The Serpentine Madness

Blog Post created by cob321 on Mar 21, 2019

First of all, thank you for the feedback and encouragement following my last post. Mostly, everyone is saying hang in there and it gets better. I appreciate that surrogate hope and inspiration at this time. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am also grieving the loss of my marriage, and I am the one wishing it did not end. It gets confusing between the grief, the sadness, the anger, the emptiness from that combined with a very similar experience in the separation from the way I used tobacco previously. The spirit of tobacco is so powerful. I practice various forms of Native American spirituality and tobacco plays a huge role. Perhaps for the first time at this capacity and level of clarity, I am seeing generative and rapacious qualities of this spirit. More simply put, it's as if this king plant is saying, "pray with me appropriately, and I will support your journey here; abuse me and I'll make you my *****." 


I have felt this predatory spirit of the addiction winding it's way through my nervous system and mind, into my dreams at night, making me sweat and fear, into my emotions during the day, bringing such sadness or anger that at times it seems like nothing really matters, and so, why not, who cares, just smoke. But not yet. Another breath. And woven into this is the grief of loss, at times telling me that the ground that is gone will never return and the likely path is a slow, painful self-destruction in a cage of despair. 


And yet, what is this life in me that stands against these monsters, a David and Goliath hero that must have been hiding all these years while every other part of my personality, neurology, heart and belief was all in on the marriage how a big part of my joyful experience in life was smoking. Who in me is this unsung champion that sits up like a little kid protecting a puppy and tells that gargantuan spirit of addiction that has come to feed to STAY BACK!? Thank god for that guy. 


I prayed with tobacco yesterday - held the leaf in my hand and made a prayer for life on that day of the balance between the light and the dark (equinox) while my good brother next to me prayed with a sacred smoke. That was good, felt true, and I felt aligned in my relationship: I did not desire to smoke.  Rather, I felt clearer in my choice to not smoke than I usually do. There was a sense of balance and strength in all that.


But later, alone at night, the serpentine madness returned. The climbing up the spine of the weave between grief and rage, stark loneliness and despair found me looking at that chair on the porch, sitting empty under the full moon, where many a confusion or calamity where considered and perhaps even settled with an evening smoke. And even more, where many a laugh and handhold with my former beloved were had under moons and stars. It was wrenching and I was glad that just two days earlier I had thrown away all my rolling papers (I rolled my own) and other items that would have enabled my hurt and weakness to get the best of me in that moment. 


Even in the suffering, I see through the madness. Maybe the first couple of puffs will take just a little bit of the edge off, but they will cost me 17 days of smobriety, and who knows how many more days of smoking, and my self-pride for the time I have, and what little health I've reclaimed, and ultimately send me deeper into a hole of lament than the one I currently reside in. They will not take away the pain, the loss, the confusion, the addiction, the night sweats and nightmares, the anger, the hurt. Smoking would not be a solution to what is truly unfolding. It would be it's own form of madness.


So **** it (excuse my American). Maybe I just have to accept that these moments will be an exquisite combination of painful withdrawal, grief and loss, uncertainty, and low hope, and that right now, there isn't anything that can bring relief (maybe a carrot stick or a walk - hahahahaha). I think that's the thing that catches me/us, or those who return to the smoke: the perpetuity of suffering without relief - we finally give up and say why bother if it's going to feel like this. 


So today I am riding on your words that you have shared:

- it get's better

- the freedom from addiction is more wonderful than I can describe for you

- you will gain more strength than you ever expected


Hard to truly believe that could happen right now, but I trust you, I believe you that this is your experience, and therefore it is, at some point, possible for me. Thank you for leading the way, and for remembering the journey and not minimizing the madness that it entails. I am grateful for that today. I am grateful for you today.