Welcome to another Grateful Heart Monday, a day always set aside on my blog to reflect upon a single piece of gratitude from my life, which for today is for a movie I saw recently in the theater titled “Waves”, that was both a great reminder of how far I’ve come in my own recovery from alcohol and drug addiction, and also one that showed just bad things could have gotten if I hadn’t become sober when I did.
“Waves” is predominantly a movie about an African-American teenager named Tyler (played by Kelvin Harrison Jr.) who comes from a middle to upper class family where serious pressure and control from his father Ronald (played by Sterling K. Brown) happens to him more than not. Because of that pressure and feeling he constantly needs to prove himself to his Dad, Tyler resorts to using painkillers and alcohol simply as a temporary solution to cope, especially when things really begin spiral out of control for him in a number of areas of his life, including him seriously injuring his shoulder in a wrestling match, his girlfriend getting pregnant, and his girlfriend also choosing to leave him. And the more Tyler’s life spirals out of control, the more he makes one bad decision after another, until eventually the worst thing that could happen to him actually does.
I know this pattern well, as I too was on the very same road back in early 1995. But thankfully, my pain eventually became great enough to actually do something about it and when I did, I clearly began to see for the first time that the path I was heading on with addiction would have led me directly to either jail or death. So, watching Tyler’s disease continue to play itself out far beyond where mine went, really saddened my heart, because the terrible consequences of his life all stemmed from his untreated addiction and state of mind. In the end, seeing Tyler engage in such self-destructive behaviors that were made even worse any time he drank or drugged, helped me see just how much I should be grateful for what I have and for how far I’ve come on my own road to recovery from addiction.
Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the many other friends and loved ones who have completely ruined their lives solely because of their continued alcohol and drug consumption, my parents being included in that. Over the years, I’ve watched so many active alcoholics and addicts experience major financial setbacks, seen countless of their friendships and partnerships end, and their jobs be terminated. Sad to say, but I’ve also seen even worse consequences than this as well. Thankfully I don’t have to worry about any of that anymore though and instead was able to find such a great appreciation for this film.
Without spoiling anymore of “Waves” plot, I just want to say how very grateful I am to God for this movie. As through it, I clearly see how I was just like Tyler many eons ago, when ego still totally ruled my existence because of all that active addiction and inner turmoil within me. The fact is, the last thing I want to do these days is drink or drug, because I know I can always dig a deeper hole, pit, or grave if I do, something that Tyler never realized until it was too late and something I’m so very thankful I’ve never had to experience.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson