Freedom from FearObserver’s conclusions:
The subject is a sixty two year old male in apparent robust health. With no known chronic , or acute, disabilities or diseases. All of his vital signs are within in the normal ranges. Recent blood tests show his internal organs are functioning at, or above par, as far as can be ascertained without biopsies. Most notable are his hepatic functions. Except for his agitated mental processes which are heightened and manic, there is no sign of acute, or chronic, mental illness. The subject also complains of chronic, debilitating, insomnia. Physically observing the patient it is profoundly apparent. Even his second and third chins look exhausted. He lacks focus, and tends to zig zag uncontrollably from one thought to another. When speaking, he rambles and forgets the salient point. He struggles with being cogent. The subject is still very dependent on nicotine and caffeine.
Three things of note: The subject has survived all three varieties of hepatitis; and is currently in remission from the potentially lethal 'C' strain, after the Ribavarin and Interfuron treatment. It is noted the subject is an incurable drug addict. His response to his diagnosis was: “Hey, I was just trying to have me some fun, son of a gun, your sisters a nun.” He can’t help being a wise ass. Last, the subject spent over thirty five years as an active opiate addict. He was convinced only insane people didn’t take drugs. He states it is the only way to cope with the ongoing vicissitudes of life.
An addict of this magnitude rarely survives, yet alone drug free. When they do, the observer notes, they must bottom out, and find sobriety just a mere hairsbreadth before they find death. Sobriety and 'recovery' are different states of body, soul, and mind. Reviewing the subject’s history would indicate he obviously was near death a number of times. Subject claims to have done nearly every drug available, but opiates were by far and away his favorite. He also states that some of his fondest memories where while under the influence of LSD, with doses that seem so high, to be fanciful and very improbable to the observer. Conclusion: The subject appears to be, more or less, within normal bounds psychologically, except for being perceptibly more neurotic and agitated than he should be, due to acute and chronic sleep deprivation. Subject claims he is in good spirits but waiting for the other shoe to drop. He is then is currently, in totality, a fucking mess. Patient's response:
Don't believe that prick the observer. That said: Where to begin? What should I leave in? What should I leave out? I don’t know. Let’s just rock and roll, get on with it, and see where it goes, shall we? After taking about two years to get down to eight milligrams of Suboxone daily, because of its expense, and unknowingly I had this ‘miracle drug’ turn on me. You all know the affects and effects. The symptoms are always nearly the same: Emotionally, hollowed out, emotionally flat, like an old man. Physically, the bathroom issues were the most notable. No need to elaborate. My lethargy, likely the combination of a distorted mind, body, and soul, were wrapped up in a long, slow dance, with a devil with an orange dress on. She was very sexy at first. But, she smothered me quickly; her suffocating possessive ways, very rapidly, got worse. Think of a person in your life who was so clingy that you stopped liking them, and simultaneously had lost all respect as well. Multiply that by one hundred exponentially, and you will see her, a very blurry apparition in a dull orange gown.
Intellectually, I was still aware that somewhere inside there was the person who cares about a lot of things, passionately; arguably too many. I particularly enjoy watching, and observing, other people; in particular their interactions with each other. People have said I have a good heart. That's nice, but I am selfish, and therefore, there is something very self-serving, posting on Subsux. If I were buried, all I want the head stone to read would be is: ‘a nice man lies here’. That’s it, no name, or other inscriptions. I have a billionth of a billionth of a nano-second part in the cosmic soap opera. Subconsciously, and consciously, I scream out in dark, alone, hopelessly begging, with futile hopes for immortality. Even so, at the end of the day, my optimistic outlook has still lived on in a deep comatose sleep. It still has a weak, intermittent heart beats. But, it’s a lonely, ravaged heart.
One day while surfing the net looking for information, I found at Subsux.com. (Heretofore, referred to as the Site.) I had stumbled on to the Site accidently; I spent that day reading all I could about your successes and tragedies, and your self-deprecating humor. Continuing to read the next day, the next, and the next, and so on, I was mesmerized. I have read hundreds of posts thousands of times, nearly having the first four entries by Ratch memorized. I was only shocked at the severity of my problem, but, intelligent enough to figure out that after reading, rereading, and rereading the Site, my soul mate, and my son were correct; I had changed: A whole lot!
