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June 14 • Finding a Way

Day 706

After more than three months as a mostly regular attendee of SAA meetings, I asked a fellow addict with whom I particularly identified about his counseling experience. He gave me the number of the therapist that he says saved his life, not to mention his marriage, and encouraged me to call her. I did.

When the counselor asked me what I wanted to accomplish in our weekly sessions, I'm sure I gave some standard BS answer about wanting to get better. I honestly don't remember quite what I said about getting better, or if I even said that. What I do remember telling her is more in keeping with my pragmatic approach to problems:

"I don't have that much money, so the more I pay you, the less I'll have for drinking and massage parlors."

I was serious. I even went to that first session with several one-hundred-dollar bills from my secret savings stash so I could pay in advance as a way of keeping that cash from burning the proverbial hole in my pocket.

Somehow I kept coming up with the necessary Franklins to isolate myself in bar-based intoxication, to continue my investigations into the newest massage parlors, er, storefront 'physical therapy' establishments (as well as the familiar ones), and to visit my new counselor friend every five to ten days to explore things in my life that may have contributed to my sanity leakage.

I still can't explain how the cash-flow worked. To paraphrase the foreshadowing scene in Jurassic Park, where the Jeff Goldberg character warned of unintended consequences when dealing with the mysteries of life,

"Addiction will find a way."

It took months of failing before I accepted what everyone had been telling me,

"There are no shortcuts; either you are a willing addict enmeshed in self-destruction, or you are an imperfect addict in recovery."

The difference between the two is light and dark, possible and impossible, living and dying. Living in the in-between of twilight was even worse; I spent all my time missing the fading sunshine and dreading the coming darkness, and impossibly trying to have them both.

Today I choose to live in the light and in the world of possibilities.




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