I always had this idea that happiness and success was the result of living a comfortable life. Having a comfortable life meant you were a winner and if you didn’t have that you were a loser. I don’t know where I got this idea from, certainly not my parents. My Father worked in a dirty hot factory and my Mother was a saleswoman in a shoe store. I never heard either one of them ever talk about how comfortable their life was, all I saw was them struggling with little or no reward. Maybe that’s where I got that idea to avoid discomfort at any cost. At an early age I learned that school wasn’t comfortable for me, all that studying and hard work just didn’t feel good. I felt much more comfortable lying to my Mother and skipping school. As soon as she went to work I got up and did the fun things I enjoyed and I felt very comfortable doing it. As I grew into a young man I was determined that my life would be full of fun and not having to do what others (teachers-parents) told me I had to do. When I started to get high at fourteen a light bulb went on over my head, “now I can feel comfortable all the time”. Quitting school at 16 really felt comfortable, no more having to go to class and making believe I cared what the teacher was talking about. The freedom to do what I wanted to do became my goal in life.
I went to work at 17 in a recording studio in Manhattan but after awhile even that became uncomfortable because I had to listen to people tell me what to do and it got in the way of me getting high so I quit and committed myself to live a comfortable life 24/7.
Unfortunately, seeking comfortabiliy doesn’t promote growth or change so over the years there was no growth and no change, just avoiding discomfort by getting high. I truly believed that living a life clean and sober would not only be impossible but it would create a state of extreme discomfort.
The result of this philosophy and way of life was that it produced the exact opposite of what I was seeking. My life had become more uncomfortable than I could have ever imagined.
Here I am many years later clean and sober and I now know that what counts is not being comfortable in your relationship with the world and the people in it, it’s being comfortable with yourself.