The Long Run by Mishka is an inspiring story for addicts. It is hard in this account for the reader to separate alcohol addiction from drug addiction. Mishka seems to have done it all. The “thing” that save him was running. This was running in all its forms, from short distances to ultra- marathons and beyond. It would be inaccurate to say that something like running was an epiphany. First had to come the realization that his “present” life of daily drinking and doping wasn’t working. Then he had to come to the reality that sometimes his life was more fun with alcohol and drugs. Then he had to come to the decision point; which lifestyle had the least negative consequences? Which lifestyle, and all conceivable choices had negatives, had the least negatives? Running was an activity that helped lead to an alcohol and drug-free life. But running at the extreme distances Mishka ran in the face of the extreme pain that he forced himself to endure was also an addiction.
His words express his struggle better than the interpretations of a reviewer. Here are some that resonated with me.
At thirty-two, I’d been chasing oblivion for nearly twenty years. I don’t remember my first drink because it precedes conscious memory. (loc 54)
Sobriety was relentless. Sobriety was life without eyelids. Sobriety was a bare white room with painfully bright fluorescent lights, buzzing constantly. At least when I was fucked up all of the time, I felt good some of the time. (loc 298-299)
It’s been two years and change since I’ve had a drink. Fitting for someone who can’t recall his first drink, I can’t recall my last drink. (loc 614-615)
REVIEWER NOTE: The above contradicts long-held beliefs of Bill Wilson and the AA crowd.
Am I happier now that I’m sober? I don’t think so. I was pretty good at drinking— I had what it takes to wake up with the shakes and I could hold down a barstool with the best of them. (loc 624-625)
Well, there is no secret because there has been no miracle. I got better the way everyone gets better: by trial and error and error and error, by fumbling around and making mistakes but not giving up and working incredibly hard at it every day and eventually, through a painful and laborious process of eliminating every wrong turn, finding my way. For me, the hardest part was learning how to care about my life again.
REVIEWER NOTE: The above emphasizes trial and error and error and error. The acceptance of this admits the possibility of backsliding.
I stopped drinking and started caring for no clear reason at all. (loc 641-645)
One hard truth I stumbled upon is this: I drank because I wanted to drink. Every single drink, every single drug I took, I took because I made the decision to get fucked up, and fuck the consequences. I was sad and angry and lonely and a little alcohol made me feel better. It took me a long time to figure out that a lot of alcohol made me feel worse. Whoops. (loc 650-653)
REVIEWER NOTE: In the above Mishka mentions sad and angry and lonely. AA adds “hungry” to this list. Mishka had substituted alcohol for food and decided to ignore the need for food. He was lucky to survive.
This Kindle Single has insights inspired by deep introspection gained from personal experiences gained in the quest for a more acceptable life by one individual. It can inspire others to begin their personal quest to change their lifestyle.