Some heavy subject matter ahead so you’ve been warned.
So, I finished reading Geoff Johns’ Green Lantern: Rebirth last night. It’s the second time I’ve read it- the first time as a much younger man of 17 or 18. It hit differently for me now because, at 32 I’ve been a little over two years sober, and I see Hal Jordan’s journey from Parallax’s host back to his former glory as the greatest of the Green Lanterns to be evocative of my experience in recovering and reaching sobriety. I don’t think this was intended by Johns or any of the the other creative teams; it just happens to be something, as Tolkien might have said, that was applicable rather than allegorical.
I felt I recognized so many things in it. Carol Ferris has moved on from Hal while he’s been in the grips of Parallax. Some friends like John Stewart and Oliver Queen stand by Hal and support him; some like Bruce Wayne skeptical of the idea that he’ll ever change. Fighting to split from Parallax evokes quitting; the fight with Sinestro and his constant taunting, withdrawals. Issue 4, page 21’s green thought text boxes could be some of my own.
I didn’t get past my alcoholism through strength, or speed, or intelligence- it was pure willpower. Making it happen because I wanted things to change.
And Hal’s place at the end of the story is a familiar one to me, too. A lot of your friends are glad to have the old you back, while others still don’t trust you or believe you’ve really changed. But you feel you’ve made a clean break. I just see a lot of it as applicable to what I’ve gone through in real life, and it means quite a bit more to me than it did when I read it when I was young.
Anyway, I wanted to share as I think it makes for interesting discussion and if anyone out there is struggling with something that requires a heavy dose of your willpower, it makes for a good, inspiring read.
The brightest days are ahead.