end stage

End stage alcoholism.
End. Stage. Alcoholism.
No matter how many times I try to put that into my brain, I can’t truly understand it. It is exactly as it sounds; it’s the last stage of the disease prior to death. It’s the part of the disease that, even though you may fight it and win, you may never come back from it, completely. Just as it is with cancer, or any other disease. The only difference, in my view, between something like cancer and a disease of addiction, is that you find the addiction, it doesn’t find you. Cancer, for instance, seems to find you and set its sights upon you with a purposeful vengeance. Where addiction is concerned, it is almost as though WE are the disease and it is us who sets out on our terrible journey with purposeful vengeance.

From the moment we are conceived, every part of every cell strives to live. Life, once set into motion, is determined and forceful in its struggle to continue on. I suppose that’s why suicide is looked upon so harshly in nearly every culture, and why it’s so difficult to actually commit suicide. Our will to live is informed by billions of cells that make up our physical being; each cell having its own biological imperative to thrive. The killing of oneself is the most unnatural thing a human being can do, as it is wholly contrary to what our natural selves have known since conception.

When you think of addiction as disease, I believe that what is lost in translation, so to speak, is that it is an ongoing form of suicide. Is suicide, in and of itself a disease? I don’t know. But, I do know that we seek out our addictions, whether or not they are inherent within us via our genetics, or if they are simply the biproducts of our vices. One cannot become an ‘end stage’ addict without there being a discernible prior stage. That is another difference between something like cancer and addiction. Many of us know people who have discovered, much too late, that they have an end stage disease, such asa80e26be38d432231d6c4c7d8937575c a deadly cancer. However, we all know just as many, and more, who are currently using alcohol, or drugs, in a seemingly benign fashion. However, depending on the person, what we may actually be witnessing is a very slow, decisive, suicide attempt, or, at the very least, the onset of a serious illness.

In my view, and in spite of the fact that I enjoy drinking, alcohol is the most destructive drug there is, or ever was. It is not the nature of the alcoholic to keep it to themselves. Yes, some do. They are the exception. Most enjoy spreading the pain around. If they didn’t enjoy it, they wouldn’t do it, now would they? Drunks are, commonly, a violent lot and usually have little insight into the fact that they are being consumed by a disease of misery and self loathing, even unto death.

Many changes take place in the end stage alcoholic. They often lose control of their bowels and bladder function. They stop eating. They are shaky…their memory goes. They begin to show signs of dementia. They bruise easily and they bleed freely. Their bellies often swell due to gastritis and other stomach problems. It’s not for the faint hearted…end stage alcoholism.

I think I’ve over used the words ‘end stage’. But, that’s what I’m talking about. And, I think that I’m having a very difficult time with those words, and, if I ‘say’ them enough, I’ll really begin to understand them. When someone is in the final stages of cancer, for instance, loved ones gather and try to lend help and support. When someone is in the last stages of what amounts to suicide by booze, people judge them more harshly than ever, hoping it shakes them to wakefulness and that the person will change their wicked ways. It’s disgusting. It’s cruel. Because nobody consciously sets out to die of addiction. Nobody. But, I have to think that, on a subconscious level, that’s exactly what’s happening. Something…some seed planted long ago…took hold and the person decided they weren’t worth the air they breath. So they set out to kill themselves. I think. ? Suicide by pleasure, until it isn’t. One day, you’re holding your own, the next, all Hell comes down on you and you’re shitting yourself, trying to get the shakes to stop and hoping you don’t have a seizure. Just like that. Boom.

I’ve known many alcoholics and other addicts in my lifetime. I’ve always found them to be amazing people. They are normally smarter than others…more sensitive…more creative. And there is always this magic about them in the beginning. But, that starts to fade somewhere between the ‘party’ stage of their addiction and the ‘I need to score so I’ll have some when I wake up’ phase. What comes after that is the ‘always loaded’ stages of addiction. Nothing is ever nice about that. But nothing…and I mean nothing…compares to the final stage. It’s like watching Satan, himself, take someone you love and drag them to Hell. I hate it. I fucking hate it. You can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved, no matter how bad you want to. And, at some point, even if they do, they find out that nobody can save them, anyway, because they are far too near the end of a very successful suicide attempt.

the man i mourn

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It’s a beautiful morning here in Mayberry, and I am feeling so very grateful to be here. I’ve gone through a lot the last month or so. A misguided attempt to help someone who was very special to me led to hurt feelings and what have you. Honestly, I don’t know who I thought I was that I would even attempt to save someone else. I can’t even save myself. But some people just sort of stick to your heart for reasons you may not even understand. When that happens, you have to at least try to help them, should they find themselves in a terrible dilemma. That’s what I think, anyway.

