The Happy Hostage

Sing Hallelujah, come on get happy!  And smiles, everyone, smiles! And happy, happy joy joy. And don’t worry be happy! And happy days are here again! Except for one tiny detail. I was never actually happy.

I certainly played the part of Mr. Happy. I smiled all the time and told people I was “Fine! Fabulous! Couldn’t be better!’ I could even convince myself for long periods  that I was happy. However, it never really occurred to me that genuinely happy folks didn’t have to drink themselves blind seven days a week just to deal with their lives.  I thought if I simply acted like I was happy, I would become happy. Like those girls who hang up pictures of the perfect supermodel bodies on their inspiration boards but never actually go to the gym. Whats more is that I couldn’t stand people who were unhappy and who had the unmitigated gall to say how miserable they were. Those poor suckers who bemoaned about having a bad day or cried about how hard their lives were, I usually brushed off as “negative.” I mean how dare they have real emotions? I didn’t want to be bothered with facing the reality that some times life is shitty. People going through rough times or experiencing long bouts of sadness didn’t really have a place in my world. When you’re living in a delusion it’s best to keep out individuals and situations that are ‘real’. I mean you wouldn’t let suicidal sadsacks run Disneyland now would you? The unfortunate thing was that reality would always find it’s way in regardless of how much I drank or what drugs I took or who I had sex with. When reality did reappear it was usually ten times worse than I remembered. The bills I never paid were out of control, the people I never called back were now really pissed and reality itself was angrier and more chaotic. There was no hiding from reality.  After all, even Eeyore hangs out at Disneyland.

Once I got sober, happiness didn’t come skipping back into my life. The opposite. I cried daily for the first five months. I felt horribly alone. Once I whined to my sponsor, “I think everybody’s having more fun than I am” to which he replied, “That’s because they are.” Upon my clinic’s suggestion, I went to a psychiatrist at 9 months sober. I was going to meetings and seeing a doctor since I was newly diagnosed as HIV positive. Things were pretty rough but I was hanging in there, still going to school and not getting loaded. This tiny little man with itty bitty glasses, kid hands and a basement office in a clinic in Venice brought new meaning to the term “shrink’. He had me answer questions about my past, about my drug use, about how I was feeling about my diagnosis, about my recovery program, etc. He sat there for a few minutes and then said, “Well despite your best efforts, you’re still pretty miserable.” Miserable? Nobody had ever called me miserable! I was the smiley guy who everybody loved, right? The word knocked the wind out of me. Sure, he might of had a point but I was newly divorced, newly sober and just found out that I was HIV positive.Was I supposed to come tap dancing into his office singing “Who Could Ask For Anything More?” I thought it was impressive that I hadn’t thrown myself in front of a speeding train and then this little guy calls me miserable? He wanted me on Wellbutrin which I didn’t take and wanted me to come back which I did once but it was really out of spite to show him how great I was doing and that I wasn’t miserable. He,in turn, gave me the card of a therapist who dealt with depression and addiction. Sigh.

Today, real happiness isn’t a thing or an event. I usually feel it when I’m walking down the street and I realize how good my life is. Generally, when I’m sad I let myself feel that too. I also realize that the happiness and unhappiness of others isn’t my business. I can let my husband, friends and family feel their lives too and everything will be okay without me manufacturing happiness for them. When Michael Jackson died, the media mentioned over and over how “Smile” by Charlie Chaplin was his favorite song. Such an addict. I mean those lyrics- “You smile through your pain and sorrow. Smile and maybe tomorrow, You’ll see the sun come shining through.” Smiling through his pain and self-medicating didn’t really go so well for MJ.  And one of Judy Garland’s signature songs was “Come on Get Happy!” and we all know how great things turned out for her too. The point is, I don’t need slogans or upbeat jingles to convince the world I’m happy. I do consider myself a happy person but it ain’t always sunshine and lollipops. A lot of times, it’s a total disaster. But the truth today is all of it is just fine the way it is.

Isn’t He Great?

