Hi, I’m Bob, I’m an addict. Hi Bob, what are you addicted to? Everything.
I have what is known as an addictive personality. It has almost killed me on more than one occasion. It could still kill me. Probably will. Whatever I draw a bead on will become my inner demon. I will devour it’s innards much to the detriment of everything else. I will move relentlessly in that direction until another target drifts into my line of fire. I draw comfort and solace in the losing of myself. Period. Drugs, alcohol, exercise, computers, music, literature, writing, meditation and nutrition. Nothing is off limits. I will pull those covers over my head and not come out until I’m ready. This can be both beautiful and painful.
My last day as a bearded, shaky, drug infested, fat fuck, was May 20, 1979. A day that will keep a drink out my hand until I shit the big bed. Even if I get a bad diagnosis. Done. That road is closed forever. It was a Sunday. It was overcast and dreary and so was I. I just couldn’t take anymore. That’s the way it works for me. Anything worth doing is worth over doing.
Someone from AA came to get me and took me to a meeting that night and I saw a ray of light. After a few weeks of pink clouding and feeling the life creep back into my soul, I started to get restless and looking for the next big thing. OK, if I’m not going to alter my consciousness anymore what am I gonna do? I’m not going to sit around this smoke filled hall and pine away on why I can’t drink anymore. I know, let’s do a one-eighty.
So I go from scotch on the night stand to cod liver oil. A cigarette, projectile vomit and the hair of the dog to a yogurt enema and a five mile run. I shave my coke infested beard, lose fifty pounds, go back to church and start baking my own bread.
The church thing didn’t last that long, I was sober now, remember? In six months I was unrecognizable.
Now, now, my family gets worried. Forgetting all the nights they found me on the porch or in my still running car in the middle of the street unconscious. Now they’re worried. So they pulled what would today be called an intervention on me. Some actually cried as they tried to figure out what happened to me. Great timing!
This type of behavior has been the cause of much frustration and fear to those who have passed through my life. I was once asked to give a talk at Salem State College to a group of mental health students on my 30 odd years of recovery and subsequent successes in all areas of my life. (I left out the failures.) I basically told them I just switched addictions or compulsions. I told them that once I understood the benefits of addiction and refocused, I could and will do anything.
If you want to confuse and confound a bunch of logical thinkers run that shit by them. The professor was not impressed. Only two people ever got me. My mother and wife. (In that order)
So now it’s 5:00 am. My heart is starting to pound as my body gets ready for exercise. I am now addicted to 10 mile bike rides every morning. No matter what. I don’t have time for this shit today. I have work to do. Besides, it’s raining.
But it’s got me. It won’t let up. I can’t work in this condition so I might as well give in. Where’s that goddam bike?
No rest. No peace.