Monday, July 25, 2011

Cunning, Baffling & Powerful

Does this ever happen to anyone else?

If there's been a bad storm with lots of wind damage and I happen upon a downed power line, inevitably I have a perverse urge to touch it and consciously have to tear myself away because it feels like something is pulling me toward it.

In a similar vein, when S&H and I went to Canada, there it was again, that same destructive impulse.  As we stood on Tablerock Overlook beside the Horseshoe Falls I felt a desire to lean forward and touch the rushing water and had to avert my eyes to break the spell.

I forgot all about this but then on Saturday I saw that a woman was actually pulled in at Devil's Hole Whirlpool in Niagara trying to touch the water.

So, it's not just me :)

In an interview the woman said she was hiking next to the rapids and became mesmerized, reached down and was sucked in by the incredible force.  "It's like the water just grabbed me and then I don't remember anything."

Addiction is like that - a tempting siren song enticing and ensnaring with promises of freedom and reward.  In the beginning it's all bright, neon shininess, smoky, sexy, shadowy darkness and a voice saying it's OK, it'll be alright, you're in control.  Just one more drink, one tiny hit and you know you'll feel better .  And then with that first swallow, snort, flush, it begins, taking hold and refusing to let go.  Suddenly you find yourself being dragged down when all you really wanted to do was dip in your hand.

Amy Winehouse died on Saturday at 27.  I'm sad but like most unsurprised.  I can't explain why some alcoholics and addicts get recovery and some don't.  Or why, despite the ravages of a life of addiction and alcoholism there are those who don't even want it.

It's been years since I've had a drink or a drug and yet sometimes I still feel the pull of an electric line or of the falls.  I've learned that when this happens I have to shake myself awake, move myself away and be grateful, because like the woman at the Devil's Hole whirlpool I've been saved.

 Rescues like that happen only once in a lifetime.