When addicts refer to non-addicts, they sometimes say he or she has “straightened their life out”. I think that choice of words is revealing. As an addict, I was forever changing something about myself. I was telling the truth or lying, depending on the situation. I revealed or concealed my need for a “fix”. Gained then or betraying trusts to suit my own selfish needs. My life was anything but straight.
The definition: “Straight – Having an invariable direction.”
My drawing materialized in my mind fairly quickly. The objects in it are somewhat familiar, but there is something strangely odd about them. Their arrangement within the picture suggests normalcy, but there are clear signs within the picture that something is going disastrously wrong.
Reality does not bend to our perception of it. Instead it offers us very clear clues about where things stand. We are wise when we recognize them and respond appropriately. Straight thinking can save us. Clinging too long to assumptions that everything is normal when it’s not can do great harm.
Footnote: I made many close friends during my addiction. We felt we shared a special bond. And we openly talked about our desire to someday stop what we were doing. When I finally got sober, I noticed something strange. Not one of my former “close friends” ever congratulated me for achieving our one shared dream.