Previously on "bravez!"

By bravez · May 23, 2012 · ·
  1. bravez
    OMG, you guys, I really wish I could just cut an actual two to three minute reel, because your favorite mess just got hotter and trannier (but not in that MTF way).

    It's been about five weeks since I showed my house guest the door. I've seen neither hide nor hair of him since. Well, I possibly saw him stalking down Denny last night, but I've seen seeing (and hearing!) lots of things lately. We'll get to that later.

    Over the course of five weeks, I got a job, thought I'd get back on the horse after two weeks of sobriety, found myself under siege from the shadow people, my parents made a guest appearance for a five episode arc, and now I'm drifting in to the delta of recovery flailage.

    Exciting stuff, no?

    So, yeah, I got a job through a temp agency at non-profit healthcare insurer a few blocks from my studio. The company was a friendly and pleasant culture and the work was noble (approving specialist visits for low-to-no income individuals and families). Believe me, I was beyond thrilled to have a place to go that wasn't my apartment during the day. The actual task boiled down to data entry and truth be told, I could not stay focused (or awake) and I felt really lame for taking the path of least resistance to employment.

    During this period, I didn't use for a good two weeks (turns out that purging contacts from your phone really helps). I fell in to a pattern of go to work, come home, attempt to watch something for an hour, crash out around 9p, lather, rinse, repeat. I think I spent the first weekend more asleep than awake. I think that was more me not wanting to deal with the world than actually being tired. I felt more like myself when I was had my last job during the second week---complete with the nodding off at my desk. I really don't think my next gig should involve a desk.

    I'm not even sure if I got what might considered a craving on the top of that second weekend. A deleted contact from my phone got a new number and texted me to let me know. I didn't respond, but didn't delete it either. Saturday rolled around, I had a paycheck in the bank, and you know the rest. I didn't even think to consider that this was a completely different using scenario. Long story short, I bought too much, didn't make a plan, neglected to take care of myself during use, and ended up calling in high Monday.

    Calling in high is by no means an acceptable reason to call in to work. I felt like a dumbass. Did I stop using that day? No. I'm not even sure I got some sleep before I dragged my sorry husk to the office on Tuesday. I flailed through the day, went home, and instead of passing out, I used more product. Hooked up with a dude a little after midnight; he didn't leave 'til the second morning after. I e-mailed work, told them I was at Harborview with a fever on Wednesday. Finally decided to own my shit and wrote a note to resign for reasons of health and sobriety.


    I decided that I might as well commit to my sudden change of career and kept the roll going. Two hookups and a a few days later brought me to Sunday afternoon. It was a nice day and I had the windows open. I live in a fairly noisy part of the city---I-5 two blocks down, three hospitals in a four block radius.

    It started innocuously enough; I thought I heard some lame hipster band practicing in the distance, but the song snippets I cold hear were particularly specific to my situation. Then I heard people talking in the unit upstairs about an eviction. I had a sober friend come over as a second set of ears to confirm, and as expected, she didn't hear anything. We left to go put some food in me, and the audio hallucinations apparently felt peckish as well. We ate, I pretended not hear disembodied voices randomly call me by name and announce my tweaker status to the world.

    My friend offered to let me crash at her place when parted ways, but I decide I'd just go home and coerce my body in to falling asleep. Darkness fell, my blinds were open, the voices decided they had photographic evidence enough to lose my lease, and apparently a festival of sorts had broken out in the adjacent units. Now, by this point, I knew that what I was experiencing couldn't possibly be real, but I decided to hedge my bets and indulge the delusion.

    It was bad, you guys, bad like a B movie sequel with "Siege of the Shadow People" as subtitle bad. In addition to the eviction plot, I decided that the local authorities thought that the loser I had staying with me never left and were coming to bust him. I couldn't close my blinds because I had decided that would be an admission of guilt. I couldn't call a friend over out of fear that they would also get implicated. The unit above me had people managing the entire operation, and I'm not going to get started on the snipers (yeah, I went there). I was engaging in open dialogue with myself through shared ceiling and walls to what I thought were my neighbors taunting me.

    Oh, hey, you want to up the ante on this clusterfuck? Your boy B totally liveblogged this shit to Facebook. If you'd like to take an inventory of your relationships, I highly recommend appearing like a paranoid schizophrenic by way of the status update.

    I don't remember when I passed out, but I remember either being on or answering the phone with a frantic mother. She saw the writing on the proverbial Facebook wall, messaged my friend I was with the night prior, who confirmed my situation and let her know about my habit. No sarcasm---I cannot thank that friend enough.

    My parents flew out the next day. My mom's a social worker, and while she doesn't specialize in addiction, she came at me from that angle. If anything, the hardest part was trying to convince her that I wasn't just playing the addict's game of lying and appeasing to get concerned parties of their backs.

    Well, I did lie a little bit---I don't want to stop completely, but I'd rather aim for more controlled usage where the stuff doesn't come home with me.

    Anyway, the visit went well; they came out on Tuesday and stayed through Saturday. We made a plan to attack and deal with the situation and I got in touch with a local GLBT counseling agency to see if I could get in touch with someone to better assess my situation. I'm also supposed to start checking out some meetings.

    PROTIP: Regardless of how excited you are to start the process and check said meetings out, it is apparently bad form to attend one as you're going in to your crash.

    So, yeah, I attended a meeting (not NA) for gay men looking to deal with their usage. I felt like an asshole for coming in still kinda high, but I _did_ make a point to disclose my condition and ask if that bothered anyone. We did check-ins, I previewed this story, we talked about my situation, and I think (judging from their comments) that some members of the group resented that my friends and family are still on board. Even if it's mostly me projecting my feelings, if anything, I felt damn lucky that I have my friends and family on my side.'s just a matter of remembering to let them know I'm having problems in a less jarring manner.

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  1. Cash.Nexus
    I know about those festivals that (don't) go on, but Snipers? I've had them come holding knives, and I knew they had electric drills (it was on the radio) but snipers are sympathies.

    Good post...& good luck.
  2. bravez
    Well, I didn't really want to bring them up because I know realize it was trick of the light caught in my clear glasses frames.
  3. Cash.Nexus
    My 'knife wielders' were actually shadows from spiky leaves. All variations on the same old theme: a conspiracy of heavy people coming to get poor me. Over some 'misunderstanding'.

    My worst craziness wasn't from being on drugs, but coming off them. No sleep+sudden reality/clarity=paranoid delusions.

    I did hear some interesting stuff on the radio on Day 1/2 before everything became about ME by Day 3
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