Last week, I came across a video of the song Sober by Tool, which was one of my favorites in the early nineties. A flood of memories came back including a particular night with someone during the awkward moments we looked at each other and knew we both related to the song for the lines "Why can't we not be sober? I just want to start this over."

(The double negative always bothers me in the lyrics and I didn't use it in the title of the blog, but I digress)

That person is dead now for having never gotten sober nor being willing to start things over and so are several other friends gone from my life for the same reason. I changed, got sober, started things over, and lived to tell this tale. 

Here, I need to point out that the video I stumbled upon is amazing. Besides the song itself being intense and precisely performed, the portrayal of an addict by the singer Maynard James Keenan, is so realistic that I know he had to have observed at least one on many occasions to pick up the nuances he projects. I've seen the real prototype of this character at least a dozen times on a dozen street corners in a dozen cities. If you driven on the streets lined with wretches under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol prevalent in especially liberal cities today, you've seen him too. 

I've been thinking about that friend and the others who took their unhealthy needs to the level of death and I miss them. I miss who they were when they weren't succumbing to their addictions and I miss who they might have become if they had lived out their potentials instead of wallowing in their weaknesses. 

In my case, I liked to party but I had limits and it rarely affected my productive everyday life. In their case they had to party all the time until it became a soul eating cancer destroying them from within. All of them were talented and could be so kind, fun and generous. Now they are gone - forever. 

As the new year is ahead my mind is filled with so many related positive thoughts about the future, yet at the same time I'm still thinking about each of them. Their death isn't what I expected to write about when I first thought of publishing a Happy New Year blog, that's for sure! I'm thinking that maybe in order for me to put the thoughts to rest, I have to acknowledge the lesson that was so large that it saved my life. I am definitely not happy they are gone, but I am so very happy I never went along with them down that dark path and that I found a way to just be sober and start things over in my life.

As it relates to the new year ahead in 2024, I recognize it isn't just substance abuse that can destroy one from within, that there are all kinds of other things that rob people of their precious health, energy and time and some of them have the potential to be equally as destructive if taken too far. With hope that reflecting on my friends' fates will give them a meaningful purpose so that their passing is not completely in vain, I am examining what else it is I need to give up so that I have the time and energy to once again start things over towards a brighter future to be the basis of my "New Year's Resolutions."  If it's stealing my time, or holding me down in misery, pain and suffering, it has to go, no matter what it is. With this I'll be off to a good start at creating my happy new year with hopes that everyone I care for can do the same. 

Especially useful lines for making resolutions from "To Achieve Your Dreams Remember Your ABCs"

(A) Avoid negative sources, people, places, things and habits

(L) Love yourself first and most

(M) Make it happen

(O) Open your eyes and see things how they really are

(T) Take control of your own destiny

Copyright 2024 Wanda Hope Carter All Rights Reserved no publication without express written authorization

Attached below: Sober Video, Words to Song 

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