On The Outside Looking In

"A moment of clarity." "A moment of truth." A lot of times, we hear and use that phrase in recovery world to talk about the brief, shining moment when we are able to truly see what our world is like, what we've become, and what will happen to us if we keep going the way we are. It's most likely when we are most receptive to help; when the grace of whatever higher power is out there can get in, even if for a moment, to help us know that we absolutely cannot do this (life?) by ourselves any more.

Not everyone gets sober immediately following this glimpse, but many, many people do. Coincidences (whatever!) start happening, the right people start showing up, we are desperate and ready, and for whatever reason, able to hear things for the first time. We can finally see things from the outside looking in -- we get just a moment to see the truth, rather than the false reality we have come to know as normal.

I suppose this happens to all sorts of people, at all sorts of times, in all sorts of situations. I know that we all hit "bottoms" with different people, places, and things. The thing I believe drives addiction -- a soul sickness -- is pervasive to humanity -- it's not just centered in people who are caught up in alcohol and drugs. Ask the person who can't get their food under control, the person who can't stop working too much, the person who is wrecked by their sexual behavior, the person who is gambling away their rent. And those are the extremes.

All of those things come to pass in sneakier ways that we all rationalize. Dieting and making resolutions -- on a constant basis; fucking off at work and then having to be stressed out to get caught up; being caught in a cyclical pattern of messed up relationships; not being able to save and always living paycheck to paycheck. It's not always the person who ends up in a 12-step program who finds themselves profoundly unhappy somewhere under the surface. Soul sickness.

I was talking with my friend, Kevin, the other day, and we were talking about the idea that the ego hates to die. The 12 steps are about that -- ego deflation and connection with a higher power. In any 12-step program, the idea is to connect one with a higher power so that it can be the power by which one doesn't --- drink, gamble, have uncontrollable sex/food problems, etc. It provides a power where there is none.

But the reality lies more in the ego deflation. And that concept is found all over. If you're an Eckhart Tolle fan or ever read any of the Conversations with God books or even a Bible fan, you are familiar with the concept. And what we had it boiled down to is that essentially, we don't know shit. The ego rails constantly -- deciding, judging, making all sorts of important declarations to our minds about what is right and wrong and how it can and should be running the show.

It separates us from other people and it causes us pain. We act out in fear, we do all the things that become "sins," if you're into that sort of thing (I'm not so much). We lust and procrastinate (sloth) and envy and covet and have pride and all that stuff. We act like assholes.

So we were talking about this, and for some reason, it struck me -- even though I don't believe in "original sin," I said to Kevin -- If there is such a thing as "original sin," it's just that we have egos and are slaves to them. The origin story is a metaphor for that. God makes Adam and Eve and everything is kosher. They are living in the God state. The me -- the thing that is not separated from God.

And God is like ... awesome. Everything is great -- but don't fuck with the Tree of Knowledge (or good/evil). Because that's the ego. That's the thing that thinks it knows shit. That's the thing that starts to put things in boxes and categories and us-es and them-s. That's going to bring the hurt.

Because we always think we know better, and because the ego HATES to be told what to do, the snake (our consciousness? our ego?) is like ... Yeah, fuck that noise. Go ahead. Learn about that. Eat from that tree. Rock that shit out. And we do, and it causes pain.

It's just how we're hardwired. It's a metaphor. Our egos like to know shit. And then, like every shitstirrer, it gets to stand back while we deal with the consequences.

This wasn't the blog post I intended to write -- what I *was* driving at was that I feel like I had a moment of clarity -- I saw myself from the outside looking in. I feel like I am a middle-aged woman hanging out with a bunch of younger people and I don't belong there. And I'm kidding myself that I do.

I also suffer from manic-depression (which many of them do as well), and I am expecting people to understand my troubles, to understand my pain. It's always something I hope for, and something that almost always never happens. And my moment of truth tonight was that I think I just need to separate myself from the scene.

I think I am causing more pain by trying to make "fetch" happen. I know I'm depressed and that same-said ego might be being a jerk, but I'm honestly tired of feeling like an outsider. Better to actually be an outsider than assuming I fit in somewhere I actually don't.

I don't have a good ending for this. I got way off the track to start with. Egos, metaphors, God, depression. This blog is getting weird, people. It's getting weird.

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