Fighting with Demons
All my life I struggled with adversities of one kind or another.
When I was a child my parents lived in poverty and we never knew from one day to the next where the food on the table would come from. Back then there were no computers, electronics, and a TV was a luxury. We had one, but the makeshift antennae only let us barely see the outline of figures on TV.
Many times, my parents would load us all up (seven of us) and take off to a relative’s house to spend the day because they knew we would be fed there. Even though none of our relatives were that well off, they still had a bit more than we did, which was food. We didn’t mind because our cousins lived on a large farm and we had tons of things to do and their house was bordered on woods and we loved playing in the woods, climbing trees, playing hide and seek and more.
We would be there for breakfast and Dinner. We only ate the leftover homemade biscuits with sprinkles of sugar for lunch. For breakfast, the food consisted of wonder biscuits, homemade fried apples off the trees in their backyard, and poor mans gravy-which is gravy with just flour and no meat, but our Aunt was an outstanding cook and the food was delicious. For dinner, it was normally biscuits, Vinson (deer meat) that my cousins and Uncle would hunt year-round to keep food on the table, and potatoes or turnips of some form that they raised from a garden each year.
Looking back, we thought we were just visiting our relatives, what our parents were doing was keeping their family fed. My dad would work when there was work, but with a 6-grade education, there wasn’t much work for him. Our mom had her hands full with all of us kids, all under the age of ten.
When I started high school, I knew I wouldn’t be there long. I was very rambunctious and seemed I stayed in fights, got caught smoking in the bathrooms, my grades were failing, the school wasn’t for me. I went to work doing odd jobs from mowing, roofing, or anything I could to make a dollar. My problems were that I liked to drink and get mixed up with the wrong crowd.
I realized after a while I WAS the wrong crowd. It seemed more people put me down and talked about how mean I was, the worse I got. By the time I hit thirty I had shot a man, done about any kind of drugs there was, and stole from everyone.
I spent many different times in jail from drinking, stealing, breaking into anyone’s homes or outbuilding to get that dollar to buy my drugs, I wanted it more and more until I realized there was no way I could do without, but very expensive habit and that meant I had to steal more to feed my habits.
For a few years, I was the black sheep of the family. No one wanted me around because they knew I would steal whatever I could to feed my habit. My hygiene was horrible, going days and weeks without showering, living on the streets, not recognizing my family, and couldn’t figure out what the big fuss was.
One day I was walking down the street and happened to look over into a window and saw my reflection and I panicked, I didn’t recognize myself. I looked behind me to see who was behind me, there was no one there. I started to shake and went down the street to see if I could find relief. I decided I would do one last time and I was going to get myself together.
Here I was in my forties and looking like I was in my sixties, living on the streets, going days without food because I was too high to realize I hadn’t eaten, actually smelling my body odor that was so nauseating it gagged me and watching others make faces of disgust when they were near me, seeing family, friends, strangers not wanting to look at me and if they did it was either disgust or pity. I was done.
My parents and family didn’t deserve to worry about me anymore. I found my “buddy” and told him I couldn’t do this anymore and I wanted to be clean after this and be the “One” that beat the odds. My family will be so proud to hear the news! I called my sister and told her the news that I was ready to get my life back. She wasn’t jumping for joy because she had heard this many times before. I couldn’t wait to surprise them all; Tears was running down my dad’s face, my sisters and brothers all were crying uncontrollably! I felt great!
No more demons knocking on my door, no more gut-wrenching pain, no more living on the streets, but there was one question I kept asking myself…WHY, why did I have to do the drugs ONE more time? I smiled down as they lowered the casket into the dark hole. I heard my cousin say, “The Demon Drugs got another one.” The “ONE MORE TIME” was the last time I was going to do drugs, but I didn’t think it would be my last time like this.