“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.” -Albert Einstein
I have heard it said a thousand times if I have heard it once; “If we put 10% of our efforts into our recovery, and into our lives; that we put into our using, our lives can be truly amazing.” And I have been thinking about the two ideas above in conjunction with one another lately, and again I hope this all makes sense, because I can see it in my brain. Let’s see if I can get this out accurately.
What is time? Is time Linear? Is time the same for all of us equally? Obviously none of us will be granted the exact same amount of time on this earth, but what I mean is; ya know how nothing tastes, smells, or appears EXACTLY the same to anyone else as it does to us?- our brains and interpretations are all just slightly skewed and unique to each and everyone of us? Like, does a rose smell EXACTLY the same to all of us? Does an Ice Cream Sundae taste exactly the same to all of us? I don’t believe so. Yes, we can try to explain what each experience is like for us individually, and even though our thoughts in word form may seem so incredibly alike, aren’t all of our own tastes, and other senses, so incredibly unique? I believe so. And I also believe that this might just be the same with time.
Depending on our own particular energies, that is to say, the amount of exertion we give each moment, and each particular day; time can seem much longer, or much shorter for each of us individually. I know for myself, my days seem to be much longer when I am lazy and not doing much. But when I am busy and running around, my days can seem to be but just a few hours. This is nothing new, I’m fairly sure that we all experience this; and this is where the expression “Busy’s good, makes the day go by quicker” comes from. So that’s not ground breaking by any stretch of the imagination. But what if we go deeper here? What If time itself isn’t even really much of a factor when it comes to goals, family, success, recovery, and just flat out getting shit done? What if, what it really boils down to, is the amount of energy that we put into the same amounts of time respectively? Also not something profound, Herb. I know, but I don’t necessarily write so much for those of you who have figured this out, as I do for those who may need to read this. I said it in the beginning, if I can help Just one, then I have left a legacy. But now my aim is to help Just One More. But anyways moving on.
As I think about my using days, which were plentiful, I lost 14 years- seemingly in the blink of an eye. And I know that the older we get, the faster time seems to pass- but is that because the older we get, the busier we become? Are the two Ideas connected? I believe so. And I also believe that I lost those 14 using years at such an accelerated rate because I was putting so much exertion into a “passion”, “purpose”, and “obsession”- ‘The getting and using and finding ways and means to get more drugs’. And I also believe, looking back, that my disease/addiction/life progressed or regressed into such a train wreck so quickly because of the same exertion that I was putting into it. I mean, I have spoken with thousands of addicts all over the country, and as I share my story with them in hopes to inspire change in their lives, not to sound like I am proud of this, but a lot of them say things like, “Well, I never got THAT bad.” or, “I am not there YET.” things of the comparison nature. But why did I get there so much quicker than others? Why did I find a jail cell the week after I turned 18? Why did I bottom out so much quicker time and time again than so many of my fellows with the same exact affliction? Bad luck? Happen Stance? Who knows, but for the sake of this thought train that I am on, I think it was because of the time, energy, exertion, and effort that I was putting into my drug use. I went 0-100 so super quick and stayed there for so super long that I found myself in the most impossible situations time after time after time. And I never could seem to figure out why. I think maybe this is where the obsession run amuck idea comes from. I was literally consumed, obsessed and completely driven by getting and using drugs. My Stop/Go mechanism was completely in the danger zone and the handle was snapped off. I was full blown from the minute I first started using drugs. The second My eyes opened, for 14 years, all I could think about was how I was gonna get fucked up that day, and how I was gonna get fucked up tomorrow. And because of this, I found my bottoms very quickly.
So how is this useful? It sounds to me like your talking about the problems a lot and not enough about the solutions, Herb. Why should I even keep reading this? Well, I think because, what we are scratching the surface on here, is why addicts can be and are such special creatures….
