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Most of my dreams are abstract but directly related to what’s going on with me. For example, if I ate cheese right before bed and earlier that night I had a fight with my mom, it’s not unexpected that I would dream about flying wolves liquidating into puddles of green slime every time I hiccoughed.
When I was a kid, a high school kid, I used to connect dots where there were no dots to connect. Especially when it came to peoples dreams. I loved interpreting their dreams to what I thought they meant. At that point, the highest level of education I had was probably grade 9 science and even then I didn’t know the difference between a neutron and an electron.
A dear friend of mine back in the day would always come to me with her dreams. I always knew what was going on her life and was able to make clear distinctions between fear-based dreams to adrenaline-based dreams but sometimes it would be so out of wack, like the flying wolves, that I would just be pulling answers from my ass.
Not that that wasn’t what I was doing in the first place.
"Well, you’re graduating soon and everyone’s asking you where you’re going to go, what you want to be, what colleges have you applied to, etc, and you want them to go away. You’re not afraid of the future and you’re not afraid of these people or else your hiccoughs would go away. Instead, they turn into green slime because in the end they seemed scary and wouldn’t leave you alone but they had no power and something as little as a hiccough was able to transform them into slime!"
Something like that.
Which brings me to last night’s dream. Where I was sitting around the dinner table with a family that wasn’t mine. In the middle of the table was an atomic bomb and everyone was blaming me for wrecking dinner. I explained to them that it was still good and the mother figure insisted it was overcooked. The father figure wasn’t surprised by my typical behaviour and the brothers and sisters took great pleasure in my humiliation. I had to prove my point. I had to prove that I wasn’t a fuck up and that I made dinner. That, even though it didn’t look good it was in fact good. So I took a fork and knife. Poked in the fork. And as I penetrated the atomic bomb with a steak knife…
I woke up.
My friend Craig called me up today and asked me how it feels. “How does what feel?” I asked. “How does it feel waking up not feeling guilty from the night before?”
Which brought me to a point I hadn’t yet made myself. I was so focused on the task of sobriety I completely overlooked the joy. Craig is right. There’s something to be said for the immediate gratification of waking up and knowing that yesterday was fully yours and today is fully yours, the good and bad of it.
That sense of ownership of the very air you breath and the seconds that age you.
He gave me some shit the night before. Told me I was focusing on the wrong things. I was somewhere in the future coming up with arts and crafts projects to provoke the fear of drinking into the heart of my very being. Some very dramatic stuff.
But Craig is very now. A forward thinker, optimistic, positive person. Good to be around.
Yesterday Craig was telling me just focus on now, go to meetings, do 30 in 30, rock it out. Just go with it.
And today, when I told him no I didn’t wake up with the regrets and guilt from the night before but I’m still harbouring guilt and baggage from a week ago, he gave me a slap with his “Just go with it” hand and told me to “Let it go”.
Just go with it and let it go. It being two totally different things in this context. The first it is the present and the second it is the past. Same word though. Hmm.
I should have finished college.
Note: This is an excerpt of something I’m writing. With no intention to what it is or what it’s for, to enjoy it or hate it, however you prefer.
Music slows down for me when I drown everyone out. I’m not a runner, I don’t run, and if I did run I wouldn’t be creeping on four hundred pounds. In my mind, more importantly my imagination, I don’t stop running. The music is slow and all the people are drifting underwater and in this one sacred thought; nothing can hold me back.
I always found it fascinating to feel free all I had to do was close my eyes and confine myself to my body. In my imagination I have a physical soul as light as a shadow. I fold it like silk pajamas and keep it somewhere safe like a pocket or one of those hobo bags on a stick.
Why would I drown everyone out? You can’t possibly mean everyone—your wife, your mother? They love you, don’t you know? The “everyone” in this instance is the invisible everyone I imagine. A person is who they are and who they project to be and who others imagine them to be. I could have said this different. Rephrased as “who others perceive them to be.” But my war isn’t with my perceptions. It’s with my imagination.
