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Friday, July 24, 2009

A family affair...

The meds kept me under the radar. The television, mounted on the wall, was apparently tuned to the Matlock network.

All Matlock all the time, interrupted by episodes of "In the heat of the night." The nights were thick with late spring, Texas heat.

Three days of close observation-with smoke breaks on an outside porch-encased in the same gauge mesh that covered the windows. Once outside the familiarity of the building was even stronger, but the reality was always just beyond my reach.

How am I feeling? Do you want to hurt yourself? Others? Tell us about your alcohol and drug use...

Man, I covered that up. My alcoholism was so strong it was making my decisions for me. It couldn't stand it if I didn't romance the pain.

I was just there for depression...the using, (I told them) was a byproduct.

They nodded and never spoke of it again.

On the third day, I ate a fried egg. With watered down ersatz coffee.

At night the meds were stronger, and in the twilight between awake and complete black, the crying and isolated screaming from the other vets was stark, sharp and terribly lonely.

But the meds worked and night after night, I would spiral slowly into nothing at all.

They kept the dreams at bay...except one.

My oldest daughter, a baby in the dream, standing in a dark, barren landscape, wind blowing through naked tree branches. She had the voice of an adult and would hold her little arms out to's okay, Daddy...I'm here. (Today is that little girls birthday...twenty seven years...she doesn't visit anymore, in dreams, or reality...)

My crying always woke me up...then shuffle down to the nurses station. Gulp a plastic container of juice and try to shake it loose.

Back to a fitful sleep, until first call.

Then do it all over. The memory of the building kept bugging me. It was an old complex and had been on the ground since the fifties.

A moment of clarity on another hot, dry, endless day.

I visited my Father here when I was four years old. WWII vets called it shell shock. Then battle it's PTSD. He had been housed and treated in the same building.

This shit runs in families.

I had come full circle.

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My new disclaimer...yeah I know.

Okay, the old disclaimer was tired. The ideas were outdated and keeping me stuck in a place I don't want to be now for something more refreshing.

I have recently changed my views regarding women. Seems I had some issues with the fairer sex due to past pain and self- centered fear. (Yes...duh applies.)

I'm done with that.

Being in recovery has helped me change my entire life, perceptions and attitudes. I cannot change my history but I can change my today and my future.

I recently realized that the women I know in recovery are some of the strongest, bravest, most gentle and kind teachers I have ever had. You exemplify integrity and spiritual growth, and I hope you know who you are.

Some may know of my past marital and relationship history and been a participant in them as well. It's past and that's where it the past.

I own my part in those failures but claim no more responsibility in any misery you may be experiencing. I am sorry, but it's time to get off the cross. We need the wood.

Thank you all...