Blessed are the weak.
I’ve spent many years in and around Alcoholics Anonymous, spent 30 days twice at two different ‘rehab’ facilities – inhouse – and I have listened to the hearts and minds of hundreds of alcoholics sharing their experiences, strength and hopes with one another day in and day out. I wanted to believe I was ‘constitutionally capable’, and soon I came to believe, then I believed and lived it, yet eventually became disillusioned; and now I have a more realistic (mature, non-childlike) view of what Alcoholics Anonymous, 12 Step Recovery, and addiction ‘science’ are to me today.
I’ll take the time to share some of the things I’ve observed along the sober ‘way,’ in a series of posts here. Hopefully you’ll be gracious while I un-manipulate myself from all of this. My writing might not be organized well at first, but I’m sure I’ll hit my stride, so hang in with me, ok? It may take me a couple of months – hopefully not.
There is a lot to make sense of – once I realized my 20 year marriage was a lie, and I tried to deny this as long as I could, until it became too glaringly obvious four years post divorce. I was still denying there was a lie – that’s how great the importance I’d placed on the lie and my identity within the lie. I next naturally shut down. And now I’m attempting to restart.
I wondered what other ‘truths’ am I blindly believing that had been contingent on that lie that was my marriage? Because I believed my marriage (the person I married) was to be trusted, was true, I also believed lots of other things, like the friends we shared were true, things they said to me were true, nice gestures were authentic, jobs I took, clients I helped — connections made through one lie tainted all the choices I made from that point on, right?
When we believe something or someone, we TRUST it or him. When we trust, we let down our natural guard (our inner protections, and we let them in. Who or what do you trust? How do I know if any of it is trustworthy? How can I determine if there are any more lies I’m believing? Who do I listen to? Who do I believe simply because I trust them and they promised me things were true.
So many books, voices, temperaments, perspectives to observe. I’ve figured out one of the best ways to sense someone’s spirit – whether in the rooms of AA or in the social landscape (Facebook, Twitter, IG, et. al.) is to listen to them speak about their enemies and listen to them speak about those they consider ‘weak.’ (inferior to them in some way). These voices see life in three ways: their way (the ‘right’ way), their enemies’ way (the ‘wrong’ way) and then the way of the ‘weak’ (those they love who go the ‘wrong’ way – anomalies).
I try to write the word ‘weak’ with quotations or italics – which is a made up literary style I use when I write about subjective things, especially in post modernity! Any word that we’ve accepted as truth but upon even a little scrutiny I realize the word in fact is entirely dependent on the perspective of the person judging a thing, and not necessarily dependent on reality. These are the crazies who taught us that perception is reality.’
Not it isn’t.
Perception is NOT reality. I promise you perception is not reality. I spent my life believing it was, and it’s not. Learning the Truth was upsetting, sure. But not nearly as upsetting as the realization that I had believed a lie, and based my life on that lie, and that lie gave my life so much meaning and purpose and gave me a role to play in my own fake story. Perception was in fact not reality at all, not even close! So, when I speak of the ‘weak,’ I’m not actually calling anyone weak — I say it sort of tongue in cheek in response to those who are the true standard bearers. The alcoholic is ‘weak,’ compared to the ‘standard’ of what it means to be of ‘strong’ character and will.
Ask a ‘standard’ scientist what makes an alcoholic weak, and he will tell you the alcoholic is weak because she was born biologically defective (weak), it’s in her genes; it was just the dumb luck of the draw, the randomness of mother nature. The bad scientist exploits the purported ‘weak’ by labeling and isolating them from the herd – so as to protect the institution of the herd; meanwhile the “good” (well-intentioned albeit mistaken) scientist researches cures in order to ‘fix’ the purported ‘weak.’ If they can ‘fix’ biology, then nobody (most especially the alcoholic himself!) has to suffer the alcoholic, right?
I use the term ‘alcoholic’ and ‘weak’ interchangeably here; but I could have very easily used the term spiritual, spirited, soulful, intuitive, ADHD, dyslexic, those with birth defects, the melancholic, the joker, the mentally ill. You know… the ‘weak.’
My aim is to share why after coming full circle, I’ve found the absolutely best place for the so-called ‘weak’ to hang out is in a Catholic Church, in the arms of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, at the foot of the cross.
Sometimes I get mad and I have to edit myself. This of course is why writing is the best form of communication for me – Sure I can still be impulsive and mad and hit ‘publish,’ but the damage isn’t too bad because I always go back and self-correct.