11 October 2016

The punishment for addiction is time served.


Most alcoholics and addicts in recovery likely understand what I mean.
The distraction of knowing each day you would have to seek out and satisfy your level of addiction.
For me, it became, by the second decade, never less than 6 scotch on the rocks. And then, anywhere from 3 to 6 more drinks later, my blackouts would take over until my money ran out or my body gave out.
Beyond that, "the punishment for addiction is time served," means more. Curiously illustrated, as I was recently reminded, by what happened when I stopped smoking.
*****
"The autumn leaves turn over themselves on the sidewalk before me. And then I hear something. Far away I hear a literal bird singing. And then it hits me. This is what turning over my fears and my addictions has finally given me. My hearing. My unfocused hearing. After three years sober I turned over another addiction, my addiction to cigarettes, and here's what I noticed: not that I would live longer, but that I could live more fully in the present.... And in that state of merely being, I could hear then what I could not hear before..."
*****
"The punishment for addiction is time served," then, implies, too, now sober, that I am free of the obsession to drink, free to be fully present. To live in real time. Oh, how sweet the sounds in recovery are, without the bar, without that punishment that addiction is, without the punishment of time lost.
:-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

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