Portrait of a Mad Man – What’s wrong with this picture?
Here I am. Yep, that’s me in all my glory. What a fine specimen!!! As you can see I wasn’t having such a good day back then. This was me in 2008, while I was a guest of the Sheriff’s Bed & Breakfast. What a great place to detox, and it was the best in jailhouse cuisine and accommodations that crime can buy these days. What you cannot see is my broken hand from the night festivities of which I was kindly shackled from and given a three day, two nights, all inclusive vacation. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the kind citizens of Texas for their great hospitality and understanding with my insanity of the moment.
I did not always look, like this, angry, frustrated, very grumpy, and extremely resentful. The days that had led up this moment started many months before. Let me take you back to November of 2007. I was living in Houston, Texas and working as a commercial electrician building a hospital in the city. I had been in between periods of sobriety. I was always in between periods of sobriety.
Well, I had been smoking crack and maintaining a miserable existence. I was trapped in a cycle of work, get paid, use, sleep, eat, go back to work, get paid, use, sleep, eat, go back to work, on and on and on. While in my throws, occasionally I would rent out my vehicle to the dope man so as to keep fuel in my rocket ship. This behavior had been taking a toll on my Mum and Dad for years and all they seemed to be able to do was try their best to deal with me.
My Mum actually got so bad she started to get very sick. In fact she had been dying for the previous two years and hanging on in hopes that her son would get better. I really thank God that I was clean and sober when she passed on. I had about 5 months when she died and was able to let her know I was going to be OK. She just wanted me to be safe. Thanks Mum.
So my 48th birthday had arrived and I had been working about 40 miles from home on the other side of Houston. In order to arrive safely back home I would have to negotiate several tricky distractions. There were many Hoods and Hoes to avoid and with all my might I would run the gauntlet every day, but on this day, my birthday, I was not going to be able to avoid the pitfalls of my addiction.
My magnificent mind came up with a new plan of attack to fix my situation.
Stage 1 – I would go to the closest bar and get a birthday drink. I had 1 single dollar bill in my pocket. That was enough for a short tip to the beer slinger.
Stage 2 – I would proceed to the hood that knows me on sight. When they see me on the street, they come a runnin!
Stage 3 – Tell the dope man that arrives first to my ride, I want a fifty, quick, and he goes to hand it to me, I slap his hand a the prize goes flying, and my foot hit the gas!!! This has to be timed perfectly for maximum success. Hopefully he has more in his hand and I ‘ll get that as well.
The next part, Stage 4 is what I don’t wish to describe to anyone anymore except my sponsor. We all know what’s next, oblivion and the frantic desire screaming for more and more.
Stage 4 – Get my self to a dope-house closer to home and make the next dope man a deal for my ride. It was a work van that my dad bought so I could be better at my profession. It was loaded with about $6000 worth of various tools and such. It was expendable for my purpose.
OK then – 10 days later, I’m still in the crack house, my van’s nowhere to be found, the dealer’s done giving me payment for the rental and I think it’s time to go. No one wants a geeking crack head around with no funds.
I make it over to a payphone and make the dreaded call – 1 800 – CALL – MUM. The phone answers, it’s her; she is frantic with worry and has been talking with her new friend, Tim, from the same organization that was searching for Natalee Holloway – Texas Equisearch. They had been searching all over Houston for me. My face was put on the local news and my folks had offered up a reward for my return.
Two days later and a couple of long talks with Mum and Dad I was on my way to treatment. My plan worked. I was to escape the clutches of two adversaries: “My addiction and my primary enabler.” Having a good job, I was able to utilize my health insurance to flip the bill for the desperately needed psychiatric and medical attention.
There I was, just a couple days from surviving a crack driven freak show, of my own doing, headed to a wonderful facility in the Texas Hill Country. I could not have been happier with myself. It had been a long while since I last had a plan work. I’m insane for sure!
All right, I make it out of Houston and come to a landing at a great place near San Antonio. It’s far enough away from my hunting range that I think I will be just fine. Man, was I ever wrong about that.
During the 28 days, I was regained my ability to make a reasonable thought. I ate well and recovered my stamina and health, enough to make it look good to everyone. It just so happened that a new hospital was being built in the town I was closest to. The very day I graduated from the “looney bin,” I was able to gain employment. I have always considered my self to be a great “putting it back together kind of guy”. And in this manner I was given one more opportunity at “doing the deal”. I clean up pretty good considering.
Mum used her influence to convince Dad into getting me a Dodge truck so I could again be a better employee at my job! I lived at a sober living house and went to work like a good trooper. Things were looking up, in fact all the pieces were falling back in their right places. Work, cash, friend, money, truck, tools, AA, and sobriety. The only part missing was companionship of the female variety. Good luck to me on that one!!!
