As I walk to a meeting tonight, I can’t help but think that this is what my life has become. Not one single thing defines me, but more like a cluster of things, and to which most I’m not proud of.
I wake up and go to work (if there is a job scheduled), and in the evening I work my other job (if I’m scheduled), or I sit in a chair that invisibly has my name written on it and listen to either how great or not so great a fellow addict is doing. The rest of the time I usually do nothing because I can’t afford to do anything. I’ve stopped going to the gym because I can’t afford it or I lack what most people have: a bank account, in which the gym can access and pull my money. I refrain from traveling the city of Boston looking for work because most weeks I can’t afford a transportation pass needed to ride the trains or buses. Because of these minor issues, which mend together as somewhat of a cluster, people’s conception of me turns sour and like a shotguns recoil, I agree.
Little things added together make something of a larger scale. Like the many baseball teams become the MLB or a handful of songs become an album, or because of my nearly homeless income becomes a false portrait of me today, addicts doing well can relapse due to this same scale.
Many people I know have died this month along with many more people I’ve never met but learned about, and the majority of their demise have something in common; they died from the first use in their relapse. Upon hearing their stories from others at meetings, people I live with, from social media, or from the funerals and wakes I have attended, it seems that by following each individuals problems or issues, events or lack-there-of, a cluster had been formed of mediocre catastrophes shaping into one giant one; resulting in their relapse which in return resulted in their death.
I strongly believe that through communication, networking, and humility, these people may as well be alive today. I only hope that we as addicts and the people who love us can start seeing the slow and sometimes fairly visible downward spiral that usually arises before the end. Like tremors to an earthquake, we become more aware and sometimes prepared for the apex of this disease.
My heart and prayers go out to everyone we have just lost from addiction and their families.