In my entire adult life–and we’re literally talking about only four little years here–the longest amount of time that I’ve been able to stay sober for has been about 5 months. I’ve spent the last three years trying to quit drinking. To sum up and clarify this jumble of dumbass math: I’ve been drinking since I was 17, tried to quit drinking since I was 19, fucked up real bad when I was 20, somehow made it through 21 alright for the most part, and then I turned 22 this summer and ate shit. To put it crudely, I’ve only legally been an adult for 4 years and have spent most of that time eating shit. It’s been tragically upsetting to think about down here sitting in my mom’s basement. It’s almost not funny. Almost.
Alcoholism blows. And what’s even worse is realizing that you’re an alcoholic or an addict at such a tender age blows even worse. That’s what has been eating at me all day: I haven’t had an alcoholic beverage in 90 days and I haven’t smoked weed or done any other drugs in 5 months and I still don’t feel great. That’s not to say that I felt “good” while I was on drugs or during my recent relapse with alcohol abuse. My ass was TOASTED. Early on in recovery, what I’ve realized is that sometimes I’ve had to settle for not feeling like absolute garbage instead of feeling “good.”
Feeling “good” is more confusing to me than probably anything. This is just my experience with drugs and alcohol and sobriety but I feel as though I’m also making some kind of sacrifice to “feel good.” Whether that’s destroying myself with liquor or committing HOURS to finding adequate pornography that doesn’t make my skin crawl; feeling “good” seems like it always comes at some kind of price that always leaves me wondering, “was this this REALLY worth it?” And more often than not the answer is pretty much always a resounding, “FUCK NO! IDIOT!” That’s the answer I usually get to any question I ask myself. I like to imagine that my brain is like my own version of Sesame Street or The Muppet Show, which means that my subconscious is the trash can that Oscar the Grouch lives in and that being the case I like to imagine that my alcoholic ego is some kind of rambunctious, blood-lusting hobo wearing poor Oscar’s dead Muppet-hide as a roadkill helmet. Sorta like how I imagine Robinson Crusoe would have actually been like in real life: just a sad, feral lunatic on his own sad and sweaty little island, going around with a dead pelican on his head, fucking trees to satisfy his crippling loneliness, and taking out his rage by hollering at the natives and screaming a bunch of incoherent racist shit at them for no good reason. It’s a dark place. It’s a lonely place. It’s a scary that always feels uncomfortable. On a good day, addiction and all the things that come with it are manageable. And on a bad day, I have to wolf-man myself and not let myself leave the basement until I’ve got my head screwed on straight. There’s no telling how long that will take either. And that’s where I’ve found myself after 90 days.
I’d like to go into further detail later on about my recovery process. Detoxing and the rehabilitation process and trying to get my ass through college without dying or doing any more drugs. But I’ll save that because it’s not a bad yarn and it deserves the proper attention to tell it well. I’ve found myself torn between my needless cynicism saying, “who the fuck wants to read your bullshit on the internets?? ya jerk!” and my inner writerer feeling blue balled by wanting to just write gradually. I’ll tell ya what, the second I actually got down to postin’ on my fancy new wordpress blog (oh how dirty it feels) all I want to do is TELL THE SPECIAL STORY OF MY LIFE!!11!!!!1!!! IT’S SO INTERESTING!!!!!!11!!!!1!!!!1!!!1! 2DEEP4Uhashtag!! Dwam, this feels so wrong…but SO RIGHT. But like alcohol, listening to that self doubt is limiting. At least for me it is. That’s sort of what I’ve gleaned from hitting my 3 month-mark: this shitty feeling might not go away entirely. Three months in now, I think the best I can actually ask for is manageable shittiness. Is it admitting some kind of defeat? Yes and no. I like to think of it as NUTTING THE FUCK UP! Do I feel like I’m uncomfortably developing an attitude that’s way similar to that of everybody in suburban America’s chronically miserable dad? YES! And I hate it! But if it gets me out of my mom’s basement to go look for a decent, minimum-wage, part-time job, then fuck it I’m willin’ to try anything at this point. Especially any attitude that can keep me sober.
I believe that there’s a saying in the military: EMBRACE THE SUCK! That’s where I’m at now after 3 hellish months in sobriety. It hasn’t all been bad and the most important thing that I really cannot stress enough is that this suckishness beats active alcohol abuse any fucking day of the week without even the slightest fucking shadow of a doubt. Fuck that shit. Drinking has literally almost taken everything away from me and three months ago, it almost took my life (more details to cum!). As much as I don’t want to be having to think about my relapse, it’s days like today where it’s actually not bad chapter of the past to ponder over.
