I got high again. I didn’t know how much I needed a “fix” until my head slumped on my chest and I “awoke” to a restful, calm and peaceful world I had been away from for what seems a lifetime. I felt refreshed, clean and somehow right despite what others might say.
But, please don’t judge me. Don’t look upon me as week or needy. I have tried so hard to be the strong, silent type who could weather any storm alone: self-reliant and dependent on no one except my self to get through the most difficult of life’s situations. Yet, each time I overcame what felt like one disaster after another, I knew deep inside I could not succeed on my own. I needed help from a source I’d subconsciously tap into to get me through each ordeal. I now admit I couldn’t have done it without getting high while no one was looking. I’ve become addicted. In recent days, months, years, I needed more and more of what I call the “elixir of life.” I’d crave the equanimity it would offer me as a seratonin chemical would enter into my blood stream, my consciousness, my very essence.
I don’t care what others might say about my habit anymore. I need a crutch to get through my day, and I’m only realizing now how much I struggle when I fail to take a hit. The earlier in the day I can get it, the better. I need that something extra to assure me all is well, that all will be well, no matter what failings, shortcomings, or simple ignorance I bring to daily life.
I am dependent on this “source” to take me away from my worries, my concerns, my feelings of, I don’t know, call it an emptiness of sorts that so hard to describe, let alone, understand.
When the need calls to me, I look for a place where I can be alone. I get into a comfortable posture, a familiar one which offers a tingling sensation of anticipation. I am going to escape, I tell myself, as I settle into a chair or on a pillow, exposing my vulnerability to forces outside and inside myself. I open one hand to the heavens above, ready to accept whatever peace may soon come my way. My other hand rests downward, touching the solid earth that grounds me. The arm and exposed hand facing skyward awaits the blissful infusion the drug will eventually provide.
I close my eyes. My mind is racing like a steaming locomotion, a runaway train minus a conductor at the controls. I can’t truly let go and open myself while my thoughts are zigzagging from one place to another. The thoughts fly from the past to the future. (They never seem to come to rest in the present!) Each carries unwanted baggage. I can’t rid myself of these thoughts. They come unbidden, unneeded. They impede my plans to escape the battlefield I’m maneuvering through.
Stop fighting. Stop swinging at unseen opponents, hoping a knockout punch will somehow save you, Michael J. Give in, take the fix. Admit that you can no longer live without it.
That’s it. Surrender. Acquiesce to the power greater than yourself. Feel warmth slowly spread through your body, easing the tightness in your neck, your shoulders, the parts so tense and coiled they feel like a jack-in-the-box ready to spring out. You need only breathe and allow the source to seep into you, to wash over your, to elevate your mind and your spirit.
Oh sweet Lord. To meditate is to die for, to die just a little, and to usher in rebirth. Prayerful meditation is the best way I know to lose myself, and then find a new me, a higher one, sans any man-made drug.
* I can find it in prayer and meditation alone or with friends in a group, a congregation or in a sangha.