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Monday, March 19, 2012

A “Hero” Ain’t Just a Sandwich

Question: Has anything or anyone ever brought you down to your knees (and NOT in a good way!)? I mean has anything or anyone ever left you completely and utterly broken?


The other evening I spent some time breaking bread in the company of an old friend, or I should say, a former friend. We’d parted ways two decades ago when he’d began his extended and tripped-out odyssey into the world of heroin…


… and I’d suffered far too long from chronic bouts of compassion overload.

Drugs are so damned pervasive, insidious, and so powerful that the addict very soon ends up indulging in junkie behaviors: junking people... junking friends, family and relationships... junking truth and beauty and any expression of love... trading them in for the trip, that temporary euphoria of the all-mighty high.

To paraphrase the late Rick James whose bout was mainly with cocaine, one could just substitute the substance by stating: 'That heroin is a helluva drug!'

After so much personal tragedy, including a harrowing house fire which claimed the life of a beloved family member, his life then took a turn, and did a complete 180. And now things are diff. He’d made the decision to get clean... once and for all. It wasn't an easy thing to do. Some people either fail miserably, or they die trying.

But homeboy possessed the will of a panther and the heart of a lion. After several stints in rehab, at long last, he’s recently been released, having kicked a 20 year skag habit.

I applaud him.

I was and remain very proud of him; proud that he didn’t allow the drugs to defeat and completely destroy him. I realize that when some thing or some force takes over your life for such a long period of time, it, in affect, owns you. You become ITS slave. Sadly far too many of us never get those freedom papers back, so we never truly own our lives again.

But this cat somehow reached down deep, rose up, found the strength within to call out his demons and is currently living clean and sober, one day at a time.

While speaking with him, and experiencing this brand new clarity in his eyes, I was suddenly reminded that even when the world turns a cold and unfeeling shoulder to us, as long as we don’t give up on our selves, we remain these promising, do-or-die works in progress. Life will hande the rest. Life can perform a hat-trick and produce its own miracle on us… and that no matter what goes on in our lives, we must continue, like sharks at sea, to just keep it moving. This may sound deceptively easy, almost too simplistic... but there are some things, some issues, some everyday crisis situations that can derail, deconstruct and cripple us if we are not careful or strong in faith.

I must repeat the initial question:

Has anything or anyone ever brought you down to your knees(and NOT in a good way!)? I mean, has anything or anyone ever left you completely and utterly broken?

Toxic people, anxiety, frustration, and worry can easily seize, then bogart the mind and this affects our every action. We may find ourselves seeking false gods, turning the bottle up, sticking needles in our arms, snorting, smoking, acting out violently, smashing skins indiscriminately, doing whatever we can to appease and pacify this silent ache within us. Only Our Creator knows what we have endured, what we can endure, or are enduring and what can bring us to that point of no return. Some of us have been through and somehow survived abuses, addictions, illness, infidelities, divorces, sudden deaths, and known by heart the atrocities and acts of inhumanity shown by our fellow man. Many of us have ventured through or are currently going through the darkened tunnels of our own mistakes, troubles, misfortunes, and personal catastrophes. Some of us are living beneath the weight of lies, secrets and things we've never told others about the skidmarks and scars that have marred our lives, and some of these things have left us with the inability to communicate with anyone. But change is a real thing, an action, a verb. It is an entity that we can always embrace. That's our option.

When we parted, I embraced him tightly, and found myself telling him that he was now “my hero.”


Yes. I know. It sounded corny as hell, but I truly MEANT it.

Strange how we never know which people in this life will actually inspire us.

No matter what comes our way, no matter how deep or beastly that old rabid dig called Trouble might be, it will only defeat us, or get the best of us, or kill us, if WE allow it to destroy.

Just because something is broken within us doesn’t mean it can never be cured, fixed or readjusted. Sometimes all it requires is a change in perception, and in attitude. Sometimes what it requires is to surrender it; to give it all to a Higher Power

And always remember this:

"Life moves on, whether we act as cowards or heroes..." -Anonymous

That’s it. That’s all.

Snatch JOY!