Numbness

Shock.

Gen. Geo. Patton was made infamous for the incident involving the shell-shocked soldier in the infirmary.

On Aug. 3, 1943, Lt. Gen. George S. Patton slapped a soldier who was hospitalized for psychoneurosis, accusing him of cowardice. The incident nearly ended Patton’s career.

Is it abject hopelessness that reduces us to quaking, fearful neurosis? Circumstances demand something. We begin by using — anything to numb ourselves. Some become addicted. Some eventually quit.

So what’s the difference?  Abuser vs. Addict?

It's a hard life.
Am I numb to the problems of others? Is my need to be happy or in control more important than the needs of others?

An abuser will stop using if faced with consequences that are unacceptable.

An addict has no choice. There is no consequence, no loss too great to cause an addict to prefer sobriety.

Darkness or light? We each must answer the question in life – alone and for ourselves. Do we cling to truth, or remain slaves to lies.

To those of us who are sober, the dim hell of inebriated existence is no life. Joyless, no actual peace because the alternatives are only these – withdrawal and another fix, or death. Addiction seems crazy.

To an addict (or an alcoholic) simply breathing is impossible without the support of their drug. Hard to imagine? That’s because you’ve never been addicted.

If you know what I’m talking about — how did you return to hope? I’d like to know. Some others reading this might also want to hear from you.

Eventually we all stop breathing. It’s what happens before we die that matters. And this has nothing to do with stuff, or places or work or what we ‘accomplish.’ Naked we entered the world and naked we leave.

Relationships endure. The memory of someone who lived life loving and giving of themselves endure — those living on recall them fondly, aspire to the example. Memories of evil people endure as well. Those who have harmed many for self-attainment are reviled.

But painting the life of an addict as having been lived in evil isn’t right. That isn’t justice. Presuming we can know is absolutely wrong.

Let’s admit that some will never ‘recover.’

What then? Are we their enemy? Do they deserve condemnation? Are they somehow unworthy of any comfort? Is it a waste of resources?

Who’s resources? No seriously — WHO’S RESOURCES are wasted?

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Mt. 5:7

It comes up regularly — the idea of “tough love.” Various programs  inevitably lead to dealing with ‘co-dependence’ and ‘enablement’ — which leads to processes that ‘intervene’ to ’cause change’ by ‘creating boundaries’ … the objective of all of these actions — is to insulate oneself from the ‘consequences’ of another’s actions.

We are told to let go. Mostly this translates to becoming numb.

In my own case I was instructed on many occasions: “you deserve to be happy, you deserve to be successful … leave them, forget them. Move on with your life.’

Ignoring people who struggle in favor of my own comfort sounds quite a bit like ‘institutionalized numbness.’

So if I draw my boundaries, if I ‘disconnect?’ If I move to protect my happy life and my stuff … am I worshiping an idol, a lie? Have I stumbled myself by insisting that my comfort is more important than that of another?

What if I was placed in a relationship with someone who struggles — for my own development? Would God do something like that?

Is my numbness and pitiless perception of the homeless addict symptomatic of my own addiction to self-satisfaction?

 

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