We Blak. We Soba.
Peace everyone. I hope all is well and that this blog finds you in good Spirits. I hope you are in a sober state of mind and are armed with facts about yourselves. Before I dive in, I’d like to ask you, if you haven’t already done so to go to my website and peruse around. Hopefully you will find something that you like and/or get a more in-depth understanding of who I am and why I do this. Perhaps you may purchase merchandise, music and/or some food. I’m an entrepreneur so keep in mind that this is how I am providing for my loved ones and myself.
Because I understand that a blog of this sort may attract friends, loved ones and those who we may have harmed in our addiction who are not sober. I intend to address issues concerning the Black condition as I see it in general as well as addressing sobriety. My hope is to bring forth an understanding of the addict/alcoholic and perhaps the “normal” human being. There is a stigma that goes along with being an addict/alcoholic that most of us who are recovering know very well. Whether it’s “once an addict/alcoholic always an alcoholic” or “He/She ain’t never gonna be shit” or “Crack-heads will accept anything you offer them”. Whatever the case may be, the stigma will always be the last thing to go and for some it will never go away. I encourage all who are recovering to press on. I would suggest the 12 steps of AA, CA NA and all other “A’s”. I am biased to this solution because it is the only thing that worked for me. The tenants of the steps require a deep dive into self, with an unwavering and adamant highlight on Spirituality and a Spiritual Awakening. It’s brilliant. I get to quit using drugs and alcohol and find a God of my own understanding at the same time. The following paragraphs encompass a recollection of a moment in my life as it was during active addiction. Brace yourselves, I bar none, especially not myself. I am no longer ashamed to speak on neither my weaknesses nor my actions before, during nor after active addiction. Therefore, without any further ado, I bring to you,
“Crack-head: A Story of Grace Mercy and Unique Dispositions”
"The majority understood that his passivity was not that of a hero taking his ease but that of a cataclysm in repose"
~Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I couldn't breathe. The horrifying events of the past 8 hours had numbed me beyond the effects of smoking crack. I walked out of the Grand Motel a mental wreck, gasping for air, questioning God and more so those who claimed Him. What I witnessed inside of that sleazy motel would literally eliminate my core belief system and even out a playing field which I felt the lessor. On the contrary, there were people in the world who were far worse than those who'd use drugs to escape from life's woes. In tears, I exited the room with no idea of what my life would be without all that was or all I 'thought' was. The challenge of returning to regular life after a binge was compounded by the absence of the people I'd normally return to. If I recall, it was a sunny Sunday morning around checkout time (1030-11am). Empty, soul-less and reamed from the heart-gouging series of recent events, I walked out on to Madison Street. The normal "walk of shame", that I'd become accustomed to was not an option this time. I couldn't put on a hoody and take the alleys and unpopulated side streets home. I couldn't charge this one to the game. I had to speak. This episode of "Cracked-out Craig” would erase all doubt. My greatest fear was taking place. The first person that I saw looked at me with compassion and empathy. No words had to be exchanged. Body language spoke in specific quantities. It was somewhat of an out of body experience. It was as if we were both mourning the sudden, violent, Spiritual death of the man that I once was. In the Holy Bible there's a verse, Proverbs 29: 1; "Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed--without remedy." It was happening. I was being destroyed. It felt like I was being completely wiped off of the face of the Earth with only my shell left as a reminder. My Spirit was no more. My ego was clearly a delusion. Disillusionment was the order of the day. 'But I'm Craig!' I thought. 'This can't be...They wouldn't do this to me!' However, it was done and there was nothing I could do about it. I couldn't blame it on the drugs and alcohol. What I saw was real. The hurt quickly turned in to anger and then rage. I found out who was responsible. I needed to know why. Then I didn't give a fuck, I wanted 'get back!'" ~pitch black
From the first time that I tried smoking crack out of a crack-pipe, all the way until the last time that I did it, the drug was generally and overall, accompanied by freaky/perverted sex thoughts and acts. I don't know why, but perhaps it could be the fact that when I first tried crack, it was with a woman who was sexually uninhibited and open to "going with the flow" of crack's effect on the male libido (Extreme enhancement). My first time smoking crack-cocaine was like a porno. The high, coupled with a "sex-kitten" on my first time, would set the stage for what I'd chase with every single hit. Sure, at the end of my ability to finance these escapades, money was the major quest, but ultimately, high/free sex was the mission and purpose. Pornography, being free and/or less expensive than a hooker had alternatively become my get high buddy.
It was late January 2001 and I was, once again, at the end of one of many "get high for a few months" episodes. Usually by the end of these episodes, I'd walked away from one of many, "damn good jobs" that I'd been blessed with, I'd taken my significant other and her hope for me, to the end of her rope, I'd made my bed in the streets i.e.: Found a reliable drug connect to frequent, my hustle, an area to perform the hustle, a few stray cats and lady cats to run with and a good script for my Grandmother (Who'd ALWAYS let me in when I'd run out of the strength to stand but not the will to call it quits). What I saw in the Grand Motel, would've brought the strongest/sober and most mentally sound individual to their knees. I was neither of the latter. I lost my mind yet I was still, somehow, cognizant of what was going on. I guess you can say that I was in a state of shock due to a traumatic experience or what a physician would later call "cocaine induced psychosis". This experience was what I called, "cataclysm", and yet another "Unique disposition".
Cat·a·clysm(ˈkadəˌklizəm/) (noun): a large-scale and violent event in the natural world.
A sudden violent upheaval, especially in a political or social context.
