Tag Archives: addiction

The Key Is Willingness

I’ve been on a journey for a little over 8 months now. It has been a good journey, learning a lot about myself. Learning a lot about living life on life’s terms. Trying to make some positive changes in my life.

I have not kept it a secret that I am in recovery, hell it says so below in my “bio”. Some people wish that I did not speak so openly about it. I respect and understand their opinion, but they have to understand that this is what I am and talking and writing about it is part of what I need to do, so I am going to continue.

When I read the daily prompt this morning talking about a key, the very first thing that popped into my mind was that Willingness is the KEY to Recovery.

Willingness to try a new way of doing things, a new way of treating people, a new way of treating myself.

The next thing that popped into my brain was a song by one of my favorite bands Dream Theater, it is called “The Glass Prison”. It was written by Mike Portnoy about his path to recovery, or at least the first steps to it. I honestly do not expect anyone to listen to the entire song, as it is almost 14 minutes long (but it would be cool if you did), but I have put the lyrics below it. . . .so consider it like a poem.

The part of the song that I was reminded of was the third part:

III. REVELATION

Way off in the distance I saw a door
I tried to open
I tried forcing with all of my will but still
The door wouldn’t open

Unable to trust in my faith
I turned and walked away
I looked around, felt a chill in the air
Took my will and turned it over

The glass prison which once held me is gone
A long lost fortress
Armed only with liberty
And the key of my willingness

Fell down on my knees and prayed
“Thy will be done”
I turned around, saw a light shining through
The door was wide open

I still get a little teary eyed when I listen to this song or read the lyrics as it reminds me of how it used to be, and how it could be again if I do not do what I need to do to keep this disease, yes it is a disease, at bay. For those of you that are fortunate enough to have never had to deal with addiction or with someone that is in addiction, then please read the words to the song. I honestly think that this explains it much better than I ever could.

1. The Glass Prison

[music by Myung, Petrucci, Portnoy, Rudess]
[lyrics by Mike Portnoy]

[I. REFLECTION]

Cunning, Baffling, Powerful
Been beaten to a pulp
Vigorous, Irresistable
Sick and tired and laid low
Dominating, Invincible
Black-out, loss of control
Overwhelming, Unquenchable
I’m powerless, have to let go

I can’t escape it
It leaves me frail and worn
Can no longer take it
Senses tattered and torn

Hopeless surrender
Obsession’s got me beat
Losing the will to live
Admitting complete defeat

Fatal Descent
Spinning around
I’ve gone too far
To turn back round

Desperate attempt
Stop the progression
At any length
Lift this obsession

Crawling to my glass prison
A place where no one knows
My secret lonely world begins

So much safer here
A place where I can go
To forget about my daily sins

Life here in my glass prison
A place I once called home
Fall in nocturnal bliss again

Chasing a long lost friend
I no longer can control
Just waiting for this hopelessness to end

[II. RESTORATION]

Run – fast from the wreckage of the past
A shattered glass prison wall behind me
Fight – past walking through the ashes
A distant oasis before me

Cry – desperate crawling on my knees
Begging God to please stop the insanity
Help me – I’m trying to believe
Stop wallowing in my own self pity

“We’ve been waiting for you my friend
The writing’s been on the wall
All it takes is a little faith
You know you’re the same as us all”

Help me – I can’t break out this prison all alone
Save me – I’m drowning and I’m hopeless on my own
Heal me – I can’t restore my sanity alone

Enter the door
Desperate
Fighting no more
Help me restore
To my sanity
At this temple of hope

I need to learn
Teach me how
Sorrow to burn
Help me return
To humanity
I’ll be fearless and thorough
To enter this temple of hope

Believe
Transcend the pain
Living the life
Humility
Opened my eyes
This new odyssey
Of rigorous honesty

Serenity
I never knew
Soundness of mind
Helped me to find
Courage to change
All the things that I can

“We’ll help you perform this miracle
But you must set your past free
You dug the hole, but you can’t bury your sole
Open your mind and you’ll see”

Help me – I can’t break out this prison all alone
Save me – I’m drowning and I’m hopeless on my own
Heal me – I can’t restore my sanity alone

[III. REVELATION]

Way off in the distance I saw a door
I tried to open
I tried forcing with all of my will and still
The door wouldn’t open

Unable to trust in my faith
I turned and walked away
I looked around, felt a chill in the air
Took my will and turned it over

The glass prison which once held me is now gone
A long lost fortress
Armed only with liberty
And the key of my willingness

Fell down on my knees and prayed
“Thy will be done”
I turned around, saw a light shining through
The door was wide open


My Personal Cause

The internet has recently been swept up by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Is there a cause — social, political, cultural, or other — you passionately believe in? Tell us how you got involved — or why you don’t get involved.

This was the question for the day. For me, there is really only one cause that I am passionate about. . . .Recovery. I am not ashamed that I am in recovery from an addiction. It was bound to happen. Either recover or die is how I look at it. I am not going to go into horror stories of my addiction or preach that there is only one way to recover, all I can really tell you is that I am very passionate about recovery and willing to go to any lengths to recover and to help others to recover.