I’ve been being productive on the homefront. My little house is beginning to take on the ambiance of a sanctuary. It’s like a tiny jewel box, holding all of my very favorite things. I have no room for much else. If something doesn’t qualify as an heirloom or ‘most loved’ possession, it doesn’t get a spot here. The reason is a simple one: My dining area, den and bedroom could all comfortably fit into the den at my old house. My entire kitchen is about the size of my old bathroom, and my bathroom is the size of my old closet. To say that I have downsized is the understatement of the century. However, in light of how badly things turned out in the year before Bennie’s death, I’m thankful that I’m not living in a refrigerator box under an overpass.

Bro is coming to visit at the end of October. We are finally going to all be together, at once, and will be spreading Bennie’s ashes. He will have been gone a year and a half by then. I know that seems a rather long time to wait to have a proper funeral, but Bro couldn’t get enough time off of work before, and we all wanted to be together when we finally laid Bennie to rest. It will be nice to have my boys together. I wish it weren’t such a grim deed that they will gather for, but it is suiting that they be the ones who dispense of their father’s remains. Bennie was their hero…a god to them. Even after he changed, the relationship with his sons remained the same. I thank God for that.

Yesterday, I took Bennie’s picture off of the shelf. It’s in the buffet with every other picture with him in it. I enjoy having family pictures sitting about, but it’s not easy to see his face at every turn. So, for the holiday season, his image will be long gone from my view. I feel better, already. I didn’t realize how much it was bothering me until I closed the door to the buffet. The moment it closed, I swear I could breathe deeper. My chest hurt less. It was, instantly, less tumultuous inside of my head. I had no idea that it was bothering me so much.

I think that we all grieve differently and that we are never certain how grief will manifest in our lives, over time. I had joined a couple of groups after Bennie passed. There was much discussion of the Five Stages of Grief. Initially, I was relieved that there were only five stages, figuring that I could work right through them and be done with it. However, I quickly learned that there are a million stages of grief. And, they don’t come in a specific order. They reveal themselves when THEY decide it’s time.

In so many ways, I have yet to truly acknowledge Bennie’s death. I don’t know if I ever will. Don’t care if I do, or not. All I know is that it’s taken me seventeen months to make my personal boat stop rocking and to find some real footing without him being here. As horrible as it was to be married to him, at least I knew my role in life. I believe that knowing who you really are, and what your role in this world is, is the most difficult part to deal with when your abuser passes. You grow so used to catering to someone that it becomes natural. You don’t even hear the noise of it all until it’s quieted by the hand of God. It’s a paralyzing thing, that. Silence. Normalcy. Taking care of yourself instead of someone else. You wouldn’t think the last thing would be so difficult, but it is. Because, when you live with someone who constantly puts you in your place, the only thing you want to do is take care of them so that they will leave you alone, if that makes sense. You don’t spend a lot of time on how you look or dress, as they may call upon you at any moment and you don’t want to be ‘dragging ass’ when they do. Unless you enjoy getting spit at and/or on, or find the sight of a man with his hand on a gun while he yells at you to be a good thing.

There is so much about my life with Bennie I’ve never told anyone about. Partly, because I don’t like who I was with him, and I think the fact I stayed with him all of those years reflects very poorly on me as a person. I don’t recall having too many good things to say to the man during the last years of his life. I do recall jumping when he said jump. No matter what I said, he always knew that he was in control of me. He loved that. He loved to control me. And, it was only me. I don’t know why.

