Nothing Around Us Changes

January 12th, 2022

Weirdly enough, I finally got covid, but that’s not what’s inspiring me to write tonight. (Presuming nothing terrible happens to me over the next few days, I’ll probably write about that later.)

No, I’ve been quarantined all alone in the bedroom (with occasional visits from my doctor, who is actually my dog), so I’ve just been catching up on a lot of TV. And one of the shows that I finally got around to was Midnight Mass.

It deals heavily with spirituality and addiction, which I dig.

When I first got sober, I thought the hardest thing I would ever have to do was not drink. After I did some work and realized that was an attainable goal, which I could reasonably achieve, another hardest thing would present itself. And I would conquer that. And so on and so on.

Until I got to the actual hardest thing I will have to do again and again.

In the show, two alcoholics are talking and one asks the other, “Does it ever get any different for people like us?”

The other shakes his head no, and says he doesn’t think so. Then he added four words that shook me, the four words that define my life now:

“Nothing around us changes.”

Getting your shit together does not mean the rest of the world will get their shit together, too. And you can share and inspire and support and help all you want, but there is nothing a person can do to make another person want to be better.

And it is impossible for me to fully accept. Which means I find myself having to accept it again, over and over, every single day.

This isn’t pessimism. In fact, I spend a lot of my life talking about how I used to be and how I got better in the hopes that somebody else will hear it and get better, too. If I were pessimistic, I would keep me to myself because I’d figure it doesn’t matter anyway.

It matters. What we say and do matters.

But what we say doesn’t matter as much as what we do, and even if you decide to do, the world will mostly not follow suit. Jesus said stuff thousands of years ago that is still revolutionary today, which is a clear example of how slow we are to catch on. Loving people should be easy as hell.

I’m not saying we can’t be different. People are glorious, complex creatures that are capable of limitless change, internally and externally, from the quantum to the cosmic.

But that change is up to you, and whoever you think is in charge of you. And whoever you think is in charge of you isn’t going to make the world change with you.


Published by dennisvogen

I'm me, of course. Or am I?

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