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The End of my Addiction
BarrelChested

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StuckinLA

On bac there were doses where I had euphoria, other doses where it was even mania, and still others filled with near-crippling anxiety. But never darkness. True, total darkness only seems to come for me at the tail end of a weeklong (three-weeklong) bender.

A friend of mine, whom unfortunately I no longer see due to him moving one place and me moving to another, tried just what you described about moderation through exceptional quality. I wouldn't call him an alcoholic, but he did like a few drinks. One day he went out to one of those liquor superstores and dropped something like 500 bucks. He set up a bar at home, and from that day forward spent more time learning about cocktails and practicing making them than he did drinking them. He would have one or two most nights, I think, but the intellectual curiosity and the ritual surrounding the whole thing became more important than the drink itself. 

Again, he probably isn't an alcoholic and I know that would never work for me. I wish. I've always wanted a home-bar, but I'd never be able to keep it stocked. Because I'm the guy who will drink through my favorite liquor first and move on in descending order though the bottles until I find myself on the kitchen floor drinking straight from a bottle of dry vermouth until even that's empty before pulling myself up and out of the house to the liquor store. Because I'm the guy who just realized I have 6 empty fifths of Jameson next to my recycling container. So no bar, no craft cocktails for me.

But maybe you'll have better success? Sounds like you're a little more... er, intense in your pursuits than I am.

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BarrelChested
On 11/5/2016 at 0:16 PM, StuckinLA said:

Sounds like you're a little more... er, intense in your pursuits than I am.

Eleven. Everything to eleven. A friend needed support,  last night. So, I popped a Nal and... well, six drinks felt like a lot (without Nal... I'd say that 15-20 drinks would have been last night's "level"). My recycling bin looks eerily similar. As we've lost curb-side glass recycling, I use it as an excuse to take short (15min each way) trips to drop-off my glass via bicycle.

Speaking of eleven... I finally managed to do "bird in flight," yesterday (both sides!) in yoga. For old fat dude with legs like tree trunks... this is pretty awesome. And maybe a bit surreal for the yogis -- like watching a dump truck trying to perform Swan Lake...

 

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StuckinLA

There are so many homeless in my neighborhood who go through the recycling bins out on the street for cans that I finally stopped putting all my recycling in one place. Now I have a separate paper bag that I put my cans and bottles in, then put that in the communal recycling bin. To make it easier for others to collect it.

Fuck me. What must the rest of my building thing of me? Everyone here knows I'm an alcoholic. My new housekeeper knows. As long as I pay the bills, right? 

Keep it up with the yoga, man. Seriously.

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Ne1

I do everything to a 9.5. Not meaning it's excellent, but that I never finish. I'm the underachieving yin to your overachieving yang. Or am I the yang and you're the yin? Whatever. 

That cider wouldn't need much of an alcohol content for me to decide it was ready enough, regardless of the taste. When I was indifferent, Ed and I went to wine country for several days. We brought home a bunch of wine, obviously. Some of it needed to age, and the rest was just really good wine, so we didn't want to drink it without sharing with good friends. The wine stayed in the pantry for more than 2 years until I relapsed. I drank all the bottles, including the expensive cabs that really needed a decade and a special champagne that Ed won at an international food show. (How was I supposed to know?)  Every last sip of booze gone in the first 6 months. The worst of it was that I was usually drunk when I opened a bottle, after having run out of whatever I was drinking, and just wanting more booze, regardless of price or quality. 

Stuck, the lengths I went to to hide my alcoholism from the maid make me grimace. Of course, drinking is so damn expensive that it wasn't long after I relapsed that we couldn't afford a maid anymore, so it makes little difference now. And since booze sucks the will right out of me, and makes me impervious to the mess (escapism! woohoo!!), our house is...messy. 

Yes, I am an ALL THE THINGS kinda woman, ( http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/06/this-is-why-ill-never-be-adult.html ) and of course I know the squirrel reference. 

Glad the nal seems to be working! That's pretty impressive. And congrats, too, on the pose. How're your thoughts? 

