The Fork in the Road

Admitting defeat against an opponent isn’t a simple thing to do. After-all, competition seems built in to humans on some level. The moment we stop sucking on our toes, the sibling rivalries begin. Early youngsters being taught to compete on the soccer/football fields before they learn how to read.

American football is where high paid, steroid and triple bacon cheezeburger infused men are allowed to beat their wives and children, abuse animals, commit other immoral crimes and still continue their over-paid, brain damaging profession. Because here in America, competitive sports are more lucrative and entertaining than protecting abused woman, children, and animals. Being on a winning team is the outstanding moral excellence we strive for and hold as the highest of values. So what happens to me if I admit defeat or if I lose to my opponent?

School is set up on a grade scale where there is also competition. War is competition for power and dominance. Everywhere you look, there is competition.

I don’t think all competition is bad. Competition in the free market is what grows economies and infrastructures. Competition also yields better products and more efficient ways of living. It also pushes human limits to phenomenal places. My point is that from a very young age, we learn that being defeated against a competitor is not valiant or accepted with pride. Maybe there is a small amount of it directly, but the indirect message is clear.

Is this part of the reason I couldn’t admit defeat from my opponent? Did I have to get so badly beaten before tapping out?

Me VS My Opponent

All my bones had been completely fractured, like a botched skydiver splatting against earth.

My 130lb frame, in the ring with the athletic prowess of Mike Tyson. my eyes swollen shut, ear dangling by a small piece of skin.

It was like having a guitar solo against Eric Clapton. I can’t play a guitar. It was over before it started. My fingers bled for weeks.

I was fighting a hungry lion with my arms tied behind my back. I gave it all I had.

When I first started using drugs, there was no way possible for me to admit I had been defeated. In my eyes, I hadn’t. In the beginning, drugs made my life seem so much better, and far less painful. Admitting defeat before the drugs had made a significant visible impact would have left me empty, depressed, and horribly miserable. If I was powerless, I sure didn’t feel it.

As time went on, so did my justifications for any visible impact of my drug use. Within a couple years I was homeless. I went from a $150,000 house to a half a million dollar overpass bridge. Not a bad swap, right?

This is a much nicer set-up than I had.

This is a much nicer set-up than I had.

It wasn’t until I stood at the fork in the road that I knew I had been completely defeated. If I go left, I go to prison. If I go right, I die. This is when I finally admitted I was powerless over drugs, and that my life had become unmanageable. This fork in the road was where I began to build a foundation for sobriety. It wouldn’t have happened had I not admitted defeat.

Left or Right?

Left or Right? Have you reached this fork in the road?


14 thoughts on “The Fork in the Road

  1. Dustin, comparing sports and competition to illicit drug use and the choices that are taken, was awesome. It gives the reader something to deeply ponder. Besides, I could never understand the dollars to donuts of their pay scales…for sports. It seems to me, that the beatings of women, children and animals could have something to do with some sort of drug use. But again, only a old woman’s opinion.

    You did take the correct fork in the road, but it took you a near death experience to choose to take the left fork. All of the people who loved and cared about your welfare were also extremely powerless to force you to take the correct fork. Being the parent entangled in the prior years of the mess, I can confess that no matter how much you want the to change to take place, they are the ones who have to make the decision to ‘tap out.’

    I am extremely happy now, a lot less stressed, that you can now take that road in your Razr, sober and content, and in doing so, helping others to see there is a correct choice. Thank you deeply, from the bottom of my heart, for choosing life, because I need you.

    Love, Mom

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks for commenting and sharing my posts. πŸ™‚ this post is actually step 1 of the 12 but it is also what happened- regaurdless of the steps. I didnt take the left fork, i had to turn around. Lol
      Its true, noone will change because of someone else. They can only do it by themselves with either experience or self knowledge.
      Well i better clock in! Back to work after a long weekend. Love u

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Dustin,
    Surrender is freedom right?!
    I know it is for me. I am struggling a bit more lately than I have in a while. My addiction is food. Binging ends my pain momentarily. I have been real scared lately of the thoughts going through my head. The urges get too big to bare. I try to remember that together we can do what we could never do alone. That gets me through. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 4 people

    • It is they say. I have the opposite issue with food and im struggling with not eating enough. Im thinking to see a therapist about it soon. There is some issues in my past with food that i believe are still an ongoing issue or fear that i need to deal with. I dont know for sure where to start but there is something there for sure. Yours seems like a comfort or repreve and mine is a light phobia or fear. Damn food anyway. If you need someone to talk with about it, im no therapist but you can mssg me anytime. Dont wait til it gets worse before addressing it and ill do the same. Thanks for stopping by. Havent heard from you in a while. A bit worried you took off nowhere good. Hope you are not worse off than i feel you may be. We all seem to hold back a good amount. Maybe you are okay. I hope that is the case. Thanks for commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. And thus begins the paradoxical journey. Surrender to gain your freedom from addiction. Learn to give it away in order to keep it. Help yourself by helping others. The list goes on!

