ERNIE AND ERNESTINA: Searching
Book Two, Chapter 298: Still An Addict
As many times as I’ve called myself a relationship addict, a workaholic, an action addict, an escapist, it’s still hard for me to believe I’m an addict.
But I know it’s true. Nothing else explains what happened between Ernie and me. No other explanation makes all that I’ve done and everything that has happened in my whole life fall into place. The semi-sweets and Nutella episodes? A tiny pink flag reminding me that, yes, I’m still an addict. Will always be an addict.
When I told Joshua about my reaching for bag after bag of semi-sweets and realizing it was my dope, my cocaine, he said: “You’re over-analyzing. You’re being overly dramatic. You’re too much in your head.”
But I say to him — or will say, because I haven’t said it yet — Are you in Denial that I’m an addict? The Reality is, I am. One day you, too, will grow tired of feeling stuck, of doing the same thing over and over again, of continually buying and selling goods, of getting excited about another “chase” — whether person or thing — of being attracted to and becoming attached to dependent or abusive or controlling women. Of needing to rescue. You will want to grow. And this growth will be spiritual. The authentic you will begin to grow and expand.
I remember Al-Anon’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I did the same thing over and over again without even realizing I was doing it. I muted out any form of criticism, accommodated myself to neediness, was needy myself.
Breaking through the Wall of Denial is the first step, the most important step, and the hardest step for any addict. Admitting that I was powerless over my addiction — whatever it was — and that my life was unmanageable? Yes, that’s what the First Step of the Twelve Steps requires.
Last year at this time, my sister Jude gave me the book that helped me break through my Denial, brought me to the major awareness that sent me on this journey both inward and onward. Yes, at first I went deeper into the most real depression of my life. Perhaps I had to go there, fight my own fight with Death, to come to accept and value Life.
Joshua will come to his own awareness. Today, when we talked, he said: “I’ve cleared business away. Now I can begin to work on Daddy’s play.”
I say to him: Write your own story, Joshua. Work on your own script. Be the creator of your own life.