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.