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


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...