Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Goblins coaxed me out from the storm......

There was point on Saturday when I got a text message from Brian that read, “How is your banquet? Ours is simply maaaahvelous,” and I had to laugh out loud because I could totally hear his goofy voice behind the characters on the screen.

Last week, Brian ran a half marathon – 13 miles – and he did it in about 2 hours. This is an amazing situation because as he was giving me a play by play of his triumphant crossing of the finish line, he remembers that last year, on that day, he was in jail – with absolutely no plan as to what he was going to do once he got out.

He had been arrested at his home, and taken to jail, and consequently, his land lord evicted him while he was locked up and Brian had no idea where his stuff was or what he was going to do, or where he was going to live if or when he got out.

But this year, he marked six months of sobriety with a 13 mile dash. He won a medal and went to a banquet the following week where he had dinner with two Olympic runners.

I was in the city with Curtis and Lane – we were invited to an election primary kick off for a sitting US Senator. It was a private and quaint event where we spent a leisure afternoon hob-nobbing with active members of the Democratic Party in our state.

And what struck me as relevant when I received the simple text message from my friend across town was the idea that here we were, a typical Saturday evening, four alcoholics – two of us recovering from well established drug addictions as well (not me) – and we were having dinner with Olympians and Senators.

You know, you hear all the time about how your life opens up considerably when you can let go of what is holding you back – but it always seems like some stupid motivational poster you might read on the back of an 11th grade class room or a employee lounge, and when it happens to you in a flash you might just miss it if you aren’t looking for it.

Curtis was a nervous wreck and sick to his stomach. Brian couldn’t eat. Lane was so quiet he hardly said two words the whole night because he was almost frozen.

But there it was. And I got to thinking about it – the fact that these situations are opening up for us and I think that we, as addicts – hell, as people, get so used to living life under a black cloud that THAT also becomes part of our addiction. Its almost as uncomfortable for us to walk out into the sunlight again – it literally made them sick.

And we spend so much time in rehab releasing ourselves from past failures and so much time trying to understand how to avoid failures, but so little is spent on how to handle success, how to handle when we decide that life shouldn’t be lived under the shade of a cloud of misery – when we walk out from under it.

We expect it, we plan on it, we count on it, but we aren’t shown how to really deal with it. This presents a problem because it can be stressful, and this can lead to a relapse – the relapse of success – now wouldn’t that be horrendous.

It’s a new role we have to assume – the role of a successful person, a clean and sober one. This is only in addition to the roles we already have – the role of husband, boyfriend, son, brother, uncle, friend, these are roles we accept and it is our obligation to be the best one of these we can be – sometimes it isn’t all about us, sometimes we need to be the best in these roles because we expect others to be the best in THEIR roles to us, and hell, fair is fair.

And I wrote a few weeks ago that I was troubled because we were trying to define a relapse – and what I, personally, decided on is this - if I engage in any activity that makes me forget my priority (remember the FASTER scale refresher: Forget priority, Anxiety, Speeding up, Ticked off, Exhausted, Relapse) to be the best [insert role here] I can be, then that is a relapse. If I engage in a behavior that takes me down a path that may lead to an activity which takes me from those priorities, well, that would be a relapse.

So, if I smoke a cigarette or gamble – probably not a relapse. If I smoke a cigarette and this makes me decide that I don’t want to run and stay in shape, which makes me lazy and irritable, which makes me far from the best boyfriend I could be, well, in that case – that would be a relapse.

It seems simple, but its not as easy as it seems.

In any event, I am going to be home this weekend, spending time with my sweet little dog and seeing my niece and nephew in their costumes – probably for the first time ever (I usually had drinking and party plans on Halloween and don’t recall spending time with them while they flaunted their costumes – I kind of owe it to them, don’t’cha think?)

I won’t be in the company of Senators or Olympians, no, instead I will be in the company of some truly important people – possibly a goblin, possibly a princess, I don't really know just yet, four nephews and a niece – and I have an obligation to be the best uncle I can possibly be. And this is what makes rehab worth it. It’s cool to be out from under those dark clouds this year.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Easy answers....hard tests....

