Let’s cut to the chase. Some of us use drugs and alcohol as a way to escape, or permit a break. And generally speaking, for those of us who use these substances in these ways, we are not in control. The artistic personality tends towards compulsion, towards excess, both emotionally and physically. We become overwhelmed with our own intensity sometimes, or frustrations associated with creative work, or with unfulfilled needs resulting from extreme focus on creative work.
Even as we acknowledge the fiction of control over psychologically and/or physically addictive substances, we must nevertheless fight the good fight to stay on the sunny side as much as possible, to find ways of coping which are physically and mentally nurturing. For many of us, some involvement in a spiritual practice brings substantial positive energy and light into our lives. Deuce the Spaniel, for example, is committed to his “sniffing” rituals. He focuses every morning on the present moment, and regularly discovers and explores new scents on his morning jaunts with Composer of Music for Art. Deuce’s sniffing is truly a daily inspiration to Composer. Deuce’s fulness in the present moment, his appreciation for the infinite gift of nature – this reminds Composer to also sniff a little, to be in the moment, to appreciate the basics, the daily gifts of life and health, the capacity for creative thought.
Beyond this, Composer takes time most mornings to read from her well-worn bible. And she takes time most afternoons to recite a traditional prayer from her ancestors. These are moments of connection which give her strength, help her in the sometimes seemingly hopeless struggle against excesses and abuses against her body and mind, mostly self-inflicted.
Remember that each day that there is a special gift for you of the day. Some light bulb will go on. Some relationship will move forward. Something will complete. Some lesson will be understood. And remember also that each day will bring a new challenge – usually something that won’t resolve immediately. Understand that these are tomorrow’s gifts of resolution and learning. So they are also, in a way, today’s gifts. And when things get really hard, and you fall, be gentle in your recovery. You are human, you work hard and give a lot. Lick your wounds, be kind to yourself and others, and look forward to your next great ascent.