The storm was over and there wasn’t a cloud on the horizon, none that I could see. As living life would have it, I started to believe I could start to make good decisions again. Yea, right? Me make good decisions was not an aptitude that I was ever able to rely on. My choices did have the markings of reason and logic. I am very good at rationalization and justification, been doing that most of my life. I knew all the twists and turns of a successful con-job when it came to getting what I wanted.
The schedule I was working with entailed, 10-15 hour shifts at the jobsite, making meetings over at the AA hall, going home, eat, sleep, get up and go back to work, make a meeting, again, again, again. It was the same exact thing each and every day. The daily activities included all the necessary ingredients for self-will to come creeping back, taking over control. Good ole self will.
During this period of clean and sober time I became friends with a little gal who was staying at a girls sober house. She had worked in a strip joint I used to frequent back in the day. So, that was my in, we have something in common and it made for interesting conversation. She speaks and I fantasize. It has to be God’s will that I get to know her. Yes, That’s it. God’s will. Sounds good to me! She has a new job as a waitress and needs help getting her uniform. I can do that – helping others don’t ya know? I act as the perfect guy and do the right thing – give her my number and let it go at that.
Yes, I did give her money to buy what she needed for work. No strings!
Here it is. The beginning of the end. I’m enjoying my day off up at the cabin, mostly sleeping. The phone was on the coffee table and the sound was off. My ringtone is the Nuclear Alarm sound, but if I only would have heeded it forecast. When I answered the call it was my little china doll – fantasy girl- and she inquired if it would be ok for her to come on over. “ABSOLUTELY!”
I knew it was a good move getting my own place. Now all pieces will be in place. Self-will triumphs and rules, victorious, I thought. I immediately turn into a machine. Cleaning up the cabin, doing dishes, stuffing my dirty laundry under the bed and of course make the bed with fresh linens, fluff up the pillows, hurriedly jump in the shower, shave and prune. This has got to be perfect.
I have about 5 minutes before she’ll be knocking at the door. A quick survey of my pad and all is good. I’m ready to perform my magic. Her friend drives up into the carport and honks the horn for my attention. I have the door open to give a sense of invitation – come-in, come-in. She floats out of the car and like a witchy queen and gets closer. My anticipation is difficult to control, but I manage to remain calm and collected. I feel the sensation of adrenalin increasing my pulse, almost to the Promised Land.
Then it happens – This is what was said:
Her – “Hi sweetie”
Me – “Hi, come on in. Can I get you anything? A soda?
Her – “No, baby but do you have a plate or a mirror,
I want to do a line.”
Me – "What, hold on, you want a what, a line, ohhhhh-kkkkkkkkaaaaayyyyyy!"
Now, a normal person would think, while having such a fine success rate at handling this type of situation, “are you serious?” You need to know right now what is going to happen:
1st – I don’t waste coke up my nose – I do it in more of a direct fashion.
2nd – I going to convince you to do it that way also.
3rd – I am going to become a monster.
4th – You will let me do what I want with you.
5th – You will enjoy it as much as me.
I have enjoyed stormy weather and this was the perfect storm. Insanity has a certain kind of thrill attached to it. This thrill is a moment of space and time of which I have never escaped from unharmed. For me to believe that this time will be different is just pure crazy, but having full knowledge and scars to prove it, I am unable to stop the fuse. It’s lit and burning up quick.
You probably can determine that I am in total flight from reality and delusional to the point of certifiable. My mind and body had to survive another full year of this terror. The photo at the beginning of this tale was how I looked 3 months later.
In this 1 year I had been arrested and charged:
4 times for public intoxication.
3 more times of driving under the influence, my 3rd, 4th, and 5th DUIs
1 time for family violence.
1 possession of drug paraphernalia.
1 possession of a dangerous drug.
1 false report to a police official.
In this 1 year I was hospitalized 6 times.
In this 1 year I was committed to the State Hospital
In this 1 year I called SWAT on myself
In this 1 year I went through 3 different vehicles – which my Mum and Dad paid for.
In this 1 year I broke the hopes and dreams of the people in my life that loved me.
Thanks for your time today, and I appreciate your concern.
Now you know what is wrong with that picture.
I’m doing well today and my next story will be one of recovery, purpose, love, compassion, sacrifice, and commitment.
Thanks again Chris PHRC
P.s. To see Chris’s opposing story from this addictive tale on his recovery and message of hope read further to part 2 in “The Portrait of A Miracle- Transformation of a Mad Man” here- http://substanceforyou.com/portrait-of-a-miracle-transformation-of-a-mad-man/
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