six months in and all is about as well as can be expected

Today is the official six month mark for my sobriety. I still dream about drinking and doping when I’m asleep, but when I’m awake the thought of it repulses me.

It has dawned on me, yet again, that I’m not getting any younger and that if I want to take another crack at this life thing, there’s never been a better time. With that in mind I’ve decided to take a leave of abscensce from Cracked Head Blog. I’ve grown weary with it. Additionally I think it makes it easier for me to stay comfortably isolated because of the great comraderie. I’m a natural loner and must resist the daily temptation to exist exclusively in a little world I at least partially control.

I’m not sure how long the break will last. Maybe a week. Maybe 10 years. I imagine I’ll want to update periodically just in case any of you are curious as to how and what I’m doing. As long as I’m doing something, I’ll consider it tremendous progress, and indeed something of a miracle.

Should you want to contact me, you know how. I’m sure I’ll be in touch with some of you, either via email or your comments. With the possible exception of my affiliation with Alcoholics Anonymous, I’ve never known a finer group of folks than you my readers. To borrow a thought from the Big Book, I hope to meet some of you as we trudge the road of happy destiny.

way off in music world today

It’s astounding to me that I’ve been so depressed/fucked-up (as in dope) that I haven’t played a single note of music for somewhere in the four to five year range. It’s what I do for Christ’s sake. Always have. Haven’t always practiced a lot, but I like practicing a whole lot when I’m in my right mind. Anyway, today I’ve been getting reacquainted with the musical me.

I’ve given in completely to the crazy schedule. I was up at 1:30 this morning. I was back up a little after 8. I’ve felt better as the day has worn on. It seems to me, at least now, that it’s not so much a question of when I get up as of when I go to bed. Bed time, right now, is after midnight. Period.

I’ve been entertaining thoughts of what I might do, in the way of work, to keep from living under the bridge. Like all immature, irresponsible people, I’ll opt for school every time if it postpones that most awful of four letter words — WORK. (Not that all non-traditional students are i and i. I know I am though, and I know I’m rarely the only anything.) With that in mind I’ve been thinking about letting the government pay for me to go back to school. I don’t want to go mind you. But I don’t want to manage the toy department at Target either. Are any of you folks in education? (I know a couple of you are, or are aspiring to be.) What I’m wondering is if there is a school system in the country desperate enough to hire a disreputable 50 something? I hate kids. But changing fan belts for minimum wage at Wal-Mart is even less appealing than a room full of fat, bored youngsters. Is it even remotely possible that if I do the education-work, that I might actually land a teaching gig? I’m not a felon or anything. Just a non-violent fuck-up. How might I investigate the possibility? It would suck to a teacher and not be able to teach. That would probably qualify me to clean out the monkey cages at the zoo, if I had a masters, but not much else. Hmmm.

I’m thinking about killing my neighbor. That mother-fucker has been on a drunk, with a bunch of his buddies, or over 24 hours straight now. I’ve always made excuses for him to Mom. Hell, he’s my kind of people. But I hate people like me. We make shitty neighbors. I’m thinking a chunk of metal and a sheet metal hammer might be in order. When he’s hungover and wants to know what in the fuck I’m doing at first light, I’ll just tell him “I’m straightenin’ out this piece of steal”.

not looking like my day

Nothing like a little failure to grease the skids to hell. I blew off the walk this morning. In fact I blew off getting up. When I came too a little after 8 the only thing I was sure about was that I didn’t want to be here in this life. I suppose it all started with the tossing and turning all night.

When the clock went off I was dreaming I had hepatitis and was smoking crack with Rudy and the whores. For whatever reason that was preferable to what passes for my life these days. Actually I tried to turn the damn thing off about 4:30, which was when I realized that I hadn’t had enough rest to fall out and report for life at the crack of fucking dawn. My clock is so freaking complicated that it I screwed it up. It went off and six and that set the tone for the rest of the morning.

Now I’ve napped for two more hours and have finally, I hope, fallen out for the day. I blew off taking Lilly to the vet for a bath and recheck. It’s stormy down here and she’ll just pee on herself in the cage after she’s cleaned up while waiting for me to liberate her. I didn’t feel like doing it anyway. I’ve brought my Fuck It motto out of retirement, at least for now. I did manage to cram a dose of pills down all the dog’s throats. So I guess the morning wasn’t a total loss.

Anyway, I’ve decided I’m through fighting this shit. I’m staying up as late as I want and I’m sleeping as much as I want. August, historically, is the worst month of the year for me. It’s too hot to do anything outdoors other than feed the mosquitoes. Last year the pit extended from August through the end of the year and into ’08. I was unmedicated then, though, unless you consider a booze and dope binge every three months or so medicine. I’ll see the shrink towards the end of August and feel relatively certain she’ll change my meds. If I’m not too miserable I may ask her to hold off on that. Once the heat breaks I may rally. Unfortunately that’s a solid two months out.

shocked system

It’s about half past noon and my body doesn’t know what to think about being put through the old walking paces first thing. My appetite is way up. I took a nap for almost an hour and a half and could probably do another two hours or so in the trap (if I didn’t want to sleep tonight.)

I was sort of expecting to cruise through the day with flying colors. After all, hasn’t exercise helped, or at least seemed to, in the not-too-distant past? Didn’t the psych nurse strongly encourage me to get up and get moving in order to feel better? I was expecting the results in real time. It’s not working out quite like that. So it may take some time to adjust to what is pretty close to torture for me these days — getting up and getting out first thing. Maybe, if after a couple of weeks I’ve lost a couple of pounds or so, I’ll become energized.

early a.m. walking man

I did it! I dragged myself out of bed with the alarm, ate a bite, and hit the pavement. Walked for 50 minutes. Was pretty tired coming the hills on the way home. I don’t feel too great now but at least that shit is out of the way. ( < 160 here I come.)

