Thursday, November 23, 2006


It took me years, literally years, before I realize I had an alcoholic parent (my third parent, eventually legally my stepmother). It was so much just the way things were, I never saw it as anything other than the norm. Even as I watched the after school specials, I still did not see the alcoholic person on that small screen anything like the person I live with, no one matched my life. Most public renderings are much more dramatic than it often is in real life it is easy to dismiss what is right in front of us. In real life it often is simply an undercurrent, the big moments just that discreet moments thus easy to separate from "real life". The big blow outs are dramatic, short lived, long remembered.

The behavior that is often referred to as "enabling" is so often about survival for the other family members. Much later, after I had moved out of the house and her behavior clear as the gin in her martinis, I did accuse my father of enabling her. After discovering that she had a credit line at the local liquor store I was practically yelling at him about her he was helping her and therefore I did not want to hear any bitching about her drinking. The truth was he was enabling as much as he was trying to make his life easier using the path of the least resistance, the least growth, the way that people choose when no one has any self-esteem left.

Addicted means that you have to have it, the "it" is something that feeds you and diminishes you at the same time. Whatever "it" is. I am addicted to many things, procrastination perhaps the most compelling of the all. I offer as evidence the fact that it feels that I will never graduate from my masters program. Addiction is covering other emotional turmoil, trying to soothe, and quiet. One believes the "it" keeps them better than if they went without, but we know that is not really true. There is enormous ease in the addiction of comfortable instability, which is where I think my procrastination leaves me.

For me, my procrastination means I never I have truly succeeded. That feeds me because of the end result of self esteem that consistently take a beating. It diminishes me because it keeps me from really blooming; from doing what I feel I am really good at (doing therapy, for example). Because this “addiction” doesn’t get in the way in a manner that really interrupts me, or prevents me from having a life, friends, work, it’s harder than hell to break. But it also means there is a multitude of ways to overcome it, to find successes to build upon. That is what I am trying to do, every day. It is part of why I took on NaBloPoMo and Lacevember while juggling school, work, a board position, and generally having a life. If I take less things on it is that much less success I can possible claim. I want to claim more, I am working from a harm reduction model rather trying to promise abstinence. Because I want success. Because as my friend Marlowe says, "it's not when you bloom or how quickly you bloom that matters... it's that you bloom."

1 comment:

Breena Ronan said...

Great thoughts. It does seem that often we will do anything to stay the same, even if that same is painful. My way of dealing with procrastination is to do something very small, that way the part of you that is afraid of success won't notice. Also, being patient with yourself helps. I tend to compare myself with everyone around me and if I'm not the hardest working , most productive person around feel terrible.