[WARNING] Strong Adult Language. Parental Guidance is Suggested.

My fellow Adams County Drug Court Clients, I am writing this for you because we are at war. I want you to have plenty of ammunition. I want you to have as many high capacity magazines as you can carry for your upcoming battle against the enemy, an enemy that is sometimes wholly pronounced, and at other times, unseen and imperceptible.

Achieving sobriety is only the beginning, like taking the first swing, or firing the first shot. And why do we fire that first shot, we do it because we are not afraid to face the inevitable war of maintaining sobriety and saving our lives? Unfortunately for the addict, the enemy is addiction, and addiction has unlimited resources. Yes, our enemy has been planning for battle, going to war, and killing addicts since the beginning of time. But that’s okay because we have the ability to switch to offense.

Like combat, the battle of maintaining sobriety is a fluid situation, and the enemy [addiction] is watching every move we make, continually working to outmaneuver our maneuvering, and playing several steps ahead on the gameboard. Don’t kid yourself, addiction wants you, dead or alive. And why is that? Because addiction wants and needs to stop us, to shut down those that have slipped away from its grasp, and it will stop at nothing to achieve that goal.

Maybe you’ve heard [or said] this before, “No matter what I do, the drugs always find me!”

Yes, that’s exactly what happens, and exactly how it works. Even if the addict stays away from all of the people from their past, and if they avoid creating new relationships with drug users, the drugs will find them. It’s not enough, the recovering addict must be prepared for everything that they have already wished for, and previously set in motion.

During the insanity of our drug use, the addict becomes a machine. A non-stop 24/7, never going to stop, moving, and shaking machine with a simple goal, staying high and numbing the pain. At some point, getting more drugs becomes the most essential thing in our lives, outranking everything else. Think about it; how much of your day was committed to getting or using drugs and alcohol? How much time did you spend thinking about drugs, dreaming of drugs, scheming for drugs, and wishing for drugs?

The reality of what we’ve done to ourselves is hiding in plain sight, and it’s not that complicated. If everything that we do, and everything that we say, and everything that we wish for, and all of our energy is directed at one thing, and that one thing is drugs, then we’ve not only created our current situation, but we’ve also laid the foundation for our future challenges as well. Quite simply, we have spoken our struggle into existence. Careful what you wish for.

Maybe you’ve heard this saying, just like [Ripples On A Pond]? Well, that’s how the Universe works. If we spend all of our energy manifesting ripples for drugs, those ripples are still out there, moving across the surface [Universe], and those ripples will continue to come back throughout our lives, regardless of sobriety.

Here are two quick comparisons.

[1] Let’s say that you sit down for five job interviews. One of the five companies makes you an offer, and you accept it. After you begin working, two of the other companies call you and want to make you an offer.

[2] You purchase a house and immediately move in with your family. Throughout the entire time that you live at that address, you will continue to receive mail addressed to the previous occupants.

I could do this all week. Remember, everything that we set in motion is still in motion. You will not be allowed to flip a switch and shut everything off. Furthermore, if you’re still dabbling in the drug world, maybe making a few part-time sales, or using once in a while because you’ve been able to get away with it so far. Guess what; you’re fucked, unless, of course, you unfuck yourself. For all of us, this is the time to use the tools and resources available; please don’t waste it. In the world of drugs, it will always end the same, regardless of anything, it will always end the same. Fortunately for the people in this courtroom, The Universe has other plans for most of us. I say [most] because we may or may not all make it to graduation. For those of us that do, once again, don’t waste it. The bottom line, if you can graduate from this program, then there is something waiting for you, something you’re supposed to do with your life besides drugs. Once again, don’t waste it!

**Up Is Down; Down Is Up**

How did it happen? How did we forget? During ancient times, and up until recent history, we understood the power of words. Either intentionally or by accident, at some point, humankind became extremely confused, and now up is down and down is up. These days, we have forgotten how things work and what is essential.

There was a time when our society understood the power of words, but most of the population has forgotten about such things. For the most part, [liable] being the exception, humanity is no longer held accountable for what they say. It seems that we have convinced ourselves, or been convinced that our words are meaningless and harmless. If anything in this world was ever bullshit, that is bullshit. I promise you that our words are not meaningless, harmless, or inconsequential in any way, but in fact, just the opposite. After all, you are still reading!

Joseph Shanklin

October 4, 2019


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