Tag: insanity

Through the Fabric of Time

6361796709723034612039581096_time-7Time – in some instances referred to as the fourth dimension – but whatever our understanding of its concept, luxury seems an invariably, non-existent trait.  Unyielding hands on the clock counting seconds; minutes falling in line as the hours turn into days and weeks – years. A blueprint of past occurrences etched in stone; where dwelling in regrets or offering up heartfelt apologies still cannot alter the path we have walked – future interests that promise no guarantee; no donation or sacrifice can brandish an extended life warrantee. Breathe in this moment; capture its essence; catch sight of its elegance accented over a distinctly dismal backdrop – perhaps through the haze, it heroically outshines the viciously mundane.  Time is as simplistic or complex as we choose to make it; boiled down into a series of present moments that either amplify merit or deduct from its worth.  Constant business in the realm of the spirit can prove to be enormously depleting; an implication of encompassing stillness can effectively replenish a withering morale – resulting from the chaos is a distinctly unique art from a time-weathered heart; the mission is to find ourselves ultimately settling into that ostensibly unattainable, yet perpetually sought-after balance. 

But where does passion end and obsession begin? I sense an overwhelming correlation – where we find passion, obsession lurks and when push comes to shove, time will be spent. I passionately write about the tribulations I have endured; I can only write about what I know and I can only share my perspective on topics which have gravely affected my life. Over time, perceptions can change even though the factual events or situations in and of themselves do not – it’s simply my reality and whether I was in or out of touch with said reality at the time does not alter the experience. But these words that spill out over the page render me madly obsessed – addicted to the perfect stream; infatuated by the romance of choosing optimal words; perfection in their phrasing – love for the prose; a puzzle’s inception intricately interwoven amidst a sea of black and white anarchy; ideas that collide causing a subsequent consummation; carried to term and birthed from a mind interminably maneuvering misconnections. I grow consumed by their rhythm; possessed by the beat, tormented by rhymes ‘til my riddle’s complete. I reach deep within, for in crafting my words, an alliteration alternation authoritatively forms.

time-machine-5Do you feel what I feel when my words breach your eyes? Do you see what I see? Does my pain seep inside? I seek satisfaction in the emotional punch, when it splinters your soul and seeps deep in your guts. It’s merely meant for no more than a clarification; to spare the experiential eternal damnation.  So, the choice of my words with their cadence and tone, provide voice for the ones who feel most alone; transcribed for the ones who go on reprimanding; displayed for an ignorant world’s understanding – and after my words have pummeled your soul, I know that my story was rightfully told. But don’t be misled, because ingrained in the madness, is a message of hope rising out of this sadness – no, don’t be confused by this story of mine. I’d tell you much more, but I’ve run out of time.

So, can we conquer without sacrifice? Can we truly gain mastery of our craft without the derangement of fixation? Is greatness always achieved at a price? I find inspiration in tale after tale of prominence throughout history, but the underlying facts of achievement are almost always formed from the mayhem of obsession – no backup plans, no fail-safes in place – it’s that all eggs in one basket approach; an all-encompassing do-or-die mentality fueling the spirit to accomplish what no other has before – something original; an exclusive imprint on the fabric of existence; something brave – sacrificing what few others were willing to sacrifice; pleading for that sacrifice to make a difference in the greater good. Obsession can absolutely live without ultimately attaining greatness, but can we ever achieve greatness without entering into the ugly world of obsession?  

Heavy is the Head that Wears the Crown – Part 1 “The Fallen Kingdom”

706c6430b3ea93a4fac7a2d06ea02e40I once knew a king afraid to be seen; sequestered from a merciless worldly machine; grace was relinquished through selfish desires; sought shelter in darkness and yearned to expire. He found his solution in liquid pollution; it blackened his heart from a promising start. With nowhere to run from that unsettled feeling; without nostrum of sorts that could provide healing – not person, a place, a thing, or idea could muster the might to release him from here; sought high and low, both distant and near, to evade all the whispers that punctured his ears; to hold back dead eyes breaching banks filled with tears; to cease rustles of intensified, bone-chilling fears. But the heaviest head bears the weight of its crown; with a kingdom now fallen; his highness struck down; because reigning as ruler was not as it seemed; vibrations of love were cast out from the scene; contentment had vanished and peace grew extinct – civil war surged as his spirit unlinked.