So what would happen, if an addict/alcoholic individual would discover that not only do drugs fucking suck, but that I have some how and some way discovered an internal drive within myself- along the way to the bottom- where I have this really strange ability to get shit done? To make things happen? To provide for myself, and to accomplish alot along the way in a very short amount of time? I was able to completely destroy my life, and sadly, hurt so many people in my pursuit of blotto, what if I were to use that same driving force, but this time, for good and for the betterment of people? Now, I am not suggesting that We wont still hurt people, hurt people’s feelings, fail, and all of the ects. Trust me, we do and we will. But when we can hone in on this “Thing” this, driving force that once was a force of destruction, and we can get clean and get our moral compasses redirected, addicts are fucking unstoppable. I mean, just look at all of the tear jerking success stories out there: Robert Downey Jr, Macklemore, Eminem, Danny Trejo, I could go on and on. But what we see is the RESULT. We do not have the ability to see the whole story, unless we sat down with them and listened to their story start to finish. But what we do possess is that wordless language of Empathy. We can know their stories, as addicts/alcoholics, before they even speak a word. The good ol adage of “What we were like, what happened, and what were like now”.
But what sets those big time glitzy success stories apart from so many of us regular joes? Why can one addict get clean, and in 3-7 years seemingly do some kind of wizard like turn around and go on to do amazing things, while another addict has been clean for 10 years and still works at a car wash, or living with their parents? *And I am not knocking anyone, an addict with one day clean is a miracle, trust me, I totally get that* But what I am trying to point out here, is why do some progress faster than others, and why do some regress faster than others? And I think that the answer, is: Self Worth + Energy. It may just be as simple as that. First of all, Do we BELIEVE that we are worthy of living out our wildest dreams? And secondly, Do we have what it takes, no matter what, to put in the time, sacrifice, energy, and grit to make those dreams a reality? Do we even know what our dreams are?- and this is a very interesting question, because I do not believe that MOST of the humans walking this planet, addict or not, have a fucking clue what they want, but what they DO KNOW is that they deserve the best that they can achieve and sometimes, That Self Worth and love, can make up for a lack of specific vision, and, when you really think about it- Even IF you set particular goals for yourself, odds are, you’re STILL settling for less. I have come to learn that I am very grateful that I didn’t achieve the goals I had originally set for myself when I first got clean. I didn’t even come close to them, because if I had, I would have settled for Mediocrity way back when, and you wouldn’t even be reading this right now. Funny how life works like that some times. Thank God I didn’t get the things I once prayed for.
And I know that when I write, it may seem like some weird Rabbit Hole psychobabble, and it is, but I also think there is some fruit here. And it may be low hanging as well, easy to grasp for even the smallest or youngest. And I believe the take away here is this:
Are you happy? What do you want? Do you love yourself? Do you believe in yourself? And are you willing to to do whatever it takes to make all of your wildest dreams come true, even if you don’t know what those dreams are yet?
If we truly are willing to sacrifice, and I mean honestly make some sacrifices in this world, to block everything else out, and hone all of our energies into our tunnel vision goals, like a horse with blinders on- not only does the time seem to accelerate, but the distractions fade, our skills sharpen, and we absolutely Crush our goals- so much to the point that when we finally come up for air, we can look back at our once-were-goals and breathe a sigh of relief, that we didn’t just sit back and settle for what we one thought we wanted. Our minds are truly powerful. Once we have that internal awakening, and we can utilize our brains, and our skills, that were once so sharpened by our using and running days- we addicts are powerful powerful creatures. We can catapult, or Leap Frog ourselves over so many normies, and so many of our fellows in this world, if we can encapsulate all of our once negative skills, and negative drive, turn our moral compass in the right direction, pin our ears back and just fucking run.
Self Worth + Energy
But it requires Sacrifice.
And I promise you, as they say, “We will be amazed before we are half way through” That the juice is well worth the squeeze.
If you don’t know what you want, you will damn sure never get it, or sometimes you will, if you believe in yourself, believe you are worthy, and put more energy into your time than the next person.
Time is irrelevant, but your energies are not.