“Death needs Time for what it kills to grow in” – William S. Burroughs
I am grateful to have arrived at this point. Things are unfamiliar, and while there are things I have certainly attempted before, I’m experiencing how they feel for the first time.
We are on this earth for a finite amount of time. The worn out saying “live each day like its your last” is a bit short sighted of this fact, when you think about it. An addict point of view even. I think I would prefer to look at each day as being one day closer to being my last. The time I have left is what I want to cherish, but to say its duration is only going to be measured out 24 hours from this moment is not how I want to look at it. I used to do that, and I was reckless with my money, reckless with my relationships, and reckless with my time. Some patience was definitely needed, and its felt satisfying to work towards and achieve some goals that were not just going to happen over night.
Take that leap. Go somewhere you haven’t been before, even if its just the next town over. Think about it this way, if you are unhappy; what is the point of your “comfort zone”? Could such a thing truly exist if you were miserable or unsure about yourself? The whole point of being in a comfort zone is feeling secure and contentment, and when you think about it, feeling secure and content with sadness is how we get ourselves in a rut. A small step in a different direction towards something new could maybe change some things.
There is a misconception that getting sober, or getting over something that was killing you, is that its going to lead to you a promised land where you smile everyday and the sky is always blue. The journey of recovery shows you the truth, the ugly side of it. It is why it is so difficult. There is nothing happy about addiction. Recovering from a broken heart is the loneliest place on the planet. Encountering a mental illness and codependency is a torturous maze to wander. And when you rise above each or all of these things, what I want you to know is that you can feel again. You feel everything, and it should be one of your mightiest goals. You are in control and responsible for everything. Your successes. Your mistakes. You can experience happiness without waiting for the other shoe to drop, and you can smile without it being a mask for something tearing you apart inside. If you fail at something, you can actually learn from it and come back to it with a new plan, instead of it being another reason to bemoan your bad luck and act like its never going to change. Those are some of the things that can happen when you arrive.
One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things. – Henry Miller
You will see that you are not the center of this universe. When you are the addict, your world is yourself. It is always about what you have to have, right then and there until the cycle begins anew. Your current crisis is always the most critical situation you’eve ever been in, your problems are everyone around you’s to help solve. You feel as though to get anything accomplished it will take drawing in everyone around you and using every last bit of them up. Which is kind of what makes getting better so amazing, because it only happens through your final acceptance that its you alone that will make any sort of real lasting change in your life. It feels good to care about other people, and to know my problems aren’t some sort of death sentence to those that care about me.
“The light in me recognizes the light in you“…the Namasté greeting is one of the most beautiful sayings I’ve heard, but to me it is half finished. To anyone that has made it this far on their journey… the darkness in me recognizes the darkness in you. There is no way to traverse the awful things we must all get through without having the darkness engulf us at some point. Almost like you know it will hurt you to continue on to where you know you must go. The easy way out is just a return to what’s feeding off your dying corpse. Giving into the cravings, fearing the withdrawal. A parasite. To close the wound and kill the rot of what has gripped your life, its like you have to cauterize your own wound, knowing full well the pain it will cause in doing this. That is the only way you survive and walk forward. The scar it leaves is the darkness. I will recognize these scars, and anyone who has gone through it and looks upon me will recognize my own. They aren’t trophies. No one should be boasting. There are still so, so many things I will always be sorry for. 1 year, 6 months, and 15 days of sobriety. There is no clean slate wiped clean, that is just reality. When you get to the point of forgiving yourself, that is how you move on with it.
This is going to be my last writing on this story. It was mine to tell and at the very least, I was honest. Looking back at where it began, the person that sat down to write that first entry is now unrecognizable to me. So much had to change. There had to be so much failure to get to the point of true change. There is no reason to be bitter about any of it, the life I am able to live now would not have been possible without it. The worst things that happened make me appreciate everything I have now, and who I have in my life now, even more.
Chaos and Emptiness chao et inānītus
A path through turbulent times. That’ what this was, wasn’t it? Everything is different now, every fragment of who I am as well as every aspect of my everyday life. Hell, I even “think” differently. If I had to pinpoint what the biggest impact all of this has had on my life, it would be a lack of chaos…and no more feeling empty inside. My adult life has always felt like an impending car crash, and on the stretches of decent road there seemed to be a lifeless gazing out the window as things passed me by. I was always arriving somewhere, yet not here. Such a chaotic existence was miserable and depressing. This journey traversed a way beyond all of that. Sometimes I sit here in wonderment about the stability that exists now. I ask myself, how did it all happen? I think that is a calming and reassuring point in all of this journey being at its end. No more living in chaos, and having a calm sense of stability each and every day. There will always be clouds that pass through the skies occasionally, but it feels good to look at them with resolve instead of foreboding. I’m able to be who I need to be, even on the bad days. I’m capable of being a husband, a father, and I’m ready to begin a new journey.
When we come upon the time in our lives when it is finally time to change, we set out on our own soul side journeys. Mine lasted three years, and everything changed forever.