Archive for August, 2009

Closure III: Return Of The Red-Eye

August 3, 2009

The question is always the same, be it at a ‘Closure’ or a chance meeting in the street.

‘’What tool do you most use?’’.

If you’re reading this, and we’ve never met but you’ve found this blog because you’ve done a search for ‘Hoffman Process’ (and I know you exist because this thing gives me daily reports of what people search for to get here) I will give you the same answer I gave last night – just one. Closure.

When I first left my process, I clung to what I had learned with all the desperation and panic of someone clinging to the side of an over-turning ship. I had emerged with new-found positivity and awareness, but when 28 years is destroyed and then rebuilt in just 8 days, there is understandable anxiety that you might not be exactly ready to just hit the ground running.

But as time passed, and I had my ups and my downs and as my body began to adjust, I noticed a new pattern emerging. I was clinging on just a little too tight.

I went on my process in July of 2008 because I wanted to start living, and in the beginning part of this year, I began to realise that much as drugs and behavioural patterns and insecurity and anxiety had once made me live and act in a way that was not ‘myself’, the results of my process and my desperation to adhere to the lessons I had learned had meant that I wasn’t learning to live. And that was kind of the point.

I guess it’s like learning to drive. Sure, you learn to drive at 30 with your hands in a certain place, but once you’ve passed and drive unsupervised on that same road, you discover that it’s much better to keep one hand on the wheel while you scratch your nuts and listen to loud music. I will still driving like the instructor was sitting next to me.

And so, I cut myself off. Self-awareness is one of the great tools The Hoffman Process afforded me, and I realised that as I had been reliant on chemical highs in the past, I was now reliant on this one. I took the new me for a test drive.

I let everything go – the tools, the support groups, the meetings and the rest. But I kept just one thing. Closure.

This blog hasn’t been written in for a while, and I am becoming more aware of it as a referential tool, so I will quickly explain what Closure is for the uninformed.

Held on the final night of the process, ‘Closure’ is like a graduation ceremony – a closing of your old life and a welcome into the new. At any Closure ceremony, there are usually past graduates of the process who come back and talk about their experiences and their lives after re-entering the ‘real world’.

And so last night, for the 3rd time, I was a returning graduate, once more entering Florence House a year after first doing so. However, I have always found that the process of re-doing Closure begins long before you enter the room and stick on your name tag.

I began the day with a quick trip to Brighton to see a friend of mine, Steve, who I had actually met on the Closure previous. My impending trip to Florence House had made me understandably reflective and completive of the year just passed, and it was a wonderful gift to be able to exercise a lot of thoughts, something I hadn’t done in a while, before I faced a room of anxious process-ees.  I left Steve to go back to work and took a wander down to Brighton beach, which like most British beaches is just a collection of stones and people in deckchairs, and before I knew it, it was time to make my way to another part of Sussex, a drive which takes you through glorious English countryside.

The English Countryside

As the prospect of Closure and of returning to Florence House (have I mentioned that’s where I did my process yet? I guess that’s kind of important. Readers, I was returning to the scene of my re-birth pretty much, so yeah, important stuff) got closer, my mood became more completive. The drive became silent save for the very polite but stern voice of my satellite navigation, and in little over half an hour, I was once again wandering the beach, this time in Seaford, pondering the year that had passed, and trying in vain to remember the person who was standing in my shoes (not literally, because these were new shoes) little over a year ago.

The truth is, I really can’t remember him. I tried, for comparison purposes only, to recall who I was, just so I could say ‘that was then, this is now’, but as I wandered up and down the entire Seaford beachfront, he just wouldn’t come to me.

Seaford

He’s not lost. He’ll always be a part of me, but more and more, he’s becoming a memory; a hazy recollection of a past which plays an ever decreasing part of my present.

And then, finally, it was time for Closure.

Closure is not about me. I don’t go for me, and I won’t talk about how I felt to be there, nor will I talk about what was said. However, I will say this, and its about why I go every once in a while on a 5 hour round trip to a house in Sussex to talk to a bunch of strangers for a couple of hours about an experience which came from a most personal of places, and continues to be lived in that manner.

Put simply, I owe The Hoffman Process my life. In the year that has passed since I began my process on July 4th 2008 (Independence Day indeed) and as evidenced in this blog which began 8 days afterwards, I have experienced nothing short of absolute and total internal change, and I think the very least I can do is show gratitude for that. So, once every 3 or 4 months, I make a 5 hour round trip drive in near silence to tell 20 or so more people that very fact and maybe, just maybe, give someone a fraction of the help and advice I have been so grateful to receive.

Closed Box.

Florence House Garden

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