Feels Like A Lifetime...

I've been away for a while and a gnawing guilt eats at me. Why? Cause I understand that in these pages lies something deeper than even I can phathom.
But life shows up. And considering I practice being responsible, daily, I must respond accordingly. One of life's responses was welcoming into this world my first grandchild.
Yes. When I mention this chills cover my skin. Will that ever stop?

Anyway, like I was saying, I must write. I must. On this vehicle of communication is the opportunity to speak about things that, in general, most people don't even want to hear. But, I get that though.

Like the other day I was taking the kids on a nature hike behing the house. Man, we saw cotton-tail rabbits, quail and a very-long-snake leisurely crossing the trail. It was a very startling sight to the children. Some with fascination and some with fear. But it was the next thing I saw that caused my stomach to flip. After the, "eewww" and the "wows" over the snake, we came upon a camp, obvious even to the smallest child, that once belonged to someone homeless. And I saw myself.

I saw a filthy mattress and discarded cans of some food. I saw a chair that no one would sit and blankets, crusty, that smelled from the distance I stood. A backpack and clothes with more dirt than the original cloth it was made with. I saw a place where someone lonely and hurting and full of shamed slepted. Someone who disappointed loved ones and sabotaged every success that came their way. A person that the only thing they knew about hope, was the way it was spelled. I saw myself. And I was startled as if a venemous snake was thrust in my face. I had almost forgotten what it looked like to see such pitiful living quarters. It felt like a lifetime ago.

I mean I'm holding grandbaby's now and doing home improvement. I'm working all day and filling in wherever my family needs me to. How could I've forgotten about a life I lived longer than the life I live now? Well, I guess (actually I know!) that God is very good and He gives what is needed exactly when it is needed. Cause it brought me back to these pages. Writing about things that I need to write about. So I'll never forget about feeling the way I used to... and the places I never again want to go.

Ain't No Stopping Me Now!

I can remember walking in 100 degree heat, dehydrated, desolate and dejected, on my way (with a purpose, mind you) to meet my connection to get my drugs. Or was it raining like cats and dogs? Or was it cold? I guess, if I remember correctly, or document it "honestly", that,  it didn't matter what the condition of the weather was like. I went to get my drugs, to get high, no matter what! The cops could be making circles like sharks. Mexican gangs could be on the look out for any suspicious black male. (by the way, I am black - or so I am told - and I looked suspicious quite often)
I was there.  For many, many years, I was right there. My whole world and my every intent, was just to get high.

I guess that's why today, when an obstacle comes my way, no matter how big or small, I'm ready. Cause nothing stopped me from getting high. And today, nothing is going to stop me from succeeding. Whenever I even begin to think I can't, I just remember all those times when my feet were hurting, or when I was cold or hungry or in pain and I walked to retrieve things that ultimately destroyed my quality of life.
 Destroyed my life.
Today? Man, I have no problem getting up and doing. Whatever it is. I am so proud of the people in my life and the ones that love me,  that my every waking hour is dedicated to doing what I have to do. Once upon a time I walked for all things dark...Now I walk for God. It's a lot easier and a lot more rewarding than the person I used to walk for.

It wasn't that long ago...Part 1

It's early in the morning and I can hear the noise of the 405 fwy traffic getting louder with large trucks and speeding cars. My alarm clock, I guess,  so to speak. My body aches from the hardness of the ground slept on.  But, at least this morning, I am not as cold as other mornings. Yesterday, a man came and gave me a sleeping bag and a five dollar bill. When he gave it to me he said, " Jesus Loves You". Inspite of my situation, I believe he does.
Upon my waking I remember I have five dollars in my pocket. Cool! I can get a beer and something to eat. Then, off to start another day of hustling. I put on my shoes and move a little ways from my camp to pee. Looking around as I relieve myself, I think of how beautiful the side of the freeway is. Large trees, foilage of all types. Too bad the beauty I saw was external, only.
 Glad to be awake, yet carrying sorrow inside, I get back to camp and pull out of my back-pack a bottle of water, a wash cloth, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste. It is my attempt to look as normal as anyone else. But, when you look at me, you can still tell that I'm on the streets. I'm under weight and the look in my eyes tell a story of hurt, guilt and shame.
I check my belongings in my back-pack, put it on and carefully walk out of the side of the 405 fwy ( offramp Roscoe Blvd North ) I have to. Cause if I am spotted by a California Highway Patrol, I will get a ticket for trespassing on State Property and most likely go to jail for being on parole.
Making it out safely (I have never been stopped by Police) I tend to keep my head slanted at a downward angle or just pretend to be looking in my back-pack or whatever, just not to catch the eye of the motorist coming off the freeway going to work or wherever the hell they're going. Their eyes say to me why? What are you doing? Why are you coming from back there? Are you dangerous? Are you crazy? Their eyes ask of me questions I'm not willing or able to ask myself. So I walk and I keep my head down and I pray for no Highway Patrols and I avoid their eyes...and the questions they ask.