This has been my biggest, if not my most fatal fault.
There is little to no evidence that the people in my life think or feel any of the thoughts and feelings that I imagine them to have.
When I was a child being bounced between divorced parents my imagination had sword fighting and castles and a dragon; and then as a child understanding the impacts of divorce my imagination began to wonder why that dragon had to leave and why was I the only one left to protect the castle?
When you escape to your imagination to deal with the emotional impact of your physical life—what’s to come is years of war, of a lonely child in an empty castle, facing his shadow and fencing against the wall.
I know you used to go to Bible College and now you're a comedian but are you still a Christian?
The fact that you asked anonymously makes me believe that you are my mother.
Hey mom. I’ve gone full circle with the Christianity thing. I don’t belong to any one church but I do go to church. I believe in standup comedy and having the freedom to joke about whatever I want and that one specific freedom is the one thing that keeps from being apart of a church because I would be asked to forfeit that freedom. Yes I believe in God. And yes I still think dick jokes are funny. I’m not sure if that answers your question but like that one guy said in that one song, “Life is a highway… I’m gonna dun dun dun bwow chicka dun bwow wow chicka waaaaaaaaaaammm dun dun dun” … More on this another time.
I think I’m done with the sobby hopeful sobriety stuff. I meant what I said and I’ve been getting help and going to meetings and doing this one cliche at a time but I know these things have their honeymoon periods so I’ve changed my perspective. I’m not “getting sober”. I am sober. My drinking is a thing of the past and now I’m moving forward. Got some good books at the library. My apartment smells like Raid. My wife is wearing the sundress that I like and I look forward to buying a bike that can actually fit a guy my size. I think it’s nutso to spend $700 on a bike that I may or may not ride but what’s most important is I get a bike, get healthy, and make my way down to an A cup.
Here’s my current reading list. Books due back June 20th.
The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Sane: Mental Illness, Addiction, and the 12 Steps by Marya Hornbacher (almost done this one, it comes from the perspective of how to deal with the 12 steps when you got the double dose of a mental illness, in my case depression and anxiety)
What We Talk About When We Talk About God by Rob Bell
12 Stupid Things That Mess Up Recovery by Allen Berger
and The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
She told me not to talk about it but I explained to her that there are millions of people on the internet who want to know about her vagina appointment and then she came around. Not really. But her appointment went really good. She has a golden vagina but the doctor says the paint should wash off in 3-4 days. Then she’ll be back to her regular, ol’ boring green vagina.
Two things going into sobriety. What keeps you going and what holds you back .You already know what holds you back because you have a 100% success rate of being held back. Going forward you need to keep busy, find joy in things, and think of others.
Remember the two days that don’t matter: yesterday and tomorrow.
Have a good day, today.
PS: I’m tagging along to my wife’s vagina appointment. I’ll write about that later.
If you ever get the opportunity to be on television be careful of what you say. Because even if it doesn’t make it into the final cut, the editor will most likely do something like this:
You’ve been warned.
Do you get a lot of questions on this thing?
No! But I’d like to. I’m an excellent question-answerer.
Yesterday I wrote a post addressing my most recent relapse when I allowed my alcoholism to lose my performer’s spot on an NXNE showcase. I don’t want to keep the blog too heavy considering I started it off with photo of me and a dildo. Like to keep things light around here.
I wanted to throw in an Afterword regarding the situation.
Since going public with the depth of my alcoholism I’ve been faced with many difficult decisions and it’s been personally liberating and scary. I owe the booker a big thank you for booting me off this show. The reason why we make mistake after mistake after mistake is because your consequences didn’t outweigh your desire to make those mistakes.
We talked on the phone that day and he was extremely understanding and forgiving and had some good thoughts to share. I understand from his perspective why he made the decision he inevitably made. I have made no excuses for myself and I am taking my lumps. He assured me we would still work together in the future and for that I am very grateful because this is a guy I get along with and enjoy the company of. It’s just unfortunate I got drunk and disrespected him and his company.
