I see it every day. I ask myself: why are we to deal with this crap in our lives? I ask philosophical questions every day now. Is that a sign of getting too old? Anyway, the questions persist. And the answers are many. “Chaos” seems to make most sense. And yet the one that follows right after is “God’s plan.”
Nobody like suffering, but suffering persists. Loss is no fun, but we keep losing someone or something. Every day we get back to the same old grind. What is this freaking plan that includes pain, cancer, death of loves ones, humiliation, and confusion, alongside laughter, accomplishments, and serenity?
I’ll step aside a bit and say that of all theories on the nature of society that I studied in the college physiological one makes most sense to me. Everything is interconnected and put together for a reason. Just as we catch cold, feeling weak is the result of the whole of our body fighting the virus and employing the immune system, supporting which takes a lot of energy that we eventually lose, just the same we do require lawmakers and schools. Garbage workers are just as important as medical workers. And strangely, we appear to need crime and poverty as much as health services and organs of control. So far our society keeps all of this, to have so many others employed as well as educated, and being alert of the possible negative effects, looking for better skills to care for our children. Without realizing the ills of others we can’t get by in our own lives and stages of progress, leaning on appreciation for what we’ve got.
Our lives are important. But so is someone else’s. While our lives are evolving, so is someone else’s. We connect with them, which affects us and them, and that action passed on to others has an effect on someone else of whose existence we don’t even know. This is how the Plan works. But what for?
Say our loved ones die. They can perish from old age, or from cancer, or from a car crash, or from serial killer attack, or from some error we caused. In each of these cases that caused their death we are going to have a different response. These deaths are going to affect us differently. There will be shock and cries “why?”, screams for revenge, or there will be beating of our heads against the wall and growls “it is all my fault!” Each of these situations is going to have a certain effect on our lives that are to go on from then on.
So what we perceive as negative is there for a reason, because we learn from these painful and unpleasant situations to discover something about ourselves. And how is that a God’s plan? We learn about ourselves and others to be better to ourselves and others. If we believe that God wants us and others to be good, we have to believe that everything that we go through has a purpose, however vague that purpose may be.
And we need to remember that if we are here to make other people’s lives better, we have to take good care of ourselves. Stress, bad sleep, malnutrition, worry, anger, addiction, – all these won’t provide for a good caretaker of life goodness and recovery. Selflessness is fine, but self care is vital. Depend on God, but don’t be silly.
As people, we are interconnected in our society, just like the organs in our bodies. Same thing with everything that goes on in our minds. Some ideas come to us complete. Every once in a while I’d have a short story finished in a couple of hours. But on regular basis the thoughts I have for my stories are dispersed and it takes weeks to put them together and align them properly. Then again some ideas don’t even come for weeks. I have to toy with them, do my writing exercises and see what could work, and then find out most of them don’t. Why does that happen? These ideas are brought to me through my going through life. They are recollections of my experiences that I look at from different angles. They are formed from meditating at the conditions and consequences of my daily perseverance. They come with time because such is the plan of the universe and the work of my brain. They seem to have their own schedule of arrival and nature of appearance. They may seem disjointed, but only in my mind they find structure, sense, and connection to everything else.
Truly, God may be providing in ways that appear unreal or illusory, but eventually they are “there for a reason”, even though sometime we are not ready to see them and eagerly reject them as nonsense. That attitude may also be a part of the divine schedule. In good time we will learn better about these things. Such is life of a human being in this world, enveloped and sewn within the Plan of what we know as the power greater than ourselves if we choose to believe in it.
[front picture was copied from ‘ere and thank you!]
I think the easiest relationship I ever had was the one with alcohol. Granted, it eventually near ruined my life, almost drove me insane, and I had to seek serenity and change in recovery. But in itself the relationship with booze was the least complicated of all I ever had. It was always there for me to get incapacitated on. It was easy to drink, as long as I had the money and the place. So in a sense it was kind of like sex with a prostitute. This spirit somehow managed to get connected to my spirit, my soul, and I felt truly loved, but then the effect would wither, and the only way to re-ignite that passion was to feed it some more money and, eventually, more health.
