Addiction Work - March 10, 2015

Paul’s closet is spare. There is his old team’s football jersey, the wood-carrying flannel shirts, his work suits. There are few sweaters. Polar Bears don’t need them; Paul loved the cold.

In his suit, he was the one who kept order in the office. In his flannel, he could climb the walls of the barn in a split second if he needed to, avoiding the angry bull who didn’t really want his pen cleaned.
In his football jersey, he would always remember sitting there, in that field after the game, feeling that everything was in place—his yesterdays, his future days.

He never imagined the car accident, the oxycodone that ran out and the heroin addiction that followed it.

Sometimes in the old days, he would hike up to this wide ledge in a quiet place at dawn, and just lie on it for half an hour and then run back down and start life. Now in his quiet hours, Paul is trying hard to remember that quiet, even for a minute or so, to help him rise back into life.

It has been 46 days without heroin. His Carson therapist is helping him figure out how to keep order in his life by making his amends. How to jump on the barn wall when the cravings rush at him. How to carry in some spiritual fuel, to keep him warm. He’d like to be happy again, to feel joy—but not yet. Right now, it’s one day at a time, fighting for a clean and sober chance at life.

By JAC Patrissi