When it really comes down to it, my worst day in sobriety is a billion times better than my best day drinking–or using any drugs. And now that I’m out of intensive out-patient, I can admit that there were some pretty RAD TIMES while I was drinking and on drugs. Some stuff is hilarious. I can’t and won’t deny that. I had some of the best times of my life while I was drinking and on drugs. HOWEVER! That shit came at a price. For every small smile or short moment of light, there was a long, sleepless night of crying and wishing that I was dead. And now that I’m dealing with some serious, big-boy consequences, you can imagine that I’ve found it very difficult to laugh. It’s a cliche, I sound like everybody’s dad or D.A.R.E. officer, but fuck you: this shit comes at a price. I’m only 22 and I’m done with this. It’s not funny anymore and what I’ve finally realized is that the only person who is suffering is me. Now, I know I’m not the sole entity effected by my alcohol and drug use; I’ve hurt everybody who I love and everybody who loves me. I’m getting sober for myself so that I can actually apologize and make real amends to the people I love. That’s how it works. I can make a drunk-ass apology and mean it (god knows I’ve done it before!) but I can still feel my skin crawl when I make it. Any gesture I make, no matter how genuine or heartfelt, if I’m not sober when I make it then it just feels empty. It tears me up inside and the guilt never really goes away. I can’t help but wonder all the time, “is this really me? or is this drugs doin’ the thinking for us again?” And then the trashcan-dwelling hobo who occupies my subconscious just shouts, “STOP ASKIN’ QUESTIONS, FAGIT!!” It’s a real struggle to know who’s in-charge upstairs in my thinker at any given moment. I mostly listen to the red-ass whose voice in my head sounds like Warren Sapp with a mouth full of dip screaming in my face. One of my dreams is to hire Warren Sapp to be my personal trainer–this is a good indication that I need to do some serious work on my life goals now that I’m sober.
Like everything else in recovery, embracing the suck is way easier said than done. It’s been hard to wrap my mind around the idea that my sobriety is enough. Especially when the cravings have tapered off and I’m like, “ah fuck–I need a job.” My self-esteem blows and I have to constantly remind myself that I’m a recovering alcoholic who’s just gone through a nasty relapse with drugs and alcohol. You can see how this gets repetitive and after a while begins to lose some of its weight and meaning. But this isn’t just an every day thing, this is a ’round the clock BIG BOY stuff! I feel like the GRUDEN GRINDER of sobriety: I’ve got no natural talent but I’m trying wicked hard. I wish Jon Gruden was my life coach. I bet life on Jon Gruden’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers Superbowl winning team from the early 2000’s was pretty sweet. I’d be the guy who takes the cap off of Warren Sapp’s Gatorade. A pirates life for me!
To paraphrase Siddhartha Gautama, “Fear is inevitable. Bein’ a pussy and a coward is a choice!” Or at least this is what I remember reading. I’ll grant ya it coulda been a bad translation. Now that I’m 90 days sober, I’m ready to take the next step. I’m ready to accept that the only way out of my mom’s basement is to EMBRACE THE SUCK! Oh dat suck tho…it’s one sucky suck. HOWEVER! Still beats drugs and alcohol. As much as I catch myself bitching about stupid things, the reality is that 99% of my problem have gone away just because I’m not drinking or doing drugs. I don’t have to actively not kill myself. There’s less time wasted being locked up wolfman-style in the basement. I’m not worried about getting arrested or failing a drug test or having to wait to pass a drug test in order to get a job. When I actually reflect on it, it is extremely relieving. Now all I gotta do is nut up and get going with this new lifestyle. Nuttin’ up is hard, man. Sobriety feels more like a place to me than just a feeling; it’s pervasive and ever changing. It’s like a location. RECOVERY ISLAND! Like Revis Island. Not a whole bunch of touch downs for ya on Sober-ass Island today, sonny! But hey, it’s infinitely better than being on drunk-ass, pirate butt-rape island! Yes, that is how I choose to describe it–fuck being delicate–this is my recovery.
