Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I wish I could smile....

This past week, I know I’ve been real slack on keeping up with the blog – but its been really hectic – first of all, my buddy Brian’s parents came to visit him over the weekend – this was great for him.

He hadn’t spoken to them in like three years and the ability to spend a weekend with them SOBER was great. Marty and I had lunch with Brian’s family after church on Sunday, and had to rush back to the ranch – this is Fall Festival time and they keep up really busy. I had a Greek Salad and went back to the ranch to work.

On Tuesday, I went to get my teeth cleaned – and while this is normally not something I would blog about, I will tell you that, this time, it hurt.

We have an agreement with a dental school about 40 miles away to ‘practice’ on us for their students – and if you’re ever gotten a student haircut from a hairstyling salon…. Just imagine that one of the students takes a pair of her scissors and jabs it into your gums for about 6 hours (not an exaggeration) – and then tells you she is only half finished and you gotta come back.
The other thing that kind of freaked me out is the fact that they use Novocain and this can show up on a drug test as a metabolite caused by cocaine use.

So I asked them to use it very sparingly – and LO and BEHOLD, when I got back to the ranch, I had a ‘random’ UA… I was pretty nervous. The ‘NO TOLERANCE’ policy would certainly have meant I would be dismissed from the program if I tested positive – even though the dentist gave it to me.

But – it metabolized in my system, or I peed it out earlier, so I was OK.

But my damn mouth is in some serious pain!

And today I was asked to go to a couple high schools and speak about drug and alcohol addiction. I was nervous, but I wanted to say something that really meant something.

Basically, I didn’t spend the day saying ‘Don’t do drugs, you’ll be like me’ – instead I said ‘This life is like your myspace profile, only YOU are responsible for the ‘about me’ section’ – and if you want to be known as a druggie or an alcoholic, its kind of up to you and no lecture from some burn out in a rehab facility is gonna change that…. ‘ – I mean, there was more – but basically I explained that they are the authors of the story, they own all the failures and all the successes, and that they are not allowed to blame anyone for what becomes of their stories because only they are responsible for doing it right and getting it right the first time…. I explained it can be amended, but it can not be rewritten – and that drugs and alcohol are like placing a period in the part of the story that should have a comma….

There was more, and I made a couple girls cry, and one boy came up to me and said he is going to go home and think about what I said – he confided that he has been drinking because his older brother encourages it, but that I kind of him permission to decide NOT to drink – that he couldn’t say it was his brother who made him…. And he stopped short of saying he was going to stop drinking, but went so far as to say that he would think about what I said and he was glad to hear that HE was in control of his decisions.

There was more, of course, but that was the gist.

Kind of weird, I never thought a couple months ago that I would be going around to high schools talking about alcohol addiction – A girl from Seattle Washington reads this blog and she said that she and her 20 year old boyfriend are both battling an addiction, but lack the resources to stop it. She said that they read the blog together and discuss it.

That’s awesome – I mean, I am by no means trying to tell anyone how to beat addiction, but I certainly hope it at least gets you thinking and talking about it.

And I am also pretty happy to report that I have an interview for a job Friday…. Wish me luck. I have reached the portion of the program where I am chained to the ranch…. I’m on the back side of the mountain now – the descent back into normalcy; transitioning back to my life.

I spend so much time looking forward while I am here, but its nice to rest a minute and look back and see that I’ve already come a long way… I’d smile about it, but my damn mouth really hurts.

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