Relationship with alcohol was the only connection I could have when I couldn’t or were not willing, or was too scared to connect with a real person. When I was sad, booze was there to make the negative emotions fade. When I was happy, I drank and was becoming ever more excited. And I almost always drank alone, so I’d be bragging about whatever I did or how I felt, and the spirit of alcohol (puns for punters!) always was there to listen.
Each time I ended up in a relationship with a human being, it was always demanded understanding, patience, care and letting go, and I wasn’t ready for that in most cases. Not only I was not mature enough for that, I was also spoiled by my relationship with alcohol in a sense that I seriously bought into the attitude of instant gratification. I knew what I wanted and I wanted it right then. There was no patience, tolerance, or forgiveness, or need to be forgiven. So when it came to relationships with a human being it was all for sex, sensuality, and laughter, not much talking and connecting. Being with my ex-, the last partner before I quit drinking for good, was great in the respect that all of these elements were present. We both had a high sex drive, so there was no problem there. However there was a problem after all. She was more mature and was looking forward to getting grounded and building a family soon, and I was nowhere near that. And we both were mad in our own ways, so in eleven months we spent together we broke up about ten times, usually for the same reasons: past unresolved issues and inability to listen and let go, coupled with insecurity and jealousy on her side, and alcoholism on mine. As well, hard work that was to be put into relationships was not for me.
Several months after that bond was broken I drank myself to the point I had to seek help. I missed my partner, I missed sex, the way it made me feel about myself and reality. Booze seemed to be the only comforter. Too much of that made me lose my job yet again, doubt my forces, losing hope, and I was getting more isolated.
When I came to AA and heard of the “no romantic relationships in the first year” rule, not only it made sense, I was also happy. I was so overwhelmed by how love relationships and sex made me feel, that I was ready to give it a break, hoping that the power of romance will let go of me. I felt like “screw love, screw relationships, to hell with people, and to hell with you! I need some serenity.” I was going to several Twelve Step meetings a week, working and studying a lot, and I listened to a lot of kick-up-your-ass angry music that drove me through the day. I’ve done the first year almost not thinking of drinking. Then I sort of looked around and figured that “to hell with people” part of my attitude had to change if I wanted to continue being sane. I started going to the same meetings more often and connect with the same people. The more I talked and shared, the more connection I felt. This was the strangest relationship of all – I didn’t really know these folks, but I felt like I was part of them, and it was not a false bond. It was something I haven’t felt for a very long time, if ever.
Desire for romance never went away, I was just good at suppressing it. I guess in the end the one year alarm clock went off and I knew it was spring again and I hated it. But when after a long time of failing to establish some connection with the opposite sex I finally met a woman I could relate to, I was ready. By that I mean that I’ve learned to listen. I learned respect for another person, as well as some tolerance and patience. I was still not great at accepting people the way they were and living life on its terms, but I was on the way to get there.
After being with my girlfriend for over half a decade now, I must say the relationship is definitely a hard work and it demands a lot of forces, mostly mental, like re-evaluation and adapting, but the fruits are worth working for. It is a true understanding and support that is there to stay, unlike my phony connection with alcohol that was there today, gone tomorrow. No matter how much it seemed to cheer me up and inspire me, alcohol was a relationship of a destructive force, always working its way toward my degradation. I used to love the fact how it made me feel most of the time, and how it distorted reality, making me feel I was so much more special than others, the misunderstood and unnoticed genius. Yet all it did in the end was mess up my mind with twisted values and helped me get isolated from almost everything and everyone.
At the same time, human factor is extremely important for me these days. Even though there are days I don’t want to get together with anyone, have no desire to talk or listen, still, on the major scale I am a social person and must not betray this connection which was quite a labour to establish.
[front picture was copied from ‘ere. thanks!]
I know this one guy who has lost a family member to a violent crime. He is grieving, and it’s not easy for him. He has a tendency to isolate though. So I wonder for how long he’s going to be away from the sunlight.
Human mind is a weird thing. It is brilliant, considering all the amazing ideas that it gives birth to and processes. It also spawns terrors that haunt us at night and day. Temptations, obsessions, fears, visions none else can see, voices others cannot hear or even suspect that they ring in our heads all the time.
