Friday, August 1, 2014

Kinda I Want To

I've been getting a little crazy recently with the drinking, to the point where a few nights ago I ran around brandishing a metal pipe screaming at invisible thieves and traitors — which fortunately didn't result in anyone getting hurt or me getting jailed — and the next night I maliciously chucked a just-turned homeless girl's belongings onto the nearby freeway because I didn't want her around. Alcohol can easily make people weird and aggressive when consumed in sufficient quantities for long enough. It's not just getting black-out drunk and being a creep or jerk to whomever; when one drinks all day every day for long enough — and on top of that eats hardly any food, a common problem among all kinds of substance abusers — one slides into a dark fugue similar to drug-induced or trauma-induced psychosis. In my case it starts off with mad gibberings about being fae-blooded or some other kind of otherworldly creature, proceeds to black mutterings about the attainment of immortality and demiurge glory, and then progresses to animosity toward the world around me that often culminates in drama and violence. I remember how one time I was shot at by the owner of a bar when I fled the establishment after having assaulted a patron with a broken bottle because I believed the man held some dark design against me!

This brings me to the subject of this post, which is the title of a Nine Inch Nails song I used to like. After I woke out of the madness three mornings ago I was shook up about my miscreance enough to initiate the intake process at the De Paul addiction treatment center.

Which, incidentally, I'm highly ambivalent about. In order to enroll in the inpatient program I must either transfer over from their medical detox facility or sit on a twelve-week-long wait list. However, to be medically detoxed I have to suffer from withdrawal symptoms, which entails continued drinking! Not only am I sick of that rotten habit (for now, at least), but it seems absurd to me to achieve forward motion by pedaling backwards. Indeed, what's with the long wait, in the event I'm not deemed properly boozesick? Because I have health insurance; is this what Obamacare was supposed to accomplish? A man can change his mind and an awful lot can change in his life in three months. There's also the matter of the program being only anywhere from thirty to ninety days long, which probably isn't enough time for room in a clean-and-sober housing building to be found for me; I'll be giving up my spot — which despite the air pollution and noise has been decent — for a dubious and short-lived prospect that may very well result in me being back out on the streets at the beginning of the rainy season and having to start over again from Square One in terms of finding a spot and setting it up and securing it.

Am I talking myself out of it? It's not that I don't wish to become sober, or to at least get a handle on the problem, but I balk at immersing myself into an institutional non-solution. Years ago I did some research into the subjects of addictions and treatments, and it appears as though inpatient and outpatient drug and alcohol treatments and even vigorous participation in twelve-step programs are either as or LESS effective at delivering people from addictions than simply quitting is. Additionally, the twelve-step saturation of treatment programs and environments reeks of a coerced conversion of addicts into a nebulously ecumenical religious order wherein individuals are taught not self-sufficiency but appalling reliance on others and some kind of protean but vacuous "Higher Power" — which as an atheist and a strongly independent person I find repulsive, and I can't see how it's nothing more than trading one addiction for another; like the treatment of opioid addicts with methadone. Effectively setting us up for failure. And, frankly, I don't care for the recovery scene; I don't want to live in a building full of anti-intellectual and boorish overgrown children, many of whom are macho ex-convicts whose mentality still stalks the prison yard.

In short, while I realize I've been at the quitting drinking business off and on for over two decades and have as a result an appalling record of failure and disappointment, I really don't think inpatient or outpatient treatment or AA meeting attendance will do me any good. I also strongly suspect I'd be jeopardizing my sobriety much more by moving into clean-and-sober housing than I would by remaining on the streets. So, I HAVE successfully talked myself out of treatment, haven't I? I'm not sure what I'm going to do, if there's even anything proactive I can do about it other than realize that I'm sick of wasting my money and time on alcohol, ruining my health on it, skewing my brains under its influence, inhibiting myself from attaining a healthy and functional and rewarding life, bringing upon myself peril and disgrace by it, and disappointing and worrying my friends. I guess I'll just have to figure it out; I'm not going to do it in accordance with The System's wishes — not unless a judge orders me to, at least.

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