I wrote a few months ago about my week of beginnings and all the new things I was about to start and then I wrote about the week in August that marked many accomplishments, and this week was a week of endings.

First of all, I ended the education component of my program. In December I’ll get some certificate at some ceremony in the city in front of thousands of guests that will mark my completion of the Lifestyles, Education, and Career section of rehab.

I am not really sure how I feel about this. It seems silly for me to go up and accept a certificate that says I completed a class that was to instruct me on how to live a ‘new’ life – one I should have learned how to live the past three decades by just living – on the other hand, few of my recent accomplishments have been worthy of a ceremony – in fact, its been so long since I even completed something, this would be a departure from the most recent normal and back into the past normal I have been trying to reach.

Even when I found out that I was part of an Emmy Award winning team for a documentary I helped produce over 10 years ago, I didn’t go to the ceremony, hell, I didn’t even know it until a year later we had won. In fact, I didn’t even know that we were nominated! Can you imagine being so caught up into your addiction that I can be a part of an honor like the Emmy for my ability and not even know we were recognized? The statue still sits in the Executive Producer’s office, I’ve always been too humiliated to ask about it.

I spent the day of my sister’s graduation from high school puking in the bathroom because I was so hung over, I only caught a glimpse of her even grabbing her diploma and only by pure luck in the timing between dry heaves – I even was a pallbearer for my grandfathers funeral, showed up to help lift his casket into the hearse, still slightly buzzed from the night before and probably smelling worse than he did at that moment. I was certainly not living a great life.

I don’t think I will attend the ceremony, but I will probably consider the certificate one of the better things I have accomplished in my lifetime. Its a milestone in my rehabilitation.

I also ended the Addictions 1 module. I didn’t think I would ever end this, and this comes as bitter sweet. I really enjoyed learning about addiction and the behavior patterns that I could recognize in myself – things I can do to maintain sobriety and things I can do in order to see when my behavior may lead somewhere dangerous.

This class also gave me a lot of answers as to why I am the way I am. I don’t view alcoholism as a regular illness. This would imply that there is a cure, a pill, some way to‘fix it.’ It isn’t – its more complex than that, its a biochemical situation triggered by emotional situations resulting in physical and spiritual situations that will eventually kill you. In a nut shell, it basically sucks.

I also don’t look at it as something that I knew enough about to prevent it. Hindsight is 20/20 and looking back at all the things I might have done differently is an exercise in futility. It is what it is, I did the best I knew how with what I knew best – as misguided as it may have been. I never intentionally set out to be a drunk. I didn’t go to career day at school and head to the “loser alcoholic booth” and grab a bunch of pamphlets. But hindsight is also very revealing, I wasn’t living a great life.

But this class was great, and I have become much more body conscious and mind conscious when it comes to addiction and I have been given opportunity to examine my brain and my emotions and my mentality and physical responses and symptoms in order to keep my spirit in check and this is a wonderful skill to develop – not just to avoid alcohol, but in order to live a good life no matter what you do.

I am also ending one spiritual rehab component- the study each week of the ‘Gospel of John’ which is part of the spiritual module in the rehab. This Gospel is different because it is less of a report on what Jesus did on the earth, but more of an account of what he SAID.... so we look at it as part of our welcome mat back into the comfort of a relationship with a benevolent God, or whatever higher power.

I am also getting ready to move to another dorm – a more comfortable place to live, so I am ending my days in the building I have fondly called ‘home’ since May. And my leisure days of work on the ranch are ending as I am gearing up to phase and with that, I will be required to get a real job off the ranch – I am being forced from the nest back into the real world – they transition us back in to reality in slow deliberate steps so we don’t advance or go too far just in case we need to slide back for a minute and rethink sobriety, catch our breath, and head on back out.

