Thursday, October 4, 2012

What's the Worst that can Happen?

Thoughts are the worst thing that can happen.
You know that fear? That fear of completely losing it? Or that fear of going over the edge into crazy town? Or the thought that says, "If you lose it, you might not get it back again?"

Have you ever thought about what this 'it' is you think you're scared of losing? Or the 'it' that's going over that apparently dark and scary edge?

Is it your sanity? Your security?

When Carl Jung said, "Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering," and I discovered he said such a thing, it encompassed so much...

Alcoholic Drinking

I was made neurotic from my drinking and I did it anyway. I microscoped any thoughts - usually painful ones - I had to death and adopted them as 'who i was' and my fear of the outside world grew disproportionately to anything that I may have experienced even slightly 'negative' on a day to day basis. This madness was increasing and at the same time, I needed more and more alcohol to abate those thoughts and fears. Which, of course, increased those thoughts and fears that, at the time, I had no idea had anything to do with my drinking.

So Jung's statement in this context, for me and in retrospect  meant I was (subconsciously) choosing neurosis instead of the 'legitimate suffering' of 'inviting the worst' by NOT numbing out with the more and more alcohol.

Stopping Alcoholic Drinking

So that in one magical moment in 2002, I was so sick of alcohol and made a decision to stop, it was in that instant that I felt freedom and hope, and more freedom and hope than I'd experienced in 10 years. And I was free-falling. I had no plan on how I was going to do it. I had no back-up for 'if I failed.' There were no directions in that instant; No plan and zero ideas. Nothing but a knowing and an awareness that I was finished now... Although in that moment it felt more like a beginning of something. Like Awareness was being born. So this is what it looked like, my going over the edge.

To even call it a 'decision' is sort of funny because it really wasn't. It was more like an awareness; An awareness that now it was time to just stop. When I think of making a decision I think of the awareness of choices. And where I was in my life...even moments before 'the magical moment' I had no awareness of a choice. Of course, I knew I had a choice to drink or not drink - and many times I had tried - but I seemed to  either lack something or have something that wasn't serving me.

That first awareness was easy and natural. That magical instance was a knowing.

What followed - in the process - of trying to stay stopped was pain. And yes, the pain of thoughts.

Painful Thoughts

This is why I love The Work. It gave me an opportunity to re-train my thinking. I drank alcohol due to painful thoughts [heretofore known as pain] which in turn addicted my body to alcohol. And it does not have to be alcohol one uses to stop the thoughts; It can be pills, street drugs, shopping, working, codependent behaviors, self-mutilation, anorexia, video-games... ANYTHING that we use to STOP the pain is what we use to stop the pain.

But when those outside solutions turn into a problem almost as large or even larger than the pain it seems to be solving is when I see my neurosis. Avoiding the pain becomes, then another pain on a different level.

So what if I just stopped?

What's the worst that can happen?

Thoughts. That's the worst that can happen. And I can take them to The Work.

1 comment:

  1. Have you ever considered what the drinking is/was about from the viewpoint of Vedanta?


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