Our mind is a place where from where our dreams come, and at the same time it is a trap from which it is hard to escape. We can be caught up in the ideas that make sense for us to turn to, like righteous anger toward injustice, fear of flying or spiders, insecurities about relationships and change of a career. Subsequently we dive into a certain range of waters from where it’s near impossible to get out. And the worst (and spectacular) thing is we don’t want to leave. We prefer to dwell there, in guilt, resentment, and grief. It is so dark, grim, and lonely down in the mud of insecurity and fury, that there is certain comfort in all of it. We know we need to deal with it, but we don’t let go of the slimy skinny hand of misery.
Why? Perhaps, just like some folks enjoy savouring pain in their S&M games, there is some pleasure in feeling bad. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Usually people prefer to feel happy. Some can’t even allow an idea of hurt. They keep getting shiny things, worshipping bright colors, follow trends that are advertised to promote happiness. Then others, perhaps more stable, try to establish happiness through hard work of building relationships, looking after a garden, raising kids, and painting. They create more of something they believe would make the world a better place and these thoughts and beliefs warm them through life. They get happiness from that. Then there are folks that feel content in hurting others. Their self-esteem and self-worth are extremely low, so they try to satisfy themselves by making others suffer.
And then there are these creatures who crawl into a shadowy stinky garbage hole and submit to feeling crappy. Some of them don’t understand why these misfortunes keep banging on their doors. They can’t take the injustice of the universe and they keep the reality at bay, yet they aren’t dealing with it, so the pain doesn’t go away either.
There is, however, another breed of the shadow crawlers. They know that what has happened to them happens to others. They heard it before that pain and loss are as natural as joy and success. They know approximately what they deal with. So they accept it when the darker corners of existence reach out to them, thus justifying their isolation and inaction.
Justifying? Yes. If you’ve lost a family member to cancer, you are expected to feel terrible. Society understands. Friends, loved ones, and employers presume you need space to grieve in, so they give you one. And with all that support you feel you deserve the provided time off. You even feel righteous about having some peace of mind, time to cry. And it’s true. You do require it to catch up with your mind absorbing the fact of loss, seeing how your systems of beliefs and attitudes perceive the new problem in your life. Then, during the grieving process, you will come to a certain resolution and come back to life. Hopefully.
However after being through or perhaps still in the process of facing loss and letting go of the pain we can get side tracked and take a wrong path. Or not even a path, but a swamp to fall into and stay there. Leaving that space is hard. It is so cosy down there, realizing that you know and others know you deserve this space and time of dealing with whatever happened to you. Wicked love for nurturing misery is so irrational, yet we continue dwelling in it, because it’s easier to swim in it than to make the change and face the new stage of our life. We need to build that stage, we need to make a step forward, and quite often even that seems to be too much work. We keep telling ourselves that everyone will understand if we take some more time to cry a bit longer, to heal our soul wounds, to let go of these chains of misery while in reality we let them bind us more if we keep holding on to them.
And the bad news is that these knowledgeable shadow crawlers – they are not a separate breed. They are all. They are us. We all come into those mind territories of relishing the distress, yet some of use choose to move on, and some choose to stay. Chances are they may stay in those Elysian Fields of the mourning minds forever.
The good news? Some make it out of the land of tears, not completely unscathed, but they make it, and as one possessor of a brilliant mind that later on went cuckoo said, “what doesn’t kill you, makes you strong” – you learn from the pain that almost completely swallowed you and you get better, smarter, skilled enough not to fall into that trap again. If we know how our brain can dance at times and we get prepared (but not paranoid), then we are more prone to keep away from that sweet temptation to dive into the mind swamp and swim in the socially accepted need for grieving that can hatch into a non-forgiving attitude of justified suffering in which we’d gladly wallow until we are sucked dry by the dark corners of our own mind.
Yes, it is easy to say “think positive thoughts” and “don’t give in”, and some characters will always hold on to yelling “you have no idea how I feel” and “you haven’t been there.” Oh yes, I have. I’ve been there, and I can still see it swimming around me at times. That shit is illusory, but the danger of falling into it and staying in there is real. That’s why I keep writing about it. To remind myself (and perhaps others) of it.
