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The End Of The World

The End Of The World
March 16
13:34 2019

By Mike Rudon Jr. –

This week, the world ended. You probably didn’t know about it because it wasn’t posted on Facebook. For almost half a day, incredibly, nobody was able to post anything on Facebook. Nobody could exchange pictures, or memes on Whatsapp. Even Instagram, which I have no clue about, was affected. Panic reigned over the land. People walked around like zombies. This is as close to sheer hell and desolation as many people have gotten, I’m sure. And I myself was shocked out of my misery by the realization that I have my priorities all wrong. For so long I have been whining about alcohol addiction, and depression, and loss, and grief – a real pity party – when without warning, yesterday so many Belizeans lost access to Facebook, and had problems with Whatsapp and Instagram. God, the pain they must have felt. My problems seem so minor in comparison.

I’ve written about loss, at great length. I think all alcoholics, those who are mired deep in the depths of this disease and those who are struggling to get out, know about loss. At this point I can write about it without that bone-deep pain, but there will always be regret. A lot of what we lose as a result of alcohol abuse, we can never get back. I won’t dwell on that. It makes no sense at this point. We drink, we lose. End of story.

But here is the truth. It is so, so damned easy to find comfort in loss. That is a scary thing. Let me get biblical for a moment, as a throwback to my friend Sobhi who is a warrior and one of the best men I know. He never hesitates to tell me that the devil has one purpose – to steal, kill and destroy. Sobhi would tell me that if the devil cannot bring you down in one way, he will find another. And he is sly. Oh that sucker is sly. I’ve seen enough to know this is true. I remember when I was 47 days sober, exercising, healthier and much happier – and without warning an unexpected call and an unexpected invitation came. At that time alcohol wasn’t on my mind. It was the farthest thing from my mind. Nobody could have told me I would drink that day. But I did. And it stole every bit of happiness and stability I had achieved. It killed my spirit, and it destroyed everything I had gained in those days. So I know. Trust me I know. The devil is real.

I believe that the darkness can become inviting. I can give you one easy example. My heart was shattered into little pieces not so very long ago, and you know what comforted me? Listening to songs which reminded me endlessly of the reason for my heartbreak. And I would get lost in my thoughts, and lost in the pain, and lost in the regrets, until I got comfortable there. I was happy being miserable, if you can understand. And at the end of the week, I would be so miserable that I would seek out alcohol to numb the pain a bit. You know when something is so predictable you know what is happening, you know what you’re doing, you know where it will end up and you still do it? Okay yeah.

Let me speak to those like me who don’t give up, and who want to be better. There are two roads you can take at this point. You can be comfortable with your pain and your loss and your regret and your frustration and your bitterness and your guilt and your loneliness to the point that you shut down. You operate like a zombie. Me, I’m still the funniest fool I know. I work, I talk, I eat, and I exist. But that’s all it is. And I dwell on it all, to the point that I can’t sleep, to the point that I feel like I’ve gone crazy, and it feels okay. Listen, I have been in my bed, wide awake at 3:00am, haven’t slept even a second all night, with Julie Andrews singing about her favourite things, like whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, and brown paper packages tied up with strings – over and over again. Can’t shut it off. And then you drink. Because you have to shut it off.

Or you can live. You can accept what has happened in your life, and you can make the choice to live, and be happy. I got so comfortable talking about losing my family, and losing everything, that I convinced myself in some dark recess of my mind that I had. But I didn’t. I have a family which has never turned its back on me. I have my kids who love me despite me. I have friends who love me. I have one person who still makes my heart sing with a smile. I have a God-given talent. And I am going to live. You can too. Alcohol has already taken so very much, but the devil wants it all. And if alcohol is your weakness, he will use it to take it all. We can do this. Choose to fight. Choose to live.

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