Peering Your Peers

Peering Your Peers

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Before a fall

July 21, 2011

The age old saying ( it is in the bible), pride comes before a fall.

I was at my wed. night meeting last night and someone pulled me aside and helped ground me after the meeting.  It was a good thing.

He reminded me that no matter how good things are and how infallible I may feel, I am still powerless against drugs and he is right.  I take a good look at how things are for me right now and I would say everything is awesome, but I can not let my guard down, I can not take where I am in life for granted, I can not let myself slip into complaicency.

In the last 2yrs I have fought a good fight and have come to the point where I am ahead of the game but I still cant rest because to do so will allow my vice a chance to slide back into place.  I must be ever vigilant against this vice.  Through the use of supports and my faith I have the means to succeed and succeed I will.

My only goal in life is to accomplish something that my children can point to later in life and say with pride “..My Dad did that..”.

I have done some severe damage to myself because of my past and I may never recover fully from that damage.  I state this, not as a matter of complaint, but simply as a fact of life.  This fact makes me unique, the truth is that it also sets me in a position to reach out because there are a lot of damaged people in this world.  Alot ot them never get the chances that I have been given lately in life.  I look around at the people I know that are still stuck in a quaigmire of their own making.  I watch the life draining from their eyes as they give up totally on rescue.  Their self esteem disappears and they end up so tired mentally and spiritually.  I know I was there.

So what can I do with my unique set of skills, attributes and life experiences that will make my children proud and will keep that flicker of hope burning in the people that truly need it, the people and faces that are burned forever into my thoughts, memories and dreams?

Well outreach is a start.  Being a liason and advocate for the people without a voice.  Some of you would say that is enough.  I say no that isnt.  Truthfully when I was in that predicament myself, the services that limit their operations were pretty useless to me.  Yes they were important for their target population but I wasnt in their target population and they were not accessible to me because of various factors (ie: location, hours of operation, stigma, etc, etc), even if they were accessible to me I would feel like they were unaccessable and that is just as bad as not being accessable at all.

So many times, even the best intentioned organizations, allow stigma to control their behaviours, reactions, rules and codes.  While the people that they need to reach live in a world where those issues can not exist.  One of the first rules of outreach is to adopt and live by the code of those that you wish to reach.  You cant claim to live by the code of the street and then tell people you have to report illegal activity.  You can not help an addict if you are not willing to sit there and talk to them while they are using their drugs of choice, you can not help an alcoholic is you do not sit and enjoy the day with them and let them enjoy a few drinks, you can not help a street worker if you have ever paid them or someone they know for their services and have never been abused or treated as a peice of flesh there for the enjoyment of others, you can not reach anyone if you dont know which hole they are down and you understand that hole and how to effectivly escape it.  You can help no one through stereotyping.

I have a broad range of knowledge available in my head and although most of the time it is muddled beyond recognition, I am still ahead of the game compared to alot of my peers.  I strongly believe that it is my duty to ensure that my knowledge is shared and disseminated to the appropriate individuals through the use of proper mediums.  I may have to create that medium though.  This is what is causing me my pride.  If I do this correctly I could have an impact on the entire city (maybe even further reaching than that).  In doing so a lot of organizations are going to have to own up to their value and mission statements and I am going to have to cause waves throughout many organizations. (okay that is the fun part for me I wont lie).  I have the knowledge and just sitting on it is helping no one.  Can I solve the worlds problems, God no!!! but I can make a difference and even if all I do is turn a light on in one persons head and they figure out how to help one other person and so on and so forth then my purpose in all this will have been acheived.

You factor in my addictive personality though and you got a super peer on steroids (without the steroids).  I will acheive the unachievable I know that, there is no doubt in my head about that at all. The question is, where do I draw the line on my pride.  They say that you need to have pride in yourself and it took a long time for me to learn to allow myself to feel that pride. Now I must learn to limit that pride before I fall flat on my face.  I have to allow myself to live within my boundaries and limitations and not let my pride push me beyond them.  Now if only their was a book to tell me where to set these limits and boundaries so I dont have to do all the risky exploritory work on myself to find them.  You have to understand that in my entire life I have never tried to push myself to my limits untill now.  Although it is exciting and challenging I keep forgetting the basics.  For one my health is not all that good (better than it was that is for sure) and secondly I am still and always will be an addict.  I am an addict in recovery but still an addict.  Even though clean from all illegal drugs and illegal drug use I still depend on drugs and things to get me through day to day. That though is another post for another time.

I will stand tall no matter what though and hold my head high and tell those that will listen “I am myself, look at me and acknowledge that I am not you and never will be”

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