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August 11 • Helps You Hurts Me

Day 764

I have learned in recovery that when it comes to life's random crap, everyone has something. Some people move along and move past their potential issue-causers (I always thought I was one of those people). Others get bogged down in defects, self-hatred, or a variety of other dysfunctions that society frowns upon.

What is the difference between folks who carry on without allowing the dredges of the past to ruin their presents and those who crumble into addictions, psychoses, and violent behaviors? I wish I knew. Maybe the answer is similar to why some people like onions, and others recognize those little dirt demons as being a scourge upon (and from within) the earth. Maybe it's just because we're all different.

Maybe it's because evil exists, diseases are real, and cause-and-effect is a law of nature even when it cannot be explained.

I used to think it was merely the difference between strength and weakness, faith and humanism, good luck and bad luck. While the truth may lie in a combination of reasons, it is increasingly obvious that a key difference between how people are affected by their past is whatever the biological explanation is for addiction. The more we know about the brain and what energizes its different parts in differing amounts, the more this explanation is impossible to disregard, regardless of whatever label people may want to attach to the realities.

The same peanut-butter sandwich that will pull me out of an attack of sugar-shakes would put an allergic nine-year-old kid into anaphylactic shock. Why is it so hard for so many of us to accept that pornography or childhood abuse could cause a lifetime of compulsive sexual behaviors in some while being little more than a memory for others.

It's not an excuse for anything, but neither is it a non-factor. The 12 Steps have helped me sort out much of this with common sense and tools to combat the darkness that I have struggled to understand and overcome.




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