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Twisting all the bad things into good

Nov 3, 2011

The Nitty Gritty, Part 13: A Short Interlude

I have a duty to speak the truth as I see it and share not just my triumphs, not just the things that felt good, but the pain, the intense, often unmitigated pain. It is important to share how I know survival is survival and not just a walk through the rain.
  Audre Lorde
 
           So, how's it going? Still with me? You don't think any differently of me after reading this, do you? I hope you haven't given up hope for me yet. Maybe the only hope that can be found so far is the fact that I am writing this in retrospect so I'm  probably not dead, and even though you may have never spent anytime in a mental institution, you're pretty sure that they don't let you blog or have a FaceBook account, let alone access to something as deadly as a pen or pencil. Then again, maybe I'm sitting here with a Sunburnt Cyclops colored Crayon writing my memoir outside the lines in some Blue's Clue's coloring book.

           As I relive and write about these days of madness, I find myself wondering why my own mind created and put myself in these kind of absurd and progressively more dangerous situations. And no, I'm not just making this shit up as I go along. If I were, I'd be portraying myself more like some leading man/action hero type. To say the least, there would be a whole lot more of me getting laid and a whole lot less of me crying.

          Through writing, it has become clear to me that this was my own self inflicted punishment. I was so angry and disgusted with myself for letting my life spiral so far down that somewhere in the most honest and dark part of my mind, I felt that I deserved to be in these horrible situations. Maybe in that same place in my mind, I had the foresight to know that I would inevitably end up in some place like a crack house or heroin shooting gallery. I had become so lost that there was really nowhere lower I could go on my way to the grave. I took my own life in my hands countless times already. It was so much a part of my life that the danger did not even cross my mind anymore. I thought nothing about eating enough painkillers to kill me during a day at the office, then dusting off a bag of cocaine by myself, followed by a mixture of more painkillers and xanax to take the edge off  of the powder. Painkillers alone kill more people than cocaine and heroin combined and fatal overdoses on painkillers have surpassed drunk driving fatalities. It is truly at epidemic proportions. It is not in any dramatic fashion that I can admit that I am very lucky to be alive. I have seen several friends, family members of friends, along with people on the news, athletes who were in peak physical shape, who died after doing considerably less than I did on a daily basis for years. This is the reason for my new "I should be dead so what do I have to lose" attitude.
 
          Allow me to romanticize my own experience in my own little literary fashion. I was like some kind of strung out, psychotic Scrooge. Scrooge McDick if you will. I was just as selfish. Nothing is more selfish than addiction, except suicide, which is basically just a shortcut to the same end. Addiction lead to depression which lead to not only a "bah humbug" attitude in regards to Christmas Day, but to every other miserable day of  the year too. In this twisted version of Charles Dickens' classic, I was also Tiny Jim. Just like the Cratchit boy, I was also crippled and would not survive much longer without some kind of treatment. In this one man rendition of A Christmas Carol, I served as my own ghosts of the past and future. During my depression, my ghost of the past reminded me of the person I once was. At the same time, this same ghost  forced me to ruminate over every mistake in my past. Maybe the final ghost came in the form of terrifying hallucinations and delusions in some last ditch effort to confront an inevitable future to be avoided at any and all costs. Unlike so many others, same as Ebenezer Scrooge, I was being given one last chance to find a reason and the will to live, and maybe even a chance to redeem myself. 

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