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For the majority of a relatively conscious existence along the road rising to ruler, alcohol was the driving force in propelling a barren spirit to life; in sprouting wings to soar through a vast and endless blue yonder; in supplying the obligatory courage to carry on, all the while constructing a magnificent empire solely for satisfaction of selfish desires; most of all, however, it assigned an unadorned ability to simply be.  But seemingly as quick as the climb up through the atmosphere had been; as much as the thrill of excitement and discovery filled that deep emptiness through the conquering of new challenges, the predestined day still arrived – after all the promises, after all the codependent companionship, and after the acquisition of the fullest, most heartfelt allegiance – this friend, who turned out to be no more than a serpent in disguise, slithered its way under the cover of night to snatch away the sky; a spirit sent swiftly spiraling down into the depths of an abyss never comprehended in existence.  Dethroned and uncrowned in the passing of night; a kingdom built on a lie had finally crumbled and fallen – those who remained in the land left shattered by a wake so strong and so devastating – deserted to despairingly fend for themselves; a king cursed to suffer, broken and alone, in the gutters of a realm now ultimately betrayed. 

904d3bae0723b90e534cea1c390bdda2The king scoffed at the scene, laying nearly lifeless in the dilapidated dungeons under a city of ruins; cast blame on everything and everyone for the fall of an empire – how could the people do this?  How could there be such betrayal of nobility or a double-crossing of such innate charity and loyalty? The world was far too trivial and petty to comprehend the magnitude of raising an illustrious kingdom to reign; they would never be worthy of understanding the potent pressure or significant stresses of ruling over a great land – reflections rapidly racing as progressively more mind-numbing potion coursed through the body, infesting a mind now drowned of its strife; a solution that consistently relieved any semblance of ailment; that, for a sacrifice of the seemingly irrelevant, placed a plug in the void of in an incessantly dehydrated soul – forever fueling an ego that cannot admit defeat; cosigning pure pride that would never allow for an acceptance of sole responsibility; dwindled, in turn, from an army of the ample, to the repression of the insufficient.

It is in this place the King would remain, wrapped up in the throws of selfishness, self-pity and resentment, for a great while as the city he had built continued to crumble all around him…

Storm of the Century

6021b919fdbb70ace0dd3da86819e3b0Consistently rising tides breach the banks of destitution, freeing a spirit from being engrossed in depths of total darkness; as if a storm surge of clarity finally saturates a consciousness deserted – delivered from unabridged ignorance and robustly thrust into a thriving enthusiasm to embody virtue; to actively hunt what is honorable and heed what is noble whether or not that lies in the face of adversity – disseminating the region masterfully concealed within where brute, unrefined strength of character is essentially derived from; to finally comprehend and pledge adherence to respect these convictions of the heart – the most grueling but scrupulous means of gaining entry into the expanse of genuine inner peace; to unleash an authenticity that has been extinct since undergoing the digressive transformation which paved a course for total corruption; existing solely in the duplicitous – to commit premeditated murder on the complete and comprehensive interest to satisfy self alone. 

If nothing changes – nothing changes; I trust there is general agreement that insanity can be defined as repeatedly behaving in the same, old fashion, but expecting a different result each time; when priorities waiver off course, the fundamental motivations for seeking self-transformation will find themselves floundering – lost again in the shadows; misaligned with the objectives and misdirected away from original intentions – intentions to ultimately lead a fulfilling, purposeful and, at the very least, manageable life – in every accord; substituting one unhealthy escape for another unavoidably mutates into the solution – what holds value in the heart or the mind inevitably takes charge and transcends to rule as a life’s higher power – whether or not this is deliberately calculated; sooner or later these seemingly harmless coveted comforts convert into law of the land, all the while sinking sturdy, deep roots in the process and re-emerging with force as the newest form of chains binding the soul, resigning peace and tranquility to serve as no more than ideals to be desired yet again.  There is no shortage of stories, including my own, where people abstaining from the use of substances are still finding conclusion in angst, torment or flat out misery.

