Looking back, there was great pleasure in the pain.
This is what it looks like to sit in a thunderous storm and reflect upon the nastiness of the storm within. I was working as a canvasser, very very drunk (making bad life choices), and I sat there letting the cold hard rain penetrate my soul, and taunting the lightening directly overhead like "make-my-day, mutherfukkkah," as I sat in the chaos of my own addiction. I felt utterly at peace in my pain in this moment, because surrounded by the harshness of the booming lightning (far too close to make sitting out there anything but arrogant with a splash of a death wish), I felt that the storm and I were linked intrinsically by our own misunderstood violence. The beauty of the storm was the beauty I saw still hiding deep within me, waiting to emerge, obscured by pain and fear and a pretty much constant minimum BAC of about 0.18 or higher (I had a breathalizer and would check from time to time, I was literally never completely sober)... But I felt the storm understood me. It loved me and I loved it. I felt love for my suffering, love for myself, and love overwhelmed me....
I felt this joy and love only due to the willingness to clearly see my own bullshit, to accept my own pain and squalor, and to embrace and feel my pain. Pain then transformed into bliss, if only for a few minutes as the sky fell, and the walls of my addiction crumbled just a bit.
I didn't wake the fuck up just then, but it disturbed the long asleep-on-his-feet, dead-man-walking haze I was in for a moment, enough to break the nightmares until another consumed me.
It would take so many much more forceful moments of disruption to finally wake up. I do love and weirdly even miss my pain though. I am in love with these moments of enlivening presence which dotted the darkest landscape of my addiction. Even in the seas of pain there were intense moments of clarity.
Maybe enlightenment as a permanent state isn't such a reasonable goal, but perhaps if we keep our eyes open all the time we will see the flashes of it piercing through the armour of conditioned callousness we mistake for our skin. No wonder we are afraid to be "naked" in the rain.