“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” –C.S. Lewis
Everyone says I have changed so much in the last month and a half. Mike says I am a ray of sunshine. The funny thing is I know that I have changed inside, deep down inside. I am still crossing the monkey bars and learning how to cross while holding onto a banana and not fall. I am like a child learning all about myself for the first time, the exception being that I am an adult with a vast array of experiences, and some not very positive at all. The fact of the matter is that I am still grumpy, and at times, downright cranky. That’s just part of who I am. The banana I hold onto is the goal that once I cross the monkey bars I can eat my prize, that golden, yellow, delicious banana with its rich fruit wrapped so tenderly in a protective peal. I find that I am tired a lot more than I used to be and I don’t always feel like a ray of sunshine. There are days I just feel down and depressed, there are days that I just don’t give a shit. The fact is is that I am human and I still feel things, just differently because now there is no numbing, mind bending substance to take it away. I have to face my emotions head on and that isn’t easy after such a long and devoted career of inebriating myself from feeling anything. In this new life full of changes and becoming a different person the knives are very real, the pain they inflict deep and I don’t have the Novocaine to stop it like I used to. Yes, I have been given a whole new set of tools to deal with my hurts and ills, but they are still there and more real than ever, and that is hard! In the beginning of sobriety we are more than happy to grasp the banana knowing that one day we will be able to partake of it’s wonderful fruit, but no one tells you you have to swing across these precarious monkey bars of emotions and feelings to the other side before you can really enjoy the fruit, and if you drop the banana you get to start all over again. The thing that no one tells you about is the flood of emotions that may seem like they are going to overtake you. This flood of emotions happens because we no longer have a mind altering substance to blind us to the tidal wave that is rushing our direction.
- Monkey Bars (thedailytravesty.wordpress.com)
Criticism is an indirect form of self-boasting. Emmet Fox
I really have to get this off my chest because it has been bothering me. However, I need to do this in the most Buddhist fashion I can and that isn’t going to be easy because frankly I am really irked at this person. I have been going to meetings recently to help me maintain my sobriety. There are great, loving people there and as of yet I have not met anyone negative, that is until Saturday. The meeting was a good one and one person even received his award for 14 years of sobriety. We closed the meeting and without my knowing it this person who had received the award made a point of saying to me, “I remember you when you were living on Chicago Street, you were trying to get sober then, too.” Now I have to point out here that I haven’t lived on Chicago street for over 8 years, so it just goes to show how long my battle has been. This person who pointed this out to me isn’t a regular at our meetings, in fact I have never seen him there before. I think he simply showed up at our meeting because it was his day to receive his award and there were no other meetings on that day. I didn’t recognize him and put it together who he was until after we had already left. He was the head of a group I used to attend about 9 years ago and I haven’t seen him again until Saturday. The fact is I didn’t like him then, and I surely don’t like him now, Buddha forgive me, but I abhor him and his critical, judgmental self. What right has he to judge me! I am so incredibly happy for him that he has managed to maintain 14 years of sobriety, Good for him. We can’t all be like him, in recovery, self-righteous and supercilious. Some of us have to fall and scrape our knees many many times before we get it. Was it really necessary for Mr. High-and-Mighty, Mr. I am so much better than you, Mr. Look at my award, to point out another person’s failure who is struggling with their sobriety. In a way I hope I never see the MF again, but at the same time I feel the strong need to point out to him that what he did was incredibly negative, incredibly out of line and incredibly the opposite of what we try to learn in our meeting about love and support. So, on that note, now that I have gotten that off my chest….Peace be with him, bastard that he is!