To me, the only reason that addiction is a touchy subject is that most people do not understand, or even want to understand about it. That used to bother me, but there really is nothing I can do about those people, except pray for them. Pray for them that they get everything out of life that I want out of life. After all, don’t we ALL want the same thing? To find happiness in our lives? To wake up every day knowing that we serve a purpose? Knowing that there are people out there that do understand us and are willing to help us, with the only caveat being that we be willing to help those that come after us. “Passing it on” is what they call it I believe.

As I write, a lot of my thoughts are directed by what I have learned, and what I am learning every day in recovery and hope to learn the rest of my life. I am not any different than you or anyone else, am no longer terminally unique in thinking that no one else understands. Give them a chance to understand, eventually you will find people that do and that will love you with no strings attached. They ARE out there, just have to be willing to let them help. Sounds easy, harder than hell!

That’s all I got today.

See Ya

Mark


My Thoughts

I have been reading a lot and hearing many comments about Robin Williams over the past few days. It has put me through a range of emotions from sadness to anger, pity to condemnation, confusion to understanding.

I enjoyed watching Robin Williams perform, always have. Going back to when his character Mork from Ork showed up on Happy Days (remember?). He made me laugh, he made me cry, he made me think. My anger and condemnation is not directed at him, it is at the people making comments based on ignorance of depression and addiction. It is at people that at this time of sadness and grief for his family and true friends, who are making ignorant comments and, in my opinion, are verbally harassing his family. How could people be that cold and unfeeling?

Now everyone wants to know whether he had drugs in his system, it doesn’t matter. It really does not matter. He just couldn’t take it anymore. We put people on such pedestals that when they fall, because after all they are ONLY human, that we all feel like they let us down. Well, maybe we all let him down. Maybe if people stopped  the mentality of “Just get over it” or “Just deal with it” and made an effort to understand that he had a debilitating disease, two of them. Depression and Addiction, and the sole desire of these diseases is to want the person that has them dead. That is the sole objective of the disease.

Yes, I am taking this personally. I fight my own battle, millions of us do, but we have to do it anonymously because it is not “the norm”. But there is a solution if someone wants it bad enough. But these diseases trick us into thinking that we don’t want it bad enough, and I know most of you will never understand that and believe me, I am happy for you. But please do not condemn those that do have to struggle with these feelings.

I just read this paragraph on a blog called Between Fear and Love that, again in my opinion, really touches on how people with suicidal tendencies feel, I hope she will not be upset that I used it

My favorite priest once gave us an analogy. He said to us that someone once told him that people who are depressed with suicidal tendencies feel like they are standing in a burning building with flames all around and the flames are growing bigger and bigger, closer and closer. They can’t run through the fire, the flames will engulf them. They stand on the edge, waiting for the moment the flames die down, but sometimes the flames move so close that they cannot escape them any longer and the only way out is to jump. The jump isn’t designed to hurt anyone else or even themselves. The jump is designed to escape the fire that is all consuming. People jump from burning buildings. We instinctively search for an escape from the pain that we know has the potential to destroy our lives. Sometimes the pain is physical. Sometimes it’s mental. Sometimes it’s both.

Below are lyrics to a part of a song called “Illumination Theory” by Dream Theater that have always helped me to remember what I need to do to keep moving in the right direction.

To really feel the joy in life
You must suffer through the pain
When you surrender to the light 
You can face the darkest days

If you open up your eyes
And you put your trust in love
On those cold and endless nights 
You will never be alone

Passion glows within your heart
Like a furnace burning bright 
Until you struggle through the dark
You’ll never know that you’re alive


Living life on life’s terms?

What choice do we have. So many people have so much advice on how everyone should live their life, what about those of us that haven’t really mastered anything, or maybe don’t believe in ourselves enough to showcase it?

Life comes at us 100 mph whether or not we are doing the right thing or we are doing the wrong thing, might as well try to do the right thing…..I used to believe that everyone was laughing at me or making fun of me just because of the way I looked, or the way I acted, so I hid in the corners, in the shadows, never wanting to be the center of attention. So I turned to drugs and alcohol to fit in (no, this is not going to be a blog about recovery, but there will be recovery in it, at least I hope so), and it worked…for a while. Then it stopped working because I got addicted to it. So I got addicted to recovery….and food….and women….and work….and so on and so on.

Seems to me that 30 years have passed and not much has changed in me. Still getting addicted or obsessed with one thing or another and then not know how to move on from that “stinkin’ thinkin'”. I am still searching for that inner peace, for something that is going to make me know that it is all going to be alright. Like I said, getting a lot of advice and praying for some guidance. Maybe I have too much time on my hands right now, or maybe that is what I needed at this point in my life. I dunno!

I have admitted that I am powerless over alcohol, food, work, sex, etc…. and that my life has become unmanageable and am currently working a 12 step program, (which is where I hear that it is GOING TO GET BETTER) but I feel empty inside.

Anyway, that is where my head is right now, I am hoping to find something by doing this, who knows, maybe someone will read it and have the answer I am looking for 🙂

See Ya

Mark