Who or what is coveted and sought after for influence over our personal lives sheds light on an enormous treasure trove of information, pin-pointing the current residence on our respective spiritual journeys – or lack thereof – it’s knowledge just waiting for harvest, if we tend to the field; if we consciously make the decision to incorporate practices of self-awareness into daily living.  As substances are wiped out from the canvas of our being, we are undeniably left to sort through the rubble and sift through the remnants of a storm that ravaged the landscape – we are chartered with the task to rebuild; how well we reconstruct and fortify our defenses will fundamentally measure how well we are able to weather the next one – so on and so forth.  Are we striving to stand up and be an example of what we feel the core of our being instinctually believes to be right?  Staying true to ourselves?  More often than not, do we give in and go along with the antics of the crowd because that overwhelming threat of fear or disapproval sinks in, that we will not be understood or accepted?  That we will be labeled as different?  Do we engage against our better judgement and adopt ideals in calculated cruelty, deliberate dishonesty and voluntary vileness if that’s what is required for us to fit in or fly under the radar?  Are we going to remain firmly planted or are we going to crumble and falter under the raw power and the sheer strength the next storm manifests?      

usedI feel for the sad state of our culture where a steadily increasing amount of folks are so morally and spiritually bankrupt; where insecurity and disconnection run rampant; where flaunting arrogance or cultivating money and power as a frontline defense suffices, all the while deriving any semblance of invalid self-worth by ensuring others feel less than; where disrespect for people, places and things has become par for the course – where we can just use or abuse each other as if the human race as a whole has digressed merely into disposable objects to be tossed aside after ultimately deceiving ourselves into believing we have been satisfied.  If we truly desire change in our life, simply taking drugs or alcohol out of the equation is not enough – continuing to exist as undesirable miscreants that perpetually deplete healthy resources rather than replenish them, or each other for that matter, is unacceptable; if the spiritual malady or characteristics of irritability and discontentment cease to depart our disposition, we might as well sustain the fraudulent solution found in mind-altering substances and preserve their pre-established position, allowing them pass to remain flowing freely through the dead, arctic veins of our spiritless corpse.

There is a favorable medium in all of this; an even balance to be found – we can sing along to the lyrics of our favorite music without the words necessarily reflecting our personal views – a song cannot persuade us, nor be used as an excuse, to objectify women or shoot up a school; the reverberations of pleasurable sound can simply be a powerful tool to embody the upward flow of spirit; we can enjoy the creative craft of film or television shows without having to impersonate the characters we identify with and behave in a way that disrespects the world around us – we cannot rob a bank or go on a killing spree because Hollywood’s influence has glorified violence; there is a time and place to joke around with our friends, just as there is a time to be aware of our surroundings and act as a responsible, respectable member or society.  We were entrusted with the gift of freewill, it is our responsibility as individuals to hold ourselves to a higher standard.

7-deadly-sins-1Whether or not we find it advantageous, human beings as a whole have evolved into a civilized entity over the ages.   Civilization demands law and order in spite of feeling these strong pulls or natural effects of the animalistic instincts ingrained deep within us; but there is some method to the madness as to why we have these instinctual necessities directly wired in – we need to feed, rest and procreate as a means to continue on as a species.  However, we do not need to participate in any of these inherent tendencies at the expense of our neighbor – sadly, more times than not, that appears to be the case; there is no shortage of testimony related to the crown prominently worn by the seven deadly sins.  Still, we don’t have to wait for the scales to tip in the other direction – some of the largest, most influential trends throughout time have begun with the actions of few.  “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi

Runaway Train

traintracksmountainstrainoutsidesomewherebridge-14f856dad59eba5807dca40fd8c0fb19_hAs if a storm of indignation befell like hail from the heavens, emergence of a menacing silhouette ferociously ruptures the horizon.  It’s coming for me – me alone; its illustrious chanting renders resignation into a trance; an infestation of enticing pheromones tortuously taunting and teasing – saturating the atmosphere as the notion of crossing over intensely increases in appeal; far more formidable than remaining aversely trapped at the mercy of everlasting insanity.  The tiny sliver of land where I stand is now steadily shaking underneath tired feet; an earthquake of despair defining this crumbling of reality.  Crisp, autumn air meticulously prodding and biting at the vulnerability of rancor ravaged flesh; I can sense the end is near – this borrowed body all but terminated.  Time is of no existence in this plane of awakened unconsciousness; potion drained from the venom-ridden bottle coalescing with blood pumped from a heart cast in stone takes the stage for an all too familiar tango; dancing as one through the veins of oblivion – proclaiming the audience irrelevant and the trivialities of this world no more than a distant figment of imagination.

