Wednesday, March 7, 2012

the powers of the powerless

Recovering addicts are asked to make a list of the people they've hurt/destroyed throughout the period of their addiction. Then they're asked to make a list of all the negative, unhealthy personalities in their lives. The first list, they're asked to make amends with, apologize for their mistakes. The second list, they're asked to eliminate these individuals from their lives. The purpose is to start a new phase of the addict's life free of damaging influences that may cause a relapse in the recovery. I think it is also to help forget and overcome the associations of some people with certain destructive behaviors and acts, break patterns.

I would, for all intents and purposes, consider myself an addict.

If you consider the wider scope of addiction, not that just confined to substance/alcohol/sex/food abuse, you will find me right there in the middle of it. Waving miserably.

Back to the lists. So I sometimes get this thought that maybe I should clean myself up, clean my life up and start afresh new page.. bla bla bla. And this leads me to the lists. I start thinking about the people in my life, who would I like to apologize to and start with a clean conscience and who I should cut away.

The Apology List is not long. I don't know if this attests to my integrity, or to my self-denial but whatever. It has my father in it, and my grandparents. And it has him. Although when I think about how I can do that, the pictures I get prompt a wave of panic. I think he might spit at me.

The Elimination List is a mile long. I have, proudly, succeeded in assembling an excellent mix of all-the-wrong-people-to-have-in-your-life. Excellent I say.

Some of them are friends. Those who really offer nothing to me in return and just suck the life out of me. Those who make me feel like I need to pretend I'm someone else, someone worse, when I'm with them. 

And you. At the top of the list, there's you.


And so the lists are kinda pointless and snobbish. And honest. I like to revisit the lists. Keep them in my head for periodic updates. Maybe I like them for the sense of power they give me over my helplessness, the illusion of control over my life. But then I never do anything about them which makes me feel more helpless, and it's the same cycle all over again.

Didn't I say I was an addict.

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