I work online. I research,write and ingest all of the headlines of the day. Most of the time, I do a pretty good job letting “the sky is falling” mania bounce off like bullets from Wonder Woman’s wristcuffs. But sometimes the barrage of crazy bullshit is enough to drive you to drink.
Theoretically speaking, of course. It’s been some time since anything or person drove me to take a drink. Thank God. As my life was going down in a flaming ball of alcoholic shit in 2008, I was obsessively watching the news. It was the election year. The threat of Prop. 8 loomed over California, where I was living at the time and every good LA liberal watched the batshit shenanigans of McCain and Company like a hawk. As if wringing our hands and complaining was going to stop nutty politicians or thwart homophobic legislation. Nevertheless, that’s what I did. Watched news all day and checked in online and drank. Alcohol was the fuel for the raging fire I had burning in my mind. This blaze told me the world was out of control and that I was right and everybody else was wrong and that things were going from bad to worse. At the time I thought I was contributing to a better world by getting upset and involved but I think I was just adding to the hysteria. Being of Irish and alcoholic descent, it is my civic duty to get riled up at the actions of politicians. No other politician did that trick than Sarah Palin. This dunderhead from Alaska who could see both Russia and a book deal from her house, pushed my buttons like no politician since W. In fact, I’d like to blame Sarah Palin for me hitting rock bottom but since I’m in recovery I’m not allowed to blame people anymore. Whatever. I joke, of course.
As it turns out, it wasn’t a world gone mad or even Sarah Palin that made me drink until I lost my mind and my home. I’m just an alcoholic. That’s what we do. As i got sober, my news intake was limited to basically zero. I remember watching Obama’s inauguration at only a few days sober. And then I didn’t turn on the news again until six months later when Michael Jackson died. My brain needed an info-break. And still needs it today. I have to power down and grab a book or go have a coffee without my laptop. I was prompted to write this after a crazy two weeks of depressing news and studies and political crap. It’s exhausting and I’ve hit my breaking point today.
In the end,I have to remember I can be a good person and care about the world I live in. And I can do all of that without turning on the news.