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Far From the Shallow Now

Far From the Shallow Now
May 24
12:52 2019

By: Mike Rudon Jr.

The last week was a bad one for me. I was hit with some unexpected blows, one on top of the next, and I fell. Scorn me, scold me, condemn me or just have a good laugh at my expense. That’s all okay. And it doesn’t matter much to me at this point. Because I caught myself in a hurry. And I didn’t allow myself to get dragged down into the darkness like I did so many times before. I pulled myself up, and I forced myself to feel a measure of peace and acceptance. I forced myself to be calm. I forced myself to think about what I’ve lost in my life, and what I can’t afford to lose. I was never able to do that. But I can now. If you haven’t been a drunk, all this may seem like gibberish to you. But I get it, and that’s the important thing.

A lot of people have asked me why I drink. When I say I drink mostly because I’m sad, they say it has to be more than that. It has to be something deeply rooted in my subconscious, some traumatic event that I can’t face, and I use alcohol as a shield. Sometimes I wish I could readily come up with an answer to these well-meaning queries. Something sufficiently deep and dark and dangerous to explain my demons. A traumatic incident during a deep cover mission in some country nobody’s ever heard of, maybe? Nope. A history of abuse? Nope. Nothing.

I just started drinking coming out of high school and I never really stopped. It started out as fun – just something you do as a rite of passage. But I never stopped. My family was rock solid – no skeletons in any closets there. They still are rock solid. So what then?

I finally saw this movie with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. He was addicted to alcohol and drugs. I mean he was famous and rich, but those addictions threatened to destroy him. I got it (maybe not the famous and rich part). He went into rehab and was clean. And then one day this other guy drops in and reminds him of how worthless he is. This guy tells him that he will never be able to put down the bottle, and that he is an embarrassment to his wife whose star was on the rise. This guy told him that as worthless as he is, he will destroy his wife’s career. And so Jack, fresh out of rehab, took some drugs and killed himself.

Again, some things are hard to explain. It’s one of those ‘had to be there’ situations. But I got Jack. I understood what he felt. And just like that, a piece of my own puzzle fell into place. From watching a movie. How crazy is that?

When I do drink, it’s because the part of me which tells me that I’m worthless has won. I have gone through a large part of my life feeling worthless. Feeling that I’m not good enough. And I feel that there are people who will never expect anything different from me. I know that there are people who will always look at me and see a drunk. That’s just what they’ll see. And it is what it is. I also know that there are people who will always take pleasure in reminding me of my failures. And reminding me that I will never amount to anything. It’s a lot to take in. A lot to deal with. It weighs on you.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. I am not one to declare that this is easy. I’d be lying. But it can happen if you want it bad enough. You just have to dig deep enough and understand that you are worth it. You can’t be friends with the demon. You can’t accept the monster. You have to close off your circle. Stay around the people that see something good in you, and are willing to take the journey with you. It’s okay if they are tough, and if they push you to be better, constantly. I have good friends that I hide from when I fall. Keep friends like that close.

And try to love yourself, even if it’s the most difficult thing you ever had to do. Stay away from the people who bring you down. Stay away from those who judge you. Stay away from those who want to see you fall. Stay away from those persons who see nothing in you, and expect nothing from you. Stay away from the users, and the hangers-on.

Do like I do. Hold on to moments of sobriety with all your strength and resolve to be the man you see in the mirror in those moments – the man with the clear thoughts and clear eyes. The man who has all the potential in the world, if only he can realize that one path leads to salvation, and the other to destruction. Stay sober, my friends. I intend to.

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