These type of experiences were not that long ago...Less than a year, actually. Sometimes  it"s easy to share the things I've been through and sometimes it's not. But I share because I believe I have to. My sanity depends on it. So, come back and find out the things I had to do in a day to survive living on the streets.

If there is any who liked this post, for whatever reason, please leave a comment. Would love to hear from you. God bless.

Remember the Pain...

Pain is like history. If we forget, we are doomed to repeat. So I remember the pain. Not out of some morbid fascination, but from understanding myself. You see,  if I forget how humiliating it is to be in jail and have a Sheriff's Deputy look up my butt with a flash-light, it'll happen again. If I forget how desolate I felt when my son sent me a letter asking me how could I choose drugs over him, I will be desolate again. To forget how alone and hopeless it is walking the streets with no where to go and no way to get there. To use all of my waking energy just to acquire a drug in order to achieve a high that no longer covered the hurt. If I forget the loss of careers, marriage melt-downs, prison riots, police-raids, fatherlessness, lack of being a father, the lying, stealing, betraying, abyss embracing activity, I will once again become a prisoner to the same circumstances and repeat the same insane things. I remember the pain because I have to.
I have to. The alternative from me not doing so would put me back in places I refuse to ever go again. I have so much to live for, so many people I love. There are things I want to do with the time I have left on this planet. And today pain is my friend. Why? Because it reminds me where I am, where I am going, and where I no longer want to be.

I do not know it all...

I must say to anyone that may take the time to read my postings that, without a doubt, I do not, and will never, know it all. I write because I believe in the power of sharing and the healing it can promote. So, if I say something that you agree or disagree with, that makes you happy or down right pisses you off, let me know...please. Especially if it is something that you believe can help me. Or, possibly, something that I may have said that helped you. However, or whatever, I'm open for imput.

Don't Expect Too Much...

I've been doing my thing for many years. Living my life with selfish intent. How else can I look at it? I abandoned my wife, child, family, careers, even life, for the sake of a high. Because of how something made me feel. (I ain't mad at you if your shaking your head)
But, now I'm back! Same wife, same child - who is a man now - and same family. Hooray! Right? Actually, no. It isn't always hooray. And because of this sometimes I get hurt and frustrated because things aren't the same. May never be the same. And if I keep it real with myself, it is my doing. I did that! Take a bow, this is all my handywork. I cannot blame anyone but myself for the alienation I'm experiencing. All I can do is pray and be consistent and let the love I have for them show in what I do. I cannot expect too much. I need to only be patient and let love be my guide.

No toenails for two years!


I recently wrote about finally coming to a point where I like myself. And it feels good to be here.  Yet, it wasn't always like this. I treated myself unkindly for more years than any sane person should. What am I talking about? I'm speaking of my chasing cocaines elusive high. Leaving everything I said that I loved behind. More often than not the manner in which I obtained my drugs was on my feet. Walking. Always fu**ing walking. Never giving myself nor my feet any rest. So much so that I would literally bruise the large toenails on both feet. Never gave them the chance to heal. This went on for about 2 years. I look back and wonder how on earth did I survive?  How did I allow myself to embrace a lifestyle that siphoned from my spirit every good thing. That put my body through physical pain and tormenting that I used to wonder about my mental status. Was I crazy? Was I losing my mind? I had no toenails for two years...Just so I could get high. I'm not sure if you're religious or spiritual or whatever, but, as for me, I thank God daily for sparking in me something that said STOP! Stop treating yourself like your trash, that you don't deserve life with quality. That He showed to me how to love myself. One of the first ways I did this was to let my feet heal. (Hallelujah!) And happily today, I can say, this man's feet has both toenail on them.

