Human life must be some kind of mistake. The truth of this will be sufficiently obvious if we only remember that man is a compound of needs and necessities hard to satisfy; and that even when they are satisfied, all he obtains is a state of painlessness, where nothing remains to him but abandonment to boredom. This is direct proof that existence has no real value in itself; for what is boredom but the feeling of the emptiness of life?
If life—the craving for which is the very essence of our being—were possessed of any positive intrinsic value, there would be no such thing as boredom at all: mere existence would satisfy us in itself, and we should want for nothing. but as it is, we take no delight in existence except when we are struggling for something; and then distance and difficulties to be overcome make our goal look as though it would satisfy us—an illusion which vanishes when we reach it; or else when we are occupied with some purely intellectual interest—when in reality we have stepped forth from life to look upon it from the outside, much after the manner of spectators at a play.
And even sensual pleasure itself means nothing but a struggle and aspiration, ceasing the moment its aim is attained. Whenever we are not occupied in one of these ways, but cast upon existence itself, its vain and worthless nature is brought home to us; and this is what we mean by boredom. The hankering after what is strange and uncommon—an innate and ineradicable tendency of human nature—shows how glad we are at any interruption of that natural course of affairs which is so very tedious.
That this most perfect manifestation of the will to live, the human organism, with the cunning and complex working of its machinery, must fall to dust and yield up itself and all its strivings to extinction—this is the naïve way in which nature, who is always so true and sincere in what she says, proclaims the whole struggle of this will as in its very essence barren and unprofitable. Were it of any value in itself, anything unconditioned and absolute, it could not thus end in mere nothing.
If we turn from contemplating the world as a whole, and, in particular, the generations of men as they live their little hour of mock-existence and then are swept away in rapid succession; if we turn from this, and look at life in its small details, as presented, say, in a comedy, how ridiculous it all seems! It is like a drop of water seen through a microscope, a single drop teeming with infusoria; or a speck of cheese full of mites invisible to the naked eye. How we laugh as they bustle about so eagerly, and struggle with one another in so tiny a space! And whether here, or in the little span of human life, this terrible activity produces a comic effect.
It is only in the microscope that our life looks so big. It is an indivisible point, drawn out and magnified by the powerful lenses of time and space.
Anne Lamott said that you can get the monkey off your back, but the circus never leaves town.
Theres a lot at stake, I think that’s the wrong attitude to take with any recovery. Yes, there’s a lot at stake, but you can do without the pressure. I can do without pressure. Remember I need to detach myself from the struggle.
But that’s not easy, detachment that is, you can’t detach yourself from something that is happening to your own body. The urges are strong and being busy can only take you so far. Having a mind like mine, the kind that doesnt sleep, intrusive thoughts are the least of your worries.
It’s like the throbbing isn’t even really there. It’s like the crawling isn’t even happening under your skin. And it’s like your skin isn’t really skin. But a drum, pounding and pounding and pounding like a match sending little scared soldiers to die. And if detachment was what you wanted, all you get is something ad close to it as possible, an out of body experience and you know how that goes, baby rabbits —
Tunnel vision. Narrowed focus. Everything slows down to a crescendo. And the thing you wanted to run away from is the thing you’re actually chasing.
And you look at your watch and it’s just 10 o’clock. And you crank up the volume on your iPod, while you pretend to read to keep the voices down, but they’ve learnt to shout above your organised chaos . And this goes on and on and on and next you glance at your watch, only fifteen minutes have passed. This is the dependency distance of time, everything is slower and slower and slower, everything can touch you and you can touch everything.
But you don’t.
You reach instead for the Ambien. Because it’s not really cheating if you get a little pharmaceutical help. Because if I can’t have detachment, I’ll settle for numbness.
Am still powerless, dependent, weak and my life is no more manageable than it was two days ago.
What comes after the declaration. The admission. The first step?
Wallowing, despair, fear, doubt, hopelessness and a dire lack of faith in your self. But you trust the system, I realise that you have to detach yourself from the process– if the process feels familiar then you’re bound to repeat your mistakes.
So yeah, am in this, but am also not. Does it make it any harder? Considerably so. But its quantifiable because I can stand aside and count hours and borrow strength and resolve from sources and devices that are not my own.
The immediate days after admission are the hardest. The first step of any journey isn’t the hardest, it’s the step that comes next. That follow up that has to amount to something valid and tangible.
I guess where I am, the idea of progress is scary, it scares me just like the profundity of the idea of God scares someone on an honest quest to find Him. Because sometimes failure is easier to understand, success is harder to handle because its a foundation and you have to keep on building.
