Ok, so I swore honesty, no matter how brutal to me, and I guess this topic may deliver. DO NOT WORRY. It won’t be preachy at all.
Now, many people who know me may think they know about what I call my “addictions.” Some may, some may learn something. And they aren’t necessarily what you think. Addiction is not just limited to drugs or booze or cigarettes or even what is considered “bad behavior.” Addiction is usually defined as “Compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance.” It can also be defined as “The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or involved in something,” or “love of, passion for, attachment to, fondness for, zeal for, fervour for, ardour for.” Would you say being “addicted” to the Sox, football, auto racing, music, movies, a TV show, a favorite restaurant, a hobby, your spouse or your kids as a bad thing? If it formed into an unhealthy obsession, of course. But having “love of, passion for, attachment to, fondness for, zeal for, fervour for, ardour for” any of those things would actually be considered honorable. So there lies the question. What is addiction?
Well, I have been addicted to a lot of things. Cartoons as a little kid. Baseball from an early age. Comic books. Baseball cards. APBA Baseball. Cranberry juice cocktail. Girls. Only eating steak. Only eating chicken. Beer. Drawing & painting. Meatball subs from Primo’s on Beacon Hill. White Russians. Cheetah’s in Vegas. Sex. Drugs. My job. My ex-girlfriend. More drugs. Cigarettes. Trying to change my diet. Quitting cigarettes. My mom may agree that she has an “addiction” to diet Coke. My dad would probably agree that he was “addicted” to being a work-a-holic and trying to be a perfectionist. I have many friends & family who have been addicted to “good things” and “bad things.” If you think you don’t know anyone with SOME kind of addiction, well: A) you’re kidding yourself; and B) if you are reading this, you probably know me, so I rest my case.
But, as I said, I am not here to be preachy. Just to tell my stories, to maybe gain some sort of catharsis by relating my feelings and tales. So, here is the truth.
There is no “addiction” stronger than you. You are not “powerless” when it comes to your “addiction.” And, worst news of all, addiction is not a disease.
I am not insulting anyone who uses these tools to overcome issues in their lives.
But it ain’t no fucking disease, dude. Period.
All it is, is a weakness of faith in yourself. It is a lack of belief in yourself. It is a lack of desire to change your life & make it better. A person who lets an addiction ruin their life is someone who is either too lazy to change their life or someone who just doesn’t care enough about himself to want anything better. Disease? Sorry, you are blaming something besides where the real blame lies. The blame lies with you. It is YOUR FAULT.
Back to where this was going…
Back in the early 80s I would do the same amount of drinking, weed-smoking, and occasional coke-snorting as any other early 20s kid (who also hang around the early “Metal Scene” in Boston). I grew a little older, and even quit drinking when I was married. (Still got as smoked out as a reggae band, but that only led to me eating a shitload of ice cream). I got divorced at 26 & moved to Vegas. I was VERY sad about my divorce. My parents are still married to this day (45 years) and my ex-wife’s parents are still (if they are alive – over 60+ years). I was naïve & believed that marriage was for forever. I KNOW, I get it now. BUT, I was MAJORLY depressed and completely disillusioned with the concepts of love & marriage.
So, I moved to Vegas. Started drinking again…WITH A FUCKING VENGEANCE. Took up smoking (at 26 – douchebag!) Slept with questionable women (or I as I like to call them..strippers). And did drugs. Lotsa drugs. A REAL LOTTA DRUGS. And sold them too. Tons of blow, weed everyday, boozing. Eventually even crystal & crack.
My life turned to such shit that I RAN home, tail between my legs, knowing even most of my friends were glad to see me go, no matter how much they may have cared about me. My folks, god bless em, took me in, and really helped. I got a great job, got my own place, lived a great life, even in that apartment that Tracy will say was a shithole (it was).
Then, I made some “new friends”. And through them, I met Paula.
We did our share (and then some) of drugs, then ran away to NH, then fell back into it, then came her cheating all the time and both of us together and separate doing a ton of drugs. I kept getting arrested. Then I got fired from my incredibly great job. Then I did even more drugs.
Then I used what strengths I could find for support. My family. Karl & Chris. They tried so hard to help me and they did, reminding me that a strong, stubborn mind can be a positive. With their help, and the help of 2 men who are my bosses, I got back on track.
Then I started seeing Paula again. It almost went spiraling away again. Thank god it didn’t.
I stopped seeing any people who do drugs, get me arrested, spend my money & use me.
I budgeted every fucking cent I earned. I went food shopping Friday night just so I would have NO reason to fuck up over the weekend, even if I wanted to. I kept my relationships to the minimum a man can without going nuts. I tried to create a cocoon in my apartment, where I could live free from temptations and bullshit, and have a REALLY nice HDTV!
Now, life may be a struggle on occasion, and sometimes I may get depressed for no fucking reason. Hell, I get depressed, and know why, and can see it coming, and still get depressed. But things are good. Really good.
What does this have to do with addiction? It is a story of perseverance and strength and will power. All of which I couldn’t have done without people believing in me. Also, it is a story where you might think I blame my ex-wife or most current ex-gf for my status.
NOPE. It’s all my fault. No one told be to get married as a naïve 24 yr old, who had serious doubts about his wife’s motives on his wedding day, but ignored it as “cold feet.” No one told me to start fucking up & spiraling downward into a 90s drug blurred oblivion, I did it. No one told me to knowingly start hanging out with people who I KNEW were drug users/dealers in Somerville. And no one told me to sleep with a woman 15 minutes after I meet her when she shows up as someone I don’t even know at my apartment at 4am AND STAY WITH HER FOR 6 ½ YEARS. Now that’s just fucking stupid.
Addiction. Who’s fault? Your own.
Addiction. Who can beat it? You can.
Ya just gotta believe in yourself. And it helps if you have some people close to you to support.
Like my Mother & Father. Good words & encouragement from my brother & sister, and even my poor nieces who heard me cry & suffer, but still love their crazy uncle Brian.
I don’t know if I should post this. But I probably will.