Note: My apologies to the Orioles. If you don’t know why, you should find out.
Note x 2: I think I used that headline before which is why I made sure to include the year. Now on to the real stuff.
What are you doing New Year’s Eve? I tend not to do anything special. I’m not sure the last time I did. I think it was the late ’90s. I want to say it was 20 years ago exactly, in fact. I was getting drunk with a friend and watching him destroy his life. I quit drinking for about six months after that.
I quit several more times since then. I couldn’t tell you the last time I quit, but it’s been a long time and I have no desire to unquit again. I have no idea where that former friend is now. I have no idea if he ever got sober. I moved on and have no plans to look back.
I do have plans for this New Year’s Eve, though. Earlier today, I went to an Al-Anon meeting. It was great, and I’ll be going back next week. Soon I’m going to work. (Actually, I’m already at work but not on the clock quite yet.) I’m going to work on helping people live better lives and work on helping myself live a better life. I should put more emphasis on that latter part.
Living a better life for myself is the only way I can help others do better. So I’m going to put more emphasis on it. And I’m going to remind myself of this.
If you read my post yesterday, you probably gathered that I’ve been dealing with an addict. It’s nothing new to me. I’ve done it far too many times before. I’d say it gets easier the more you do it, but the truth is it sucks just as much every single time.
Now when I talk shit about addicts, know this: I’ve been the same narcissistic asshole myself. I was mostly a fun drunk which kept me from burning bridges the way most addicts do. Still, I used people’s kindness in pursuit of my own chemical escape. I’ve also done a lot of shitty things and lost friends during manic periods.
Make no mistake about it, though. I make no excuse for my behavior even during those manic episodes. As my friend Sarah Fader once said, “Mental illness is not an excuse for being an asshole.” (At least, I think she’s the one who said it first. Correct me if I’m wrong. Also, pardon me for name-dropping, but I wanted to give proper credit.)
Setting boundaries sucks sometimes. But it’s necessary, especially with addicts. In fact, they need the firmest and strictest of all. Addicts are committing slow suicide, and enabling is just assisting them in that endeavor. I’ve taken part in that, and I have no intention of doing it again.
The emotional toll is heavy, though. There was a time when I would’ve either lost my shit or shut down (and enabled). I’ve learned to control my reactions. It helps me hold my head high, knowing I did the right thing the right way. But the emotional crash is still heavy.
So now before I sign off, I’ll remember to post a picture. It’ll probably be some old thing, but at least today I’ll have something.
I’ve seen addiction tear apart many lives. It certainly has screwed up mine, more than once. It’s doing so right now.
I’ve done a lot of shitty things while under the influence. I’ve also enabled, and I think I feel even more guilty about that. I’ve lost friends and family to addiction. And sometimes I wonder if that will ever stop.
One thing I know will stop is I will not say I’m sorry for being a dick to addicts. Maybe if I had been more of a dick, I wouldn’t have lost at least one friend. But who am I kidding? Of course, I would’ve. I just wouldn’t have to carry around any of the guilt over his death.
It’s been a rough couple days, and the drama isn’t quite over yet. I’m dying for some peace.
My work week has only been two days long, but it has been exhausting. So much emotional work. Incredibly rewarding. But draining.
My wife loves the TV show “Parenthood” as do her brothers. So it’s been rolling almost constantly in my house this week. I like the show too. I’m not complaining. But I feel the need to note this time around how impressed I am with the music. One touching scene featured Nick Drake’s “Place to Be”. Digging it.
I thought about missing another day in my challenge of writing something every day. But it’s too easy for me to just tap out three things on a Thursday. So I did.
I’m awake. Somehow I survived. Now it’s right back to the grind.
I didn’t think about it until it was much too late, but Wednesday is the worst day to go back to work after this small break. I go from five days off to a really long day with a double commute. I knew there was a reason I promised myself that I would do next to nothing yesterday. (And I did. I left the house twice, only to walk the dog.)
I would love to have a couple more days off before going back to work. Alas. It is not to be. At least I dropped a Santa sack’s worth this morning. At least I feel lighter to begin my day.
It’s the night before Christmas, and somehow it’s only the wife, me, and the furballs in the house. Her parents are at a hotel. One brother is out being active or something, and the other is still on his way. So things are peaceful for the moment. Not quite as fun or interesting but peaceful.
I’m in my pj’s, and I intend to remain that way until Wednesday morning. Even if I go somewhere for some stupid reason, I’m going as is. And I will do my best not to go anywhere (which guarantees Francesca will want to go outside and wander for hours).
There are way too many presents under the tree. Even if most of them are for people who don’t live here, there is still too much. Alas. It’s a nice problem to have. But maybe I need a New Year’s Resolution to downsize.