Monday, November 21, 2011

It's In The Pudding, Dumbass

"There is one thing more than anything else that will defeat us in our recovery; this is an attitude of indifference or intolerance toward spiritual principles."

This is a passage from one of the readings at the beginning of every Narcotics Anonymous meeting.  It is one I have been struggling with since I first entered (was forced into) the program.  More accurately it is something I have been struggling with since I became old enough to think for myself.  I have always believed that there was something greater than myself working in this world, guiding me through this life...I just didn't know quite what.

I'll be completely honest when I say I still don't have a fucking clue.  They call it the "God of our understanding" at meetings, but my sponsor wisely calls it "the God of my misunderstanding."  I guess I am not so good at accepting things that I do not understand.  The trouble is that right now I am completely lost.  I have no idea what the hell I am supposed to be doing, let alone why I have to endure this heaviness in my chest.  I guess that is the definition of "the God of our misunderstanding," isn't it?

A friend suggested that I keep a "proof" list, a list of ways that I see something greater than myself working in this fucked up world.  I started last night with my writing about how her letter to me was a hell of a sign.  Tonight I want to document one more that has been on my mind a lot since I have returned to Wisconsin, you might even call it proof.

When I got back into town, completely heartbroken and defeated, I went back to work at the meatpacking plant that I worked at growing up.  Needless to say it was what you might call...well...fucking demoralizing.  Every time I was there I thought about her and how far I had fallen, for fuck's sake I was working here in high school!  Just a month ago I was making a good salary, living in Brooklyn and engaged to a beautiful and smart woman.  Look at where I am now...

I came in one Saturday and it was just me and my uncle (who owns the place).  We chatted for a few minutes before he asked me to pick up the garbage in the front lawn and cut the grass.  The first thought was, "fucking awesome, I won't have to work in the freezer," and I grabbed some imitation latex gloves and headed outside.

The thing about the plant is that it is located smack dab in the middle of the worst fucking neighborhood in Milwaukee.  I  headed outside and started picking up the ridiculous amount of trash in the front yard on that warm fall day.  I got about a quarter of the way before I bent down to pick up a coffee cup.  It was covered in dirt, obviously there for a long time, waterlogged to the point of near disintegration.

I bent down to pick it up, not paying attention as I reached my hand down for it.  As I lifted the cup up I noticed something sticking straight up at me from the grass, a hypodermic needle.  I felt the wind leave my lungs.  I sat down in the grass, completely terrified at how close I had come to Hep C or HIV or something fun like that.  What the fuck?  I just came an inch from getting stuck by an AIDS needle, that shit was just too much to handle.

I threw the needle out onto the street and cut the grass, angry music blasting in my ear-buds.  I didn't think much more about it, but for some reason it kept popping into my mind.

I went to a meeting that night at the psych facility in a posh little town by my parent's house and could not help but thinking about that brush with infectious disease on the way there.  I was clean for the first time in a long fucking while, thoughts seemed so...real.  Why did this encounter happen?  What did this mean?

I walked into that meeting and realized what it meant as soon as I planted my ass in the chair.  My addiction is always waiting in the grass, ready to prick me and send me down the same old path if I am not paying attention.  What else could I see that as but proof that something somewhere is trying to tell me something?  How naive could I be to think that was just a simple coincidence.

I don't believe in fucking coincidences.

I suppose this is another notch on my "proof" list.  Proof that something greater than me has a hand in my life, something my stupid ass addict brain cannot control.  Something I have to open my eyes to see.  Strange because for so long I didn't want to believe that something was taking place beyond my understanding.  Strange because it is something I have to take my fogged up glasses off to see.  Strange because now that I have them off, I see better than I ever have before.

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