Ryan Donnelly's Blog

Put Your Sword Down

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A new beginning was in the works. As far as I was concerned, the Ryan that was brought to the hospital on July 25 2009 was dead. When those drugs left my system, my past went with it. The possession of pure evil no longer resonated in my body. The menacing thoughts, the things I convinced myself to do to get my drugs was no longer me. I was re-born.

Things were starting to make sense. Changes were taking place in my heart and mind.

Sitting in the cafeteria was much like school. People sat at the same tables every meal. So in the beginning, I was lucky that Frank took me under his wing. He invited me to his table and that’s where I started seeing different sides to these scarred exteriors of men. Sure covered in tattoos, scars on the skin and in the mind. But I noticed that each one was upbeat. Smiling, joking, and looking forward to whatever the day brought.

See when you live every moment of every day searching for a way to kill the sickness, (the hate, mental destruction, withdrawal) your life is consumed with evil. When that need is lifted from your shoulders, you will never feel lighter. Life is worth living, and you can see it in these men’s eyes.

I started spending more of my off time having conversation with Frank and his friend Roy. Roy was a 6 foot 4 inch black man. He was lean and long but shredded. Roy was about 50 years old. Had a 4 in high flat top. He was an OG (O‘riginal gangsta). Roy had an interesting style. He rocked camoflauge pants with combat boots and t-shirts with rolled up sleeves. He had a very hard exterior, you looked into his eyes and saw he’s been through many years of hell. His face was tired.

Frank, Roy and I would sit for hours talking. Three guys from different worlds with the same stories. It blew my mind. Watching the hardest men I’ve ever seen open up and cry about life. Real tears of exhaustion. Tired of chasing something that’s not there. See, when I have to explain my personal addiction to someone who has trouble understanding, I use the example of a hologram. For whatever reason you turn to drugs or alcohol, you’re trying to fill a void of pain or weakness in your own mind. Trying to shut the truth out and not face it. Whatever your substance of choice, I refered to getting high, as my best friend. A friend that gave me comfort, who understood me when no one else did. I didn’t have to speak to be accepted or explain, I just had to take this substance and I would be good for today. Then tomorrow came, and the next day and the next day and it started snow-balling. That best friend was no longer in the flesh so to speak. It slowly turns into a hologram. Your chasing that best friend, but it was never there, it’s only in your imagination, and slowly that hologram of a friend disappears and your left with neglect and hate. But all the hate and neglect is only in your own mind. But the insanity continues because somewhere in your mind, you still think that if I get high today, maybe that friend will come back. But your chasing what does not exist. That my friends, was my addiction.

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