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StuckinLA

@Ne1 Hyperbole and a Half is the freaking greatest.

We are right there together, aren't we, sister? Jesus, the lengths I would go to be ok. To hide from everyone. At this point, I've given up. Yeah, I'm an alcoholic. So what? What are you going to do about it?

I put my cans and bottles in a nice paper bag before putting them in the recycling. Because I know the homeless and my landlady's father collects them. I am beyond caring what my housekeeper thinks. She probably despises me, but she does her job and I pay her for it. I plan to give her a nice Xmas bonus.

 

I can't afford any of this shit. My mother doesn't know how to show her love in any other way than money. God, I can't imagine how much she makes a year. She writes me checks every so often to show that she cares. She makes sure that she doesn't give me too much that she has to pay taxes on it, but that's still a lot. At least to me it's a lot. I've stopped letting it bother me. I know this is her way of showing love. And I do love her. Just sucks that I'm spending that money on fifths of liquor every night.

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Felina

@Ne1, that particular Hyperbole and a Half has long been one of my favoriite Internet posts of all time. Doesn't it describe depression to a T? And in the most funny, relatable way. The creator of that site is a genius.

I remember how well I hid my alcoholism from everyone. From the way I staggered my alcohol purchases so I would never buy beer (or whatever) at a particular place more than once every couple of weeks, to the way I hid my empties so the recycling guys or neighbors wouldn't think worse of me. 

Another one of my favorite memes since it of course fit me so well:

re.jpg

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BarrelChested
8 hours ago, StuckinLA said:

@Ne1 Hyperbole and a Half is the freaking greatest.

@StuckinLA Your command of the obvious is unparalleled. :-D  The general level of intelligence in this group exceeds my expectations. Then again, I've read (NPR? BBC?) that alcohol abuse is positively-correlated with education. In TX, it's the primary social outlet. Not drinking kinda means not socializing. So be it -- I'm still committed to this thing. Booze doesn't make me happy. It's an escape, sure... and I laugh and enjoy... but it's not lasting. Then again, neither is Happiness.

I'm very fortunate in that I've found an enduring source of joy: I love to learn. I'm happiest when I'm learning. Happiness is not a thing, a place, or a finish line.  For me, at least, it's a process. Everyone thinks of Sisyphus as cursed and miserable... but I wonder if this is just a lack of imagination. The U.S. Navy has a saying: "a tired ship is a happy ship." I know from my experience of spending 75% of my time in the field (not on a grey cruise ship) that there's merit to this. The best way to keep the demons at bay is to occupy the mind.  When I'm not getting sh1thoused, I'm typically building something, learning something, or making music. It would be nice if I could add "pitching woo" to the list... but, meh, nothing's perfect. <SIGH>

I'm a decent-looking person (forgive my lack of modesty). I've always figured that booze is somehow fscking it up for me in that department.  After a reasonably attractive girl was hitting on me whilst gross-drunk (I didn't go for it), I asked a [female] friend, "yikes -- I wonder if I'm sometimes like that." "Oh hell yes" was the reply.  However, my skin will burn if I get within 100 meters of a church. So, bars and Tinder are my best bet. Without booze... well, hell, I can't even remember the last time I've hooked up without liquid encouragement (it's mostly for me -- I'm wittier and less inhibited).

 

I miss living in a place with things to do other than drink, eat, or go to church. But booze is gonna kill me. I've seen it kill others... and it's not a nice way to go. So... bring-on the Naltrexone (which I still hate... but perhaps the darkness is becoming less intense... which would be awesome). I'm abstaining, tonight, just to get away from the Nal.

 

Quick question: do y'all find that lower ABV drinks lead to lower consumption? I can drink only 4-6 cans of cider (dry cider)... but can still knock-back half of a fifth (these drink counts are on Nal).

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StuckinLA
7 hours ago, BarrelChested said:

Quick question: do y'all find that lower ABV drinks lead to lower consumption? I can drink only 4-6 cans of cider (dry cider)... but can still knock-back half of a fifth (these drink counts are on Nal).