It is here I’ll stand alone – covered in the blood of battle; it is here I’ll face the fear –  supplying substance for the sweat; it is here I’ll confront the demons – shedding these tears I could never fully comprehend; it is here on this bridge I embrace what destiny has prepared – for better or for worse; to be granted perpetual passage into an alternate realm where darkness overcomes; to declare my one last foundational cry out to the gods for relinquishment of any prominent power or persuasion; that they may bestow me diversion from traversing the precipitous portage generated in my wake – and so I stood, patiently waiting with no distinct notion of a response; murdering the last glimmer of faith in a god I cannot grasp an understanding of.  So I just stood – almost in silent solitude for the places I have been and the truth I had arrived at.

I commit to holding my high ground overlooking the park where I innocently created memories as a child – much like an eagle majestically mounted on its perch viewing the world from a distant and foreign perspective.  Vigorously pushing present reality aside and sentimentally reverting attention back on a far simpler time, I reminisce and relive glimpses of the past that are rapidly firing on all cylinders.  They breakthrough my disillusionment and appear like a slideshow in the forefront of a now tainted stream of awareness; pondering how every pulsation of my heart, every step with these feet has led me from being that child with infinite dreams to a man shattered at the seams; recurrent botched efforts to gain tangible focus on the definitive turning point and lock it into the crosshairs of my clarity scope; that single second in time I seek above all else where everything I once desired expired and exposed the first perforation leaking down into a bottomless void.

history-lists-8-things-you-may-not-know-about-trains_istock_000021551059large-eMy wavering attention quickly shifts back to the present moment; back to reality or whatever semblance of it still pertains relevant – these tracks and the impending collision with a fate yet to be determined; the massive fusion of steel and brute, deadly force barreling forward; its course to inevitably intersect with the ground I have chosen adherence to.  It’s surreal staring straight down the barrel of mortality; to know it could all be over; to mourn what I could miss; to no longer experience – to plead my concession and allow the void to swallow me up in the ultimate compromise for sustainable stability.  Abruptly a blanket of peace overtakes my being; a rare quieted mind; an unknown solemn spirit – despite all the mess and regardless of the agonizing internal conflicts, I felt a sigh of relief amidst the violent event transpiring in my presence.  Deep in the core of my being, if only for a second, I accepted the coming moments to be my last; that I’d draw one deep final breath into my lungs and exhale into a domain of the unknown.

Suddenly silence sank over the landscape and my encounter on the bridge swiftly turned much slower in motion, as if the world was stuck buffering and any semblance of connection was lost in translation; icy water trickling through the rocks down below merely left to be sensed by the detection of moist eyes; flapping of feathered wings sending ripples of energy through the air and crashing off my chest like blows from clenched fists – I felt a vitality blossoming in the chaos; resurgence of what it felt like to be alive – and almost as quickly as it arrived, the train passed me by and continued on track toward its destination; seemingly unaware of the power it manifested; obviously oblivious to my sickness soaked soul – and so there I remained holding the high ground mere inches from its might as fate barreled by and invigorated a dying spirit. 

imagesidvj2rjuBut at my conclusion of confusion, this fresh spark of life was quickly smothered out by a supplemental realization; discernment for the probability I could never refill the void inside me that was rapidly depleting with the passing of every second; that this distinct feeling of freedom I crossed paths with could very well have been as good as it was going to get for the lost and the broken – so sticking with the cognizance of my new self-diagnosed reality, I edged my way over to the side of the bridge.  Almost in ritualistic mockery to the gods I felt failed me, I turned my back to the abyss and gazed upwards in surrender to a baby blue sky.  I obeyed the overwhelming urge demanding its desire for me to let go; to finally hand over the control I had so clearly lost; to allow gravity the chance to showcase its guidance.  Continuing my contempt for the faith I had lost, I lifted my arms and spread them wide while simultaneously shifting all weight backwards, transferring my fate into the arms of its embrace; it was now that I felt authentic freedom – virtually weightless in mind and body; and as I descended down from my conflicted higher ground, the baby blue sky slowly faded as I welcomed the shift into sanctuary of the black.   