Here’s some stray thoughts I’ve had over the past 48 hours
- I can’t drink anymore, I need to be proactive
- I feel terrible for wronging other people and I can’t shake that sort of shame
- I can’t wait until my next show to do what I do best and make people laugh
- Extra bonus if one of the comics can make me laugh
- I’m going to be open-minded about AA this time
- Though I’m iffy on the God stuff I’m attracted to the mentorship element of the program and could see myself having a strong impact on those in the same situation I’m in now
- I want to smack myself over the head for being so personal online but it gives me nowhere to hide, all I ever do is hide.
- I’m on my way to being a professional. Not yet, but one day, and this sort of life lesson is ten times more worthwhile than any festival show. Sure I would have killed it but in the end I’m off to address the shit that’s killing me.
- The two big questions in my head is why did I STOP doing the things I loved (volunteering, community involvement, event coordinating, etc) and why did I START doing the things I hate (the drinking, the pills, and other forms of self abuse)?
It’s comforting to know that millions of people have gone through this journey and now I get to go on this journey too. I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life but I’ve also never been more assured in who I am as a person. I care about consequences and kills me to know I hurt others. When I drink that holds me back from being a good comedian, a role model to younger comedians, and a role model to younger alcoholics. I’ve always had that leader bug inside me but I tuck it away because I don’t know what it means but sometimes you have to open up Door #1 to find out what’s on the other side.
Sobriety is a part of my life now and I will be discussing it candidly as well as my comedy shows, my pug, and the weird things I find growing on potatoes.
If you’re an alcoholic and you haven’t said it out loud yet. Don’t wait to lose an opportunity your own mother was proud of just because you wanted to drink.
Someone told me yesterday to “think before I drink”. I would also like to add “…and then play with your dink!”
Peace, Love, and Pancakes.
I wrote this on Facebook addressing a recent relapse I had. I’m an alcoholic and that’s a bad thing.
You can read what I wrote here:
"Hey everyone. I’m just going to be transparent and honest about this. I won’t be doing the June 16 NXNE show due to the bad behaviour I displayed last week when I got too drunk at someone else’s show. I’ve been open before about how this is a problem for me but haven’t given updates because I would like to project that I’m getting better and not worse but to be honest it’s a bit of both. There are really good days and really bad days and in this case there are consequences. I am very sorry for wronging other people especially comics I respect and look up to. I have been bone sober since Friday and I am proud of my 4 days of sobriety. The longest I went was 46 days and then I got to a point where I was justifying drinking "socially" again and then inevitably it stopped being that. I’ve only said the words "I’m an alcoholic" a few times out loud because I’m embarrassed for who I am when I drink and ashamed of myself. This is just me being honest about it. I’m glad the booker of the show got a hold of me and told me I was no longer allowed on the show do to my drunken behaviour. Sometimes you need tangible evidence to hold onto as a reminder as to why staying sober is important. I might go to some "open" meetings this week if anyone wants to come with me. I know I need to make sobriety a part of my reality and ultimately kiss alcohol goodbye.
I know a few of you told me you were going to that NXNE show and were proud of me for getting into the festival. Please still go to that show! It has a great lineup of comics and you’ll get to feel the buzz of the festival. It’ll be great.
So let this be a lesson in mistakes. We make them and there are consequences but the worst thing you can do is get stuck in a circle of the same old mistakes. We’re past this. I’m past being a drunken idiot and to be honest it shames my character because I work hard to treat people with kindness and respect and alcohol undoes all of that.
Again, for anyone I may have wronged last week, please contact me privately so I can apologize personally. I honestly don’t remember all that was said and done.
Thanks for reading. Take care of yourselves and hopefully you can learn from my mistakes. And hopefully I will too.”
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