I like to laugh, I like to make others laugh – I love to skate on that thin ice somewhere between laughter, anger and tears.
I walk amongst the dead in an industry that people think should not be funded appropriately for profit or non-profit. If I don’t laugh – I cry.
So many people – almost everyone I have ever loved – are dead from the disease of addiction. What I miss most is our laughter, so when I think of them I make sure I laugh because if I don’t laugh – I cry.
People judge me, point fingers. Walk my walk, over nearly a 13 year career in the for- profit and non-profit sector of addiction treatment I have placed nearly 6,000 people into Drug and Alcohol treatment centers, halfway houses or detoxes in one form or another. Nearly 2,000 of them had NO RESOURCES whatsoever.
I’ve made mistakes, I don’t pretend I did everything right in my career but I learned from those mistakes I made almost 8 years ago, corrected them and then I grew. Man did I grow! When I corrected those mistakes bricks were thrown through my house windows, my car was vandalized. Blackmailed; fake websites created about me.
I’ve told my best friend’s mother, ‘your son is going to die if you don’t stop enabling him,’ only to have him die in her home three days later.
I’ve walked in on rotting corpses of addicts so many times, I’m in trauma therapy for the third time now.
I have had children in my foster homes, close to 250 of them, some of whom have been sold into child sex slavery at the age of 6, some of whom were raised in dog cages – literally, and one who defecated in his pants whenever a man tried to hug him because he’s scared that man’s going to try to anally penetrate him with a broken mop handle just like his uncle and father did.
I have three people living in my home currently, some strangers and some friends and some strangers who have turned into friends, but all of them had nowhere else to go due to the disease of addiction and I just couldn’t scholarship another person. Walk in these shoes – I’m begging you to invite 12 homeless people a year into your house where you live with your child. Let them steal from you sometimes, let them bring heroin into your home and every now and then watch them become amazing sober fathers, brothers, sisters and parents again. Oh and the ones that steal from you and break your heart? Invite them back again and again.
In between all of this find the time to take over 100 men through the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Walk my walk – I’m begging you.
I’ve turned down national television offers, multi-million dollar job offers and book offers. I’ve also tied off and shot dope in front of my son when he was three. I’ve raised this boy by myself for close to 13 years now. I’ve lived in a park, panhandled and stole.
And there is that; 13 years of sobriety. I’ve seen my little brother, Seth Kane, beat brutally beyond recognition by a gang of men – I stayed sober, I didn’t retaliate. I’ve heard a heart surgeon tell me your son needs a major open heart surgery or he won’t live and I stayed sober, then held that little boy’s hand until he woke up in the ICU a week later. My grandma, my only living relative beyond my parents passed away over a decade ago and I was able to make my amends and tell her I love her, ‘I’m sorry for stealing your pain medication, grandma,’ I’m sorry for never showing up as an adult grandson – I did it sober and then I stayed sober.
I’ve had all the discs in my neck and lower back removed and replaced, bones fused and metals inserted and I did this sober. I’ve carried my best friends’ coffins – sober as a fucking judge. I’ve had my heart broken by a woman into a million little pieces – and still I remain sober, helping others. I’ve had to fire my best friends from jobs; I’ve done this sober. I’ve held the hand of a dying man trying to breathe while we wait for narcan to arrive. Sober. All this time sober. I’ve carried so many god damn coffins of people with insurance and people without it that I can feel the weight of their bodies on my calloused, tired hands.
Walk this walk me, carry this weight and tell me how you feel.
I don’t own a car, I don’t own a home or a fancy watch. I’ve simply given it all away to everyone in need. All of it.
This is who I am. These are all the moments that led to this one – the sum total of all of these moments brought me here, to this rant, this writing.
If I don’t laugh whether it’s through a stupid suboxone meme or through a memory, well then I cry.
Mostly I’m tired, I’m just so, so tired.
I’m telling you though I’m running out of tears – I’m just running out.
Walk in these shoes; stop shouting about your god damn ethics. Stop posting about how many fucking lives YOU saved…walk this walk with me, please, I’m begging you.
This will be my last post for a while – God Bless you all.