It wasn‘t until I received a level of sobriety, clean time and Positive experiences where I started to wonder where I could’ve been at in life should I have hit the milestones that “Normal” people do. If I did listen in class, if I did graduate, go to college and most importantly, Just said No. Who would I have been if remained law abiding? I always thought that statement was a default clause knowing that people do NOT remain law abiding all the time. It was a farce. I knew for an absolute fact that I would never remain law abiding and they would just keep putting that statement in my probation paperwork because they knew I wouldn’t. Anywayz, every accomplishment I have had since deciding to strive for milestones, goals, has led me to believe in myself just a little bit more each time. They say its easy to learn from mistakes. Yes. Maybe. Maybe if you believe that it was a mistake and not just the way life that is happening all around you. My “mistakes” were done purposefully because that is what I believed my life should be. I could not see it as a mistake so I did not learn from it. I have come to learn that my ”mistakes” were not my “mistakes” at all. The mistake on my part was believing that “That” is all I am worth. “That” is all I am meant to be. Believing ”That” is all I am worth. But was it a mistake? Maybe my unworthiness played out early on in my childhood development, then got reinforced more often than my worthiness did. From society, from media, from school, from my parents (an inter generational trauma perhaps). All of the above. Was it a mistake then? Having a core belief that I am less worthy of the next because everything in the world told me so? I couldve been a lawyer, dentist, doctor, teacher. I didn‘t believe I was worth it, so I didn’t become either of those. I did not believe I can be anything great. I had a job as a janitor, not saying that janitorial work is less than work, and I still believed I was unworthy to empty someone’s trash, to mop the hallway, to vacuum the floor. I was not that good of a person to do those things. So I quit and blamed it on scheduling, blah blah blah. I blamed something else either way. It was not because of my using, although using played a huge role in my escape. It was my understanding, or misunderstanding, of who I was as an Anishinaabe.
I had believed with the full part of me that I was destined to live an addict/criminal life. My life was to be nothing more than jails, prisons, crime, addiction. That is who I was. I was not intelligent, not capable and definitely not worthy of a “Good” life. Whatever that means anyway. I had camaraderie, I had escape, I had a choice and I chose to accept that’s all my life was going to add up to be. The plus side, I had my family, I had my friends, I had the homies, I had connections, I had nothing. Nothing to live for, absent of responsibility. That is what was meant for me, that’s what I accepted and ultimately that is what I got.
There came a time where I decided to take a chance. With failure being most possible outcome, I decided to change my life around. Even if it was surface only, a half assed attempt, I was going to try. I had 2.5 years left in prison, the worst that could happen is I can keep living the way I have, which was perfectly fine by me. At the time, I was not afraid of going back to my old ways. It was comfortable and it was tough for me realize I was doing something wrong. I was more scared of facing myself, my faults, my responsibilities, my actions. That was scary. Life in addiction/criminality/hate/sorrow was my normal. I knew what to expect.