Brain Blues

1_FmNzVibw5_FEGSrjg162OgYou wake up and feel like you may have melted into the bed. You can’t get up. You try again and do get up, but you feel like someone dropped a piano on you. You should go back to bed, right? Wrong. You should go to work. You’ve already missed several shifts, and what can happen is… No, you don’t want to think about that.

You feel… bad, granted, but that word is so overused. So how DO you feel? Depressed. But you are depressed most of the time, because alcohol you drink so much is a depressant, so no wonder. And you can’t stop drinking, even though it takes all your money, and your friends hate you (or so you think) and no girls want you (it really is so). “Depressed” is too clinical and doesn’t describe well how you feel right now. You are… blue?

But who uses that word these days? You look disgusted about being “blue” more than feeling “depressed” or having a “drinking problem” or “having no girlfriend” problem.

But you’re not down, are you? Because “down” makes you think of The Clash, fever, and more alcohol. So…

Let it be “blue.” The blues, rhythm ‘n’ blues… Oh no. That last one makes you think of your father. Nope. We are not going down there.

So… you’re screwed. That’s for sure. How shall we proceed from here? How are you going to work, now that we know you’re screwed?

Let’s try one step at a time first. No, you don’t like doing that, or at least thinking that. It reminds you of AA groups, and you don’t like them. According to you, they take too much space, talk too much and drink too much coffee. OK, then what? What now? Who else are you going to be angry at?

OK, OK, I’ll back off. I went too far. I’ll retreat into the place in your brain where I belong. Let the proper faculty do the thinking work, right? So, me, the Hypothalamus, and my good friend (and your very good friend, or at least so it shall be) Mr. Motor Cortex are going to go have a snooze. You call us when you got some thinking done and you’re ready for action. We’ll be there in a quarter of a second. You use the rest of the brain, especially the Mighty Ms. Frontal Lobe. Go plan. Plan courage. Plan life.


the image was copied from https://medium.com/@funemployed/the-fucked-up-thing-about-my-brain-d0452006fab1 thanks.

Get Used To

12743909_945984215455688_7422037828919330423_nEarly February 2005 was three months before I quit poisoning my body and mind. That month I wrote the piece presented below. It’s quite amazing I still had some good brain matter working well.

Yesterday I was swearing heavily at my PC. Some invincible virus has infected the computer and it makes all web pages I open in Internet close or “hang-on” whenever it wants or for whatever period of time it wants. It wants… That is the thing. If you think about it, computer doesn’t want. It doesn’t have a will, a mind, a soul. It is just a working machine with electronics sown though it from left to right and from top to bottom. If the virus has infected the system, machine stops working properly. No curse, no damnation, no active misbehaviour of the machine. Just electronics. It reminds me of people who try to start a car and it doesn’t go. “Come on, work it!” And the engine is silent. “Work it, for God’s sake!” Engine starts. Just a whole bunch of metal, honestly, though you sometime start thinking your prayers have been heard.

Just a whole bunch of metal. Just electronics. We know it. However, I freak out when the “Word” program makes me type a sentence for two minutes. One sentence – two minutes. Words are typed but haven’t been displayed yet and are showing up slowly, one by one. I freak out and swear, but it works as effectively as milking a cat. Couple a months ago I was trying to write an email to my folks back home and had to call out Yahoo web page three times in a row, for it was disappearing as soon as I have type my password and pressed a button to go. Three times. Computer god was laughing at me. Aha… Computer god, right. Listen to Black Sabbath. But seriously, now I am not surprised. I got used to. I call out the program twice, more times until I got the result I needed and it finally works, even after computer being restarted twice. The letter is typed and sent. Bravo.

Earlier that day, in the morning I was waiting for LRT to take me downtown. A group of down-syndrome kids, escorted by either guides or teachers, goes down the ladders and join me in my wait. Maybe not just down-syndrome. Who knows. I can’t distinguish. Poor little kids who looks at the world the way it makes us laugh when we are kids ourselves and have little tolerance for things. Though now when I look at them, I feel nothing but pity.

So there are those female guides, two of them who watch the kids, sit them on the benches and keep them from climbing railings. I watch them, walking there and back impatient for the train to come. A guy who was sitting at the bench next to that group got up and walked for at least fifteen meters away. When I‘ve been passing him by, he said in a low voice: “Can’t sit there next to them… How do they manage to deal with ‘em?” I understood the last part of his phrase was related to the guides. I looked at them. They definitely didn’t have a fun time: watch every kid of ten or fifteen. A kid that can’t just be told “don’t do it.” A kid that needs to be nursed; not a toddler, but a seven year old, almost helpless because of his mental deformity. I said in a low voice: “I believe you can get used to almost anything.” The guy nodded and answered: “But it is a constant headache!” I just nodded. Then the train came. This guy went to the last carriage, I’ve got myself in the middle, and where did the kids go I don’t know and didn’t really care at all, I was into my stuff, I had lots of things to be done that day. Though now I remembered. And I thought.