After a year or so, of many repeated questions, and very heavy admonitions, I slowly began to woefully think they could be right. Their questions: “Dad, why don’t you laugh any more when I say something funny? Where’s your incisive English wit gone dad? Why aren’t you silly anymore? Where’s that hide and go seek little boy you’ve always nourished so regularly? You’ve stopped giving me the hairy eyeball when I call you by your first name, just to laugh at your reaction.” Or my soul mate would ask: “What happened to you?” You were always so energetic.” “You seem different now; I want the old Alphie back, who demonstrably showed me love, instead of rarely mumbling it, hollowly.” Or, “Hey shithead, where the fuck are you?” was not an infrequent query. I had become Numb Man, thick as a brick, and intellectually absent. It was, and remains, deeply disturbing, I didn’t become aware of this alone, with what I had always previously, presumed, what should have been, sufficient mental resources.
I don’t’ know any of you personally. But wish I did. I will not single any one out, except one, not just to thank him for his amazing story. But for the multiple epiphanies upon reading it; that were quickly, off the Richter scale. But there are too many of you to thank. Each and every one of you deserves my personal, thanks, and gratitude. Some of you, like me, have been, and still are, lurking in the safety of the cyberspace anonymity, and, for quite a long time. They are those of you who have not posted yet, because of fear, just exactly like me. (It seems probable there as many, or more of you behind the scenes, as those who have posted.) Please don’t go gently, gently into the good night fellow addicts, dreamers, and screamers. Slough off, or ignore your fears: I implore you, with my all that’s in me, to post soon on the Site; you are needed, more and more, every day, hour, and minute. New posters, are the lifeblood of the Site.
I have come to feel not posting, harshly stated, is cyber- stalking. Does cyber-stalking look like the new world order of atypical voyeurism to you too? Facebook being the most definitive example I can think of. Come on then, man or woman up, post for chrissake. Your successes are important, your failures even more so. Tragedies beget not only imperative lessons, but also, open and more informed minds as well.
Kudos and much more to Ratch; for starting the Site, for continuing it, and rebuilding it, I admire you immensely. I could strangle the bastard(s) who hacked the old Site; on the other hand, the new one is better. But Ratch, are you really that magnanimous and altruistic? I conclude you monitor, and administrate the Site, for your own mental health. Excuse the oxymoron: ‘Mental Health’ is an elusive and misleading term. So, who the fuck can truly define it? The best shrink I ever talked to said, ‘the most we can hope for is to be slightly neurotic’. He also told me, ‘a psychotic is only someone who is more neurotic than their doctor.’ Pretty damned funny!
I’ve always been convinced almost all human behaviors begin with, and end with, selfishness. Often knowing full well, those same selfish behaviors will result in the same predictably unhappy, tragic, or fata results. To wit: Drug addiction! Amazingly, we continue to practice these self defeating behaviors, so we must get something we need, orwant, out of them. But what is it? This is only understood through self-diagnosis. No one can help you with this painful look at yourself. This does not appear to be the case for Ratch, at least anymore in this area of his life. It appears to me, he has done the aforementioned introspection, and still hangs around the site, even though, he has been ‘clean’ for awhile. Go figure?
Next, I believe the phenomena of sites like facebook, are technologically, are by far and away, modern man’s best voyeuristic invention; the net being its sacred mother. I’m up there, but I don’t use it except to reply to someone; and then, I ask them to correspond with me by email. My twenty six years old son doesn’t like it either; far too public. I hope you see my point about cyber-stalking. I’m just as guilty as charged. But, hey Ratch, please don’t give us your reasons should you read this: I need mystery, ambiguities intrigue me. Conclusion: Not all technology is as good. To wit, atomic weapons, the net, and its social mediums, and duct tape because of overuse.
