Today—as I write this—is an anniversary

On this day, in 2003

As methamphetamine psychosis settled in like thorny thickets around my mind

After I’d begun ambushing those I knew, with talk of my home being bugged, people stalking me, threats from the disembodied voices 

A family member and some friends brought me to the Emergency Room

Attempting to have me involuntarily committed to a psychiatric institution

(or so I believed was their attempt)

Terror consumed me…or, to put it more accurately, I allowed myself to dwell on the fear…

Convincing myself that were I to seek help for my problems, someone would again try and have me committed

Of course—it was my excuse, to avoid the hard work of getting and staying clean

I feel compassion for my old self, however…he knew, at some level, getting and staying clean would entail work that was incredibly hard

I had to come to grips with the revelation—my true problems* were of such a nature, I had the power to solve them

We know what comes with great power

It began to dawn on me…it wasn’t so much that life burdened me with addictions to overcome, mental health challenges with which to grapple, or demons to battle

But rather, by foisting upon me problems of such scope—and the power to solve them—life had handed me immense responsibility

That was truly terrifying

(*Of course, my “true problems” were never my circumstances, but rather how I felt about and reacted to those circumstances)

I’ve found much of a demon’s power lies in its ability to defy our capacity to explain what it’s like to battle a demon…to ourselves, or other humans

Humans whom, since evolution’s beginning, we’ve depended upon to survive

When we battle demons, it seems, no human help can put an end to our suffering

(the way human help can end our hunger, desire for forms of gratification, etc.)

Yet human help led me to believe I could accept the responsibility that came with the power to solve my problems

I was taught to understand…and, eventually, to accept…that if I’d never smoked meth, no one would’ve brought me to any Emergency Room that day in 2003

I began to forsake material matters, in pursuit of spirituality…which ultimately solved far more than my meth addiction

Four years ago…around this time in Spring…I again went to the Emergency Room, believing I’d suffered a coronary arrest

Chest convulsing, heart in a vise, nutcracker hammer-jacking behind my breastbone

The paramedics carried me in a stretcher-chair, down the steps of my home and to the waiting ambulance transport

(It turned out to be an esophageal spasm—embarrassing! but, apparently, many experiencers mistake it for a heart attack…the esophagus is right behind the heart…

…and I’ve done enough cocaine, meth, ecstasy, etc. in my life to legitimately fear my heart’s revolt)

I was able to ease my esophagus’ aches, thanks to Sandi K., my wonderful homeopath

Ultimately, homeopathy solved much more than my esophagus problem—as I discovered its effectiveness treating many forms of frailties

At the time of my “heart attack”, I was still experiencing what I believed was a form of schizophrenia…paranoia, disembodied voices

Even to this day, I experience “otherworldly sensations” let’s call them…medical professionals have hinted at ongoing psychosis, or something of that nature

But I choose to see them as a twisted gift, a strange blessing

A means to show others that, if I can overcome what many would call mental health challenges…

They can, too

As I write this, I recline on my plush pink armchair, hot coffee at the ready

Last night, the knuckle of one of my fingers began to bleed

Raw from too much hand-washing, and the New England chill (as I continue to write this, it’s April 27th, and still snowing)

I applied a band-aid to the afflicted digit

A cadre of disembodied voices, a disguised esophageal issue, a drop of blood from a finger…diminished emergencies!

As the Springtimes pass

Today, many people are going to their own Emergency Rooms, for situations far more serious than mine

Yet I’ve faced down challenges, and found

That through accepting responsibility—as best I can—for having the power to solve my problems

By holding fast to my belief in a form of God…

Spiritual matters have ways of resolving themselves

Today, I feel at the cusp of scaling my service to others, able to bring them value, the way so many amazing people brought value to me

On the inside of my snowy window, yellow flowers pour like sunshine from a crimson vase

I set down my coffee, half-raised my hand, hoisting a V for the Victory

That I’ve found

A branch cut from its trunk will still flower, if placed in water

Our soul, when torn from its moorings, can still flourish

When we nourish it with belief in the Spirit…and keep searching for the Spirit

Or, as I like to remember the words of C.S. Lewis (paraphrased)

To speak of a person searching for spirituality, is like speaking of a mouse searching for the cat

In a few minutes, I’ll stroll down the hill behind my childhood home, to meditate in the field

Sitting quietly, surrounded by rooted trees

How are you searching for your own form of spirituality?

Resources For You

If you know or are a person who is struggling, check out my free PDF: Ten Helpful Questions to Ask When Someone You Love is Recovering From Addiction

Simply go to my website, and hit the “Download PDF Now” button in the lower right. When you enter your email, you’ll be signed up for my weekly newsletter, Meditations on Meth. Feel free to unsubscribe if you don’t want it.

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