Hit by a cold, remembering living without an address

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the homeless, and I can relate. Suffering from a severe head cold causing my nose to run like an Olympic sprinter with Niagara Falls as his or her companion, I remember the chill of being lost. I do, indeed, remember.

Thirty-plus years ago, I was the inmate. I was the drunk. I was the petty thief. I was arrested a dozen-or-so times in my youth. From 12 to 27, I followed the drink wherever it took me until I had had enough, I guess. The truth is: The drink left me. It didn’t work anymore. What a nightmare that was. I couldn’t find a place of relief.

My only true friend was in the drink. It was my solution to everything. It was, most assuredly, not the problem. I was a problem. I knew that. But the drink was not. I was not going to give that up just because I got arrested a few times and didn’t have a place to live because the drink took away my ability to participate in my own life. Actually, the drink didn’t do that. Let’s be honest here. I did it. The drink helped me do it, but I did it.

I used to try and sleep in front yards or in back yards. As long as there were no dogs, I was OK. I used  to rent couches. I had a box of belongings in one box. I loved that box. I still brought a box with me when I left the drink behind and began contributing to my own life by working.

God, that was tough for me, especially since I didn’t think I had any particular skill set. I was lost again. Only this time without my best friend the drink. I did find a way out, though, when I stumbled into a group of me and women who have learned to live without drink, one-day-at-a-time. That was 34 years ago. Believe me when I share with out the fact that I didn’t do it.

There must be something greater than me that helped me so it against my own best judgment. There must be because left to my own devices, I’m a huge putz. You can take that to the bank, as some have a wont to say.

Funny thing about turning your life around. You have to change. I have had trouble with that. But, I’m still trying and that is the definition of success.

I have bored you all enough with this nonsense. Needless to say, when sick and resting, it can drive you nuts. So, you write dribble to kill the time. If in fact, this means something, I am grateful. If it doesn’t, I certainly understand. And so it goes, as Linda Ellerbee, used to write.

I loved her writings. I tip my hat off to her. See you next time.

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About stevewhitmore

Former award-winning newspaperman and broadcast journalist, both radio and TV, spanning three decades. Army-trained paralegal, court bailiff and prosecutor's lead investigator for the 8th Infantry Division's Judge Advocate General's Corp., Mainz, Germany. 1973-1975.
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