There was a time when I was so depressed that I couldn’t bear to be inside my skin, and yet I remained. I came to see life as nothing but death dressed in a clever disguise. Like, as soon as you start living, you start dying; the living process being the dying process. Every Sunday night, I was struck with the horrible realization that time really didn’t progress, since Monday marked the beginning of another seven-day cycle that would not take me beyond the next Sunday. At some point, I became painfully aware that every week was a rerun of the previous week, and I hated the show; didn’t want to be in it, but there was no way to get out of this . . . contract. I had read a lot about reincarnation and other New Age stuff, and was certain that if I killed myself, I would simply be born into even worse circumstances than I found myself in at that moment. And so . . .
I drank. I drank a lot. I’ve maybe spilled more than some people have drank. I thought I might die of alcohol overdose (technically not suicide) and die painlessly in my sleep. But no. Dying from drinking is painful. It really hurts in the end. After one night of drinking enough whisky to almost kill me, I woke up and my legs felt as if they had gone to sleep, and then they started shaking and cramping. Pain! My heart was beating so hard and fast, and I had to vomit. I could barely move, so I rolled off the bed onto the floor and crawled to the bathroom, legs shaking. I threw up what looked like pure blood. It took me three days of sitting quietly in a chair before I felt like leaving the house. I later made the joke to myself that I wasn’t worried about dying during that episode; the reason being that you have to feel a lot better than that before you can die.
One night I was walking down a dirt road. I walked at night because I didn’t want to be seen. Everyone knew what I was, and I didn’t want to deal with the looks they gave me. During that particular walk, out of sight and sound of any humans, I lowered my head and broke down in tears. I hadn’t cried since my dog died some years before. I remember that after burying him, I cursed God or whoever it was that was responsible for the creation of this place where heart-traps could be anywhere and anything--even in a beautiful dog who didn’t really mind when people like me didn’t have enough to feed him properly--and then taken away just like that. Anyway, I walked and I cried.
I looked up and the stars were all blurry because of the tears. I realized that it had been a long time since I noticed the stars. What an irony that they were more spectacular and interesting when viewed through tears. I felt like someone in the middle of the ocean in the dark who had deliberately put a hole in their boat, and then jumped into the water to end it all, only to change my mind and opt to live. But there I was flailing away in the middle of the ocean in the dark. It was at that point that I gave in and asked spirit or whatever to help me survive.
Looking back, I don’t really recall the process of my stopping the drinking, but it happened. In time, I gave up cigarettes, too. Then I started Jogging, and I gave up eating meat. I became happy. Fifteen years later, I decided that I would have a glass of wine. My choice of drink before was whiskey. At that time, wine was like soda pop and didn’t get me to where I needed to be, causing me to believe it was harmless. Well, in four years, I was in just as bad of shape as when I drank the whiskey. I was waking up in the morning to find that I had cooked things like spaghetti and spilled it all over my carpet and sofa. I had a collection of spot-removers for just such an emergency. One morning I was astonished to find that I had drank all but the last two inches of the bottom of a gallon of Paisano wine. People don’t believe me when I tell them that. But it is true. The first thing I noticed was my bloodied fists, and my fist-prints all over the white ceiling of my trailer house. And things just really went downhill from there. Eventually, I threw up blood again. And like before, I don’t recall how I stopped, but I stopped. It’s now been sixteen years since my last drink.
When you are betrayed by friends and family, there is no law--other than social--that says you must expose yourself to their behavior and influence. The fact that they are supposed to be family and friends indicates something about their loyalty. You don’t need them. I do, however, understand that making friends is not so easy, especially when you can find no reason. I can still not find reason enough to try to make friends. Whatever you do, don’t remain idle. Walk, run, shovel snow, use a push mower, clean the hell out of your house, etc. I spent the last ten years holed up in my house suffering from eczema, Seborrhea, and psoriasis. The eczema was mostly on my face. My ears would fill with putrid matter that I would have to clear out with peroxide every morning. My eyelashes were falling out, and there was yellow crud between them that I had to use tweezers to remove twice a day. My hair was coming out, too. Like I needed that. And I was losing my teeth, too. When I sweated from shoveling snow, the back of my coat would turn yellow, which was a yeast thing. I could go on about how all that had caused me to lose the will to live, but instead I’ll tell you that exactly ten years after I first noticed the eczema on my face, every malady was gone. My hair is thicker than ever, my face is oily, and the seborrhea and psoriasis are gone. The doctor I saw at the beginning of all this told me that there’s no cure for eczema. Anyway, and I know how stupid this might seem, keep your chin up.