Back then when I was still a wandering hardcore addict, I picked up a ‘habit’ during the time I was jobless and hungry while walking and sleeping on the streets of Makati, Pasig, Pasay and Manila. I would stare down on the pavement looking for coins to pick up. If lucky, a coin or two could mean a piece of bread from the bakery. Good enough to stave off hunger for a few hours. I continue this habit till this day and I am not ashamed to say it.
These coins (and a P20 bill) are what I “recovered” in just 2 months of my daily 2-hour walks in our temporary Dumaguete home. Stella amusingly laughs at me , but she is also my witness as I bring home 3-7 coins a day. Yes, if you look hard enough you will find them. Trust the “expert”.
People just ignore them and do not bother to pick them up, specially the dirty, rusty ones. But you see, in MY EYES they still have value and I will NOT pass up the chance to pick them up even if it is in the middle of a busy street or if it is rusty, dirty, and half-buried. I WILL pick them up!
I do not spend them, nor can Stella dare touch them! A put them aside as a reminder of my dark past…and a DARK FUTURE if I make wrong choices again.
I share this because I too, (like many
of my brothers and sisters in recovery) , was exactly like that old, rusty, neglected coin that people rejected and ignored, and who saw NO-VALUE left in it. They forget that once upon a time they were shiny newly-minted coins that people loved to see and use. But just like the poor, taken-for-granted coins, these persons-in-recovery still have so much value if they are cleaned, polished and yes.. “disinfected”. We are NOT worthless! Far from it!
And if I come across neglected, rejected and dejected recovering addicts stigmatized by society…I surely WILL pick them up.