An Unfinished Puzzle

by Harry C. Goodall

I do believe that life is a puzzle. That no matter how many books you read on its improvement, life is always a constant work in progress. I’ve been trying to put the pieces of the puzzle to my life together for the past eighteen years. It’s sad to be currently forty-three years old and can only account for the last eighteen of those years being spent putting my life together. Adding pieces to your life is about rst, the realization that pieces are missing. You can’t do this if you still have an ego bigger than the Grand Canyon.

After years of confusion and alcohol dependency, I had to break down the cycle of addiction that I had grown so accustom to. I had to realize that no matter how many times I thought getting loaded would ease the tension of the day only left me waking up the next day with the same exact problems, yet with a hang over, and the new ones I had encountered when loaded. My missing pieces of my puzzle were numerous to start with. But here’s a few, learning to love myself and except my faults. I know that you may think that you love yourself. But let’s think of how many mornings you stood on a corner with a pistol in your belt feeling you were invincible. Or think of how any shout outs you been in where you could have died. Think of how many times you were in a gang ght and could have been seriously injured. Think of how many people you seen killed in your presence. Yet you couldn’t wait to place yourself in harm’s way the next day. Heading right back to the same exact location. Is that loving yourself? Did you value your life?

Second, I had to learn how to eat correctly. See when you are an alcoholic your breakfast, lunch and dinner is alcohol. Eating usually is an afterthought. I honestly had no appetite and only wanted to eat right before nally passed out. So, getting my heath back in order was a tall order. You can’t just put poison in your body every day, and think it won’t catch up to you eventually. I’m lucky to recover from alcohol addiction without permanently harming my liver and kidney.

Of course, I needed my spiritual awakening. This was another tall order. When you see on TV all the get rich pastors leaching off their parishioners on the news. Or the blood shot eyes, still smelling of liquor pastor at your local church, it really is a deterrent from God. I could have never possessed the power to add the needed pieces of my life with only the strength that I now possessed. So, nding peace with God on a solo mission was the rst corner of that puzzle to t it. I would talk to God about my struggles that I never felt safe talking to anyone about. Even though I haven’t heard directly back from him yet, I know he is guiding my struggles and directing my life. I had to regain my conscious with what I call my God region of my brain. Many of the things I did was because I had numbed my conscious with alcohol. Can you imagine that little voice in your head saying not to do, that it’s wrong? Well it fades until nonexistence for a very long time. When it nally came back, don’t laugh but I use to think I was going crazy when my conscious re- awakened.

I now have these pieces in order, but that doesn’t mean that they are totally in place. A few are just sitting on top of the puzzle board. I know where they t in, it’s just taking the time to not force them in, is the hard part. For me to t my pieces where they are supposed to lay, means I must concentrate on one piece at a time. See when you try to do too many things at once, you usually accomplish nothing. Self-help groups are a major advantage in placing pieces of my life puzzle through the same path I am.

Sometimes you can heal by hearing another person’s struggle and story that shadows yours. Therapy was a major piece of the puzzle. Also without that I never would have been able to realize the underlying cause of some of my missing pieces. Now that I have all these pieces in front of me, it’s about patience. I am sure that I will need to replace the pieces that are worn, so when I nally hang my puzzle on the wall, it will shine bright like a diamond.