A man at this meeting said he was going to move to Minnesota to get away from his high stress job and all the people he knows that he parties with and all the places he’d go to score or use or have sex. He said, “It’s not a geographic, because” …something.
I’ve heard people talk about “geographics” before, mostly in rehab. They were talking about people trying to solve their problems by moving, instead of looking inward and actually valuing and prioritizing the work recovery requires. When he said that his move to Minnesota was not a geographic, I noticed, because none of us said that it was. I’m sure he’d heard it before, though, and probably himself believes that it is. I wanted to tell him this, but I didn’t. It’s nothing I can make him know. It would only sound like an accusation, when what I actually wanted to say is I know what it’s like. I know what it’s like to feel that desperate. To know a truth and know some other things and say it to a crowd as if those things aren’t there and to wait for their disapproval. To be struggling with your identity and your life plans and with how to communicate them when really all you want is to be sober. All you want is to stop hurting. And all you see are all the ways that’s never going to happen.