The Texas Bohemian

Word artist. Jack of all Trades.

In the dark…

Figuratively speaking.

What is the sound of no one listening?

Answer: depends upon how loud your tinitis is on that day. In my case it’s a low wwhhooooosh… at least today.

I gave the kids three days off. The little ones are outside. I hear them playing. My oldest, that beloved daughter whom I love and we struggle with, is reading the AA Big Book.

Why, you might ask, is she doing that?

I’ll answer.

As you silent, non-existent readers may have surmised, the girl has problems. One of them is an obsession–call it addiction–to music. To her music is a drug. We have tried to keep her from escaping into that nether-world and get her to join us but we’ve never been able to do that. Because she tends to blow us all off and run into her room with the stereo on at every opportunity, tuning out everything else, we have been unkind (as some may say) and told her to keep the tunes off.

It’s difficult a difficult task to be loving and understanding and still get her out of that shell that will, if not breeched, make her life a lonely, miserable place.

Anyway, lately she’s been going to the restroom and staying in there longer than she should to relieve herself. Of course we asked if she has problems and she said no. A couple days ago I commented to my wife how she is staying in the bathroom and my son, ever the observant one, said, “she’s weird. She listens to her CD Player in the bathroom.”

Good grief. Sneaking around with a CD Player like a junkie would a fix.

We all like music. I listen to music. There’s nothing wrong with music. I do not like her type of music (if one can call rap that) but there’s more to my daughter’s listening than just pleasure. It’s an obsession. It’s a drug.

Just saying that sounds weird. But anything can become an obsession. One of our favorite shows is “The Cleaner,” about a guy who rescues people from addictions. Usually it’s drugs but he also dealt with a mother who was obsessed with her daughter’s career and had other issues. It’s a pretty good show. Anything that we get obsessed over can and often does become an addiction.

On last night’s show the lead character, played by Benjamin Bratt, told the brother of an addict it wasn’t what someone does it’s who they are. That is a very important distinction. He’s right. For one with the history my daughter has, as well as the genetic disposition towards addictive behavior, her safe and easy “drug of choice” is music. This has occurred to me on occasion but struck hard the day we “caught” her sneaking into the bathroom to listen to the CD player.

Thus, I made a decision. I confiscated the player and replaced it with the Big Book.

There are few books in this world better, in my opinion, than the Big Book. I am not an addict, recovering, or anything like that. I do not have an addictive personality. I like drinking and used to drink more than I should on occasion but neither booze nor anything else (never went the drug route) has controlled me. I did once start a training program to become an abuse counselor. I didn’t finish because I discovered it was a thankless job (which I didn’t mind) that paid very, very little (which I could not afford). I had a class in the Big Book. With the first reading I was sold.

So, in this instance I flipped to the testimonies and put a book mark. I told my daughter if she’ll read the stories to the end of the book I’ll give her the player back.

This morning she is in her room reading.

Fingers are crossed.

That book has a collection of personal stories about how people found their way out of addiction. It also gives glimpses at the human condition and how people cope.

We’ll see if it gets through. I hope so.

October 1, 2008 - Posted by | Blather | , , ,

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