The Elizabeth Crane, our long-time, and all-time, muse for This Blog Will Change Your Life is Voices On Addiction: Twenty-Five at The Rumpus and she, and it, is all that. Excerpt? But of course.
"But this is the thing I say over and over and over again when I give that lead/share/qualification: the biggest gift of sobriety for me has been the freedom from the bondage of self. It’s relative to where I began, of course, and it fluctuates, and sometimes I have just enough experience to remember that I have tools to use that can mitigate that relentless, fear-based obsession with myself. I have had career disappointments, painful friendship breakups, all manner of things that haven’t gone my way. I have a different idea of happiness today than I did twenty-five years ago when I still hoped that one day I’d bounce out of bed every day like a sprite eager to spread fairy dust on everything in my path. But something I think, often, is that these twenty-five years have given me an extraordinary, ordinary life. My idea of happiness now is wanting the life that I have, being grateful for it and feeling useful above any unalloyed euphoria. Power to you if that’s your deal. It’s not mine. But that said, I am no longer trapped inside my brain by a greater percentage of thoughts devoted to myself (and not for nothing, a higher proportion of which were not favorable). I can see the value that my own, sometimes super shitty experiences might have for someone else. I have learned that my feelings won’t kill me. This was the reason I drank; any extreme of feeling, on the continuum of joy to despair, felt as though it would kill me. I have learned that I’m smart (a whole thing for a whole other essay) and I have become comfortable with how little I know. I have become able and willing to hold multiple ideas and feelings at the same time. I have become interested in the lives of others, in what I might contribute. Imagine."