Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Day I Got Sober

It starts, like so many of my days, on an airplane. My first memory of the day is that I was sitting on an airplane going home. I was smugly proud of myself because I had only used enough to be straight. I wasn't stoned, just functional. That was a lot of my using at this point. I needed a lot to be functional though. A. Lot.

I get to the airport and there's nobody there to meet me. This isn't unusual either. My wife is a dedicated addict herself. (I tend to use the terms addict and alcoholic pretty interchangably. If I'm speaking of being an addict, assume I'm drinking in a pretty dysfunctional manner too.) So, I catch the shuttle from the airport and in about a half an hour I show up at the house. My young kids (there is one older daughter from my first failed marraige but she's an adult in Alaska at this point of the story) are there, and they come running up "Hi Da! Didja bring me anything? What? Cool! Thanks, gotta go!" They really don't care at this point whether or not I'm home. They know that my being home means mainly that their mother and I will be fighting viciously at some point in the very near future.

I go into the house and find lovely wife (even in the throes of addiction she remained lovely in a Kate Moss sort of way) is trying to find a vein. She's been trying since she knew that I was coming home and has been trying hard to get in shape to drive and pick me up. (Scary to think that there are people out there that are incapable of functioning unless they're legally under the influence ain't it?) So, being as good a husband as I ever was (which isn't all that good) I use my experience and skill and get her dose delivered where upon she plants a hello kiss on my cheek and goes about her business. So, here I am. Just got home, after going to all that trouble and expending energy on self control to show up straight and functional rather than stoned and nobody cares.

I know. I'll show them. I dig into my bags and I find a good sized going on stage dose (which at this point involves .5 gram heroin mixed with .5 gram cocaine and this is good shit too. The only people that get better dope than musicians are lawyers, judges and narcs) With a minimum of fuss the deed is done and I feel the rush. The problem this time is that even with all this dope on board. Standing there rushing my ass off, I still feel like shit. I know my life is a failure. My kids don't care whether or not I'm home, my wife, once she gets hers really has no use for me.

This is confusing. I have a job that people fantasize about having. I make pantsloads of money doing that job. (for you accountants a pantsload is way more than a shitload approaching the rarified zone of stupid money) I tour the world, playing music, listening to people bang their hands together and shout merely because I deigned to show the fuck up. How can my life suck this bad? I can't escape the fact that it does suck. It. Sucks. Out. Loud.

Now I'm really getting depressed. Refer to the dosages above. It is really impossible at this point to physically get more dope into my body. I'm drinking way more than a bottle a day. Yet, at the upper limits of consumption. Every. Thing. Sucks.

I go and find my lovely wife and tell her that I need to go to the DeTox at the hospital. This isn't unusual behavior on my part either. Generally at the end of a tour I spend a week or two bringing my habit down to managable levels. Not with the idea of living a clean and sober life, but being able to get a buzz off a quarter gram and a double shot of Jameson's.

She takes me, I check in. The journey begins.
More to follow.

Aside to my children, family and friends who are reading this:

Feel free to loudly call bullshit if you find me spouting it. Your stories are an integral part of my own. I need you in my life, and you have the right to let everyone know when I'm full of shit.

Next up:
Detox blues.


Blogger JS said...

This is fascinating and frightening. I cannot imagine going through either the fame on the road or the horror of the addiction...though I had issues of my own. Thanks for sharing this; it is riveting.

9:02 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

it mainly started with litbrit posting about the addiction angle of mel gibson's story. that seems to be getting lost in the shuffle. daughter (20) the beautiful and brilliant one in pre-med has told me that since my recovery has been a huge factor in my life for the last 13 years that i would not be being true to myself if i didn't write about it. with any luck, somebody might be able to relate a little, and find a way out of the darkness. thank you for your kind words.

10:45 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

ok, i blew the link to litbrit, her blog is listed on the side bar, and she's also a regular contributor to "Shakespeare's Sister" (they're award winners ya know?) also.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Friðvin said...

Holy Shit.

I need to save these to read again when I'm trying to go a few days without my trusty tequila bottle.

Just reading this makes me hurt.

10:14 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

one of the axioms we have in recovery is "if you don't remember your last run, it might not be your last run." it's important for me to remember how hard it was to sober up. i also know that just because i had to quit, doesn't mean that anyone else does. it does, however, require that anyone who tries to get sober is deserving of and entitled to all the help i can give them.

11:24 AM  
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