20 August 2019

"The Distinction Between a User, Abuser, and Addict...


"The distinction between a user, abuser and addict is irrelevant when a person is sentenced to prison because he was driving high and killed someone, or when he suffers permanent brain damage or a stroke, or when he OD's." - David Sheff, "Clean: Overcoming Addiction and Ending America's Greatest Tragedy," p. 77.
Sheff's quote left me speechless, lost in reflection of my own slow descent into addictive hell.
Escalating forms of denial accompany the up-and-coming addict as they go down-and-out.
How well I remember that "by the time I had a reason to stop drinking, reason no longer had anything to do with it." I flowed seamlessly from user to abuser to full-blown addict.
Truth and consequences took a back seat once addiction was in the driver's seat.
As I've heard in the rooms of recovery, 'Jails, institutions and death' are addiction's usual destinations.
Even after recovery has been achieved, addiction seems patiently to lie in wait, to take up where it left off.
User, abuser, addict?
"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."
Love will solve what stigma has dissolved.
Quotes which follow David Sheff's are excerpted from All Drinking Aside: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal 
On Amazon.com. Book it here: http://amzn.to/1bX6JyO 

16 August 2019

A Self Revealed (#Recovery) in a not too Trivial Moment


1) June marked my 15th year of continuous Recovery from what I'm told should properly be called a Substance Use Disorder (SUD). I'll just say here that I no longer drink alcohol.
2) July marked one year since my last chemo and radiation treatments for cancer and I am now cancer-free and
3) Wednesday marked the date of my port removal (A port is a surgically implanted device through which chemo is administered to cancer patients).
I noted on three different occasions in less than two hours on this day, also, in both pre-op & post-op, that a doctor, a nurse and another staff member at Cooper Hospital all had used the word 'celebration' in their small talk with me regarding my port removal.
I diminished this event's importance by framing it as no big deal, "another day in paradise," or some other flippant remark, fully thought yet not said aloud. No big deal. A day like every other day.
A diminished reality, not wishing to pay too much attention to it, I would not celebrate my port removal with champagne, as had been suggested. I do not drink and so trivialized this event as a sort of defense mechanism protecting me from feeling the reality of a day worth fully feeling, a benchmark worthy of celebration.
Let it in. Let it out. Sometimes the very expression of breath escapes me.
Trivializing moments, whether important or unimportant.
Let it in. Let it out. Sometimes the very expression of breath escapes me.
I did it again.... Another breath transpired and ignored. A day, like any and every other, worthy of celebration, and I, too often oblivious to its wonder. Any day, every day, fully worthy of my attention. I am worthy.
Let it in & let it out.
Do not let each breath escape you.
Find the inexpressible in each moment.
I'm still learning to not suppress the sublime that each moment is, worthy of my full attention.
Each moment is a port to the sublime (not the port through which the chemo was administered, the port that is each moment, portal to the sublime).
I'm glad you took the time to celebrate with me, this string of moments.
Let it in. Let it out.
Don't let the very expression of your breath escape you.
Recovery is sublime.
It's time to celebrate.
Authenticate each moment in time.
It's time to celebrate sublime.