One of the fictional characters, Vatchi, reveals my use of humor as a tool, a weapon and a defense mechanism.
(Vatchi): ... His progress in recovery is slow and tedious and now you're mocking and oblivious. He'll hold up the truth for all eyes to see and then hide himself behind a joke. Jim's still in the holding cell. He's still hurting. He still lives in fear. He still uses ego as a weapon. Sotto [the three fictional characters names are Sotto, Vatchi and Surimi], look behind his words.
[Oblivious to these three fictional characters' words, I continue my autobiographical narrative here]: "I couldn't stop drinking. Who in their right mind would wake up after spending a fortune while in a blackout and continue drinking? The 'Fucked Up Stops Here' never happened. The instant my blackout would start, I was feeding my disease and nothing else. If alcoholism is insane, blackout drinking is even more insane. It's so easy after a few years of sobriety to wonder why I didn't stop drinking. And it became so easy after a few years of sobriety to forget how insane it was. That is why, for me, connection with other alcoholics is so key to my continuing sobriety.
'Staying stopped' - that's the trick.... "
Looking back at all this now, I see how I did not fully realize the importance of others in my recovery. I knew I couldn't do it alone, but part of me still under-valued the immense help given to me by everyone else in recovery. I also truly did not realize how my asking for help aided them in gaining another day of sobriety. Many lessons of gratitude were to follow.
My life revolved around alcohol and in recovery, I discovered that the world does not revolve around me. All of this world's people are a part of the interconnectedness of all life. I am a grateful participant and observer of this daily spectacle called living.
The events of the past are frozen in time, unchangeable. But my understanding of the past surely evolves over time as the fog lifts and my recovery expands.
The progress of early recovery is slow and tedious, but it is well worth the struggle. Recovery eclipses the pointlessness of addiction's dizzying, vacuous lack of direction. Every day is a new day, made brighter by my deeper understanding and appreciation for how I was and how I am evolving as a sober person. What was broken heals with time. A new, sober person comes into being.
Who the hell would want to drink? Not this new, sober person I have become. But that other person, the person I was for 30 years most certainly did want to drink, whether I wanted to drink... or not.
The past informs the present. Lessons have been learned. I do not wish to drink today. Today, today, today, today. I will not drink today.
Suspension of Disbelief? I dare not suspend my disbelief that all that happened happened. It all happened. It's all true. The three fictional characters in my book were a big help in keeping me sober. Suspend your disbelief, too. Perhaps they are talking to you. If only you will listen.
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