I am an addict. I have struggled with this disease on and off for decades, managing long periods of sobriety on occasion. My addiction's destructiveness has never failed to baffle me over the years, and the power it can wield over my better senses has traumatized me. If I use, the other person I become is blissfully stupid, annoying and often times unabashedly bold at disregarding social norms- talking much too openly to strangers about personal matters and projecting a sense of confidence far beyond my true self. I continue to be astounded as I learn more about how much this has impacted other people, how I played a role in some of the bad things that happened to me, and stunned at how my complicated past has stayed with me after all these years.

Caught up in my own pain for so long, I've not cared nearly enough about others. I've been praying more in recent months to understand what I haven't understood about everything I'm currently dealing with. I'm ashamed of how cut off I've been and I am working on these character deficiencies. I must work harder to do better for others in whatever ways I can. I've been working on it to some degree but want to do so much more. I will continue to pray for guidance in this endeavor. The pain and/or hurt I have caused others I'm not fully aware of, but the idea that I have hurt others, even through ignorance, is a horrible feeling. I still have so much to work on- one of the most crucial being that I find sobriety again.

I must address the subject of racism again because it very much matters to me. I have always, from childhood to now, held the core belief that everyone in this world regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation are equal and everyone deserves the same respect. Since what I feel and know to be true about myself regarding these subjects was never in question to me, the shock of finding out last year I was believed to be racist was hard to wrap my head around. Although considering how much of who I am has been so drastically distorted due to my addiction, mental illness and a terrible inability to explain myself properly for so long, I'm realizing a lot about me could easily be misunderstood. I've had a saddening amount of trouble trying to connect with people in recent years. I can't explain myself properly so often it led me to become too silent. Beautiful words are nonsense if you can't hear how you're saying them.

As I continue to become more aware of just how oblivious I've been when high over the years to how I might have hurt others without knowing it- so caught up in my own pain- I'm thinking now that people must have thought I was knowingly and willingly hurting others as I blundered along high and stupid, unaware of how I might be that much of a problem. The idea that I could hurt anyone was difficult for me to comprehend because I knew I was "a good person." Truth is, one can be a good person in their heart all day long but mistakes are mistakes. It's been a perfect maelstrom of my drug addiction, ignorance, innocence and more that created so many problems. The total disconnect in my head grew, further blinding me from so much.

I am so sorry for whatever I have done to hurt anyone over the years that I'm not aware of. I've so much to work on and I thank God for letting me see more of what I've been blind to. I have more to learn and will continue to pray about this and also hope I can heal my own shit show who I am and who I can be.

Over this past year I've been giving what I can to charities and I hope to do more in the future. I long to be a part of the world again and miss having a connection and sense of worth. And I miss love. I have so much to work on regarding my own mental and physical struggles- I only hope that I have the chance to live again. To give back however I can in the future. Love and understanding is vital and although these are integral parts of my soul it must be revitalized, proven and put into action. It could take some time. I'm still a ghost wandering about looking for my lost corporeal pieces. I am nothing.

In the meantime social injustice rages on, as it has since our nation was founded, and I'm acutely aware of how much I'm talking about me.

Remember Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery among so many others who've lost their lives so unjustly. Give money to the Black Lives Matter organization. Help your community out in whatever ways you can. You are owed nothing in this world, but you owe the world for being here.

*Addiction is a disease that halts development, numbs the afflicted to everything, then furthermore will blind the sufferer from knowing it. It allows a kind of "shadow self" in some users to break out of a dark place and wreak havoc in the addict's life, playing them like a fool and a joke and reducing their more virtual nature into a blurry memory. Shadows can take over an addict laughing all the while. The sufferer could almost totally disappear until recovery becomes possible. What is lost can be re-found.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.