Funny you should mention that. The other night I went to the liquor store at 2am in a blackout, and bought some beer along with my usual fifth. The beer was from a good local brewery, so clearly I was trying to actually enjoy drinking. The next morning when the shakes set in, I read the label and saw that this beer was 4.6%abv. And then I went to the bathroom and stared into my own eyes in the mirror, questioning my life decisions. Jesus, 4.6? That's like not even drinking. 

What the hell was I thinking??

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Ne1

I love to learn, too, Barrel. It's crossing the finish line that's my problem. Well, that and actually starting, especially in the throes of active alcoholism. Hard enough when I'm sober! 

Great memes. What I wouldn't give for home delivery. Thank god it doesn't exist! 

When you willingly, contentedly, stop drinking, you will be amazed at how skewed your perception of a world without booze was when you were drinking or abstaining from drinking through sheer force of will. I didn't miss it. No one cared. I wasn't left out. In fact, I got a get out of jail free card, and was able to finally avoid the usual drink-fests where others expected my participation. A very close friend has a Halloween blowout every year, and his boyfriend has a St. Patrick's Day blowout. In both cases there are parades that go through the neighborhoods. What was fun 10 years ago (maybe?) is now a total drag (pun-intended, since we're expected to dress-up in outlandish, creative and usually expensive costumes for both events). Last time I went as Medusa, and woke up with skin paint all over my lovely sheets, the dog had torn apart the amazing wig, and I couldn't eat for a day or two. ugh. Never again. Anyway, just leave yourself open to the possibility that even in TX you will find people interesting and things to be engaged in, and possibly True Love (or at least the occasional fling, whatever you're looking for) after you aren't controlled by negative thoughts and escapism. You don't have to let your secret optimism out of the closet, but you can still nourish him. (omg. Nourish? I'm channeling my therapist. Sorry.) :) 

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BarrelChested

I think that I'm destined for a second consecutive night of sobriety. Mostly because I don't feel so well. I planned to pedal-down to yoga and hit-up the liquor store on the way back. Meh, I'll just let my body heal a bit.  Incidentally, although they don't have home delivery (are we certain about that? It seems like something you could easily accomplish -- call it "Luber"), we can brew our own (cheaply and quickly; it takes a mere two weeks to brew nasty cider).  If I had to guess at ABV (because I haven't tested, yet), I'd estimate it's around 6% ABV (because champagne yeast can live in solutions up to 19%... and I'm adding sugar).  But here's another thought: cider (especially if made from Granny Smith apples) is high in polyphenols. Polyphenols help your gut flora. That you're drinking them with booze doesn't seem to matter. I mean, booze is still awful for your gut... but, meh, every little bit helps. Also, house-made cider isn't loaded with sugar like the commercial offerings.

 

Polyphenols are absorbed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11823574

Polyphenols are good: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4365176/

 

Another benefit is that your neighbors will think that you're some sort of apple pervert instead of an alcoholic. "I hear that he likes Gravensteins," they'll say.  "Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?"

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BarrelChested
12 hours ago, Ne1 said:

When you willingly, contentedly, stop drinking, you will be amazed at how skewed your perception of a world without booze was when you were drinking or abstaining from drinking through sheer force of will. I didn't miss it.

I've had several periods of sobriety. I usually give-up booze for Lent (I disdain religion but still find value in the practice of self-discipline; also, it's always been my "canary in the coal mine"). I've also had periods of 6, 9, and 12 months that were booze-free. Two of those were a personal choice. Anyway... perhaps that's not long enough? I have yet to see the world as "better" when sober.

I spent a year of my life working for an education-based 501c3. I believe that we should all genuinely try to be the best possible versions of ourselves. Booze helps me deal with the reality that this is fringe viewpoint and that I'm stuck with these @ssClowns.

 

I hope that you're right; it's always the last place you look. Perhaps a golden-winged ship is passing my way...?

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StuckinLA

hehehe "Luber."

I am so sorry you had to be sober last night, given the historic fuckshit horrorshow that happened.

