I’m Eighteen. I Get Confused Every Day.
Lines form on my face and hands
Lines form from the ups and downs
I’m in the middle without any plans
I’m a boy and I’m a man
I’m eighteen and I don’t know what I want
Eighteen I just don’t know what I want
Eighteen I gotta get away
I gotta get out of this place
I’ll go runnin’ in outer space oh yeah
A “friend” had left a small amount of crystal meth on my counter. A few days later, I emerged from my room where I’d been surrounded by magazines and, eventually, a real girl who I’d picked up off the street. She said if I bought her a hamburger she’d do me a favor. Win-win. My son hadn’t been fed and it was afternoon, so I came out and made him some toast. I prided myself on being a good father, but the relapse after ten years clean and sober had taken priority over even that.
After winding up in an AA meeting by “accident,” I wound up staying sober. It wasn’t easy, and it took about seven years to begin to feel someone comfortable in my own skin. Still working on that one.
This past year has been the most challenging of my life. A lot of traumatic events and losses occurred. I panicked, ran, came back…three times. Lost my beautiful dog Zippy in the process. He had a heart condition and I kept him with me until the end, along with my other dog, also a senior. Decided to come back to San Diego and make shit work. Got married. Started working full time for the first time in over 15 years. Moved out of the ghetto, where walking the dogs was a nightmare, to a luxury building downtown with my beautiful wife. We ride our bikes to work during the week, take yoga and hot tub a lot. It’s like a fucking dream. In addition to letting go of the past, I try to keep the impermanence of the good shit in mind too. As my teacher says, “Everything is unreal, just like a dream.”
Some friends have died. Relatives became ill and injured. People got cancer. We’re all in the same boat. We all want the same thing, to be happy and to not suffer. So I remain sober and I remain a yogi and I remain clean and sober. This way, I’m much more effective and able to help others.
Thank you for sticking with me. Thank you for supporting me and my work. Your emails and notes have lifted me up and kept me motivated to continue, even through those moments when I didn’t think I was going to make it. Buddha, Dharma, Sangha. For those (family, AA members, yogis and Buddhists) who turned their backs, oh well. Sorry to disappoint you. The path ain’t easy. But I have continued to walk it. That is my example. I have mine, you have yours. “Seven times I fall, eight I rise.”
When I used to listen to that Alice Cooper song as a teenager, I just knew that my life didn’t matter and that I’d never make it to eighteen. I did, and then some. Today I celebrate 18 years of continuous sobriety. One day at a time.
Now I work in Personal Development, helping people to upgrade their vibrations, build confidence and set themselves up for success. I also streamline processes, create automations, fine tune systems and analyze current business models. I have a LinkedIN page. Redid the12stepbuddhist.com, and am working on new materials that will help people thrive. More will be revealed. Sign up to my email list and get a free copy of my meditation eBook. I’ll share my thoughts with you personally as things develop.
If you want to help me celebrate, buy a copy of The 12-Step Buddhist for yourself and a friend. Email me with questions. I try to always answer.