It is easier to fall in than climb out. If you fell in and it was hard to climb, but you made, don’t do it again, hey? Don’t isolate. It can bury you. Don’t give in to the dark serene waters of grief without looking back. You will like too much to stay there for good. Why? I don’t know. Welcome to being human. Perhaps we have to learn something from all this wickedness for ourselves to get better? Perhaps that is the Plan?
Somehow yesterday morning pondering about the futility of human living covered me harder than ever. The question that drilled through me most was: What is the point of our existence if everything is going to be the same? Each person, no matter what they do, is going to end up like everybody else. We are going to be like these people from our history books. One genius and a million of destroyers. One enlightened individual and a million of happy stand-by onlookers. The planet is going to hell, so why continue struggling? There are some fun glimpses, yes, but are we to continue working through life just because of them? All this daily striving and overcoming – for what?
Well, perhaps, some of us have broader reasons. Perhaps they can agree with me on the meaninglessness of reality, and nod at the book of Ecclesiastes, but eventually come to the end of that writing and say that we just need to trust God and his plan. Sorry. After being around for a while, that’s not good enough for me. I know I am the part of the plan, but I think I need something better than that to continue living for, because for me my life is all I’ve got. It is precious to me, no matter what philosophies and theologies say.
Music wasn’t helping today. I was listening to Helloween this morning. “Tonight we are stars!” OK. Today you have a purpose. Then what? Don’t worry about future, we live one day at a time. I agree. But for me this hour is too long. It is not about whether I can carry on. I sure can. I marched sober and responsible for quite a while, but I just can’t see why I shouldn’t finish myself off due to the fact that nothing of what I do or what people around me do going to have any significance, for everyone will perish over and over again. In ten years it won’t matter. Then I recalled Rush: “Why are we here? Because we’re here, roll the bones.” Is that good enough? What are we trying to prove? What’s the fun of being a part of a huge experiment that Gods wanted to partake since the day they got lazy of drinking nectar all day?
Let’s say we are here to help others, really care for them. Jesus said, “I give you a new commandment, Love one another.” OK. We are going to care for them and treat them most humanely possible, and hopefully get some of the same treatment back, that would be nice. But in the end – what? Just sit around and be happy? Who believes that after two thousands of years of mutually assured destruction? Let’s just imagine that we are slowly moving towards that bright future we so often heard of and one day we will be just a bunch of peace lovers. But live and struggle the whole life for that? Dealing with people, facing crap, ignorance, etc. – all to say in the end “OK, time to go to heaven, sit on a cloud and play harp all day. That’s my idea of fun, for sure!” Really? No thanks. That’s not good enough for me.
Explore and expand creativity? Create more art? I think we rely on that too much. Art and music are just illusions. Very nice illusions, may I say, but they just light up and paint a grey brick wall in clouds of color that only exists in our minds. We are the lords of illusion. But can we carry on like that forever?
Human life is a journey. A path of proving something to ourselves and others around us. But considering everything said above, within the human reality this journey is pathetic and resistance to this fact is futile. I can only see some reason in going on if I think of moving on in terms of energy evolvement. For example, my path may lay through life that I see around me as the matter in space goes through a black hole. This matter of my life has a certain destination, but it’s unknown if it will end up supporting the surrounding cosmic landscape, becoming just a part of everything it went through, only more static, or end up in another dimension, with completely different functions and fate, susceptible to completely different laws. That way I think can accept reality a bit better. See it as a process, different than just get born, go to school, get a job, get married, have kids, retire, die. In my space evolvement scheme possibilities are endless. The vision of mundane living steps away.
And I do believe in some sort of afterlife reincarnation, so perhaps not only I am going through phases of evolvement now and will continue doing it, but also I’ve been going through those stages and shapes for hundreds of years before. Perhaps my spirit that sits in this body has been travelling for a long time and this is just a temporary stop. I am travelling from somewhere to somewhere else.
Obviously I am not saying anything new. These ideas have been written, and said, and taught for a long time. It is just the first time ever that it matters to me now.