I really don’t know why I miss him. But, I do. I guess it’s because he knew everything about me, and I, him. At my age, there will never be another who knows me that well. I’ll never look into another man’s face and be able to remember what that face looked like at 18. There will never be another man who was my first. Nobody will be able to laugh with me about that night in the back of his truck, fumbling around like idiots under his old sleeping bag. lol! It may not have been the ideal ‘first time’, but I’d take it over a planned night at the San Louis any day. I guess that’s the guy I’m mourning. He’s the one who danced in the living room with me…the one who’d take me to the beach to make love while we watched the sun rise. He was the one who woke me during a midnight thunderstorm to take me outside to play in the rain because he knew I loved it so much. Truly, I think I’ve been grieving for that man for fifteen years, already. I never really knew the man who died in that hospital. That man was cruel and selfish and hated everything about me. He wasn’t my Bennie. And he deserved what he got.

finis operis

He never gave real thought to his words. Had he done so, I’d hope he’d have chosen them much more carefully; considered the true meaning of the words he spoke to me that day. I’m no delicate flower, but I do mind being ‘handled’. I prefer that one speaks to me in the way his words are meant to be said. It’s only fair that certain truths are no sugar coated. Were my doctor to have had the nerve to speak frankly, these are the words he’d have chosen:

“Your brain can no longer tolerate its lone occupant, so I’m going to give you some meds. They’ll either cure you, or kill you in some way.
Either way, you won’t get out of this without losing yourself completely.20160511_000143 (2)
On the bright side, you died inside long ago, for all intents and purposes. Though I can’t guarantee any of this will help, remember it’s for your own good…”

After a few months of taking poison, the realization hits me, on this gorgeous Mayberry afternoon, that he was right: Elle doesn’t live here anymore. She was simply too hard to handle. Her roar is now a whisper, and her love of all things mysterious has been contained in the vacuous chasm once occupied by her soul. Gone are the silly daydreams and imaginations that made her life colorful. In their stead, a screen, blank and bland, reveals only chemically induced normalcy. People who know her think this is a wonderful improvement. She does not share their opinion.

– End

kiss me, you fool!

the Darkness dances with its shadows
partners for all time, they are
round and round they go, as my sleepy eyes beg them to stop
yet, they’ll hear none of it, as they continue on
dancing throughout the night
parading themselves before me as though i need to learn from them
arrogant Death, you don’t fool me
i know that you come to me by cover of darkened pathways
lest the Light rob you of your precious power
a power that only lives in the minds of mortals who treasure life
many of us don’t, you know
and that makes you little more than an irritant
a thing that parades around us, at all times, like a beggar crying for a scrap of bread
you believe that it’s all in your hands…life and death
silly one…you hold no cards, except those dealt you with a specificity that even you cannot comprehend
take me, if you can
but you will take me with a smile on my face
because, in that moment, i’ll know that thing that you will never know
i’ll know it’s truly my time
now, shut up and kiss me…

no rest for the…

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The night seems all encompassing as I try to find a sleepy bone. Nothing, so far. I feel both restless and exhausted, as I haven’t slept much in a few days. Even so, my eyes are wide open and I cannot bear the thought of succumbing to dreams of evil people doing their wicked deeds.

This day has been a long one. I’ve been looking into my heritage and have found some interesting things. Mostly, I’ve found my ancestors to be a very determined group of individuals who seemed able to look beyond the struggle to the reward. Very few yankees, thank goodness. I couldn’t face life with a family tree full of those horrid creatures.

Honestly, I’ve never cared much for genealogy. We are who we are, here and now, and it does not matter who went before us. If we don’t live up to a high standard of morality and good character, nothing from the past will save us. The reason I began this lil investigation was that I’ve been very curious about my biological father’s family. So far, that endeavor has been a series of dead ends. No tiny leaf at the corner of any of the names of those who I’ve managed to find on his side of the family. I wish it weren’t so. I know that my paternal grandmother was quite something. Nothing nice…but, quite something, no less. She was a frightening red headed woman; an alcoholic who was sexually promiscuous. My paternal grandfather tolerated her. A very tall, large, man, it’s said that he was kind to a fault. He obviously loved my grandmother enough to overlook her…flaws…as they were married till the day he died.

With the exception of a few notes, here and there, I still can’t get much of a feel for what made my ancestors tick. As I stated, it seems as though they were a hearty group, overall. But, I do know of a few wild vines growing on my family tree. To this day, my family is made up of the crazy and determined, as well as the good as gold types. Nothing really changes much with people, generally speaking, much less with families. I suppose that’s why God can curse us up to a thousand generations. After the first couple of generations pass, those curses simply become some sort of warped family trait. They can be seen on and on, throughout one’s lineage, and are as predictable as the sunrise. It makes me wonder if we might actually be the same people as those gone before; reinvented and newly faced…living out our curses and blessings as we’ve done all along. Or, maybe we are all singular beings, born once to flesh, then on to eternity. I suppose there’s only one way to find out and I’m not ready for that just yet.