For the Tug of War

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Being tagged with a life in the land of the free seems no more a fairy tale than any conglomerate of characters and their stories most of us connected with as children; aspired to be like – even envied.  As far back as I can recall, I have never been authentically satisfied or content with what I have or who I am, where I am going or where I have been; categorically nomadic in mind; a life spent theorizing and plotting a never-ending series of events; tsunamis of instantly gratifying trials and errors, with a predominant outcome weighing heavy on the side of error; miniscule and temporary bursts of fabricated endeavors to replenish an insatiable hole in a squandered spirit.  Just as these thwarted attempts, the stories, too, morphed into nothing more than fantasy when my mind evolved and the realities of this world fiercely flooded in; characters that never actually breathed life, but were merely made up and left to remain stranded within the pages of imagination; an inability to deviate from the storyboard they were cast into.  The daily war; to seemingly grind through an endless existence with this ill-advised perception of a life without charge, painstakingly begging to be convinced there is no great price to pay is eventually whittled down to no more than a factored in percentage of its masterful deceit; we have never been, nor will we ever be entitled to the concept of perceivable, let alone tangible liberation – everything has a price; something for nothing is non-existent, and deliverance, from where I’m sitting, should be considered one of the most substantial deceptions we have comforted ourselves with as necessary cogs in the societal machine.

Freedom: the front page cover story for this life which has me held captive and restricted, not unlike the characters of my childhood that were predestined to suffer the same fate; they, like I, were involuntarily sentenced to abide by its command.  I dreamt of being the characters in the stories of my youth without heeding the repetitive warnings of being careful what to wish for; my dreams, they came true, although blackened and overrun; consumed by a nightmarish tint that blankets the path; nothing like I could have imagined; nothing anybody would wish to embrace.  I didn’t understand the manifestation of their struggle; I couldn’t open my mind to the verifiable torment endured as they trudged the tireless quest; I thought they were heroic and brave; I thought it was uncomplicated and effortless; I thought they were free and even beckoning the question of whether or not the ending would be happy never crossed my misguided mind; as far as I could tell, in my limited understanding, they always were – but I was wrong – so rather now, my mind perceives the once beautifully attractive luring aspect of heroic fairy tales as un-relatable and farfetched, with the dishonorable facet of the incarceration of my beloved characters, however, precariously erupting into the forefront of my unfortunate, yet genuine reality.

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With acknowledgement of most likely living in the minority with my somewhat skewed filter on how I see the world, I’m left with an apprehensive desire for human connection that wages this crestfallen and complicated tug-of-war in my head; a faith in mankind that slips further into the shadows with each exiguous effort to redirect towards any sign of radiance or relief – the pivotal flag draped from a rope dangerously close to the final decision for falling under an eternal cloak of darkness; an assumingly obvious unbalanced battle at this phase of the contest – yet concession has never been granted entry into my inner circle; assumptions can be dangerous, and it’s as if teetering on the edge of madness is a thrill all in itself; testing the boundaries and exploring my limits – just how far is too far? Can I ever let myself get close to a person again or do I keep it safe at the status quo, surface level interactions that allow me to remain wrapped up in my self-professed zone of comfort from a distance? Am I protecting myself? Hurting myself? Maybe I’m I protecting the potential people I would be letting into my world if and when failure comes crashing through again; maybe protection of any sort doesn’t play a factor at all.  With a little over six months off the bottle, the jumbled circus of questions haphazardly floating around my head are adding up, but the answers have seemingly fled seeking safer grounds – a point which has proven problematic due to the over-proven fact that patience, as well, has never been given access to my tight knit, inner circle of self.

Hustle or Bust – Act 2

Addicts and alcoholics such as myself are extremely resourceful and clever people; the gift of desperation can work for or against us depending on state of mind or, more importantly, spiritual condition.  The following are merely a couple examples of how I, myself, and other addicts I’ve met along my journey have supported the habit.  With that being said, how we did it is not really the point of what I’m driving at. 

