Guest post

“It won’t happen to me”

or

Party animal

I live on a steel bunk in a warehouse. Everything I own in this world is in the footlocker beneath me. It ain’t much; a photo album, a stack of letters, a few books. I’ve been in prison 10 years this time. My release date is 2032. A few hazy, drug-soaked months of strip bars, casinos, and fast living cost me most of my adult life.

I run across old friends and associates from that era on the yard sometimes. They look bad — rotten teeth, track marks, gnawed nails on shaky hands. They give me news of other old friends who weren’t as lucky: overdoses, shootings, suicides. Occasionally I’ll recognize the names of women in the arrest report of my hometown newspaper. Those wide-eyed college girls who were just beginning to experiment with coke and ecstasy in 2003 are now haggard streetwalkers, hardened repeat-offender prostitutes.

This is the natural evolution of drug abuse. Cause and effect. I know you’re thinking it won’t happen to you. I thought I was an exception too. Believe me, no one plans on destroying their life and coming to prison. No little kid daydreams about growing up to rob gas stations for dope money, or getting doused with pepper spray and beaten half to death by abusive guards in a confinement cell, or dying alone in a motel room with a needle in his arm… We call getting high “partying” and like any party, there’s always a mess when the party is over. In fact, the bigger the party, the bigger the mess.

The irony is that the kids we label squares and lames and dorks because they refuse to party grow up to be the doctors who resuscitate us when we overdose, the psychologists who attempt to help us put our broken lives back together, the lawyers who represent us in court when we’re arrested, the judges who sentence us to prison, and the men who step into our families and become the fathers and husbands we failed at being.

So if you’re 15 (or 17 or 24) and you’re popping bars, snorting Roxys or dabbling in meth or molly or whatever, this is what middle-aged drug life looks like. Guaranteed. And if you think it won’t happen to you, we can talk more about it when you move into my dorm. The bunk behind mine is open right now. We’ll leave a light on for you. The one from the gun tower.

From a brother of a brother @ malcolmivey.com

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Never lost a thing

Most every time I’m with a group of sober people, someone talks about the things they lost because of their addiction. “I lost my kids, my spouse, job, my truck, my self-respect, etc., etc., etc. to my drug of choice.”

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Poor me, pour me

Really?

I gotta say that I agree with what an oldtimer used to say about that. He said “I never lost anything because of my drinking. I traded it all. Nothing was more important to me than that next drink, so when the disease demanded that I give away my family and my job, I agreed.”

“Give it away, give it away, give it away, now”

He said “I didn’t lose my wife, I knew right where she was- at my neighbors house! She left me because I wouldn’t stop drinking or acting a fool. I can’t blame her! I didn’t lose my house. It’s right where it’s always been. I didn’t lose my job, or my self-respect, or anything else.

I traded it. All.

I was such a willing slave to my addiction that I’d trade anything it demanded. My first and only concern was keeping the addiction satisfied, so when spouses, jobs, dignity, self-respect…got in the way of my addiction, I did whatever it took to keep reality from sneaking up on me.

Goods returned

As I began to get sober and worked (WORKED) on changing my perceptions, slowly these people and things were returned.

The choice is entirely up to you.

So, listen when you hear someone (or yourself) taking about how many things the addiction took from them, I hope you’ll remember this truth. We never lost or misplaced the things that make life sweet: we traded them for the drink or the drug.

I am in control of what I keep today, and I’m not willing to give the good life away.

Posted from my cabin in the mountains.

Why is this not a thing??!

Ok, so I was at the store getting some milk, and I noticed a man riding one of those electric scooters that stores sometimes provide for disabled folks.
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He cruised up to a display of wine bottles (yes, they were right by the milk. Isn’t that kinda weird?) and grabbed a couple. (I know because I heard the clinking when he put them in the basket. Don’t you judge me!)

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That’s when it hit me: why don’t LIQUOR STORES have those little electric scooters?? How fun would that be?!
They’d probably want a protective railing of some kind to protect the pretty glass bottles, but, just think of it!!
I mean, I always drove better than I walked, didn’t you?!

I wasn’t sure I should share this BRILLIANT idea with the interweb, cos you know, somebody will probably steal it. But then I figured, like so many of my other million-dollar ideas, some jerk logical thinker would shoot it down and make it look like a not-great idea. So, screw it. If you want to implement this STROKE OF FREAKIN GENIUS idea, just send me a picture of it, k? That would be thanks enough for me.
Oh, and you’re welcome.

Posted from my cabin in the mountains.