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August 16, 2021

By Ramell B.

I often look up to the sky and say thank you to God for helping me make it through the stormy days, for guiding me, and never leaving my side. God has loved me until I was able to love myself. I finally made it is what I say to myself while watching my children play endlessly as the sun fades into the background of the clouds. My wife walks through the door after a long day of work. She kisses me ever so softly and whispers, “I love you.”

While dinner is cooking, my family and I like to engage in what some folks may call Family Time. I call it Family Enlightenment Time, because it is the time when we all gather around and listen to each other explain how the day went and what lessons were learned.

My future could not be any more fulfilling. But at the same time, it still gets haunted by my present because the present, when it still existed, had no real value or meaning. The present was then, it was a trying time for all. I knew the good moments were all about recovering from my past. I’m not saying the present was a horror show to say the least, but I would say that it had flaws, as does the past, but I guess you can’t have either without the other.

My past was all about disappointments, fear, loneliness, and reckless fun. To say the least, it was. At such a young age I dreamt of playing endlessly because that’s what children did. But for me that’s all it was: a dream. No child should ever have to be hidden from its

age and allowed to return later to figure out life after it has already come and gone.

It was hard work being an adult child at 38 because now you must re-learn everything that should have already been naturally done. It was scary finding out who I really was, discovering what I missed out on, and feeling like an outcast in the eyes of society.

Throughout the course of my many journeys that I have been on I found the greatest one of them all, and, also the most challenging; the one that made me look at myself through a three-dimensional scope, one being the eyes of others, and one being the eyes of the now 38-year-old me.

The 38-year-old me saw what everyone else saw. A man who is gifted, humble, and open-minded. Someone who cares about life and wants a future. Someone who has finally figured out how to satisfy both characteristics, the inner child, and the outer man. In the eyes of everyone else, the now 38-year-old me was always noticed before he could notice himself. Perhaps that was because the inner 6-year-old who never got the chance to live came alive and surfaced. He was hard-headed, hot-tempered, and would not take no for an answer. He ruled the temple.

The 6-year-old now follows directions, he speaks when spoken to, he sleeps when he is told; he is the perfect child. He is disciplined and unafraid. He has allowed himself the chance to be cradled and put to bed, resting until he is needed. He shares his spot in my heart willingly with the now 38-year-old me. He brings balance to my life and understands that there is a time and place for both.

So, to say the least, the future that I now live in, must be credited mostly to my past, because without it the present day would have been still present. No lessons to be learned, no room for suggestions or lectures about the substance that had a grip on me and which I now find joy in teaching others about. Basically, I would be just existing and probably working in some office looking out the window with no clue about how life was or how it is.

Today I sit in my living room shedding tears of joy for the fact that I made it, and for the knowledge that I have obtained because my children will be able to have balanced lives. They will also be one step ahead in this fight of addiction. I also cry out for those who are clueless, blue-collared hard-working people, because all they know is business for which they set out to do, and the fact that addiction to them is only relevant to drugs. They will soon realize that lifestyle is an addiction, period. Anything that consumes you is an addiction, and like me, you will begin to show addictive behaviors.

St. Christopher’s Inn845-335-1000
Addiction Treatment & Recovery Community
21 Franciscan Way P.O. Box 150 Garrison, NY 10524
Office of Mission Support888-720-8247
P.O. Box 303 Garrison, NY 10524
St. Christopher's Inn is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. EIN: 13-3668321.