Thursday, April 12, 2007

Je me souviens

"God is a Republican" © Austin Cline.

The title today means "I remember". It's the motto of the Canadian province of Quebec and you see it on license plates all over the east coast, usually at beach resorts up north in the summer and all over Florida in the winter.

It's alleged to be a truncated version of this, "Je me souviens que né sous le lys, je croîs sous la rose" ("I remember that born under the lily, I grew under the rose"), and it refers to the foundation of Quebec (and French Canada) under the French Kings, but how it actually flourished under the British Crown.

Some people think there's seperationist sentiment in it, which is actually not the case. In fact, it's a backhanded compliment to the English for introducing parliamentary democracy to Canada.

So much for the history lesson, but the real reason I introduced the topic today is because I've been thinking so much lately about how I was born one way, but have flourished in another.

I had to be dragged, kicking and screaming... well, more like bawling and shellshocked... into recovery. And as much as I might like to romanticize the past, the fact of the matter is, my life didn't really begin until I started getting sober. In that respect you could probably say I'm about 9 years old, in terms of my emotional and spiritual development.

Je me souviens. I remember. Another fact of my recovery is that I actually AM starting "to remember." Remember a lot of stuff that I totally ignored along the way. Looking back now, I can see, ever more clearly, just how far back into my past my alcoholism extends. Not the actual drinking (it turns out that drinking was the least of it), but in terms of my behaviors, attitudes and actions.

Look, all youth is wasted on the young, whether they're drunk or not. That's true. But not "all youths" ensure that they live "in the party house" so that they won't have to drive to the party house, do they? Nor do they "arrange" things so that they never have to bother with automobiles ever again. I did that. I always wondered why I wanted to live in big cities. I know now so that it was so I wouldn't have to drive while drunk. Oh, yeah, I kidded myself that it was because of the glamorous lifestyle or fabulous job opportunities (none of which I ever took advantage of, unless somebody kicked my ass into doing it, I might add), but those were never the "real" reasons.

I lived in big cities because a) the bars are open later and b) you don't have to drive to them.

I used to kid myself that I would go out on Saturday nights "looking for Mr. Right." Hell, Mr. Right could've been standing at the bar wearing a neon sign saying "HI RON, I'M IT!" and I would've knocked him over to get to the bartender!

Je me souviens. I remember. NOW. How it "really was" and not how I imagined it was.

And now that I finally start to really remember, my new mantra is:

"J'espère que je n'oublie jamais !"

I hope I never forget.


Bev Sykes said...

you could probably say I'm about 9 years old, in terms of my emotional and spiritual development.

Oh god--does that mean you have to go through puberty again? Well, that might make for some interesting journal entries!

JoyZeeBoy said...

Yes, it does.

And I intend to share every intimate detail of it along the way.

Teen angst. Teen drama. First pubes. Pimples. Wet dreams.

You should be used to it, though. After all, you did raise a boatload of boys and Jeri (the good sport).

Bev Sykes said...

Oh good. I was looking for something salacious to read.