Recovery, Like Mathematics, Turns Out to Be Fun! by Anonymous

Thirty years ago, I expected to die from alcoholism. Suicidal ideation gave way to a complacency that I would just drink myself to death. Mired in hopelessness, I went through the motions of life, pretending to teach, pretending to do research. Despite my every instinct, I managed to ask for help. Today, I am a happy, successful member of Alcoholics Anonymous with a lively career in mathematics. I share my story hoping to help even one person who is now in the place I was all those years ago.

在学校,我是能够快速解决所有问题并为数学提供自然礼物的学生。为我的实际做法做了多么差,我们必须学会花费大部分时间感到困惑。事实上,在大学里,我认为我对数学的最强烈的动机是为了赢得赞美,让自己看起来不错,而不是对这个主题的真诚爱情。当我越来越多地开始喝酒和吸烟,我的生命开始突破两个:一个赢得学术奖品的外部角色和一个越来越不安全的内在人。然而,几年来,这是一切伟大的乐趣。

Going off to a top-tier graduate school opened my eyes to the reality that having a knack for mathematics was just one possible starting point for study, not a free ticket to success. Among my colleagues were people who knew how to face challenges and work hard when things did not come easily. I felt increasingly out of place and turned to self-medication to avoid the reality of my situation.

My gift got me through a PhD, but without distinction. I took a post-doctoral job that I felt I didn’t deserve. My drinking became heavier and I started to accumulate the subsequent embarrassments that I will leave you to imagine. Suicide started to seem like my best choice. Hanging on by my fingernails, I started a tenure-track job at a nice university. As my outer façade became increasingly difficult to maintain, I squeaked through the tenure process.

One summer, I supervised a brilliant student’s summer research. It made me cry to realize that I had once been just that promising, but my prospects for success in mathematics were now few. I encouraged others to think that I was just a mediocre mathematician who spent too much time working on teaching (I didn’t), which was better than being known as the drunk that I was. It was during this period that thoughts of suicide gave way to the idea that I could simply keep drinking and be dead in some small number of years.

我的一些部分不想死。对于我饮酒的最后几年,我会制定计划停下来,试着停止,祈祷并乞求停止,但不会停止。我的健康开始严重下降。经过大约十年的重饮酒后,我终于叫我的医疗保健提供者说我以为我有酗酒的问题。

When the voice on the phone told me, “We have a drop-in meeting that you could attend today,” I said something akin to, “Don’t you know who I am?” Alcoholics build up narratives of sweeping grandiosity and unreasoned pride. I was no exception. I drank for two more weeks while awaiting a one-on-one intake appointment. The doctor helped me learn about alcoholism, explaining the difference between abstinence and recovery. I knew that I wanted to recover, but did not believe it possible. I asked, “How can I go home and not do the thing that I have done every day for ten years?” He answered with a question: “Do you think you could go to an AA meeting?”

由医生的信息引发,我以为我可以试一试。会议中的人似乎有精力。他们读过很多我不明白的东西。那个讲台上的女人解决了整个人群,并说:“我不认识你,但我爱你。”这不是AA的任何着名基石,但这就是通过我的壳牌破坏的原始基石。我绝望地寻求帮助,羞愧自己,但除了我不属于那个房间,所有人都不感到羞耻;这是有人愿意说她爱我只是为了在那里。

Through that crack poured the light of recovery, though very, very slowly. I was extremely reluctant to embrace what I was told. Don’t mathematicians, with our pride in rigorous proof, always think that we know best? Over time, I’ve learned to listen for a match between the voice of my best inner self and the voice of the loving community of people in recovery. That combined wisdom leads me to discern my next right action, the most basic of which is not to pick up the next drink.

格雷斯(被弗朗西斯wonderfu苏l writings as “good things you didn’t earn or deserve, but you’re getting them anyway”), I’ve been sober since my first AA meeting. Relapse is very common and I don’t look down on people who experience it; my continuous sobriety is a reflection of the depth of my desperation when I finally was able to ask for help.

所有这与数学家有什么关系?对于一件事,我将通过不同的数学教育帮助,这对我的才能更少,更多关于我不明白的事情。在我看来,我们才会邀请年轻人进入数学,只有在速度和天生的理解的同样的旧尺度上衡量。在我看来,我们奖励数学后追逐的人,我曾经做过的方式,仅仅炫耀自己强大而明亮。我们不能鼓励学生擅长向朋友解释一些东西;在测试结束后谁对想法进行了解;谁喜欢画一张图片来说明想法?奖励天生的才能让我在一场比赛中,我注定要失败。我悲哀地想,别人都被教导的方式相同。

我在清醒中的最大礼物就会在我觉得朋友教我打电话给“正确的大小”时的日子。我没有被我在公共场合制作的数学错误的数学错误所写的纸张上写作,也不是自我贬低。我不骑在一个辉煌的成就浪潮上,因为我没有测量,也没有沉迷于自杀意念。我只是我的许多人之一,参加了一个数学社区,更多和更多价值我们的各种成员。如果您对毒品或酒精遇到困难,请咨询帮助。数学可以变得很多,更有趣。

这个故事是由匿名写的。Why do I write anonymously? In Alcoholics Anonymous, we say that “Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.” In order to maintain my own practice of this simple program, it is better if I do not step forward as myself, but rather as one of many whose stories are like my own. This story is not really about me, but about the help available to anyone who, like me, has experienced “incomprehensible demoralization” from drugs or alcohol.

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