Choosing to live…

I’ve been profoundly moved by a comment Karymayhickey made a few days ago in response to one of my posts, about her choosing to live rather than waiting to die. Having reached a state similar to what I’ve been in recently, with high blood pressure and high anxiety and a high fear of dying every night from the drink, she suddenly chose the opposite, stating in her comment;

“No more waiting for death to come find me, I’m going to make it search its ass off, I’m going to start living.”

And that’s when she stopped drinking herself to death. This morning I read something equally profound stated long ago by the artist Agnes Martin;

“If you want life on your side or to be on the side of life against death you must surrender completely to life.”

As I’ve “matured and developed” (sic) in my own alcoholism over the past few years I’ve had a growing realization that one of the primary reasons I drink is to avoid the truth. The truth being the facts of and in my life that I don’t want to accept or deal with. I drink to protest these things, I drink to avoid these things, and I drink to forget them. In the spirit of Karymayhickey and Agnes Martin, I think by so doing I’ve been choosing death instead of life. What is “Life” in this context? Life simply is what is. It is the facts that I have chosen, by drinking, to protest, to avoid, ignore or forget.

When we make the conscious choice to start living and surrender completely to life, I think we can put the damn bottle down. That’s what I’m counting on. I choose to start living. I choose to surrender completely to life–finally. May it be so.

Nelson