There’s this thing in recovery we call ‘pulling a geographic,’ which is when you decide all of your problems are actually caused by the city/town in which you live and so you move, often drastically. The problem with pulling a geographic is that actually all of your problems are caused by you and how you respond to bad things happening around you, and bad thing will always be happening around you. It’s the nature of the world!
At first this SNL sketch from last night seems like it’ll be a parody of ubiquitous package tour commercials I grew up watching on NYC local television, but then it morphs into something way wiser, which is crazy. I’m not going to do that thing people do today with SNL, which is to dissect this butterfly, but I will tell you my own experience with this exact phenomenon.
Well, I’ve had this experience a lot, but the biggest I’ve ever had it was on my last ever set visit. I was flown to Australia to visit Thor Ragnarok, and it was incredible. Set was amazing, I got to pet koalas and kangaroos, my hotel room had a view of the Pacific. I was, as far as I know, the first person of my genetic lineage to step foot in that part of the world. I was also miserable; I was lonely, I couldn’t quite connect with the other people on the trip, and I was drinking heavily and alone. The balcony with a view of the Pacific became a place I sat with expensive booze (paid for by Disney) in my hand and considered leaping from. I looked at the Internet and felt angry and disconnected from what was happening there, partially because of the time difference and partially because I was angry and upset all the time.
This trip was a really important step towards my sobriety – I realized that if I could be on such a great trip and still be so unhappy that I wanted to die that something was fundamentally wrong inside of me. And even traveling across the whole globe was not enough to outpace that wrongness. I was bringing it with me to Australia. It took a lot of other things falling apart to get me actually sober, but I’ll tell you, one of the things keeping me sober and working on myself is my memories of just how unhappy I was in Australia, even when I watched a kangaroo kick a kid.
Anyway, kudos to SNL for making this so funny and so true. It is, as Homer Simpson once noted, funny because it’s true.