'The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly'.
Perspective is something I'm working on a lot at the moment in my daily life, for example....Is money an issue? Not really. Only when I don't have it! I've always been shit with money, let's face it! Anyone who knows me will concur. The thing is, I don't mind being that way. I'd rather be seen as generous and wasteful than tight and um, tight! It's not even about the money with me, it's more a way of life, it's practicing living in the moment because I've certainly learnt that circumstances beyond my control can take things away from me in an instant and the only things I hold dear now are my life and the lives of those around me and my sobriety, with those things in place, stuff just has a way of working out. I was thinking about my last relapse about 10 months ago now and in that drunken state it's an easy release to kid yourself that you don't give a fuck about anyone or anything, especially your own well being but the reality is much more complex for many addicts including me. The fact that we have a disease that wants us to think in these self destructive ways only serves, for me at least, to do more damage as deep down the reality is much worse. The truth is that we do care more than anyone could understand, as on the surface it's dark and evil, but are powerless to do anything about it, let alone put into words the pain that is literally draining us of everything and everyone we once held close. It's a desperate place to be and one I wouldn't relish returning to at any time in the future, I guess that's why I keep on fighting it, one fucking day at a time!
On another note, I read an article (from the USA!) about legalisation of cannabis and had to laugh out loud in parts. The way the US of A is set up with different states making different legislation is laughable. Popping an issue like cannabis into the mix is like telling a group of 5 year olds to have an in depth debate on rape within a marriage or the issue of abortion. I'm not saying all Americans are stupid, don't get me wrong, just that a lot of them are very stubborn and short sighted with regards to many things, including gun control and now drugs, which probably just gives them an air of stupidity. I prefer to think of them as old-fashioned or maybe just ill-informed or maybe just ill!
Aside from the law breaking issues, I don't have a problem with cannabis use by an informed individual, in the same way as I don't have any problem with people using whatever drugs they wish on a recreational basis. Whatever a person puts in his or her body to alter the way they feel is their business not mine, however, I do have a problem with extreme ignorance and putting the less informed and vulnerable at risk by legalising something else that is dangerous, somehow thinking that one drug is more or less acceptable and damaging than another is just that. The stories I'm hearing from America on the old cannabis debate truly amaze me! Seems to make as much sense as the debate about their constitutional right to have a gun! There doesn't seem to be any common sense involved when both things kill people but many people will fight tooth and nail to hang on to these poisoners of society. Don't even get me started on the medical benefits of cannabis as most people in pain are happy with their modern medicine and the ones who seem to lobby for this weird loophole are the ones that don't even want the pain relieving properties of a refined THC in tablet form, it's the ones who surprise surprise enjoy that familiar stoned feeling that smoking a joint gives them. So my solution is as follows. Just because there are arguably (and I use this term loosely to try to be balanced about this) more dangerous drugs that are freely available on the market such as cigarettes and alcohol, why then add another drug that kills people to the mix? Don't! Simply work on rectifying the damage already done and that is around us and try to keep people safe as possible, cannabis won't help achieve that. Without putting too finer point on it, I have lived the last two decades of my life controlled by one of the 'socially acceptable' drugs freely available on the market to anyone of age. I didn't have to break the law, though I have on many occasions as a result of my drinking. Although it was legal it had as much of a profound affect on me and those close to me as any mood or mind altering substance that entered my body. Living sober and in the thick of things, amongst alcoholics and addicts, just enforces my belief that there is no distinction. I have lost friends through addiction and continue to do so, death and sadness has ironically become a part of a sober life. The difference now is that I have been given, through the grace of God, a chance to live a life and not become another statistic like many of my piers and friends before me. I don't blame them for dying, in my lowest times I would pray to sleep and never wake up. I feel sad for them that they never found peace in life but peoples journeys are different and the only thing left for me to do is stay sober and continue to enjoy life and encourage others along the bumpy road.
I had a great weekend with my girlfriend and what struck me about the time we spent together was there was no secrecy of suspiciousness, none of the sneaking around and tension of trying to cover for an active addiction. I didn't plan this relationship, after my divorce I never really expected to be happy in a relationship again, especially one ruled by trust and honesty. I like that it's happened as it has, unforced. It feels more genuine. I'm not with her because I don't want to be alone as was the danger at any point over the last two years. I'm with her because I love her company and she just adds to what I already have become and, of course, because I want to be. It's weird because two years ago I never thought I would open myself up to anyone, let alone embark upon a relationship 6000 miles away from home. I don't want to come across as soft or soppy but I simply love being in her company and she is the best thing that has happened in my life in a long long time (that does sound a bit soft, will probably edit it out!). As a counter to that, since arriving in Cape Town two and a half years ago I've battled my life controlling and life murdering addiction which has been a huge struggle, I've got divorced, lost my loving father, lost my Gran and without wanting to sound dramatic, I've come very close to dying myself on a few occasions, most recently being stabbed through the lung and left for dead. Now my Mum's been ill and I don't really know how to respond to that! I know it's not bad luck because I don't believe in that but I guess it's human to at least ask the question 'why does it have to happen to me and my loved ones?'. It's human but I don't require an answer as it is what it is. I hate clichés like 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' but maybe there's a little truth in it. It's certainly enabled me to be more resilient and I think more clinical. Despite all that, I want to be here and am planning to stay and live in South Africa long term, aside from my friends and family back home I feel that the UK has little to offer me and me to it. It's just where I'm at but it makes me happy and that's a whole lot better than being constantly unhappy, beating myself up for past mistakes that are gone now. I can live with not being perfect and I no longer have self-loathing, I barely have any remorse left. My disease robbed me of a lot but it hasn't as yet, robbed me of the two most important things, my life and my love for myself and those around me. If you want to start the process of recovery or if you want to help a loved one then visit CapeRecovery SA or CapeRecovery UK. What's happened has happened and I'm doing what I can to be a better person to those who remain in my life day by day as the alcoholfreeme.com