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Monthly Archives: January 2016

To invoke the label “I’m an alcoholic” has always seemed to derail the conversation. TMI but as an analogy, I remember I had an enflamed gut, the doctor diagnosed me with gastroenteritis. “What is gastroenteritis?” I ask. “Inflammation of the gut.” Worthless circular logic.

Because a label doesn’t necessarily beget action.

So then to say “Well I don’t know that I resonate with labeling such as “Alcoholic”, what about to generalize to ‘Problem Drinker? That’s more behavioral / action-ey’ Because certainly I knew I had problematic drinking tendencies and I needed to behave better / more responsibility to reduce those problems. Except I don’t actually know how to “behave better” because I never fucking do and I would have figured this out by now if it were possible because that’s the solution I’ve always tried for.

So I try to take a step outside of the occasion of drinking: “I have problematic as well as known alcoholic tendencies that necessitate lifestyle changes which may include managing the amount that I drink.”

This is better but it is critically lacking to why specifically does my condition necessitate change other than to mitigate only Bad consequences? Because Risk Aversion is actually not a genuine motivator for me, and leads to question:

“For what greater Good am I in pursuit beyond merely mitigating the Bad?”

The answer is none.

I am pursuing no greater Good because I waste all of my physical time and health away with debilitating behaviors that enable me on a daily basis to never answer that question.

And truly in my heart, if not always my actions, pursuit of the greater good is the highest ideal of myself. The root of the issue is that I am not on that path.

So to be that person, and not to be the person I am that I don’t particularly like, there is one very specific task I can perform immediately to that end – to begin the journey, I must know Where I Am Going by answering the question “For what greater Good do I pursue beyond merely mitigating the Bad?”

In order to first answer that question, I must become sober, because otherwise I never will.

I don’t mean to cheapen the context of this lovely quote, but it has oddly stayed with me through the years: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank


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It’s difficult to say. I want to spell out some great glamourous come-to-jesus that somehow finely captures and delivers the true emotionality of it. I want to be heroic, brave, strong, and brilliant, with some triumphant conviction to know and declare I will get through this.

But I am not yet any of those things, I am an addict.

I have a permanent chemistry that is deeply and markedly different from someone without my affliction. Permanently. I broke it. Or maybe I was already broken. It doesn’t matter because that’s just how it is now.

With or without any substances I am this person, I have been this person, I will be this person.

There is no going back, there is no other way forward, no other way it could have been; only a permanent uphill battle that’s now even more challenging than the insurmountable task it already is for someone “normal” – something I have never been, and never will be.

Everything I’ve read is so disheartening, about timelines and struggles. I’m actually worried that support groups will sooner break my heart than heal it. I will find this out first-hand but this is all so new to me. I think I’m past the worst of it in the short term, the booze and Adderall took a greater toll on my health than since.

But solving the bigger issue now is all the rest of everything.

Which is the same it’s always been, and always will be.

For now, I’m no better off than this fictional entity I’ve been playing the part, or who I wanted to be.

But that person is trapped, and I must leave him behind.

 

Once a man has changed the relationship between himself and his
environment, he cannot return to the blissful ignorance he left.
Motion, of necessity, involves a change in perspective.” – Commissioner Pravin Lal, “A Social History of Planet”