I live somewhere here between the next two sentences:
1) Just because you can see it in the rear view mirror does not mean that it was inevitable.
2) Just because you lived it does not mean that the next generation must.
That places me somewhere tenuous in time. And such I live. A life precarious, as all lives are and so must be.
Growing up, addiction was almost unheard of and alcoholism was a word to be only whispered. Uncle Ned didn't go to a sanatorium to dry out. He "had a nervous breakdown..." or so we were told.
The disgrace of addiction, to me, is not the person who suffers from it, but rather, the misperceptions of the larger culture that has ignored, distorted or kept silent about its causes and conditions while the sufferer has been simultaneously ignored, shunned or disgraced.
The enigma of this stigma surrounding addiction is nearly impossible for me to completely understand and explain. But let me say this: You don't have to be an addict or alcoholic to be a recovery advocate....
The stigma of addiction is slowly being dissolved. Everyone seems to be slowly learning that recovery is possible, doable and desirable. And although there are still many personal and professional reasons for one to remain anonymous, I am no longer that. Anonymity has consequences for the world-at-large. It may help sustain, amplify and perpetuate the stigma. Anonymity will not solve the stigma. When you are ready (I am ready), the stigma of addiction will be slowly chipped away and dissolve. I am now strong enough and stable enough and realistic enough to humbly proclaim (I can hold myself back no longer):
My name is Jim and I am an alcoholic living in long-term recovery.
Addiction: Ignorance, Distortion... Silence?
I DON'T THINK SO. I DON'T LIVE SO.
Loving to drink. Living to drink. Dying to drink. Dying from drinking. This is the progression of alcoholism. Wanting to live. Learning to live. Loving to live. Living with love. This is the progression of recovery.
Ignorance, Distortion... Silence.
Say it isn't so.
It isn't so.
"My name is Jim and I am an alcoholic living in long-term recovery."
Just because you can see it in the rear view mirror does not mean that it was inevitable and just because you lived it does not mean that the next generation must.
I know much of my writing is dark. I have been through much. But I am not without hope. Living in recovery seems (and is) remarkably easy at times. When my words cast shadows, there is purpose, progress, hope. Do not linger in darkness, but surely, pass through it.
A beautiful bird lives out there and I have held it in my brain's momentary madness.
Hold it in yours, let its wings spread, to flourish and to share.
Recovery lives and surely will take flight.
Thaw. Dissolve. Evaporate.
This air is pure.
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more."
#Alcoholism #Addiction #Recovery
The passages in quotes are excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction and Reconstruction of An Alcoholic Animal http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO
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