Cue R.E.M. singing, Losing My Religion.
I've said too much.
I haven't said enough.
The quandary for a communicator.
When my children were young I remember telling them how they were cursed with a father who would likely go to the grave having said too much. I can't fully explain the urge to connect and communicate with my children. Or anybody else I love. It's a powerful urge.
One I mostly answer with rare exceptions.
The exceptions are when I sense little or no desire on the part of the other person. I quickly - usually - accept it and allow my introversion to kick into full gear. It's easy really. To climb into my head and be alone there for extended periods of time.
Nothing is more important. Nothing. And for good reason.
Eternity changes everything.
My faith isn't blind or without compelling evidence. It's based on the Bible and I know people can hurl barbs against "religion" and faith. It's fine. I'm not too bothered by it. Mostly, I know how fortunate and blessed I am to have been taught the Truth of God's Word. I hit the proverbial lottery because I didn't have to go searching for God or the Truth. It was handed to me on a platinum platter. My wife and I did the same for our children.
Kevin Stevens is a 2-time Stanley Cup winning retired NHL'er. He played with the likes of Mario Lemieux and was an outstanding left winger for the Pittsburg Penguins. He earned over $21 million during his playing career (and that in an era where players didn't earn many millions per season like today). He squandered it all. Wrecked his health. And his marriage. And his relationship with his kids. And his parents. And the rest of his family. And teammates who loved him.
He hurt everybody who loved him. Mostly, he hurt himself with heavy doses of shame, self-loathing and guilt.
Addiction will do that. Always. 100% of the time.
Every story is uniquely identical.
Take a human being. Insert drugs - legal or otherwise - and watch the person turn their life completely around. Not in a good way.
It happens every single time.
I've heard stories from dozens of people from all walks of life. All kinds of educational (or lack thereof) backgrounds. People engaged in every kind of work you can imagine. People with strong convictions based on faith and people who never had faith.
Mostly ordinary moral people living decent lives.
Then giving it all up.
Becoming immoral, reckless, selfish, despicable people steeped in shame and embarrassment. But refusing to face it because masking it is easier. Riding on a train track taking their lives into an abyss they never planned. Living in ways they never imagined possible. Finding their lives in a new normal that is deplorable compared to who they once were.
Loving nobody but themselves. Caring about nothing but how victimized they feel by anybody and everybody who has ever loved them.
Lying. Cheating. Stealing. Crawling into ever descending gutters of human choice they can find or create. All the while feeling worse and worse about themselves but unable or unwilling to change their course.
Take any breakable item you'd like. A nice plate. A favorite coffee cup. A bowl. Something you enjoy. Something you find valuable - not necessarily expensive, but something you esteem regularly because you use it and it brings you joy.
Throw it on the floor. Treat it as though it now no longer matters to you. Treat it as though it has betrayed you and made you angry. Break it into as many pieces as possible and see it scattered across the floor. Gone! Destroyed.
Unable to hold your morning coffee.
Unable to hold your favorite breakfast cereal or dessert.
The item you once loved now broken into so many pieces you can't count them all. And you wonder, "How will I ever get this back together?"
Shattered lives are far more difficult to put back together though.
The glassware doesn't fight your work to put it back...