Long needed and even longer procrastinated, the new glasses that correct my distance vision (I am uncomfortable calling myself shortsighted) have provided an “eye-opening” experience in more than one sense. Even after two weeks, I am still astounded at the stunning detail of my surrounding environment. While the newness lasts, even a mundane drive now seems more like an ocular expedition where I get to identify features of the landscape that had all but faded into a blur.
Today’s drive home from a meeting in Memphis through the rolling hills and big sky of rural Alabama was especially pleasurable. We had afternoon thunderstorms that darkened patches of an otherwise sunny day, the clouds had dramatic contrasts some cottony white and others dark, and rain filled. I was taking all this in, almost in awe of what I had been missing over the years when I had one of those recovery realizations.
It wasn’t the bold detail I had been missing that caused an epiphany; it was instead how comfortable I had become with a world that was becoming progressively blurred.
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I can’t tell you when it began to happen, I am forty (don’t tell) and this is the first pair of corrective lenses for me. How many years have I been missing out? It made me think about my slip from social drinking, to abuse, and into outright alcoholism. There was a line in the sand I crossed somewhere… but I became so inured to the gentle but steady degradation of my existence that wherever I was, regardless of how bad it got- it felt “normal”. It surely helped fuel my denial, because it wasn’t until I was well into a mature recovery that I could see with clarity just how twisted my life had been as a practicing alcoholic. Mired in addictive thinking, how could I have even imagined my true state when I had become so used to such a dulled world?