Facebook is a great place to show off thousands of babies, all looking pretty much alike. Where new moms can gush and lie their asses off with impunity, along with millions of other people who create a cyber fantasy, about their life, and who they are not. Those who post that shit, are people who don’t know any better. I lean towards thinking, they usually don't seem to care, even if they are aware of their bullshit, they want, or need to hide, at all costs, before it’s too late for the recipient. The recipient is eagerly, eating their shit up, long before the truth appears, when it’s often too late. The cards are dealt with sleight of hand; and the recipient of those cards, usually loses, sometimes, tragically. Nevertheless, God bless Mark Zuckerberg: and please excuse my tangentential rambling about his huge contribution, and what it then bore. One last thought: Have you ever seen any results of a tragic relationship started on Match.com? There must be a lot of them. I’d give a quarter, or sexual favors, to read, or hear, the worst of those stories. The bottom line is, the net has an awful lot of short comings, so that must include Subsux. But we are, most importantly, trying to help one another. So let’s keep on trying, to the best of our combined abilities.
Let’s try to get down to business again: Over three years ago, I had detoxed down to a painful five milligrams of methadone a day; from over a hundred and fifty milligrams a day. I have a staggering tolerance for narcotics. Previously, I was snorting 800 to 1K milligrams of oxycontin daily. It started with one oxycodone for a sore back, inflicted upon myself. Had I started to drink my usual 1.75 liter bottle of bourbon a day, or smoking eight ball after eight ball of crack, it seems doubtful I'd sitting here typing. Jail would have been possible, death more probable. Why I didn’t start drinking and smoking crack, I don’t have a clue, and never will.
So I looked for the first dealer I could find in the yellow pages who would see me; I dialed a lot of numbers, for all of an hour, to find him. Has anyone else ever been on the toilet with a garbage can in front of them, dialing the phone, praying to God, cursing God, bargaining with God, begging God, and praying to die, all in the span of milliseconds? Most doctors would not see me unless I was inpatient, and I knew a couple of them well from AA; or, they were not taking any new patients. I admit, I am a coward, and the world’s biggest pussy, when it comes to withdrawal. In other areas of my life, though not all, the same is true. I find myself identifying with the downtrodden, and liking them better than those who are not; I feel downtrodden then. Stupidly so, it isn’t true.
Like most, I had bounced back and forth from trying to quit and trying to feel good; an addict’s fantasy. After half an hour’s chat with the doctor, that actually might have included one or two pertinent medical questions. I left with three prescriptions in my shaking, sweaty hands. They might as well have been number one, two and three, of the Ten Commandments for me at that time.
It was two hundred dollars cash to see the doctor, the rule for everyone, fuck you very much. No insurance allowed of any kind. “It keeps the costs of care down here.” So I was on my way with prescriptions for two weeks’ worth of Sub; forty five of them. Sixty, 10 milligram diazepams, and mitrazapine. Remeron? The Suboxone was three times more than I needed for induction. Anxiousness and moderate depression are my intermittent companions ever since I was a little boy. It doesn’t seem treatable, except by me, and definitely, without any medications. So the Remeron was useless, but I took it anyway. Valium was not really essential to my treatment either. Oh sure, I had fun with it at first, but it was no problem to stop taking them when I was finished partying. I still have some left since my last prescription filled last August 2010;. nearly eight months ago. It ain't much of a party drug anyway, is it?
I think everyone worries too much about Valium, but not enough about Zanax. The problem with the diazepam family, especially Zanax, is not that their addictive properties that are so much a challenge for us. But, it’s how rapidly we build up tolerance that then leads, inevitably, to addiction. Then it is my opinion, the withdrawal is so much more profoundly notable than the base line addiction itself. Please do remember, in spite of what I claim here, we addicts are highly susceptible to becoming immediately and quickly dependent on anything, with or without a known potential for abuse! The brain’s chemistry is both widely known, and vaguely similar, amongst all of humans, addict or not; but, even more highly unpredictable from one addict to the next. For all addicts, diazepam presents a never ending crap shoot. The rules of the game change with every roll of the dice, while the gambler is completely unaware, that the rules have no rules. So, one might be able to take diazapams for years with no predictable adverse results. Then, upon taking perhaps the tenth, or the thousandth dose, the user can become really fucked and very addicted.