Here’s a hot tip: If you have the unique ability to treat yourself like the sludge that comes out of the sewer while pretending you’re the best thing since sliced bread, you might consider living in Los Angeles! The City of Angels is plum-full of people who act like they’re hot shit but treat themselves like actual shit. The creative types (and well, addicts) that flock to LA are masters at shining when it matters and self-mutilating when no one’s looking. So naturally I took to Los Angeles like a closeted homosexual takes to Evangelical preaching. See, in Los Angeles you don’t have to be a celebrity to feel entitled or faux-important. You just have to be next to someone awesome with amazing accomplishments to demand the same treatment they have.  Your neighbor landing a sitcom, for example, is basically like you getting your own sitcom. Therefore you should get the respect, free gift baskets and prescription drugs that they do. Location is everything in LA so as long as you can see fabulous from where you are, you can convince the world you are fabulous. Even if you have to squint really hard.

Much like the dump apartments that claim to be Beverly Hills Adjacent, I was hot shit adjacent. My best friend knew that guy who directed that thing. Oh and that girl who was in that band was at the same restaurant where I had my birthday party. And I even brought burritos over to the guy who was on that show that everybody loved but got cancelled. So yeah, I was pretty important. In reality, I had my brushes with important or fabulous but I was actually just another wasted club kid who was usually on the guest list but not always invited to the after party. The accolades and fame I so desired for doing absolutely nothing, unsurprisingly, alluded me. I couldn’t understand that I actually had to write something to be a writer or that the people I knew who were successful really busted their asses and sometimes sold their souls to get there. Even Kato Kaelin had the foresight to crash in a celebrity’s guest house. Hard work, unless it involved tracking down drink specials or drug dealers, didn’t really interest me. My entitlement was also a great catalyst to keep using and drinking. I deserved to get loaded because I was fabulous or not fabulous enough or because I had a job or lost a job or because I simply wasn’t enough. So there I was on the outskirts, watching others I knew end up on TV or the bestsellers list while I waited tables and scraped change together to buy wine at Rite-Aid. Living the dream!

Thankfully there’s nothing like getting sober to shake off the wannabe celebrity disease. The humiliation, the feeling like hammered hell, the losing of all the material possessions, the asking people you don’t like for help, is enough to pull one’s entitled head out of his lazy ass. For a while anyway. I’m still me so that means some days I truly think I should get an award for cleaning my bathroom or that the entire population should applaud every time I hold the door open for someone. I mean don’t they know who I am? Now, however,when my diva moments happen, almost immediately a gentle (or not so gentle) reminder will come around and slap me across the face to tell me, “Bitch you might be fabulous but you still have a long way to go.” And I wholeheartedly agree. On both counts.

 

It seemed like a good idea at the time

Human beings are capable of many wonderful things. But mainly we’re really great at generating some truly horrible ideas. Yes, yes we the people are filled to the brim with great innovations and life changing ideas too. Yet for every polio vaccination there’s 100 bottles of A-Spray and 3,000 truck loads of Doritos Locos Tacos.

bad-80s

Take me, for example.  I,myself, have had some earth shatteringly bad ideas in my nearly 40-years on this Earth. From wearing acid wash (although I never had the full-tilt boogie fringe ensemble as pictured above) to falling in love with unavailable, straight, meth addicts, my bad ideas are as majestic as the Grand Canyon and as puzzling as the film career of Jennifer Lopez. Perhaps I was born under a bad idea sign because as far back as I can remember I’ve cooked up one harebrained plot after the next only to have it backfire and explode in my face. As an early forger of report cards and author of book reports on titles that never existed, the shittacular schemes knew no bounds.   If there’s a Bad Idea Museum, I’m quite certain I’m a shoo-in for the curator position.  Although I reckon each of us could more than qualify for the job at one time or another . The anatomy of bad ideas, as far as I can tell, stems from the corny “live and learn” concept. We have awesomely horrific ideas, we experience hell on Earth because of them and we never ever have those ideas again. And herein lies the problem for your’s truly and other slow to learn addicts like myself.

