Friday, May 9, 2014

B is for bad idea


I went to my first al anon meeting the other day. My friend, "Betsy" has been mentioning it to me for weeks. Asking me to give it a chance. She goes to deal with deep-set family problems. Her mother is a schizophrenic, homeless, heroin addict. I mean Jesus. I decided to check it out, support her, maybe learn something about the world. And well, sometimes I drink a bottle of wine before bed. But not every day or anything...

10-step signs about God being a rock for unhealthy addictions said I was in the right place. I was nervous when I got there early and didn't see anyone. Then people trickled in, mostly clean-cut women with bangs and colorful shoes. The epitome of Silver Lake locals. A couple shifty-eyed fidgeters. A twitchy man who could've benefitted from a wet comb and a Xanax. I sat in the back feeling extremely out of place.


When Betsy arrived she sat beside me, said hi with her hand on mine. She moved to a chair in the huddle when the meeting started. I followed reluctantly. The energy of the people around me, mercy. The group took turns reading a paragraph a piece from a tattered hardcover adorned with a shattered-glass type collage of sad, strung-out looking faces. A shitty story about a lady who lost both her parents to drugs and booze. The dad split first, then the mom. Then the poor thing lost her boyfriend to heroin! And she was an alcoholic!

When the reading concluded, the room took turns speaking. Five minutes a piece about the chaos surrounding their lives. It was extremely personal. Some cried. Most vented stories about relationship dysfunction. I didn't move or speak. Staring straight ahead. It was like waiting for a church service to be over. At some point Betsy was sobbing. I crunched her shoulders in an effort to be sympathetic but she shook me off. She needed to cry I guess. I didn't take it personally.

Outside, Betsy and I talked for a few minutes about unhealthy relationships with narcissistic dick heads before we said goodbye. She had a lunch date and I decided to break my latest fast by walking across the street to a familiar brunch place that's been pretty hit-or-miss these days. I splurged on fish tacos anyway.

(this would be a good place to insert a story)

It took two me hours to open that to-go box. But I was determined to live a long life and be healthy! My problems have been furiously kicking my ass for a while but they weren't going to break me!

When I opened the box, the smell of stale fish made me tense. It that wasn't bad enough---THREE FLIES FLEW OUT. I threw everything in the trash. CLUNK. Guzzled a chia kombucha and thought: that's what I get. I didn't even call the place and complain about it. My ability to give a crap has gone fishing til next spring.

The flies were a catalyst. I completely lost my mind. All of the sudden it felt like the blood in my heart was beating through a compound fracture! In a desperate attempt to neutralize what was happening, I texted a friend some lop-sided nonsense. He did his best to help but I felt like a horse's ass. It's only then that I realized, even in this emotional shut down phase--I'm still an empath! I essentially absorbed ten tons of negative energy in that meeting and the weight of it was killing me! Being a shut in makes so much sense. But the loneliness...

Going back to the 'being emotionally shut-down' thing. Imagine...having the inability to feel. Going through motions. Intellectualizing fucking everything. Sad in theory. Tired therefore...I am not angry because my voice is neutral. I know what difficult is. I know what stress does to my shoulders. It creases my brows. My hands are clenched. Relax.

The only nostalgia that makes sense anymore is breezes. Where will the year-round, chlorophyll-rich breezes be in New York dammit... Not that anyone should take that attitude.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know this post is several days old, but for what it's worth, I suspect you are stronger than you've given yourself credit. Despite not giving a crap, you've got a lot of fight in you...?!

Shall I say a prayer for you? I'm cynical these days, and not a very good Christian anymore...

Kiss on Wood

Glacial Spain

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