I left off with my best description of what it feels like to live without hope. I stated that I feel like it’s worse than death, and to me it was. What do you do when you have no hope. The short answer is anything and everything you want. When you have nothing to look forward to, care about nothing and no one, and live in a constant state of anger, the door is pretty much wide open for anything. All the restraints were pretty much off, and though that may sound appealing to some who would even say “where’s the party?” I promise you it wasn’t. Not unless, putting your life in a bottle, losing everything in your life, and sleeping in places that even cockroaches wouldn’t go is your sort of thing.
People who’ve been there, hopefully not you, know you get into a cycle. You drink because you’re depressed, and you’re depressed because your life sucks, and because your life sucks you’re angry, and because you’re angry at yourself, and everyone else, you drive off anyone who could be helpful, and because you can’t get any help and can’t help yourself and on it goes. . . . I felt like a lab rat looking through the glass window of it’s cage. I could see people who had their lives together, or at least appeared to; who were certainly in a better position than I was, who looked as if they ate regularly, and who wore clothing that didn’t scrape along their skin because it was cardboard stiff with dirt, and there I was in an alternate universe looking in.
You don’t believe in alternate universes? You don’t believe they exist, you say. Then you’ve never been one of the thousands of homeless people who are absolutely and completely invisible in this country. I saw the other side. I saw the look of horrified drivers as they looked straight ahead pretending not to see you in your dirty coat with your greasy hair. The people who hurriedly walked by you scared to death you might ask them for money, and who would shield their children from you thinking you would attack them at any second. Who in total fear would throw money at you from three feet away just so you’d go away before they had to take a closer look at you. Believe me when I tell you it doesn’t take long to find out just how cruel, insensitive, and apathetic people can be.
Feel a digression coming on? Feel free to skip the next paragraph. 🙂 Each of those invisible people I walked the streets with has a story. Each of them started out as an innocent child and at some point, because of circumstance or bad decision making, lost their way. Many of them are tortured souls, lost somewhere in the dark recesses of their minds. Then there are those who through drugs or alcohol simply came to a stop sign and couldn’t stop. Now there are people who are entering that alternate universe, and didn’t do anything other than lose their job. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than seeing whole families living in a homeless shelter. Want to know what’s wrong with our country go visit people in a homeless shelter, or those people making trips to the food bank every week.
There I was living in an alternate universe, and stuck. If you want to know how I got out you’ll have to come back and see my next blog. 🙂