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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Alcoholism: The plight of many people

In the news yesterday was the typical story about a 21-year old movie star that was arrested for DUI and cocaine possession. It was not a surprise given her bouts with alcohol abuse and the crowd she must, even in a alcoholic daze, say to herself: "why the fuck do I hang around with these jokers?"

I am trying to feel sorry for her and the life she is currently living, but I find it hard to feel anything for her. But in listening to another sports talk idiot (All Night with Jason Smith, ESPN Radio) he said, "Alcohol is a choice, not a disease." I wondered, is he an expert on anything related to alcoholism, or is he just another person that holds a fantastic grudge against someone that was actually an alcoholic?

My personal story with Alcohol:

I had my first alcoholic drink when I was 10 years old. My dad ran a bar in Tennessee for several years (on and off) and when my mother left me with him in 1982, after their violence-laden divorce, I had to stay in the motel behind the bar. I spent plenty of time in the place that summer, even when my dad was looking to "hook up" a woman of some sort. (Later, my mother came to get me after my dad got tired of me cramping his style then.)
The 1st time I got drunk was age 13, right after my grandfather died. Richard Zimmerman and I were at the Middle School football field shooting Tequila all night. We talked about the girls we had the hots for, and why we couldn't get with them. (We both were transplants from other schools. He moved to Lowell, IN the year after I did.) I threw up that night so hard, I bursted blood vessels in my head. (Purple splotches appeared all over my face.)

The 2nd time I got drunk was age 16, right after my dad went to the pokey for a while. It was at a typical high school party with plenty of intrigue between people because of boyfriend-girlfriend stuff. (I wound up hitting my then best friend after he teased me about God only knows what.) Anyways, the whole thing left me looking even worse when I exploded about life... I tended to do that. Especially when I know things could be better and should be better than they are. I wound up in the fetal position in a tent - and the WHOLE thing got recorded for prime time school listening a few days later....

College was pretty much a alcohol fest after I turned 21. (Though I did not go to a bar until 6 months after my 21st B-day. I waited until my then best friend turned 21.) I got arrested in 1995 on a PI. I tried to go to Taco Bell at 2:30 AM. I saw people eating, but the door was locked. Cop picks me up and I went to the jail for the night.

Two months later, I got arrested for a altercation between me and some Joe Smith (actual name.) He and his buddy decided to cause a situation with me. I say that without lying. It was a average night at a bar. And I had about 3 beers watching the Bulls kick the Supersonics brains in. As we both approached the bar, we bumped into each other. His first response: "Get the fuck out of the way." My response: "Who died and made you John Purdue?" He retorted: "You think your funny prick." Mine: "As funny as you are Mary." (At least I'd like to hope I could have said that.) Final remark by him: "Your mother 's a bitch." Mine: BLAMMM! (Shot to the jaw. He hit the floor. Bouncers removed me. I went to go home. Cops on bikes pulled up. Investigate. I get arrested for assault after he pressed charges.)

In 1999, I got drunk again and tried to take pills while in the Navy. That didn't work. I got Honorably Discharged for Alcohol Rehabiliation Failure (failure being a term I know pretty well.)

In late 2000-2001, after 18 months sober, I relapsed. That happens.

After 4 more years of forced sobriety, I was back on the wagon. Nevertheless, I've fallen off it a few times. I have no one that forces or assists me in the pursuit. (No AA, people use GOD in that too much. I've heard enough sermons from Dad and the Catholic Church.)

Rather, I consume about 2-3 beers a week now. Not at any particular time or need to, just do it to socialize and forget that I am termed an Alcoholic. Maybe a bunch of self-medication is part of the theory I pose to myself.

I'm a functional Alcoholic, meaning I can do enough to not be in a gutter or in/out of a rehab center. I couldn't afford the bills -unlike Ms. Lohan. (The prompter of this blog.)

Given the world around me, I guess I would like to think I channel Hemingway, Fitzgerald or some other writer-alkie in my thoughts. I don't, of course. But they would be my drinking buddies if I had the druthers of it. Even though I could not keep up with their thoughts.

I realize HOW serious the subject is. But I also figure it has not even been my biggest obstacle, as odd as that may seem to a soberite. My biggest wall has been escaping the family and home life I grew up in, rather alone. Loneliness surrounds me daily. It's a dark man with robes that kill on contact, metaphorically, and drains my existence into his all-you-can-go-to-blazes cess pool.

When I heard Mr. Smith goes to the back of the class prattle on about Lindsey being not an alcoholic, I wanted to either congratulate him for being another Hollywood basher or strangle him for being such a fucking toolbox that wouldn't know real trouble if it fell on him from on Hosanna in the Highest high.
We all have to deal with life. Some unfortunately get to use alcohol as their escape. (And I know you don't have to. And if you don't, don't OK!)
Take care and stay sober!

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