If the “live and learn” concept was one I adapted, I would have only fell in love with just the one unavailable, straight, drug addict. Not four. And as much as the first experience of taking Special K (ketamine, not the cereal) made me feel like my heart was going to explode right after my face was going to melt off, it didn’t stop me from doing it about a jillion other times and even offering at as party favor at my Grammy party. I must have been out of Cheez-Its. To be fair, though, it was the trannies I worked with who brought it. Anyway, when it came to drugs and drinking, the ideas, which were already being cooked up in a crappy idea kitchen, were escalated to new hilariously awful heights. Like the time I shimmied across the gangsta tin awning which hung over my neighbor’s blind and endlessly barking dog en route to my open bathroom window where my tequila soaked body landed in a thud in the bathtub, all in an effort to break into my own house. Too bad I discovered my front door was unlocked the next day. I repeated the wasted at home break-ins, crazy financial espionage and other stupid plans over and over again. Compared to my life, the average episode of Three’s Company seemed full of plot twists and surprises. My inability to learn from my mistakes made for a fucking boring existence after a while.

I laugh at my mistakes and bad ideas today. Why? Well a.) I’m okay with the stupid things I’ve done b.) now that I’ve actually learned from them, some are pretty funny. Plus many  of the funny, bad, sober ideas of today turn into the great ideas of tomorrow. But mainly, laughter has healed me. I’ve stopped beating myself up and now can see the absurdity and humor in old stories that used to mortify me. And the more I talk about them and more I laugh about them, they remind that getting sober was the best idea I ever had.

Disco Damage

If you randomly bust into dance moves when you hear “Le Freak” by Chic  coming from the sound system at the grocery store, if you still expect to be on the guest list even though you have been to a nightclub in several years or if you suffer from minor hearing loss due to dancing next to speakers for an extended period of time; you may be suffering from disco damage. Other common symptoms include the unwavering belief that nothing gets good until after 12am, spontaneously yelling “Hey girl!” at drag queens even if you don’t know them and  a deep desire to dance instead of dealing with your life.

Disco damage sufferers like myself have a had tough week. The back-to-back deaths of Donna Summer and Robin Gibb reinforced the depressing, unavoidable truth: nothing,not even a great dance song, lasts forever. I was a toddler during the original disco era but the beat must have seeped into my brain at an early age because my whole life I’ve been in love with dance music. Yes, I am aware that an affinity for dance music is part of my gay DNA but disco and the culture around it were very much a fantasyland and that appealed to me very much as a future drug addict and alcoholic.

I was scooped into nightclubs and raves at an early age. And what goes better with dance music than drugs? Body glitter and platforms are fabulous but if I really wanted to dance my ass off, drugs had to be my number one accessory. Once at a rave in a warehouse in suburban Denver, the Chic song I mentioned earlier came blasting out of the speakers. I was high on ecstasy and it felt like this  was my moment. This is what I was looking for my whole life. I had friends on the dance floor, I felt fantastic and I was 20. This kind of high needed to happen all the time and normal life needed to feel more like this. So it was this feeling, this hunger that propelled me from Colorado raves to LA nightclubs to working at a record store and to DJing and promoting my own clubs in Hollywood. The goal of a budding disco diva was simple: get high and dance. Ecstasy was the preferred dancing accoutrement for many years but cocaine did the trick and so did some strong cocktails. (For the record, 3 Long Islands and  2 Vicodins aren’t a great dance floor combo and we’ll leave it at that.) There’s a great line in the disco classic, “Lost in Music” by Sister Sledge that sums it up:”Responsibility to me is a tragedy. I’ll get a job some other time.”  For many years, I worked to keep partying, I kept partying to avoid really living.

