Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Musings on a Wednesday

Well, it's the last day of the semester and I'm sitting here musing as the last six students fret over their final. They have 50 more minutes to finish up.

And then I need to finish up myself before June 5th (a very reasonable goal) since all I have left to grade are two stacks of essays and one stack of finals. I hope to get those done by the middle of next week.

The photo here has nothing to do with finals and nothing to do with anything, except that I think it's cute! Alas, the Giants got totally spanked by the Marlins last night.

I don't whether it's the stress of the semester ending or what, but I've been troubled by nightmares recently. I dreamed one night about my ex, Beth, and trying to reason with her, but then her ex-girlfriend (whom Beth left for me) materialized in the dream. She was this tremendously large (as in tall and big-boned), imposing woman. In the dream I just listened to her, feeling very confused because the last thing I knew, she wasn't even talking to Beth, but here she was, reading me the riot act and taking Beth's side. I woke up not even knowing what we were arguing about.

It's a weird time. Tornadoes are lashing the Midwest, the Rapture didn't occur (surprise! Duh), and three people--count 'em--three within as many weeks have approached me about getting sober. One person abandoned the idea the very next day (it's interesting how alcoholics will admit they've got a problem when they're drunk, but once they sober up, they realize they're not ready to give it up.) The other two persons are both terrified about how their parents might react if they were to find out they've got a drinking problem.

I figure if you've got an addiction, are able to admit to it, and are willing to do whatever it takes to overcome it (the biggest thing by far is sticking to it), then people have no business judging. There is more than enough evidence that points to addiction having a cause related to brain chemistry, possibly genetically inherited. It's like being gay or left-handed: you don't exactly choose it. Or as Lady Gaga might say: "Baby, I was born this way."

It has absolutely nothing to do with a lack of character or morals or a weak will. I know plenty of immoral jackasses who don't drink at all or drink very little; I know plenty of recovering alcoholics or addicts who are the kindest and most upstanding folks around and who are highly disciplined. What is that Shug tells Celie in The Color Purple about how she found God? "I think it's suffering, Lord, that do it for most people. Feelin' like shit." There's not an alcoholic out there who hasn't suffered profoundly because of their addiction.

I think a heart that's been cracked open by pain does heal, but the wound is a gift: the heart, once closed, is now open.

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