Homeless-By decision

​By : Dan Workman

Last night I decided to be homeless. (Mostly I was just too tired to drive the 130 miles home to my bed, but also I needed a refresher.)

You see, my recovery has not been “slow.” I’ve heard people say, “I wish you a slow recovery.” It usually makes me cringe.

I hear people say, “your addiction is in the parking lot doing push-ups” and I think, “do all the push-ups you want. I built an army.”

That’s not complacency. That’s the realization that I’ve still got SO much potential to improve; quitting drugs might just have been the tip of the iceberg.

A trick to writing is to find the right mindset. I am not about to do drugs again to get into the “head” of an addict.

Believe me… I lost enough time in that chemically-induced coma.

If I’m feeling down, I focus on what I have. If I stop appreciating what I’ve created, I go back to where I was.

It’s Friday night. I’m sitting alone in the canyon. I invited a girl to join me. She might show up. She might not.

I drove here in a brand new car. I used to pray that I could avoid freezing to death while I hitchhiked.

The air conditioner is set to 72 degrees in my nice little apartment. My landlord just asked me to renew my lease.

This time last year, I was homeless. I bathed in the river. I slept in the dirt.

I don’t set an alarm clock anymore, but my services are in such demand that I rarely sleep more than 4-5 hours a night (and very rarely past 7 AM.)

Two years ago I applied for a minimum wage job pushing shopping carts. I wasn’t even invited to interview.

Now my phone won’t stop ringing.

How did this all happen?

Well, I’ve explained that in length… multiple times. You can read it if you want.

The strange thing, however, is how it has felt to revisit my life. Sometimes I’ll tour my own past – exactly the way I did last night.

Deciding to be homeless wasn’t to feel better about my climate-controlled apartment. I did it to remind myself how happy I was last year at this time and how wealthy I felt even though I was financially broke.

Wealthy in the ways that matter, that is.

I had found my stride in recovery. I hit the ground running. I had failed so many times but those failures taught me one important thing:

You only have to get it right once.

These people you see; the ones who have conquered seemingly-impossible obstacles… they aren’t special.

They just gave up on giving up.



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