The idea of permanent evolvement. Not just in this life but in the next, based on the previous ones. Can that be a part of God’s plan? Can this be how I really live, for the sake of others and myself? I can live with that.
[the front picture was copied form ‘ere. thank you!]
When I was doing the AA book study my teacher told me “You know you’re an alcoholic. But you can recover. If you do this study to a tee and you put this work into your life, you will recover.” I sometimes go to meetings and hear people say “hi my name is John and I am in recovery.” These people go to meetings for ten years already and they are still in recovery? Why? Do they not know they can recover? Maybe they relapse all the time? Maybe they think that relapse is part of recovery? Or maybe they are scared of the end of recovery? What will do they next?
In AA book page 568 it says “Most emphatically we wish to say that any alcoholic capable of honestly facing his problems in the light of our experience can recover, provided he does not close his mind to all spiritual concepts. He can only be defeated by an attitude of intolerance or belligerent denial.”
Recover, OK? But what does it mean? Does it mean I am done with addiction of my doom for good? Forever? Nope. There is a difference between “recovered” and “cured.”
The fact that I am recovered, that is, completed the Steps and keep practicing my Step Twelve in my daily life, including staying in a contact with my Higher Power, doesn’t mean I can down a bottle of vodka and not get drunk. It also doesn’t mean I will never be tempted by a case of beer. It doesn’t mean I will never be drawn to wine again in my life. No. It means that the history of obsessions and unhealthy behaviors that I used to display in early recovery is done and gone. There is a much smaller chance for me to turn around and get hammed. I can still drink if I choose to, but each time it is going to be a disaster as I have learned it will be, and much harsher than ever before. Being a recovered alcoholic is not a 100% cured body, immune to unhealthy reactions toward alcohol. It is more of a new kind of acquired mindset plus abstinent body. It is not drinking and being happy with the way life is without drinking.
Think about it in terms of a broken leg experience. Let’s say I play in an abandoned construction site, fully aware the place is not safe, and finally get caught up in something and fall and break my leg. I am hospitalized and have surgery. My leg is now all stitched up, I have metal rakes holding it together. After surgery I am in recovery stage. I need to have my leg to return to form. Skin and muscles need to heal. I stay in bed for days until that works out well. Then doctors tell me I need to start practicing walking again. That takes quite a bit of time. That is still recovery.
Then I am good. I can walk again. I can run again. I am not cured, though. I haven’t got a new limb. The metal rakes still hold my good old leg. The trace of the cut in my skin is not going anywhere. The signs are still there to remind me of my old behavior. It can still break. And if I decide to turn by back on all that and go play at an abandoned construction site, or something similar, chances are I am going to hurt myself again. I will go down, slipping on a rusty steel plate and fall down, hitting my leg again. It’s gonna hurt. And all the way to the hospital I will be processing the same recurring thought – that was stupid. I have to go through recovery again, but this time it may be worse, because the skin, muscle, and bone, injured before, are much more compromised this time.
There it is, “cured” vs. “recovered.” As an alcoholic, I can consider myself recovered, perhaps, but never cured. And that’s good, actually, because it keeps me in check better than anything or anyone. I’ve invested many years, rebuilding my body and mind after over a decade of heavy drinking. If I go back to alcohol, I am going to screw it all and receive a tenfold of harm. I have to remember where I came form and where I don’t want to go to. I am never cured. I can still mess up if I think in terms of illusion and escape from responsibility through inebriation. But my recovered body and mind will hold me together if I am walking the right way. And now that recovery time is done, it is time for life. Responsible, positive life.
- What is a relapse? As per Webster.com, relapse is “the return of an illness after a period of improvement.” In case of substance abuse and addiction case, relapse is us returning to drink and use after we’ve been in recovery and abstinent for a while.
- Relapse is not a sudden action. It requires a pre-meditative warm up. It gets born in the thinking. If you get frustrated, you hide something, you feel confused, angry, insecure, threatened; you know you lied or stole something; you are stressed because of a change, or you are stressed out because change you wanted so much hasn’t happened, – all this can bring you to feeling like life is not fun, recovery is not fun, and all of your problems will be answered if you just went and drank or used.
