Addicts have incredible energy, it's just all directed toward one goal. But what incredible luck and grace addicts have. You hear about it all the time, getting into some kind of crazy situation in order to get drugs or to get money for drugs, pulling off something where they fall from a building and land on a truck full of pillows. It's incredible will, and if you learn to focus that will on getting better instead of getting worse it's amazing what you can do with that. You can use that strength and resourcefulness for something real instead of scoring... Read more »
Being able to play tragedy for humor rather than pity is a new trick I've learned. For a long time that's what I did with my poetry, ask people to feel sorry for me. I got sober and I realized I have to get out of the pity thing; it's not going anywhere for me. I don't want to have any self-pity.
Oddly-shaped is a term I've been using because it doesn't sound better or worse than anyone elses. All those other terms like "f**'ed up childhood" or "broken home," none of them sound good. Were our childhoods better or worse? I don't know. It's different.
I used to think, "I can't go to these meetings because they'll make me believe in God. Make me go to church." I knew it wasn't right for me before I ever tried it. I was suspicious of anything outside my realm of experience. That same kind of attitude carries over into 12-step programs, because they are programs. There's this feeling that you don't need this bullshit, you can quit on your own. People that don't know anything about it seem to have a better idea. They haven't even been.
We've been there and come back. When you fall in the pit, people are supposed to help you up. But you have to get up on your own. We'll take your arms, but you have to get your legs underneath you and stand.
In our childhoods we either get all the social and emotional and ethical skills we need to be well adjusted adults, or we don't. Some of us don't know how to tell someone we like them. A lot of us get depressed and get wasted. Why don't we do something that makes us feel better? Because we don't know any other way. When I didn't have enough skills I compensated with drugs and alcohol. It's like there was a hole in the wall and I put a poster over it.
Get Up is basically the book I wanted to have my first year of sobriety. I wish someone had given me this book a year before I even went to a meeting because I was already miserable. I didn't enjoy drinking anymore, I just couldn't stand the idea of not doing it. I was afraid if I got sober I wouldn't be able to write anymore. That was a really big fear of mine, which turned out not to be true.
There was my other big misconception. That if I got sober and went to a meeting they'd make me believe in God. Not true. They ask you to believe in a higher power. You need a higher power, but it doesn't have to be a super-natural entity. You have all this power inside you.