For the next three months, I saw my highly trained ‘addictionologist’ twice a month. He had the stamina, discipline, and brains, to make it through the eight hour training needed to prescribe Suboxone. Congratufuckinglations! Eventually, my visits became bimonthly. It’s was one hundred and fifty dollars per visit, of twice or more, in any calendar month. After I was ‘stabilized,’it became my unproved theory; the attending physician can circumvent the one hundred patient quotas per physician, simply by dropping patients to bi-monthly visits. His clinic is now, recently, is only open Mondays and Thursdays, from 8 AM until 9PM. If the doctor skips lunch, or eats at his desk, the cash cow becomes Bunyanesque. If the doctor reduces patient visits down to fifteen minutes each......well, you do the math on the visits and the drugs. So continuing: Bingo, an hour after my appointment, everything was just great. So that begs the question: How the fuck did I get here?
I thought that I was doing fine. What went wrong and where? Wasn’t I making progress, moving forward, stable, and relatively content? I was ignoring those annoying, softly tinkling bells, at the back of my dimmer consciousness. They were nothing. It was my soul mate, and my son, who vociferously claimed there was a substantial change in me. "Bullshit," I always thought. With closer examination of the Site, it slowly revealed the truth, and you, and they, were right. No longer was I witty and often silly. My childlike wonder for the world had gone missing, as was a long list of other things I had not noticed. Shit! The Suboxone had turned on me, and I had turned on me, like every one of you. Your leg up is you figured it out alone. The two harbingers of remaining truths, were and are the two most important people, my son , and soul mate, who were, and are I believe still, were trying valiantly, and patiently, to love me. God bless ‘em daily, and a lot of others, like you.
More of them to thank are similar: My ever professional, patient, friend, and pharmacist, 'R,' and his charming caring staff. They’ve witnessed the many faces of Alphie. Starting nearly twenty years ago, when I was in desperation, 'R' would sell me Cheracol. Little did he know, four ounces of Cheracol provided much less than four hours of reprieve? Finally, gently but firmly, ‘R’ put his foot down. I'll not soon forget the sadness in his eyes, realizing what I was, that he would not, and could not, jeopardize his career, and his family too, because of my showing up at his store daily for cough syrup. I know that I waste too much time feeling guilty, with these kinds of memories. But it is near impossible not to do so. Right now, I assuredly, don't have the strength to relate anything to you about what feelings of guilt I have about my family, other people, and other families. They might possibly overwhelm this Site in length anyway.
There have been lots of other circumstances where other people, places, and institutions, have had to put their foot down, for scores of reasons. Up to, and including, various local, state and federal courts. It is with wonder that I have only been to jail, and not to prison, for those of you who know the difference. But, the example of 'R' is my notable, shortest example of the reasons. Thirty some years later, I still shudder at the letter that began: “The United States of America vs. Alphie Springer Spaniel.” John Lennon was fighting deportation with the INS, President Nixon, and that allegedly, cross dresser who was in charge of the FBI, Mr. Herbert Hoover. Just picture him in a cocktails dress, and a garter belt with stockings, why don’t you? John Lennon was soon declared second class deportable, and hundreds if not thousands, of us fell under John's legal umbrella. So doesn’t that surely fuck up the notion of six degrees of separation? So, many thanks go to the John, Yoko, therapists, AA, shrinks, my family doctor and some dead folks too. You figure out the order, I can't. Most of them tried to help me, the helpless, at the wrong time. They had good intentions.
Nearly a year ago, I revealed to a man that I’ve known almost fourteen years, that I was a chronic Suboxone user. As suspected, so was he. We now talk at least once a day, often more; so a very special, grateful thanks go to ‘D’ for as long as I breathe, then after. Naturally, the Site scares the living shit out of him. Just like at first, it did me.
My timelines are quite blurry, but, almost exactly a while ago, I tapered down to four milligrams a day. It was easier than I had anticipated. In ignorance, I thought it was a small dose; I’d be all right, so I stopped. Three days later, I got hit by the bright, orange, withdrawal train. The engineer on the Orange Express doesn't have any brakes to apply. I nearly made it four days. Thank God, I don't like it much, and that it is very hard to overdose on diazepam. Ten or twenty milligrams every half hour or so did the trick. I actually got some sleep. Lie: I was in a passionate embrace with Princess Vanessa Valium. The next morning, I had the worst withdrawal symptoms I believe I’ve ever had. A subjective call; as I’m a pussy when it comes to discomfort of any kind. I called the doctor and asked how long this would continue. He was abrupt and cavalier, saying “For the rest of your life.” I’m sure I’d remember him saying I had signed up for that at the start, withdrawals notwithstanding, YOU MOTHER FUCKER!!!. Its way out of bounds to punch someone’s ticket for life. Especially, without very loud and repeated warnings, about such an ominous, nearly irreversible, decision.
