Sometimes the stars align and you're left feeling as though this one moment was meant to happen, specifically to you, at this particular time.
I enjoy reading, and have books I've gathered over the years, but have yet to read. Today, on Day 21 off of Suboxone, I decided to open A Grief Observed by CS Lewis (famed for his Chronicles of Narnia series). I've had the book for quite some time. Lewis wrote this short book after losing his wife as a way of surviving the "mad midnight moments".
I read the first few paragraphs, and although the book is written about a wife's death, all I could do was relate the words to the past three weeks of my life as well as the past ten years of my addiction/dependency.
It's beautifully written, and whether or not you believe in a God, this book gave me so many revelations today. I was meant to read book today, at this moment in my life.
Here is an except from the first few paragraphs:
"No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. I am not afraid, but the sensation is like being afraid. The same fluttering in my stomach, the same restlessness, the yawning. I keep on swallowing.
At other times it feels like being mildly drunk, or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps, hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moment the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.
There are moments, most unexpectedly, when something inside tries to assure me that I don't really mind so much, not so very much, after all. Love [or, in my case, addiction] is not the whole of a man's life. I was happy before I ever met H [Lewis' wife's first initial, ironically]. I've plenty of what are called 'resources'. People get over these things. Come on, I shan't do so badly. One is ashamed to listen to this voice but it seems for a little to be making a good case. Then comes a sudden jab of red-hot memory and all this "commonsense" vanishes like an ant in the mouth of a furnace.
On the rebound one passes into tears and pathos. Maudlin tears. I almost prefer the moments of agony. These are at least clean and honest. But the bath of self-pity, the wallow, the loathsome sticky-sweet pleasure of indulging it - that disgusts me. And even while I'm doing it I know it leads me to misrepresent H herself. Give that mood its head and in a few minutes I shall have substituted for the real woman a mere doll to be blubbered over. Thank God the memory of her is still too strong (will it always be too strong?) to let me get away with it.
For H wasn't like that at all. Her mind was lithe and quick and muscular as a leopard. Passion, tenderness, and pain were all equally unable to disarm it. It scented the first whiff of cant or slush; then sprang, and knocked you over before you knew what was happening. How many bubbles of mine she pricked! I soon learned not to talk rot to her unless I did it for the sheer pleasure - and there's another red-hot jab - of being exposed and laughed at. I was never less silly than as H's lover.
And no one over told me the laziness of grief. Except at my job - where the machine seems to run on as much as usual - I loathe the slightest effort. Not only writing but even reading a letter is too much. Even shaving. What does it matter now whether my cheek is rough or smooth. They say an unhappy man wants distractions - something to take him out of himself. Only as a dog-tired man wants an extra blanket on a cold night; he'd rather lie there shivering than get up and find one. It's easy to see why the lonely become untidy, finally, dirty and disgusting."