- To me, relapse is not a part of recovery. I heard people say it, I read people write, and each time it makes me cringe. Here are couple of thoughts on that:
- 1) Yes, relapse is possible. No, it doesn’t have to stall or nullify your recovery and the fact that you’ve tried. But you don’t have to relapse to facilitate your recovery. Why does it have to be a part of your recovery if you are already certainly and most definitely done? The relapse is going to teach you something? How vulnerable and unprepared you were? OK, but active recovery will teach you that as well. I mean, if you screw around and you know what you should be doing instead of what you are actually doing, then perhaps you do need a massive kick in the butt. But there is such an easy way to avoid that. Just do the right things. All those things you’ve learned about in meetings.
- 2) Also, remember that relapse is not just using and drinking. It is an intense mental suffering, especially if you’ve been on recovery journey for a while and sober/clean for a while as well. It can throw you in for a loop of mind cramps. And there is no guarantee that you will make it out unscathed. There is no guarantee you will make it at all. So I focus on making it through without slips and relapses (which to me are the same thing).
- To stay sober we need to think positive. Focus on your thoughts, surroundings and attitude. Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, Stressed (HALTS). All these are human feelings. On their own they are normal. But couple one with another and it becomes a dangerous mix. This mix can bring you down. Keep an open eye on how do you react to life, to what you do, what others do, what you think others do.
- Don’t isolate. Get people phone numbers and call even if feeling good. Establish a strong support network. If you do that, when crap comes your recovery walls will be high and thick. It doesn’t give you a guarantee that relapse will never happen. It means you’ve taken action to push it farther away.
- Your body works up an immune system against viruses and illnesses. Your recovery and strong realistic relapse prevention plan that you practice is your immune system against relapsing.
- Addiction research found that temptations last from 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Make a list of realistic activities to engage in to fill that space.
- Be prepared. Be aware that temptation will come. You don’t get immune to temptations with time. I was five years sober, sitting at an AA birthday meeting and a thought came “hey, let’s go for a glass of a light beer!” I also celebrated 6th year of sobriety with a relapse dream. My sponsor who was 20 years sober, teaching other people to recover from alcoholism, unable to quit smoking cigarettes or watch porn.
- Be aware that a temptation may turn into an obsession if not taken care of on regular basis.
- What are you putting on your RPP?
- My usual RPP is “Pray. Work out. Write.” Recently I added breathing. I never thought of that, even though I read it thousands of times in the Big Book: “through prayer and meditation.” I realized a week ago that I need to go back to my daily exercises of letting go. So I do breathing thing: I start with a complete exhale. Count to four. Visualize numbers rising. Inhale. Count to four. Repeat.
- Keep phones numbers of people you’d call close. Highlight them.
- Know what exercise you can do when thinking of a work out. Don’t hurt yourself. Go slow on those physical exercises. Pay attention to each move. The point is not strength. The point is taking focus off temptation and turning it to something else.
- If you tend to read books, choose a certain book, a certain page or chapter. You need an immediate action, so be prepared to use your skills wisely.
- If you know your mind to race, practice these strategies every day. Go to meetings. Go to church. Immerse yourself in recovery pool.
[the picture was copied from ‘ere. thanks!]
Every once in a while, out of the course of the river of addicts that float near and seem to be doing well, passing forward with no apparent desire to break away, farther into insanity, I’d be dealing with folks that don’t fit. I am talking about those individuals that seemed to have learned nothing from relapsing and recovery. For the last thirty days one such individual puzzled me greatly.
This guy (let’s call him George) had 1.5 years of sobriety through our local rehab program and was recently hired with us. Around Xmas he got lonely. He found a lady online, went out with her. He could read from her speech and body language that it wasn’t going as good as he planned. The lady ordered a drink, so did he. Stop! Where was his head? Seems like up his ass. 1.5 years of sobriety went down the wastepipe because he got negative vibes from the woman he met in flesh just an hour ago. OK.
