcast, in fact. quite the opposite. I had many friends, a loving family and a decently smart head on my shoulders. However, my idea of fun was different from most of my peers. Misbehaving, stealing and bullying were some of my favorite activities. I was always a happy jokester and had a smile on my face the majority of the time.

Having three older sisters and a younger brother, it was easy to slip through the cracks and get away with murder. In middle school, my behavior got worse and worse. I grew up in a primarily Jewish area, so when I was in seventh grade every weekend we had a bar or bat mitzvah party to go to. Virtually, every weekend there was a different elaborate party to go to. After a couple, I noticed the adults at the parties drinking. Curiosity grew inside me, it looked awesome. It was not long before I tried drinking.

I was 13, one of my friends at the time made me a delicious alcoholic beverage. By delicious, I mean repulsive, it was a combination of anything he could grab off the adult tables. This included wine, beer, a shot and a mixed drink. It was the most disgusting beverage I had ever had but at the same time the best. I felt the buzz of alcohol for the first time in my life and I was instantly ready for more.

Drinking at these parties became the norm for me and a couple of friends. Weirdly enough, none of us ever got caught. Then the summer hit, growing up every year I went to sleep away camp in Northern Michigan. And this year at summer camp was monumental, one of my cabin mates brought weed to camp with him and I smoke it for the first time. Drinking was a blast, but weed was a different type of fun. I finally found the missing piece to my life, and it was drugs. After my first experience getting high, I never wanted to be sober.

I became a huge pothead by ninth grade. I had drug hookups because my sister was older, and I was friends with kids who sold pot, among other drugs. Smoking weed became an everyday habit before school, at lunch, sometimes between classes, and always after school. Weed took over my life. I quit all after school activities I once did because it got in the way of me smoking weed.

Smoking weed is an expensive habit, so how could I afford it? I stole, manipulated, worked little jobs and sold drugs.

My first job was at an elite men’s fashion store that sold thousand dollar suits and top of the line shoes. I couldn’t stop smoke weed and I dabbled a little with taking prescription pills. I didn’t want to get fired, especially because of speculation about me being high at work was on the rise. I came up with what I thought was a brilliant lie: I told my boss who knew my stepmom that I was allergic to wool and that was why my eyes were constantly bloodshot.

I didn’t last long at this job, to say the least. I picked up a caddying job that summer, but no money compared to selling pills. So after a couple of months I made my money exclusively selling prescription pills and little amounts of weed. My supplier? My family. Members of family were prescribed prescription pills for medical reasons. I looked at these pills as dollar signs. My family gained suspicion. They knew I didn’t have a job, but they also knew I had a lot of money. Oh yeah, and all of the pills in the house were missing.

It didn’t take long for my parents to catch me red-handed. I was forced to take my first drug test, which I failed miserably.

It was then my parents started looking up local rehabilitation centers. When I was 16, I was put into my first outpatient treatment center. I was told I had to stay sober and there would be drug tests once a week. I tried to stay clean for about a month and decided it wasn’t for me.

My high school career could be summed up pretty easily, I got high and partied, then ended up in outpatient treatment. Maintained decent grades and did what I wanted, when I wanted—I thought it was the greatest time of my life. However, I knew the best years were still to come…college.

I chose to go to the biggest party college I got accepted to. The first couple of weeks were exactly how I wanted them to be. Huge parties every day, drugs whenever I wanted, and unlimited freedom to do whatever I wanted, without any consequences.Or so I thought…

The fun lasted about two months then I hit what most people would consider a bottom. I didn’t sleep, eat, go to class, and barely left my dorm room for five consecutive days. I ended up going insane from all of the Adderall I took, and it wasn’t long before I overdosed and ended up in the psych-ward.

By this time I hadn’t talked to my families in over a month, and everyone assumed I was either dead or in jail. My close friends stopped calling me because I betrayed all of them in one way or another and I was basically alone, miserable and physically and mentally broken.

I remember the exact moment when I realized I needed help and that I needed to get sober.

I was sitting in the psych-ward, I hadn’t slept for two days straight, and then I looked in the mirror. I was 40 pounds underweight, my eyes were sunk into my face and my body was bruised up from trying escape the hospital. At that very moment, I made the decision to get sober.

What’s It Like Now?

This was over six years ago. I was 19 when I admitted myself into treatment. I thought my rehab stay was only going to be three months, but I ended up needing a nine month stay. Rehab was great because I learned how to be a human again. I learned how to maintain relationships, grocery shop and take care of myself. I was taken to AA meetings and I actually learned from them and received hope from them.

I finally started feeling good for the first time in over six years.

After my rehab stay I moved back home. My mom was very skeptical of me living in the house because my teenage years were a disaster. I assured her that no matter what, I will not use, steal or lie to her. She slowly began to trust me again, which I never thought possible. I started paying back the people I owed money to, and I kept up with AA meetings. It didn’t take long before I found a friend group, all young, sober adults.