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They are found in neighborhoods throughout the country; undersized and red; mostly disregarded or neglected; never in the forefront of busy minds traversing through daily life – work, kids, bills, friends, family, and the list goes on.  They are positioned up or down depending on the situation; their unvarnished intention to notify postal workers of outgoing mail – and what is generally mailed out from homes?  Payments for various personal bills and expenses so, consequently, these indicators also dispatch the same information to criminals and identity thieves looking for a score.  Now, this was never my hustle, but I have heard scores of testimonies about the triggering effect these seemingly harmless red flags have on the drastically desperate addict or alcoholic consumed with obtaining the next fix; even to the point where cruising through a neighborhood on the prowl for upright red flags becomes an entire addiction in and of itself.  The prime targets are obviously checks, gift cards, and even cash if folks are naïve enough to send it snail mail – checks seem to be the most frequent find and its surprisingly somewhat simple to execute check fraud once the check is in the wrong hands – all it allegedly requires is a little sandpaper, a pen, and some balls to go through with it.  I’m certainly no expert in the business, but I imagine there are all sorts of other ways that it can be done as well – this is purely the version I’ve heard.

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Getting back to my own lunacy…

As I retreated from laying my soldiers to rest in the dumpster of the high school across the street, I schemed and analyzed – thinking of anything or anyway I could diminish my distress; this unrelenting, incessant desperation digging deeper by the minute; by the second; completely overtaken as my head relays to itself an urgency; deprivation has become a threat to my survival – it’s out of my control, the power of choice stripped away.  The hour of insanity draining little drops of liquor into a medicine cup was, for all intents and purposes, just a teaser – undisputedly igniting the over-powering phenomenon of craving; it was alive and in full force.  Distraught and on edge, I paced the kitchen when all of a sudden it hit me like a sack of bricks.  Out of all the fucked up things I’ve engineered, plotted and carried out over the years to support my addiction, what popped in my head that night was the lowest – at least it was to me – from a moral standpoint; hell – just from a human being standpoint.  But nonetheless my mind was foggy and overridden by selfish desires so I walked towards the kid’s room, slowly and quietly, every effort and measure taken not to wake them.  I turned the doorknob and peered in – two sleeping children; just what I wanted.  I slid in, shut the door behind me, and laid cold, dead eyes on the target of this mission.  The Spiderman nightlight provided just enough glow to guide the way while also reminding me that I was preparing to army crawl through an innocent child’s bedroom in pursuit of a piggy bank; I had become desperate enough to commandeer quarters from my five-year old.  No words; no justification – just shame and guilt and remorse.  Addiction in its cruelest hour.

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I’ve also manipulated people in my family for money, sold valuable belongings to pawn shops, and cashed out gift cards; all pretty typical in the world of addiction.  I’ve heard stories anywhere from folks selling drugs to selling their bodies on the streets of wherever it is they came from – the desperation factor is incredibly strong when it comes to getting that fix; that tiny taste of relief I talked about – soon to demand it again, and again, and again – where does it end?  I work and scheme and think and plot; I plan well in advance; I deceive others; I fool myself; it rents space in my head from the moment I wake up until I pass out into oblivion; and even then it haunts me in my dreams – the effort it takes; it’s an extraordinary undertaking when I really think about all the time and energy it takes to keep an addiction active and alive; all the willingness I had in me to chase bottle after bottle.  It’s commonly agreed upon in treatment centers around America that if we, as addicts and alcoholics, would put a fraction of that energy towards recovery, our chances of successfully remaining clean and sober would significantly increase; yet we continue to relapse, and at a rather alarming rate – why is there virtually all the willingness in the world towards killing ourselves via substances, yet virtually none to break free of the bondage and actually live? 