Eventually, the lights came on, last call was called and I tried to live real life. For a club child, this  is a difficult prospect. We’re used to phony relationships and being high all the time. Things like paying our bills and dealing with our problems are icky tasks meant for those boring, grownups we’d see heading to church on Sunday mornings on our way home from the club. I eventually would face the music and lucky for me that music still  had a disco beat. You could take the homo out of the nightclub but disco would forever “toot, toot- aah- beep beep” in my heart. Donna Summer and the Bee Gees were the soundtrack to my growing up, the background music at the roller rink and still bumping at after hours clubs when I was hell-bent on vanishing in the 1990s and 2000s. Now, songs like Nights on Broadway or Try Me I Know We Can Make it are celebrations that despite ingesting more drugs than a Rick James after-party, I too will survive. My dance parties today take place at my desk most of the time although I still occasionally hit the clubs with other sober folks.  So be kind to me if you see me shaking my booty in the frozen food aisle to Bad Girls or Jive Talking. It’s just a little disco damage and a sweet hangover that I don’t wanna get over.

The Odds are Good but the Goods are Odd

When I heard there were hundreds of gay AA meetings in the Los Angeles area when I first got sober, I thought to myself, “Great. I can make my life all better and pick up a boyfriend while I’m here. Fabulous!” I mean you might as well multi-task, right?

So I showed up to my first gay AA meeting in Santa Monica expecting good things. I figured since sober gays didn’t hang out in bars to meet people they must have come here to find hookups and boyfriends. As the meeting started, however, my plan crumbled. First off, there were a lot of lesbians there. Which is fine. In fact, I’m kind of a lesbian groupie. Later on in my Santa Monica sobriety, I befriended all of the coolest lesbians in the program, watched their dogs and even had one as my sponsor. But that didn’t help with the boyfriend item on the agenda. Secondly, the people in this place were really jacked up. I know. Fucked up people at a 12 step meeting–go figure! As they went around the room and shared. I heard these kinda cute guys tell stories of DUIs and suicide attempts. My heart went out to all these men who were battling to stop drinking and just to stay alive. But hitting on them after the meeting seemed highly inappropriate and just wrong. Around that time,  my friend Sarah passed on the wisdom that when it came to the men in AA, “The odds are good but the goods are odd.”

Lastly, and this was the worst part, I realized I was like them and therefore in no position to date. Bummer. That didn’t mean I couldn’t look, no? Seriously, thank god for all of the alcoholic actors and models in AA. They made a lot of boring meetings more enjoyable. I remember when I was looking for a sponsor, I went to a meeting in West Hollywood in the middle of the day. When the time came for the, “Would anyone willing to be a sponsor” announcement, a dozen or so guys who clearly just stepped off the Gay Porn Express all raised their hands.  Well, that wasn’t gonna work. I’d spend all my time trying to figure out how to get my sponsor to sleep with me instead of getting sober. Hence why I wound up with an ass kicking nurse and later a loving lesbian as my first two sponsors. But I digress.

My crazy ass actually wondered, on several occasions, why I wasn’t being hit on at more meetings. Like didn’t they know how hot I was? Weren’t they dying to break off a piece of this? Um. No. And I can’t say I blame them. My life was a hot mess and I was fucking nuts. So no, my toxic, curdled milkshake did not bring all the boys to the yard. And perhaps I wasn’t getting hit on because most people at meetings aren’t there to hookup. They were there to get better. What a concept!

As the wild ride in recovery continued, I realized I needed these meetings too and I needed to stay alive and I wanted my life back. I eventually started believing that maybe one day somebody could actually want what I had going on. And maybe, if I did the work and stopped drinking, even my goods could be a little less odd.

Remember Roxie

Sometimes it’s the friends or family member of an alcoholic who help them see how jacked up their behavior was. For me, it was checkout girl named Roxie.

