I heard this interview . on BBC Radio 4 yesterday (you have to click on the Desert Island Discs title to see it) and it made me think of a few things..
Ok, so he's still got issues, has chosen a 'godless' life and is reliant on medication and what have you, but there is still a LOT to learn from this story.
I am a sort of magpie, in that I am interested in Everyone's story in case there' something there that I can learn from it. There are many things in his story which are polar opposites to my coping mechanisms, but I find aspects of his story very interesting.
Firstly, it is his writing that 'saved' him. he says in the interview that he would die if he could not write every day.
I feel the same way about service as he does about writing. I simply cannot imagine not contributing in some small form every day. My soul would wither and die. Service keeps me afloat.
Secondly, It reminded me what 'beauty' there is in suffering. I know it sounds crazy, but I see great ''beauty' in suffering. I see something like that in Johnny Depp, and the LOVELY old actor in the film the Straight Story, and Thich Nhat Hanh and whatever the thing 'is' that I 'see' in them, it is very beautiful.
Anyway I saw an element of the same thing in this guy Paul Abbot. Obviously people have different ways they deal with their suffering, Thich Nhat Hanh has a more elegant way of dealing with it than Paul abbot does, but they have both got suffering written on their hearts.
Basically, what I'm saying is that I think terrible suffering really does bring us closer to god, like Mother Theresa used to say. I think people who have had terrible experiences AND USE THEM TO GOOD EFFECT, have an opportunity to 'grow along spiritual lines' that other people with 'easier' lives simply do not have. Its like god gave you a bigger set of weights in the gym to work with, and as a result, you have stronger spiritual muscles.All I know is that I am often drawn to people who have had really difficult experiences, and I can feel there is something lacking when I am with people who haven't had tough things. Don't get me wrong, I find that EVERYONE has a story that would break your heart, but I'm not talking about those.
Basically, it is a blessing to have terrible thing happen, as it means we are more likely to need to find solutions, and I think it makes people more attractive.
There was loads of other interesting stuff, his constructive use of anger etc, but I won't mention them all as it would just take too long.
It's such a pain but I've just found out you can't listen to this online!!
The extra bits are, He hated being with his family so much, he ASKED to be taken into care, but was refused. He was brutally raped at 14 and then tried to kill himself by jumping off a multi storey car park, but instead managed to break a leg. Because there was nobody he could talk to, he was unable to talk about the rape till he was married at 28. He still thinks about suicide regularly because he is bi polar, but his love for his family and kids keeps him going. He is TOTALLY in love with his wife of 18yrs and loves her more as time goes on. His kids are in GREAT shape, and one is a GREAT drummer. I found the story heartbreaking AND heartwarming. He HAS to write every day. It is his lifeline. By pure fluke, he managed to write for radio, otherwise god knows what would have happened to him. He chose some GREAT tracks as well. The Roberta Flack one, was in reference to his wife and kids which was very moving.
From the Radio 4 webpage.
"He was driven to write as a response to the chaotic and traumatic childhood he’d suffered. One of eight children, both parents had left the family home by the time he was eleven, leaving his older sister to bring them up. They had a near feral existence, and lived, says Paul, like rats. At fifteen he attempted suicide and ended up in a psychiatric ward. After that, without wanting to or really being aware it was happening, he wrote as a way of letting out the rage he felt inside him."
- An Irish Friend of Bill
- I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Feeling sorry for yourself? Shame you missed the Paul Abbott interview on Radio 4..
Posted by An Irish Friend of Bill
Labels: Abuse, Dealing with difficult emotions
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I enjoyed his interview.
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