People You Can Count On

When it comes to recovery, there is an emphasis on finding a good support network and letting them help you along the way to your recovery. This is mostly indicated for people with addictions, such as alcoholism or drugs. But it is also advocated in depression and anxiety as well. What I have learned from …

The Way Back to Zero

Waiting for change to occur in my life has not proven be a very prosperous plan. I am unable to keep doing things the way that I have been doing them and hoping for them to change. It will take an active role on my part in order to get back to Zero. From there, …

The following stories told in the first person were recorded on a cassette tape recorder on the evening of February 11th, 2015 in a local bar. The speaker was a man of medium build, sitting alone, telling these tales to whomever happened to be nearest. The author received permission from both the speaker and the establishment's owner to record these sagas. The identity of the speaker has never been revealed nor authenticated, and inquiries into such a matter remain inconsequential. As such, they will not be made here.   It was finals week, and I was drinking. And drinking is putting it mildly. I was knocking myself unconscious every night of the week, and then recovering the entire next day. I would wake up and get hit in the face by the looming hang over. I would stumble to the kitchen and chug at least two bottles of water, in the hopes that this would ease the suffering. It never did.   I would then grab two ibuprofen from the medicine cupboard, and take them along with my morning medication. I was taking medicine for depression, but I don't know why because I kept drinking away the benefits every day.   I've gotten off track. It was finals week, and I had been drinking heavily every night. But it wasn't a problem at that point, in my mind at least, because it was only at night and nobody could tell what I was doing.   So I started drinking in the morning too. I figured I would drink a little, go to class, and by the time the booze was wearing off I would come home and go to sleep. Probably drink some more first, of course, but then pass out. It seemed like a perfect plan, because after all I did not care one bit about how I did on those finals. I was fully expecting to fail the classes anyway, so drinking before having to sit through them seemed like a great plan.   Big fucking mistake.   I just kept thinking to myself that I would get all my work done that night, I would have a few drinks and it would be a good time. But after I had a few drinks, I really did not want to do any of my work. And that was fine because I was drinking and I felt pretty good.   Until the next morning.
He layed in bed with his back turned to his cell phone laying on the ground. He knew she hadn't texted back and that she probably never would. But he could not get the thought out of his mind that maybe she had and he hadn't felt the vibration. He tried to go to sleep, he closed his eyes as tightly as he could, but to no avail.   Finally, he gave into temptation and rolled over. He picked up the phone, and for a few milliseconds held on to hope that she may have responded.   But then his wallpaper picture appeared, illuminating the room. He looked at the sent messages, and saw that they had been read. He knew that she didn't intend to respond, but he just couldn't understand why. He was hurting. Hurting bad. He just wanted her to say something to him, to tell him that she thought about him as much as he did her. He could not quash the feeling that they would eventually reconcile and get back together. Although that hope was fading daily.   With every text that she did send to him, even when they were being cordial with each other, he could sense the distance growing and growing. He didn't know how he could stop it, how he could put back on the charm that he had had when they first started dating. What had happened to those days? Why was he now so incapable of reading her? They had been together for years and shared secrets with each other that nobody else in the world knew.   But that hole in his heart stayed, and all he wanted to do was fill it. He had other things to concern himself with. He needed to stay clean. He needed to avoid trying to avoid his feelings. He needed to feel this lonliness. This was normal, this is the way that it should feel when you have come out the wrong side of a relationship.   When he thought about it honestly, which was not very often because he never had liked being honest with himself, he knew that eventually these feelings would fade with time, and that he would move on and she would move on and both of them would be fine. He wasn't sure whether or not that was the best for them, but nevertheless time would heal things. Time always did. Time was the best drug to fix problems that he had. It was just a matter of being patient enough to allow it to work.   He had become such a good liar from his days as an addict that sometimes he didn't know whether or not he actually felt a certain way. The key to telling a convincing lie is to believe what you are saying is telling the truth. The problem with that becomes when you believe the lies that you are telling for so long, eventually you become ignorant of the truth.   He was lonely. Very lonely. But he knew that he should be lonely. That was the right decision, even though it was the most uncomfortable. But lonliness would not bring destruction and chaos to his life like the drugs that he so often sought out to make him feel better.   Lonliness was lonliness. Plain and simple.
He thought a lot about how much he wanted to be free to do whatever he wanted. He didn't want to live by other people's rules anymore. They were always telling him what to do, what not to do. Why did they care so much? Why couldn't they mind their own business? He wasn't hurting them at all. They just kept him from doing things because they didn't want him to have any fun.   They didn't want him to feel good. That was all it was. He wanted to do what made him feel good. Is that too much for anybody to ask? Hedonism is natural to the human being. Seeking out what is pleasurable is what people do normally. It's how humans evolved, isn't it? That is how the human species has flourished, by seeking out what is pleasurable and avoiding that which is painful. It's biology.   And more to the point it was his life!!! He could do with his own life whatever he wanted. They were just keeping him from being his own person.   But he knew that that wasn't the case at all. He knew that he wasn't striving to be free. He was striving to be enslaved. Ever ruled by his addictions, catering to their needs for the rest of his life. It is one of the greatest ironies of life in the modern age that things which bring the greatest physical pleasure most assuredly cause the most pain in it's aftermath.   And this was a pain that he was very familiar with. He knew when to expect, how long he had to wait. And yet he kept going back for more. Always coming back for more. That doesn't sound like freedom. That doesn't look like freedom. That looks like a man that has been beaten and imprisoned by his own doing, serving a chemical master whose bark is worse than his bite.   Those he said were trying to keep him from freedom were actually trying to save him from servitude. He twisted their actions to fit into his scheme of things. He had to make an excuse for his behavior, because otherwise he had to admit that he was a bit insane. Not by any fault of his own, but by the fault of the chemicals that he used to poison himself.   They were the rationale ones and he knew it. But he couldn't admit it to himself without admitting that he had to let the chemcials go. He had to forever banish them from his life, never to return. For he knew that one single wiff of their scent would send him tumbling back down the rabbit hole.   That wasn't freedom.