Whispers of doubt echo throughout the chambers of a mind infested by darkness. It’s not a pitch black however – not a complete absence of light. It’s an intrinsic black that manifests when tired eyelids give way and collapse under a vibrant, cloudless sky; a ghostly ambiance of gleaming desperation committed to break through the delicate barrier of flesh severing opposite worlds. Perhaps that’s why the whispers remain whispers and haven’t yet materialized into screams; they still perceive the presence of light – a glow which hosts a breeding ground for hope; a dingy darkness draped overhead birthing seeds of suspicion – an apprehension that perpetually recycles itself into a tenaciously dull roar and emerges again, sentenced to remain incarcerated within the mind of a mad man.
Nevertheless, the show carries on despite a seemingly inexhaustible search for authentic purpose or meaning, despite the mental barriers and personal trust issues; emotional traumas, wide-ranging mood swings and impulsive personalities, despite being thrust into the Southern California culture which heavily highlights human beings at a mere surface deep level; every heartbeat delivering confusion about who’s real and who’s only prerogative is to win the popularity contest; fueling self-worth based on the amount of people willing to jump under the sheets for a night of meaningless, sexual escape – deciphering between who’s willing to get dirty and actually fight in the trenches instead of breathing in an existence which is evidently based upon personal appearance, money, power or prestige – it’s high school revisited; this clique inundated, horror-drama that permeates throughout the soul of recovery communities like an epidemic.
To some this suffices, rendering enough sustenance to be considered living in “recovery” from a life shattering addiction, almost unaware of the side show sickness slipping subtly in to infiltrate weakened defenses; a disease, magnificently mutating; cunning enough to distract the mind from its primary purpose – gaining personal freedom from the bondage and throws of chronic self-destruction via the aid of whichever poison we fancy; it’s hiding patiently in the shadows, waiting and striking out, unsuspectingly, at the next obtainable weakness in hopes to commence the cycle all over once more – whatever vulnerability that turns out to be; to keep us at bay from discovering the deep-seeded purposes behind an overwhelming desire to escape and numb out a life we never truly desired or could determine how to fit into in the first place; from unveiling the secrets to filling the void and creating some self-worth without substituting one unhealthy behavior for another. It’s an exhausting path to remain tirelessly trudging along for a group of the highly emotional. Is it realistic or more along the lines of a far-fetched fantasy that people of such nature can ever fully see past these distractions and prevent them from occurring within a society in search of serenity?
As my children began to enter the realm of somewhere between full on baby and tiny human being, I thumbed through a manual at a local book joint entitled, Toddler 411. Essentially, it’s the low-down on how to survive anything and everything you might encounter during those vital yet challenging, early years – as it turns out, most of the advice and strategies suggested for dealing with a growing toddler can be easily interchanged and wielded to maneuver through a community recovering from substance abuse – especially when these personalities are all residing under the same roof; so in essence, having children of my own bridged the gap, serving as a strong pre-requisite course in living amongst a society of the behaviorally challenged – myself included. Similarities that are actually quite astounding when broken down with the primary exception, of course, being a substantial difference in age. Regardless, we all need each other; we all learn from each other – no one person holds the coveted secret of life, but we do know the importance of sticking together – conflicts, personality clashes and all, so we can continue our pursuit for the greater good.
Answers – answers to questions that may not have set answers are my kryptonite and by far the biggest hurdle to leap on this arduous quest in search of uncovering the purpose for my existence; I just want answers; I yearn for understanding; cursed to traverse the world with a mind that automatically internalizes, processes, and analyzes every little detail – I crave to gain a conscious awareness of what the point to all of this is – do we simply exist going through the motions, engaging in the obligated mundane because it’s required for survival; what are we surviving for? What is the endgame? Is there an end game? I had attained all the goals I set for myself by the age of twenty-eight and subsequently lost it all by the time I turned twenty-nine; materialism and obsessively constructing an image to be admired from the outside looking in was just not cutting it; I was still miserable; I was still dead inside; a shriveled soul with a rock hard heart; I numbed it all out and pushed it away, and finally one day I came to – it was all gone for real.
It’s hard to accept the side show circus surrounding the recovery community, but somewhere deep down I understand that it’s my personal responsibility to make a choice – either get sucked into it or don’t; learn to live and let live; keep fresh the memories of how I got to this juncture in my life and what I’m really trying to accomplish as I carry forth on the journey – to find the balance for a better way to live. So, on with the side show, for with every side show there comes a featured act – let us remember to exercise patience and stick around long enough for it to take place.