My friends and loved ones gathered around me. I could tell they were gravely concerned. Their looks were changing between love and pity. Concern and frustration. They whispered about my obsession with doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. Insanity was mentioned.
I knew the subject of this loving confrontation. I knew what they would say. I had said it quietly to myself so many times. I had to quit, to give it up, to begin my life anew. But I couldn’t. Just couldn’t. It was a thirty year journey that would end. It was a thirty year love affair with an inanimate object. I thought of the pain of withdrawal. The pain of losing my “friend” and constant companion.
Looking into my daughter’s eyes was the hardest part. There was pain in her eyes, but also love and understanding. “We’re all here for you, daddy”, she said.
My wife looked on a bit bewildered. Never acknowledging that there even was a problem, but knowing at some level that things weren’t right, that not everybody lived their lives like this.
My always supportive friend, Andy and his wife Paula had initiated this intervention. He was a close friend, but objective enough to say what the family couldn’t face up to. “I’ll be there for you buddy. Whatever you need, I’ll walk you through it”, he said. His wife Paula grasped my shoulders and looked into my eyes. “Alan,” she said, “face up to it, accept it, you’re an idiot!” Her deep blue nordic eyes said “idiot” but I read compassion in them, carefully disguised as contempt.