Sometimes, it is less difficult to connect the dots to the actions we must take, as to not offend, someone. As it does to, offend. I believe it is a personal mythical goal of mine, to upset as many persons, as possible, before my time is through. Either here on earth, or down in the, oh, so wonderful, balmy, weather, of hell.
At first, my inclination, with Obamacare, would take aim, with pen and paper and keyboard, at, republican woman. I wanted to know such things as:
Don’t we share the same reproductive organs?
Is it okay for Sally to give birth to a child at the age of 12? That is, knowing that, Sally had been raped by her father. Her father, who is a well known, crack addict and I.V., drug user?
Should I, and many female artists I know, not be paid the same wage for the same job?
Should I have to worry, along with finances, heat, food on the table and taking care of my disabled spouse, about medical benefits, that are due to my wife?
What gives? I paid into the system for over 35 years. Social Security is not a privilege! It’s my money! Isn’t it?
After much consideration,
I decided that narrowing my editorial to just ‘evangelic, over zealous, white, upper middle class, women, would be an injustice.
Is Obamacare flawed?
Yes, indeed. As is most, historical, unprecedented, government outreaches, are! Should we attempt to fix an ailing but still quite, prolific, an workable, united health care system?
Shit, yes, we should.
Without much thought, I can count on at least one hand, families, that have benefited from a Universal Health care. Families that were given the shit end of the shitty stick, just by being born. Couples, individuals, and alike, who by simple proxy and alignment of the stars, have yet to pass GO and collect $200.
This is neither their fault, nor the fault of their up bringing. They live in houses where heat is purchased at the local convenience store, at $10, at shot. They cloth their children with other’s passed by clothing. They sell family heirlooms, collectibles, and what not, to get thru winter. Only to see that the beat up old Cavalier will not pass inspection in the spring.
Okay, JEB, Mr. Chris (I need a diet) Christie and/or the a sundry of other republicans, what do you purpose we do? Take that cancer treatment away? Cancer treatment that a friend needed but most likely would have not received. Had it not been for mandated health care.
These are obvious flaws in the republican’s attempt at making nice nice with those who HAVE! Honestly, they could care less about the have not’s!
So, I will attempt to spin this another way:
Coming up on Groundhog Day, 2016, I hope to have achieved something, my mother never thought possible. I will, with the grace of a Higher Power, have 15 years of sobriety.
To put it bluntly,
“I woke up one day. Saw my fucked up looking shadow…and, knew, I needed to quit drinking!”
We are in the midst of not only an epidemic of violence that far out reaches anything I witnessed as a child in the 70’s. We are also, knee deep and in the thick of it, becoming a nation dependent on Heroin.
Back in the day, you could check in and promise to…pay it forward or pay it back, bit by bit, at rehabs. That is before, rehabs became the trending topic of conversation.
It should also be noted, that when attending meetings, N.A. and/or A.A., it is typical to see, a housewife, a business person, a public official, etc.
I’m not great at math. That is why I went into writing and psychology. But, with that said; how the hell do we take care of the growing number of addicts? Who pays for their room and board? Rehab and mental health counseling does not grow on trees. And, even if it did, someone would have to pay for those trees!
It is obvious that to combat the on going crisis of addiction in this country, we must provide, healthcare coverage. It is also evident that the way to stop addiction is by education. I do not see removal of a Universal Healthcare coverage…as alleviating that issue.
“My insurance will pay my primary care doctor more for a 10-minute appointment for the flu than it will allow my psychiatrist for an hour-long treatment session. For this reason, my own psychiatrist, along with many others, no longer accepts insurance.”
This kind of situation should be rectified. Not eliminated altogether. In America, these days, it seems we provide the race, give you the sneakers in which to run in, but if you aren’t pass the halfway mark in record time…you become, eliminated. In more ways than one.
“Convinced I never could belong, and vowing I’d never settle for any second-rate status. I felt I simply had to dominate in everything.
Work or play…As this attractive formula for the good life began to succeed, according to my then specifications of success, I became deliriously happy.
But when an undertaking occasionally did fail, I was filled with resentment and depression that could be cured only by the next triumph. Very early, therefore, I came to value everything in terms of ‘victory or defeat…’ ‘all or nothing.’ The only satisfaction I knew was to win.
Only through utter defeat are we able to take our first steps toward liberation and strength. Our admissions or personal powerlessness finally turn out to be firm bedrock upon which happy and purposeful lives may be built.”
Many people do not realize that Bill Wilson had been a practicing Buddhist. That many philosophies commonly thought of as the foundation of Alcoholics Anonymous…are actually snippets of Buddhism.
I had a sponsor…Most likely, my fifth! Seemingly, it was difficult for me to get my shit together. And, I used every excuse in the book…to avoid being sponsored by someone. Taken under a wing and told what to do.
That is until I met Allen. He had been a combat vet. A was a quadriplegic and…importantly, he was wise beyond my years.
His most prophetic words to me?
‘Love, God and Money…will be your top temptations. Always be weary of them…’
Somehow,recently, caught in the events of life, for life does not get better when you are clean, you are supposed to get better…I guess that is generally, how it is supposed to work. Torn between the need to care for my aging parents, upcoming disabling surgery, my spouse dealing with her own demons…etc,etc.
Amongst all of this, I forgot Allan’s Golden Rule.
When, as an addict, in the midst of the chaos it derives, I made money, I had toys, I for all intensive purposes…had it all.
Yet, I could not love. I didn’t believe in people. I did not trust. I had been a product of wrong doings done to me and therefore, I turned them out and set them upon others.
