When I Used to Drink Beer

I once put down 11 Lonestar beers before tripping over a towel on the bathroom floor, nearly taking out my teeth on the sink in the process. And then, after doing my business, I collapsed onto the bed for an afternoon. This was in 2011 when my fridge would sometimes open with the clanking of a few beer bottles. My favorites were Shiner Boch, Heineken, and Budweiser. At the most, I would drink a beer or two nightly, followed by a not-so-good binge about once a month. 

I look around the world and see and hear so much about how alcohol ruins lives. I see and hear about AA meetings (Alcoholics Anonymous) and hear the sad ex-drunk babble that betrays the limited belief of some that if they struggle with alcohol addiction, then so does everyone else. Amazingly, I was never an alcoholic. It just wasn't a temptation for me. In fact, for much of my life, I was more impressed with the idea of staying in my sober, put-together mind as opposed to getting "shit-faced" like some loser in a Chicago drunk tank. The more I study the previous versions of myself, I come closer to concluding that I was somewhat of a contrarian, one who took glee in the fact that I was not like everyone else in a plethora of ways. But that wasn't all of the mystery. There is something about my brain that doesn't have that need to fix, at least not with alcohol (food was a different story). Those brain chemical(s) are present and accounted for. The synapse reactions say "here" to roll call. Those who can't say the same are facing a life-altering, family-destroying enemy called addiction.

I've tried to figure it out, and it took me forty years, but I now know that the things we can or can't help are the things that keep us in the way we must go. The same way the crowd admires an athlete and says "I only wish I could do that!" and the athlete says "I just work hard and do it" is the way all things work. The things we were meant to do we do and would do anyway. We follow our urges and our leanings, together with our talents, and lo and behold (when they are not selfish), great things happen. Conversely, we try and strive and go to fanatic lengths to do what can never be and we are met with so much frustration, resulting in eventual failure. The conclusion, then, is surprisingly simple--what we can and want to do is meant to be (if it is selfless); everywhere we can go and want to go, we should go; and everywhere we want to go, but can't, or else face unthinkable obstacles, we should no longer attempt to go. I find it humbling to think that of all the things I wanted to do but found them impossible, I had no choice in the matter about it all along. It all sounds so obvious, but our ego rebels, thereby setting us up for additional failures out of nothing more than pride. And the Divine always runs contrary to the ego.  

This seems to fly in the face of all those stories of achieving great things that seemed impossible, but it does not. It only serves to prove the point that the drive it takes to accomplish something is part of the narrative of victory, something the Divine also provided. 

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