Ten fifty. It again occurred to me that sobriety is the open highway. Addiction to alcohol is the severest form of attachment to material things; to drink is to desire. Once free of desire, a person is free of everything and is close to what Hindus call moksha, spiritual liberation. After that, life is a big adventure into uncharted places. There are no more must see movies or must read books; no must listen songs. Your mind becomes a more accurate mirror on the world. Even on the darkest, stormiest day or night, sobriety is intrinsically light. I sometimes wonder what in the world I’m doing, and where going, but I remind myself that it’s only been two years, and the rest of my life calls me towards something entirely different. I must trust nature to lead me where it will, and know that it’s for the best. The important thing is to move forward and not back, keep your eyes focused ahead. Whatever happens, be fearless and go with it. The worst that can transpire is you die, but even then, your death will be like that of the yogis.
Six thirty five. At last, some time to myself. A time for a little sadness, having realized that I was taken advantage of, much like Charlie at the beginning of Flowers for Algernon. When he has his surgery to make him smart, he no longer hangs around his tormentors, but meets other intelligent people. Also I’ve lost my illusion that my remodeled house would be great. The quality of the work turns out to be inferior and hacked rather than done skillfully. For months last spring and summer I imagined that my new house would be a beautiful reward from God for my sobriety. And my time in the trailer was a metamorphosis from the old to the new. It was all very Romantic and dramatic, a thing willed by God. Now it all looks like I was deluded, and the fire was not purposeful or psychological at all. My sister was the first one to be critical of the construction work. And then it gradually dawned on me that she was right… or was she?
I had been satisfied before she said anything. I was still idealistic for a while, but now I perceive myself as someone falling for fool’s gold. My big psychologized and Romantic notions that sustained me through trailer time have all but evaporated. What was that about providence and teleology, about grand designs and purpose in my life? God has disappeared to leave only a world of people who don’t give a damn. I could wring my sister’s neck for being so realistic— this supposed Christian. I’m determined to hang onto my idealism, my dreams, my happiness, because these are all I’ve got. Polly is just as cynical as my brother, and likewise materialistic. She’ll never agree that intellectual beauty is better than home improvement. I can refer her to a book and she will sneer in scorn. It is imperative to me to fight for my vision, my dreams, and to hell with my sister’s pragmatism. She believes I got screwed, but in the end, she’s the one missing the boat. I won’t be misguided by dollar signs, which apparently are all she can see. And that constitutes a kind of blindness.
Two thirty. In my mailbox I found my new Trillium membership card with my PCP’s name on it. It hit me then that I’ve really left P—Health. I didn’t care for their uppity attitude, snooty and condescending. Trillium also sent me a desk calendar. I recall how I used to get a wall calendar from CareCredit every year. They were beautiful. This reminds me of Henry and of Kate about ten years ago. I eventually got so I didn’t mount the new calendar anymore, and things started to slip away from me. Around fall of 2013 was when home became not very cosy. My addiction was costing me too much money. I was having to apply for heating assistance any way I could get it. I was desperate to keep my drinking habit going. But I really couldn’t afford it on my income. Can anybody afford to drink heavily every day? What’s the point, if you can avoid the habit? I just pissed my money and my health away from the time I brought Aesop home. Is it any wonder that fortune smiles on people who quit drinking? My life went down the drain with my addiction. Now it’s on the rise again. The way it works is like magic. Avoid the booze and the gods are kind to you. Even the perceived curses are blessings in disguise. Sobriety is worth it.
Ten twenty. Katie called me five hours ago to make sure I was okay. That was nice. It seems to me that since a significant amount of recovery time, treasures continue to fall in my lap. I get the freedom and respect I always wanted. Life is an upward spiral rather than downwards. This is what sobriety can do for anybody. It’s a delusion to think that drunkenness is freedom and happiness. Addiction is bondage and suffering. It only takes having done both to be able to contrast them. After my crucible in the trailer was over, good things started coming my way. And my cattle dog Aesop is the coolest friend in the world.
I resolve to go back to church Sunday. I believe my sobriety depends on Christian altruism. On giving rather than taking. Egoism comes from a place of darkness. It seems to me still that Jesus can’t be known directly, but he can be guessed by his effects. The effect I go by is my sobriety. When this is in danger, I intuit that my life is in discord with something important. I remember how nothing Dr T— could do ever helped with my alcoholism. It was because he was faithless. The spirit is invisible, but what it does can be seen with the naked eye. My favorite lyric about faith is by Steppenwolf: “If you should go astray / And say I lost my way / Nobody will know you / But if you don’t believe you can / And still say I’m your man / Somebody will follow just because it’s free.” It’s a verse from “Hippo Stomp,” a song I know from when I was seven years old. Funny, but the music I listened to in early childhood makes more sense than what I fell into later. It may sound absurd, but I think Steppenwolf was a better band than some of these prog rock bands. Hats off to John Kay.
Quarter of one. I teetered on the brink of relapse this early afternoon. Thought I would have a nervous breakdown if I couldn’t drink. I don’t know how close I was to actually going to the store for a six pack. I killed the time by taking a nap; it was futile to try to think my way out of it. I should probably give up Coca-Cola, for this is a placebo for the real thing. Eliminate the hand to mouth behavior completely. I felt guilty for skipping church again yesterday, and this produced a paranoia about my sobriety. But I honestly still doubt that belief in Jesus makes any difference. Or rather, I know I don’t believe except for when I feel psychotic. The catalyst for my episode was listening to King Crimson again. My brain is very sensitive to spiritual suggestion. It was my mistake to put that Cd on and absorb it. I admit that I admire the talent of those musicians, and I may still be inspired by their stuff. But I might have to put on the full armor of God to defend myself from relapse. It’s true that 1995 was a long time ago, yet those mental states still lurk dormant in my subconscious. It doesn’t take much to wake them up. The number one thing for me is sobriety, whatever it takes.
One o’clock. I dreamed about Jeromy from C— Market back when I used to drink. He had “sex” with me, then I went from place to place trying to push some authorization through regarding my “dog.” I kept getting rejected. Meanwhile there was a problem with another dog that was mean, possibly rabid, and threatening Jeromy. I still wanted the “authorization,” but he didn’t. Moreover, I discussed with him a bass I’d bought but returned because the electronics weren’t right. It looked like a blue Yamaha I bought from Todd. I wanted to exchange it for the right model, and Jeromy said he’d look into it…
In reality, I almost talked Jeromy into buying legal insurance from me. I was only doing that job for beer money, so in the end it was good that he said no. Instead, he left his job at the store and started working for P—Health. The sales job was something rather shady and dishonest that I got involved in in April 2017. It didn’t take any particular skill to lie to people and hit them up on the phone. It was supposed to be a get rich quick scheme, but I don’t see that it was anything like a real job. The salespeople went to conventions and dressed up slick and talked about ways of cheating the public. I was really desperate. Later that year I stopped drinking and started my recovery by throwing myself at the Lutheran church…