For much of my hardcore daily drinking, I lived across the street from a Von’s grocery store in the hip and occassionally dangerous neighborhood of Echo Park in Los Angeles. I lived in that apartment for 8 years and drank nearly every day during my time there. Having that “open until midnight” grocery store steps away from house was divine for a dialy drinker who liked to turn your plain old Tuesday into an excuse to get hammered. In many LA grocery stores, especially the ones in dicier neighborhoods, the liquor is kept locked behind glass doors on a walls near the registers. Going there daily, the checkers knew who we were and were always at the ready to unlock and pull out whatever it was we were drinking that night. During long runs of drinking, it felt shameful to have them yet again fetch booze for me. But not shameful enough. I got over it pretty quickly when it was in my hands and I was out the door. One Von’s employee, Roxie, was usually working nights when I would pop in after work to get a bottle before they closed. Roxie sold me alcohol many times when she probably shouldn’t have. Roxie rung me up in one or two blackouts. Roxie saw my disease almost nightly and was forced to deal with it for 9 bucks an hour. She was a doll though and we always had a cordial back and forth. Short, plump and kind of saracstic, Roxie was a friendly, if not always enthustastic enabler. Through the years, I saw her get pregnant, start college, change boyfriends. And then in 2009, I stopped seeing her altogether.

That Von’s stopped being across the street when I moved away to the West Side to get sober.  Our paths didn’t cross until a year and a half later when I was back in the neighborhood housesitting for the summer. I stopped into get cigarettes, which were also behind the counter, and Roxie who rung me up asked “Do you need a bottle too?” And I said “No I don’t drink anymore.” To which she replied, “Thank God. You used to drink all the time. Good for you!” That exchange hit me in the gut. Here’s this girl who didn’t even know me but could see my drinking was totally out of control. For a long time, the story struck me as funny. Like when the checkout girl realizes how much you drink, you know you’ve got a problem! But now it reminds me how real the problem was. It’s an oddly powerful yet brief moment that sticks with me especially when my mind tries to tell me I could maybe drink like a normal person. It also reminds me how many were affected by my alcoholism and how truly terrible it was.

So thanks, Roxie. Wherever you are. You’ve helped me more than you’ll ever know.

The Voices in My Head: The Musical!

You and me, we have a special relationship. I routinely tell you about how batshit crazy I am and you politely read and even comment. I like it. So in the spirit of our lovely little back and forth I might as well tell you how I talk to myself and hear voices in my head. I say this not to appear  interesting or eccentric.I bring this up because maybe it’ll help others. See, I always just assumed I was nuts, turns out I’m just a playwright!

Ever since childhood, I’ve had in-depth conversations with myself and whoever else was banging around my head. I kept it hidden for years. Finally, when the Bluetooth era exploded I felt like I could come out of the closet. I could safely walk down the street while deep in conversation and no one would question it. Not like anyone ever questioned it in LA to begin with. That’s an entire city of cuckoo birds who wander around chattering to themselves. Nevertheless, the Bluetooth gave me a thumbs up to talk to myself out on the open. Towards the end of my drinking, the out loud conversations with nobody became for frequent and more desperate. I was always telling myself “You’re gonna be alright. Things aren’t that bad. You can get through this.” These mantras were usually followed by whispers of plans that might help get me out of  whatever the mess of the moment I was in and oddly enough, random numbers I would say out loud. Sometimes even cries for help can be mumbled to ourselves I suppose.

As I’ve recovered and changed my life, the conversations continue and  the voice still  pop by to say hi. But it’s not of “Help me Obi Wan Kenobi” variety anymore. In fact, these conversations are now incredibly useful. In my new incarnation as a playwright, I basically try to find stuff for characters to talk about that will propel some sort of a story while entertaining the audience. This task, in the beginning, scared the crap out of me so I knew it was going to be something valuable and miraculous. Eventually. As I started writing, I painfully forced words into the characters mouths and it all sounded incredibly phony and awkward and literal. During the 77 billionth rewrite of my first show and after a late-night breakdown, my husband and creative collaborator asked bluntly,”Why are you writing this show?” I told him through a cloud of tears and bad attitude that I was writing it to get to the heart of how technology has changed the way we communicate and that in the end I think we’re all just trying to make real human connections. “Then do just that,” he told me. I sniffled and calmed down. I realized in that instance I just had to get out-of-the-way, trust the story and keep writing. I went back to the drawing board (I don’t really have a drawing board or even know what that is but I do like that expression) and then the miracles happened. When I shut the naysayers in my mind up, the characters just started talking! All I had to do is write it down. They told me everything as long as I just let them talk. It was that simple. These voices I’d had rambling in my brain since childhood, weren’t trying to hurt me, they just wanted to be on stage! Of course. Even the voices in my head are attention whores.

