By: Marc McMahon
What is my problem? My major malfunction? What is it that causes me to behave the way that I do, at the worse possible times in my life. Why do I always, at some point during the course of yet another attempt to gain a years worth of continuous clean time, relapse? It simply boggles my mind when I try and come up with an answer that I can deem to be suitable. It boggles my mind then frustrates me completely when I try and listen to another person’s theory on why I behave in this manner, therefore never even allowing their idea to get anywhere close to the suitable category. No those replies generally teeter on the excuse me did I ask for your opinion on this. To, how the hell would you know you got clean on your first attempt.
It’s not because I lack intellect, or am just plain stupid by any means. It is not because I don’t think I deserve a good life or that I am unworthy of happiness. It is not even because I was raised so poorly that my inner child has been scared for life and is somehow acting out in this unsavory manner to get some sort of twisted revenge on my parents. I could maybe understand it a little better if during my periods of clean time my life didn’t get any better and I just said the hell with all this because nothing is changing anyways. That’s simply not the case though my life always gets better when I am clean and I generally am as happy as I have ever been when I subconsciously decide to through in the towel and destroy it all.
I behave in this manner not when my recovery is difficult or stressful, not even when a tragic event occurs in my life. At those times I seem to be able to stand strong and use all the tools in my recovery tool belt to assist me in getting through the situation and remaining sober. I behave this way as a rule of thumb when things are better than they have been in quite some time. So the million dollar question is why? My answer to that is the same as it has been for the last 20 years, I do not know! I wish I did, I wish that one of the Chemical Dependency Professionals assigned as my counselor during one of my 16 treatment stays had figured it out, but nobody as of yet has even come up with an answer that remotely helps my situation in any way.
It is almost as if the powers that be are playing some kind of sick and demented joke. Like here you go son, we will create you in a strong body, with the all powerful and ultra creative human mind, you will succeed in almost all you do but there is one catch. There is going to be one button that we put inside of you that you are not allowed to touch. Just one little button that no matter how hard you try you will never have any control over. That button we will call self-destruct and we reserve the right to press that button at any time during your life whether you would like us to or not.
Now we are not saying we ever will just letting you know we have that right, sound like a deal Marc, ” well sure sounds good to me, I mean after all you did say I would be succeeding at almost all I do so why not let’s do this.” A sick joke in my opinion but hey I agreed right? Sure did just never thought that the button would get pressed every time I was doing well and had managed to claw my way out of the pits of hell narrowly escaping Satans skin searing wrath to regain something that resembles a normal, healthy, and productive life!
As I wrote that it almost sounded to me like I had just made a deal with the devil, sold my soul so to speak. Funny thing is if I did it wasn’t a negotiated transaction, it was one that came with the roll of the dice of destiny. Pre-ordained, a moment in time written long before I was ever a twinkle in my young mother’s eye. I could not have sweetened the deal any if I had prior knowledge of it, nor could I have made it any worse. It just simply was and is and is to come, destiny.
I thought destiny was supposed to be a good a thing? Or maybe that was just an ill-fated attempt to somehow protect me from the true meaning of the word as it pertains to life and my monsters madness! But ya know what? I hate monsters, especially mine and I’ll be damned if I am going to let the little son of a bitch get any more recognition than he already has. So time to flip the script and become my monster’s, Monster. Hell hath no fury like a pissed off addict trying desperately to recover and become all that his God has created him to be.
Especially one who is not afraid to stand up and be counted, to let his voice be heard, to shout from the mountaintops not only his victories but his failures as well. All to be used for the greater good, all to be used to do the very thing that the monster of addiction hates the most. To send a message of hope, of healing, and love. A message of, I have been in your gutter before and I found a way out so come, follow me I will show you the way out too.
To let people know that not only do I know of the monsters frigid, teeth clenching darkness but to remind them that I am not afraid to run back into it, straight into the kill zone to shine a light on them so they can find the way out too! That is why they call us soldiers, that is what makes past sufferings worthwhile and that is what my life was spared to do. To call out this cowardly demon of a disease and say “you may have won a few battles but I am going to win this damn war.” To shine my light into his red and black bloodshot demon eyes and slap his hand off of your wrist and tell him “no you don’t this one’s mine and today we are going home!!.”
Never give up your right to fight or to be fought for, I love you!
About the Author: Marc is a 48-year-old Author, Speaker, and Soldier in a war to loosen the grasp that Substance Abuse has on our society. He is a Father, Son, and friend to all those seeking refuge from this incorrigible disease. Marc resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where he enjoys, writing, hiking, and kicking the disease of addiction in the teeth, every chance he gets. As Marc always likes to say, “be blessed, my friends!”