Friday, March 7, 2014

9th Circle of Heck

I changed the name of my blog for several reasons. One was there were multiple pages with the same name as "Eat My Blog", and all of them are blogs about food. Neat. I don't really remember why I called mine that specifically, other than maybe I thought it was a bit more subtle than "Suck My Blog" or "Go Blog Yourself". I guess I could say I changed it up and solidified the new name with a bona fide domain/URL to represent the new chapter in my life now that I'm off probation, free of the breathalyzer, classes and meetings. But the truth is I was just bored...and I had 10 dollars.

I wanted to give you a little explanation of what the 9th Circle of Heck means to me. When I got out of treatment and established a residence and employment, I certainly appeared to be doing much better than I was as a full-blown junkie. Obviously I had improved my quality of life, and I was working to find my place in "the real world." But here's the truth about self-destruction: the most depressing and hardest times of your life are not when you're rock bottom. It was bad, sure... but I was high...or drunk. Heroin and booze made sure I didn't have to deal with myself and my problems. I felt very little. The worst part is when you pull out of your nosedive and start trying and giving a shit. You experience the most pain when you're clean and sober and start to have real feelings and emotions again. And boy, do you have emotions... and you get to deal with them with an acute awareness. And you are very aware...that this sucks. This really, really sucks.

And that's where you find yourself for an indeterminate amount of time. You are no longer in hell. You've pulled your ass out of the flames, and you're in a new place. The new place isn't great. You know things will get better with time, but currently you are not having fun. I just figured this new place was Heck, and it was there all that pain, guilt, shame, anxiety, worry and dread that I had avoided for years through consumption hit me all at once. Boom. This is the worst part of this new place. It has to be the 9th Circle.

This is why many addicts and alcoholics relapse after being clean and sober for a few weeks or months. I don't think it's so much about "I miss the drugs" as it is "I can't deal with all of hurts too much."

Life is good now as I've documented on this blog. I still have 9th Circle moments, but they pass. The reason for this entry is I've had brief chats with two of my friends who are going through tough times right now. I didn't get a chance to tell them any of this, but I wanted to let them know that I understand what they're dealing with. There's nothing more annoying than someone telling you, "Hey, hang in there, it will get better!" "Yeah, well, go face-fuck a piranha. I'll pull YOU up by your bootstraps, you shit monkey." (We think this, but just say, "Thanks.")

Nah, I'm not going to tell you to hang in there, like you're a kitten on a sad, useless inspirational poster. I'm just going to offer an ear if you ever want to talk about it, and to let you know I've spent plenty of time in the 9th Circle of Heck. If you need some company there or a tour guide, let me know.