Friday, February 6, 2009

What You Learn From A Substance Recovery Clinic...

I happened across a web site called that had compiled a lot of David Foster Wallace info. Below is a partial list of DFW quotes on what you learn from a substance recovery clinic and Alcoholics Anonymous meetings from DFW's writings (in my mind these can stand as things you learn from paying attention - but maybe paying attention and recovery are one and the same):

That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. Then that most nonaddicted adult civilians have already absorbed and accepted this fact, often rather early on.

That no matter how smart you thought you were, you are actually way less smart than that.

That sleeping can be a form of emotional escape and can with sustained effort be abused.

That you do not have to like a person in order to learn from him/her/it.

That loneliness is not a function of solitude.

That (both a relief and a kind of an odd let-down) black penises tend to be the same general size as white penises, on the whole.

That cliquey alliance and exclusion and gossip can be forms of escape.

That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness.

That 99% of compulsive thinkers' thinking is about themselves. That most Substance-addicted people are also addicted to thinking, meaning they have a compulsive and unhealthy relationship with their own thinking.

That it takes great personal courage to let yourself appear weak.

That you don't have to hit somebody even if you really really want to.

That having sex with someone you do not care for feels lonelier than not having sex in the first place, afterward.

The shopworn "Act in Haste, Repent at Leisure" would seem to have been custom-designed for the case of tattoos.

That, perversely, it is often more fun to want something than to have it.

That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know it was you or anybody else know what it was you did or in any way shape or form trying to get credit for it, it's almost its own form of intoxicating buzz.

That everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else.

That AA and NA does not apparently require that you believe in Him/Her/It before He/She/It will help you.

That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt.

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