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Lost In Knowing

2011 October 14

When it comes to yourself, knowing causes can be a good thing. It can be vital, really. And it is easy to get lost in the investigation, as well. Like so many good ideas, this sword has the proverbial double edge.

As an alcoholic, I looked for causes of my state for a long time, often while drinking, occasionally while sober (or at least not drinking). At one time or another I identified various experiences and people in my past upon whom I could hang… if not blame, then causation. Oh, my problems came from this person and that event.

Well, some of my thinking had some merit. My abusive relationship with an intoxicant did, in a way, spring out of some negative experiences and how I related to them. That last part is the key. How I related to them. The actions were mine, and the actions it took to recover, in the end, had to be mine. I needed help, guidance, and support from others with experience in recovery and from others who loved me or at least cared about me.

But for a long, ugly, drunken time, that ‘how I related to them’ part was something I glossed over, something I willfully ignored. I focused on the events and the people, and on my emotional responses to them. I looked over my past with all of the obsession that I had for drink, parsing and analyzing the events, reliving them, warping the negatives there into gigantic, funhouse mirror images of themselves, and losing all of the good, positive people and events.

That’s what I mean by being lost in knowing. I took knowing to be an end in itself, and it turned into an endless labyrinth through which I flailed ever more desperately, looking for a way out of my alcoholic life.

Once I accepted that my knowledge was a means rather than an end, that acceptance could guide me to release the obsession with the knowledge itself, to the actions that have given me more than four years of sober, productive life… and perhaps many more, so long as I do not lose myself in knowing again.

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