quitting again !

the worse scene
Originally uploaded by jayfherron

Quitting Again…
open another farewell beer
and tell this one goodbye
how many is this this year?
another farewell lie

oh you drunken waste
just give me one more drink
I just need just
one more taste,and lots of time to think

think of what
you’ve thought it all
you’re trying to forget
you’ve drunk a bottle miles tall
and have nt finished yet

The complications of eluding dependence of substances and alcohol have troubled me most of my adult life.
I do proudly confess that I fall subject to about a six pack of beer a week…proudly because it is a far cry from the twelve pack a day I once drank .
I usually become full and sleepy after three-now a days…but I can recall so very many times trying to believe I could drive and manage my way home-this usually after one of those twelve packs I mentioned.
Drinking was not the only sack of stones that kept sinking me…I troubled for a long few years of cocaine addiction-so badly that after I quit I could see a certain car that looked like my former dealers car and just the site of that automobile would set off a rush of want…I want that long line of coke going up my nose.

Theres just no way except unless you’ve been on this same stool…if I may ad a pun,to explain how the clutches of these powdered elements and brewed fluids can take a hold of you and make moments easier to live-forgetting that life is longer than just moments.

I wrote the above poem in August 1981. I remember the morning I penned it-I had awaken to the feeling I was embalmed-the alcohol from the night before…from just hours before-still remained in my blood stream and lasted most of that day. As usual.
I was so sick of trying to quit…saying each time that this is the last. Havng to take a drink early in the day to take the edge off….the hair of the dog that bit you!
The additctions were terrible…seemingly soft and gentle with tons of fun,but they held me as they hold others-in a lie. A very interesting lie because the first person you tell it to-that you convince…is yourself!
And then the lie gets practiced and so well that as an addict we try to convince others of the truth….confused?
That’s what it is…confused.

Cigerettes were a favorite-they were ‘acceptable’ and accessable and always with in reach with my Zippo sitting on top of the pack-ready.
When I was trucking those smokes were with in reach all of the time.They were there the first thing in the morning-the absolute very first thing…wake up and reach for the pack.
That ended Janurary 31st 1998 at 10:30 in the morning in Kendleville Indiana. I was just finished unloading a machine across the state line in Ohio and as we drove west I kept feeling that I had this bad chest cold-so I went to an ER to get some anti-biotics.
That was’nt what I needed-my chest was screaming for bloody mercy…I was having a heart attack at 46 years of age,the next day I suffered a stroke.
That stroke is my constant reminder of my limits…my left side permanantly damaged from the resting blood clot in my brain. I have no real use of my left hand-it is as clumsy as a rock.
Interesting-after many years of being smoke free I realize how awfully bad the things made everything stink….we always heard it-but just thought it was ‘non-smokers syndrome’ of being a preacher against the foul things.
Now I know I always smelled like hot piss on asphalt-yeah,thats what it smells like!
At the VA hospital entrance where all the vets sit and wait and smoke…you can smell it from the bottom of the steps and almost twenty feet away it just grabs you. The stink.
I got a sign in my drive that says ‘Please’ ‘No Smoking’ that seems to go ignored by every smoker that I know who visits. They all go steps aside off into the distance to light up-thinking its the smoke thats offensive…its not the immediate smoke,it is the left over fall out that collects over a period of time. It builds up-on your skin-and hair…in your house-away from your house. I can smell my friends house from the end of thier driveway-it too smells like urine cooking on hot asphalt.
As a former trucker I can relate to that smell because of the piss on the black top in a truck stop parking lot…as it cooks in the sun it lifts this odor….a cigerette smell of day after day of smoking.
I finally had to put the sign up because the smoke of another friend was collecting and my son had finally asked me if I started smoking again?? That said something to me.

I did’nt begin this to go off on cigeterettes. It is just that it helps to broaden the understand of addiction to those who might be stuck on cig’s and want to quit and can’t…they can get a simple idea of the power an addiction has over a junky’.
I can also say-my having gone through addictions and beating the battle does not always mean the battle is beat. I stayed off of cocaine after a full year of extensive counseling only to bend by face over a mirror ten years later to suck up a line of crystle – meth in my nose…a tool of the trade for hauling cows cross country,or so it seemed.
It really said something to me that I went ten full years with out any powdered substance in my nose-and it only took a second for me to poof that out of fact.
It seemed it had a lot to do with who I was around.
It got to make me think about it…why I kept wanting to damage myself and most likely because I suffered from damages done to me and needed these substitutes to adjust my thoughts and make me cheerful and likeable…when actually I was a bigger loser than I knew because at the time I was doing a hundred bucks a night up my nose my young sons were getting 45 cent packages of spanish rice for dinners.
I robbed them so many times.
Funny crazy thing is…I did not have a job that paid me 100 dollars a day to suck up my nose…so I was bigger NO good than I could see. And did not care…because I was telling myself the biggest lie.

The battle was taken care of the day I had the stroke-finally. I cannot say the “want to” went away…but the “going to ” is definantly overseen by the effects the stroke had on me.

These last few years I have come to a place where I like to have a few dark beers. I have had one or two yellow beers and the taste is no longer there. I had heard once on NPR that dark beer has these sediments that are’nt filtered to make the yellow beer….and these sediments can help keep our arteries clearer. Okay…I can go for that,and fortunantly-a few dark beers fill you up more than the yellow ones do,so….

I think of the many reasons why I thought getting high was the thing to do….the easy escape from having to look at the reality. The night after my brother was killed I took a large bottle of whiskey and drank it until I was vomiting all over a neighbor ladys new shag carpet.
The next morning I felt like shit-and my brother was still dead….
I know that I got into drugs after discharge from the Navy…to mask the horrors of all that happened. I don’t think at first it was that way-but after learning what drugs could do they became the requirement to a part of my survival. My life came to evolve around drinking and getting high and escape.

It took a long time and a lot of effort to get to this point of sobriety. I will fully admit-I am not a sober person…fully,but my management of it is far far better then it has ever been.
It has to be since the heart attack I had in 1993 ( my first warning sign five years ahead of time) when hauling cattle that the last time my nose saw powdered drugs…16 years,that ain’t bad!
I am pleased to be able to limit my beers…I never drink high test booze-never really liked it, but I do admit my body screams for medication…not for getting away from things-
but from getting away from the physical pain.

I don’t have any one general point that I’m trying to make here…I just have recently read some of my ‘connections’ troubles with drugs…troubles with lives….and I see it in my own friends with drinking,I hardly know if I know any one any more that does hard drugs-but I see the way drinking takes over and the struggle every one has with cigerettes…they are so hard to quit.
It is really sad for us who survive the tragic times of our lives-we are never fully healed.
I came to think about this last night.
All the drugs I spent money and lost life on were at the expense of what happened while at barraks D ( where I was raped ) and each time I wanted to escape that and found myself a placstic wrapped gram of crank-or coke (cocaine)…I fell back into it-lived it over on purpose (I refer to it as DAMAGE CONTROL) ….like the housewife that gets beat up and returns to get beat up again or the teen who uses razor blades for peace of mind-that is simular to what I was doing….to be harmed.
It came to my mind last night that I’m not healed from it…there are still things that call out to me like whispers from little voices on my shoudler leaning in to my ear and leading me on-enticement…

No…I’m not going to fall into the use of drugs again. Each time I did that to myself my attackers win-they still have control…they still are dominating my life. But the thing that confounds me the most is how HARD it is to be clear of ALL of the things we want to escape.

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