My days of training the horse on my free time are ending, and I am moving on to a mule as a part of therapy. A mule is a hybrid – a donkey father and horse mother. It has the grace and elegance and size and speed of a horse, but it has the intelligence and ability to reason and test boundaries like a donkey. Its a remarkable animal and quite a challenge. In equine language, the mule even has a sophisticated way to flip me off when I make her do something she doesn’t entirely want to do. She’s beautiful, very smart, she calculates what I am doing and we keep each other guessing. But, I miss the horse – my days with her have ended.

Another ending happened this week. My friend Curtis was pulled out from the last education class by his case manager and encouraged to call his father. Curtis has been trying hard to get financial aid for next semester and it is not uncommon for him to get calls from home with news on the status. You may remember Curtis from the blog about his grandfather and the post-death name plate.

As Curtis casually listened to his father on the phone, his stunned silence was broken with an awkward, ‘No shit. Well.... hmmmm... OK, thanks for telling me. Um, can I call you back in a little bit?’

With that, he hung up the receiver, and went to bed. I followed him into his room about 5 minutes later and asked if he was going to go work out with me (as we usually do on Wednesday afternoons) – he said no. He sat up, hugged me, and calmly said, ‘My older brother was found hanging from a tree, dead, this morning, I don’t feel much like working out, can I take a rain check?” His brother had hung himself.

In the days that followed and as he digested it, he spoke to me about it and mentioned that he doesn’t really know how to react to this news. He said that he is really glad he is in rehab because he knows if he wasn’t here he would probably be completely tore up with drugs and alcohol at this moment, and his parents would have to be worrying about what HE is up to as well as grieving for the dead brother. He also said that he feels good that he is lucid and ‘with it’ enough to handle this for his parents – he is available for them. The first time in his life HE has been able to support THEM.

And I was reminded about someone very dear to me, right about this time last year, who also killed herself. It was that situation that started my brain thinking about getting help- it was then that I began to create a plan where I wouldn’t only conquer addiction, but submit to life – to living MY life.

I saw how an early death devastated the people around her, the people closest to her. I saw how people grieved at the loss, the line of cars for her funeral procession was at least 2 miles long; I lamented at what it was like to be helpless. During her funeral, I witnessed a most amazing demonstration of grief, I saw my uncle Al, my Godfather – a man as emotionally stoic as most men of his generation – openly weep. His heart had broken as if the niece he was burying was his own daughter. He may not know it but I feel incredibly close to him these days because I watched a part of him stay with his dead niece as she was lowered into the ground, and just knowing that he loved his niece that much makes me feel equally as loved by him because I am his nephew. His grief said, “I love you, dearly, ” to all of us.

During that death, I also was spoon fed a lesson on the frailty of human life. The Sunday that I went to my moms for dinner with an uncle I had not seen in several decades, the night we received the call that my cousin had taken her life will always be marked in my memory as the first night I would spend in the company of a long lost relative, and the last day I would ever spend on the same earth as my cousin, sadly, in her heart, also lost.

And when I look at the composite of all that’s happened, the beginnings begin to emerge again. The education component ended but now I can begin to look for work, to move on save money, get on with living. I am moving dorms but I am beginning a new chapter in cozy digs with private bathrooms! My days with the horse have ended but I am beginning a more satisfying course in dealing with a more challenging animal to teach. Gospel of John ended, but now I have a free hour to NOT study the bible (ha ha, had to throw that in). My addictions 1 module ended but I am beginning Addictions 2 which is a series of lessons on how to incorporate addiction into my daily life, so this should be interesting.

Curtis’s brother’s life has ended, but Curtis will be given the same lessons I was given about how important it is to LIVE life, and he said to me that his commitment to sobriety is renewed because he doesn’t want his mother to have to bury TWO sons. A new relationship with his parents, with his own life, is beginning.

I look back on this time last year – all that ended; I was laid off from my job, my relationship tanked, heck, even my lease was up. I remember that period as a dark dismal period that was ushered in with the end of a precious life. But in that death, I was awakened to the necessity of living. It’s as if her death breathed the spirit back into me and filled my lungs, her death filled the void I had dug out in my soul – its as if she was up there in Heaven orchestrating the situations that would unfold in unplanned and wildly coincidental rapid succession that took away all my excuses for not going into rehab – for not fixing myself – for not living, and going into this rehab facility – at the time I entered – with who the people I entered it with were all incredible blessings. And so, at least to me, in order to make sense of her death, I decided that it must have marked a beginning. My beginning. And I’m going to do my best to honor her life by living a VERY long time, living VERY fully engaged in each moment, and VERY healthy.