Flabbergasted and very scared, I had thought that I would be able to stop without any major problems. What a shock! My ticket was punched. I had already been in treatment four times, more out-patient, emergency rooms, public detoxes, and jails. All combined about fifty times in total, and amazingly, in recovery for nearly nine years, before I 'relapsed'. Recovery and relapse are misnomers, you know that. But I wondered, where the fuck am I? Where did I go wrong? Oh yeah, it was that first percodan, I eagerly took for back pain. AFTER ALMOST NINE YEARS OF ‘RECOVERY’ YOU IMPOSSIBLE, DUMB FUCK!!!!
Still having plenty of Suboxone, enough for months, I looked for another doctor. I found the next, and last one, at an inner-city clinic that appears to treat mostly crack heads. I can only tell that might be true because of their deplorable personal hygiene. They have ten rotten teeth, amongst any five of them. Many carry around various broken, or obsolete household appliances, pirated movies and CD's, and other useless shit. They possess thousands of plastic grocery bags that contain items they are trying to sell or trade, for bus tickets, cash, or other unknowns. Often they just panhandle: "Sir, are you Five-O." "No." :" Ain’t ate in fwee day." : "Ok, I'll happily by you something to eat." "Nah, thas aaaight."
This occurs frequently outside the front door. It nearly makes me tear up, every time. I observe a zip code full of children five and under, wearing dirty purples, day glow pinks, and fluorescent lime greens. All colors not replicate of anything found in nature. Nearly all of them sport many new shades of snot, that accessorize their little faces, and attire. Some of them have FAS, poorly repaired harelips, or whatever. Tragedy resides just a matter of feet from my back door. This paragraph has exaggerations, not by very much, to prove a point that cannot be exaggerated.
Ghastly embellished reality aside: The staff and counselors at the clinic, wear a lot of Orthodox Jewish garments, and ZZ Top beards, they walk around mumbling what I think are prayers, in Yiddish; maybe Hebrew. They are courageously, and vigorously, fighting a vertical battle; like a rocket trying to escape gravity without enough fuel; they daily do this for, and with, clients, that are cosmic distantness’s from their patient’s reality. They are in, what might be, deliberate, ongoing, schizophrenic relationships. The clients most likely don’t comprehend that fact. They accept the counselors as simply, weird ‘muufuggers’. The staff is truly, are among the most, unsung heroes of the day; highly aware of this insane predicament they choose to work in. I admire wistfully, the depth and scope, of their faith and commitment.
Another interesting point is my counselor ‘M,’ is very much alive and in living person. But, Dr. N’ and I Skype between here, and Israel , on a big screen TV. Dr. ‘N’ is able to immediately efax my prescriptions to my pharmacy, with the click of a mouse, some technology is good. Both men get brilliant, stellar reviews. Dr. ‘N’ has not had enough education, and experience, in treating patients on Suboxone, like most physicians. But he is trying extremely hard, every day. He needs what no one can give: Time to be seasoned. Yet, he is still way ahead of the curve. I gave them both the Site address, but I haven’t heard back about it, from either one of them. You win some, you lose some; in this case draws are ok. I know they are daily, giving it more than they should. Most of the patients are on welfare; hopefully the clinic is getting by financially. State, federal and local governments are slower than the second coming of Christ, with paying for services rendered, and doling out grants as well. I can understand the governmental agencies positions. As you know , a lot of government subsidies have been radically cut. Planned Parenthood is a prime example. But government just has no choice, they must stop somewhere, we are nationally bankrupt. But, I cannot emphasize how much I honor, and respect, my counselor and Dr. 'N'. Redundancy has its own valid position.
