Sunday, October 09, 2011

Don't Think Twice

I received a package in the mail yesterday.  It contained the final small amount of possessions that I had left in New York but it also helped bring closure and an understanding that I could not see until this evening.  I have been fighting through the pain I have been experiencing since the 14th of last month in the wrong way.  I last wrote out of sheer anger: at you, myself and my addiction.  Anger and rage have been defining me since I've returned and they have kept me strong in my fight, but they are not the weapons I need to truly win the battle taking place inside my head.  Allow me to share a story about a Zen master, a professor and a cup of tea...

The Zen master asked if the professor would like some tea. So as they were talking the master was filling the tea cup. Slowly the cup filled, overflowing onto the saucer, flowing across the table on onto the professor’s pants. The professor jumped up and yelled, "You fool, the cup is already too full!" The Zen master put the tea pot down and stated, "And you too professor are already too full. I cannot teach you about Zen until you empty yourself."

I am the professor.  My pants are wet.

For too long I have let hate, anger and fear define me.  They have kept me somewhat safe, but in the long run they have been slowly killing me; killing the man I am supposed to be.  It breaks my heart that I was too late to realize that I am the professor and you the Zen master.  You had been telling me for months what I needed to do in order to care for myself and to grow our love, I was just too blind to see it.  My cup was full, full of the erroneous behaviors and thought patterns I brought with me across the country and inflicted on you.

When I broke down you were there for me, but my blindness prevented you from continuing to do so.  The shame lies on my heart, not yours, for I was the fool.  I thought I knew everything, could handle anything and that you would put up with my unchecked illness no matter what.  How wrong I was, but this guilt does not belong on your heart, it belongs on mine.

I may have moved across the country to be with you, but you did everything in your power to make that transition as smooth as possible.  You forced me into counseling, cradled me like a baby when I was broken and eventually saved my life.  I could not be honest with you because I could not be honest with myself.  This is not an excuse, just an admission of fault.  I have begun to take a fearless moral inventory of the 26 years that I have been on this earth and I have begun to see the error of my ways.  I hope that someday you will forgive me, but I cannot lay blame on you if you do not.

I have slowly realized that I was unworthy of your love.  My cup was full and when you tried to pour your love and knowledge into me, it spilled over and was lost.  What a fool I was.  I was so blind, full of pride and brimming with anger that I was unable to concentrate on the person who loved me the most.  I failed to see the hurt I had been inflicting on you and I reaped what I had sown.

But there is a new seed, one you have unknowingly planted.  This seed has started to slowly sprout and now that the shoot has passed through the dirt, it breathes new air and sees a new light.  You had been trying to tell me for so long, I was just too deaf to hear.

I have come to understand that I must unlearn and make amends for my sins, for they are great and weigh down my soul.  I cannot fight my illness and my addiction with anger and it is far from fair to direct that anger at you.  I thought I could rest my hat on anger at the way you left me, but I have finally realized why you did it in the manner that you did.  I was too deaf, blind and dumb to comprehend the message you had been trying to send me for so long.  When you sent your final goodbye it crushed me like I have never been before, but it planted a seed even I was unaware of until this evening.

Slowly but surely my eyes have been opening and I am seeing the light you had been trying so damn hard to shine on me, unfortunately too late to save the greatest love of my life.  I can honestly say that now I understand what you had been trying to tell me for so long.  There is only one way to fight this battle against my own mind: peace, serenity, sobriety and hard work.  Rage, anger and spite will only lead me back to my old ways and if I follow that path again I will ruin the new love I hope to gain someday in the future.  You gave me one final gift, the gift of intervention.  For that I will always love you.  You saved my life and motivated me to get myself together so that I do not destroy my it again.  I am sorry beyond words for the pain I caused you and the time that I wasted, for I know I did both.

I am a fool no longer.  I must fight my battle on my own, with new weapons by my side.  Peace.  Calm.  Levelheadedness.  Sobriety.  Honestly.  Serenity.  I have laid down my battle worn weapons of anger, hate, rage, spite, pride and fear.  I have done so because of you.  I have done so because I never wish to hurt another soul in the way I hurt you ever again.  This is the most humble moment of my life.  I caused all the pain we are both suffering now, and I understand if you cannot forgive me for that.  I must ask regardless of that fact.

I saved one thing that you went out of your way to get me, an autograph.  It reads, "To Patrick, You chose so well!  We missed you, Brian Williams," and it is pinned to the bulletin board above my desk.  I finally understand why I kept it and hung it up, he was right, I did choose well.  I chose someone who, even in departing, cared enough about me to send me the message I had refused to hear for so long...the message that has saved my life and is helping me grow.

So tonight I empty my cup of tea, I shed the armor I have been wearing for so long and I admit my sins.  There is no one to blame but myself.  But I must thank you for the fight you put into me, for today I am grateful for you.  We may never speak again, but I must tell you this as my departing words.  You gave me the gift of life and a second chance at making something of myself, something far greater than I have ever been before.  You have turned me into a warrior, a warrior for my sanity and my life, but not every warrior fights with weapons.  Strength and growth through peace.  Progress and victory through hard work.  Love and understanding through honesty.   

With that I will say my final goodbye.  I love you, not only the love I felt for you in the city, but the love I feel for you now as I realize the gift you have given me.  Life and rebirth.

I'll send you off with a song, and I'll pick Susan's version over Bob's because it just makes more sense and I finally understand its meaning.  I hope to speak to you again someday and I pray that you will find the happiness that I was never quite able to give you.  I will try my hardest to forgive myself for that and I hope with time you will do the same, but if that day never comes just know one thing: I love you and am eternally grateful for the gift you have given me, for without it I would surely have perished.

Goodbye my love,

Ain't no use to sit an wonder why, babe
If you don't know by now
Oh now ain't no use to sit and wonder why
It won't ever do somehow

Oh when your rooster crows at the break of dawn
Look out your window and know I'll be gone
Oh you're the reason I'm travelin on
Don't think twice, it's alright

There ain't no use in turnin on your light, babe
The light I've never known
Oh now it ain't no use in turnin on your light, babe
I'm on the dark side of the road

Oh now I'm thinkin and I'm wonderin, walkin down the road
Oh I once loved a man of child I am told
Oh I gave him my heart, but he wanted my soul
Don't think twice, it's alright

There ain't no use in callin out my name, boy
Like you never done before
Oh now ain't no use in callin out my name now
Cause i can't hear anymore

Oh I wish there was something you might do or say
Oh to try to make me change my mind and stay
Oh but we never did too much talkin anyways
Don't think twice, it's alright

So long, honey baby
Where I'm bound, I can't tell
Oh but good-bye is too good a word now
So I'll just say fare-thee-well

Oh now I ain't sayin that you treated me unkind
Ooh you coulda done better, but oh I don't mind
Oh you just kinda wasted all of my precious time
Don't think twice, it's alright

Oh you just kinda wasted all of my precious time
Don't think twice, it's alright

Don't Think Twice- Susan Tedeschi 

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