Substance Sunday - Chapter 3: A Season
Just a warning about this post: this is not meant to inspire any amount of pity, nor is it a reflection of how I feel about the holidays. We are all fighting our own battles, whether we are actively using, completely sober or without any addiction related ailments, this is simply an interpretation of the reality many face. Alright, let’s get on with it.
It’s not a mystery that those who are in recovery from substance abuse experience some level of disconnectedness. By nature we isolate in our active using and even sometimes within our recovery. It’s such a part of what we are that sometimes we might not even realize we are doing it. The little bastard in us all really knows how to cripple us in a way that could send us into an over dramatic tailspin of a tantrum that even Veruca Salt herself would be envious of.
Some of us have an incredible knack for feeling desperately alone in a room filled with the ones we love. Additionally, this feeling we feel is your fault, not our own. Somehow, someway you did this to us. You licked the red from our lollipop. You’re the rain on our parade. Our feelings are fully and completely your responsibility. You are the reason why we are where we are, mentally, emotionally, physically. It’s. All. Your. Fault.
But that isn’t us. Not anymore, no way, no how. Sometimes the simple act of staring the bastard in the face and telling it to piss off can be the spark we need to kick it in the teeth. If you’re in recovery yourself then you know what you should do. Think it through. Continue to move beyond the hyper focus of the mountain of irrelevance towering over you.
If you’re not in recovery, I’ll tell you exactly what you should do. Nothing. It’s not your fault, it’s not your responsibility. Do as you always do. The moment the bastard noticed you looking at it is the moment the dam breaks and all hell breaks loose. It’s okay to look at your loved one and encourage him or her to keep moving through the feeling. We know that you’ll be there on the other side. That little bastard is thinking it’ll take them to the other side of town. The side of town you’ll never find.
Say it with me now: Bastard be gone! Send that little jackass packing, no one has time for the bastard during the holidays. We all have enough on our plate, toys, decorating, baking cookies, listening to your sister in law go on and on about politics, your brother still won’t talk to you, all while some of us are putting on an amazing performance of composure trying not to drown ourselves in [adult] eggnog.
If you’re a recovering substance abuser, keep this in mind, you’ve been in significantly worse places than listening to your brother’s new girlfriend chew your ear off while you know you’d prefer to listen to your niece sing baby shark for the millionth time. And if you're actively abusing substances then get your head out of your ass and look around. Sure, most of these people might drive you batshit this time of year, but there are some of them who would do anything to make sure you’re still there for them to annoy. This is the gift no one ever asks for and it’s the gift that so many are unknowingly willing to give.