I realized the more meetings I went to, the more I hung out with my sober friends and the more time I spent helping others, the less I obsessed about myself or getting high. It was an incredible realization, for over five years, every waking moment I thought about my next fix and how I was going to achieve it. But after I came to terms with the fact that I will never be able to use like a normal person, my life was shot into what I call the fourth-dimension.

I got sober when I was 19, I am currently 25 years-old and couldn’t be in a better place.

The disease of addiction took me to the darkest world imaginable, but at the same time blessed me with an amazing one at the same time. Suffering from addiction has made me a better person. I wake up every day knowing that as long as I stay sober, I can accomplish anything.

Guest blog posts are welcome additions to the content on this website. Guest blog posts represent the views, opinions and experiences of the author and do not necessarily represent Our Young Addicts. Together, we provide parents and professionals with a variety of perspectives and information.

©2016 Our Young Addicts All Rights Reserved.

https://ouryoungaddicts.com/2016/11/03/what-it-was-like-then-and-what-its-like-now/

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Newall: Twitter’s ‘bro dude’ becomes another heroin casualty

0ofrpnal

Annie and Bob Reynolds are seen next to a family photo of them and their children Tom and Molly took a year earlier in the same spot in the backyard of their Flourtown home. Tom, 27, died from a heroin overdose in September.

Her thoughts have been so jumbled since Tom died. So shaky. It’s the little things that give her the most trouble. Like earlier Thursday at the Flourtown Farmers Market. She needed sandwiches for the guests that would be attending her son’s memorial Sunday. But at the counter, her mind went blank.

“I need help,” Annie Reynolds told the clerk. “I can’t even think straight.”

She is angry. She knows it’s irrational, but she’s angry at Tom. She’s angry that she and Bob couldn’t save him. She’s angry at the dealer who sold him the heroin, whoever that might be.

She’s angry about what Tom had told her that Sunday before he died. That he often had heroin delivered to his apartment, right there across from Bredenbeck’s Bakery in Chestnut Hill. That he could just call. It was that easy.

She sat down Thursday at her dining room table filled with photos and condolence cards. It had been nearly six weeks since Tom died from a heroin overdose in the bathroom of the Trolley Car Diner on Germantown Avenue. He was 27.

Annie Reynolds had wanted to talk to me about her son. Then, she didn’t. Then, she woke up one-morning last week feeling she had to talk about his death for what it was: another casualty of heroin’s insidious reach. Maybe that could bring some small dose of healing. Help her think straight. Help some other family.

“It’s not out there anymore,” she said of the heroin and opioid crisis tearing away at the small towns and suburbs across the nation. “It’s here and it has hit us really hard. By ‘us,’ I mean the community.”

Tom was the second member of the 2008 graduating class of Springfield Township High lost in the last 14 months from an overdose. A classmate died last summer. Fentanyl-laced heroin, same as Tom. Annie and the man’s mother now talk – about the four more young people they know from that class battling heroin. A girl in town who was the same age as their sons and recently Oded.

Annie, a retired Catholic school librarian, picked up a stack of photos from the table. “Scanned and ordered,” read a post-it. Molly Reynolds, who is 25, had meticulously organized the photos for a video for her older brother’s memorial.

“No one could make her laugh like him,” Annie said, showing a photo of Molly near tears from one of Tom’s jokes. He made so many laughs.

It was only weeks before Tom’s death that Annie learned about Tom’s devout Twitter audience of nearly 8,000 followers. Bob had tried to keep it from her; it could get raunchy.

A lot has been written about Tom’s Twitter account, @tombrodude. It was delightfully weird and absurdist, sometimes cutting and very often very raw. It was undeniably hilarious. Much of it was far better suited for Twitter than a Sunday newspaper, but it was undercut with sincerity and sweetness and vulnerability.

(“You know what today is. that’s right its Monday baby!,” his final tweet read, written hours before his death, on a Saturday. “let’s get out there and work our hardest and the weekend will be here before we know it.”)

He tweeted about his addiction. His openness made a lot of people who never met him love him. Now they mourn him. A “Tom Bro Dude Memorial Twitter Meet-Up” is scheduled for Saturday at Lucky Strike in Center City.

Those parallel rails of grief – between those who knew him in person and those who knew him online – shows how it is with heroin now. It could be the guy you love on Twitter. The guy who lives above a bakery and makes his sister laugh, who was raking leaves with his father at his church the day he died.

After leaving his father, he met a dealer near the World War I Memorial on Mermaid Lane. Tom rode his bike the few blocks to the Trolley Car and walked the winding hallway to the bathroom, past the old-timey trolley photos and the Cat on the Tin Roof poster to a corner stall. His heart gave out. A cook found him.

