Ryan Donnelly's Blog

Life Is Funny


July 31st 2009. My first night in the ARC was an interesting one. This was my 6th day clean and the first night without any prescribed sleep aid. The doctor gave me a tryptophan medication to help me fall asleep while I was in the mental hospital going through withdrawal and being watched for suicide the prior 5 days. I didn’t realize till this night, how much the oxy had destroyed the natural chemicals in my brain. I literally laid in that cot staring out the window into the perfect view of Time Square’s bright lights, feeling as energetic as a 6-year-old Christmas Eve night. But it’s funny, due to the amount of hurt I caused people close to me through my actions, I would tell myself that it is all payback. Every thing I have to endure I must face head up and take it in the chin because I deserve it. So staring into the bright lights surrounded by 2 grown men snoring loudly, I went over every awful thing I did the past 8 months, I did this for the next 3 nights. In total, the first 4 nights at “The Palace” were sleepless. But things were about to get much better.
This morning I was a little on edge after becoming a practicing insomniac, and I was given the news that my job would be changed. When I first arrived at the warehouse for my first day, I was put on garbage duty. Garbage duties job description is going through all of the garbage that comes in the  donated bags. And let me tell you, “People donate some nasty shit, literally sometimes SHIT!  With that being said, after 4 days of garbage duty and no sleep, I was ready for a change and it came. I would now be going through boxes of old electronics, radios, cd players, stuff like that. Much cleaner job and I could sit down.
Fast Forward a week or soooooo…
Everything is going 100% better. I am sleeping like a baby, and am realizing that I am getting along with my roommates and everybody in the building. I must admit, being 1 of a few white guys in a house of 120 was a little odd in the beginning. Because let’s face it, I’m no city dude or kid from the block, I’m a white boy from suburbia. But that’s exactly the person I showed. I was REAL to everyone in that building, and they respected the fact that I wasn’t trying to be something I wasn’t.
See this was a huge lesson for me, it was the first time in my life that I wasn’t trying to be a hard ass. (Not that I let my guard down, because believe me I was ready to rock to protect myself), but not acting hard opened doors to me that closed to most in the program. A lot of guys would open up to me and talk about their lives and the destruction they caused. And in that moment it dawned on me. I want to help guys like this. I want to help guys like me. This is my calling…

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