Carl Green, 2001
"It's something I've got to
deal with for the rest of
my life. It's always there.
You got to keep it out of
your mouth first, then you
deal with your mind."
I’ve talked to people that have said, “I can’t get off drinking, I can’t get off what I’m on.”
I said, “What in the world are you on so bad that you can’t stop it?” I said, “Anything I get on, I can stop it.” A guy told me years ago, he said, “Mr. Green, you can’t. If you get on this stuff, you can’t get off it.” I said, “Yes, I can!” He said, “Mr. Green,” he got on his knees, he said, “Please don’t ever put any of this in your mouth!”
He was on it bad! He said, “Please don’t ever do this! Because you cannot stop!”
“Well,” I said, “Well, I got a strong mind.”
I said, “I may get on it, but it ain’t gonna run wild on you, it ain’t gonna run like diseases, crawl into and get into your body and you don’t know it!” I said, “Anything you can put into your mouth yourself you can stop it. You know? It ain’t like catching a cold and you don’t know it’s coming! You know it’s coming because you put it in your mouth!”
“Mr. Green, please don’t do it.” He said, “I respect you.”
I said, “I’m going to find a way to stop so I can tell my friend how to deal with it.”
Well, it’s something I’ve got to deal with the rest of my life. It’s always there for you. Because if you think about that strong enough, you can get high in mind but not in the head, so you just got to keep that blocked out. You got to think about something more strongly than that—block it out. You got to keep it out of your mouth first, then you deal with your mind.
After I quit working for Duke, I kind of pulled myself out and tried to find a way to do better, act better, serve people, you know, try to make a better thing out of my life. So I got this idea and found a new way of doing things, a way to help somebody. Me and a partner got a little clean-up kind of business. We go out and help older people, women that are staying by themselves that can’t take care of their big houses.
I like helping people. Just like when you first met me, I was working here at the shelter. I used to keep the floors looking good, keeping them clean. My hobby is cleaning and keeping myself busy so I won’t get that lonely mind in there.
I liked helping the people that was here in the shelter—especially the younger generation. See, everybody that comes here got a different problem and a different way that you got to deal with that problem. I used to set them down and talk to them and show them that somebody loves them. “All you got to do is get up out of here, stop moping around here like you are as old as I am, and go out there and find a person that loves you! When your family turns their back on you, somebody else can love you, too.”
I got a lot of young people out of here, you know, by talking to them. You look around here, you don’t see that many of them in here now. Just a bunch of older people.
I’m so proud of my daughter! I can see myself in her, doing my dreams. See, I had a dream for her. But you cannot dream for your child. You got to let them have their own dreams. But she has got my dreams. She’s a drug counselor, then she works with juveniles and then she works with housing. She got three jobs! She got two kids and she got a new home. And she is doing fine!
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