Ever get annoyed? Ever feel like someone needs to be told where the dog died? Or handed a crowbar and a tub of Elbow Grease to help them pry their head out of their arse? Congratulations--you've come to the right place.

And when I'm not commenting on the latest thing to piss me off, I'm trying to figure out my own twisted life. Because, hey, I'm like that.

On a gentler note: for anyone dealing with depression, anxiety, and other assorted bullshit: You are NOT alone.

And if you're looking for a laugh, search on the key word "fuckery." It's just my little thing (as the bishop said to the actress).

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Bottle and the Damage Done

The siren song that is your madness
Holds a truth I can't erase...
You let me down, I said it...
- "The God of Wine," Third Eye Blind*

alcoholic: One who has accepted they have a drinking problem and is dealing/has dealt with it
drunk: Fucking loser who has a drinking problem, blames everyone else and keeps drinking, destroying their own life and the lives of everyone they possibly can.

Alcoholism, addiction and their attending madness have been a part of my life since conception. My father is a drunk; has been for all of his adult life. All three of my mother's brothers have/had drinking problems (two of them are dead; sadly, the youngest is still alive and making life fucking miserable). My ex-husband and three long-term ex-boyfriends were all drunks. I had a brief flirtation with the bottle about 9 years ago--partied a little too hard for about eight months and then got really bored with it.

Drugs... with the exception of a little weed every now and then, I've never bothered with them. They scare the fuck out of me--most of my idols and Celebricrushes have battled the bottle and/or drugs, so I learned my fear from them: I learned from the stories of Peter O'Toole and David Bowie back in high school to keep my nose clean and behave myself (granted, Peter O'Toole is one of the greatest actors on the planet; and Bowie made incredible fucking music when he was a mess, but his best album came after he cleaned up [Scary Monsters & Super Creeps, if you must know, although the Berlin Trilogy has some spectacular songs]). John Belushi's OD had a major affect on me through Robin Williams--his comment made on a talk show (Donahue, I think it was), to the effect of, "He was a bull. What was that going to do to a little guy like me?" [paraphrased from memory; it's been 30ish years]

All of the people I've really admired have had addiction issues--all of the comedians especially. Carlin... Carlin was famous for his drug use, and so much better for quitting (although he was another one who kept a little weed around). I think I was the only person in the audience who cheered when Jim Jefferies said he'd been sober for a month in New York. The two guys I was sitting next to had said he was awesome fucked up; I've seen enough clips of him fucked up--he was better sober. Sharper, more on point (and he looked fabulous). And honestly? Enlarged liver and shitting blood... no. Not something I would wish on anyone but my mother's younger brother. That comment snapped people, but not really. I mean... WTF? Haven't we lost enough great comedians to substances? Stay sober, Jim--stay alive, keep making people laugh, and get your ass cast in a movie that will actually showcase your acting talent. That's an Imperial Edict, dammit. ;-) Stay sober, and the next time you're in Boston, I will buy you dinner (yes, a beautiful chick DOES know how to pick up a check), and unlike most of the men I've dated, I won't expect sex afterwards.

Hmmmm... that also reminds me... need to think about finding an agent for Keith J.'s script. Anyone know anyone looking for a film script for the best buddy comedy ever written? I could kill him to this day for that--boring me to tears with all the proposals for action adventure CRAP, and all the time he had a near-perfect comedy script on his shelf. I love the guy like a brother, but there are days... *smack* And that's why we're still friends.

But I digress...

Back to substances... The only thing I've ever really had going for me was my brain. I mean, my body has never worked properly, and even my brain is pretty fucked up with the chemistry issues, but I've always known I had intelligence, creativity and talent, and all of those relied on me keeping my brain up and running properly. The one thing drugs fuck up completely is your head, and this goes for the legal as well as the illegal.

Now, I take anti-anxiety meds daily. They are necessary, unfortunately--if I don't take them, my panic attacks get pretty ugly. During the PMDD, they get even uglier and require the additional support of Xanax. I take a low dose of that--just half a tab of whatever I was given because if I take the whole thing, I fall asleep instantly. I drink rarely these days and have to be careful about what I drink because certain things will send me off the deep end--I don't touch Jack Daniels any more (and I used to be legendary for dancin' with Mr. Damage), can't touch most grape wines unless they're fizzy (don't ask me, I don't get it), beer is baaaaaad (although the coffee porter was OK--must be the crap-ass American piss), and me and absinthe never liked each other. The gastric bypass made drinking even dicier because if there's no food in my stomach, I go bright red and burn up--seriously, I have to ice my face. I've been told it's like a diabetic reaction to alcohol, and considering the fact that my sugar & fat filter is no longer connected, I get it.

At one point in my life, I was misdiagnosed as bipolar II. THAT was entertaining. NOT. Before the diagnosis, to deal with the weight that was packing on for no apparent reason, my GP put me on Prozac. I slept for two weeks and felt AWESOME afterwards. Then we tried Zoloft: no reaction until PMS kicked in and I went homicidal. Entertaining... I chased a guy all the way across Somerville with the intent of pulling him out of his car and dribbling his head off the pavement like a basketball for cutting me off. A little voice inside my head kept trying to get my attention and tell me that it was a bad idea. It took three miles for me to register that voice, and I was traveling down Somerville Ave--consider the number of traffic lights, pedestrians, and other cars I had to deal with in that three miles. Yeah. Zoloft... NOT a good idea. Then came the lower does of Prozac--sleeping without the happiness afterwards. Then shipped off to a psychopharmocologist who evaluated me as bipolar II. Paxil was my friend, and then Depakote got added, and then the doses went up... and don't forget the emergency Xanax, and then the anti-psychotics when the Xanax stopped working for the panic attacks... that was about the time I started keeping at least a bud around because three tokes did what all the meds in the world couldn't--calmed me down and kept me from slashing my wrists.

