I went to bed with feelings of fear and guilt. As the rhetoric toward North Korea from the White House fired up to unprecedented levels my lizard brain went kicked into high gear last night.
I’ve been reading Ken Follett’s “Century Trilogy” and I’m on the last book Edge of Eternity which is about the Cold War period of the twentieth century. I’ve just gotten past the Cuban Missile Crisis in the book and can’t help but compare that crisis to our current crisis with North Korea. I’m not alone.
I’m not so old that I remember air raid drills, but I was old enough to watch and understand as Reagan negotiated with Gorbachev to bring about treaties leading to a much safer world in terms of the threat of nuclear war. While many credit Regan with bringing down the Soviet Union, I am quick to remember that the fall of Communism lead to a economic vacuum in Russia resulting in several wars and ultimately the installment of an insane former KBG agent as dictator.
My father worked for FEMA and we lived near enough to Site R that I remember seeing the tunnel entrances from the road in my youth. Of course, no one was supposed to know about this Underground Pentagon, but everyone in the area did in the same way that folks who live near the NSA always knew that “No Such Agency” was right off the Baltimore Washington Parkway.
All that’s to say, that I grew up aware of the fact that Nuclear War with the Soviet Union was a grim possibility. So, as the rhetoric turns more and more bellicose toward North Korea, and as our relations with the Russian Federation grow more strained, I’m worried about the safety and security of the world.
And last night, as I sat alone in my house, a scant 35 miles from Washington DC, while my wife was at dinner with friends and my son is away at sleep over camp, my mind raced with the thoughts of nuclear war. And in a moment of weakness I tweeted.
And I felt like I’d let my twitter followers down.
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what it means to write a blog about recovery and to participate in the online recovery community. I know that my blog provides many people with inspiration because they tell me so. I know that my tweets and posts have inspired others to seek sobriety. In short, I know that I’m making a difference.
And with that knowledge comes a certain weight. A certain feeling of responsibility. Part of it is the nature of social media. Its been documented several times that we present a curated life to the world in social media.
I try not to do that.
I have written about struggles here and I’ve shared my struggles on Twitter many times. In many ways the online recovery community has been more important in my recovery than my local 12 step fellowship.
But still I worried that I’d slipped up and somehow indicated that it was acceptable to consider a drink if we’re about to die. Maybe it is and and maybe it isn’t. I mean, shit, if I’m gonna get burnt to a crisp by a nuclear bomb, I’m not sure that it matters if I have one last glass of bourbon and a final cigarette. Then again, it would likely not be very enjoyable and I’d much rather spend the last few minutes of my life holding onto the people that I love.
I don’t know what my responsibility is to the recovery community when it comes to this blog. Am I only supposed to write about my triumphs? Am I only supposed to lift people up? Do I have a duty to constantly support those who need support?
I don’t know what the answers to these questions are.
What I do know is that I’m just another guy who has a problem with booze. I’m not special. I just share my story with the world and sometimes that story is inspirational and sometimes it isn’t.
I also know that despite lying awake well past my bedtime, the sun also rose this morning. The earth continues to spin on its axis. I got up, made coffee, read the news, tweeted, kissed my wife good-bye, and started my day. This afternoon, I’m going to have lunch with my brother.
Life goes on even when our leaders are acting like children. We’re probably not about to have a nuclear holocaust.