I went to bed conflicted on the next day’s travel plan. The most direct course for home was to head toward Memphis, Tennessee, a straight shot to Birmingham. For some reason, I was drawn to Louisville, Kentucky. I had been to Louisville as a child, with my family so it wasn’t like I hadn’t seen it before. The only memory I had retained from that trip was sitting on a tremendously large horse and having my picture made. It was my very first time to feel the powerful and muscular animal under me, it was instant love. From that moment on, I was obsessed with horses. I prayed about which direction I should go, then hit the sack.
I awoke the next morning with no doubts. I was heading to Kentucky. It was only about 4 hours from where I was and I knew there would be regret if I didn’t follow my gut instinct to go.
On the road there, I was thinking about why there was such a strong urge in me to go to Louisville again. Then, it hit me like a ton of bricks, it was the first time I remember my mom showing concern about me. When the barn hand was helping me up onto the back of that magnificent horse, Mom said, “Bill, Bill, it’s too big! Don’t they have a smaller one? What if she falls?!”. Now, I’m sure my mother loved me before that moment, but it was the first time in my life I really knew it. Mind you, I was all of 6 or 7 years old.
As I continued to relive that memory, I remembered getting pleasure from frightening my mom. There was a sense of power from doing something that effected her emotions in a negative way. Even at that early age, manipulating someone’s feelings, brought me some form of satisfaction. That is sick thinking!
Maybe, the magnetic pull to visit Louisville was God’s way of helping me understand that I have always had this disease. It really shouldn’t be called “addiction”. Being chemically addicted to a substance is merely a symptom of this disease of the brain. The bottom line, I process and react differently to everyday interactions and stimuli than earthlings (normal people). I believe it is a disease I was born with, just like millions of others. We use chemicals to change the way we think and feel, to help us deal with the twisted way our brains work. The addiction part happens when we use these chemicals to excess, all in the name of feeling “normal”. This is just one addict’s opinion.
I also think the draw to Louisville was a gift. It just so happened, the Grand Opening of the newest exhibit at the Kentucky Derby Museum was that day. It was dedicated to the latest Triple Crown Winner, American Pharoah. It also, just so happened, that the main event was planned for 3:00. I arrived at 2:00. The owners, jockey and Pharoah’s trainer were all there and I got to hear them interviewed. I was also honored to see the 1st screening of the movie about this amazing horse’s story. Very cool to connect some of my past feelings and to be a part of history in the making.