Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sober time, is a much slower time.

There are a lot of things on a ranch that I don't understand. For instance, I don't understand how a spinning windmill can get water out of the ground for decades - when you never move the windmill. I don't understand how a combine knows how to pull the corn cob away from the corn stalk, and how it knows which is the good part. I don't understand why a cow and a llama both eat the same thing, why they are both about the same size, and both weight the same, yet llama poop is small and pellet like - and in neat little pyramids, while cow poop is wet, soggy and really sloppy.

Many things on the ranch I find perplexing. Time is something I that also puzzles me on occasion here on rehab ranch. Many addicts or alcoholics need 'time' to adjust to 'time.' As an alcoholic on a bender, probably the only time that matters many times is 'last call'. Indeed, there have been many mornings I have woken up, only to stumble to my neighbor's door to look at the news paper so I could know what day it was.

Time is mysterious. You cant see it or touch it, but here at rehab ranch, we can charge upwards of $15 per hour for it and mostly all you will get is a hay ride around the farm, a slice of totino's pizza and the chance to discover, for yourself, what I am saying about the difference between llama and cow poop. If you're lucky, you'll see a crew of alcoholics and drug addicts digging an irrigation ditch or something.

Because days become other days almost seamlessly on the farm, the most often referred to unit of time is the 'weekend.'

"We'll be digging that irrigation ditch, after the weekend," the guys will say,
"I only have two more weekends, then I will be phasing, then I can go home on the weekend."
Its kind of golden when your entire life is measured by your progression through 52 weekends.

There are other 'times' we acknowledge as well. For instance there is "When I got done with the program....." time which consist of the hopeful plans we make for when we get back to real life.

There is 'This one time...." which is usually followed by "I was so drunk, messed up, stoned, wasted, sloshed, etc." and usually concludes with "I'm lucky I didn't A) get caught, B) get arrested, C) die.

Of course, there is feeding time and harvest time, we are on a working ranch.

There are the two hours we get to leave the ranch daily, this is free time, or time to kill, or real life time.

We have quiet time, at 8:30 which is a time when we let the early risers who do morning feeding time to sleep, thats usually when I read, write, or work out.

We do make a big deal out of Black Awareness Month, apparently, and Labor Day. Also, the seasons for dung beetle, locust migration and time to regerminate.

There is the time we have been sober, we do keep track of that. Not sure why, it only reminds us how little or how long we have been away from a dear friend. You wouldn't keep track of how many days you're been divorced or someone died.... but we do keep a daily vigil to the death of the addiction. Wierd.

We also operate on 'blink time' which is the hours after they divert the power from the dorms while they operate heavy machines, like the water pumps or generator rechargers. I call it this because all the clocks blink "12:00" and many guys have just given up on resetting the clocks. The kitchen, where I work, the clocks reset to "00:00" which is good, because I often come to work and think to myself, "Wow, I am so glad its "00:00", it must be time to drink some coffee.

And then there is alone time, when I can think about all the times I wasted being drunk - birthdays, dates, evenings with loved ones, times I chose to chill with a cold bottle rather than a someone with warm heart. This is one of those times.

Good night.

1 comment:

  1. They say that time is the most precious commodity because you can never replace it - once you spend it, it's gone. You can't change what time you've spent on this addiction in the past - but there is no reason to waste your future time on it. At some point, you need to forgive yourself and give yourself permission to move forward. We all have regrets about one thing or another - we just have to keep moving forward and learn from those things we regret. That's what I see you doing at the Ranch and you will be a better person for it. I know this kind of reflection is hard, but hang in there and you will get the life back that you want. As I've told Rianna - there is a Jimmy Buffet song for everything - here's the phrase for you. "Yesterday is over my shoulder, but I can't look back there too long. There's too much to see waiting in front of me and I know that I just can't go wrong." Keep the faith. Love Mom