One step down the street, fast pace to a safe haven, I want home. My stride takes me to the room, where I find the seat I usually pick every time I go there. I come here when I don’t want to face the familiar crowd, when I want to remain sheltered in my own dimension, yet aware of what that dimension will do to me if I let loose in a moment of helplessness. I have come to find peace of mind. As I pick a chair, and listen carefully, I notice this man from the corner of my eye. He’s drunk. High. Wearing shades inside, stumbling and stomping, cursing under his breath. One part of me is afraid to watch what I know too well; the other part of me simply chooses to ignore. But I can’t. That man is sick. Blurred by his own insanity, thinking he can rummage through the peace and quiet of this room to make a point. Does he even know he’s drunk? Does he even know he’s lost?
The speaker keeps going, talking about his life. How can he stay so calm, while we all witness the distress of the drunken man?
The man brings me back to hell. To times where I thought I could make a point. Everything I’ve ever achieved was chaos. I lost my mind, wanted to end it all because I couldn’t cope with the pain anymore. This pain I can’t forget, can’t ignore, stays at bay and awaits to strike in a moment of weakness. I have to stay strong. Every day takes me away from that anguish. One drop of booze and I’m back to hell again.
Some member of the group decides to escort the drunken man out, because he’s being disruptive. I breathe of relief. Feeling it could have been me wearing the shades, drinking beer out of a Starbucks coffee cup, I pray in silence. No one knows what it feels like to ache unless he or she is one of us. The burning pain never dies. It sleeps at best. I feel like a watcher of the night, keeping myself safe from a possible relapse. My heart is light, yet heavy with memories of the bad old days. That scotch never tasted right. It only served one purpose: soothe my loneliness. In a world where I didn’t think I belonged, my mind took jumps that could have caused me to vanish forever.
I’m still here.
I turned my life around. I work every day to recognize the patterns that caused me to fail in the first place. Co-dependency, fear of loneliness, fear of living all together. I thought I needed someone else to survive. But how could I live without loving myself first?
Hate. Understanding. Acceptance. I’m in the process of learning about myself, and realize I have a good heart. That heart needs to be tamed though. I have the tendency to be too trusting, too obsessive, too impulsive. I must learn patience. Independence. Caution. Not everyone in this world is good. Not everyone in this world has my best interest at heart.
The drunken man reminded me of a puppet, not really in control of anything. I am not empty inside. Whatever comes, whatever goes, I must accept to surrender in order to go on my journey.
I’ve turned my tables and face the world with a bright mind. My success depends on my willfulness to remain on the path. As sad as I feel for this drunken man, I am relieved to know I’m not like him anymore.
And I will never be like him again.