In recovery, with a few years behind my medallions, I trained myself, as a practicing Buddhist, to love everyone. To let those around me, those who meant the most to me, just how I felt.
Long story…short, this, ideology, bit me in the ass…the other day.
Honesty? Is it the best policy?
Cutting myself some slack, I do have a poet’s heart. I do tend to give all to a relationship. I do not collect friends with a cyberspace thumb’s up. I have a handful or a bit more, of persons I deem able to handle…my spoken words.
I will not give away names. I will not offer examples. I will say this,
I drank at the ripe old age of 8. I became a steady drinker at the even ripper age of 10. I smoked pot, dropped acid, snorted, popped and whatever else…on a regular basis, by the age of 15.
It took me years to build my empire. A house, the kids, the dogs, the money, the toys…
It took little time to tear it down.
As I took my ‘Zen’ walk this late morning. Beautiful, out of the ordinary day, in New Hampshire. Warm enough to make you smile. Brisk enough to make for less toil. Quiet enough to focus on…
What had been my part?
What could I have done differently?
Why is it we speak of love in our hearts like a song we cannot quite recall?
I suppose for my part…I am too much for some people. I get it. My mother told me that years ago…but I had been to drunk to listen.
As for the last to questions?
Well, I do not know if it had been the day. The beauty. The alignment of the clouds. I really do not think I am supposed to know how I get inspired…honestly.
But I did come up with this…
Of course, I will open my heart again. I will have a new guarded perception walk. Walking with purpose and love….I will, however, carry a bigger stick!
Always, always, fear the underdog. We are everywhere!
She always told her story the hard way. Honest, sincere and frighteningly without complications. She did not intend to dazzle with blurred lines of truth doused in fantasy.
I had heard her before. When you kick around the halls of A.A. long enough…you’ve heard it all…at least once or twice. Fortunately, I can make an astounding lemon square. And, just as lucky, She, had come ’round for the ‘famous lemon square’ during a smoke break at the Think Big, Big Book meeting on Thursday afternoons. If it had not been for this strange, brief and unlikely pairing of; addiction, sugar and smoke…most likely our paths would never have crossed.
“For years, I had thought to write a self help book, Learning to Jump – the Hard Way. Course, that had been awhile after I had planned on ‘jumping to meet God.’
It is difficult at best…stuck between the well worn and germ laden pages of a 12 step book, to find what recovery is or what damage it could do to your current state of addiction. That kind of limbo stage where you aware enough to witness the carnage of your addiction. As the last drop of drug leaves your body. As the smoke clears and the real shakes begin…that gallon a day habit of Bacardi just does not seem like something ‘normal earth people’…do! Yet, you are still unwilling to give up the ghost. For the ghost has convinced you…that he is your friend and you are nothing without him.
She had that look. She had that stature. She had hidden herself in the back of the Bingo/Bible study church basement room. In the very last iron rod upright steel seat of torture. The very last piece of shag carpeting before the restroom door. The last stop you can take without truly saying, Hi, I am So and So, and I am an alcoholic.
“Why did I want to jump? I had spent many years being rearranged ’til the ‘Voices That Be’ felt I was sane. I sat in staff timeouts…days, upon, days, face in to a corner of a room made of bleached concrete. One time…a whole week in a chair not unlike the ones here. Only being allowed to use the bathroom and eat. I slept in those corners. Left alone with my delusions. Left alone by my caregivers turned caretakers. Why? Because I had thrown my retainer in the trash by accident….The staff deemed me, inappropriate. Therefore, I sat with no human interaction what so ever!”
The newcomer to the ‘program’ is not hard to spot. Even if they are sitting up front and attentively listening. These poor addicts have the look. A look that avoids any form of communication. The newcomer will look up, look down and look around. They will not look you in the eye. This look is caused by years of lying, philandering and pillaging those they love. She had this look, as well as, a smile that was unintended. A flat affect…as those in the mental health profession would call it. She also could not have been more than a hundred pounds soaking wet.
“I have been institutionalized at the time of the jump. Course, my home had been state institutions…I had been a problem child. Funny…it wasn’t the first time I planned on jumping. One time when home on holiday…at the age of eight…I managed to take a whole bottle of vitamins and walk myself down to the Queen Street Bridge. I wanted to find out why God hated me so much. Why I got picked on. Why my parents were afraid of me. Being so young, I didn’t think of it as suicide. I thought of it as….looking for help. Again, as always, I didn’t jump. A neighbor drove by…saw me and asked me if I had been lost…Shit happens. I knew my time would come eventually.”
She had away of laughing at her own ‘self made’ jokes. She laughed so whole heartedly…that even if the joke wasn’t that funny…you laughed along with her.
“Not sure but I think I ran away from the Children in Crisis Center. That wasn’t too hard to do. Most of the time I think the burned out staff would have given me the keys…they disliked me so much. It’s hard to explain why I jumped off the bridge. How I landed on the highway…broken. Who I had planned on meeting on the way down…I guess it’s best explained simply…
‘Where are you God? Where are you when I need you? Everyone talks about you…but I never seem to get in touch with you!’
Still not sure why this tale means so much to me. Even 14 years later! But I know that it does. And, I know that it shapes the way I see pain in such a way…there need be no explanation.
“Hi, I’m Eileen, and I’m an alcoholic and addict. I guess I should have started with that first!”
She is the reason I am sober. She is the reason no matter the shit…I get off my occasional pity me pot and keep on truckin’.
TheCertifiablyTRUERavingsOfASectionedPhilosopher: Don't be afraid to think you might be a little 'crazy'. Who isn't? Check out some of my visualized poems here: https://www.instagram.com/maxismaddened/