Searching for the Middle Speed

by Bill Brenner on February 27, 2011

You’ve heard the old saying about addicts: They lack the middle speed so-called normal people have access to. It’s all or nothing for us, and a couple weeks ago I started to pay for it.

You could say everyone around me has been paying for it.

Mood music:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5SuiywnBuo&fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0]

The problem comes wrapped in a blessing.

In my recovery from addiction and mental disorder, I’ve gained a hunger for all the things I used to be afraid of doing. Actually, I used to be afraid of everything: flying, work, volunteering my time for causes that would surely bite into the time I wanted to spend lying comatose on the couch.

So for the last couple of years, I’ve been off like a rocket. I go to more security shows than I used to and when I’m there I push myself hard. I help out with the RCIA program at church (I’m trying to, anyway). I write three blog entries when one will suffice.

I want it all.

Overcoming fear and anxiety has been a beautiful thing. But it carries trouble along the way.

Here’s what I’m thinking and feeling now:

I have definitely taken on too much lately, partially because of my hunger for new experiences. I want to be of service to people who are going through what I’ve gone through. I want to soak up as much time as I can with people I ignored far too much over the years. And I want to continue to work my security beat hard, because I just won’t have it any other way.

But I need to give the best of that energy to Erin, Sean and Duncan. And that means dialing it back a bit.

My dilemma has been how to do that without retreating from the world again, because I really don’t want to do that. And besides, there’s really no turning back.

It’s a parallel problem to the age-old dilemma addicts face: Moderation just isn’t an option for us. People like to say it all the time: “Why do you have to give certain things up? Can’t you just have everything in moderation?” Well, my friends, that’s the problem. Moderation is an alien concept to me. When someone leaves half the food on their plate or a half-glass of wine on the table, I just don’t get it. Period.

There is no middle speed for me. I either abstain from all flour and sugar or I eat it all. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the form of something old and stale. It can’t be left on the table when I’m in binge mode. I either abstain from all the wine or I drink all the wine.

So this weekend, I’ve pondered how to achieve the right balance.

I won’t lie: I’m no closer to the answer than I was when I started. I’m at a total loss, in fact.

To stop writing would be to stop breathing. And besides, my day job is to write, right?

I do the RCIA stuff because I feel I’ve been called by God to do so. But in the process of squeezing it in, I’m doing a shitty job at the task.

I CAN cut back on the travel and I’m going to do that. I still have to figure out the details, but I at least know I don’t have to travel everywhere, all the time.

I can’t stop going to 12-step meetings because that’s a simple matter of survival. If I don’t work my program, everything else is surely going to hell. That’s for certain.

So which way do I go now?

Like I said, I honestly have no idea.

But I love my family too much to let this stuff slide, so I’ll have to figure it out.

It is worth noting that this is a much better position to be in than the way it was before. Figuring out how to bring more discipline to life beats the shit out of figuring out ways to hide from it altogether. 

So don’t take this post as a complaint.

You could look at it as me thinking aloud

Expect more of this from me until I figure things out.

Maybe we’ll all learn a few things about time management in the process, eh?

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: