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Friday, September 20, 2013

Stress reduction

August arrives in New England...Brrr!

Let me start off by asking, "what the hell happened to July?!". Every year, I suffer through the seemingly endless New England winters, and when summer finally arrives; I blink, and it's gone. Yeah, yeah, I love fall, who doesn't love fall? I LOVE SUMMER MORE! Fall brings on that hint of cold that's going to crush your soul for nine months. Summer is full of hope, and sunshine and more importantly warmth!


So, not much has changed since August. I am still waiting on my last appeal decision. I am waiting to hear about a job that I interviewed for twice. I am waiting to be evicted! Well, I am not going to wait too long on that one, but I'm not in a huge hurry either. I was officially evicted from my apartment of nineteen years, I only owe for August and September; isn't my landlord delightful a cocksucker? Let's not get into that right now. I didn't want to stay here any longer, out before twenty...that's my motto! Since I have no money, and no job, I will be moving into my families basement to find myself regroup. Ah yes, life has turned out EXACTLY as I planned it!


Welcome to Salem. Please Stop...



As much as I loathe this tourist trap of a city, there are many things I will miss; a red light every ten yards is not one of them. Being able to walk anywhere, running into someone I know every time I go out (this is also on the things I won't miss category), the train, my favorite coffee house Front Street.





  
I will be back!
I moved to Salem in 1991. I tried my hardest to find a place in a surrounding town, as I didn't want to live here, it made no sense, and now that I am leaving, (I still can't believe it), I am having mixed emotions. It's not the same city that I moved to, and I'm not the same person, so many things have changed. I have served my time... the vortex shall release me.


I have been spending my free time, (all my time is free time right now), taking surveys for money and gift cards, looking for jobs, and looking up clinical trials in the area. 

I found a trial recently for a stress reduction study. Not surprisingly, I qualified! I spent the last two days going to MGH and having a series of brain MRI's. They showed me images and sometimes gave me little electric shocks on my fingers. I was waiting for the toothpicks and a little Ludwig Von to make it my own Clockwork Orange adventure, the Beethoven would have been nice...


The rest of the trial will be spent one day a week, taking a course that teaches you natural ways to deal with stress, like yoga, meditation, etc. Then we go on some five hour retreat and I follow up with more MRI's. I get to take a great course for free and I get paid $100.

In the midst of all this change, and moving and what not, I will be walking for the AFSP next Saturday (the 28th). If you want to know what that's all about, please click here: 
http://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantID=422054

 
If anything changes, like that red light, or my employment status, or my stress levels; you dear readers will be one of the first to know.


Splendid then...
 

Friday, August 23, 2013

August is a bitch...

I have been so patient...

Maybe the little guy is rabid...
Since April I have had NO INCOME, NO UNEMPLOYMENT, NO steady stream of MONEY. Surgery is stressful enough, add in worrying about existing and it really messes with your mind, your body, your very core. I could be far worse off right now. I am fortunate to have surrounded myself with some amazing, generous souls, without their help I would have been screwed completely. 


Recovering from double partial knee replacement has been, as one can imagine, slow and painful. I have deemed this summer to be the summer of the snail. Baby steps, slow progression. 

Slow is the new fast...
I have been battling with the good old D.U.A. and I have recently suffered through one hearing with myself and an agent and now I get to suffer through one more with Stop and Shop. I'm certainly not trying to cheat the system. I paid into this very broken mess and now that I NEED help, I have met with nothing but bureaucratic insanity and absolute frustration. 

I'm on my last leg, I have NO CHOICE but to win this appeal. I can no longer afford my apartment and have to move, with no money I have few options, and with a cat, fewer. Even if I had money, I would be moving out of here; after 19 years it's definitely time. I have looked into roommates/sharing ads on good old Craigslist, (just to see what's out there), and wow! It is more expensive than getting an apartment with someone.The only interesting deals on there apply to gay men. I have been looking for a job and sending resumes/filling out apps. Not a single bite... 

If I had a solid answer on any aspect of my life right now, I could breathe a bit easier...Will I have money and back pay? Where will I live? Will I find a decent job? Will my phone be shut off before I get any money? These questions and more, may or may not be answered anytime soon.

