The devil's chokehold

January 6, 2008
Tommy J, his first time in a long time to go to a NA meeting. He shows up at the door looking at the sign, stopped to read it. Reading the words on the poster but not processing through his head. All he can think of is why; why is he like he is. He really wants to change for the sake of his family but not sure if he can. His son growing up with his mom and dad and brother doing drugs. The son Deric has seen two of those family members make it out of the devils chokehold of drugs but the devil still has a good grasp of Tommy. Six years ago Tommy thought that he could lead a new life when he met a new girlfriend in a different city with two young daughters. Tommy tried to get his son, to live with him but Deric decided to live in a s***ty neighborhood full of drugs and gangs. After about six months, Deric decides to live with his dad and his worse fear. A new mom. Six years later Tommy finds himself walking into the door.

Tommy walks in and looks around the room to see a lot of different aged men and women, all staring at him. He stands in one spot in the room, hoping he will sink into the carpet and just leave everything behind him. But hoping doesn't change anything. Tommy looks at the clock, there is five minutes until the meeting starts. He sits down in the chair. He starts to ease up. Then a man with gray hair and a look on his face that tells you he has had it all and lost most of it. He introduces himself and asks Tommy his name. Tommy replies and looks around the table to see that the meeting is about to start.

The first five words the leader says don't process through Tommy's ears because Tommy is still wondering if he should leave or not. But he stays. Then Tommy is asked to state his name. Tommy says: Hi, my name is Tommy Jones and I am an alcoholic and drug user. He felt like changing his words to hi, my name is Tommy Jones and I am an alcoholic and drug user and a bad father and boyfriend. He stays silent throughout the whole meeting. After the meeting, he leaves not saying a word to anybody.

On the drive home he thinks of all the words that everybody said at the meeting. As he reflects on his life and how to change it. He says to himself, how do I live with myself? He had a deep thought and stopped the car. He sat in his car on the side of the road and thought if he just turned the car around and left, and never came back that it might be easier for the whole family. But for some reason he just put his foot on the gas and drove home. He came home and slept, when he woke up he found three children at the table doing homework and a son who is anxious to find out how his meeting went. Tommy says, it went well. His girlfriend comes home and everything is all of a sudden better because Tommy finally went to a meeting and is going to change his bad habits.

Three days have went by and on that fourth day, he doesn't go to the meeting because he supposedly didn't want to drive all the way out to town. So he comes back and tell the kids that are home that he is going to Jay's house to help with a motor. Right as Deric heard this from his dad, he knew it wasn't such a hot idea because Jay is a crack head and all around dip s***. But Deric doesn't say anything because he is too afraid to. So he just sits and waits for Veronica, Tommy's girlfriend to come home. When she does, she seems pretty pissed but Deric doesn't say anything because he doesn't want to start a fight. But then when Deric gets on the computer he finds out that when his dad got back from Jay's house his dad was high off of pot and meth. So Deric bottles up his emotions and starts to listen to music and type on the computer about this family and there troubles, about to send it to his sister. Hoping that she being smart and all will figure out on her own that all the names are fake, but the story is real. All Deric wants is a few things to be different, because those few things that are different would change so much in so many other peoples lives.

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