Addiction and Time: The Fleeting Eternal

Before I begin let me apologize and explain my lack of posts. My blog tends to follow a pretty predictable trend. I start of writing all the time, constantly filled with ideas and the motivation to put them into understandable, entertaining, and though-provoking words. As time passes the entries become more sporadic and eventually it ends with my blog being empty for a while. I run out of things to write about and let my blog meander to the back of my mind.  After a while, I come back with an apology and the cycle starts all over again. Recently, the situation has been very different. I have logged on to my blog almost every week. My brain is completely flowing with ideas. Unfortunately, when I sit down to write it I get about halfway through (at best) and lose all steam. It’s not that I can’t find an appropriate ending, its more my thoughts are so jumbled I end up not content with what I had written. I have 8-10 drafts sitting, waiting to be finished. I am going to be working harder to finish and keep my blog more scheduled, but I can make no promises. Just keep checking it out and I hope to move to writing at least once a week.

Addiction and Time: The Fleeting Eternal

I have been around a lot of addicts lately. Some have accepted their addiction, others have not. Some are working to change, others are not. Some have conquered and fallen victim more times than they can count. I know those who are sickeningly optimistic, and those who have been burnt out by failure. In talking to these people, and helping them with their addictions, I have become quite introspective. My introspection goes beyond looking at my own vices and addictions, it dives deeper into the heart of how to deal with addiction, and more importantly addicts. What is good advice? How do you talk to someone in denial? What about someone who is currently giving up on themselves? I have seen many people do many different things when met face to face with addiction. You have the hard-hitting truth tellers, who feel rubbing the “truth” in your face will help you. Then, there’s the candy-coated coddlers  who are so worried about affecting the person in the wrong way they let the addiction trample all over their relationship and their friend. I seen countless methodologies to how to deal with addicts. Throw their pills in the trash, dump their drink down the sink, take them to a bar and work out their problems face on, put adblock on their computer and just try to avoid the problem. I have also seen each of those strategies fail. The more I think about it, the more I worry about how I would help a friend deal with their problems. The other night I had a long, interesting, and beautiful conversation with a friend who is dealing with alcoholism (amongst many things). I started to get really worried that I was gonna say something/do something that would end up hurting my friend more than helping them. Reflecting on my conversation, especially in regards to my struggles, I feel I have found at least one idea that it extremely helpful.

The history is no more. Our past no longer is. Everything that has happened whether for a reason or not, does not exist any more. The best we can do is remember what no longer exists, relying on a faulty camera in our mind (thank you soooo much Ben Gibbard.) and perhaps various physical remnants. It is gone, and will never come back. The future will never be. Our plans may come together, they may fail, but ultimately we can never access the future. It will always be “a day away”. (you get no thank yous, orphan annie… >.>) We cannot access, embrace, or fathom what is to come. The moment we think we reach the future, it jumps ahead and we end up stuck in the now. The now is all we have, and it is constantly leaving us, to become the unreachable past. It is said that in the now, that is always fleeting, yet always here, we glimpse eternity. We cannot change the past, nor control our future. All we can do is deal with the ever fleeting now.  It is always in our face, yet always leaving us. It is constantly refreshing itself, yet in the same moment decaying away.

Now, apply this to addiction. Your past is gone. Every failure, every success. Every hurt person cannot be unhurt. This can be a hard reality to grasp. Many people like to live in their pasts. They like to allow their past to control what they do. You cannot allow what you have done define what you are going to do. After letting go to the past, many people try to embrace the future. They make grand plans of how many months they are going to be “clean” or how they are gonna be done for good. After promising yourself “I will never do this again” so many times, it starts to make the heart grow weary. There is no place for us in the future, therefore we need to stop constantly looking towards it for answers. This leaves us in the now. It doesn’t matter if I drank yesterday, and hour ago, or even a mere moment ago. That moment is gone and does not define what I am going to do now. The thought, I will stop looking at porn tomorrow, does not apply.  You are stuck in an ever fleeting eternal now. All that matters is what you are going to do, right now.

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