On Not Being Comfortable

I picked up a quick read this week. I had heard of Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher and put it on my list of “someday” reads. I finally decided this was the day. The book is short, a tad coarse, and very sad in a lot of ways. But she is also very funny and writes well and shares so much that you can relate to, remember seeing from the non-celebrity side, or that is just interesting to see in a life so unlike mine. I am not sure I really recommend the book, but I’m not sorry I read it.

She talks about her alcoholism, her drug addictions, and her bipolar issues. She also does a good job of talking about how the alcohol and drugs helped keep the bipolar symptoms under control. She wasn’t diagnosed until she managed to go dry and then got out of control.

On p 106 she talks about the AA meetings she has attended for 10 years and how finally at one of them someone said that you didn’t have to like meetings, you just had to go to them. What a revelation this was for her. She had always thought she should like everything, but now she was learning that she didn’t have to actually be comfortable all of the time. She could learn to experience some discomfort – which meant she could also exercise and write and be responsible.

She doesn’t do more deep digging right here in the book, but it is an interesting point that seems so obvious so some of us that I think we struggle to relate to people who don’t seem to see it this way. And I think we sometimes ‘get it’ in one area of our lives but not in another. Even when we ‘get it’, we don’t always live it out completely. We believe many things that we somehow don’t reconcile to all of our actions. This is one of the reasons believing God is so difficult. We do, right now, for this thing. But if something different comes along or our digestion is not right, we forget that we believe and trust God.

People seem to spend a lot of time trying to avoid being uncomfortable, or doing something unpleasant, being responsible. But usually all of that effort doesn’t really make us more comfortable. Whether it is drugs, alcohol, moping and refusing to participate in whatever is life at that moment (think teenager). There are always consequences to those actions or avoidance behaviors. And usually they are more uncomfortable than if we had just kept our head up, our integrity intact, and dealt with the original issue or task.

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