One Hundred

This is the Miracle of the Mundane’s 100th post.

That is a book worth of blog posts, and a cause for reflection. For those new to the scene, this website celebrates the joys of regular living. As a drinker and drug-user, I took the little things for granted: the roof over my head, a warm meal, friendships, family. Losing these things at various times in my addiction has made me appreciate them all the more in my clean and sober life.

The miracle of the mundane is like your appreciation of electricity after a two-day power outage. Only living without it can you fully comprehend its manifold convenience.

Only after losing my will to live can I fully appreciate the nuanced power of every breath.

Here are 3 of the 100 posts I think best expand on the idea:

 

 


Losing my will to live is pretty vague language to use for a time of acute pain in my life. One thing I won’t ever do on this site is sugarcoat the truth. In fact, my sobriety demands my honesty, the way a lung-cancer victim demands a respirator. My first day of clean and sober living was October 13th 2007. While I didn’t take a drink or drug that day, I hadn’t slept in five nights, and experienced withdrawals and tremens in a mental state that doctors later diagnosed as a drug-induced psychosis.

It is difficult to write about that phase of my life in the first person. I’m much better referring to the “he” that I was back then as I did in “Bottom’s Up.” This is a great exercise for anyone wanting to express anything traumatic that happened to them. It affords the distance required to see yourself honestly and clearly.

What made my first day sober more interesting—aside from the clinical insanity—was the fact that I was in Mexico and I believed I was going to die. The human mind is a powerful thing. When I told myself I was going to die, I believed it. And I did things in that Mexican town—roughly 60 miles south of the border—that only a man who believed his death impending would do.

The suicidal ideation, as the San Diego psych ward phrased it, was not a desire to kill myself. No plan ever crossed my mind. The ideation stemmed from the acceptance that I couldn’t live anymore. My addiction kept me up all night. I couldn’t leave my apartment without succumbing to the fiend’s every last demand. In fact, I couldn’t go anywhere without my addict leading me there.

So, nine and a half years ago, I resigned. I gave up fighting the inevitability that my addiction was going to kill me. I accepted it would, and I was ready.

Grace delivered me from Mexico, an experience I will share eventually when I can find the specifics to express it. What died that day was my will to die. I began a slow and reluctant process of re-birth to become the man who started this blog 100 posts ago; the man who now finds his life’s purpose rests outside of himself, in the loving arms of family, in the dutiful acts of service, and in the creativity of self-expression.

I am in the process of another re-birth, and I’m sharing what I can as I can.

Like Dylan sang, “He not busy being born, is busy dying.” I know what it means to be busy dying.

Re-defining oneself is an exhausting process, but not nearly as tiring as feeding the fiend within.

27 Responses to “One Hundred

  • Colin Chatburn
    3 weeks ago

    magic mark.yir stories ur no bad.they only get more enjoyable

  • Thanks for being here. You are an inspiration.

  • Mat Docherty
    3 weeks ago

    Thanks for sharing Mark, inspirational as always.

    The beauty of sobriety is the opportunity to mould oneself anew.

    Mat

  • Linda DEV
    3 weeks ago

    Love hearing about your humble victory and wishing it for my kids father. Also know that it is not my job and I have to learn to live a full life regardless of what the addict in my life is doing.

    Peaceful, full and rich day to you.

    • Wishing the best for him, and for you. If he ever reaches out for help, I’d be happy to speak with him. Let go with love.

  • That is an incredible achievement. Clearly you were ‘saved’ for a higher purpose. I’m so glad you made it out, Mark. ; )
    xoxo

  • Congratulations on 100 posts! I love this….finding our purpose outside of ourselves is vital to living any sort of fulfilling life. “It’s not all about me!” Keep writing my friend, you bless so many, more than you know.

  • Congrats on your 100th post, Mark…and your journey. Keep writing. Much respect.

  • I so appreciate the perspective you bring with every post. Looking forward to the next 100!

  • I am so glad and very grateful that you did not die that day. The world needs you.

  • The way you wrote about this was incredible. I know exactly what you mean and thank you for putting words to feelings that I have felt but never seem to be able to describe. I am grateful for you Mark. Thank you for being such a light in my world and in the world of many others.

    • I can’t speak for Mark (but I have a good guess), but you’re an inspiration for me, for sure, Kip!! PEACE! – DDM

      • Man, you guys are getting me emotional here. You’ve been a huge inspiration to me! A huge help. I’m grateful for you. You hold me up.

  • I LOVE your last line!
    That is really, really true!
    As someone who is redefining herself, it is a challenge, but way less so than my drinking life would be!
    Happy 100 Days!!
    xo
    Wendy

  • Thank you for sharing, you are an inspiration!

  • Congratualtions on 100 posts! I know what you mean when you say you had to get so close to losing it all to really appreciate what you have. To find the will and the inclination out of the pit to WANT to live. Only to realsie that your life (my life) was a charmed one full of good things that I never really noticed. xxx

  • Glad you’re here, Rockstar. The sober world wouldn’t be the same without you, brother Mark. “The ideation stemmed from the acceptance that I couldn’t live anymore…” I’m SOOOO glad this shifted for you—the world’s a much richer place with you in it. – Your friend, always, Danno.

  • That Dylan quote is priceless. Thank you 🙂

  • Michelle
    3 weeks ago

    You mention Mexico as a turning point a lot and one day when you are ready to share it I am sure many other will understand the comparison to losing your will to live.

    On a small scale (compared to Mexico) I lost the will to live last year. I drank and took pills both subconsciously and consciously with the definite mindset that I no longer cared about life. Mine or anyone elses. That scared me to “death” and then to decide to Live. Why would I no longer care about what happened to my kids if I died? What sort of thought process can kill the very thing that I feel life is about?

    Thanks for sharing Mark and congratulations on your 100th story that you shared.
    Michelle x

    • Man oh man does this summarize the insanity:

      “What sort of thought process can kill the very thing that I feel life is about?”

      Only another addict knows that thought process. It exists. And it doesn’t do any good to deny it. In fact, denying it can kill you. Thank you for your courageous openness.

  • I love reading your blog. Congrats on 100!

  • Congrats on 100 man – that’s amazing. And that was quick…holy crow. Quality AND quantity. Not an easy feat. I always look forward to your work, and you’re quite the wordsmith and gentleman. I am honoured to have “met” you.

    Blessings
    Paul

    • Very kind comment. Thank you, Paul! The feeling is on every account mutual. So glad this thing is rolling, as it brought us a friendship.

  • 100 Posts…can hardly wait for 101 and beyond! Your words have INTELLECTUAL HONESTY… (new phrase I heard yesterday and it is cutting to my core…just like your posts!)

  • This is wonderful and inspiring writing, thanks for sharing and helping us further back on the path 🙂

  • It is very inspiring to see you write something you say that it is difficult to write about that phase in your life in first person. I might try that. I see strength that even though you aren’t writing it in first person, you are still sharing it with us anyway. I have a lot of things that made me act crazy when I was very insecure, but if I write them in a way that is not in the first person, it might be easier. thank you for this idea. stay strong always.

Leave a Reply