Extra Crispy Crazy

All of Colorado has been on fire.  For days. Having lived in California for a long time, I’ve gotten used to ‘fire’ being the unofficial fifth season.  Still, these 100 + degree temperatures and the fallout they cause are alarming to say the least. My personal fires, thankfully, are easy to put out.

Before I go any further, I guess I should clarify that this will not be a post about me needing some kind of medicated ointment to soothe an awkward rash. Not that I won’t ever write about such things. Just not today. No, the discomfort I’ve been feeling is of a far less straight forward nature. I’m what my AA BFF Johnnie and I refer to as “crispy.” Dry is when you are sober but maybe not the most spiritual or mentally sound version of yourself. Dryness can be extremely uncomfortable but many people can live dry for many years. Crispy  is dry turned up a thousand notches. Crispy individuals are crazy muthafuckers who’ve decided they are magically all better and can do this life thing without any help from anybody else, thank you very much. Crispy people are not drinking but their crazy attitudes, short tempers and erratic behavior are certain to make those around them run to the bar. So just call me Crispy Turlington.

The last year and a half has been a challenge for my recovery. See, on paper, it looks like The Sean Paul Mahoney Story wraps up nicely with me never drinking again, marrying the man of my dreams, getting the career I always wanted and galloping off into the sunset on the back of a lavender unicorn, living happily ever after as the picture of perfect mental health. The non-addicted rightfully think that we go through recovery, we get better and that’s it. But the journey of recovery doesn’t ever get tied up neatly. At least from what I’ve witnessed. As I have mentioned before, my brain likes to send me these messages like, “Please, bitch. You’re fine.” After awhile if I’m not going to meetings or doing the work, I believe these messages. Mainly missing from my life has been a steady diet of prayer and mediation. Goodbye trusting the Universe and thanking God. Hello Crispy City. A practice of meditation and prayer is essential in my recovery. Does everybody who is a drunk or junkie need to pray? I have no idea. I just know it works for me. I pinpointed my issue of self-reliance last weekend after a series of irrational reactions raised a red flag. “I’m a disaster and I need some help”, I thought to myself. Now, I’m not drinking or on the verge of relapse. The thought still grosses me out and I still have the ability to play the tape through. But as an alcoholic I’m acutely aware of patterns of behavior that are not okay and I’m aware of what I need to do to get back on track.

So I recommitted to going to more meetings. I’m looking for a new sponsor and I’m willing to do whatever to feel less crispy.  Thus far it’s working and I feel better.  And yet for alcoholics and addicts this is pretty much how it goes. As far as I understand. We struggle to stay on top of our disease. We live one day at a time. We get better. Some of us relapse.  A lot of us don’t. Some of us do it with a program. Some of us do it without. Miracles happen in our lives and so do tragedies. What I do know is that recovery is possible and something I still want. Even the parts of this state I live that are now burning will eventually recover. Life comes back and even thrives. This gives me hope. Even my crispy self is actually okay. I still want to be not crispy and that right there is the moral of my deep-fried bucket of insanity. Unlike the people who have lost everything due to the wildfires, I have an easy clear-cut solution. One that has worked in my life for the past three and a half years.

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5 thoughts on “Extra Crispy Crazy

  1. It is rough learning, or re-learning who you are sober. Throw in the challenge of not having your liquid crutch to hide behind as your buttons are pushed, and you’re stuck in an adventure of suck.

    I didn’t get on top of my demon until two years ago, but it was because I didn’t know it was there. I had others, and I had dealt with them. Then I was writing a personal essay when the revelation of this deep-rooted anger just popped onto the page. Once it was out in the open I could strangle my demon. This is a metaphor for a lot of work.

    Self awareness is always a plus. Sounds like you’re on the right track.

    • I love the phrase “adventure of suck”. Hilarious and yet I’ve had too many ‘adventures’ as of late. This whole being a human thing can be such a pain in the ass. But the other options are true adventures of suck for sure. Yeah ch-ch-chicktey checking myself before I wreck myself is certainly the key. I know my bag of b.s. by now and how to get out of it. And once you’ve had to go through that whole humility thing where you say, “help me. My life is fucked up”, it gets so much easier.
      Anyway, thanks for the comment love.

  2. Hi, Sean. I’m newly sober (almost to 40 days now) and I go through waves of, “This shit is SO easy!” and “Oh my God, pour me a shot yesterday.” It’s not good and it’s always all the way up or all the way down. Mostly I’m really aware of how much free time I have now that I’m not drinking my face off. Crispy is a good analogy, I’ll keep it in mind. I appreciate your honesty and I forget how I found your blog (perhaps you commented on mine?) but I’m so glad I did.

    • Hi!
      Oh the time that comes back! It’s like you never realize how much time getting drunk, being hungover, waiting to get drunk again so you’re not hungover anymore etc. sucks out of your life until you’re not in it anymore. In the beginning, I didn’t know what to do with myself. Thank God for reality tv, junk food and crying. Lots of crying. My old sponsor said I was “defrosting.”
      I’m so glad you found my blog too! Nearly 40 days is incredible! Be easy on yourself. This is a crazy ride and the ups and downs are to be expected. Apparently normal non-drunks have them all the time. They call it “life: or something 😉 The never-ending adventure of emotions is something to look forward in sobriety though. Before I never felt anything really. Now for better or worse, I get to feel it all. And it’s really a blessing.

  3. Sean,
    All I can say is welcome to the journey. At least your not dunking yourself in bbq sauce and repackaging yourself as a tastier, messier, less crispy version.

    I may not be in recovery from drugs and alcohol, but I can certainly identify with the insanity of the self-reliant relapse. As usual, your post resonated with me. Thank you.

    Kina

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