Help! Help! Help! I screamed! The roar of the trucks diesel engine drowned out my cries. I had fallen asleep in a Dumpster and awakened just as it was being emptied into the back of a garbage truck. Totally disoriented, I landed face first in the filthy muck. I spit something vile out my mouth. Before I could gather my wits, I was being propelled forward towards the deadly whining of the trucks compactor. I was about to be crushed to death in back of a stinking garbage truck!
Earlier that day, I had donated blood plasma. The donation was my second of the week and I felt a little prideful at my accomplishment. I did not have much else to be proud of. I took the twenty dollars I made and purchased crack cocaine, beer, and cigarettes. I briefly entertained the thought of buying something to eat but quickly dismissed that idea. All too soon the crack and beer were gone but clarity immediately returned and I realized I was very, very hungry.
With no money left, and having alienated and burned bridges with all my friends and family, Dumpster diving for food became my only option. At the Kentucky Fried Chicken Dumpster, I hit the jackpot! I ate to my hearts content the still warm “original recipe” chicken. After eating, drowsiness overwhelmed me. The black trash bags in the Dumpster appeared soft as pillows and seemed to invite me. I climbed into the Dumpster.
I had previously been in treatment for my alcoholism/drug addiction, spending time in three twenty-eight day in-patient treatment centers. I had attended hundreds of alcoholics and narcotics anonymous meetings. But the meetings and concepts simply were not working for me and many others I saw in the rooms. Despite our good intentions and sincerity, many of us attending 12 step meetings failed miserably at staying sober. Meetings were considered the last stop before jails and institutions and ultimately, death.
Now, fast forward fifteen years from that night in the trash truck. Life had gotten no better, I was hopelessly demoralized and resigned to dying in despair and frustration. I wanted to quit! I promised myself, my family and God that I would stop but every time I got money I was off to the races again. When I would sober up I would hate myself, all the havoc my drug use caused would appear crystal clear and I undergo depression and extreme remorse. Only to do it again and again. I loved my small daughter intensely but I couldn’t be the Dad she deserved. In addition to that, I was repeatedly jeopardizing my life in dangerous situations and neighborhoods.
Then one night I had a dream. In this dream, a voice that I knew to be God told me “Its over, you don’t have to worry about drugs and alcohol again.” That was five years ago, I have not touched drugs or alcohol since!
In another fortuitous twist of fate, shortly thereafter, I was introduced to Micky Singer. He is a best selling author who writes and lectures on mindfulness, or proper relation to our thoughts. I learned from him the invaluable skill of watching my mind (thoughts) rather than getting caught up and immersed in them. I learned to separate from my thoughts. The drugs thoughts no longer could dominate and control me.
I realize everyone does not have nor believe in the kind of dream I experienced. However everyone with substance abuse issues definitely should be afforded the opportunity to get treatment that can save them! WE HAVE TO OFFER ALTERNATIVES TO 12 STEP PROGRAMS! Lives are being lost and families destroyed and we maintain the status quo. We can do better. A one size fits all approach to substance abuse is a injustice to not only the users but to society as a whole. I call to task the Veterans Administration, the Addiction treatment industry, as well as the Judicial system to step up and address this issue!
Nowadays I face a different challenge, though it sometimes feels as daunting. I am working to create employment for Veterans nationwide through my moving labor company Veterans Moving Help. Bureaucracy and red tape are severely hindering my efforts to connect Veterans needing jobs with the jobs. We need your help spreading the word that Veterans Moving Help has jobs for Veterans nationwide. These are on call moving labor jobs that pay $25 hr cash. They can please leave their contact info on our contact page of our website.
Fortunately for me, that trash truck was so full of garbage I escaped it unharmed. The next stop was at a church Dumpster. I climbed out the truck wet, cold, shaken and grateful. I tried the church door, it was open. I went in and slept till the morning.
Please hire our Veterans and and contact me for any questions or assistance with substance abuse issues.