There’s a saying in the recovery movement that addicts are like pickles, they can never become cucumbers again.
It’s a humble reminder that any of us, addicts or not, can easily relapse into a former unhealthy definition of ourselves that no longer holds true.
No matter how far we have come in our growth, there are certain mindsets we can never fully remove or heal or fix or cure. Some things just never go away.
The scary part is, there’s no warning flare when they return. These compulsive behaviors and harmful mindsets, they will reassert their power on their own with an invisible momentum. Almost like a rip tide.
One moment we’re celebrating mindfully, the next moment we’re triggered by a family member and doing something annoying and drinking a fifth of vodka for breakfast.
One moment we’re working peacefully, the next moment we’re spooked by a low account balance and working sixteen hours without a pee break.
One moment we’re having a feeling of enduring contentment with our lives, the next moment we’re out of a job and binging on eight new workout shirts that don’t need and are probably going to return the next day.
It’s the undertow of the human brain. And by the time we realize the current has us and is pulling us out deeper into the sea of obsession, it’s already too late.
Morphine wrote a song that perfectly capture this moments:
Sharks patrol these waters, sharks patrol these waters. Don’t let your fingers dangle in the water. And don’t you worry about the dayglow orange life preserver. It won’t save you, it won’t save you. Swim for the shores just as fast as your able, swim like a motherfucker, swim! Stay in your life boats people, stay in your life boats people. It’s murder out there, murder out there.
Our work, in this moment, is learning to catch ourselves when we are falling. And not in the sense of apprehending ourselves like cop catches a perp, but in the sense of holding ourselves like a parent holds a child.
With all the love, support, forgiveness and grace in the world.
That’s something that doesn’t go away either.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
When your addiction floods you with the noise of its demands, how will you respond?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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