I thought, you can really get used to almost anything. You can get used to the fact that every day you stare at the faces of the number of kids who experience down-syndrome. Kids that have to be nursed, watched, be fed and clothed and treated not like a mistake of a human kind, but as a living being that deserved care. That is not their fault they’ve been born that way.

You can get used to the fact that for long months you lay in the trenches full of stagnant water and mud, holding defence of the territory and the bombs fall and explode every thirty minutes, and you are deafened and exhausted, hungry and thirsty, none knows what for. Lost in the battle field and every day you watch your yesterday friends been carried out of the hospital tent and been packed in black plastic bags. And no one knows when will the end of this hell will come.

You can get used to the fact your loved ones are not with you anymore and there is no way you can have them back soon, ‘cause you are separated from them with lands and oceans. You can work hard and dream of meeting them some beautiful sunny day, and that day never comes, and you just get used to it and live on.

And you can get used to the fact that your computer “hangs-on” every time you start it, but you have no time to call a technician to fix it or to do it yourself. The computer “hangs” and “hangs-on”, like a war criminal on the gallows pole, for weeks, and you get used to it and keep on going with it, with downloading easy programs for hours, and it eats your time, eats your patience, your sense of confidence. Though you get used to it.

And you also can get used to the fact that some moron defecates in the lobby of your floor in the apartment house, in the middle of the room, every God given day. No bloody way to get the person and kick his dirty ass, and you catch yourself on the idea that you getting used to it. To this shit. You can press hard on your Residence Manager or Resident Assistant, for they would hire a security officer with a face of gorilla and a grip of a bulldog, and put tracing cameras on the walls to check the situation out. But you just hang on, just like a war criminal on the gallows pole in the middle of the desert where God’s eye is tired to watch and just… say it: You get used to it.

You can get used to anything. It is just that some things are never to be changed, and there are some that could be changed if some effort is applied. Make an effort. Make a difference. And let the Force be with you.


the image was copied from https://kadampalife.org/2016/03/14/accepting-unhappiness-without-panicking/ thanks.

Teachable

life startsThe whiskey I quite liked in high school was called Teacher’s. I only tried it twice, but somehow developed love for it, and the memory of that affection somehow remained for two decades. In them days when the cult of Teacher’s whiskey stood strong, I didn’t like teachers, or instructors, or professors. I couldn’t stand school and classes. I was pretty much forced to go to college right after school so that I would avoid serving in the army.

When I’ve quit drinking, I’ve realized studying was becoming easier. I’ve developed more interest in subjects I was studying, and I started having more conversations with my instructors, and hey, I started liking the teachers a bit more.

The more I went through the recovery and life alongside it, the more I was becoming teachable. And that doesn’t mean I was taking shit from those who cared to give it. I’ve learned to listen and keep listening even if I felt like I really had to say something, to support or to oppose the speaker’s point of view. I’ve learned to retain and analyze what I heard or read, and to recall situations that may have had something to do with what I’ve just learned. I’d see the patterns between the past and the present, and if it called for it, I’ve allowed myself and often forced myself to learn from the mistakes I’ve made.

I would never have stayed sober even for a year, hell, for a month, if I didn’t listen to a group of strangers in the strange room one summer evening. They taught me something that I’ve never considered would work. I had nothing better to propose, so I pondered the lesson they taught me and took it to heart to act on it. What followed was the path of hard work of changing my lifestyle and attitude to the world around me, but with that I’ve acquired freedom and true joy from living that I didn’t have much of prior to that.

After I graduated with the three-year college degree that thanks to my alcoholic adventures took ten years to receive, I went to school two more times and the last time I somehow managed to graduate with honors. I am still amazed by that one. But I kept learning outside of school as well. I learned from the things the strangers kept speaking in the recovery meetings.

One day I learned about creating a healthy routine that started with making your bed every morning. Having that done would mark one accomplishment on the map of the day even when I really didn’t want to go and get things happening. I proceeded with creating more of a healthy routine and that keeps me in check and my mind clear.

Another day I was walking my dog in the neighborhood by a wall with a graffiti on it that said “Life Starts When You Say Yes.” I will be honest, I resented that one. It was in bright colors and it read too optimistic even for my liking, like a person who smiles all the time to the pointed you’re considering punching them in the teeth. Yet the more I passed by that graffiti, the more I pondered the message. I realized that it rang very true in almost everything in my life. I’d see a challenge, either stumble on it or see it passing by, and when I accepted it, interesting and positive things started happening. So today I’m writing about it. I must have allowed myself to accept being teachable one more time.

The message is kind of smells of making a new year’s resolution and I’m not making one, haha. But I think what I’m doing is I’m giving myself a very feeble promise to keep trying new things when I face them. New stuff, different things, man, I can’t stand that. Something in me just revolts in situations like that. But… It’s like you’re in a training for work with a bunch of people most of whom you don’t know and then they ask you to join in groups and discuss stuff at hand, and write stuff down on posters. Each time that moment comes, I hate it. And yet when we do get in groups and share experience and possibilities, it almost always comes to interesting ideas and good conversations. I should remember that.

