Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Back on dry land

My cruise to Mexico was not what I expected. I am still wobbly and feel like I am on the boat. Sea sickness is similiar to morning sickness or a wicked hang over.  I am sure Ensenada is not representative of what the United States should expect from Mexico. From the US side, trully,  I am embarrassed by what we are exporting in the quiet town. To see Americans drinking to excess while women with dirty children beg nearby made my lunch much less appetizing. I thought about my own children safe on the ship while these women were out wearing their babies and selling trinkets to support their families. I was overcome with grief.

I spent my time homeless , in a sense, by choice. The drugs made my decisions for me. At least these women in Mexico had their children with them.They wore them with care. On Thursday night, we saw a junkie couple at the hotel. He had dirty pants, pinned pupils, and bruised knuckles. he had his daughter on his lap. He pulled her out of the dirty stroller. She clearly was happy to spend time, any time, with her daddy. the stroller was filthy as if it had been bathed in dirt. The child sat on her father while he briefly nodded, waiting for a room. The mother was out in the parking lot. She was on speed. I think she was trying to flag down a trick for a place to stay for the night. Eventually, my husband said the hotel asked them to leave while we safely escorted our children away.

 What if I would have been born into an entirely different set of circumstances? I frequently complain about a legacy of alcoholism and addiction but the world certainly has much worse in the way of childhoods. I saw the faces of the staff on the Cruise line. As they work their 12 hour days, many of them are the lucky ones. They are escaping poverty in their countries of origin while making me towel animals stuffed with chocolate. I am not sure what to think about the whole situation but I was grateful to get some relaxation in among the drunken amateur alcoholics. My children were safe and happy. I complain a lot about myself but I really, really, really realize how lucky I am to be alive let alone be entrusted with such gifts. I am back on dry land with a new perspective.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Tracey. Thanks for sharing that. It is amazing what we do take for granted, even us people in recovery. I spent pre-addiction time (3 yrs.) while in the Army down at the Panama Canal (Central America in general, mid-1980's), so I have an idea of what you are saying. There's a Pink Floyd song, "On the Turning Away" which makes me think of that time every time I hear it play.

    The good thing is, you are able to feel and empathize. I know for me there was a time when empathy was an afterthought at best, after I got my fix.

    Though we cannot save the world all by ourselves, I think we can try to make it better for those we do come in contact with.

    Ed

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