I’m a cusser. I like to cuss and swear and stir up a Blue Cloud storm; and in retrospect, its liberating, really.
Now, one might ask, “What’s this got to do with sobriety and recovery?”
To which I would answer, “It has a lot to do with my sobriety and recovery, because it is a part of what I am going through, how I get through it, and why.” This is a daily blog about what we go through in recovery, and this particular blog is one angle looking at my life. So today, the blog is about A Matter of Swearing and Cussing.
I’m also a respectful man. I do my best to be as respectful as I can; towards people, what they believe and what they are offended by, and in general just respectful towards Life. And some days – it’s not a problem. Other days? Well…
When I was young, just saying a cussword or swearing was a “bad” thing. I mean, it wasn’t only because my parents said, “No!” it was also because God frowned down on it. Although I don’t recall the Bible ever stating that no one should swear, it did mention not letting things that are offensive come out of our mouths.
Okay, slow down here! I’m not preaching the bible, believe me! Keep reading…
As I got older and I became more aware of how absurd “not cussing” was, I began to loosen up, and the words began to flow. I like to cuss. It feels unoppressive and freeing. I had reached a point where swearing up a Blue Cloud was the norm, especially as I drank. It simply didn’t matter to me what I was saying, or when, or how much. I felt free. And yet – something seemed amiss.
In my early sobriety, this continued; words were tossed around with no care or meaning. "You don’t like it? Well, plug your ears!" as I loudly whispered under my breath, “&$%# %#$@ !@$#%%#!!!” And if you had a problem with it – oh well, keep your young ones away from me.
Yes, I know. The jerk I was.
As I continue to grow in my recovery, I began to see things differently. What once appeared to be a simple right, an entitlement of sorts, I began to see as an infringement. Yes, I do have the right to cuss and swear and cause Blue Clouds – that’s true. But the Society that receives the Blue Cloud downpours don’t necessarily care for it. Key phrase: society, doesn’t care for it.
What in the hell (eh-hem) gives me the right to openly and blatantly spit out words that others may find offensive, and think it is okay?! It is NOT okay to do this! Some people find it OFFENSIVE, whether or not I do. This doesn’t mean that I can’t create all the Blue Clouds I want, no – it just means that others don’t want to see it, hear it, or feel the storms cause by it.
It is entirely different when it is with a person that does it or that I know is okay with it. Or even when I write it out in a publicly-private blog, such as this, and they have to come to me to read it; it is a part of me, after all. But when I am in society, where others “fall victim” to the Blue Clouds I can stir up, it is out of their control; just as it is out of my control with whatever Blue Clouds they stir up, whether cussing or any other form of disgust that is out there.
Society matters. And in society, there are people that matter – it is not all about what I want it to be about. It’s called respect.
This is the point of today’s blog. I’ve been thinking a lot about other people lately. Interesting, seeing how I’ve been so self-centered in my soaked alcoholism. Now that I’ve dried up and I’ve asked my Higher Power to remove my character defects, I never thought that She would point out my swearing – which wasn’t about the words, it was about my attitude and respect towards other people. How do they feel about my Blue Clouds? Maybe they’d rather have the Yellow and Pink Sunrise, or Starry-Night Skies. I have no right to crowd them out, just as they have no right to crowd out mine.
So, on the matter of Swearing and Cussing:
I have a right to do so. But not at the expense of others. And others live in society, right where I live. It is time for me to practice the character asset that God is handing me – I have the ability to respect others, not in just some areas, but in all areas. So be it; I’ll receive this gift and the training I’m being handed.