Not to get unnecessarily religious on a Tuesday morning, but while I’m not sure how much I believe in predetermined fate, I do fully subscribe to the idea that God has us GPS’d, like pet chinchilllas, & sends us out to be in certain places & situations, to be of benefits to others. Even if not to ourselves. Imagine all the times that you’ve witnessed someone go through something totally avoidable, & in the process, learned how not to do that. Was it a matter of coincidence? Happenstance? The truth of the matter is that, no matter the level of tragedy or elation, humans learn from other humans. &, if you believe in God, that’s an intentional act.
The reason I bring this up is because I’m an alcoholic (albeit a recovering one, but nonetheless), & I believe there’s a bigger purpose to that. A real alcoholic, like rehab & lifetime medical complications & “slippery slopes” & the whole 9. I’m one of the lucky ones, too, because cats who I’d known strictly because of our collective neighborhood-drunk status are still doing the same old shit, while I’m pushing my sobriety to the limit, if only because I’d rather not kill myself. & make no mistake; alcohol-related death is suicide (just like catching AIDS as a result of irresponsibility or a drug overdose). Don’t let the smooth taste fool you.
On a somewhat regular basis, I get a person who has a question about alcoholism, or just wants to know my expert opinion on their
binge drinking habits. For this reason, former users make great drug/alcohol counselors, assuming they can take their own advice. I’m not a couselor (yet…), so that type of inquiry is a Badge of Honor, only equaled by anything positive my kids do. However, it wasn’t always that way. Ask any recovering or professionally recovering bottle jockey, & they’ll tell you that alcoholism is a thick curtain, that grows more furry with each passing year. Those valiant enough to eventually pull the curtain back are blinded by the light. Literally & figuratively. To bottom line that sentiment, I didn’t know what purpose my human spirit served (outside of channelling Holy Ghost dance routines when needed), until I learned I may have drank myself into the grave. [Sidenote: Movies & music make Death seem like some hardbody, blaze-of-glory home-going, but that’s not the case. No one wants to die. & if you do, you won’t once a doctor tells you-to your face-that you might get your wish.] Once the initial shock of life-change simmers (which include withdrawal symptoms & physical illness), in comes the truck loads of shame, fear, guilt, depression, anxiety, & seclusion. In theory, sobriety will make a nigga need to get drunk, if you smell my cologne. The first 3 months of attempted sobriety are extremely delicate because of this, & the last thing I wanted to do, for the first 3 months of my program, was talking about God-damned alcohol. & for the record, I said attempted because the first 3 months is usually the relapse mark for people in recovery. My last 3 months were quite different, though, in that I’d come to embrace life without blinders & ear plugs. & it wasn’t that bad. I still felt regret about past decisions & whatever, but it wasn’t that bad. But I digress.
Slowly, that changed. Over time, what once hampered me has given me strength. Really though, when someone hears my story, I can’t fathom what they get from it. To me, it’s just what I had to go through. But don’t get it confused. That nonchalance is far from a slight at the hell I endured. It’s more of a comfort zone, a safe place, knowing that I went through a lot to have the authority to tell the next man, “Slow down, homie. That shit’ll kill you.” I’ve even had readers hit me on the email, about how my openness & honesty helped them in someway. & hell, if my stupidity is something I can bag-up & show to people so they can see what to avoid; awesome. I’ll add that to my list of sober living bonuses, which includes things like better relationship with my family & not dead.
The fact that I’m typing is a testament to true animal survival. The fact that I’m closing in on 3 years without a drink is a nod to the will of the mended human spirit. Anything you need to achieve, you can. & if you need some positively reinforced smoke blown up your ass, for motivational purposes, holler at a writer. That’s how I roll.
**For more info on my fight against alcoholism, enter “Alcoholism” in my search box. & learn something, or it’s a waste of time**
It’s very important for privileged people to have “normal” friends. Almost as important as it is for Blacks to have White friends, & vice versa. Blacks & Whites balance each other out, whether they like it or not. That’s how the cosmos works, & why shows like ‘Amos ‘n’ Andy’ were popular long before racial tolerance was, but that’s neither here nor there. The same principle works with the fortunate & less fortunate. Have’s & have-not’s, if you will. One keeps the other grounded & realistic, lest they’d rather get sucked into the abysmal reality around them.
In all honesty, the only reason Paris Hilton is a pro bono prostitute & level 1 drug addict is privilege. She grew up surrounded by so much comfort that subjectivity flew out the fourth story rompus room window, & nothing is off limits to her. Lindsay Lohan, same story, except I can see that her family has rooted generations of dysfunction. She just happened to be the golden goose of the flock, which is only to say she’s just as fucked up as the rest of her family, except now, she’s “rich.” Money & dysfunction don’t mix well, like toothpaste & orange juice. It’s obvious these girls didn’t have, & probably still don’t have the caliber of friends that would deter them from such idiotic things as pre-recorded, publicized promiscuity (heterosexual or otherwise), & televised drug habits. This is where it would benefit them to have some advisors in their respective crews, not just clutch carriers who are just as numb-faced as they are.
If I didn’t think people would be too embarrassed to use it, I’d start a service, similar to prostitution, where the fiscally-sound could hire a “friend” to hang out, tell them some real-life horror stories, & just generally advise them on what to probably not do, even if it seems like a good idea. They want to do drugs? Cool. For a small fee, Lindsay can chill with my mentally disturbed cousin, his crackhead pops & their mom who’s so far removed from that situation that she might as well be on drugs herself. Cocaine is a helluva drug, but don’t take my word for it. Want to do stupid, petty crimes that can get you locked up? Great. For a monthly charge, all of my friends & relatives behind bars will call collect to update you from the frontlines. Daily, if there no lockdown incidents or loss of privileges. Kind of like Wolf Blitzer without freedom. & don’t get me started on sleeping around with everybody, same sex or otherwise, because I personally know a few girls who’ll admit that they don’t know who fathered (one of) their kid(s). Saddest part, if that’s possible, is that they’re okay with that. Acceptance is one thing, but this is decadence. Believe that if they privileged had the privilege of meeting some of the people in my galaxy, they’d make much smarter decisions. Not for nothing, but consequence isn’t just a rapper or a formality. It’s counterproductivity at it’s finest, & it’s never too far away to tap you on the shoulder.
Then again, if these elitists didn’t make the same ridiculous mistakes as us civilians, we’d probably just be reminded we’re not one of them more often, so never mind. Continue on, rich fools.