Whereas failure is about licking dry your wounds, wallowing in self-pity and then dusting off to start over.
And that, my fellow rabbits, is our original sin, the second chance.
Today’s the first day of the rest of my life.
These words taste sour in my mouth, hollow even. I’ve said them before, and yet here I am again, trying to have another go at it. But not having faith that this is real, but trusting that I’ve got to try, even if for trial’s sake. ‘Cause that’s what trying to kick a dependence should be about– relentless blind faith — trusting that the hundred eighteenth time is the charm.
So… today is the first day of the rest of my life…
How do I feel?
Cross-bound? Yeah. Back-breakingly so.
I’m confused waking from the blur that was the last episode. A little embarrassed even (self-prescribed failure embarrasses me, I could never get used to it) Plus, the first step of any recovery is about admitting that you’re powerless over your dependence and your life has become unmanageable. That you’re weak. Dependent. Unreliably Human.
So yeah, am not particularly enthused about having another go at it (more so since there’s an audience) I’ve been here before and made what could be called progress, but always slipping back, never making anything tangible that I can hold on to. Now I can’t trust the recovery system. ‘Cause whatever it is, 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, even a year clean, however laudable, it all has the potential to be turned into trash, how everything you’ll ever fight for will reject you.
Basically, you do this long enough, you realize how futility has a name, how everything up to now has been a struggle and everything after this will still be a struggle. How your life has become a Sisyphus tableau.
Basically, how do you gauge progress without making this whole recovery thing feel like something more than just ticking days away. How do you gauge progress without actually gauging progress. One day at a time seems a little trite, plus I know better.
How do you make it about effort and reward, about process, about milestones, about something more than just getting something done.
‘Cause truth is, my internal addict is strong and I’m afraid I can’t lock him out forever, but my life hereon has to be about more than just powerlessness and fear. And dependence and shame and regret. If not for me (let’s face it, this is never about yourself, your self got you here in the first place) then let it be for those who still have faith in me.
And even though the road to progress is always under construction, you could stand and wait for it to all crumble away under the weight of your failed expectations, or you could suit up and get busy.
The Chekov’s gun is I still need to name the disease and find it’s cure — define the problem. Seneca said the first step in a person’s salvation is knowledge of their sin. I can’t define my sin, not yet, am not sure whether being dependent on these substances, the release, makes me addicted to my flawed self, or whether being addicted to myself makes me dependent on these substances.
There’s the dilemma right there.
And maybe documenting my recovery isn’t the best idea, but it’s the only thing I haven’t tried yet. I’ve tried to go about recovering by myself, in secret, but progress needs an audience, however vain that sounds, it’s true — try getting your shit together and have no one like even notice and see just how fruitless it all seems. But this isn’t about gathering sympathy, or making it about others, or inclusion, or knitting together a virtual support system–
I’m documenting my recovery, as a reference point, because for the first time I want to care about an opinion that doesn’t start and end with me, I want to respect something, I don’t want to be the center of my own universe anymore
“Everything is more complicated than you think. You only see a tenth of what is true. There are a million little strings attached to every choice you make; you can destroy your life every time you choose. But maybe you won’t know for twenty years. And you may never ever trace it to its source. And you only get one chance to play it out. Just try and figure out your own divorce. And they say there is no fate, but there is: it’s what you create. And even though the world goes on for eons and eons, you are only here for a fraction of a fraction of a second. Most of your time is spent being dead or not yet born. But while alive, you wait in vain, wasting years, for a phone call or a letter or a look from someone or something to make it all right. And it never comes or it seems to but it doesn’t really. And so you spend your time in vague regret or vaguer hope that something good will come along. Something to make you feel connected, something to make you feel whole, something to make you feel loved. And the truth is I feel so angry, and the truth is I feel so fucking sad, and the truth is I’ve felt so fucking hurt for so fucking long and for just as long I’ve been pretending I’m OK, just to get along, just for, I don’t know why, maybe because no one wants to hear about my misery, because they have their own. Well, fuck everybody. Amen.”
On Social Media you have an opportunity to talk with your readers, learn about, and empathize with your followers. However, there is not a single perfect Social Media network site for authors, rather a combination of several pages – each one with its pros and cons.
Goodreads has more than 20 million members and is THE site for authors. Google+ is an overall great site with endless possibilities to display your book. The “power” of the site is that what you post there is automatically indexed by Google, which makes your post (i.e. a link to your latest blog) so much easier to discover. Twitter is fantastic to build a following and to engage with your readers, and if you write non-fiction LinkedIn might be a good choice too. Facebook remains the “Old Daddy” but others are gaining traction. Don’t forget Pinterest where you can show images of…
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