You don’t need a certificate in order to start living a good life. You just start living a good life. It’s a simple solution. Life is crazy though, it gives you the worst test before it gives you the easy answer.

Have a great week all,

Monday, October 12, 2009

The wrong forest, the right leaves....

Its been a great weekend – very busy. I spent Friday at work and right after work, I went to speak to a visiting group about the benefits of living a sober life – this was a departure because I am usually asked to speak about the things I have lost in life, and it was really cool to mention the things I have gained.

And one thing that’s great is to take an inventory of what I have rebuilt in five or six months – and the potential to build more. Saturday, I ran 3 miles, worked out, then went to the library to do some research and get some books on Egypt. I don’t know why but Egyptian history is my new passion. This is a surprise because it came out of nowhere. I also checked out a book about Equine Therapy – basically using horses as a way to handle real life situations I may encounter in life– things like persuasion, trust, body language, etc. Its awesome.

Later, I sauntered over to main street where I tried on clothes at stores I can hardly afford and met a girl friend for coffee. I rode 15 miles back to the ranch where I watched a documentary on evolution vs. creation, then watched the movie Wolverine. After that, I headed to dinner, then mass, came back and played board games with my friends from the dorm. I wrote a little in my journal, talked to my mom on the phone, read a couple issues of National Geographic, then went to bed. Sunday, I woke up, went to my dads, we went to breakfast and had menudo, I did laundry, read some of my book, met up with a different girl for coffee, picked up Marty from town, went back to the ranch, ate dinner, worked out, ran 3 miles, talked on the phone to friends, did homework, went online to do some job searching, then took a shower and went to bed.

And the reason I am detailing all this is because I am mentioning how busy a typical weekend has become for me. This is good news – and I was thinking this morning about all the things I did – and what my life was like last year at this time. How my time wasn’t my own, how it belonged to the bottle. I recall the occasional Mondays I would wake up and hardly realize what DAY it was, let alone what TIME it was. I would often have to call Alex to ask to be filled in on the last few days. Somehow I managed to make it to work and complete a day – not much got done.

And now my days are numbered. I say it like this because not only is there a sense of urgency in doing things in life that I want to do – I won’t be here forever – not on the ranch, not on the planet – and so wasted time (which is how I look at drinking…. wasted time) is no longer a cool option for me. Alex and I were talking last weekend and Alex mentioned that it seems like we’ve known each other longer than 4 years…. But to me, it hardly seems like 4 years– and I have to think its because I spent so much of the time drunk and passed out.

But when I say my days are numbered, I actually mean something else. Last week I went up to the office and got another set of calendars. You may remember from a few blogs back that it seemed like a milestone when I got the new set of calendars (Aug- Oct) in the beginning of August because I doubted I would need them, and, yet, here I am. Heck, I doubted I would need them past June. I half way didn’t think I would last past June. June 6th, I was even planning my escape. I recall this because I read a captivating article by a columnist named Tina Griego in the Post on June 9th that changed my mind that week. More on that later.

So, last week, I got November-January blank calendars from Jim in the office. WOW!! They are even populated with things I need to do. They detail things I have in my plans. When I say my days are numbered, I mean more that these days, those numbers mean something. They have names to me. October 12th now means something to me, it is a blank slate that has a purpose. I no longer want to wish away or waste away days, they are filled with events, with people, with experiences, and now they even have hope. This is a forgotten concept to me.

While I was in town last week, I was reading in the park and a woman sat next to me (its very weird how many women approach me these days - it makes me feel hot), she had her son who was playing in leaves. He was jumping up and down and frolicking about. Her kid was having a blast and he told her that is was a beautiful day. I remember that because I think it was cool to hear a kid appreciating something like that moment with words like ‘a Beautiful Day,” but that’s not why I am mentioning it. She remarked to me that she wished that he would look at each leaf and see how beautiful each leaf was; this was what she, as a mother, wished her kid could do.

