Destroying What You Love: on quitting liquor and smokes for 45 days

by Angela Perez
When I’m fucked up on something, I am masterful at destroying what I love.  So I had to stop all that shit.  This blog was written on April 15, 2016.

Yesterday marked 45 days without cigarettes or alcohol. It’s hard for me to believe I’m saying this, but I don’t miss it.  Even gin’s bright juniper-mist voice falls on deaf ears.  It’s like when you finally get rid of a boyfriend you knew was bad for you but you thought you couldn’t live without so you kept at that same tired old ruinous rusted busted emptied-out bone-weary relationship, but once you finally cut the ties and enact a strict no-contact rule, after a while, you wonder why you ever thought you couldn’t live without that person.  You shake your head, perplexed, when you examine that disfigured bloody corpse of a horse you both beat into the ground.  How did we let our once glorious communion come to such a state as this?

 And I’m not saying alcohol and cigarettes are inherently bad. Lord no. They were just bad for ME.  And in my new found clarity of soul and unmuffled head, I remembered something that I will advise you to remember:

 find those people who feed you intellectually, who make you grow as a person in thought and deed. Surround yourself with non-lazy, ambitious folks making interesting things happen. Who, when you talk with them, the world and all of its possibilities seem to open up before you. Divest yourself of the rest, while still communing with all. Don’t abandon the ones reeling in darkness and hurt.  But don’t live there with them, clawing at mouldering dust, moaning in a pitch-black tongue you used to speak oh-so-fucking fluently.
These broad edicts are impossible things to do when you aren’t ready. Easy as pie and bluebirds when you are. It’s the getting to the ready point that’s the real son of a bitch.

As one of America’s truest masters of poetry, Galway Kinnell, wrote:

Walking toward the cliff overhanging
the river, I call out to the stone,
and the stone
calls back, its voice searching among the rubble
for my ears.
As you approach an echoing
cliffside, you sense the line
where the voice calling from stone
no longer answers,
turns into stone, and nothing comes back.

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