While writing this new show, the voices are now like old friends. But sassier. They tell me to be quiet so they can keep talking. They tell me to stop questioning the process. They tell  me to let them speak so others can hear their stories. And I happily oblige.

I Wasn’t Thaaaat Bad!

Towards the end there was series of shame spiral barbecues. See, in the beginning I could drink all day and maintain for several hours but as the jig was closer to being up, as it were, I could barely keep it together.  Many of my messiest moments took place at my best friend’s weekly summer barbecues. What was intended to be as sunshiny good time with grilled chicken and side dishes usually wound up being a scene from The Days of Wine & Roses & Macaroni Salad. I always intended just to have enough cocktails to have fun and enjoy the afternoon but somehow the day would end with me falling downstairs or getting in a fight with someone. I know. I sound awesome. You’re wondering to yourself, “Gee! Why did he ever stop drinking? He sounds like the ideal party guest!” All of these backyard blunders aside and all of the other mountains of evidence that pointed directly toward the flashing, neon “Hot Drunken Mess” sign didn’t matter though. I always thought, “Well. I’m not that bad. There are people who are worse than me.”

Of course being an addict or an alcoholic isn’t a competition. (Because if it was I really think I could win or at least get Miss Congeniality.) There’s not some “messy meter” that accurately measures one’s drinking problem. That being said there are some who can’t hold together as well as others. And towards the end I was one of those. But as I relapsed and couldn’t stay sober I conveniently forgot how out of control I was. Memories of falling down disappeared and drinks flowed as if they never wreaked havoc. I am waxing poetically or pathetically about this topic today because I recently read an article where actress Tara Reid notes that her well-documented partying “wasn’t that bad.” She of the drunken boob slips, the televised body shots and documented trips to rehab is now saying “At the end of the day, I really [just] had fun. I wasn’t doing crimes. I wasn’t getting in trouble like that.” Let me just say, I’m not Tara Reid nor have I ever drank with her nor do I pretend to know her habits with alcohol. So maybe she’s right. Maybe she just had to get it out of her system and now she says she can party “discreetly.” Good for her!

What reading this did remind me is for me it really was that bad. Like Leaving Las Vegas bad. Like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf bad. Like  blacking out at a barbecue bad. Yet I never got arrested or wrecked a car or spent time in rehab or a loony bin. So I guess by those standards, I could be convinced it wasn’t that bad. But thankfully it was bad enough. By 36, I had achieved some all time personal lows and my insides felt like a burnt out shell. I battled my own delusion for so long that now I’m okay saying, “Yeah. It was fucking horrible and I was a disaster.” Unlike Tara, I can’t party discreetly or just have a few drinks. And that’s okay. I own my hot messiness of yesteryear and know that today I’m 100% safe to invite to a backyard barbecue. So if you feel so compelled, I’m likely to show up. I’ll even bring the macaroni salad.

 

Sparkleholic

I love this time of year. The competition. The tight races. The close calls. I’m not talking football but AWARDS SEASON!! Duh. I’ve loved the Oscars and every awards show since I was a kid. But anything sparkly always held my gaze. I dressed up as Wonder Woman in kindergarten. I dumped loads of glitter on my tree topper angel we made in 1st grade, much to the dismay of my Catholic school art teacher. Anything that was  beautiful and spectacular from the Miss USA pageant to Gone with the Wind, completely captivated me as a kid.  Because long before I was addicted to drugs and alcohol, I was addicted to shiny.

