Pamela Harris

(photo by and miniature set by Charles Brogdon, On the Set)

When I was 22 I had my first revelation that I might have a drug problem. At the time I was trying to kick a coke habit, so I tried crack. After that first hit - I had never felt anything like it - something deep down said this is the drug that will kill me. I made a deal with myself: if I never smoke crack again I can keep snorting cocaine. I never smoked crack again, but a piece of me knew that negotiating one for the other probably wasn't good thinking.

Some time later I went to a party and a friend was there with his girlfriend. Someone offered her a drink and she took water. When someone handed her a mirror with a line on it she casually passed. She didn't smoke cigarettes either; though I had told everyone I quit I was sneaking onto roofs and hanging out windows to steal puffs off a Marlboro Light when I thought I could get away with it. I was intrigued by this girl and tried to imagine what it would be like to not drink or do drugs or smoke cigarettes. I couldn't imagine it, but wanted to.

Over the years if someone mentioned 'spiritual life' or 'higher power' the words would catch in my ear. Same with 'meditation.' For all of it I pictured gurus with long beards and people chanting so I'd cancel the idea of it out. The last ten years of using I was a pothead and every night (and eventually every day) I'd get high and trace figure-eights around my apartment. I'd listen to music and have moments of awareness of how I was getting in my own way, or what patterns I was repeating and how they weren't working for me. Then the next morning would come and the button would reset and I'd start all over again doing what I was doing.

My mind is like a wood chipper in that it takes everything in and frantically chews the shit out of it. I used to grind life up to try to make sense of it. I'm curious about the world around me, so a sense of wonder would pepper the sawdust, too. When I got clean I tried to meditate but my head was a pinball. After a couple years I started going to a once a week meditation group a friend led. It took a year before I could actually quiet my mind for a few minutes out of 20. Now I try to meditate regularly and when I do my head might still monkey around, but I'm sitting.

This morning I was meditating and suddenly realized how powerless I am over what's going on right now. A few months back I wrote about how it doesn't go the way I think it's gonna and at the end that of the post I mentioned that I wrote a new pilot and it had changed everything. It's true - I got the pilot to a production co., a studio came on board and they took the project to a premium cable network. Premium cable loved it, then passed and everyone dropped out. I got the project back and got it to a writer/producer who at the time was with the tv show JUSTIFIED. He loved it, and though he couldn't take it to FX he wanted to help me get a manager, which he did. I love my manager. And the writer/producer.

When I create a show I write the pilot and also create a whole platform for it including ways to maximize the business end of it. The shows I create become very real for me - I see that world in 3D and see how it fits into this one. When I get a pass I get blue and frustrated and pissed, but passes have no effect on how I feel about the project. If anything it makes me more ambitious. Going through that process showed me it isn't personal when I get a pass. Plus, new people read my work and all want to read what I do next.

Recently I finished a new project, a half-hour comedy (the other pilot is a one-hour comedic drama) and my manager is just starting to take it out. I wrote the best pilot I could and I'm so ready to get a show on the air, yet I'm powerless over what happens next. I've done everything I can to try to make this happen, and what I do now is start a new project. Writer/producers keep telling me that's how it's done. Faith tells me the same. So that's what I'm doing.


September 24, 2012Studying medicine isn't all about studiyng 24/7, with IFMSA you can combine between knowledge and fun, and yes, I HAVE A LIFE IN MEDICAL SCHOOL, the stereotype of medical students (only studiyng and nothing else) is no longer valid when you're part of IFMSA.Another point, one of the basic needs of human beings is the sense of belonging, and by belonging to the big family of IFMSA you satisfy this need.Also getting to know your colleagues outside the class, and even those who study in universities other than yours, is a priceless experience and a good act to do since your early medical life. One day you'll graduate and get into the work field, no physician can work alone or do a research alone, we live in the era of teams. Knowing other students who share your interests and goals is just fantastic and sharing knowledge and experience is one of the best things to start doing early as a future physician, surgeon, etc.Thanks for the post

Gianni | December 6, 2013 at 09:37 am

Now there's a mouthful. You run the gamut from smoking crack, to fake attempts at abstention, to a life with Bible Pot, to spiritual wood chipping, to New Pilot, to rejection of New Pilot, to the joy of starting again. Just remember one thing: Persistence is everything. Failure brings only two choices, either you pick yourself and start again, or you roll over and die. You're a duster offer.

Paul Murphy | August 23, 2013 at 10:56 am

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