I just woke up from a blackout and can't believe that yesterday happened.

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BarrelChested
11 hours ago, StuckinLA said:

I am so sorry you had to be sober last night, given the historic fuckshit horrorshow that happened.

I'm so goddamned sad. I'm about to start drinking. My "grand run" of a two-day sobriety comes crashing down. I knew that racism is alive and well. I thought that it lived on the fringes of our society... but instead it's the norm. The majority of Americans want an openly-bigoted, misogynistic, bully that sh1ts on veterans and mocks the disabled. So be it. "In a democracy, people generally get the government they deserve."  I so severely overestimated our capacity for compassion and empathy. And it breaks my heart.

The country will not implode. We will survive. But we're forced to see the true character of our country... and we cannot "un-see" this. I need a fscking drink...

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BarrelChested

I value you as fellow travelers. We're all humbled by our failings and trying to help each other. I don't care about your politics. And I apologize for being so blatant about mine. FWIW, I was completely centrist before G.W. Bush. I'm a jerk. Y'all have been nice and regret that I'm having a tough time restraining myself, today.

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Ne1

Middle of the night here in Virginia.

I woke up thinking about you, Barrel, even before I read your last posts, which broke my heart. 

I had a response working in my mind, but got sidetracked by the quote from the TS Eliot poem. Now I'm just addled by the profundity of the poem and have misplaced what I wanted to say in the first place.

On 11/8/2016 at 9:54 PM, BarrelChested said:

"Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?"

For others: http://www.bartleby.com/198/1.html

I hadn't read it before. I could spend days lost in those words. Thank you. 

Going back to bed now. More tomorrow. 

 

 

 

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Ne1
On 10/31/2016 at 1:46 AM, BarrelChested said:

Happiness is a choice. 
...

The prospect of being some boring, sober,  old fart watching TV (something I don't do) and waiting to die isn't a helluva lot better. I guess that I'm hoping to take my chances with the TV. 

On 11/8/2016 at 9:48 AM, Ne1 said:

When you willingly, contentedly, stop drinking, you will be amazed at how skewed your perception of a world without booze was when you were drinking or abstaining from drinking through sheer force of will. 

On 11/8/2016 at 10:08 PM, BarrelChested said:

I have yet to see the world as "better" when sober.
...Perhaps a golden-winged ship is passing my way...?

I alluded to the fact that I can be a bit of a know-it-all in a previous post. If I had an easy answers, or the solution(s) to what ails us, I'd obviously be employing them already. Maybe for you sobriety will be different? Some people (quite a few, probably the majority) just stop taking the pills. One of our first mottoes was Just Keep Taking The Pills. JKTTP. And JKTTGDP. I miss lowcountryman and those early heady days of trying to get and then becoming contentedly sober. Lowcountryman was the author, and it was one of the first posts on my old thread. Good stuff back then. But enough reminiscing for what was! (As I posted on the Checking In thread, everything I write seems to be alluding to the election results. That's not my meaning or intention.) 

I have to be honest that the post that I was creating in my head when I woke up this morning was a bit more antagonistic, but I've since found other avenues for my frustration. That and an email I got from the dharma teacher of a Buddhist Sangha, and the poem swirling in my head when I went back to bed last night, reframed my perspective. Still, if you have all the answers already, you might not be able to hear a solution that might work for you. You've never been, at least based on your posts, a boring old fart sitting in front of a television. Why would that change when you stop drinking? Granted, that was written when you were drunk. But if you really have that anxiety, you can easily discourage it with some rational thinking. Life is more, sober. I suppose that since happiness is a choice, it isn't necessarily one you have to make. But I know from my own experience that I can't choose happiness when I'm in active addiction. I have to treat the addiction, first. 

Unlike you, before I found medication and online support, I'd never experienced 30 days of abstinence, much less contented abstinence, in 20 years of trying. Since God didn't work, and the 12 steps, and traditional rehab, and everything else I tried for those 20 years, I looked desperately for alternatives, thinking to combine all of the things that worked into one program and create my own. Instead I found the answer in a book from the library and a pill. 

