The Symptom

Several weeks ago, I caught the flu and couldn’t get out of bed. The illness incapacitated me. But I had stuff to do, so I took four Advil every morning, which allowed me to function for a few hours. The medication didn’t cure me of the flu. It simply masked the symptoms, giving me the fallacious sense I was better. Much in the same way, simply being sober provides a false sense of security. In other words, I believed the solitary goal of recovery was sobriety, and once that was accomplished I could do anything I wanted. But abstinence is like taking Advil to cure the flu. It only gives the appearance of recovery. The actual problem is systemic and is born from my innate discordance with everyone and everything around me. Drug use was just a symptom of this turmoil, the manner I used to cope with my discomfort. Masking the symptoms is the easy part of recovery, although at the beginning it didn’t seem that way.

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