That’s one thing that’s a little worrisome about writing a recovery “blog” and putting this online. I imagine that if I had better judgement then I would be asking myself questions like, “DO YOU REALLY WANT YOUR FUTURE EMPLOYER TO SEE THIS??? HHHHHMMMMMMM????” But my judgement blows. I’m starting to realize that thinking is dangerous for me. I can rationalize literally anything and I mean ANYTHING. If you too suffer from addiction or alcoholism then I bet you understand what I mean when I say ANYTHING. When my addiction gets going there’s no stopping. This train-wreck has no brakes. But I’m in recovery and I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got and what I’ve got left. In everyday conversation, sure, there’s no need to up in my neighbor’s grill and turn every conversation into a meeting with my social worker. The world is not my parole officer nor should it be. However, I think it’s stupid for me to not be up front about my recovery and my addiction. It’s 2015. This is America. You can walk down the streets a happily married homosexual, carrying a concealed firearm, and blowin’ some dope ass, dank ass, weed smoke in everybody’s face. We’re closing in on a Utopian society, people! But for real, I’ve got absolutely nothing to gain from keeping my recovery in the closet. If I was gay, I’d be gay. But that’s not the case. I was born an alcoholic so I’m gonna be an alcoholic in recovery. Socially I think we’ve got to this point where you just be you. In my own life, I’ve known from my first drink that I had a BAD reaction to alcohol. But I’ve denied being an alcoholic since that first drink. It’s bad enough I’ve had to actively stop lying to myself. Why am I going to waste anyone’s time by lying some more? For instance, if I went out to go look for a job and it just so happened that I had to bring up the fact that I’m in recovery and I didn’t get a particular job because I’m an alcoholic then that leaves everybody involved in this hypothetical situation much better off. A potential employer doesn’t waste their time if they don’t want to hire someone who’s in recovery and I don’t waste my time working for such an employer. And also, if I worked for someone who didn’t think that this sort of thing wasn’t at least a little funny then they can eat a bag of dicks. I’ve wasted a lot of time lying to myself and abusing drugs an alcohol. And because of that, I’ve had to spend even more time trying to figure out what in the fuck was wrong and how in the fuck I was gonna fix it. I’m not going to waste any more time.
If there’s one thing that I do feel sincerely good about in sobriety thus far, it’s that I’ve found that honesty solves most of my problems. Sometimes it’s hard to even know what’s going on/what’s wrong let alone be honest about it. Ironically, honesty and a healthy dose of truthful perspective is what I hope to gain from putting this recovery report online. I don’t think that’s really what blogging is for but I’m feeling like giving it a shot is a goodass idea. Especially in the meantime while I’m waiting for sobriety to stop suckin’ and I’ll be sure to let the internets know if it does!
Sobriety’s good. But I want to make it even better. I hope to gain some kind of perspective on it, document and publish my findings, and from there proceed to HUMBLEBRAG at the world about it from behind the safety my crusty, jizz and cheeto-finger stained keyboard! My goal for this blog (oh it still feels dirty to say…) is to as accurately as I can document and report my experience in recovery from my own personal experience. Or as we say in IOP (intensive out-patient for all you normals out there), “‘I’ Statements.” I don’t want to give (unwanted) advice to anybody. My advice sucks. I don’t even give myself good advice. I’d really just like throw some shit out there because it’s kinda thrilling and fun! My inner writerer’s proverbial knob must be polished! In my most self-obsessed, dickheaded moments, I really do feel the need to talk at the world even if it’s just talking to hear myself talk. As far as goes, I have little shame. Because, why not? I’ve just passed 2500 words. I didn’t tell ya to read this. And I’m sure as hell willing to bet that reading some dumb drunkass kid’s recovery blog wasn’t a homework assignment. It’s a part of my sober mission! As an alcoholic, I find it difficult not to hate myself. But if I can’t appreciate myself when I’m sober then this recovery thing is never gonna work out. So after 90 days, still feeling mad bummed out, where better to go to boost my depleted self-esteem than the internets?! Oh blog. How you vex me.
I’ve become what I hate most: a blogger. I honesty feel like I need to take a shower. Or take this shit down because I’m ashamed of myself. But I certainly don’t feel bad enough to stop! And I’ve been suckin’ for too long! It’s time to do big cums. If I can’t laugh at my own jackassery, than God really is dead and we’re all alone. There’s nothing worse than the shame and guilt I feel when I’m drinking. This feeling of being a fuggin’ blogger is NOTHING compared to how I would feel if I were still slammin’ beers alone in my room listening to Oasis. (God, that’s depressing to even think about for one second).
Tomorrow, it’ll be day number 91 and I’ll be on my way to working on my fourth month of sobriety. My biggest hero Tupac (100% serious; I fucking love Tupac) said, “Laugh now. Cry later.” I’ve done enough crying. It’s time to laugh. If I can’t laugh, I haven’t learned. And if I haven’t learned, I’m bound to do it again. So here I go on my romp through sobriety! Ya gotta get clean before ya get dirty! And oh, I plan to get dirty.