If you haven't read the TSM book, I recommend it. There's a free download I'll find and post here. And whatever else you can do or read to fortify your commitment and increase your endurance. I don't know about you, but for me that includes a ban on all news for the time being, too. And music! I know nothing about improvisational jazz, and prefer cheesy pop songs with a smattering of rap, old folk and lesbian angst music to get my juices flowing. I've downloaded a bunch of music played at campaign rallies and refuse to let that go, despite the fact that the election is over. Whatever works for you. 

More to respond to (Luber! cider, and so much more) but this is already an ungodly amount of text to read and I'm not done yet! 

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BarrelChested
19 hours ago, Ne1 said:

I hadn't read it before. I could spend days lost in those words.

I am so very glad to have turned-you-on-to such a great poem. It's long been one of my favorites. And it's such a pity that you had to read it. In my opinion, poetry should be read to us -- for it lets us experience the meter and emotion of the thing, decoupled from the responsibility of parsing the words. There's an immediacy to hearing it. There are many wonderful poems in the world -- and I look forward to discovering the next one that moves me.

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StuckinLA

On my phone so please forgive typos. 

Just keep taking the god damned pills. Whichever pills you find are working for you. 

However dark the picture is, barrel, it will be all right. I've seen people, in my former life as a paramedic, who killed themselves. And I've seen people not successful at killing themselves. It never has to be that dark. Too many people stopped breathing in my arms. 

We get through all of this together. 

Its almost 10pm and I'm in a ahitty motel room. And all the physical pain is starting to catch up with me. My kidney hurts, where I was kicked repeatedly last night. I hate the entire world.  Tomorrow will be fun.  Love you guys. 

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BarrelChested
6 minutes ago, StuckinLA said:

My kidney hurts, where I was kicked repeatedly last night. I hate the entire world.

Holy cr*p -- I hope that the kicking was metaphorical, self-inflicted, and not the result of some Trump-emboldened attack. Turmeric (especially when cooked in oil -- increases its  bioavailablity / relatively low absorption rate) is an exceptionally powerful anti-inflammatory (more so than NSAIDs and with no known side-effects/toxicity). Water is ever-important... and if you're looking for some dietary help, [organic] spinach and stock-from-bones are powerful medicine. Vitamin-C and K (abundant in kale -- again, one of the veggies where buying organic is worth the $$$) also help with free-radical scavenging/repair/etc.  If you're being literal (I hope not), soaking in an Epsom salt bath should help with muscle/tissue pain (magnesium is the active ingredient). If you have physical damage, try taking something like Valerian root to help you go to sleep, sooner (thereby drinking less). Sleep does a body good. Booze does a body bad (but does seem to help the psyche).

And, FWIW, if you were the victim of a hate crime, you have my empathy and not even a micro-smidgen less of my respect. I wish you a speedy recovery. Sh1tty hotel rooms are the worst -- they foster a special breed of depression, boredom, despair, and self-loathing. And, again FWIW, I just felt my fanatical devotion to the Oxford comma slip, a bit; "I feel the need to over-punctuate," he thought... [menacingly]

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BarrelChested
27 minutes ago, StuckinLA said:

Just keep taking the god damned pills. Whichever pills you find are working for you. 

I'm definitely feeling less "darkness," recently (holy fsck, thank doG).  I'm a special unicorn -- I've felt some of the worst of the "rare" side-effects of Naltrexone https://www.drugs.com/sfx/naltrexone-side-effects.html .

