I’ve always been fascinated by Houdini, and turning the page to 2012, part of me feels a kinship with him, making a great escape from a pretty rough 2011. Looking back, I can’t help but focus on a lot of the failures, things that severely cut my thoughts. The beacon of collapses is my divorce. In a way, I think a lot of addicts are hopeless romantics, because we share a void, an abyss in our hearts and souls that love fills.
I remember when I met my wife, “clean” (I say that because I was stuck on Suboxone, a so-called miracle drug for opiate addicts that is hell on earth once you look to get off of it), and serene, I expected to not meet anyone for a while. I just wanted to have some fun, not fall in love. Life has a way of screwing plans though, and the last thing I was looking for was the first thing I found. That was 2007, and the next 3 years were everything I could have imagined happiness to be and so much more.
That might be my major hangup, that she focused on a terrible 6 months, that they somehow erased all the joy we shared. That for the first time in life, I decided to get clean, not for us, but for me, so that we could get back to where we were. I get it, I have a disease, one that can afflict me today if I am not careful. I can’t say I blame her, I wouldn’t want to live in that fear, a terror of having to relive even a minute of seeing me fall apart. Me at my worst is more powerful than me at my best? Maybe, or loving me at my best makes watching me descend into that personal abyss that much more painful. That’s more likely.
I don’t question our love, it never was a lie. I don’t harbor anger that she decided to walk away. Don’t get me wrong, I was pissed, and really dealt with it over the holidays, but truth always is the source of that emotion. In the end, all the promises made, I couldn’t keep because I gave in to my vice.
That’s 2011. One of loss. A few months after she left, I lost my grandmother, and crying my eyes out, all I wanted was a hug, and had no one there for me physically. Just another thing to battle through, more pain to bear. Yet, I pushed on, finishing up a memoir I had put on the back burner so often, it should have long ago spoiled. That whole, how do I end it thing, how do I make it leave its mark?
I learned a valuable lesson this past year. It most definitely made its way into the final pages of the book, in regards to pain. I am the one who gives it staying power. Sure, its effect is inevitable, especially when it hits you in the jaw and gut at the same time, and you never see it coming. The hurt will ebb, when not fed by our minds. Reveling in it, swimming in the shit, you’re bound to pick up some infections to keep you sick, and keep it nourished. Life goes on, and so must we.
2012 is just a symbolic turning of the page. Seriously, just because the calender year is different, does it suddenly put the recent past away, a fading speck in the rear view mirror? Not at all. It’s what the coming year holds, unknown promise. I hope my ex-wife finds happiness, and can let go of the hurt I caused. If you love someone, sometimes you’ve got to let them go.
In the short time I have released my memoir, I’ve come in contact with so many great people. I am excited about what this year holds because I have direction, I have purpose. All the self-pity bullshit and woe-is-me garbage not only was a waste, it obscured the responsibility for all I have done in my past. Taking ownership of all the lies, the cheating and stealing and not just attributing it to the “disease” has made a big difference. After all, who took the first one to set up the fall? Who unleashed the beast, who turned over the control to animal instinct? That would be me. And it makes me feel terrible.
It also fills me with happiness and peace. I don’t have to be that person again. Divorcing my wife helped me divorce the junky, and that part of me is a memory I keep fresh in my head, because I never want to see him again. I work really hard to be the man I know I can be. The one close friends have told me is intelligent, funny, kind, and giving. All the qualities junky-me despised and sought to destroy.
I am glad the calender reads 2012. I have once again defied the odds, made it out of the wilderness, again, thanks to the grace of plenty of guardian angels and God. Looking back on all of my life, I can’t believe I am even here. I am truly blessed and understand every second of life is precious, and that I have wasted countless years getting here. So I guess it wasn’t really a waste.
I can’t wait to share my story, to bring awareness and educate as many people as I can. To impact a single life would be enough of a reward. We all suffer, and we can all overcome. To everyone who follows this blog, friends and strangers alike, may 2012 be a year filled with hope, hope that we all work to turn into success.
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” ~William James
Peace to all of you!