As a kid growing up in Denver in the 1970’s and 80’s in a charming urban old school neighborhood, glamour wasn’t something that usually stumbled down my street. Thankfully, television and pop culture provided what Denver couldn’t. Charlie’s Angels, Wonder Woman and the Muppet Show were the main sources of inspiration. But reruns of That Girl, Bewitched,  and Josie and the Pussycats fit the bill nicely too. Yet nothing compared to the Oscars. The Oscars were a time when every famous person got dressed up to celebrate my real true childhood love: movies. Movies were the ultimate in sparkly. They had  the instant ability to take me away from my day-to-day and put me in another world. My parents supported my love of movies, books, art and- God bless them- Strawberry Shortcake.  But life in an alcoholic home ain’t a walk in the park so movies and fantasy weren’t just a good time. They literally saved my life. I had a place to run to that was all Madonna songs ,scratch and sniff stickers, Pound puppies and old movies-24 hours a day. And the ugly stuff could simply disappear.

When I found alcohol and drugs and nightclubs and raves, it was as if the fantasy life never had to end. Dressed in glitter covered vinyl and boas and more sparkly t-shirts, my friends and I were the 90’s personified. We partied at clubs with Courtney Love and George Michael. We crashed movie parties and guzzled down free cocktails. We never paid to get in anywhere. But then you do that life 7 days a week and soon you’ve done it. And before you know it, your late 20s and early 30s have arrived and the party has moved from hipster dive bars into your living room. Seven nights a week and sometimes alone. Soon, sparkly is the last word anybody would use to describe your life.

Getting sober put me through the ringer and I wasn’t too worried about chasing fabulous anymore. That first year, I didn’t care about the Oscars and I barely went to the movies. But today I love the movies and can now remember what I’ve seen-always a bonus! I can’t wait to watch the Golden Globes tonight and the Oscars next month.  I admit a little temporary escape isn’t the worst thing and neither is the real world. My life, when I actually look at it, sparkles and glitters with amazing gifts- like a family who loves me, a healthy relationship and a  rich spiritual life.  And that is truly fabulous.

Organizing the Demons

I had quite the demon collection back in the day. Terrbile, horrifying nasty little creatures that I carried around and kept hidden. The fear these demons produced was a warped,long playing record. On one side was the obvious fear of these little buggers getting out and ruining my life even more than they already had. On the other, the fear was more confounding. I was afraid to loose these demons. I knew that once they were gone, I would be left without any horrible nasty creatures to blame my misfortune on and it scared me to death.

Now dear readers, we can see that I was screwed either way and the best thing would have been to suck it up and face the bastards head on. Easier said than done. Telling an alcoholic like me to “face your problems” is like telling a hoarder, “you should really tidy up in here.” That is to say, the task seemed daunting, even impossible. For years I drank and used drugs and fooled myself into thinking I  didn’t deserve more and then worked double time to convince the world at large that I was fine and the life I was living was more fabulous than yours. Clearly, the warlord of my demons is a beast called Delusion. The powerful and evil scumsucker ruled me for decades. Delusional is commonly described as”maintaining fixed false beliefs even when confronted with facts. ” Sounds like me for sure. And Delusion kept me from dealing with my other demons for years.

But the thing about demons, at least mine, is that you can only keep them contained and in pretty little rows for so long and once they’ve escaped, look out. As my demons became totally out of control and unavoidable three years ago, my life collapsed. Or that’s what I thought at the time. In reality, as these demons were being slayed one by one my life was being rebuilt. But in order for this to happen, I first  had to say to my demons, “No more. You don’t scare me. I can change.”

These nasty little devils have been on my mind recently. I’ve heard grumblings of old demons wanting to rear their heads and wreak havoc.  Lately, I’ve been pulled into selfish directions and I know that it’s my old stuff at work. Thankfully, I have a set of tools and skills to use to shut them up. Praying helps. Helping other people really helps. And telling the truth about where I am and what I’m feeling gets me closer to silencing Delusion and his friends for good.