Following are excerpts from an email convo I had with a fellow addict – I thought all you other addicts out there (alcohol, drugs, food, sex, what have you) might find it insightful . . . My comments are in CAPS.
. . . I [am in recovery, as you know, but I still] totally binge from time to time. Sometimes I [even] binge when I look at material. Or [at least] need to eat something. Because I used to do it with a jack and coke next to me. Because I used to do it with a pack of cigs next to me. And because if I’m doing that, and feel the guilt, shame, remorse, etc. associated with that, then I can’t get hurt when you tell me I did a bad job, or I don’t get a gig, etc. etc. Because I wasn’t at my best anyway. If I was, it would have been totally different, right?
When I was in school, I never tried. I got As and Bs, but never really applied myself. And at that level of commitment, I couldn’t get hurt. So [the big question is] what happens if I do apply myself and it still doesn’t work out?
WELL, I GUESS, AT LEAST THEN YOU KNOW. EVENTUALLY. I MEAN YOU CAN’T TAKE ONE TIME OF REALLY APPLYING YOURSELF AND CALL THAT RESULT THE ANSWER. BUT I GUESS IF YOU REALLY APPLY YOURSELF FOR A LONG TIME AND STILL SUCK, THAT’S THE ANSWER, RIGHT? WHICH IS, OF COURSE, NOT REMOTELY THE CASE WITH YOU, SEE BELOW.
This is just how I think I’ve viewed the world for most of my life. I don’t know if it’s everybody else’s. I could feel the anxiety last night as I got the material [to prepare for class], and started going over it, and realized how deep it was. Thoughts of grabbing a snack and/or saying “fuck it” both popped in my head. But I hung in and went through it the way we do. And maybe that didn’t alter my performance a whole lot.
BUT IT DID. DON’T YOU REMEMBER? YOU WERE PRETTY GREAT FOR THE WHOLE FIRST HALF, BUT THEN YOU WENT INTO A STATE OF BEING. AND EVEN A STATE OF BEING IS 100% BETTER THAN WHAT YOU USED TO DO — WHICH WAS JUST KINDA AKT.
But I do believe it altered the way I took the note. Because I actually understand where I had gone astray by playing a state of being. For
what felt like the first time, even though I know I’ve gotten that note before. I was actually really trying to make sure I stayed committed thru the scene.
EXACTLY! AND YOU DID!!!!
I know a year ago I would have held back in an attempt to look good, so I’m glad that commitment wasn’t the issue.
My sponsor says something about the eating thing that I think holds true for any negative behavior. He says “if you are going to eat the bear claw, enjoy the fucking bear claw.” Because eventually it’ll cause me enough pain and distress that I’ll admit I’m powerless to it, surrender, ask for help, and do the work necessary to be rid of the desire to eat bear claws. Or the desire to play a state of being instead of listening.
“Dare to suck,” gets deeper and deeper the more I apply it to my acting.