Going backward, the office manager at the first doctor took my money, stamped my visa that gave me clearance to the inner sanctum. What I liked about the first doctor, most of all, was I never had to wait long for the dealer man. He is ruggedly handsome, charming and funny. Why wouldn’t he be? He had just clipped me pretty good. The worst thing, is unfortunately, he thinks he is the Hippocratus of Suboxone treatment. You can't tell him a fucking thing. I was foolish enough to try more than once. Dr 'N' on the other hand, listens with as much of an opened mind as his training will allow. He physically attractive, smiles easily, stops often, and quietly thinks things through. Lastly; he is very nice. Sometimes i can't make up my mind if he is treating me like a patient, or an experiment. It might be the combination of both. That's just fine with me, it’s working. He is quick, and never talks down to me. As you are all aware, most shrinks are only interested in managing your meds. Dr 'N' has a holistic approach I only experienced once before, with Dr.'W' who said to me: "You have been unsuccessfully treating yourself with drugs and alcohol to try to attempt to control you anxiety and depression. Why don't you let me try treating you for a while? Maybe you'll live a little longer." I laughed. A laugh has been the beginning of notable events before in my life.
This conjecture by Dr. ‘W’ was the first day of my nearly nine year stint of being clean and sober: The happiest years of my life, as I am a late bloomer. I am freshman at WhatsamattaU. But, I am fortunate enough to have a couple of useful skills left. This makes finding a job easier than for most. I can sell. I have been lucky enough to hold a couple positions that paid very well, and that I loved too. One of the jobs, the one I loved the most. I lost due to my infatuation with a young woman who was an innocent, to whom I relayed, wholly inappropriate, and pointedly sexual comments. I was very lucky that I wasn't sued, and the company as well.
Now with effort and often failing, I try to base my management skills on Lao-Tse; "a good leader always follows his people." After some very hard lessons, due to repeated skepticism at first, they turned out to be universal truths. Other things he wrote, to be on the light side for a minute: "Raising children is like frying fish, the more you poke it, the more apt you are to spoil it." "When with the ones you love; remain completely present." On the heavier side: "God is just a word for that than can be neither named, nor understood." The Dao should be required reading through life. No, we can't get our minds around all of it, but what we do get is invaluable. A map to the path of abiding acceptance, and open arms toward all encountered. Sun Tzu wrote in the Art of War, that every battle is won long before the first sword is pulled from its scabbard. I believe that Sun Tzu is required at every military college. Both were written about fifteen centuries ago. But before anyone gets the wrong idea about me, I have read Heiddeger's; "Poetry, Language, Thought," about twenty times over thirty five years. I was disappointed to find out he was a Fascist. Having foolishly thought that living within Third Reich, he was a very clever, closet Christian. But, everything I have read about him, but not by him, confirms he believed he was a member of the master race. Bummer! The point is that “Poetry, Language, Thought” is only about one hundred sixty pages long, and I have yet to read it without acknowledging an abstract concept. But, I do no, and likely will not, ever understand them all. The same is true of a lot of things I have read from the ancients to the modernists. There are an awful lot of people who were, and are, a lot smarter than me.
I'm fairly bright, emotionally unstable, overly sensitive, and not a week goes by that something does not go way over my head; because of my obsessive, compulsive, nature. I am too self- obsessed; focused intently one thing; so much so, that I miss very understandable things. The juxtaposition and irony that thrive in my psyche are stubborn and very well entrenched. I must emphasize, my opinion is I do not have a large ego. I am always second guessing myself, constantly riddled with self doubt, and far too sensitive. Some folks in recovery might claim I have an enlarged negative ego. Ok. That appears to fit.
When I was at coffee one day with my favorite professor in college, he looked at me and said: "Alphie, you have thoughts running like a freight train through your head at a hundred miles an minute: You need to be suspicious of every one of them." And I am obsessively so. I'm also a soft touch, and hurt easily, and carry shit around far too long. Usually, to things most people would not give a second thought. I also love too much, which makes me very vulnerable. Jesus, I have really digressed. But I think I'll leave this in. It is depressing that I have so much trouble with my ramblings. But even though I’m self-deprecating, self-effacing, and hard on myself, I know at the core I am just a man, and not so bad a one at that. My dear dead father said to me one day: “You will live by your wits you bastard.” It took more than thirty years, to realize that was a compliment. I miss him, often lately. But dad, my wits have served me well.
