This is a email I received a few weeks ago from FF which helped me through the first bit.
I had found that my situation was like her fathers. I am at the age he stopped drinking, and the time she began a fruitful life with him.
I love the quote from Dante, I am quite well read but had never quite understood the use of “our” life.
We can do this together.
You can see other people like alienem posting here, who have moved on
If not for anything else it will take you hours to read my comments
My heart and sympathies and HOPES all go out to you, first
off. You write:
I feel I am losing everything at the moment
You know how Dante’s inferno begins… “In the middle of our
life, I found myself in a dark wood, whre the true way was
wholly lost.” I love the way he says OUR life tho he is
talking about himself. For all of us, there are those times
when the bottom just vanushes and we seem to go down down
down. No matter what you know, even about this phenomenon,
it is incredibly frightening
- I don’t think it could be
as extraordinarily rich as it is if these periods didn’t
shake us to the core, amke us reevaluate and completely
begin anew. The Buddhists call it “beginner’s mind” ... a
friend who just died, a gallery artist and wise teacher,
called it “not knowing.” My own statement around all this
is “learning to tolerate anxiety for growth.”
I came across you on a “stop drinking” thread where you
“My late father started drinking at 17, quit at age 57
after he had
I am 57, I feel I am losing everything at the moment and
am trying to
change. However one of the problems that a lot of your
current 43> things refer to is solution of things on the
than Real Life.
Hmmm… even writing on Internet I try to write as
transpaperntly as possible so therte;s not much membrane
between Real Life and cyber-life… so I’m not exactly
certain what you mean here.
I would like to hear more of your Auden reading father if
like to say more
I adored my father and could talk about him all day and all
night. However – are you in a 12th step program? In his home
AA group, people’s talks were recorded. I have something
like 15 of his talks which tell an incredible story, of his
spiritual and human awakening over the 20 years he lived
after sobriety. If you promise not to break MY anonymity
(which you would be able to figure out from these, I’m
sure), I can tell you where to write to order them from his
group. I think they reveal more than I ever could, and they
are highly entertaining to boot. Someone who was
transcribing them for me actually stopped drinking as a
To understand the physiologically addictive nature of booze
as coupled with the creative impulse, I highly recommend
Thomas Darden’s book The Thirsty Muse.
May you find peace with yourself and your life. May the
things you feel like you are losing be either things which
MUST fall away in order for you to grow to whatever the next
stage is for you, or else appear to be lost but are actually
just changing form.
As I may have quoted here, my father used to say that he
didn’t have a drinking problem, he had a LIVING
problem. “What I had, ” he used to say, “was a drinking
SOLUTION.” May you find, as he did, through despair,
desperation, and hopelessness, a living solution which will
carry you over the floodwaters and into the life which was
given to you to live, and which is yours alone.