My friend is a genius. He has an active mind complete with Encyclopedic knowledge. He knows a lot about almost every subject. But he is not loud about what he knows. Me makes his point calmly and slowly without getting overly excited. Without an inflated value of himself. He can explain the Greece Recession and how they can get out of it or why the Boeing 787 Dreamliner Jet is over-hyped. He reads everything he can get his hands on. That way, he can explain Winston Churchill’s army tactics against Hitler as fluently as he can explain joinery in carpentry.
He is also a recovering alcoholic. He has been to rehab twice. He once checked himself out of rehab after deciding the shrink was not qualified enough. She said his alcoholism was a result of Reactive Depression but according to him it was as a result of Dysthymic Disorder. He knew too much.
He is making steps in recovery. For him recovery is not abstinence. Recovery is when you can have a glass of wine after dinner and go to bed. Recovery is control.
He started drinking not long ago but went down the drain fast. He started drinking when he was deported. He was in school abroad and got deported for an offence he says he didn’t commit. He was at the wrong place, with the wrong people. I believe him. He is a good kid. Last year, he saved a street kid from the paws of Mob justice. He begged, pleaded and bribed them. Still, he doesn’t preach of his goodness or pretend to be virtuous. He believes we are all good when it suits us. Morality is like a sword you only unsheathe when you badly need it. Like hen you are about to take advantage of an unsuspecting idiot or make a fortune from a dishonest deal.
Since getting on to the path of sobriety, he has chosen to become hairy. He has not shaven his head or trimmed his beard, he only conditions his hair and strokes his beard. Not that he doesn’t care what people think of him, an Indian authored book said it is good for his soul. It also said meditation will help him get better. So he got a mat, did some bead work and learnt to sit with his legs folded under him. He has a drawing book too, when he is not reading, he sketches. He can go on for hours. His sketches, some real, some imagined, he distributes them to kids in their neighbourhood. E reads stories to them too. They like him. Some say they want to be like him, fluent, calm and gifted.
I asked him if I could write a diary page as him, in his shoes. Its okay with him.
I am a mess. If God had a number, I would press him on what he plans to do with me. I feel like like a work in progress. I feel like one of God’s little unfinished projects. One that he will get on with when he is done with other pressing issues like Syria and everyone else in the world but me is happy.
Two days ago, I turned Twenty Five. I feel like am Forty. My soul is weary and battered. I have demons in my mind and not enough energy in reserve to fight them. My reasoning was dethroned long ago.
I didn’t celebrate my birthday. I didn’t want to . My mother and aunt did though. I sat amongst them and smiled but to be truthful, only my body was present. My mid and soul were getting tormented elsewhere. For my birthday I got a fancy time piece, if only I could get the time.
I have not had a drink in three months, fourteen days. Everyone thinks it calls for an award but I do not think it even deserves a pat on the back. I shouldn’t have been here in the first place. So am riding myself hard to get out of here. When I got back home from the garage (Rehab), my family got rid of all wine and alcohol at home. The guys fixing me at the garage insisted on it. I don’t think it is necessary though. I need to stay around alcohol and learn self control. I bought gin (350ml) and half a litre of tonic water. They are concealed amongst clothes in my wardrobe. I want to hold the gin in my hands till they cease to shake, till my heartbeat gets back to normal. I want to look at the gin every morning till I can see it as only a drink and not a destroyer. I will keep it till my reasoning takes back the throne.
The guys trying to fix me would give up on me if they knew it. But I put myself in a ditch, I will get myself out. As much as they may not like it, thats living on the edge. You keep moving or you fall off. On the edge, it is all all nothing. You take the slimmest chances,you take dangerous risks, you defy odds.
I left the garage for the second time because I did not want to wallow in self pity much less other peoples pity. I left the garage because I felt the world was leaving me behind as I was getting ‘fixed’. I needed to get back to the real world where nobody watches over you all day so that you don’t drink or don’t think.
I have been reading whatever I could find on metaphysics and spirituality. It is not complex and am fascinated by the concepts. By the time am done reading these books am supposed to be be in control. By the time am done reading these books, I should be able to give situations room to breath and develop. I should understand the universe and myself better.
All these concepts consider everything that life delivers whether good or bad as a way of measuring courage or appreciation or as a reassurance of existence or an exercise of endurance. Experiences should strengthen an individuals character and also level ego.
Am beginning to understand the reasons behind my desperate attachment to drinking. My piteous search for a way out of what I considered hopelessness only to end up a mess. All I knew back then was desperation and bitterness towards those who led to my deportation. All that locked up inside and added to self pity drove me to inflict injury on myself.
But now I realise that it is my mind that created all these problems ahead to put ‘defences’ that were of no use or need. So only I can do something to change that. It’s changing albeit slowly. Am getting through the bleakest and most despairing moment I have ever known.
Dear diary, at the end of this dark and lonely road, I will be fine. The misery will be gone.
Soundtrack: Walk – Foo Fighters