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|04-07-2010, 05:22 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: South Seas
Dee74's story - Part One
I always felt different - I couldn't help being that way - I was the crippled kid with the caliper, and the stutter - but I always fought hard to be accepted as 'normal' - as one of the gang.
I was the tough little kid with the smart mouth (no stuttering when being a wiseguy) - stubborn too...if something or someone knocked me down and dared me to stay down, I'd get up again..and again...and again.
But somewhere around 16, that all changed.
Several things happened - I went to a new school...I discovered girls...I became a lot more self conscious about my disability...and I discovered marijuana.
I never went overboard in those days - too scared - but I loved the feeling I got whenever I could smoke it....
I escaped - it was like swimming was to me - while I was immersed, everything 'worked'...all my limitations were gone....or so I thought.
I graduated school - I wanted to earn money right away and move out.
Working was difficult tho - I felt I was starting again from scratch, coming up again and again against people's preconceptions about me - bosses, co-workers and again women...
I became more and more frustrated with everything...become a loner - I moved out and found myself smoking pot more and more, as I started hanging around in bands and with other musicians.
I started drinking too, which was a surprise to me...I come from a long line of alcoholics – I swore I'd never go there.
But gradually the drinking took hold too - it seemed easier, and quicker, for me to fight the stresses and disappointments of my life that way than the hard slog I was used to as a kid...and, gradually, imperceptibly the old tough self reliant me became someone quite different.
Finally fed up with the menial tasks I was given at work, I went to University. I hoped that maybe there I could be appreciated the way I wanted to be.
It didn't happen...I met the same old preconceptions, I felt the same old disappointments....went through the same old unrequited feelings and loneliness...but, after a year or two, I did meet someone - someone as lonely and as naive and unworldly as I was - and we had 9 lovely months together.
I stopped drinking and smoking....All I'd ever wanted - to belong - was, I thought, finally, in place.
Inevitably, though, the relationship ended.
Her career took her overseas...I wanted to follow...she said she'd come back. But I got scared...I started drinking and smoking dope heavily again in the days before she left...several embarrassing scenes between her and I followed.
When she left - and she didn't come back...I saw my 'one chance at normality' slip away, and I gave in totally..I crumbled.
I did nothing but take vast amounts of drugs and drink then - I lost 18 months of my life - still can't remember much of anything from that period.
Another relationship bought me back from the brink - but that was an ill considered abusive and codependent partnership, and I drank and smoked my way through it. After we eventually parted, I threw myself back into my studies, but I kept on drinking...I gave up pot for booze - it was easier to get, cheaper...and legal.
At age 33 I was forced to give up my University work for cerebral palsy related health reasons. I felt beaten and abandoned...I felt useless, I was full of rage and resentment at myself and others - I felt there was nothing to do but drink...so I did.
By age 40 I was drinking all day everyday - my world had shrunk to my little 2 room apartment, my recliner chair and my TV...my music career was over - too many drunken gigs - my dwindling social circle was exclusively alcoholic, and my only regular outings were to the liquor store and back.
I'd long let go of any pretense of functionality - everybody in my neighbourhood knew I was a drunk - they saw me stumbling, unwashed, dazed, red eyed, struggling to the bottle shop and back , daily.
I began to fall over frequently - and despite being accomplished at falling 'safely', I was often too drunk to manage this - so I hit my head hard more and more often.
On my last day of drinking, I was already drunk when I caught the bus to the store (walking was not really an option in that state). I missed the last step off the bus...I hit my head on the kerb so hard it bounced...
I got up, held a handkerchief to my bleeding brow...and continued straight into the liquor store.
I remember them bandaging me up..and me insisting I was fine and buying booze. I don't remember getting home, or the rest of that day, but I do remember that night when, even more drunk, I woke up and stumbled into the bathroom...I slipped and hit my head - again - on the corner of the bath.
I lay there on the floor, not able to get up for being drunk, and disorientated, and I knew in that instant with absolute certainty that I was going to die if I kept on this way - no perhaps, no what ifs, no maybes through cirrhosis or other alcohol related conditions...
I knew I was going to fall more and more often...and then once too often...and die.
It was my moment of clarity perhaps. Whatever it was, I have never been more sure of anything.
I felt so disorientated and disconnected I thought for several days it might have already been too late.
In a sense it was I guess - I still carry the physical legacy of that last day. I'd suffered some mini strokes. I've never been the same since - in many ways. A permanent reminder of where I was headed.
The next morning...Good Friday 2007. No booze around. I decided to go for it.
I looked around online and I found SR.
That's a story I'm still writing - and its the important bit.
Bear with me for an update soon
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