I’ll be seeing my dad in a couple of weeks. I can’t wait. That old man is everything to me. I know his days are growing shorter, though. Also, I know that I will be lost without him in my world. I can’t begin to imagine what life without him will be like. So, I don’t. But am increasingly aware that I should prepare for his end. His hip is hurting him. He’ll be going to the doctor Monday, next. I pray it’s only arthritis, which is bad enough. Mom is going to get him a walker tomorrow. He won’t use it any more than he uses his cane. He’s a Marine, after all. They don’t tend to go down easily, and they are notorious for loving the difficult path. That just never goes away, no matter how old they get. The Corps is for life. Maybe even forever. Wouldn’t that be something? I think my dad would be pleased as punch to arrive at the Pearly Gates and see his hero, Chesty Puller, there to greet him. If there isn’t a Heaven just for Marines, there damn well oughtta be!

Asia…

Oh, my! What tangled webs does Ancestry.com reveal! For instance; My grandmother’s name wasn’t Rita. It was Asia. Asia…a beautiful name, no doubt after her father’s extensive travels to that land. But, she lied about her name. I don’t know why. I do know that I’m fairly weirded out about it.

My grandmother was a consummate liar. The woman could lie the wallpaper off a wall, for Pete’s sake. However, I never saw this coming. Who does that? Who totally lies to everyone about their name? I use my birth name on FB, but it is my name. In real life, I use my married name, most often. I’d never lie about my real name to family and friends. It’s just weird. If the name Rita was her preference, so be it. But, couldn’t she have mentioned that her name was Asia when I found myself pregnant in the 80’s and tossed the name around, eventually settling on Simone, were the baby a girl? I miscarried the child, but even so, I’d think my grandmother would’ve mentioned that I was considering her own name for the name of my child. I would mention it.

I never intended to get truly involved in my ancestry. My background is a bit on the sketchy side and I’m not sure I want to know my blood relatives, related to my bio father. It’s those damn leaves that keep popping up…They really lead you down a path, I tell ya.

If anything, I’d love to be reunited with my cousin, One Eyed Mike. I miss him. We haven’t seen each other since high school, as he had to ‘go away’ for a stretch. I missed him after he became a local cocaine dealer and sold that shit to my son. Last I heard, he was on another state funded vacation. No matter what he’s done, I love my cousin. He was awesome to me. When we were kids, on through the last time I saw him, he was fiercely protective and kind to me. Everyone was terrified of Mike since the day he burned his name into his arm in 4th grade. It was cool having such a scary relative to rely on. Anyway…if I find him, this will be worth finding out my grandmother lied about her damn name. And her boobs. And my mother. Etc., ad nauseum…

day’s end

It feels as though night should have already fallen, yet the sun is still slinging white hot light at the Earth as though its inhabitants are the object of a cruel game. I simply cannot wait for Fall and Winter…

I’ve been a real bitch today. Sometimes, I don’t much care that I have been extra bitchy, but I am bothered by it today. Especially when I called the girl at Sonic a bitchy lil thing. In all fairness, the girl behind the speaker was quite rude. Her disembodied voice talked down to me from the speaker as though I’m some garden variety jackass. She needs to understand that I’m a very special type of jackass and do not appreciate being lumped in with a group that way. Since I’m no dumbass, I won’t be eating at that particular Sonic again.

It’s been really bothering me that I haven’t heard from my dad/grandad, too. I spoke with Mom last evening and she explained that he has finally forgotten who SHE is. He stood in her den, her mail in hand, asking who the Hell that mail belonged to, as he did not recognize the name…her name. He couldn’t put her name with her face. No wonder he hasn’t called. I haven’t called him because I was worried he wouldn’t recognize me and that always embarrasses him. It’s awkward for me, as well, but it isn’t any trouble. For him, it seems to be very stressful and I just don’t want to put him through it. I wanted to go visit this weekend, but Mom asked if I could wait until next, since she’s in the middle of another project. I might pop up there mid week and just stay the day and night. I really want to see Dad. I’m sick with worry over him.