Of course, I ended up in a blanket of cotton wool about three feet thick, lost my sex drive, and didn't function as an artist. Due to circumstances, I ended up having to stop all meds, cleaned out my system, and then... started over again. Once the hypothyroidism was diagnosed and under control, the anxiety disorder became apparent and that was treated, and the bipolar was off the table.

Whew. But I still need the meds.

I hate them. I hate what I'm like without them even more. I have gotten so attuned to my body that I can feel the chemical changes--I know when my thyroid is off, I know when my hormones surge--there's a little bump mid-month, then a BIG bump about five days before the bleeding starts--and I know what real depression is.

I also know when it's safe for me to drink, and when it's NOT safe because it will start a chemical downward spiral that will end with me trying to slash open my veins and die. I am long past the days when I want my friends babysitting me to make sure I don't shuffle off the mortal coil under my own steam; it's humiliating and exhausting, and eventually, it loses you friends. So, legal or not, I guess I'm a drug addict like damn near most of America these days (at least, those of us who have health insurance with prescription drug coverage).

But I'm not a drunk, and the drugs I take are to keep me sane and functioning. It's a very different thing from the animal I'm dealing with at home. Now, Moron has been sober since the end of January when I had his ass clapped into rehab. At the court hearing, the court shrink--who it was obvious he thought he had flim-flammed, FUCK! HE IS SO GODSDAMNED STUPID!--who evaluated him stated that he had stated that he had "tried cocaine a couple of weeks before."


The reality--as we found out from his friends--is that he had a full-blown coke habit. It explained quite a bit, like why the flooze he had been trying to bed was calling in a panic, the impotence issues (there are some things NO ONE should know about older members of their family), and of course, the paranoia.

Now, understand that I really DON'T like cocaine. I've never tried it, but I really DON'T LIKE what it does to people who use it constantly--the paranoia, the itchiness, the suspicion, the coldness, the one-step-removed from the world. I don't like it. I have run away almost every time I've had it near me; I have never forgotten a coke-fueled ride home from a friend--beautiful girl to look at, smart, funny but coked out of her head and telling me how much she envied my ability to say no and stay away from it, that she and the hottest guy in the office [whom I had been crushing on up until that minute] were fucking each other and getting high all the time and were both broke and losing everything because of it; I was 18. I didn't need any other warning or example.

Alcohol is a familiar demon--I understand alcohol-fueled violence and stupidity--been surrounded by it all my life--I know the signs, the stench, the clues, and I know how to deal with it. I can kick a drunk's ass easily--let them think they're leading the dance, fake 'em out, step aside, let the punch fly by, and then step in under the guard, and WHAM! Easy-peasy, down he goes. Coke adds something to the mix that makes a drunk think he's invincible--it adds a persistence, an unstoppability that means the one punch won't take them down. It sharpens the shit the alcohol usually dims.

Once I found out that coke was in the mix, I knew why he was overheating and freaking out. And why he swung on me (and yes, as empowering as it is to know I have the PTSD under control, I still wish I had crushed his windpipe. Life would be very complicated, yet so much simpler). See, Moron learned back in '02 what happens when you swing on me--I humiliate your ass. He backed his car into mine so it looked like I had those special shocks to make the car bounce. Several times. And then, when I ran over to his car to get him to stop, he started throwing punches out the window. I caught the punches in my hands and forced his arms back, bending back his fingers.

He's now trying to blame the surgeries he's had for his hands on me--because of that, I caused all of his problems with arthritis in his hands. It's not he was a telephone lineman in the worst weather for 25 years; it's not that I was defending myself and not allowing him to pummel me--he had a right to do that.

*slams head on the desk*

Can I just state for the record that I am done? Beyond done. I had a conversation with Elder Services today because I can't take the madness any longer. Mum doesn't make it any better--she just accepts life with an addict. And I wonder why it took me so many years to get healthy, why it took me so long to wake up and realize that no one has to endure being abused. I lost it last night; she spent fuck knows how much in the grocery store to buy a shitload of stuff that we have no room for. He strong-armed her into buying a small refridgerator with an ice maker--vital for a drunk who sucks back cocktails, not necessary for two women who like to cook and need storage space. I cannot take the hoarding, I cannot take the addiction, I cannot fucking take it any longer.

So I called Elder Services. I'm getting her a lawyer to deal with the foreclosure issue; Elder Services is going to get referrals for help with the house. I've contacted her kidney doctor for a shrink. The bills will go on a schedule; there will be a calendar posted on the fridge for her fucking doctor appointments so I don't get surprises sprung on me.

As for the Moron... argh. I have one possible ace up my sleeve for that, and Gods help him if I call that one in because his ass will be nailed to a wall. There is one person who, if he finds out what that idiot has been doing, will set his ass so straight, it will be practically set in cement.

Cement might work, too, come to think of it... Nah. Considering how toxic his body is at this point, I really wouldn't want to poison the river any further.

Any advice anyone has to offer, I'll take at this point.

ADDENDUM: Just wanted to add that I DO NOT condemn drinking and recreational drugs in general. If you've got a handle on it (and I know a lot of people who can do a little and be fine), no worries. Hey, I like my shot of silver tequila (with five slices of lime because it's going to take me 10 sips to get it down and sea salt on the side) and the occasional toke still. It's just the idiots whose bodies can't handle it and who are destroying lives... *sigh*

* Today's epigram is from the first album by Third Eye Blind--amazing friggin' album from start to finish, only two songs that I didn't bother to put on my Zune. Lyrically astounding, musically fabulous... if only their other albums had been as good. This song is incredible, especially if you've ever had a drunk in your life. You will know it and weep to it.

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