An Alcoholic in the Making
Much of my life has been spent searching for meaning. More specifically, my purpose for being here. I have never bought into an idea that there is no purpose for my life and that death is the end all for me. If this were the case, I would have never stopped drinking.
My curiosity and questioning has dominated any savage religious doctrine that I was predestined to buy into, or some lackluster philosophy that this human experience is strictly non-dimensional and linear. I do not believe that this is an assembly line we were born into with random moments of bliss. If this were the case, why do we have endless desire, multiple talents and brilliant minds? Why are there varying degrees of personalities, stars which bring us to awe and an instinctual yearning for exploration? Why is there unfathomable beauty, immeasurable contrast and limitless color? How do we explain harmony, expansion, octaves, vibrations, music and the depths of love, if creation is simply an accidental calamity? Why the full spectrum of emotions we experience as opposed to robotic responses? What’s with laughter and humor? Why do we dream and why do we have an endless myriad of choices? Why do humans both differ so immensely and correlate so intimately? Doesn’t everything we experience from birth to death point to a bigger picture? I conclude, it certainly does.
If we were here to merely exist and then to die, what’s with the magic in between? I mean really, why fuss with teasers of unexplainable phenomenon if there isn’t something greater happening? What on earth, exactly, would be the point?
When life began feeling like an assembly line, somewhere in my mid-teen years, I had a vivid image of being a meaningless ant in a droning line of other ants, hauling salvaged crumbs around as a desperate method of survival. I grew restless, irritable and discontent, constantly staring at metaphoric ant butts while carrying the lead weight of life upon my shoulders. Unable to bare the tedium of my existence for long stretches of time, I created ways to make things more exciting for myself which included excessive drug use, drinking and spontaneous decision making.
This eighteen year stretch of insanity led to me finally admitting that I am completely powerless over alcohol and drugs, and that my life had become unmanageable (Step 1 of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous). I made this assessment several times throughout my drug and alcoholic years, but the final declaration was on April 21, 2011. This is my sobriety date.
When I finally decided to quit the delusional race of running away from myself, the first steps of an incredible journey began. It has been over two years of continuous sobriety; something I never believed was possible. What has also occurred on this journey of mine, is that I am fully discovering a beautiful and complete person who I left behind in the wake of my running. It is as if I have returned to the innocent child I once abandoned, and we are reconnecting on a very deep level.
My story is a drastic tale of how I began running away from myself, and the turbulent journey back home. I tell it without any shortage of clarity. Everything connects, and as I review my life, it is easy to follow the thread weaving through my colorful tapestry.
– J.L. Forbes