With every spin, the desperation gets stronger; I am almost to the point of tears and well past disgust. I did it again! Here I sit with a watered-down drink in my hands, slightly shaking because I have my entire check pumped into this poker machine. I got paid not even an hour ago; damn, I wonder who's going to clean up this mess. Won't be me. Everyone knows that I do this type of shit. Everyone knows I ain't never gonna be any more than I am right now. Shit, I wouldn't wanna disappoint!
What a crock of shit!
I look back on moments like this and can't help but feel sad for that person, not because of my situation; Nah, I deserved that shit. I feel sad for believing that! Or was I just using it as an excuse to continue to wallow in the misery I created? A reason never to stand up and be accountable; life never gave me a chance. I was victimized by life, by chance, circumstances, and situations. It would serve me throughout if I could just harness this victim's stance. Nobody will get tired of my shit; how could they, poor me?
This is the mindset that kept me in my way for so very long. Yet again, this is me standing in my way. The problem is that this thinking is flawed. I stopped being a victim long ago. I had now become the victimizer! I was doing to myself what others had done to me for as far back as I can remember. Worse yet, I was doing it to other people, another thing that I was mostly oblivious to. I talk of brutal honesty; I cannot emphasize enough what this has done for my freedom. If I am driving down the street and I get cut off and have to slam on my brakes, I start cursing, acting a damned fool. I speed up to go around him, driving erratically. Who's the asshole here? I am! I am because I reacted to a situation in a way that put myself and others in danger. All because I have been inconvenienced. Was it a dickhead move to cut me off? It could've been, or maybe they just lost their job and have 2 kids at home. There are a million maybes; however, the only surety is that I acted like an asshole at that moment. I once again jumped right in my way; I decided that I was going to take this person's inventory (instead of my own) and punish them accordingly. This is just an example of how easily we victimize people and can justify it with a victim's stance. I am not a victim today, and yet I remain a victimizer, this is no longer my identity, but I am human. These are learned behaviors, and so they must be unlearned. This took me saying, "holy fuck, I don't want to be that way anymore," and then go do something about it.
I started repeating the word thank you over and over in my head, even out loud at times. I felt really silly at first; however, if I am focusing on being grateful, there's no way I can stay mad. I had no idea how this would eventually transform me internally. I started out just saying thank you as a distraction, and by the time I was done, I was overflowing with joy. I started to really focus on the things I was truly thankful for, and I had to wipe away the tears as I was en route to my place of employment. You see, I have come so far that whatever is happening in my life, if I stop and take a second to remember that, then nothing else really matters. My kids didn't get me sober. Hell, they weren't even in the picture; however, they sure have helped keep me that way. The fact that I am not sleeping in an abandoned building on the west side of Chicago strung out in the middle of winter, waking with no purpose other than finding a way to stick a needle in my arm and escape the anguish of my screaming soul. Life will always be out of my hands, how I respond to it, and what I do in those moments that aren't routine.
“Thank you”! Two very potent words that have given me the ability to live with some peace: I don't have to fight anymore, at least not everybody, all the damn time. That's exhausting, the fuckin' war is over, and it's time to go home. That's the road I am on as we speak; I am finding my way home; I don't know where that road leads; however, I know where it doesn't. Changing your life truly only takes a second and it's up to me what that looks like!