This is the question I desperately want an answer for, but I still haven’t found – I’m not sure there is an answer…that I want to hear that is; maybe I’m wired wrong and I’ll leave it at that – it could be something greater than just that alone.  The Big Book conveys a message somewhere to the effect of no human power having the ability to relieve our alcoholism; we suffer from a spiritual malady; in which we need a spiritual solution.  I don’t like that answer, I don’t like that solution; it’s not tangible; I can’t see it – it’s too hard for me to reason with, or analyze, or the number of other ways in which I want to find that easier, softer way.  I want to fix this myself, but I am human, and all I have is human power which suggests that no matter what I try, no matter how hard I try it – I will never fix this myself; it’s literally impossible and it’s one of the biggest resentments I have in my life – it tears me up, I crumble over and over at its mighty hand.  I know all this; the information is in my head, and after everything I have put myself through, I still yearn to find a different way.  I despise doing things that are difficult, and recovering from active alcoholism is exactly that; it’s my big white whale.  If my hustle doesn’t change, I never will – this cycle of bringing about still more and more pain will continue with no care or regard for me and my life.  Actions speak louder than words – the cliché thing to say I know, but it’s true – conceding that I cannot do this by myself and putting all my knowledge of this disease into action will be the hardest thing I ever do this lifetime. 

Hustle or Bust – Act 1

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My well had run dry – both the liquor that customarily inundated my bloodstream and the great American dollar I relied upon to obtain it; the catch – money essential to fuel my alcoholism could not be traceable by my wife, which, to say the least, was not an easy task; she was annoyingly scrupulous and thorough in regards to our financial situation which forced my hand into adapting a very elusive, clever, and creative skillset to carry on in my ways.  I had started to exhibit faint signs of the shakes; ensuing symptoms of cold sweats and hallucinations were more than probable occurrences should I not scheme up a remedy for this particular predicament in a timely fashion.  The demon inside demanded to be pleased and satisfied or misery would surely be headed my way, sooner rather than later – and trust me when I say I would always rather deal with consequences later – preferably never, but surely not sooner. 

Triggered into a trance; I frantically parade around my basement, sporadically reaching up into the ceiling to reclaim lost treasure.  Within fifteen minutes, I was madly and meticulously draining diminutive drops of liquor from the empty whiskey shooters I kept hidden and haphazardly placed about in black baggies above the ventilation systems and ductwork of my home.  Hundreds of miniature bottles stood at attention, united as one flowing entity with a common mission; an army amped up; obeying the command of their General, strategically spread out and categorized by rank in a grid on the surface of my washer and dryer; soldiers I had formerly tucked up and away instead of providing a proper burial for; all in preparation for just an occasion such as this; the obsession that never ceased thinking three steps ahead to ensure my well would remain perpetually plentiful.  

After an hour of this astonishingly unorthodox undertaking, I had extracted enough booze to fill one shot glass or, in my case, the medicine cup that accompanied the bottle of Tylenol in the cabinet – It was in these moments of desperation that the disease completely hijacked all rationale and the age-old-alcoholic insanity showed up to prove what lengths we are willing to go to for even the tiniest taste of relief.  This sickness that plagues me; it disgusts me at times and I myself get perplexed trying to make sense of or decipher the depths I would sink to in pursuit of relieving my undesirable discontentment.  I wish I could say the insanity stopped there, but one shot would never hold me over, let alone subdue my compulsive craving for more; I still found myself needing a means in which to feed the beast; alcoholic activated – welcome to my hustle.

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I’m not the alpha male type that strolls into a bank wielding a gun on the hunt for cash – the risk doesn’t match the reward; percentages favor the house leaving my chances of getting caught far too high, ultimately interfering with my agenda; how to successfully arrive at the liquor store undetected each day.  So no, my hustle never involved violence, grand larceny, or any category involving a major felony; I had to face the facts and accept that I would make a shitty criminal.  I found my strengths, my “calling”, if you will, was in the art of denial, deceit, and manipulation.  I bagged up the entirely empty pocket size vessels of anesthetizing solution into a large garbage bag and crept slowly up the stairs and out the side door like a deranged and maniacal Santa Claus hoisting around a sack of certifiable nightmares.  Across the street from my house was the town’s high school; an optimum and favorably anonymous dumping ground; under the blanket of night I could finally bury my valiant soldiers virtually undetected.  After making gesture of my final salute for a job well done, I retreated back across the street to my house, hamster wheel spinning rapidly in my mind – forecasting direction of the next act in this nonsensical shit show; a quest to fulfill an insatiable inclination that cannot, in all reality, ever be filled.

(In act 2, I will delve into my own personal various hustles over the years and how low I would go to feed this addiction. I’ll also explore some of the ways in which other people I’ve met along the way have fed their addictions over the years.  Stay tuned.)