Liking Me....

I know that this may sound strange to some, but, I like me.
No really.
 I like what I think about. I like what I say. I like what I do.
Yet, for a very long time, I didn't like myself at all. I wasn't really aware of it at the time but there is absolutely no way I could have liked myself considering the things I did to. A person once asked me: "what would you do to someone, that did to you, what you did to yourself?" Helluva of a question, huh? Are we worst to ourselves than others are to us? I don't know about you, but, I was my biggest enemy. Now, I am my biggest friend. Liking me is more than how I feel, though that is where I believe it starts. How I treat me is all that really matters. Cause if I'm likin' myself, then more often than not, I'm going to like you, too...Keeping checking in with me, make sure I'm alright. I'm just scratching the surface of my experiences. When you come on back, I'll share how for 2 years, this man, did not have any toenails.

When Being Right is Wrong...

The other day I expressed my views on a particular subject that did not sit well with my listener. I became adamant, even forceful with my views. In my heart of hearts I truly believed that I was right. Sort of still do. But my insistence on being right caused much tension and stress for my listener. Couldn't I just agree? Would I have diminished in some capacity? Because what I believed wasn't accepted does that mean that my perspective was wrong? No. No one can take away my belief. And it is okay to let someone else be right. But it is wrong to try and make someone see what I believe- when they choose not to accept it,- just in the name of being right. Cause quietly kept, they have a right to believe what they choose. And no matter what I may think or believe, I've got to respect that. Period.  Today, I choose to let others be right. I will allow people the opportunity to agree or even disagree with me. This is right..Anything else, I believe, would be wrong....

So Much Time Lost...

Sometimes I'll walk around the house and look at pictures of events without me in them. Or listen to my family talk about how much fun they had doing this or that, at a time I wasn't around. No. I don't blame them. And am very happy that their life went on during a period when I dedicated all my time to drugs rather than to them. I carry much pain knowing that I was not around because of irresponsible decisions I made. My wife and family are the most amazing people. They always have been. And I left them anyway.  And what breaks me down to lowest common denominator is they have surrounded me with love and all the support I could ever want or need. So today, they come first. Whatever I can do for them, I will. They are my greatest asset. And whatever time I have left on this planet will be dedicated to them. No more time lost...


In order to move forward, one must learn the art of forgiveness. This is an imperative, a must do, a step in ones life, that, unless exercised, there can be no forward movement.
Just recently, I found out that I was carrying dark feelings in my heart toward someone I believed I'd forgiven. Its toxic presence within me was causing major tension in my home life. I'd cultivated years of energy just to maintain my hatred for this individual. But, I came to realization that I was about to loose more in my life if I could not find the strength and courage to let go. Being able to forgive is a sign of strength, growth and courage. We live in a society that believes in revenge and payback, tit-for-tat. You stab me, I stab you back.
No wonder we're bleeding all over the place.
Let it go...that's what I said to myself.
Help me let it go...this is what I said to my God. After doing this, it was like tending to a festering wound. There was immediate relief. I knew that there would always be a scar. But I knew that soon there would no longer be anymore pain.
Forgiveness is not an easy thing. It is necessary, though. Especially if healing is something you want in your life.

Love is what you do...

Recently I spoke about telling people in your life that you love them. I still stand by this statement. But, I also believe that showing people in our lives that we love them is the most important of all. You see, I used to say
"I love you" to those in my life while at the same time I was constantly hurting them, constantly letting them down. My actions did not equal what I said.Whatever I was giving, it wasn't love. I believe now, that love,  is more than just a feeling. Love, true love, is what you do. It causes action. Telling them you love them is necessary. Showing them you love them is imperative. Oh, by the way, Real Love don't hurt. People do the hurting. Love heals, uplifts, cleanses. It comforts, embraces and corrects. Love will direct you, enable you and strengthen you. Love doesn't hurt you...rejecting love does.
Today, more than just saying, do love. Do it. Cause love is so much more than what we feel or say...Love is what we do...

Hope is not a Wishlist..