 

But they/it seem(s) to be waning. I'm also at a point where booze is losing a little bit of its lustre. Not enough, mind you, once I light the fuse... but enough to quell the most vicious of my desires. And in typing this, I thought of Dylan Thomas and @Ne1.  There's a little gem... which, unfortunately, was written by Dylan Thomas (he's great but not as accessible as he should be; I disdain those that masturbate to intelligence by way of obfuscation).  Anyway... https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/force-through-green-fuse-drives-flower

 

Oh, and FYI, Nietzsche is a bit of a hero... mostly because he was the Johnny Rotten of the philosophy world. The guy was put-down because he wrote in plain language instead of the  erudite... er, pompous language of most philosophers. I'm not saying that semantics are not critically important (they really are when it comes to philosophy)... but I sense a perversion within that group. If there's not a NEED for precision... why not speak plainly and simply? Oh, that's right -- because then you'd rob your more educated readers of the experience of feeling superior for not needing a dictionary. #yesIdid

 

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StuckinLA

Barrel, you are a gem, you are the special unicorn. I am so glad you are here.  

No, Unfortunately, that was not a metaphoric beat down. I really was punched in the face by a friend who blames me for Trump. Because I voted for Jill Stein in California (see election results and electoral college to see I'm in the right here). I didn't fight back. I let him punch me in the face a few times, and I went to the ground. 

As he was kicking me in my lower back, I looked up at him and made eye contact. I smiled, I laughed at him. I screamed at him to let it all out, go ahead and get all his anger out, kick me harder. I believe I also called him a b**ch and a p**sy. Then I threw him out of my house. 

 

I am am expecting to piss blood soon. Looks like all my bruising is internal, can't see any external marks yet. But it's all starting to hurt. 

 

Worst part is after I threw him out, he called the cops *on me.* so I ended up dealing with 2 cops and him on my front porch at 3am. I talked them out of arresting him because I said he was going to take an uber home instead of driving. 

Thisnis where we are at, folks. I love you all and I will update you more thoroughly when I get home and have my computer instead of just my phone. Barrel, much more I want to respond to in your posts/thread. Just can't right now. 

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BarrelChested
On 11/10/2016 at 8:45 AM, Ne1 said:

I have to be honest that the post that I was creating in my head when I woke up this morning was a bit more antagonistic

And I would have deserved it. I'm sorry for bring-up politics. And then there's my general nature... for which I'm not "sorry..." but appreciate that it can test the patience of others. So much is lost in writing. There was a time, long ago -- before typewriters with "correction tape," long before the emergence of a widely-known "internet," when we could write. We were forced to plan what we intended to say. I used to craft sentences that a flowed like water into ground, diffusing into the reader's senses as the grass of my thoughts grew roots into their imagination. We didn't have backspace keys. We wrote in pen... and I now see the value in this.  Rarely does my typing pause for more than a second or two. Everything I write is stream-of-consciousness (which I think explains the different "tones" I adopt whilst sober/drunk; I'm currently sober... but I just popped a Nal).  Annnnnyway, I have verbal diarrhea (which I wipe with the page)... and a nature which is driven to challenge. I always play Devil's Advocate -- even adopting positions with which I disagree. Lastly, I'm just skeptical. It's my nature. So...

You (@Ne1) were offering encouragement... and I gainsayed it. And for this I apologize. It was without malice and without an awareness that I was doing precisely that. So, let me close with a positive note; I pretty certain that I'm finally adapting to the Nal. The darkness I felt (it was extreme... and I'm not exaggerating or looking for attention because of that) has left me. I don't feel peachy & bubbly after a few days of Nal... but I also don't feel hopeless.  I finally "came to my senses" and started exercising more (I'm trying to do at least 2hrs/day 5-6 days/wk; this is a marked reduction from what was my norm (for years) until I took a new job a few months ago).  I'm not even sure when I figured-it-out (decades ago)... but I have to exercise to maintain my mental/spiritual health. It's possible that I have an intrinsic biochemical imbalance (or one caused by dysbiosis)... and my coping mechanism is exercise?  So, the diminution of the Nal side-effects could be due to time or to exercise. Either way, my mood is better -- and I'm glad that I've been on an upswing -- for the election results haven't been uplifting (personally; I know that some people are very relieved).  So, things are looking up.

