08 April 2018

"Let Addiction Die First": A Song of Recovery


The few of us, the many of us... (and someday most of us)....
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The words "Let Addiction Die First" seemed to come to me out of nowhere. I wrote a note to myself so that I wouldn't forget them. The words reverberated in my head as I went about my business. Then, on the way home from picking up the newspaper, I found myself singing a never before heard melody (out loud, not caring what passersby might think): Da... Da-Da-Da... Da... Da. Trust me, I did not know where that came from either. Then it became clear to me: Da... Da-Da-Da... Da... Da, the new melody I sang, were for the words "Let Addiction Die First." That, and no other.
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Song of Recovery: "Let Addiction Die First!" The rhythm repeated itself over and over with variations, subtle and bold, taking hold and letting go, a quiet jazz formation. "Let Addiction Die First."
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At some point, I reached the tipping point, after which addiction affixed itself to that part of my brain that holds the instinct to survive. Despite myself, fooled into believing I needed alcohol to exist, all my priorities lined up: I felt I needed a drink to persevere, even as it had began killing me. My brain, it seems, always wanted more alcohol than my body could endure. Multiple hospitalizations escalated, me, bumping against the walls of death, nearly crashing through.
I stopped drinking each time only after my body gave out.
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So the phrase, "Let Addiction Die First," really was not my experience. My hospital stays were more a case of my body giving out and my brain never stopping the desire for more. My body, exhausted, depleted, delirious on sidewalks and in gutters, forced me into emergency room interventions that my brain's thirst could not foresee.
"Let Addiction Die First" expresses the reality hidden beneath it. "Let Addiction Die First" is more truly (in my experience) expressed as "Recovery, Let Me Live." For it is in recovery that my addiction died. A stern warning to others, especially in early recovery, is that the desire to pick up a drink dies slowly, over time, replaced by new and healthy habits that recovery will instill. The will to live without a drink returns to its rightful place in a drug-free brain, survival instinct cleansed. Addiction arrested.
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But to make it completely clear, here's how to finish that sentence, what you should have heard implied but may not have: LET ADDICTION DIE FIRST OR SURELY IT WILL MEAN YOUR DEATH. Each and every relapse in my experience had always, sooner than later, returned me to my former progressive state of descent, ever-closer to death.
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Well, anyway, that's what "Let Addiction Die First" means to me. The few of us, the many of us... (and someday most of us).... Recovery, let us live. Let us live in recovery. Addiction is not living, not fully. Never was, never will be....


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"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
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#alcoholism #addiction #recovery
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Passage in quotes is excerpted from All Drinking Aside: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
Recovery Tweets: http://twitter.com/JimAnders4
130+ Recovery Posts: https://goo.gl/fmzt9b

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