Could you imagine if all the water around us had ingredient labels? What would be in our stream water, our rain water, the puddle you step over in the street? I remember a study done in Oregon or Washington State in which scientists tested Salmon and found unbelievable amounts of cocaine and antidepressants in their bloodstream. I always wondered where they found their motivation to swim upstream, lol. Water circulates. People consume these things, urinate, flush, and then the water empties out into nature. This sacred life source that surrounds us is contaminated, at %70 water in our physical make up, we ourselves are contaminated by our surroundings.
Water is often scarce to the addict moving through the streets. I often indentified with a man lost in the desert for days crawling to the water source as I walked through city blocks. Businesses are closed, home is far away or non-existent, people are unfriendly…..and you’re sick. Not just sick, but out of your mind fiending. Body hurting, nose running, hands trembling, heart racing, mind spinning…..you’ve finally just copped the one thing that can make it all go away and bring you temporary bliss, but you’re missing one key ingredient. There’s only one way to get that powder into your bloodstream: water. Where do you find water in an Eastside alley when you need instant gratification? You make a way.
I plunged the tip of my worn down syringe into every water source imaginable: streams, unclean sinks, puddles in the street, public toilets, anything that was convenient. I remember drawing up dew in the syringe one early morning, or even trying my own saliva in a fit of desperation. Where there’s a will there’s a way. When you’re drowning in your own sickness there’s no level of desperation you might not sink to. Dirty, filthy, unclean, contaminated water coursing through my veins….the very veins that pump the blood to the fingers that type these words. Day in and day out, constant disgusting water.
Yet, how the fuck am I healthy? How am I disease free? Why do I get to have total disregard for my life and walk away unscathed when so many others take one chance and fall? Aids from blood transfers, Hep C from bad seafood, sexually transmitted diseases from one time experiences. Beautiful, wonderful people suffering, dying, bleeding, hurting….
Why do I get a free pass?
Why wasn’t it me? It all seems unfair…
You want to talk about humility? I lived in a land of disregard for my life and my God saw fit to pull me from it untouched. I do not deserve this, yet here I am.
The cold spring water is perfect running down my throat, as I drive home. Bags of groceries full of organic fruits and veggies, whole grain breads, farm raised/cage free eggs and chicken, wild caught salmon, etc. Very careful of what goes into my body, the irony is not lost upon me as I reflect where I once was. I chase my health now like I used to chase the heroin, I fiend for the gym, I lust after knowledge, I wallow in humility and I make sure that I get my 8 full glasses of water every day.
I’ll never forget that not all %70 of that water in me is clean…..that polluted, contaminated water is deep inside me, it is ingrained in my story, and I would never pass up an opportunity to walk knee deep into it if it meant pulling one of Gods children out.
I’ve been clean and sober from drugs and alcohol for a long time and know a fair amount about addiction, which is why I’m able to recognize exactly what’s going on with me and the internet: I am trying to patch a hole inside me that cannot be patched by anything external. The internet gives me dopamine, attention, amplification, connection, and escape. It also distracts, disappoints, and paralyzes me, as well as catalyzes my false sense of self. I am cobbling together the dregs of what I can still use to get high into a shitty dopamine party.
Also, I don’t know what I’m doing. Lately I feel like the internet is cobbling me together. I feel like there is no longer any barrier where I end and the internet begins. I’m kind of scared.
My mind has finally cleared
I swept it of it’s litter and cleared what was bringing me back
Allowing the heavy smog to disappear
I’m still tempted to mindlessly drop a candy wrapper here or a paper ball there
But I bring my cautious hand back
And remember the beauty I’ve experienced since I’ve started to treat the world fair
I never expected this journey to be easy
Though it still proves to be surprisingly difficult
So I turn and look at all the trees that have now become green
Away from the brown it once was, the brown grown from my own fault
And I look up at the birds
That once were not there
Flying in circular motions, I found one, then a second, and a third
Watching them rejoice in this brand new air
And I look to the insects on the ground
No longer tightened with the fear of being stepped on
As they confidently roam up, down, and around
No more being tricked, no more being conned
And I look to the tender flesh of my body
Still a fresh pink, yet healing so
The exposed muscles now being covered with thin pieces of skin, looking spotty
With the veins starting to stitch together, not pulling apart and stopping my blood from its natural flow
And I look down to the scrunched up paper ball in my hand,
Instead of allowing it to settle on the ground, destructing the environment once again
I walk over to the nearest trash can
And throw it in the bin