I haven't been sleeping well, it takes hours to get to sleep and then I wake up repeatedly until I give up and start the day again. It's like groundhog day over here, everyday is EXACTLY the same. I'm ready for change, (and I think it's all coming at once), I'm not good with it, but I'm ready. I have not struggled for nothing, I will be rewarded...

August is a bitch... It has been a struggle of a month for me for the last five years... I have come so far.


 
Rest in peace

  Dave "Roz"umek 8/12/08


Jocelyn Callahan 8/25/08
The coolest cat I had the pleasure to 
love Nipsy" sir licks a lot" Russell 8/25/12
 









 
 
Stay buried whiskey and every bad choice that came with you 8/30/08

Monday, August 5, 2013

Five

As I come up on five years of sobriety, I have decided to share a little bit about how I came to be here and what happened those first few years.

2008 was the year I started looking at myself; I mean REALLY looking at myself and I wasn't liking what I was seeing.

I wasn't a "bad" person. I was a "lost" person. I didn't deal with my problems or my pain, I didn't want to see them so I drowned them in Irish whiskey and drugs.

It didn't occur to me until March that perhaps I had a problem. I decided to "go on the wagon" and check out one of those meetings.

I fell off the wagon about 25 days and one meeting later. I declared I was definitely NOT an alcoholic, just saying those words felt odd and embarrassing.

I drank more. After all, I must have lost some of the "tolerance" I spent years cultivating, and my birthday was coming up.

Drinking was fun! Wasn't it? I mean who doesn't want to wake up in the morning with their tongue glued dry to the roof of their mouth? Or have that pounding "whiskey/cigarette combo" headache that signifies vomit is in your future?

Right around my birthday my mother told me I looked yellow. I said "oh, it's my new make-up, wrong shade", and "I have a tan too". Ah yes, jaundice is so sexy. So is being 250lbs cause you drink as much as several Irish fishermen.

I was struggling, trying so hard to ignore all the facts that lay before me...I was going to see it soon.

A friend of mine was battling some demons during this time and I was scared and I wanted to help, but I knew it wasn't my battle. Still, I thought there must be some way I can help, or show more support.

While i pondered that one, I got news about another friend; a dear old friend. The news wasn't good. I won't go into detail, but alcohol was the cause of this horrible situation. He hung on for about a month and he was gone. I was devastated.

I still DIDN'T get it. I did what I always did and drank heavily the day we say goodbye to him.

A week later I went to an open bar wedding out of state. I packed the essentials (change of clothes, bottle of Jameson, and some coke). I wanted to make sure I had more to drink in the hotel, after I drank as much as I could at the open bar wedding, and the coke always guaranteed that I could, it was "drinking insurance".

I drunk dialed many people that night/morning...and was I ever hungover. I made it to the hotel restaurant before we hit the road and had emergency bloody marys and a plate full of bacon, otherwise the drive home would have been even worse. I called ahead to a bar at home and ordered another plate of bacon and bloody's for my arrival.

DISGUSTING. I shudder when I relive this, and I relive this period of time every year, so I never forget how sick I was. I went home and slept it off for a few and woke up to go visit my friend that I was worried about. I slept there for another hour and woke up covered in sweat and feeling lower than low.

I declared that I was done, and I wasn't doing "this" anymore...

I got a text the next morning. It shook me off my foundation. I will never forget that day and how it unfolded. A young, beautiful friend died. The details were confusing, and I am still troubled by them to this day.

Needless to say, I was off and running. Drinking heavily that whole week. The afternoon of the wake began with shots of Jameson (for strength). After the wake we drank at a Chinese joint (more Irish whiskey for me), and then I went back to my bar and drank even more. I stayed up all night drinking and doing drugs. I estimate that I drank, (probably underestimated), 2 & 1/2 liters of whiskey from 3pm - 7am...I slept, (if you can call it that), for maybe 20 minutes and had several people calling to make sure I was up and ready to go to the funeral.

I felt like the lowliest creature on earth that morning. I was surprised I didn't burst into flames when I entered the church. I was the only one wearing sunglasses through the entire service. I was mortified and disgusted and sad and confused and LOST. I went home and prayed to my friend that we just lost, and to my other friend that just passed. I WAS DONE. Help me, give me strength. I don't want to live like this anymore. I want to be a good influence and example for my other friend that is struggling too, that's the only way I can help.

