So, how best to finish off 2012? With a bang? With a fizzle? With a rant? With a moan – because I see a number of my postings are fairly depressing? How about some gratitude? OK, here goes…
2012 kicked off…how? I don’t remember. I don’t know what I did on December 31, 2011, though more than likely it was hole up in my room and smoke myself stupid on meth. And then it got worse…and Cris threw me out the house. I was homeless, penniless, jobless – I was hopeless.
Hang on – this post is one of gratitude, isn’t it?
Yes. It was the best thing that could have happened to me, being thrown out of home, while Cris tried desperately to cling to what was left of the life we destroyed together, as drug buddies. His throwing me out is just what I needed. I could have done without the beating though. So, I am grateful he threw me out.
Because I had finally reached rock bottom, I had to reach out and ask for help. Not the kind of help that gets you more drugs, the kind of help that saves your life. I swallowed a huge amount of humble pie, and yet again, called on my family – my brother – to save me, like they’ve done, countless times before. And I got sent to live on a ranch, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by wild animals, miners, and acres of nothing, in which to get clean, and start to live, once again. So, I am grateful for my family, for catching me time and again, when I fall. I am grateful to my sister, who battled and beat cancer while I was battling this year out. I am grateful for her family, that loved, and supported her and gave her the strength and the will to live. I am grateful for my brother James, for his love, and harsh words, when needed. And I am especially grateful for my brother George, who had been the agent of rescue, time and again over the years (yup, the infarction with the police and the pills; Jo’burg Gen and the heroin overdose…you get the picture!)
I started to tell my story, to the world, on the internet. And that’s when it caught the eye of people like James Harding, and my old boss, Alan Knott-Craig. James’ words first vexed me, when he posted the quote on Facebook: “When you’re down to nothing, you still have all your tomorrows.” They sank in, over a couple of days; I realised he was right. There started a connection that I have come to rely on as one of the pillars of strength that keep me going, in this journey back to life. Alan got hold of me on that ranch, on the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo, and offered me a job, when I thought I’d destroyed my career. And so I moved to Stellenbosch, and a new life. So I am grateful for James and Alan, they have helped me get to this point, this journey is as much theirs as it is mine.
I discovered that by sharing, I had a very real world of massive support – a million different hands – all holding me up. My amazing colleagues (old and new) and new friends; the family members and their friends, who put me up when I first moved here; the awe-inspiring people at my Narcotics Anonymous meeting; the tolerance and forgiveness of old friends, who still are a huge part of my life – despite all my lies while I was still an active addict; the droves of supporters on Facebook who sent me countless messages of encouragement and support, the incredible crews at Afrika Burn, who honoured my journey, when I was just 10 days clean, and let me slay my dragon – my addiction – in the desert, in the presence of 5,000 silent onlookers and one huge burning pyre – and all of you, reading my blog, and cheering me on, whether silently or most vociferously, from the sidelines – I am grateful to all of you – this is not MY story, this is OUR story, of healing, and recovery.
But mostly, I am grateful to my higher power, who waited for me, for 18 years, while I renounced His existence, and who helped me every step of the way and who is with me every day, keeping me safe, keeping me clean, keeping on keeping on – as they say at N.A….
© Dave Luis 2012. All Rights Reserved.