While I understand and respect the value of experiencing the full process of addiction and recovery – I feel the need to put it out there that many who do choose to directly experience every nuance of the path, don’t make it to the happy ending called recovery. For some of us – our addictions take our lives. And that’s just not only not cool – it isn’t necessary.
Personally, I had to manhandle every nuance of the process and by the end of it, I was on all fours. Literally. Was that necessary? I don’t think so. I was peeing in the trashcan next to my bed this last time I went through withdrawal. It was – at the least – demoralizing. I literally could not make it to the bathroom, which wasn’t even 20 feet from my bed. I’d been trying to get sober and stay sober for 23 years up to that point.
My stepmother? She got her shit together and stayed sober the first time around. Her support system came from the same place mine did and does, except I’m not married to him. I don’t call him Hon, I call him Dad. But she lives with him and I don’t. He was there for her when she got sober. When I got sober this last time – it was me and The Food Network. But I digress.
I had this terrific conversation with my sister last night and among the really thoughtful things she said, she said something that I just wrote about here several days ago – that some people just don’t get it. And she added that, in her opinion, it isn’t that folks don’t get it because they don’t want to (that was and is my opinion) she thinks it’s because they can’t. And that’s just too crushing to accept.
I have this image in my mind of what takes place internally for someone entering sobriety. The person whose intention it is to sever the umbilical to drinking and alcohol is the dying potted plant that is placed in front of the window. It’s owner has removed the dead leaves. It receives the correct amount of water and sunlight, and it begins to grow. It turns it’s own stems and leaves around to face the sun, and baby leaves begin appearing. It seems miraculous, but it’s not really – it’s simply thriving because it’s been cared for. Is that a miracle? Well – Okay.
I believe every addict can learn to make this adjustment for him or herself. They – like the plant – can learn where the light is, They can learn where the water source is. They can rid themselves of dead and weighty sick stems and leaves. And they can grow new bits and pieces in the form of new attitudes, perceptions, feelings and sense of adventure – because I believe that’s what life is. An adventure. And it simply does not have to be so excruciating.