Don't Tell Me What To Do: A Spiritual Memoir
Just kill me now, LORD! I'd rather be dead than alive, because nothing I predicted is going to happen. – Jonah 4:3

What is a drug rehab?

Answer

A drug rehab is a place that people seeking treatment for drug addiction or alcoholism go to stop using. I can't keep count of the many rehabs I have been through to treat an addiction that spanned over 20 years. Rehabs never seemed to help me, but as I write in memoir, rehabs were the only option I had, or so I thought . . . .

After 21 days of treatment, I am awarded a certificate. I am discharged and I go home to my apartment to face the challenge of living a drug-free life. I feel uneasy leaving the safe environment of rehabilitation to return to the loneliness I feel in my apartment. I've been told to avoid people, places and things that had been a part of my addiction, which means that I must make new friends, find different places to spend my time. That sounds just about impossible. The only way I know to stay away from drug dealers is by hibernating in my apartment. The solitude in my apartment is depressing. To busy myself, I thoroughly clean my apartment to be sure that I had not stashed away crack or paraphernalia.

I rummage through the drawers in my bedroom, living room and kitchen, sweeping and mopping underneath all of the furniture, including the refrigerator, the washer and dryer. I check under seat cushions, under the mattress, inside of every nook and canny, leaving no area untouched. I found nothing.

Through it all, I had worked up a sweat and exhausted myself to the point that I shower to cool down. I don’t want to get high ever again. I don’t need drugs. Chuck had, explained the importance of treating myself with compassion, the importance of being patient with myself. My addiction to crack didn't begin overnight, so I shouldn’t expect I will heal overnight.

Restless and somewhat bored after cleaning my apartment and showering, I decide to play some music to lift my spirit and liven up the atmosphere in my apartment. I look through my collection of CD’s—one of the few possessions I didn’t sell off—pulling out a Gospel CD from the stack. James Cleveland’s smiling face looks up at me. I put the CD into the player, turned up the volume and sat on the sofa. I’m afraid to move a muscle, to relax, to think or allow my mind to wander. I listen to James Cleveland’s husky voice sing about prayer and faith.

I’ve tried and failed many times to stay. I’m tired of losing everything, starting over with nothing, without money, job or place to live. I know I cannot stay locked up in my apartment forever. Sooner or later, I will have to venture out into the streets where temptation lurks. Drugs are everywhere. I can’t hide.

I close my eyes, absorbing James Cleveland’s lyrics, His promise of happiness and freedom from fear if I have faith. I stand to my feet. I feel giddy. I feel euphoric. I sing along with James Cleveland. I shout. I clap my hands. I jump up and down and dance like I’ve seen my grandmother do so often.

I am not going to be afraid anymore. I’m not afraid of my addiction or depression. I’m not afraid of drug dealers. I can go to work and live where I want to live, go wherever I want to go. I’m not afraid of anything or anybody anymore.

Is this the joy that carried Ada Mama and Mama through life? Is this the wholeness that Butch was talking about when he encouraged me to define myself? Is this the empowerment that enabled George Kirby to kick heroin?

I feel God’s assurance that I will never again smoke crack. I no longer need be angry or resentful. What had once been a mystery becomes clear. I can stop running. I can stop questioning. I can be happy.














Search result for 'James Cleveland' in Don't Tell Me What To Do: A Spiritual Memoir

"...I decide to play some music to lift my spirit and liven up the atmosphere in my apartment. I look through my collection of CD’s—one of the few possessions I didn’t sell off—pulling out a Gospel CD from the stack. James Cleveland’s smiling face looks up at me. I put the CD into the player, turned up the volume and sat on the sofa. I’m afraid to move a muscle, to relax, to think or allow my mind to wander. I listen to James Cleveland’s husky voice sing about ..."
"... I close my eyes, absorbing James Cleveland’s lyrics, His promise of happiness and freedom from fear if I have faith. I stand to my feet. I feel giddy. I feel euphoric. I sing along with James Cleveland. I shout. I clap my hands. I jump up and down and dance like I’ve seen my grandmother ..."

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