Blame is what we do when we refuse to accept our failings...
Way back in September of 1989 I entered a rehab center for drug and alcohol abuse. I was seriously fucked up and quite honestly trying my best to kill myself each and every day with whatever I could get my hands on to help me along that final journal...Seriously, there wasn't a day in the 80s when I didn't take a drug or drank a lot. Had it not been for a couple of things, a friend and the shrinking ability of my skills of drawing and painting became a revelation and so I made the very difficult decision to go to rehab.
The first thing they did was put me in the 'Screaming Room' to allow the drugs in my system began to be pissed or sweated out of my system and trust me, this process is beyond any pain you could possibly think of and the whole seeing things that may or may not have been there is enough to drive a person crazy.
Then came the serious shit. If you've ever seen the movie 'Clean and Sober' then you can get a hint about what the process is about. One of the things they gave me was a notebook in which I was suppose to write down all the bad and illegal things I'd ever done and on the front page I wrote the words: Not in this lifetime!
Then they began to find the reason why I became a drunk/addict. They wanted to know who was responsible or what was that bad day which pushed me over and I couldn't play that day. They wanted to hear me blame someone or something and while there was a mental list of people I considered a part of the reason I started drinking, they didn't put my hand on that first bottle of booze, they didn't hand me the drugs, they didn't stand behind me and push me over the edge.
I did that all by my self.
Before my first marriage I told her there was some things she needed to know about my past but she was doing the whole 'Christian' thing and didn't think my past mattered. It was a nice thought, a wonderful thought, but, in the end it mattered a great deal. I should have simply told her but gave the whole pretending it never happened a shot and it ended in flames...
...Really ugly divorce.
Second one, even uglier and there I was fighting two cases in court, twice a week while going through fighting leukemia and a quickly deteriorating mind at the same time.
Ah, good times.
I weighed under a hundred pounds, my mind was a mass of messy critters who wanted to add a little more insanity to the mix and the whole mess was about the worst thing the courts had ever seen. I had friends who were willing to sneak me into another country with a fake passport and a whole new life but I have never run from a fight and while the odds were against me I still chose to stay for a battle I couldn't possibly win.
And I didn't.
But, thanks to my sister, Beth, and my best friend Karen, I saw the war to the end and it was all over. Went to court that final time, given my freedom, and Beth and I celebrated in Phoenix.
The next day I was in the hospital with an unknown disease that almost killed me.
And through it all I never blamed my ex's, I never blamed circumstances, I never blamed anyone save myself. Each and every mistake I'd made had other options beyond running away. I don't believe in 'Fate', I believe our actions are all that matter and some of mine were bad, some good, and some are still questionable.
I don't believe in 'God' (Not in the concept most humans do, anyway), I don't believe there was an Adam or Eve, no great flood, Moses was a 'Superhero' for an enslaved people, 'Jesus' was another myth for the poor and downtrodden, Mohammad, I believe, was another fairy tale. I don't know if we're being visited by 'Aliens', even though I have had a few encounters I still can't figure out, but I definitely don't believe we're the only people in this universe.
I am a flawed human being who has made his apologies to his family members who have chosen to close the book on any relationships with me. I have a son I haven't seen in 27 years and don't know why, a daughter whose last words to me were about calling me an old man and didn't want to have her children near me because she's afraid this old man might 'Infect' them with whatever the disease that nearly took my right arm and a son who is starting working at DC Comics, one of my old employers. (I did congratulate him even though some of my friends were a part of the whole major purge the company has undergone to change DC into something...Else)
I've failed in so many things but have still stayed sober for over 30 years. My mind isn't always clear but I know I'm still capable of drawing, of writing, of loving and caring for someone and embrace them with a lifetime of learning what it means to commit.
I have a few people to thank for keeping me alive. My sister, Beth, has constantly reminded me that I matter, that I am loved and has given me many challenges to keep me working as an artist and continues to remind me I am alive. I owe Bethany because she showed me that I could still love in a world where I was sober...I will never be able to repay her. Paisley, the only 'Christian' I would ever allow to speak at my funeral because his heart is in the right place. To Liz who went outside the realm of regular psychology to let me know that being different isn't the same as being insane. And to Christy 'cause she has entered into my world with eyes wide open without fear.
Above all of these people, is Devon Oxford. He is the most talented human being I've ever known, a great musician, a man of technical skills with metal work (And I'd love to have another of the Talisman's he made for me a very long time ago and was stolen, along with most of my magickal equipment/books/and writings when she who shall never be named tried to destroy everything I was and could be). I love Devon as a brother, as a teacher, and one of the best friends I've ever had.
There are others but I'm stopping here. I've failed a lot of times in a lot of things, but those failings fall on me. I accept them, have embraced them and trying my best to continue improving each and every day.
Now...Let's fix this fucked up world.