Coming Out, Getting Clean and Finding Buddha – Chris Lemig

Coming Out, Getting Clean and Finding Buddha – Chris Lemig

Chris Lemig spent twenty-three years of his life in the dark closet of addiction and self-hatred. After coming out as being gay in 2007, he discovered the teachings of the Buddha and never looked back. He is deeply concerned with issues relating to the mental and spiritual wellbeing of modern culture and is looking for ways to bring happiness and contentment back into our lives. Chris sometimes lives in India where he studies Tibetan language. He writes about coming out, sobriety and Buddhism on his blog http://www.thenarrowwaybook.com. The following is an excerpt from his book, The Narrow Way, a Memoir of Coming Out, Getting Clean and Finding Buddha. Chapter 18 Rebirth Time passes unhindered. When we make mistakes, we cannot turn back and try again. All we can do is use the present well. H.H. The XIV Dalai Lama Up, up, up I climb. Up into Rocky Mountain foothills; up into the heart of my fears and limitations. The whoosh of the highway is now far in the distance as the still air becomes thin and clear. Cool rivers of sweat pour from my temples running fast down my neck and back. Today, six months before heading off to India, I am alive! I walk a furious pace, over the craggy landscape, through awakening sage and scrub oak, bound and determined to conquer these seven miles that have turned me back a dozen times. But five months without cigarettes or liquor now and my lungs feel like new. I breathe in deep at the two-mile mark, the start of the long loop trail, and pause. I will not turn back this time. I will not give up. I have come too far, too fast. Five months old now. A new born and delighted at the rush of senses only just discovered. I think back, remembering that first day, the day of my rebirth. I can see myself coming home from the short vacation I took just after coming out. I thought I should celebrate. But now, standing outside the airport waiting for my ride, I look long and hard at the crumpled pack of Camels in my hand. My eyes follow down, down as they fall away into the trash and I dive in after them in my mind, trembling at the thought of walking the path ahead without my dear old crutch. But then a shout from my cousin’s husband in the pick up lane and I hop into the truck. “Whoa, you smell like booze!” he says. “One last bender,” I say. One last desperate grasp at the old way. One last bout with the hammer over my head.  But then I imagined my new life out...

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