Anyway, after seeing the new psychiatrist, and upon his advice, I immediately went back up to eight milligrams daily. Then I started to look back and try to reflect on my errors; and surfing around the net for answers. The first site that I found about Suboxone was on facebook. It was a detox program lasting for twenty one days. I tried it. No way could I do it, still work, or anything else for that matter. But I got down to two milligrams with effort over months and months, and then hit an orange brick wall. I was always in this, that, or the other form of withdrawal. The physical effects were pretty easily mitigated. I got down to four milligrams and held there for about six months. I was functioning, but with suicidal depression for half the time. That had a lot to do with how scared I was. I’d pray that I would die in my sleep every night, to a God I wasn’t sure I believed in. The liquid taper and film method was, and continues to be, the only way to fly; if that’s what you’d call it. You must carefully and purposely figure out how to titrate you self down. Take it easy? You gotta’ be fuckin’ kidding me, right? Even 'normal' people know that patience is an over-rated virtue. The exception to that rule is to be patient with children, and those who don’t have the tools to manage their lives. And all animals.
At the beginning of last summer I decided that I had to do or die, preferably the second. This was no way to live, and it was now, or never. Being burned at the stake is quicker and more humane. Done properly, you have a bag of gunpowder tied around your neck, the flames from the brush rise quickly and bang; lights out. Doctor Opiatus is so warm and comforting at first, and then when you become intractably co-dependent and addicted, he shows his true self. When we were in our salad days, he kept his distance, benignly smiling, and waving you toward him. When you can’t turn back, he becomes a psychotic narcissist, in tandem, with you.
It is my belief that I have finally earned the right to post after six days at .125 mg. of Suboxone. To say I have remunerated over this post is an understatement. This has taken far too long, but I really don’t care. I am still lonely and scared, manic, and 'all kinds of fucked up' as ‘W’, used to say. But thank God, I'm not in any physical withdrawal. When the mania decreases I will go down again to .o625mg and hold. It has surprised me the mania is so powerful. I pray for patience that never comes, and to be still for just a minute or two. They will likely never arrive jointly, or individually, as long as the vestiges of Suboxone are in my system. I hope that, possibly, I may help just one person with this post, besides myself. But if I only help myself, it’s still ok. I have a lot more to say, but this is more than enough for now. I am not as bleak and hopeless as it might seem. With your collective help, I have arrived at this point. With your continuing help, I believe I’ll make it to the end. Thank you.
I have tried hard to be succinct and make sense. It's debatable. You know, I might be crazy, but I ain’t real dumb. I have edited and re-edited. I’m sick of all it, writing, thinking, editing and then doing it all again and again. I have a low-grade headache all the time. My ears ring nearly constantly, but less noisily now. My spinal cord often feels like it crackles and pops, and nerves have moved to my epidermis. RLS comes and goes. I’d negotiate my mortality for a natural night’s sleep. It is a pleasure to have detoxed from stool softeners, with no more flatulence that shatters tempered windows, or doors right off their hinges. I wait for the ominous other foot to fall. Instead of being manically happy, I’ll be very depressed, and everything will be even more trying for those around me. I muse continually: When will the pendulum swing as far as possible the other way? My psychiatrist says it may not, due to my progress so far, and personality type. I don’t believe it. Paws seem inevitable. Let's hope, my natural, near boundless energy will be enable me to carry my fitted lead suit. I’ll whine and bitch, then soldier on in misery, like the rest of you, for as long as it takes to reach the other side, and be with you.
Finally, it is amazing to have come this far in my Subuxone saga, and written so much. But I know I’m still all kinds of fucked up, (thanks ‘W’), and I have quite a way to go. Is awareness half the battle? I can only hope. I have tried to lace this with humor. It’s a given, the ball was dropped at least a few times in sequential timelines, and other stuff I can’t quite put my finger on. Honesty will always be a challenge for us addicts. I must have missed something, or someone, that is important, I'm sorry. Now where do I post this shit? Personal stories should do all right.
I have created an email purposely just for those of you who want to contact me directly. It is firstname.lastname@example.org
. Alphie? He’s my dog, and I am his human. As in, ‘What’s It All About Alfie?’ Only hours after we got him, my son and I were at the pet store getting puppy supplies. Pretty young girls started tripping over each other to get near him. My son naively thought it was him they were after. He quickly figured it out: “We have our own Lothario dad, let’s call him Alphie”. It turned out to be a very apropos name. What’s it all about? It is the question I ask often, as I look into his big, soulful, beautiful brown eyes. Such a friend, with such unconditional love!