Sometimes I feel like I have grown into an old and conservative fellow. But I remind myself that I can be teachable when I want to, and sometimes I really have to be teachable when I don’t want to. The last time I did that, the universe has saved and changed my life for the better (see the written ramble above). So I gonna keep trying to say “yes” more often than in the past.


the rights for the artwork in the provided image belong to the unknown street artist. thank you.

old life

life-doesnt-get-easier-you-just-get-stronger-me-now-3675925Somebody at the meeting said they heard others being regretful and remorseful, talking about wanting to have their old life back, before they started getting in trouble. The response to them was: “Why would you want your old life back? Clearly, it didn’t work!”

That is such a good insight. Change is something we all go through, and I think I won’t be the only one to say that not many people love change. Change brings stress and vulnerability, new challenges, just as much as it brings change in vision, new friends, and a promise of fresh start. Lots of anxious times, even if half the time positive.

As for old stuff, like a suitcase full of decrepit clothes and no longer relevant ideas, it needs to stay in the past. And not only it deserves to stay there, we deserve a life in which the old stays exactly that way, old.

There are some things you don’t want to forget. Your grandparents, the memories of childhood friends, and first love. And the recollections of making through what you thought you’d never be able to do. And the reminders of how badly you can mess up if you don’t keep yourself in check. Those are not to be forgotten, because it made us what we were once, and they can still teach us something.

At the same time, the relationships that didn’t work, behaviors that didn’t help, dreams we didn’t work for to make real, – all those belong in the trash or in the fire pit. There is no use for them. Let them go.

I will not say a word about the easiness of letting go, because I often have a hard time with that one myself. But important thing is we want to let go, and we try to do so. Trying it like we mean it – that certainly counts. Change will make its walk through our lives, whether we are trying or not, only when we didn’t, we’ll know. The old have stays in the past for a reason, just like what we have now is for a reason. And if life passes us by, that’s our own fault, I think.


the image was copied from https://me.me/i/life-doesnt-get-easier-you-just-get-stronger-me-now-2305673 thank you.

Answerz

Piss_509ba2_655651The dumbest thing I could do to calm down a beast is slap it against the snout. If you think it’s not, let me know.

The same way, the worst way to solve a drinking problem is looking at it through the drinking glass.

It is clear to me now that I’ve stayed sober for a while. But back when I still drank, it was totally acceptable in my head to hold on to the liquor store door while trying to figure out how to get out of the mess that my booze-fueled mind has made sick body create.

How the hell did that work?

Quite aware of what a drinking mess I was, I was looking for a solution, but not a permanent one. I didn’t want the way out that didn’t include booze. That would be too much, because booze in my life had a function. If I removed it for good, there would be a hole left, and what will I fill it with? So, I wanted to let go, but not completely. I wanted to quit, but still hold on to the key. Just in case.

As one of my favorite performers wrote “Sometime things don’t work out, Sometimes things don’t work out… ‘Sometimes’ happen all the time… ‘Sometimes’ happen all the time!” (c) Henry Rollins. The thinking that was done in the mind frame of “I wanna, but I don’t wanna” couldn’t and eventually didn’t work out. I made promises to myself that if things go bad, I will do this one thing, but until then, drinking a couple beers once in two days was still OK, and if it became more than a couple, well then, it is not the end of the world either. Promise notes addressed to myself and put on the wall, I’d jump into the fight of every day, teeth clenched, brain spinning and having no idea how to react to a single tiny conflict. What a mine-field dance. I was pushing myself for a failure. I was basically pissing gasoline to put out the fire.

When I came to AA, I learned of this thing called “no reservations.” What it had to do with was that I couldn’t solve an alcoholic problem by finding alcoholic answers. And since an alcoholic is what I was, that’s what I’d be coming up with. Why? Change. Stress. I doubt anybody truly likes those. I sure didn’t. So, I pushed all of that life-changing scary shit out of the way. And when nothing happens, nothing happens, as I heard them say. And nothing really did, until I was “ready to let go absolutely.” No booze, no excuses to drink, no hanging out in bars, no hanging out with drinking buddies. Remove yourself from the drinking culture. Join the group of people who stay sober and want to stay sober. No compromise.

Sometimes things don’t work out… We may find ourselves in the relationship that is unhealthy, abusing, just plain dangerous physically, but we think we cannot leave – nowhere to go, or just can’t break away. But yes, we can. We can, as long as we look for a new solution, not something we chewed on so long that the taste of it is so familiar to us it feels like the only home we can ever have. Old problem needs new solution, otherwise it is a waste of time and brain cells, a joke about worrying likened to sitting on a rocking chair – it will give you something to do, but it will get you nowhere.


 

the image was copied from https://funnyjunk.com/funny_pictures/506814/Piss/ thanks.