I was 21 and I was failing miserably at trying to take care of myself. I had no real education. On my own since 14, I barely managed to squeeze a high school diploma and college wasn’t affordable or obtainable. I was desperately trying to pay the rent but the jobs I got weren’t more than $4 bucks an hour. It was slim picking too. In the 1980’s America suffered the worst depression since the 1930’s. Many don’t remember walking in and finding entire neighborhoods with boarded up homes. Houston’s “addicks” had just that. People were getting rid of Cadillacs and buying Volkswagen Rabbits to conserve the gas. CNN brought the rest of the world to us and it was scary. I just needed food. With one can of “Chicken and Stars” in my cupboard I realized I was a few days from being homeless, and then I was. There’s really nothing like the pain of hunger. If our basic need is security and food then one of mine was missing. The ache is do deep it’s in your bones. Your head gets foggy, your mouth stops watering and a sense of nothing comes over. The only thought, concept, goal, is food and shelter…but food first. I wanted to live, to be alive, to survive, but I wasn’t making it. I was hungry and after cleaning up in public restrooms and using what money I did have to scrounge enough together for meals, I was flat broke, skinny, tired and angry because I couldn’t figure out how to get where I wanted. It was then I met someone who offered to teach me how to be independent. This is the lesson….when you’re hungry, and starving for whatever it is that you need, values, morals, and a real sense of right and wrong no longer become your focus. When you’re at your lowest and the pain is so powerful it’s hard to think of anything other than exactly what you need because human survival is such a powerful drive. Intellect, and it’s rationalization is a non factor. People make choices that determine their whole life because the moment they are in is so bad the piercing reality is to harsh to bear. Pause. If you live to be 80 then the moment you are in right now will soon be a blimp on the radar of your life. Taking time to really let someone know you need help can save you and your whole life. Get help. Get fed, even if it’s just your soul. If you’re hungry there are people out there like me who give a crap. Seek them.
I’m always available for a phone call or an email or comment if you’re really in trouble and need immediate help.