Social Issues: The Reality Hangover
I know all about hangovers. In the world of drinking, this writer “has game.” You see, I am a recovering alcoholic, and for about twenty years I was intimately familiar with hangovers. Alcohol was my lover, my best friend, and towards the end, almost my fatal enemy.
I know all about hangovers: the splitting headaches that feel as though the gods are prying the top of your head off with pliers; the cotton mouth and the lethargy that inevitably follows a night toasting my demons; yes, I know all about hangovers.
I suffered my last alcohol-induced hangover in 2006, and once I had sworn off alcohol….once I had joined the ranks of the recovering….I just naturally surmised that I would never have another hangover as long as I stayed sober.
Oh how wrong I was!
SWAPPING ONE PAIN FOR ANOTHER….AN ADDICTS DILEMMA
Yes, I woke up one day, in the Emergency Ward, and I vowed to quit alcohol once and for all, and for the past six years I have held true to the vow.
I then substituted writing for alcohol. Yes, I am addicted to writing; this is now my passion, and I devote every ounce of energy I have into writing….but….
It is painful at times. You see, I write about subjects that I think matter in this world. I write about child abuse, homelessness, sex trafficking, and any other painful subject I can find that will take an ounce of flesh and blood from my body. It is not my goal to suffer but suffer I do. How could I not? How can one be surrounded by suffering and not feel it?
Most times it is manageable. Most times I can write and compartmentalize; I can post my articles and then go about the rest of my life in a fairly normal fashion.
Today is not one of those days.
Today I have a reality hangover!
The H.O.W. Preamble
- The H.O.W. Preamble
Making this world a better place in which to live; that is the goal of Humanity One World, and it is the responsibility of every single human being.
THE SIMPLE AND UGLY TRUTH
There is just too much pain in the world today. There is too much greed, hunger, complacency and anger, and I don’t know what to do about it.
What bothers me every bit as much is the divisiveness that I see. At a time when we should be uniting as a people, I see battle lines being drawn in the sand and shouts of “I’m right and you are wrong” resounding throughout society. We can’t possibly right this ship if we are fighting amongst each other and not tackling the major issues that we face.
Let’s be realistic for a moment. The government is not going to solve our problems. They have had decades to fix the economy and have failed miserably. They have had decades to find a solution to unemployment, homelessness, drug abuse and moral decay, and they have failed miserably. These important matters will only be solved if we come together as a community and work as one.
Instead we have name-calling, blame, and finger-pointing, like so many kids on the playground who can’t share the one ball to play with.
That is why I felt compelled to start H.O.W., or Humanity One World. It was a desperate attempt to unite people under a common cause, to make this world a better place in which to live. However, I even wonder if that will work because the obstacles are too great. How do you turn back the flood that is upon us? How do you beat back the wolves when they are the ones who are organized and determined?
EMPATHY CAN BE A CURSE
You see, to have true empathy for another human being, one must relate to the pain that the other is feeling. That is, in fact, the definition of empathy, and although it is one of mankind’s greatest virtues, it is also painful. How do you shut it off? If someone can give me an answer to that question I would be very grateful.
Or would I? How does a person blithely go through life not feeling for those who are suffering? I don’t know how to do that, and thus my reality hangover is pounding my skull right now.
I woke up yesterday ready to tackle the new day, and then the assault began, and within two hours I was depressed and feeling at a loss. There is just too much pain, too much bitterness, and too much sadness. One only has to log on to Facebook to see the truth in that statement. One only has to turn on the television or read a newspaper to see the truth in that statement.
And for those of us with empathy for our fellow man and woman, it is sensory overload to the extreme.
Sit with me awhile
SOLUTIONS ARE NOT IN SIGHT
So what do I do? I can’t flick a switch and stop feeling. I can’t turn my head and pretend I live in Shangrila, and I can’t do as others seem to be able to do and ignore it all.
The only thing I know to do is continue the good fight. I was raised to not back down from a fight, and I see no reason to change that philosophy at this point in my life. I gain strength from others who feel the same way. There is a great deal of goodness in the world, and there are dedicated, compassionate people who are trying to help others, and they are my companions on this journey.
I suspect they understand quite well what I mean when I say….
I have a reality hangover!
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)....dedicated to my good friend Leslie