How to Beat Addictions
My family is prettily packaged and talented, but somewhat dysfunctional for many reasons. We grow addictions like weeds and dream when we are awake. We have sensitive ears, noisy fingers, and loud mouths. We all suffer from the disease of depression. In the worst of times, we are lost in self-pity, drunk from pain, burnt like wood, and rendered couch potatoes. Our favorite pastime is watching the world go by on the television.
We with addictions think we are unlucky in love and life, easily locked into alcohol, drugs, and obesity. Most of us think we have no choice. We are wrong. It is our choice to say No…No…to that first drink that first pill that first temptation that will always take us on a ride to hell and back.
As I look back that swollen festering woman was not who I wanted to be. So, I wrote a lot of poetry and learned a lot about my emotions, and found that every word I write is a victory against dysfunction. Writing put me in touch with my inner artist who was choking to create a new me, a happy, self-achieving me.
One of my favorite TV shows is Two and a Half Men with Charlie Sheen. He is just one of the actors involved in addiction scandals taking over the news lately. His addictions have rendered him nothing but “voluntary madness.” I don’t think he knows he is sick. I think he feels like he’s being wronged. Henry David Thoreau, tells us “Water is the only drink for a wise man.” Maybe, Charlie should have drunk more water.
It seems like those with addictions often derive pleasure at the expense of another’s pain including their own. They are good actors. They are all equal opportunity offenders. They are your neighbors, your friends, your loved ones – and they are you!
Another example of addiction taking over one’s life is a homeless man who was dubbed the man “with a golden voice.” He was given a radio announcer’s job, a place to live, and a new suit for his new life. Unfortunately, his addictions shut his voice down almost immediately.
He was subsequently institutionalized for alcohol and abuse of drugs. Addictions can be so pervasive they intrude in our work and all our relationships. Confucius says, “To see what is right, and not do it, is want of courage, or of principle.”
If you are trying to kick addictions, be honest with yourself and all around you; keep your mind and your hands busy; read and write to get in touch with your emotions; stretch your mind, be flexible and exercise your body; seek wisdom and embrace gratitude; finally, know that recovery often involves as much unlearning as learning.
The Alcoholic & His Enabler Poem
Rotted gutting, pickled lips, and bloodshot eyes,
violent limbs in the middle of sleep.
Protruding wormholes where the liver and heart should be,
Fading in and out, a stranger, a lover,
A stranger, again.
Coal-black days for his enabler,
Who nourished him? It was me.
His breathing labored after kissing me,
Him licking his lips loving the way they tasted of beer;
I was his woman,
He drifted in and out, a Boy, a Monster, a Boy, again,
Joining hordes of others dying,
Who nourished him?
Who fell in love with him?
It was me. His enabler.