And, I think that is what made it a beautiful day. This small comment really stuck with me. So, these days, I am going to try to notice the forest – not for the trees, but for the leaves. I spent so much time in a drunken state that not only did I not see the trees, heck, I hardly even noticed it was a forest I was passed out in!

So, we lost two guys this weekend. One relapse, and its damn cold outside, but the grip of addiction is so strong that he is fully prepared to weather the winter snuggled up to a nice bottle of beer. The other guy left on his own. He had enough of the program and his struggle had more to do with the shame he had in being in rehab and that he couldn’t face his friends and family. MY GOD – can you imagine being so ashamed of yourself and your addiction that you honestly believe that your family and friends would be anything but supportive of a monumental attempt to get yourself healthy?

I don’t have anything much to say about these guys except that I wish them well.
I am also looking forward to this weekend, my family is coming up to visit the Fall Festival. At one time, I may have said that I can’t wait to see them. I have four more days – equally as important, and named and numbered, to live fully – I have a lot of leaves to notice. But I do have their visit on my new calendar…. in pen.

OVERHEARD: “I remember one time when I was a kid, my mom dressed me up as a clown for Halloween, but I didn’t want to be a clown, I wanted to be Freddie Kruger, so I started crying and my make up smeared. But then later that night I won a costume contest because everyone thought I dressed up as a sad clown – so I got a plaque and a trophy.” - Curtis
Peace all, have a great week.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Paybacks are NOT a b*tch, sometimes they're a sandwich.

So, today I went to speak to another High School and it went AWESOME! Its really cool talking to these kids about the whole addiction thing and giving them the opportunity to ask real questions and being able to give them real answers. I showed the photographs of me when I was a drinker (yuckie) and the vanity angle is always a good way to kind of drive the whole point home.

So, several of the guys at the ranch have been diagnosed with H1N1 virus. This is some scary stuff! Its been pretty mild, but we are operating a fall festival with over 3000 people attending each week and so we’re being exposed to the germs of slew of gross little kids almost daily.

I am really lucky that I work in the kitchen because my hands are always clean and I am in an environment where I am not dealing with the public. Nice for me.

I’m just about completed with education component– and I’ve begun my job search – wish me luck. I spent the day on Tuesday in town with my friend Brian and Monday night, my buddy Curtis celebrated HIS birthday by taking ME out to Subway for a sandwich. You may not remember, but on MY birthday, my parents gave me some money and I took Curtis out for a hamburger. (See the blog entry ‘The $10 Burger’)

Curtis is amazingly awesome. We call him ‘Cletus’ because he’s from a small farming town in Eastern Colorado (sometimes we call his ‘Cloitus’ – yea, we’re not always nice). Anyway, he is from a small town in Eastern Colorado and one thing I love about him is that he gets visibly excited when he reads classic literature. He stays up at night reading the works of Twain or Chaucer or Edgar Allen Poe and many times he will wake me up from a deep sleep to share a line of beautiful writing with me. Sometimes I will shout out line from a piece of literature when we pass each other on the road on our bikes and he will finish it:

“When I was young and deft with folly,” I will call to him,
“I fell in love with melancholy,” he will whimsically call back

Then the rest of the guys call us fruitcakes.

(this is from Poe, it’s a statement about how young people can quickly fall into the clutches of alcohol addiction)

He is also the embodiment of the typical country kid – he tells us of tales growing up in this small town before he was grabbed by meth. He tells wonderful tales of killing rabbits with a sling shot, of his friends in 5th grade who used to climb to the top of the town’s grain elevator and shit off the edge – watching as a pile of poop would form 5 stories below. Oh how they would laugh. Small town humor I guess.

Many small towns are saturated with methamphetamines. They are cheap to produce and cheap to deliver, and for whatever reason, small town kids seem to be stricken with the meth habit more than those of bigger cities.