I don't count that day as my first day of sobriety, as I had enough booze in my system to get a small country drunk. That day was the last day I had a drink. August 30, 2008 was the first day of the rest of my life...

This is not where the story ends dear reader, it's the beginning. It was not an easy time; life is not an easy game.

I am grateful to be here, writing this, remembering always, why I won't pick up again.

Splendid then...




"ESCAPE IS ESCAPE if i was out of booze anything but reality would do" - M.P.

P.S. I spent the majority of my life avoiding the feelings that accompanied death. I became more and more self destructive with each death. I don't know if it's because we lost so many friends, so quickly, when we were young. (Masco friends any opinion on that?)  I do know that death is still a big trigger for me.


R.I.P. Nipsyrussell 5/96 - 8.25.12




 Please donate to the walk I am participating in this fall. It's for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention


 and no, nipsy did not kill himself...





Tuesday, July 23, 2013

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

 Hi everyone,

I know it's been awhile. Any of you who write, know that sometimes if you don't use it you lose it. I wrote last night for the first time in a long time. I will be tweaking it and posting on here again in August.

In the meantime, I am walking this fall for a cause that is very dear to my heart. Please take a moment and support me. Donate as much as you are able, there is no minimum amount.

Thank you!

http://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantID=422054


Saturday, March 30, 2013

I'm going to the Grand Canyon...

\
This email showed up in my spam folder today. I normally don't pay much attention to my spam folder, but this one caught my attention.
 
 
I


It would appear that the spies working for Hoveround have found out about my upcoming double knee replacement surgery.

Looks like my independence will be regained at a much faster and more stylish pace than I had imagined.

As soon as my Hoveround arrives I will grab my coffee, fill my tote with snacks and head out cross country for the grandest of canyons. I will be all "Thelma and Louise" without Louise (or is it Thelma?), with what I consider a much cooler mode of transport for such a suicidal plunge.

Cross your fingers that I am one of the lucky 9 out of 10 that pays little to no cost!


My future just got a little brighter.



Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sometimes I am not funny

Echo, Echo, Echo...


Every once in a while the shit in my head piles up thick and I need to dump it somewhere. I usually try to make it funny as it easier to deal with on a laughable level,  but there are those inevitable moments like right now; where I cannot find the humor in anything. 



Another shit night at work...



 
I haven't written a blog in almost a year as I have a life-sucking, back breaking, knee quaking, soul less night shift job doing menial labor and getting alarmingly underpaid for the abuse. 




There is no such thing as too many bubbles...


I can't tell you how many times I have come home so physically beat up that I just lay in a scalding hot tub full of Epsom salts and sob. 

It's truly the perfect job for me; I have three herniated discs and two severely arthritic knees, so spending hours on end lifting heavy objects and being on my knees is ultimate for my current condition. My doctor is. So. Proud.  






Like Captain Picard; I am a master of this technique.


But seriously, let's get back to the non-humor here for a minute. One of my co-workers has been giving me grief lately because my hours haven't been as cut back as his and he is crying that it's unfair. 
Normally, I would smile and nod (my standard response to most situations/conversations with the insane), but this isn't the first time he has brought it up, and I was weakened by my lack of sleep and played into the insanity. 

Me: "We all got extra hours last week, if you answered your phone you could have worked too." 

*Gegg: "Well I had that kidney infection so, I couldn't work". 

 *actual name has been changed to protect the not so innocent.

This guy always has an excuse, and always mouths off about how he isn't going to answer his phone if they call, cause he doesn't want to work, yet he constantly bitches that his hours have been cut. Not to mention the fact that he works slower than the speed of sloth.

I. Bust. My. Ass. at this job. It's quite possibly the worst job I have ever had. But I go above and beyond; why? I. Don't. Know. 

I do know that when I work a shift on zero sleep and have other things piled up deep inside my crazy head, that I can't tolerate getting crap from someone that is LAZY.

The saddest part about all of this is; that I am looking forward to having double knee replacement surgery so that I don't have to work there anymore. Who the fuck in their right mind looks forward to surgery? 
I should have a lobotomy while I'm anesthetized.


Splendid then....

P.S. I have missed you all terribly and will try and make this blog a regular thing again. xoxoxo