A friend of mine sent me an email that began: We are all made of stardust. It sounds like a line from a poem, but there is some solid science behind this statement too: almost every element on Earth was formed at the heart of a star.
Why didn’t I know this?
It is one of those tidbits of information I have put in the back pocket of my memory for a couple of weeks, sitting on it every once in a while like a comb – remembering it’s still there…
I feel like it might have helped, during my worst times, to know that I was made up of tiny bits of shattered stars. I even went to Psychics.org and tried to understand the concept: something about the Big Bang and nuclear fusion and the creation of chemical elements like carbon or iron…
I wish I had kept it at “We are all made of stardust,” but what’s done is done. This is a sobriety blog, and I don’t pretend to understand the Big Bang. I do understand, that as much as we are all composed of the same elements, we are unique. And because of our individuality, we approach recovery from alcohol in our own, particular ways.
Which brings me to the two types of recovering alcoholics I do not like (how’s that for a segue way?):
1. The Star Shines Bright! Recovering Alcoholic: I’m not buying it. This person crows that sober life is “amazing,” that all their troubles where whisked away with the bottle. This star shiner (I’d like to give them a shiner…) says they lost 20 pounds, got a new job, won a marathon and found God and true love six months after their last drink. Life for them is perfect.
I believed this concept at first, and the biggest disappointment in my sobriety was that life sucks sometimes – even sober. And that being sober makes the sucky times more apparent. I love being sober. But life clumps along with all its exigencies, and it is dangerous to be fooled into believing sobriety will make it golden.
2. The Black Hole Recovering Alcoholic: Kill me, but don’t make me listen to someone drone on, in stentorian seriousness, about how diseased we all are. This star remnant can’t get past the fact that alcoholism is a malady.
I know, I know alcoholism is a disease. But it is not an excuse.
The same person who wrote the email introduction above, always tells me to look up. He says the answers to most of my questions are somewhere in the sky… I’m going to try to do that more. But not while driving, or walking or operating heavy machinery…