Curtis prides himself on his dental habits, he doesn’t have meth mouth so common with addicts (about a third of the guys on the ranch have no teeth and are in the process of getting dentures at the ranch’s expense – part of the ‘new life’)

He tells of these innocent (disgusting, yet innocent) experiences before he started using meth and he tried to avoid it, but found it to be too impossible. His stories change from the innocent high flying poop story to more sinister events like ‘tweak-f**king a pregnant girl for three hours because he had dope and she wanted it’.

His reflection includes the crazy stories like how he would get high on duster (the aerosol cleaner people use to clean computer keyboards) and put on his headphones and BLAST his music at all hours of the night – jamming, dancing, music on the highest volume….. only to discover about 30 minutes into his solo jam session that he failed to actually plug the earphones in to the stereo and was instead in his frenzied state with the stereo on full volume, no earphones; his poor parents on the other side of the door pounding, trying to get his attention and having no luck – at 2:30am.

The defining moment for Curtis before he decided that he needed help came last year. He had always spent a lot of time with his grandparents, as many kids do that are from a small town. Much like my nieces and nephews, the grandparents are extensions of their own parents. I can’t imagine it any other way, it works and its great.

Curtis had left his town for a few months to rent a house in another town about 2 hours away. He would sell meth to pay his bills and rarely, if ever, left the apartment. He was absent for about 9 months. One afternoon he came home to his town and he stopped at his grandparents home, his grandfather was working in the garage and saw Curtis (who, I might add, must have looked tragically bad after being in a dark apartment with little food or sunlight or hygiene for 9 months). His grandfather summoned Curtis to the garage and was genuinely interested in Curtis’s life, and what he’s been up to. Curtis remembers slingshotting a stone at the sign that hung from the mailbox that read ‘Taylor’. His parents had one just like it – it was kind of a family tradition. Small town family.

Curtis recounts this story with a fascinating fondness in his eyes – he recounts it and inevitably looks past the person he’s telling the story to, the part of him that loves good literature is immediately taken back to that moment when his grandfather, a friendly face, wanted to engage with him.

But after a two hour drive, Curtis had other things on his mind. He hurried his grandfather, answered as quickly as he could each question (which was rapidly feeling like an interrogation to the drug addict), and eventually left to the upstairs bathroom where he HAD to inject himself with the drug which would help him get through the visit.

He recalls looking out that window and watching his grandfather – the man who wanted to take some moments to reconnect with Curtis – plowing a field on the tractor. Next, Curtis clearly remembers looking down at the needle sticking out of his arm. He giggled a little bit that he was doping up in his grandparents bathroom. His grandfather had decided to get back to work, accepting the humiliation of an insignificant old man who was no longer important to his grandson, his grandson who had found a new love, a new confidant – a new family member he could inject right into his arm.

Curtis left the home, tweaked out, headed to a friends home and spent the next two days on a meth binge. When he sobered up enough to head to his parent’s home he was greeted with an empty home – just a note on the table from his mother:

“Please call when you are in your right mind, its very important.”

So, he called – expecting to hear a lecture about his binge. His mother patiently listened as he chattered on with a million excuses about where he was and why he hadn’t been around. His mother calmly replied, “Your papa died two nights ago, he had a heart attack, we are making the arrangements now.”

And with that, it hit him –the last time he would speak to his beloved grandfather was cut short by his addiction calling to him. And, in this, he tells of his number one regret with the whole thing. You see, when he got to his grandparents home to be with his family, his grandmother gave him a box. In the box was a mailbox sign that said ‘Taylor’ – Curtis’s grandfather had carved him a mailbox sign just like his, and his father’s – that he had hoped Curtis would hang from HIS mailbox in his new home. The grandfather was never able to present it to Curtis.

That sign currently hangs on Curtis’s bedpost.

We didn’t mention any of this when we had our Subway sandwich, its likely we may never talk about it again. But I know about it, and he once told me that he feels much better that at least ONE person knows how sorry he is.
I do. And, I decided to tell this story in part for him, for his birthday, as a gift, because it might make him feel a lot better if a lot of people know that he is very sorry. Happy Birthday, Cletus.

