The Answer is Always Both (aka I’m going to try this blogging thing)
In a world where certainty is king, the queen has been forgotten. In the noble and mighty quest for answers, truth has been left behind. It is a tragic loss, except it isn’t, because she is never lost, she that great goddess of life: the unknown. Is it tragic that humanity has become obsessed with certainty, logic, security? Is it terrible that uncertainty, mystery, and darkness are are best unfamiliar and at worst demonized and oppressed? Yes. And no. At least, to me, personally, I’m ok with it. The way I’ve had to adventure into the unknown to find, well, the unknown, is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.
Exploring the unknown has taught me everything I know, including what I don't know. That's quite a mouthful...and brainful (not a word but it's ok).
I know what I need to know about myself and the world. I know that there are things I will never know, that I could never know, that aren’t my business to know. Knowing that you don’t know, that’s one of most important things I’ve learned in recovery. Another is a particularly infuriating axiom, the answer is always both. I can’t remember where I got this nugget, it might have come from my first sponsor, or I educed it from my incessant need—and continuous failure—to put make my life black and white. Or rather, my thinking. Black and white thinking gives one a false sense of security. That’s why we do it.
This little nugget of wisdom—the answer is always both—can be infuriating, especially at first, but it’s been friggin liberating.
It helped release me from my deep and debilitating belief that there was something fundamentally defective about me and could never get better. It’s easy to believe when you’re dealing with addition and eating disorder, which are commonly referred to as baffling.
For me, my eating disorder was/is a coping mechanism. It kept me alive because it dealt with things I couldn’t. Not in healthy ways, of course, and even though it was keeping me alive it was also killing me. Even as I write that it sounds so nonsensical, but it makes complete sense to me now! In fact it's the best way to describe my eating disorder. The answer is both.
Am I fragile or strong? Both.
Am I different or normal? Both.
Am I crazy or sane? Both.
Am I messy or organized? Both. You should see my house.
Am I good or bad? I have some of both, we all do.
Are eating disorders really about food? No, but kind of...?
Are tomatoes gross? Yes, but sometimes not, in certain meals.
Is exercise healthy? Yes, until you do too much.
Are drugs bad? Some are, some aren’t. Depends on the person too.
Are we humans beings having a spiritual experience, or spiritual beings having a human experience? Oo that's a good one. :)
Life is a paradox. The only thing that is certain is uncertainty.
The only thing that is permanent is impermanence. The only answer is that there is never only one answer. We cling to either-or and black and white to escape the discomfort of uncertainty or the terror of the unknown. I do feel certain about some things, for instance that recovery is better for me than living in my addiction or my eating disorder. But, would I change the fact that I went through them? Never, because they made me who I am, someone I could never be unless I went through them, and yet who I was meant to be even before they happened. I need them in my life, but I don't need them in my life today.
I don't know if anyone else needs to hear this stuff, but I know it helps me. It helps me have compassion for bad or hard things. It helps me find acceptance and peace. I don't necessarily remember it all the time, but I am certainly reminded of it all the time! I like to write about stuff like that, stuff the universe clearly wants me to notice, because I figure it might want other people to notice too, and it might want me to help.
Which brings me to this blog.
Yes, by the way, welcome to my blog! Thank you for reading this far lol. As a mostly non-professional writer and subscriber to the school of thought that my role as an artist is exactly that of a midwife (my best writing feels like it comes through me, not from me, my job is to help it come into the world)...where was I...right I spend a lot of time pondering (fancy word for obsessing and wasting time that I could spent writing) the idea of writing for oneself and/or writing for others. Are they different? Is one better? Which should I focus on? The answer—you guessed it—is both. A blog seems like a good fit, so here I am.