Today is supposed to be stormy. I still haven’t ventured to a health food store to pick up the L-tryptophan the vet recommended for Lilly’s pissing problem. Actually, I don’t know where one is around here. I hate to have to drive all the way to the mercantile Mecca just for that. Lots of miles and terrible traffic. It’s just not my thing.

As soon as the hospice nurse splits, hopefully by nine, I’ll try and find something to do. It’s been a long time since I was up this early. I don’t think I like it but perhaps it’ll grow on me.

decent day in spite of the blues

It’s been a decent day for me in spite of low energy and depressed mood. I managed to do the prep work for supper tonight. Vacuumed part of the house. Washed a load of clothes and even put them away. And played and sang for two or three hours.

I spoke with the psych nurse and she wants me to try forcing myself onto a schedule so that I can get up and walk before the arrival of the hellish heat. I’ve decided to give it a go. I’m going to set my alarm and fully intend to get up and drag my fat ass around the neighborhood for as long as I can hold out. It can be unbelievably uncomfortable even then down here. It actually seems to get hotter at night as the humidity builds. Anyway, it’s either that or drive to the mall or a local church she told me about to walk indoors.

She’s also pushing me to look into some volunteer work, as are some of you my fair readers. I’ll look into it. I can’t imagine doing it, but who knows? The nurse mentioned the library. There are women coming and going there, so I might actually bump into one. Maybe I’d start reading again if I was around books some of the time. Or writing…

I don’t know. I do know it’s blazing hot down here. And the humidity. Fuck. My fantasy about moving out west in again in full bloom. I don’t even think desert heat could be as miserable as the swamp’s.

what’s in store?

Within the first 15 minutes or so of my getting up in the mornings I can tell whether it’s going to be a depressed day or not. About half the time the depression will only last the morning and part or all of the afternoon and then clear up for the rest of the day. The other half it never breaks until the cycle has run its course, which is somewhere between 24 and 48 hours right now. Today is a depressed day, or at least a depressed morning.

I didn’t want to get up but since I usually don’t that’s not definitive. My dogs were irritating the piss out of me almost immediately, though, and that’s a bad sign. I wanted to go back to bed but for some reason have opted for washing a bunch of clothes. My grandmother feels better today and is actually outside so I need to stay up and halfway keep an eye on her. Hopefully this will fade away with the coming of the afternoon.

At the most recent bipolar group the therapist wanted me to get on a cancellation list so that maybe I could see the doctor before my current appointment. I didn’t do it after group but have already called the nurse this morning. For whatever reason the depression is prevailing over the meds. Now it seems I’m depressed every other day and that’s no good. Hopefully they’ll work me in somehow to see the doctor. If not, it’s going to be a long three plus weeks.

summer stroll

Broke down and went for a walk after nine this morning. First time in nearly two weeks. It was plenty hot but so much that it affected my ability to move. Well under 90 with horrible humidity. Went for nearly 40minutes which I thought was good considering the heat and my lack of recent physical activity. My leg was so close to well that I almost didn’t notice it. Whatever was wrong seems to be almost gone. My goal now is to be sub-160 by the end of the years. Easily doable if I’ll do it.

Roscoe is at the vet’s getting cleaned up and rechecked. That little sonuvabitch completely freaks out when it’s time to ride. He’s uncontrollable. It’s really pitiful. I think since I found him on the side of the road he must have been abandoned. Guess he’s afraid I’ll put him out too. Poor little creature.

Besides picking Roscoe up, there’s nothing pressing on my plate. I’m sure I’ll find some way to goof off. Everybody has talent and that’s mine.

more of the same on tap this week

Yet another week of oppressive heat, thunderstorms, and trips to the vet. I should be grateful that at least I have something to look forward to.

Mad Men, my favorite television show, kicked off season number two tonight. TV can be so cool when it’s not geared towards morons. It’s the only thing that I actually look forward to seeing every week. Last year I watched Damages but it fell apart pretty quickly. Burn Notice was fun for a season but it’s more of the same stupid shit. Mad Men, though, progresses. The characters are fascinating. If you like drama just a bit on the arty side, Mad Men is for you.

I found a video on YouTube of one of the guys I grew up trying to emulate musically. The guitar player, Greg Morton, has a twin brother named Randal who is without question the best banjoist I’ve ever heard. I took lessons from him off and on for a couple of years. The Mortons were two of the most generous musicians I’ve ever run across. They always had time for the serious up and coming pickers. Great guys in addition to being ridiculously talented. If I think about it much it makes me sick that I was too unstable to pursue a career in music. I had my chance. For a minute I was on track. And then there were drugs.

sunday blues

I slept well and for close to 11 hours. Even then I didn’t want to get up. I did anyway and that was probably a mistake. The morning dragged by painfully slow. I’ve tried to take naps a couple of times but it’s not working out. Now that afternoon is here maybe I’ll feel a little more energized. On top of being weary I’m bored. Bad combination. Can’t think of anything I’d like to do other than be unconscious. Sundays are better slept through.

My Other Site

If you're interested in reading a fairly detailed account of addiction and depression, Cracked Head Memoirs might be for you. It basically tells how it was and what happened. Writing it helped me go from active addiction to recovery yet again.

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