Jim Trainer

The Perils of Sobriety

In alcoholism, anger, anxiety, Being An Artist, blogging, depression, getting sober, mental health, recovery, self-help, sober, sobriety, WRITER'S BLOCK, Writing, WRITING PROCESS on March 17, 2016 at 11:11 am

When will I end this bitter game?
When will I end this cruel charade?
Everything I write all sounds the same
Each record that I’m making is like a record that I’ve made
just not as good
I’m Dead (But I Don’t Know It), Randy Newman

Thirteen months without a drink.  81 days without a smoke.  I haven’t sworn off sex but I haven’t had any since Portland.  In my rip torn and agitated state that’s probably for the best.  But the hardest thing for me to quit was hash.  I might as well come clean and I might as well do it here.  Anytime I try and walk sideways around the truth, the blog suffers.  I get by with letters and poems because I’d rather not post anything that isn’t true.  We’ve come too far down the savage road together for me to hold back.  Conspicuous lulls at Going For The Throat have names, names I’ll never write.  There’s the 4 month lull in late ’13 and I miss her still.  There’s a lull in the terrible summer of 2014, and I will hate her for the rest of my life.  Rather than ingratiate anybody in reverie or venom I just disappear.  I opt to suffer all by myself and suffer I do, good reader.  Blogging clears the chamber, it’s a high wire act with the blues and it’s surgery without anesthesia.  I’m a transmission junkie and I’ll never kick.  Without the lifeline of this blog I gnash and isolate, I sink and writhe in utter rue.  As bad as it can get, it’s still better than her knowing that I think of her at all.  Spite wins the round.  I spite myself this holy release just so she can wither away, maybe scroll down the archives for awhile until she’s hooked some other sucker to wag her dog and feed her head.  My well documented success and failure with women isn’t the point, nor are my colossal oedipal issues and attraction to narcissistic bitches.  My point was about quitting hash and being honest with you, good reader.  Honesty is the rule.  I wasn’t heavy into the stuff, I never took more than one hit in a 24-hour period.  It always put me in a good mood or at least changed the channel in my mind.  I could blast off with it and there have been many afternoons at the writing desk bracing myself like an astronaut:
Phone:off  Coffee:iced Vaporizer:full Earplugs:in Sunglasses:on  FIRE!
It was instant inspiration and something different.  Something different goes a long way when the mind is full of the tired and repeating reel of failure and regret, doom and dread.  You could say it lifted my spirits but putting it that way makes it sound harmless and whimsical-2 things that my poetry will never be.  While high on hash, I also run the risk of encountering a tall blonde actress in the court, crunching down black heels and looking up to say hello to me, golem-like, on the roof, but, stoned to the gills I would have no clever retort and in fact only drop my cigarette, grunt and regret this moment for the rest of my life.  Hash took me outside myself, which isn’t a bad proposition when my mind is full of knives-but ultimately it disconnected me from myself and for the type of work I do that is heresy.  Writing and rock and roll connect me to the deep and innermost parts of myself.  Parts I’ve learned to gloss over when dealing with a cheap and fast world looking for soundbite size validation, nothing to deep or pestering, no heavy questions but only placid answers and cocktail conversation.  Whoops.  Sorry for the anger but not really.  The anger is what I uncovered as soon’s I stopped chasing the black dragon and burning that horrible, horrible wonderful drug.  Last we spoke it was bad anxiety on the dais but now it looks like I’ve gone nuclear.  Now it’s a sun of anger that never sets.  I should hope that underneath these maelstroms of emotion is energy, energy better served advancing the real work and fueling me on to the next plateau of a 20+ year career as a lion tamer, fire walker, acrobat, bullfighter and blue collar soldier-Writer.  Which is also the point.  Ain’t living long like this.  This caregiving gig’s been a godsend.  It gave me things like a bedtime and meals.  Christ, anything besides the movable feast my life had become when I got this job would’ve been welcomed, and it saved me.  It saved me from madness, from the ghastly depths of alcoholism and the wicked tyranny of sexual obsession.  It cut the drama way down and I really found out who my friends are.  My life now is on an even keel, there’s no high drama or conquest, nights are quiet and slow and the mornings are bright and clever.  I’ve nothing to hold on to when the monkey of my mind starts throwing knives.  When the heart starts roaring I get sucked in, I’m lost in the blast without a whisky or stockinged thigh to brace me.  I vacillate between volcanic states of anger and the terrible anxiety of the hunted hare.  I’m bored and boring all the time.  I’m dead but I don’t know it.  It’s everything I ever wanted.

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