Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Perpetual Adolescent

I was once referred to in the midst of an angry Facebook flame war as a “perpetual adolescent.”

Usually a cleverly-worded comeback would have flown from my fingers almost as fast as it entered my mind, but I was so taken aback that I paused, temporarily stunned by how accurately my adversary had reduced my life to two words, despite her really knowing little about me. My anger temporarily receded as I accepted the truth of her accusation with a smile and a nod of the head. This description not only felt right, but it felt good. It was a role that I relished.

I was in my early 40s at the time, and up to that point my life had been a selfish, entitled blur of events. My drug and alcohol-addled mind was without rudder, lost in an unconscious and egoistic facade that vacillated wildly between self confidence, self-loathing and low self-esteem, bouncing back and forth from one extreme to the other, often within moments of one another.

I had worked hard to get this point, and was very successful in avoiding the responsibility of adulthood and any emotional discomfort that came my way. I was a master escape artist with a toolbox full of instruments that I had devised to check out of any uncomfortable situation and into the deluded fantasy world that occupied my mind most of my waking hours. I was single again, attempting to put my life together after a failed, co-dependent marriage to another addict, and diving headlong into a life of hedonistic excess in an attempt to numb the pain and guilt I felt over the divorce.

Surely by now you’re thinking that I’m describing a moment of great epiphany, a turning point in which I can now view my story in two parts: the painful struggle of life before this great realization, and the blissful success that followed. But sadly, her words only served to bolster my identity as the crazed Peter Pan who gleefully thumbed his nose at the sell-outs and squares, laughing on the outside as he continued to stumble through life aimlessly and seemingly without care, but on the inside was blinded as to the source of his suffering and without any hope of ever improving his station in life.

As I write this initial blog post today, I’m several months away from turning 50. More than half of my life on this planet is over, but I’m in a much better place, happily embracing adulthood and sobriety with a beautiful, patient and loving wife by my side, and two amazing grandchildren that through their love have helped me transition slowly away from my former life and into a place of happiness, peace and contentment. Better late than never, I suppose.

It’s my hope that this blog will not only help others who have struggled with addictions of any sort, or just growing up. I hope you follow me through my journey, but I have no expectations and I’m willing to accept any outcome. With any luck, you’ll be informed, entertained and moved to make changes in your own life. At the very least it will serve as a personal reminder of where I once was and strengthen my resolve to never return.

THC Is Not For Me

Pot isn’t going to kill you. You’re not going to commit petty crimes to get more when you run out. You’re probably not going to crash your c...