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Gary Singh

My father passed away when I was 16 years old. He was an alcoholic and it’s safe to say that the alcohol is what killed him. He was drunk every night that I saw him, he had at least a dozen DUI offenses and his liver was completely shot by age 47. Without any shred of emotional support from my dad, I can say my mom was the one that raised me and had most of the influence on me, when I was young. However, as soon as my father died, I began drinking heavily and stuffed all the feelings for 20 years. Since I was fully susceptible to the emotional triggers that result in alcoholism, it happened in no time flat. My mom had no control over anything I did form there on out. As a result, I had no adult guidance in life, no role models, no mentors, no career planning advice, no structure, discipline, basic conditioning, motivation or direction in life whatsoever. I basically had to invent myself, as a person. In my twenties, I didn’t care if I even lived to be 30. But in may late 20s, I somehow turned into a writer and never looked back. Writing is what led me to discover all the feelings I had previously stuffed, so by the time I got sober at 39, it came a little easier than it did for others. In a nutshell, addiction is the habitual process of trying to satisfy cravings because your brain simply can’t deal with the unbearable pain of the present moment. Almost always, this is the result of trying to latch onto feelings that are impermanent by nature. Then your brain learns and learns and learns as it goes, teaching itself, and getting used to the process of trying to kill the pain at all costs. To your brain, trying to satisfy the craving becomes a normal process, like intrinsically knowing how to ride a bike. Once I understood all of this, the solution gradually became available.  Now things are better. I harbor no hostility toward my dad at all. Forgiveness is a pretty rocking concept. And growing up with no conditioning has proven to be quite a conduit for creativity. I’m able to transform the negative vibes into their positive equivalents. I have learned to be proud of the good qualities he left me with.

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