Higher Powerlessness and the Illusion of Free-Will (Part 2)

Author: Adam Abramowitz

The reality of my life is that I have no control over people. No control of the way I feel or how I am perceived by others. For a time, I thought I had control of my own thoughts, behaviors, and actions. A belief that was forever changed the moment I experienced a new obsession: a new desire and craving. A thought that consumed my waking life with fervent force the moment I received it…

I had participated on a 10-day trip to Israel. A trip that left me enlightened with a new sense of spirituality and purpose. A trip that allowed me to participate as a staff member, to assist and council a large group of young drug addicts and alcoholics, as we explored Israel.

For those 10 days, I had a purpose. I found that I could handle any situation that was presented to me. Any struggle that a participant was going through, I had an uncanny ability to listen and help. I found that I barely even had to think.

I felt like everything I knew, everything I had experienced on my life’s journey, had led me to Israel and provided me with a new sense of awareness. A sense of understanding that the higher power I was looking for was not only all around me, but within me as well.

When I returned home from Israel, I immediately fell into a state of depression.

I began to contemplate what my purpose was: My band had just broken up, my relationship with my girlfriend at the time was strained, and I felt like there was nothing left for me to learn. I would go to meetings and feel as if I was all alone.

To my friends and family, I was the same. Inside, I felt different.

In my mind, I was struggling for my thoughts, ideas, and opinions to be heard. Not just heard, but listened to, engaged with. My ideas of spirituality and self-awareness, the principles of recovery, and how they could be applied to the flow of life.

Idea’s of a timeless existence. The inter-connectivity of a universal life force.  Energy manifested through people in an endless flow of connectivity. Positivity and the affect it has on what we attract, how we form relationships. The moods and attitudes we reside in, and the meditation we use to reach gratitude and self-love.

I was unable to connect these ideas with my friends or family, and the people I had met in the rooms of 12-step meetings were unable to relate to how I felt. I was unable to learn, to find the answers to my own thoughts and ideas that I was searching for. I was looking for someone who felt the same way I did, but was unable to find it. I was surrounded by people in recovery, yet I felt intrinsically different.

I spent a weekend in bed, refusing to go out or answer my phone.
The following Monday, I woke up and went to work.

Sitting at a workbench, venting tire molds with a drill, I found solace in a conversation. A podcast episode between Marc Maron and Richard Linklater.

For months, I had listened in on the conversations of artists and entertainers on the WTF podcast. When I heard creatives speak, they spoke my language. The ear-buds I wore acted as a gateway into a realm of understanding. A place where my mind was able to relate to the thoughts, ideas, and opinions of people I had never met.

It was during Maron and Linklater’s podcast conversation (while Linklater was discussing his new film “Boyhood”) when I was hit with an idea.

“Write a Novel”

My mind began to race as I explored the possibility of what I would write about, what I wanted to share.
Almost instantaneously, the entire plot of the novel was presented to me. The beginning, the end, and the story in between.
I wanted to write the book I wish I could read.
I wanted to write a book about a person’s journey towards enlightenment.
A book about a heroin addict that describes, in scrupulous detail, the emotions that accompany each step of recovery.

I wanted to read a story that detailed a person’s journey towards realizing a dream. A story that gives the transparent thoughts of a person as they attempt to make sense of who they are, what they want, and how they will achieve it.

A book that explores the mind of an isolated creative as he attempts to share his art in a world confined by rules and judgement.

That afternoon, at the warehouse, my life was catapulted into a new obsession.
I felt, and continue to feel, powerless over my desire to create.

Inspiration began to hit me daily. I formulated new thoughts, ideas, and analytical queries on the nature of reality. I began to understand my own influence on my environment and the laws of attraction that encompass us all.

I began to learn about subjects that interested me: The infinite universe and the mind that interprets it, theoretical physics, and the sub-atomic principles that govern our actions.

The world had begun to be fodder for my own creativity and I could not prevent my own output of theory and emotion. Unprovoked by me, unexpected completely, I was given a sufficient outlet for my own voice: the written word.

So where am I today?

The moment I received a new calling, the reality of my life began to change. I fell in love, and had my heart broken. I lost the drive to become a musician, and removed myself from musical projects with people I love.

I have floundered in and out of pain and grief. I have disregarded my own ability to choose the life I want to lead, accepting the unexplainable desire to write with purpose. I’ve isolated myself from the things I used to love, in pursuit of my own goal: to become an author.

I rationalized all my choices leading up to this moment as a lack of control on my part. I’ve assumed an illusion of powerlessness that has kept my emotions in a stable state of disarray.

Today, I am balancing between the illusion of free-will and the limitless possibility of my next choice.

What fun is life if I am not able to choose?

Today, I choose to believe that I have a choice. I choose to continue living, loving, and pursuing the people, places, and things I enjoy.

For months I was lost in my own conception of powerlessness, my own idea that there was a lack in choice for nearly everything I did, and it didn’t help me.

Now, my destination is unknown, but I have a vision and I have faith. Every single dream and fantasy, love and loss, insane idea or philosophical inquiry, I mean to share…from my minds eye, to yours. ©

16 thoughts on “Higher Powerlessness and the Illusion of Free-Will (Part 2)

  1. Thanks for sharing this Adam! This is really powerful. Trust your instinct! You have such a great story to tell, and your writing is amazing. To be honest, I feel really under-equipped to help you in terms of feedback/critique. I know so little about memoir, and how to go about writing/structuring one. Have you had the opportunity to connect with any other fellow memoir writers? They might have some really great insights for you.

    Off the top of my head, I know there are Memoir sections in the Agent Query and Absolute Write communities. You may have to set up a login to participate but both communities are great. I’ve used AW a ton! There are likely more online communities, but these might be a great place to start and meet some fellow memoirists (did I just make up that word? 😉 )

    Absolute Write:

    Agent Query Connect:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awesome! Thank you so much Carissa for allowing me to participate in your query round up. I’m gonna look into those websites that you linked & continue working on my manuscript. I think it was really valuable to read all of the other participants work and queries. I’m still learning the process for acquiring agents/publication, but i’m not in any rush. I think it will be good for me to learn while I continue to create. I’ll talk to you soon!

      Adam A.


  2. Focusing on powerlessness never helps, does it? I’m glad you’re finding a new perspective and I’m glad you’ve chosen to pour yourself into writing! This is well-written and interesting, I’m sure that whatever novel you decide to work on will be the same… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks my man! Your spot on… I’ve written a 240 page rough draft for a memoir. The website is helping me get feedback and practice my writing voice. I’m in the process of narrating the rough draft & the blog is helping me stay in tune with the tone I’m going to use for guiding the reader through my narrative.


  3. Thanks for letting me read, Adam. It’s clear you have a great mastery of language. I have to admit–I don’t think I can critique this. I just don’t have any expertise at all when it comes to essays, or anything but fiction for that matter. I do wish you the best of luck though!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s uncanny. Reading this article does the same thing to me as what it did to the author when he heard the podcast. Why did I land up on this page? Getting me to read this as a sign post to something inside me that was ought to be read? Interconnections? Universal consciousness? My own seeking? Or … simply Love?

    Liked by 1 person

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