Peace all, have a good weekend.

Monday, October 5, 2009

One minor detail....

Well, my cold finally went away and I am feeling much much better. This comes as good timing because I finally am going to get some time off this week.

Wednesday I am going to go to another high school and speak again to another group of 9th graders about alcohol. This time I am going to be showing them a photograph of what I looked like shortly before I entered this program – vanity is always a good deterrent I suppose.
Now, here’s a question that I have been struggling with – some of my friends went away recently – they are in treatment because they had severe drug addictions but were left pretty much untouched by the ill effects of booze before they got here. So, they decided to drink and party while they were away.

Our group of guys is struggling with this one because some of the guys in my accountability group say this is a relapse, while others maintain that it is not because alcohol was not their addiction. They make a valid point that tobacco is also a drug and we are required to stop smoking while we are here in rehab and that if we begin smoking again, this could be a relapse.
The reason that no one is quick to label this a relapse is because in the mind of an addict, once a relapse has occurred, it is common for them to completely relapse into other behaviors (namely, their real addiction) because they adopt that, ‘Well, its already done,’ attitude.

I am of the camp that any drug that changes your reality window is a relapse. Then I was told that if I was given prescription medication, this could do that. So, I am stumped.

Is it a true relapse if you imbibe in a behavior that you didn’t have problems with before. I am not a gambler, I never have been, but is it a relapse if I go to Vegas and make some wagers?
Its pretty interesting debate and I am not sure how I feel about it. Your thoughts?

Robert has been my dorm mate since JT moved away a few weeks ago. This weekend he was in rare form, he actually wanted to speak. He said that I make him feel really comfortable and I kind of like that he said that.

I remember when he arrived on the ranch – it was Father’s Day – and he was so extremely strung out and detoxing so bad, he didn’t even know it was Father’s Day until a week later when he got a card from his daughter in the mail.

He decided to come to the ranch after one strange and fateful night in February. He had been living in a trailer that was in an abandoned trailer park. He and his roommate had spent nearly two weeks on a serious meth binge and the effects of a drug binge can quickly become a series of unlikely thoughts very quickly. If people made wise decisions while on drugs no one would be in rehab.

Anyway, after several days of being up and smoking meth they got the brilliant idea that they should rob a bank to finance a trip to California where they were promised a land of plenty – a Meth-mecca. They meticulously planned their heist – observed the bank for several days, cased the place, planned their get away, they had it all planned out to the time. Looking back, he laughs at it because he was far from the professional criminal he thought he was – in fact, in hindsight he remembers that the bank he cased wasn’t even the bank they were enroute to when the fateful day finally arrived.

Now… everything was ‘going according to plan’ but Robert started to get a little bit nervous and decided to go and find some liquid courage in the form of a bottle of Jack Daniels – this must be a pretty common guest in a bank robber’s gang.

They decided to take a detour to the nearest liquor store and as they fumbled out of the car and made their way to the liquor store, they were greeted with the sign that clearly stated that Sunday liquor hours were noon – 6 and the store was closed for another 30 minutes.

So they went back to the car, and decided to wait for the doors to open so they could get their final companion, the bottle of Jack Daniels, and make their grand entrance to the wrong bank and their ticket to financial freedom would be claimed. While they waited, they again went over the plan – detail by specific detail. And while they did this, after a half hour of replaying the plan of attack, it donned on one of them – if the liquor store wasn’t open because it was Sunday, then the BANK wouldn’t be open either.

A minor detail.

And so the next day, a Monday, Robert woke with a pounding headache in his occupied trailer in the abandoned trailer park – looked out his window, reminded himself of how close he came to the stupidest thing he had done in recent memory, and he called the ranch.

He gave his cat to his mom, packed up and came in on the fast-track.

I start Addictions 2 this week – I’ll fill you in on the fun stuff.
Anyway, its going to be a great week, I can just feel it. Take care all.