It is understood that I have chosen to accept the good the bad and the ugly by posting an email address. I promise to try to answer any inquiries as promptly, and as truthfully, as I can muster. Maybe we can even make friends. Hope does spring eternal doesn’t it?To You Mom:
Going forward, for you and anyone truly interested in whom and what I am. I was, and I still am, very afraid that if people know the inner me, I will totally shatter their expectations, and they will dislike me forever. I'm feel I am genetically predisposed to be a loser. I deserve everything rotten thing I have had happened to me, I know I deserve everything that is evil, awful, and rotten that is in my future. I am daily disgraced at a weak and cowardly man. When I see him in the mirror, I am filled with horror and disgrace. Not always, but often enough. I don't like mirrors. I hate photographs. What else do I need to say? I dunno'. But there you have a starting point.
I’ll try not to lie, and mostly I don't anymore. But, the sins of omission are easily my worst ones. They are sneaky, surreptitious, and in the long run, create more damage. They leave room for rampant, false speculation and interpretation; based on false and incomplete knowledge. But, I have begun to change. There are parts of me I like. There are parts of me that will never change. Some I like, others I like and don’t like simultaneously, some I don’t like or ever will. Being an addict is a gift and a curse. The addict/alcoholic must turn inward and look hard at their character defects, physical, mental, and most importantly spiritual. Religion or one’s soul does not enter the picture, until the first three are better.
Addiction is a three pronged disease. The spiritual is always the most defective, and the hardest to repair. It takes years, hence the term ‘dry drunk.’ Their sprit is still not functioning correctly, very often caused by ego, both positive and negative. My relapse was due to a spiritual defectiveness. I could not see, what was I think too big an ego. I can’t ever be 100% sure, but I think I ‘get it’ now. It’s a long way between spirituality and religion; although they can and do, rarely, live in the same arena. For instance, I believe in the mystery of a creator. But that does not mean I accept any organized religion. I simply feel in my heart that they all underestimate a creator, and religious notions were often invented by superstitious, and often psychotic men, who usually saw women as chattel.They were the inventors of misogyny. It seemd they were extremely homophobic; afraid of anyone not like them. That does not mean I do not believe in ‘God.’ I do. Buddhists say: “God is just a word for that which cannot be named, nor understood.” Amen! I am very comfortable to live within that notion, and likely to never change my position. It is a comforting one.
There is a lot of talk in AA circles about people who have found Jesus, or any other conversion, and the next thing you know they are back to drinking or using. What on earth do they do when something they believed in fails them? Those that are lucky, come back to AA. Those that aren’t, usually die from the disease. I don’t believe that behavior is God’s responsibility. Enter the notion of free agency. Drinking and using are only symptoms that something is wrong with your spirit. God only cares about your soul, and that’s 99% up to every individual to nourish; no matter what their religious affiliation is, or is not. So although we pray in AA, we only pray for others, and the wisdom and strength to know, and to carry out God’s will for us. It must be noted that any 12 step organization is less than 10% successful. I hope you have been able to relate to me here, as I know it flies into the wind of some of you beliefs. But the bottom line is I am happier than I have ever been, and have a sunny outlook on life. Life then, is a gift that should be worn like a loose garment, very comfortably.
So, I hope now you can make the bridge between the previous paragraph and the sins of omission. The best I can do is try break the habit, once and for all. I used to say to myself when I lied 'I did it for everyone’s good’, fanciful, self deluding, bullshit! It was for my own interests, and mine only, and I pathologically believed in them. Very scary when you realize you have to believe your own bullshit. I promise to try not to do it anymore to you, or anyone else. If you wonder in the future about my veracity, ask again, gently, and I will do everything possible to be clearer.
I have gained tremendous respect for you, and wisdom from you. After the death of two husbands, I think you have had to spend a lot of time looking inward, motivated by loss and loneliness. I am here, whenever you think you need me. I love you more than when I was a little boy, and little boys worship their mothers more than their fathers. Speaking of fathers; I miss dad often, I can only hope he is safe and happy, looking down on us with love, and only love; with his radiant smile and sparkling blue eyes.