Hope isn't wishful thinking.  It's a knowing and an understanding that life will get better. It's a choice. You see, I wish for a Range Rover and an unlimited gift card to HomeDepot. (I've been bitten by the home improvement bug) But the hope I have exists primarily because I make different decisions today. I choose to live by faith more than I do by fear. I don't  pretend that I have no fears. I just try not to allow my fears to decide for me. Do I slip periodically? Oh hell yeah! Ask my wife. But, the seeds of faith I've planted are growing, getting taller and stronger. I can see the results in my life like a garden cultivated. It gives me strength...It gives me joy...It gives me hope...

Tell them you love them...

Is there someone in your life that you love? Be sure to let them know that. Be sure to tell them that you love them. There is no way of knowing when our time on this planet will come to an end. When the people we love leave the house going about their business, we cannot be sure that they'll make it home. I'm not trying to be morbid. I've just lost people in my life that I wish were still here to see that I understand that being alive is precious, that loving is precious. That whatever it is we hold onto that keeps us from reaching out, be it anger, resentments, old hurts, is small compared to not having that person, you love, in your life. Our greatest asset and our greatest strength is Love. Do you love someone? Don't forget to let them know that you do...

Knowing is not enough...

My knowledge that my father was dying caused no change in my destructive lifestyle.
I knew where he was.
I knew he was going to pass away very soon.
But this knowledge did not stop me from walking right by the very convalescent home he was in. Walked right on by, just to score drugs.
Just walked right by man! got my shit and left.
Can you believe that? Maybe you can. Maybe you've been apart of the same type of insanity.
I don't know.
I do know this: if it was not for God's grace and my family's love, I might still be mired in that same viscous cycle. But, I've been given a reprieve. Every once and a while it requires me to get on my knees. I'm not saying you must do the same thing. Just sharing that I believe that a "Higher-than-myself" had to intervene. And if you decide to stop by again, you'll get the chance to hear how others did for me what I could not do for myself.

2gether we can

My entire reason for creating this blog is to allow people who have been through the hell of "active addiction" to know that there is someone out there who understands. Someone who has, himself, been through that same hell. You see, for 21 long years I made decisions that kept me imprisoned in sick, neurotic, toxic environments. I left all things behind that I was taught to be sacred. I found myself alone, lost and in more pain than I ever believed one heart could hold. I did, however, make it out of this self made abyss. Not by my design, nor by anything I could ever have orchestrated. I write to share with anyone who wants and/or who may need to hear about another's experience, similar to theirs and how, perhaps, by reading, they too can make it out.

Love Lifted Me

Eventually, the knowledge that my Dad was dying, was a major cause in my making the decision to change my life, to change the way I lived. I say eventually because I was aware that he was very sick for quite some time and still made no real effort to see him. Oh, I loved my Dad. But at the time, I loved my drugs even more. And if it wasn't for the diligence and concern of my family, I think that there is a very real chance I could still be out there, living for and loving my drugs.
So I guess when his health took a turn for the worse, my family collectively said - in so many words - enough is enough!! They came and They got me. Where was I gotten' from? Well, I like to call it "The Center of the Abyss". But actually on a map its called North Hills, Ca., located in the San Fernando Valley. Once upon a time its greatest commodity used to be drugs and prostitution. Yet even though it wasn't the same place it used to be, didn't stop me from hanging around. It was a place that I chose to frequent - off and on - for 21 years!
So my family had to do for me what I could not do for myself: They came and got my stupid-ass. My baby brother flew out form Japan armed with only 2 knives, my only child (He's 21) and a promise that he made to our dying father that he would find me.
They even went on the side of the 405 fwy (offramp Roscoe Bl) where I frequently slept, looking for me...On the side of the freeway...for me! That's love.
And that is what ultimately broke me.
But, it was my ex-wife, who, having been expose to my drug usage(over-exposed, actually. That's why she's my ex) and having an idea of my drug related meanderings, who found me. She sat right in the parking-lot where the busiest of drug activity took place. She was asked by family, my son included, not to go out by herself looking for me. Especially at 12:30 at night. But she went. You know, to get my stupid-ass. Cause before she left the house, she prayed. And she found me. And even though she went by herself...But she didn't go alone.