The gift of Desperation. I know. Sounds…somehow off. That was my first impression as well. I hated this phrase the very first time I heard it. To be honest, I still hate it….that sometimes desperation is all that is left to motivate a person. But some folks, myself included, are proud. Or was, in my case. We believe strongly and we love sometimes thunderously, to the point that we break ourselves on the truths we so desperately wish to avoid. We crack under the mountainous pressure of stress, more or less of our own making.
Desperation is the fourth worst feeling in the world behind hopelessness, loss and grief. Yes, I categorize my emotions being the strong feeler that I am (One of these days I will get around to introducing you to the Meyers/Briggs Temperament Sorter if you haven’t discovered it already). I have experienced all of these terribly heavy emotions throughout my life, at some point or another for an extended period of time, and I can assure you of this… none of these powerful emotions are sustainable for very long before we lose our ability to make rational decisions.
Desperation is that keening prickly feeling in your gut screaming at you that something is wrong and you just can’t figure out why. So you try and try and you try to climb the mountain, to get out from under the pressure, but absolutely every step you take is followed by slip after slip. It is a lot like running up a sandy slope and you’re making headway up the slope, and the top is wonderfully close…but the entire side of the mountain is careening into a ravine that you just cant see…or wont.
Desperation is panic and terror all wrapped up in a nice tidy ball right below your stomach. You know you gotta move…but your feet are heavy…so very heavy that you flail around to find some help, some kind of relief. So many people need from you what you can no longer give, but you have to somehow soldier on. And you are tired. So very tired. Your brain just doesn’t seem to want to (or be able to) think straight anymore. It is getting harder and harder to take every step but you have to, even if it is in the wrong direction. Just as long as it relieves the pain.
This is one of the main reasons why it is so unfathomably hard to break the whiskey madness and every other destructive force we allow into our lives. There is numbness in madness. There is instant relief in that first slup of burning ice, the fifth and sixth scoop of ice cream, the angry words at helpless people, the third lover in one week. I wish that I could say I finally got sober for joy…that I finally found a nice shiny reason to stay in this life. Now I do. Now I see it in every pair of eyes I come across in this world. But then…not then. No, it was the gift of desperation. The need to dive off that sliding wall of pain and heartache.
Some of us need that, I know now. For in my own life I think that I was so proud, it took me losing everything…absolutely everything…to finally see that what I had believed in for so long…was a lie and maybe I needed some help. It was a lie I had told myself enough times, I had actually grown to believe it. Pride suggests, I can do this alone. Pride suggests, I got this and that asking for help was unnecessary. Which of course, is all the lie.
It is necessary. Help my friends, is always necessary. No man or woman is an island.
I keep myself very very humble on most things because I can’t afford not to be. Yes, desperation is a gift. But it isn’t one I want to ever ever ever receive again. Ya know, I really have no clue what is meant for me in this life. I don’t need to know anymore, the way I used to need this knowledge. Whatever it is, I will accept it gladly. And if death were to finally get his or her cold hands upon me after so many failed tries, I will die a happy man. I have known peace in this life beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Peace with my parents. Peace with my children. Peace with most people. Most of all…I have peace within myself. The war within me, against myself, is over. I love y’all. I thank you, each and every one of you, who reads and smiles. Reads and cries. Reads and fumes. Reads and forgets. Reads and? Reads and thinks a bit about things. For that really is what my fledgling writing career is all about. Telling a good story so people will read…and think. Those are my favorite kinds of authors. No matter who you are, thank you for being a part of my recovery. In order to keep it, I have to give it away…and I so very much, enjoy sobriety. I am pleased to have been a little part of your life. I love you Lord. Thank you for being, my Higher Power.
May your days be long, and your heart be full.