The Search for a Realistic Hope
There is a certain fleeting sadness within my recovery at times.
When I reflect back on the way it was, it seems that it was all a necessary evil before I could find a lasting sober shore. I could not be in this here and now had I not gone through all that I went through then. Discarding hypotheticals, I'm left with the hope that changes will occur in our culture so that in the future our youth will not transition from adolescence to adulthood in a 30-Spectacle, lost in addiction as I had been.
I live in hopes that a better way evolves for others far younger than I as they search for a fitting meaning to their lives.
Education is likely an effective preventative tool. Not a "Just Say No" with no realistic plans to deal with the experimentation with alcohol and drugs that is almost inevitable for many future fiery youths. May the world around them enable positive progress not stymied by the stigmas, prejudices and hatreds that surround us today. One day soon, the likelihood of more effective educational tools may be developed and acceptance by the non-addicted world may soon grow. A smoother path cleared for seeking help with constructive rehabilitation and recovery, easier and more widely accessible is surely possible.
False hope, perhaps, but every step taken in a better direction cannot fail to produce better outcomes. Addiction does not have to be a part of growing up now, does it? Education and better preventions and treatments can replace crime and punishment.
Crime and punishment are not necessary evils. Change is possible. And a realistic hope becomes possible when there is a groundswell of actions. Actions create hope. Actions make hope a reality. Hope alone may be just another elusive pipedream.
I'm not here to prescribe behaviors or to provide blanket solutions. All I seem able to do is to present the feel of it, the real of it, from my perspective, with the hope that it may help others to untangle their lives, to fall more gently and recover more smoothly than my particular experiences have allowed me to.
Here, Surimi describes my progress to his fictional friends (unnoticed by me), at this one uncertain juncture....
"Water lifts all boats, but apparently not the same can be said for alcohol. There is no safe harbor when the sea is alcohol. His extremes, his drunken fire and ice. Sobriety, and all that comes with it, is more balanced, more centered and less extreme than his active addiction was. His cadence and his rhythm are more clearly a reflection of his life. Addiction is chaos. Sobriety will eventually have a calming effect on almost anyone."
Of course, I heard none of this as I droned on with my story.... "I drank myself sober sometimes. My mind would seek to find some equilibrium. Despite my drunkenness, my mind stood at cross-purposes with my substance of abuse. I couldn't have known that then, or at least, I didn't know that. Did not know that. In the most strange of strangest ways, I finally drank myself sober."
On a daily basis, I drank to return myself to what had become my level of addiction, drank to feel normal and for brief moments, drinking sometimes made me feel sober. Drinking filled the lack of alcohol, its absence painful to me. I sometimes drank beer in the shower from a sippy cup in an effort to feel sober, feel less pain from alcohol's absence.
All of this was a sort of fine-tuning of the thermostat in my alcoholic house of horrors. I found myself drinking myself sober and drinking myself drunk, often just one drink away from whatever insane alcoholic thermostat my derangement was set at in the moment.
Living this way, as you can imagine, was unsustainable. The fabric of my life was tearing apart and soon, no more jumps on this alcoholic trampoline could last. I fell through, again and again. Essentially, I was dead, but somehow, by a single thread, survived.
True, "there is no safe harbor when the sea is alcohol" and I was lucky to survive, but as I said at the beginning here, I felt a fleeting sadness about the whole thing deep inside of me. Life can be insufferable at times and addiction is a form of needless suffering. I was one of the lucky ones for whom life found a way to flourish beyond the attendant obstacles of my addictions.
And so (denouement), save whatever little time and strength you may have left to find your sober shore and if you're not yet there, find shared courage in a sober friend or group of friends to help guide your ship ashore. Life can be so good and addiction is not an answer for anyone. My life of drunken fire and ice has ended and I have reached the sober shore. My recovery is on dry land and I have much more living to do.
Connection. Balance. Peace.
Everybody's recovering from something.
Life is good.
"Nothing matters more than that we remain sober because when we remain sober everything matters more.
Passages in quotes are excerpted from ALL DRINKING ASIDE: The Destruction, Deconstruction & Reconstruction of an Alcoholic Animal