It’s been an emotional few days. I came to the edge of a relapse. A father figure died. Then there was the 9-11 anniversary. This stuff can burn a person down to nothing. But I don’t burn like I used to.
It’s funny how people react not only to their own adversity, but that of others. Some people become incapacitated with grief when a pet dies and some of us want to say, “Fuck, man. It’s a pet. Get over it and stop crying in front of everyone.” But that’s just us judging someone without all the facts.
When I come up against difficult things, I write about it. One now-former reader lamented that my blog is “soooo depressing” that she can’t read it anymore. That suits me fine, because she was the type that had all the answers and told you how you should live. She was an expert in everything, but she never really understood the purpose of this blog, which is to stare the horrors of life in the face, describe it honestly and deal with it. Life is full of depressing things, but when you can face those things head on, there’s a ton of joy and beauty on the other side. That’s my experience, so I try to share it without telling you what to do.
And that’s what this post is about. Dealing with adversity and learning to get over it.
Yeah, I came close to a relapse last week. I did what every addict does — I reached a point in my recovery where I got so comfortable and felt so in control that I started getting sloppy. It’s funny how this happens, because when we feel in control it usually means things are falling apart behind the scenes. In my case, my father having three strokes tired me out enough that I started forgetting to do the things a person in recovery is supposed to do.
I went to a 12-Step Big Book study last night and the chapter of the night was perfect for me. It was about people who relapse because they think they have their addiction licked. They have that one weak moment that sends them back down to hell.
Going to a meeting the night that chapter was on the table was a classic case of God trying to tell me something. That something goes like this: Life is full of the good and bad. Deal with it and get over it. And, above all, don’t binge over it.
I write this stuff down and share it because we all have moments where we need that kick in the ass. My ass stings pretty good right now, but I’m feeling very grateful for it.
When you become paralyzed by the hole in your soul, the thought of dealing with it is terrifying. But when you finally take that next step, it’s one of the best, natural highs out there.
Last week I started to deal with things. I told my wife about my sloppiness and decided to declare myself in breach of abstinence and sobriety. I decided to tear it down and start over.
Yesterday I left my sponsor a message telling him I was sorry for being such a lousy sponsee. Now we’ll see if he wants to stick with me or if I need to find someone else. At least I took that step.
This evening I’m going to go to the wake for a man I looked up to, and it will be with a sense of celebration, not sadness. He lived his life as we all should: To the full. He earned a ticket straight to Heaven, and that makes me happy. I’ll admit I’m a bit nervous about seeing his wife and daughter for the first time in many years. They haven’t been happy with me in that time and tonight probably won’t change things. I don’t want to be an uncomfortable presence. I’ll just do the best I can.
I have all the coffee I need and I packed three abstinent meals for the day. I guess you could say my pistol is fully loaded and I’m ready for what comes next.
I have a busy work day, and I couldn’t be happier about that. I do, after all, love what I do.
I have to deal with my feelings about ending the estrangement with my mother. This week, I’m going to talk to Erin and carve out an action plan.
If you see me twitching and talking to myself, don’t worry. I’m dealing with life and getting over things I can’t control or undo.
Out of my way.