    Sobriety is a beautiful journey of self discovery. And each day, it just keeps getting better.

    Liked by 3 people

    • There is so much counter productive approaches that seem to work in one form or another. Who wouldve thought. πŸ™‚ thanks for stopping by iceman. Good to hear from you. Im behind on reading as usual but ill come say hello soon. Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for sharing, Justin.
    I couldn’t agree more with what you wrote. It scares me too that from a very young age , with the “help” of public school system, we are teaching kids to be closed minded and ashamed of being losers. On the other hand, look at us – we are talking more and more about it (or I just notice it more…?) so it’s progress, isn’t it?!
    To me it seems that only surrendering is winning. Denial keeps not only dragging us down, but brings exactly what we don’t want. Now that I reached a point in my life when I wake up in the morning and say “Teach me” instead “Give it to me”, I’m finally happy.
    Congrats on Your sobriety! Keep writing and spreading Your word. I hear You! They can hear You!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are welcome. πŸ™‚ I think its funny that our measuring tool for social norms is the social norm. The status quo is mentally unstable and extremely blind from propaganda. Kids who think for themselves in school are considered uncooperative and mischievious, then drugged with ritalin. Its sick.
      Thats a tough question… I think there is progress but it will be a multi-generational change because changing any kind of social ethics is so difficult and in the past, ethics has only been used by evil people to keep good people in a steady prison of guilt.
      You seem very open to reason and evidence. Finding people like that is rare. Which blows my mind- who could openly be against truth and reason? Thats alot of evil people i guess. Lol thanks for stopping by and commenting! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I wrote something about this a while back too, Dustin. This idea of competition and fighting the good fight and all those cliches we are bombarded with. I think for us men it’s different too – we are expected to battle and wage war. it’s a machismo thing. So for us to wave the white flag…well, that’s just like having our manhood snipped, isn’t it? Yikes.

    What I learned is that there is victory in surrender. We rise up when we admit defeat. We no longer rage against the machine. We see the correct path on that fork and take it. With the knowledge that perhaps it truly will be different this time. Some of us have to get to extreme points, others not so much. Some never make it.

    This is a wonderful post, my friend. Thank you for this reminder.


    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Paul, thanks for your comment. Sorry for the slow response. I shouldn’t read my reader comments when I don’t have time to respond. The notification goes away and then I forget if I responded. πŸ˜–
      I love your comment about gender differences. It is amazing how destructive gender biases can be in a persons life. I think many people are unconscious of their responses to gender. How easily we are involuntarily raised as either male or female. With pink for women and blue for boys. Dolls vs toy trucks and emotions vs robotic war machines. I often ponder how difficult it would be to raise a child without any gender biases.
      I have learned the importance of my soft emotions throughout my recovery and there is no hiding or denying them. I feel them, listen to them, find their origins, and I release the floodgates if their is a storm. Knowing that my emotions are not a painful enemy, they have guided me with precise accuracy.
      Your “snipping” metaphor made my stomach hurt and I threw up a little from the though of being neutered. Lol I think I’m still walking with a limp.
      I hope you are enjoying your holiday season my friend. Are you finished up and ready for Christmas? Thanks again for stopping by. πŸ˜ƒ

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I have a sex addiction. At my SAA meetings, I had a difficult time saying, “Hello, my name is Dale and I am a sex addict.” Yet, it became easy when I understood. The similarities between sex addiction and drug addiction are real. Even having sobriety, I am still on guard. The sensual hits are everywhere. Thank you Dustan for a great blog.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Labels seem to have such encompassing connotations to them so I have a hard time with them still. I am an addict, but that dont define me. I consider myself an athiest, but it doesnt define me and so on. I do not have an issue labeling myself in meetings anymore as well because the majority of the group get it.
      I agree with the similarities as well. I believe that all addictions are linked from early childhood environments with a small dash of genetic predisposition. I appreciate you stopping by and i look forward to reading your blog. Thanks for commenting and liking! πŸ™‚ happy holidays!

      Liked by 2 people

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