"the cataclysm of the First World War"
synonyms: disaster, catastrophe, calamity, tragedy, devastation, holocaust, ruin, ruination, upheaval, convulsion, apocalypse, act of God
"their homeland was destroyed by a great cataclysm"
What I saw would change the way I viewed the world. People are very selfish and will get what they desire regardless of whom they might hurt. The innate, animalistic nature of human beings trumps all common sense and compassion. My normal routine had been to get a substantial amount of money, check in to a sleazy motel that offer free porno and try to find "Scotty", somewhere on planet Pluto. (The mind is so delicate and can get attached to almost anything. Especially if what it's being attached to offers sensations that are pleasurable or simply different and/or adverse from the melancholic routine of normality.) However, since all financial independence had been thrown away, I had to use a lifeline. I have a lot of family that, if I came up with a legitimate excuse, I could parlay a nice piece of scratch. They love me. They want me to succeed just as I do them. Chicago family was not an option. We are pretty close here in Chicago and if I’ve been out for more than a week, it shows in my mother's face. My Chicago family always seemed to know when not to give me “a red cent”! Therefore, I called on one of my first cousins who lived in Detroit. I told him that I was trying to buy an old work car but I was $300.00 short (Which was true, but the car's total cost was $300.00...Still, I never contacted the guy who was supposed to sell me the car again). Cuzzo wired me the cash without a question. As a matter of fact, I had it in my pocket within the hour. Immediately I jumped on the train headed "out willa" (The West side of Chicago). I got to the West side, found my connect and checked in to the Grand Motel, a place that I'd come to frequent. It was a one-stop shop. Once there, I never had to leave (Until check out at 11am the next morning). I could get crack, a hooker and free porn all night. I didn't have to worry about being out in the elements high, half-cocked and off of my square.
Saving the intricate, descriptive details for the book, I will only disclose the general gist. While getting high and watching porno with a young lady whom I will never forget, I began to see familiar people and places in these movies. I leaned in closer and began to pay closer attention to the movie and less on the drugs and the woman who accompanied me. I saw my friends: My current girlfriend, my daughter's mother, my best friend and his brothers and some of my cousins. I began to listen closer to the soundtrack. The artist's sounded familiar. I knew these people. They were producing porn. I had no idea of it. I can't tell you what made me angrier; the fact that they were making porn or the fact that they were doing it without me with intentions to taunt me with the facts. The girlfriend wasn't like "the love of my life" or nothing but we did have a few years of living together invested. This "so called" best friend and I had 30 plus years of brotherhood behind us. My cousins? Hell! I can't choose them. I was in a living hell. I couldn't believe it, but there it was, right in front of me. The music of the soundtrack taunted me. I'd never felt such betrayal and deception in my life. In fact, I didn't know that such venom ever existed. I cried and watched. I would've forgotten that I had a pocket full of crack and another person in the room if she didn't keep asking me for another hit. As a matter of fact, this woman smoked more dope than me. l was miserably sobered by what I couldn't turn away from. I went to the front desk and asked if I could buy the VHS. She said "No". I inquired about the production company. I asked about the distributor. I asked about the cast. The lady at the counter couldn't/wouldn't give me any information. I could tell that she knew something, but she wasn't talking. The young lady in my room cried with me. She felt my agony (The reason why I will never forget her). Everyone else denied knowing anything of it. But what convinced me there was indeed foul play was that each party that I confronted rattled off the same exact statement. "Craig, you're in hell...” This story ended with a physical fight amongst friends, the police, an ambulance and me being admitted to Madden's Mental Institution.
God's Grace doesn't always come with soft, pillowy, rose scented vision or solution. God's Grace and Mercy sometimes come with "worldly" conflict. Cataclysm. It took "a sudden violent upheaval..." to open my eyes to what I had been inflicting on myself. I choose to focus on my own faults and wrongs rather than what others may or may not have done. At the end of the day, it is my choice and decision that dictate what happens to me. I look at it like this (At least now I do. lol): Had I not been living the way that I'd been living; in the grips of a "fatal/incurable disease", that only gets worse with continued use, then I wouldn't have been in formidable places with ruthless people. My Madden's stay was a short one. The diagnosis was "Cocaine induced psychosis", which goes away with a few days of sleep. I woke up, but I knew what I saw. I was hurt. I was enraged. A friend heard about the incident and asked me, "What do you want to do?” "I need a banger!" I replied. We were on our way back to the West side, this time to "see a man about a vicious dog", my friend thought about it, mid mission, felt concern and got off of the expressway. "I can't do it dog...I know all of y'all and this will be on my conscience...I can't do it." He said. God, again, stepped in and intervened. I was furious. I was reamed of all love. I was desperate. I was reckless. I was on a mission to kill or be killed. However, Grace saved me. The next morning, a cousin from Seattle, who had been sober for a few years, called and told me, "Get to Seattle cuz, we got you!" My addiction led me to Seattle, WA where I checked in to a Christian Discipleship program, "New Visions". The devil hit me so hard that he knocked me right into the "Everlasting arms" of Christ!
Thank you for taking the time to subscribe and read my blog. Addiction has been my nemesis for over 20 years. I thank God for my life and the “gift” of desperation, due many bitter experiences. These experiences rendered me helpless and hopeless. I was too nosey to kill myself and I didn’t know how to live. No matter how many times that I fell, the arms of AA was there to catch me every time. This time I took heed. I joined a group and did the steps. I’m 3 years and some change sober today and I will work the 12 steps and reach out to others who still struggle until the day I die.