And I miss Bennie. I don’t know why. He was just such a big part of my life, better or worse. That preacher man didn’t know what he was saying when he laid down those vows. Looking back, I should’ve written my own. If our vows had accurately reflected how things ended, they’d have said:

For better, or worst case scenario. You will love, honor, and fear, until you begin to IMG_20170522_161914feel as though you’ve lived an eternity with this man. He will scream and yell and put you through things your empty lil head can’t even imagine right now. You will understand the meaning of grief long before either of you passes, as you will come to realize that every bit of who you are in this moment is dead and there is no way to revive it. You will, finally, be alone, only to realize that you cannot go a day without thinking of the young man before you, as you forget the bastard he became. When that day comes, you will know grief on an unimaginable scale and you will long for the day when you, too, are dead and gone just so you can see him again.
May God bless this union…

if profanity offends you, don’t read this sh*t

I’m in a bad fucking mood today. Not all day…it’s been a great morning, but then…a few minutes ago, I think a switch flipped. I started thinking about shit that really sucks. No, I don’t know why. I just did. So…yeah. Here are a few things that really fucking suck:

You love the wrong person.

I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there, done that. The wrong person has your heart in his fucking palm and you can’t do jack shit about it. Why? Because the sky’s blue. Hell if I know why.

Somebody vomits in your fucking car, and you love your car more than you love them.

Yep. I’d say this should probably head up the suck list. Vomit. In. Your. Car. Oh, wait…after he tried to pee into a beer can while you were driving. Total suckage. In fact, I feel like I’m gonna throw up just thinking about it. I can only hope Maxine will forgive me for letting someone drink and ride. Seriously.

You dedicate ten days to helping someone get help for addiction, but there is no help to be had.

Okay…THIS is the number one motherfucker of them all. This one outlines the sheer hypocrisy of the war on drugs and clarifies that the truth of the matter is that it is a false flag. Always has been/always will be.

My friend tried, with my help and that of others, to get a simple prescription to help him safely dry out from alcohol. Many aren’t aware that alcoholics are in danger of losing their life while detoxing because it’s not illegal to drink, so…obviously…it’s safe. Right? Sure…it’s real safe. Till you become an alcoholic and try to stop drinking and have a Gran Mal seizure. Then you die. Even though there are two pills that could help you; Librium and Phenobarbital.

If you are old enough to purchase booze, shouldn’t that make you old enough to sign a release of liability at your MD’s office and obtain a prescription so that you can dry out safely at home? If you’re a heroin addict, you can do so, without a waiver. I only suggested a waiver be involved due to the fact that doctors are now held by the balls by the DEA and are being/have been squeezed to the bloody pulp by overly litigious jackasses. To say that they are shy about writing script is an understatement.

The other reason that many hospital affiliated physicians won’t write those prescriptions to ADULTS is that the hospitals make so much money from ‘treatment’ that it’s beyond belief. While they bitch and moan about indigent patient costs, they are, with the other hand, literally stuffing money into the bank from people and insurance companies who are forced to pay for treatment that is not necessarily needed. If one relapses while actively working a program, that person doesn’t need to be in a month long treatment center. Period.

Things ended badly between my friend and I, so I returned home two days ago, now. At that point, the only hope he had was to wait a full week until he could get into a facility. A week when you’re sick because you’re trying so hard to just drink enough to keep you out of withdrawal is a very long damn time. To his credit, that is what my friend was doing when I left, although he was in the most foul mood of anyone I’ve ever known. Words were exchanged that I’m not proud of. However, drunks aren’t known to be the nicest people on the planet. In any case, I do hope he gets the help he needs because he’s a good man with a lot to offer the world.

When you lose a friend because of booze and/or drugs.

Yep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

hell is a simple thing

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i know what Hell is
Hell is a father who walked away
it is a mother who left you behind
Hell is the ranting of a drunken man
close to your heart, but not worthy of your bed

Hell is the sting of a switch
slapping, stinging, cutting away at you
it lies in the hand of a cruel caretaker
Hell is the screaming of a woman
not worthy of life, but not worth a bullet

Hell is a man who is meant to love you
it is realizing this man does not
Hell joyously lives in the betrayal of the heart
it lies beside you in the night
sleeping peacefully in your in your marriage bed
feasting upon silent tears, till the small hours come

word vomit on a warm summer evening

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i feel bold
guiltless
unashamed
empowered by failures
more so, by victories
at last

i feel cold
daring
daring you
to try
if you’d rather not
i’d rather leave
you

i don’t need you
with your gun to my head
i don’t need to watch
until you’re dead
i don’t need to be your help
in time of dire straits
you took that desire
you killed it
you made love a disgusting thing
but, it’s you
you are the disgusting thing