George got sorry for himself and off he went drinking hard for three days. He didn’t show up at work. He didn’t pay his rent. He went drinking in hotels. Finally he was found out by his neighbors. He was taken to detox for three days. Then he met with me and my boss. On New Year’s Eve, symbolic date, time for new beginnings, and all that. We had a good restoration meeting to have George back in housing, heavily based on recovery and rehab principles.
George now got a plan of actions, the list of do’s and don’ts. “Yes” to meetings. “Yes” to church. “No” to meeting women for the next three months, including online. “Yes” to reaching out. “No” to isolating. He said Jesus was his higher power and he held him close, he will get through. He found out he lost his job. He missed his recovery mandatory meeting and went drinking again. This time he went for a longer walk of wreckage. He got nasty, mouthy, he thought suicide again. He lived in the homeless shelter dorms for a week. He resented it every day. He couldn’t go home and spend time with his cat, have a normal shower for an hour, cook his food, sleep in a bed observed and disturbed by none. He missed it all greatly.
We took him back home on certain promises. There were more do’s and don’ts to keep at. He’d come and talk. He seems to be in a good mood. Things weren’t going as he planned, but he seemed to be keeping up a good spirit. A week after his return home he’s reported walking drunk downtown and hooking up with ladies. He came back with a bleeding face, smelling of booze, denying drinking. “I just had two glasses of wine!” He drinks like an alcoholic and he only had two? After 1.5 years of sobriety? After so many resentments collected in the last thirty days? Meeting more women? Come on! It was a miracle he came back alive!
I was dealing with all this for the whole month. Talking to him sober, talking to him drunk. Checking on his place, regarding keeping alcohol and drug paraphernalia. Feeding his cat. Now he is evicted and I am packing his place and looking for cat’s new home.
I observe the course of the last thirty days with George and ask myself: how did he bring this whole thing down so crazily? Was the first relapse not enough? Must’ve been just a scratch. The second one? Perhaps a better lesson. Really?! He knew recovery. He did it. When in recovery, you talk, eat, and sleep recovery. He was constantly among people who were deeply involved in getting better, free from substance addiction. He lived in a house where everyone is involved. Just cross the hallway and knock on the door if you feel insanity filling up your mind. I guess those two crushing blows that reminded George how powerless he was over his addiction didn’t do a good job. Perhaps a jail would.
What is George really addicted to at this point, besides substances? Maybe then he likes disorder? Remember how in Batman Morgan Freeman says “Some people just like to see the world burn.” George is clearly burning his own world. Something makes me think he is addicted to chaos.
I did some reading (here and there) to check on that and figured that no, addiction to chaos is not what George was dealing with. It doesn’t appear George is creating mess around himself much. He doesn’t do things at the last moment. He doesn’t lose things all the time to catch up to recent failure with a speed of light. His actions don’t seem to drive people close-by crazy. He hasn’t attracted any people in the first place. It is only after he got drunk all over again that we could see what trouble he really got himself into.
However I know what they’re talking about in those articles – me. I used to go under pressure with class assignments and papers to be written and I’d do them in the last moment. That would put everything else in a tense mode and I’d have to do everything very fast. In most cases it worked well and assignments done in such way would receive good marks which in turn made me want to procrastinate more and then fight under the banners of chaos yet again. But it was stressful, of course. I guess I am lucky nobody else got screwed by this damage.
OK, so George is not a slave to chaos. Just dealing with plain alcoholism leading to disorder. Which is a bulletproof monster on its own, and no fun at all. Aren’t we substance addicts all disorderly crazies? It makes me wonder. Twelve Steps recovery started by AA is a system of learning skills to become a better person. It teaches you honesty, humility, love, connection, maintenance. If we overlook these, we don’t get anywhere in our recovery. If we turn our back on these, chaos and disorder come into our lives and mess everything up.
George knows it. George’s been cooking in the pot of these ideas for a while. Only now that action is to be taken he seems to brush the uncomfortable thought off and do it his way. Which is what? Let it all burn, it seems.
I know several people like George. You must know a couple as well. There are many of them out there. No one will ever be able to help them if they won’t allow been helped.
[the front picture was taken from ‘ere and clipped by me. thanks!]