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Reggie

Stuck you're stuck in the badlands I get that......... this song I would play over and over when I was on something not nesscarily alcohol ..I never wanted to come down just like the high bounce of a trampoline ..but that environment  we live in .....is toxic just like everything at the moment .....just do it for you're self...you will know when the time comes ..It's all thought based drama ...watch ya thinking and thoughts ultimately they have no power over which direction you choose .....much love to you from Australia

reg 

 

 

Edited by Reggie
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StuckinLA
4 hours ago, BarrelChested said:
4 hours ago, BarrelChested said:

I used to craft sentences that a flowed like water into ground, diffusing into the reader's senses as the grass of my thoughts grew roots into their imagination. We didn't have backspace keys. We wrote in pen... and I now see the value in this.  

 We wrote in pen... and I now see the value in this.  Rarely does my typing pause for more than a second or two. 

4 hours ago, BarrelChested said:

And I would have deserved it. I'm sorry for bring-up politics. And then there's my general nature... for which I'm not "sorry..." but appreciate that it can test the patience of others. So much is lost in writing. There was a time, long ago -- before typewriters with "correction tape," long before the emergence of a widely-known "internet," when we could write. We were forced to plan what we intended to say. I used to craft sentences that a flowed like water into ground, diffusing into the reader's senses as the grass of my thoughts grew roots into their imagination. We didn't have backspace keys. We wrote in pen... and I now see the value in this.  Rarely does my typing pause for more than a second or two. Everything I write is stream-of-consciousness (which I think explains the different "tones" I adopt whilst sober/drunk; I'm currently sober... but I just popped a Nal).  Annnnnyway, I have verbal diarrhea (which I wipe with the page)... and a nature which is driven to challenge. I always play Devil's Advocate -- even adopting positions with which I disagree. Lastly, I'm just skeptical. It's my nature. So...

You (@Ne1) were offering encouragement... and I gainsayed it. And for this I apologize. It was without malice and without an awareness that I was doing precisely that. So, let me close with a positive note; I pretty certain that I'm finally adapting to the Nal. The darkness I felt (it was extreme... and I'm not exaggerating or looking for attention because of that) has left me. I don't feel peachy & bubbly after a few days of Nal... but I also don't feel hopeless.  I finally "came to my senses" and started exercising more (I'm trying to do at least 2hrs/day 5-6 days/wk; this is a marked reduction from what was my norm (for years) until I took a new job a few months ago).  I'm not even sure when I figured-it-out (decades ago)... but I have to exercise to maintain my mental/spiritual health. It's possible that I have an intrinsic biochemical imbalance (or one caused by dysbiosis)... and my coping mechanism is exercise?  So, the diminution of the Nal side-effects could be due to time or to exercise. Either way, my mood is better -- and I'm glad that I've been on an upswing -- for the election results haven't been uplifting (personally; I know that some people are very relieved).  So, things are looking up.

 

Accidentally quoted you a couple times and don't know how to delete.

Sentences flowing like water into the dry ground. My god, my friend. If you aren't a publishing writer I don't know what you are doing with your life. I just led a panel of short story writers and people seemed to think it was all right. Lots of successful writers, lots of good conversation. Beers afterward. Life was good and my girl hates me and wtf can you do. 

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Ne1

No apologies necessary! 

I should have mentioned from the very beginning that I don't take things personally when it comes to these online relationships and my 'suggestions'. That's not exactly always true, but I aim to achieve it as a goal. I don't like it when I get persnickety, and I feel like I was being pernickety in a couple of places on the forum recently, including here. Not cool. 

Very relieved to hear that the darkness has diminished and that you're able to keep taking the pills. I'm having some baclofen SEs that are decidedly uncomfortable, including disrupted sleep, and need to remind myself to stay the course in spite of them. 

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BarrelChested
On 11/12/2016 at 1:59 AM, StuckinLA said:

My god, my friend. If you aren't a publishing writer I don't know what you are doing with your life.

