I’d never been that high before and I wasn’t even high in a chemical sense of the word. No, this was all natural! I smiled, fond memories fed beautiful warm feelings of getting the ‘stonedest ever’ after just a few tokes with my best friend. What’d happened when getting high hadn’t felt so wrong?
In the here and now I was on to something profound, but who’d ever listen to a messed up drug addict? I knew I wouldn’t, not without wondering if I was nuts or just plain damaged. In order to to be heard with any degree of honesty, I knew I’d have to quit the drugs first to be heard. There was no use trying to be a rebel. That was the way it went pure and simple, but what if that didn’t work? They’d always have something to hold over me, wouldn’t they? Angry for being discounted for not playing the game by their rules, I wondered if they even deserved to know. I mean where were they when I needed them? Yet even now Elvis sang to me from the grave: ‘even though you hurt me like nobody else could ever do, I would never, ever hurt you….” Besides, the coward in me couldn’t believe I was even thinking of letting others know how messed up I was. Sometimes I wondered if it was worth being a hopeless romantic.
While it made sense to let others know and ‘add to the completeness of knowledge‘, I wasn’t ready for that kind of truth – especially with my so-called reputation hanging by a thread. I asked for an easier way then spat those vile and cowardly tasting words onto the ground almost as quickly as they were uttered. Repulsed to the core, the spittle glistened in the hot sun grabbing my attention. Faced with NA’s guilt of taking easy way out and the prospects of quitting drugs altogether, a chorus of voices screamed out in disagreement. I felt like Captain Picard as he was judged by Q and his minions. But this was real life not some TV show! Reality shook.
My mind swirled trying to comprehend new information. What if I didn’t quit, how much could I use? I didn’t want to depend on drugs my whole life and, given my failures in the willpower department, I couldn’t risk cutting down. Amazingly enough the only choice that made any sense was to carry on using. Quitting cold turkey would only add more straw to the camel’s already overburdened back. I certainly wouldn’t be able to handle the people. Apparently the only ‘sane’ choice was to carry on using and leaving the decision to quit to fate. It didn’t make sense according to NA philosophy but, then again, it was just another philosophy subject to evolution and reform like any other.
My shoulders shrugged with a life of their own, Instinctively, I knew it had been figured out for me. Still confused by my apparent paradox of using, I turned to my energy field for answers. While I might not have been able to recognize truth if it bit me on the ass, this time I felt more solid. Was that how truth felt: it added rather than took away? Gazing into the distance, a violating shadow felt like a huge spider running through me! Paralyzed by fear, I couldn’t move – I didn’t dare. Not knowing if it fed off movement, breath or life itself, I stopped breathing and slowed everything down. Perched on the very precipice of my being, I sat poised waiting for ‘it’ to reveal itself.
Out of the energetic haze a small figure emerged. Like before he was young, maybe eight or nine years old, long dark curls for hair and dressed in a long white robe and sandals on his feet. He sat huddled beneath the shade of a tree, lonely and waiting for something or someone. Every attempt to identify him was met with concealment. I said hello, but he cringed and fidgeted so wildly that I felt uncomfortable. I sensed him ever so gently, but still he screamed as if in agony. Aware of a bond between us, how could I pay attention to him when he was so sensitive? Shaky, I backed off and turned to leave. Suddenly, my heart sank and he began to whimper.
Large bloodshot eyes let loose a torrent of cold salty tears that streamed with but one emotion – fear. I didn’t know why he didn’t just go somewhere else if he was hurting so much? Was he waiting for someone, maybe his mother? He glanced over at me. My heart melted sensing his intense feelings of being lost, cold, frightened, alone and abandoned. Unable to fathom the magnitude of his hurts, I turned to leave. He burst into tears. Paralyzed, confused and hurt for not knowing what was going on or how to help him, I promised to return. He muttered under his breath. I strained to listen. He was quiet again. If he needed my help, I needed to know who he was and why he was there. Maintaining the distance between us, I looked at him more lovingly and, putting my own problems aside as best I could, I tuned into his pain bit by bit. It was the only way I could handle it.
Our eyes met – albeit for a mere fraction of a second, yet even that was more than enough time to upload years of untold pain. Hurt so primal and deep cracked open my heart to the core. Inside I ran screaming like a baby. I didn’t want to, I just couldn’t help it. His cries grew louder. Who would do such a thing to such a wonderful child of God? Ashamed for abandoning him, I hoped someone would come and comfort him, but what if I was that person? I didn’t know how to help him. I didn’t even know how to help myself. Unable to just leave him, I stopped and looked down at his slumped figure. What if they didn’t come? In a breathtaking moment, I intuitively saw a scared little boy waiting for his mommy to come and pick him up; hold him, smile and be with him; help him out of the darkness and make everything all right. They were the same things I wanted too! I wanted to pick him up, hug, kiss and love him, but searing pain violated me, us, with each step closer. Utterly helpless, I fell to the ground in agony. Then he was gone.
I carried on; my own needs exposed.
I carried on; my own needs exposed.
© Michael J. Varma, The Gong Show, 2011 –
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