The Courage to Surrender, Part 24 in the Series by john w

Fri, Aug 17, 2012

Home, john w, Lifestyle

The Geographical Cure.  On July 4, 1982, we spent the first night in our upscale house in New Hampshire.  Although my family hadn’t seen the Colonial house before I bought it, they agreed the place had charm and size welcome replacements from our bungalow in Connecticut. The accent was an oversized picture window that faced a large wooded area with a river view of Maine.

That first summer was hot and the ocean was cold which together healed my body and mind from years of self-destruction.  Breathing salt air and playing in the surf was a refreshing low-key vacation type lifestyle. I felt content in this simplistic way of life and realized the freedom of being liberated from my friends and the insanity of living on my bottom.

I loved the freedom of being isolated, living in a big house in a small town where nobody knew me far removed from the parade of addicts who influenced my life.  I was grateful to move my family out of our unhealthy environment into a kind of family rehab, a place where we would be safe with a better chance to live in peace. I hoped a more tranquil atmosphere away from the fast lane would cleanse our bodies and our minds would soon follow, but addictions don’t die easily.

My goal was to straighten out my life so my kids would experience a fresh start without emotional pain and embarrassment, the constant companions of the disease.  While the kids finished school in Connecticut I moved into a hotel near the plant for three months.  Living alone in my small room I got high and drank all night while I micromanaged my projects. Without any interruptions or responsibilities I isolated in my room only leaving to eat at a bar down the street.

Weekends I’d smoke a joint and down a six-pack as I drove four hours back home. I cleaned my clothes, spend time with my family and partied with Carl if I needed to score which seemed like plenty of chores for a 48 hour visit.  During my three month transition I didn’t try to clean up my life instead I relished being alone and wasted. The only change to my bottom was that I lived with more secrets and added loneliness to my misery.

I hired a staff of consultants and programmers from the Boston area to help me convert a stagnant web of people and procedures that were stuck in the past. We used our experience and intelligence to create user-friendly computer aided functions but plant managers refused to change which made our efforts ineffective and work suspect.

We were alienated by the locals who wouldn’t accept us, since we weren’t born or lived in town or across the river. It was as though we violated their society and were looked upon as home invaders.  We rocked their world and they hated us.

With each joint I smoked I watched my stash dwindle until I couldn’t prolong the inevitable obsession with thoughts of never having grass again.  “When the pot is gone, I will have to stop getting high,” I thought.  “What would life be like living without drugs? How bad would the pain be and how long would it last?” I became preoccupied with these questions without a clue to any answers.

My self-esteem began to sink and my confidence was disappearing with each derogatory day at the plant. I was attacked personally in meetings where my work was ridiculed as though I was stupid, finally I caved-in they wore me down until their resistance caused me to be aggressively defensive and I dreaded going to work.

Next:    Plan A was to do nothing, Plan B was to make a run for it and Plan C was to do nothing. Rachael thought AA meetings were good places to score drugs.

The articles published here by babyboomers.com are small excerpts of a 268 page manuscript titled “The Courage to Surrender” that I would like published. Call 678.361.4709 for information on the manuscript.

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