On Oct 11, 2002, I was still living the life of a young drug addict. Sometime in the middle of the next month, I woke up in Shephard’s Center of Atlanta, GA, saw my mom, and wondered, “How’d I end up in jail, and what’s Mom doin’ here?!”
In October, I was still in the first 90-day period of a new job. I lost the old job due to being out too much after having too many benders. I had to borrow my roomie’s bicycle to ride to work, and on Oct 11, it was raining steady. I did not have a helmet back then but loved jammin’ to aggressive music while riding the bike to work. At that time of the year, it was pre-dawn before my day shift job started.
All that said, my parents summed up the remainder of the morning like this: “As you were riding into work with traffic coming up behind you, a paint company’s van coming around a curve didn’t see you until the driver was right on you. On that rainy morning, the driver tried to swerve way too hard, slid sideways, and slammed into you going about forty mph. Your head hit the curb and you are very fortunate that a doctor for Gwinnett Medical was driving by when it happened, and you were only 2 miles from the hospital!” I also heard that it took the doctor, the driver, both EMTs, and two police officers to get me into the ambulance.
Before I go much further, I do want to tell you many consider me a miracle recovery! Thank you, Dr. Penney! Thanks, Almighty! Anyone who knows me and knows of what I call “the accident”. Now, I am not sure it was an accident. I do recall wanting a change in my life back then. I mean, don’t many addicts? And most of the time, I was a happy-go-lucky nerd that did not really fit in that well with the heavy party scene. Thankfully, my frequent ideas and dreams of a different life seemed to have had an impact on my life. I lost one job, almost died on the way to the next job, and progressively came out of the funk, sporadically going in the right direction.
Now, I know this has already gotten long, so I will try to make the law of attraction involvement in my recovery and a few other things read as smoothly and quickly as possible. After my short-term memory started returning alongside my long-term memory, I remember telling everyone, “I’m OK.” That was my most common statement and mindset for a good while after I woke from my amnesia and memory-impairment. After a week or two, I tried to throw all my clothes into a trash bag and wait beside the main entrance for someone to let me out. I had been making the nurses coffee every morning, balancing a checkbook, keeping up with laundry, shaving, showering, and brushing my teeth. “I can take care of myself!” After 2 days of that, I finally realized I just had to wait for them to let me out in a more agreeable fashion. Two days after that, I “graduated” to outpatient care at Shephard’s Pathways.
By Valentine’s Day, the only one I have ever enjoyed since grade school, I was fully recovered and was referred to Side-By-Side Clubhouse. I was living with my dad and family after that “miracle recovery”. Three part-time jobs later and some more surgery to put my head back together again, I started to work full-time in January 2005.
There was family drama with marital discord over me being at dad’s and I tried hard for 5 months to find an apartment. After begging in prayer for so long, I finally acquiesced and said, “Give it to me when it is within your will,” Basically I let it go and I quit thinking about what I did not have. I got a call the next day about an available apartment and bounced out on my own!
To wrap it all up, I got out of the drug life with only the loss of my sense of smell and some acquaintances best left behind. My recovery happened because I believed all was well and quit trying to get rid of pieces of my life I didn’t want. Instead, I let it go and started believing stuff would come when it should.
That was over a decade before I saw The Secret movie. I have had some hiccups and derailments in the last twenty years, but my life is still getting better bit by bit when I remember not to worry, dwell, or think “if?” or ask “when!”. Instead, I am thankful, encouraging, and think “is” or “when it is right”.
Thank you, Ms. Byrne, and thanks to all the modern, recent, and historic philosophers you channel toward us.