Thy Freedom Come

Regret…….It’s a plague, that eats you from the inside out as you lay on your bunk in a jail dormitory with twenty other loud-mouthed stinking men almost coming to blows over who the hottest rapper is, or who sold the most drugs in the streets. It takes you to a deep seated miserable place in your soul as you look out of your lonely jail cell window at the sun hanging lazily over the horizon and wonder about the endless possibilities of how your life could have played out.

As an incarcerated junkie there were never any beautiful girlfriends greeting me on my release date, no warm houses or nice cars to come home to, or careers or even possibilities. Instead as much as I couldn’t wait for my release date, it also came with a ton of anxiety. With freedom comes a lot of responsibility and I couldn’t handle responsibility. I’d grown accustomed to letting myself and the world around me down time and time again. The endless possibilities that lie outside of those prison walls for me usually involved an alcohol fueled rampage, drunken sex that I wouldn’t remember, or a needle that would tranquilize my manic brain. Sometimes I would day dream about normal things like a beautiful wife, nice possessions, beaches and palm trees, etc. However, I knew those possibilities weren’t for me. I would never allow myself to succeed to enjoy the fruits that I didn’t feel I’d ever deserve……

That’s why I‘ve come to fall in love with Costa Rica. One of my favorite parts of traveling to Costa Rica is not the beaches or the wildlife or the culture, although I thoroughly enjoy all of those things. The most exciting part for me is landing in Liberia, and driving the rental car off of the lot. That very moment is the epitome of freedom to me.

At that instant the world is at my fingertips, I have access to an entire country full of beauty and promise, where I have zero attachments to responsibility. Now, I want to be at the wheel. I want my freedom. I love my freedom because I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I’m responsible enough to handle it. It no longer scares me. The desire to do drugs or drink alcohol, or break any law is no longer within me. Now it’s just me and thousands of miles of roadway through nature, and nothing standing between us.

This is a life that I never dreamed of. Staring out of that prison window overlooking the slums of Baltimore City, wondering what kind of dope was being exchanged down in the project buildings below and how it would make me feel…..or laying in a bunk trying to daydream while a fistfight erupted in the dorm over who stole who’s bar of soap… never once crossed my mind that I’d be swerving through winding roads in lush mountain landscapes in Central America one day. I predicted, much as those around me predicted…..that I’d finish my life out in one of those cells or dead in an alley full of trash getting my pockets dug through by other addicts.

This life is clay. We work with our creator to shape and mold it however we want to, it’s not easy, but it’s absolutely possible. The only catch is that we must first surrender our control in order to one day regain it, because on the other side of addiction there lies a life of endless possibilities and an open roadway through any paradise you desire. Nothing is impossible.

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