On Monday, I found out that a friend of mine from high school had overdosed on heroin. I had just talked to this woman two weeks ago. We talked about a variety of things. We talked about our kids and ancient memories that included me asking her out so long ago. It’s something that we laughed about and made light of. She didn’t seem lost and didn’t seem on the verge of leaving this rock. This week, I found out she did and it hit me like a bad of bricks to the side of the head. What happened to this single mother inside the past 14 days that made her dip so far into drugs and make a quick departure? Addictions are a serious and very deadly game to participate in, so the outcome here wasn’t surprising. It was the fact that I was friends with this person once, followed her on Facebook, talked with her and never once sensed a person dealing with addiction. It’s horrible and something you can’t blame yourself for but also find sitting up for hours wondering how it all went wrong.
The way humans are wired leaves us with these feelings. Whether we like it or not or even care to admit, our emotions play a heavy part in our everyday lives. It connects all the hours and minutes together. Sometimes, they get the best of us. Other times, they provide us with our best moments. We can’t escape feeling something for a person we barely know yet felt a connection long ago. I felt like an ally to this person recently and someone to talk to, but now that they are gone, I can’t help but wonder what addictions could befall my son Vin in the future.
When you have kids and wish to be a good parent, every waking second is attached to their well being. Party all night, sleep all day and dance the night away if you want. Your kid is waiting for you to come home and hang. I know this because I walk through the door in the morning after an overnight shift and see a pair of eyes focused on me. The Cardinals don’t wait for me. Movies don’t give me big hugs. My son Vincent does and it’s something I can’t live without. When a parent I know meets their end like this, it makes me reexamine myself and how I operate. When you become a parent, your life is dedicated to your child and you must set the right example and do the right thing. Sometimes, that shit is hard and bad things happen.
When my old friend passed away, I found myself thinking about my addictions. I have never done a single drug in my life. NEVER. I don’t have a drinking problem and I don’t abuse any brand of pain medication. I am clean and I can’t be more thankful for it. I can’t tell you how I made this happen or arrived at this current condition, but being raised right and seeing the possible outcomes via news reels and articles helped. I never wanted to do anything to truly hurt my body because ladies and gentlemen we only get one life, one body and one chance to do this right. It may feel like last week’s news but it’s true.
The minute I became a dad, my good life style with a little thrill went into lockdown mode. I knew I couldn’t put myself in danger because of the idea of leaving my kid without a father. That keeps me straight. My wife is amazing but my son keeps me going off the deep end at any possible moment. Vin keeps me in line.
I am glad my only addictions are COFFEE, WRITING, MOVIES and SPORTS. Clean habits that don’t threaten my body or soul. They are invigorating and drive me to better things. Without them, I would be lost and pretty low. With them, I lunge through life’s murky waters and find an inner peace. Give me a cup of joe, a laptop, and some movie to get lost in and I am happy as ever. No drugs or alcohol needed. I am not knocking the ones who use but I do ask the question. What pushes you to that breaking point when you have so much to live for?
I should make a correction. My biggest addiction is FAMILY. I would do anything for them, and that includes keeping my head up and my body clean. Forget the money, awards and gloss. I’ll take my family and be just fine.
Thanks for reading this particular heavy dose and have a good weekend.
One thought on “Clean Addictions”
Dream: This is an INCREDIBLE piece. You need to submit it to every magazine you can think of for publishing. I think you should also submit it to the Post Dispatch letters to the editor, West Magazine and any other periodical you can think of. Also, how about as a speaker at High Schools, Grade Schools and Colleges in the area. You have put in print the best hope parents have for keeping their kids out of trouble and on the right path.
Carlin. Dead but still able to appreciate brilliance