At the table Thursday, Annie’s braced herself for her son’s memorial. For what she might say. Maybe a Shel Silverstein poem, she said. Something funny and pithy and intelligent. Like, Tom.

Then, she went back to preparing for the guests who were coming to help her bury her son. Tried to make her way through the little things.

Just Your Average Junkie

I have an issue I need to address,
I learned I need to let shit out,
And get it off my chest.
I use to write,
Before my soul was lost.
I was going to use,
No matter the cost.
You spit out the word junkie,
As if you understand,
What it is like to be someone like me.
The predicament lies in my heart,
This is what broke me.
My mind, and my strength,
Is what built me up and set me free.
Say what you will,
To me your opinion is oblique.
I am something you will never be,
Strong, intellectual and unique.
Yes I am the one who took that pill,
Put my family through hell.
Dusted myself off,
And climbed back up the hill.
You will never understand why,
I feel the way I do.
Because you will never have the ability,
To put even one foot in my shoe.
Try all you will I guarantee,
It would never fit.
Don’t even pull up a chair,
I wouldn’t allow you to sit.
Let me explain this in a way,
Even the ignorant can understand.
Us junkies should be dead,
But we recovered,
Pull out of the shadows instead.
Could you use and recover the same,
No you speak your opinions,
Lips moving too fast to include your brain.
So take your uneducated guess,
Use your words and try to put me down,
Go ahead try and give it your best.
The fact of the matter is,
You admire my strength,
My undoubtable will to live.
I know this is something,
You will never admit.
When you see my walk by,
And not notice you at all.
When you dial my number,
And I hit ignore the call.
It’s because your opinions disunite.
It is our recovery you fear deep within,
You fear our feat while battle,
We will win the fight.
We know who you are,
You are the ones who,
Let us lay where we fell.
Oh wait I forgot we are junkies,
We know nothing at all.
Accept for the wisdom to realize,
Your words hold no potency,
You will never be able to break us,
Don’t waste time trying so hopelessly.
Sit back and judge,
A disease you could never understand.
Wonder what is that thing she wears,
On her wrist as a band?
Your heart is as weak as your mind,
Clouded with judgement,
As heavy as my bag of black sand.
It is the person you call junkie,
Who is impassioned beyond comprehension .
For he is the one,
Who bares sentiment,
Inability to cope the with the heartache,
Of those who agonize and suffer.
So he crawled in the shadows,
In a attempt to hide from the pain.
For this was his only release,
His reasonability to feel less insane.
While you stared in the mirror,
Admiring your glowing skin.
Unaware that beauty,
Can only be found deep within.
Fear not for we can’t change the past,
Fear our beginning of vitality,
Fear our indignation as we recover,
For this is the memory we intend to discover.
William Borroughs, Hunter Thompson,
Aspired intellectual literature,
You can’t begin to comprehend.
But I bet you read Stephen King,
One of the deepest story tellers,
Most imaginative process among us all.
Did you know he used cocaine,
To write his book The Observer?
But he used he is a junkie,
Yet he still writes and stands tall.
Make sure when you use that word,
Not to forget and include us all!
It is your loss you lack empathy,
And the ability to feel this deeply.
We were left hopeless,
And used drugs to escape a unsurpassable pain.
Let me try my best,
Open your thought process as I explain.
It is our hearts that could not deal,
With what our brain intended to heal,
Help us process the mechanisms,
The tools and ability to learn to feel.
I can’t help but to wonder,
What would have happened if you,
If you lent out your hand?
Lifted up a lost soul,
Sinking heavily in the sand?
Would they have picked up that needle,
Would they have smoked that bowl?
You did not even try,
We will now never know.
It is my belief where we are now,
Is just one capacious test.
You allowing cajolement,
Only hinders you from being,
One of us one of the best.
As you compile us all into your bias,
Junkies united we stand.
Don’t forget to include those authors,
You keep on your night stand.
It is that literature you place out,
Hoping company will see.
So you have something to open up,
And talk with them about.
If you put it there maybe they will,
Now form a opinion,
Not based on actual intellect no doubt.
Be careful who you judge,
Watch the words you speak.
It takes people in recovery,
To build up our most weak.
It takes the person once a junkie,
That turned me into what you see.
I hope you now understand,
And I tried my best to explain this,
To the confused at length.
We are who we are,
Our past gave us strength.
You see I was once like you,
Long before I was a junkie.
Using words for weapons,
Lacking the ability to empathize what,
thought I knew and refused to see.
Please Interpret this one thought,
I bring you from our native land.
I guarantee it is us junkies who will be here,
When you fall and need a helping hand.
When all hope is lost,
And you feel all alone.
Your fellow junkie,
Will make sure you find home.
Sincerely,
The Junkie

Norma Jean Garbarek-Flowers