The Jealous Goddess

by bryan maynard


A friend of mine is fighting his way out of alcoholism and he gave me permission to let you listen in on what it’s like when you finally realize that you are a slave to it. Feel free to share this with anyone who is on this journey as well! 

He calls this piece, The Jealous Goddess.

“The man sat despondent and alone, tentatively pouring his beer into a glass. His eight days of sobriety were coming to an end, his willpower entirely yielding, once again, to the flood of pain that afflicted his mind. He took his first drink, greedily and indulgently, waiting for his torment to be assuaged temporarily. Alcohol, he thought, is a jealous goddess that lorded over him with unforgiving insistence. When she beckoned, he responded like an eager lover seeking passionate satisfaction. But her affections were hollow and her love insincere. The love that she offered was for her pleasure and not his, but when she spoke, her seductive charm bypassed whatever rational defense he possessed. After making love to her, he always felt a deep sense of regret, always knowing that the relationship only brought him further pain. And yet the thought of life without her felt equally painful. He had grown accustomed to her sting and derived a masochistic pleasure from her cruelty. She was dangerous and animalistic and made him feel free of his crippling fears and anxiety. She was the stability in his life that allowed him to escape the despair of his existence. He wanted, however, desperately to be free of her, and resented her for making him the person he was. Increasingly, she was claiming more of his soul and offering less pleasure. The devil offered Faust the world and all its wonders, but stole from him the ability to enjoy it. He remembered the person that he was before he fell into her grasp. He dreamed of the person he could be if freed from her chains. It was in the moments of weakness that she had him truly and completely. When the world was good, she allowed him independence fully aware that he would return to draw from her well of solace and oblivion. His family and those closest to him tried to wake him up, to free his captive mind. These confrontations were painful for him. Many times he defended her, lied for her, and took her side. She resided in a dark room locked away from others deep within his consciousness. She made sure that no one else could enter but him. And it was within that room of abyss, of void, that she possessed him. The truly difficult thing for him to accept was that she was only another form of himself. When she clamored to lock others out of her room, he was the one holding the door shut. Her exclusivity was only isolation. Her love was only the refraction of his hate. She was an otherness within himself; a malevolent agency that divided his being. The tragedy was that he knew all of this. He understood fully the truth of who she was, for all of her secrets were his own. How, then, can the man have hope? How can he rejoin himself with himself? What he had read told him that the only way to be rid of her was to experience something excruciatingly traumatic entirely because of her. Only then would his eyes open to see her for what she really was. He did not want to have to experience something so terrible in order to be free from her. He wanted to banish her by his own strength, but she was smarter than he and more resilient. She possessed a forceful drive of self-preservation. She knew him too well and manipulated his every move with cold ruthlessness. Destroying her would require everything that he had. It would have to be an all-out war to reclaim the territory that she had overtaken and blockaded.”

Once, again, feel free to share with any who are struggling to break free from this deadening disease of the soul.

Much peace to you,