The life of addiction reminds me of the words from an old Kansas song:

Though my mind could think I still was a madman,  Though my eyes could see I still was a blind man.

I recall thinking and looking but the things I thought were far from reality and the things I looked for never appeared.

I’d think and think and think.  I’d decide to change, I’d think about how to do that.  I’d fail and there I’d be, alone sitting in a mess thinking about how to get out.  This happened over and over again.

So, I found help.  I found friends that had the same problem and I did and we worked hard thinking and thinking and continuing to do the wrong thing over and over again.

Luke 6:39 Then Jesus gave the following illustration: “Can one blind person lead another? Won’t they both fall into a ditch? 40 Students are not greater than their teacher. But the student who is fully trained will become like the teacher.”

I read this verse in the bible and I see me and a select few other blind men joining together to try to get something we could not see without being able to see how to get there.

Needless to say, I spent a lot of time in the ditch.

The problem with me and many others in addiction is that when we want help, other people that aren’t living in insanity don’t offer the kind of help we want.  For some reason, the help I wanted involved better, cheaper, easier to procure pharmaceutical products or affirmation that I wasn’t in the wrong or getting some money loaned to me.

The mad blind man reached out for what he shouldn’t get and then got his panties in a twist when he didn’t get it.

So, I made friends with other people that had been mistreated like I had and if we weren’t partaking in some sort of illegal substance, we would sit and talk about how everyone just didn’t understand us.

What I needed was a teacher.

Sometimes, a man or woman can still be blind and still be crazy, sit down in the midst of some profound teaching and something sticks.

I managed to shed it all because I wanted to fail at the whole recovery thing.  I sat down in a room full of people I deemed as blind and crazy, ignored nearly everything that happened and something stuck.

It wasn’t much.  It was enough to keep me coming back.

These people USED to be like me.

That stuck.  They weren’t like me anymore.  That was their past.  Of course, there were some there just like me, walking in the doors just to prove recovery wasn’t in the cards for them.

But all those people that used to be like me.

They had been in as many ditches as I had, walked blindly into as many walls as I had and thought as crazy and unrealistic thoughts like I had.

But they weren’t living like that anymore.

So, I stopped hanging with the friends that reinforced my mad blindness.  I stopped trying to lean on my own understanding of how to get out of my mess.

I saw people that had done what I needed to do.  They became my teachers.  Some of them, still to this day, have no idea the profound affect they had on my life.  They simply showed the way out and I paid attention.  Others I became really close to.  I let them know how my brain works, how it doesn’t work and they are mentors to me still to this day, even though they see me as an equal.

Oh everything now and then I hit the skids and careen into a ditch.  But I have people that know the way there that can give me a tow out of the mud and trash.

I learned that not every ditch is filled with drugs and alcohol.  They can be full of rage, hate, self-contempt, wrong thoughts, anything that can bog me down and get me stuck.

I you don’t have someone in your life that is your teacher, someone that has been where you have been, find them.  They are around.  It is great for a solitary man to be able to stay between the ditches on his own but life is a lot more joyful with someone riding shotgun, someone that can read the map, that can be trusted.

I grateful for the people that listen to me no matter what, without judgment or condemnation, just a desire to reach out and give me a tug and a hug.





5 thoughts on “In the Ditch

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