@StuckinLAThat is one of the nicest compliments I've ever received. And I appreciate it. And I'm flattered. Thank you. It wasn't until my late twenties that I was able to handle compliments. They were so foreign to me that they made me incredibly uneasy. Picture a Down's Syndrome kid that can't be touched -- this was my reaction to compliments.  I'm glad that I got past it. One of the most hurtful things ever said to me (I have very thick skin) came from a law student that I was dating. She said, "but, ugh, your writing (emails) is horrible." It's a sleight that scarred bone. I do not have tattoos; I do have scars all over my body -- many are visible. You couldn't have known this about me... and, therefore, your unsolicited compliment carries much more weight. Habia una vez -- (it just sounds so much better in Spanish) -- once upon a time, I delighted in the musicality of words and meter. Sentences have rhythm and texture. It's something that I've mostly lost (or let fall into disuse) over the years. To be honest, in my youth it was a toss-up to which I preferred -- music or writing. I must have moved twenty times by my high school graduation. These were my coping mechanisms.  I'm loaded. And I'm oversharing. Meh.

I don't care if you were loaded when you wrote that -- I'm going to take it and love the sh1t out of it. I will call it George. And I will hug it and squeeze it.

I envy, I think, that you're able to live as a writer. These days, my poetry is code. There can be so much elegance and beauty in thought. Non-programmers will likely struggle to understand this (caveat: I'm pretty damned good at what I do). More often than not, I look at old code and think, "oh, god, what malformed troglodyte wrote this -- fsck, I did; I hate myself." This is a COMPLETELY NORMAL RESPONSE. We get better with experience.  Everyone once in a great while, I read some old code and think, "my god, this is freaking brilliant! I wrote this?!?" But for all of the intrinsic beauty of design and logic... well, these things don't have an emotional impact. Parched earth drawing-in thought, the desperation and magnificence of of the desert -- these are things that move us. I cannot thank you enough.  It's amazing what an impact a few words of kindness can have.

 

I'm disturbed when I identify with movies and books that I know are perverse horror/fantasy to most. Things haven't always been this good. And believe me, things are good. They're goddamned good. Except for the absence of significant other (or a gang of go-go dancers in white patent leather boots) -- and a healthy liver -- my life is not so bad. You know what? Since I'm FSCKING SH!THOUSED in a way I haven't been in... months(?)... I'm going for gold. I was twenty-five years old when I first experienced love. Of any sort. Sure, it was an imperfect love (when isn't it?)... but it came on the heels of my long walk. And I think of the past... and, really, it wasn't that bad. It was horrific... but I lived in a first-world nation and managed to find a way. I never really suffered, physically. The only physical altercation I got into was my fault (I had studied martial arts for years: I started the fight and deserved the consequences; you could read the lettering of the college ring in my face). You can only put someone down for so long before they rebel. We all fight. It's our nature.

I wish that I had your skill, @StuckinLA: so many amazing things have happened in my life. My depth of experience is uncommon. Alas, I'm just not a storyteller. I'm incapable of being terse. And I hate++ Faulkner. And John Updike is soooooo overrated (he's one of those writers that academics arbitrarily chose to circle-jerk over). But I'm grateful, I think, that I've experienced things that most haven't -- putting a plane into a spin (unintentional), performing CPR (twice) before puberty, spending months backpacking through Europe and South America, meeting one of the most important musicians of all time and telling him, "you guys are pretty good -- keep it up..." and others. When I later understood who that person was? It's an eternal shame AND surreal story. I was nineteen and ignorant of Latin jazz. I think at this point I'm just hammered and stroking my own ego.

Life is good. It could be better. And it could be a LOT worse. I wonder how much I'll regret posting this in the morning. I will. I know this. I'm a pretty private person. And it makes my skin crawl that I'm going to post this. Because I registered with a public e-mail address (I failed to re-setup my email server when I switched providers), these posts can all be tracked back to me. I gives me the heebie jeeebies. 

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Ne1
3 hours ago, BarrelChested said:

"oh, god, what malformed troglodyte wrote this -- fsck, I did; I hate myself." 

I wrote this on Stuck's thread, but I'm having that reaction to everything I've written on this thread. (And others.) Thanks for putting it into the perfect words for me. I'm an idiot. And I apologize for not actually listening to what you wrote when I read it the first time. 

I hope you don't regret that post. It's beautiful, too. 

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