Part One: From Tween to Conduit.
To be honest this article is being written for completely selfish reasons. In this time it would seem that most people have their own customized alcoholic sob story fleshed out and made satirical enough to share casually… nice and coated in sarcasm and nihilism. That or they cop to the cornerstone of all excuses “Everybody does it.” Personally, I have spent many years perfecting my justification rant only to end up at a point of blowing the “Bullshit Horn” inside my own mind. That is the current state of things, none of the facets of my own psyche can agree as to “what the thing is” with booze. Why can’t I control the consumption past a certain point? What is that point actually? What triggers the urge to consume? How is it honestly affecting the body, mind, soul connection? Why the need to feel altered? Am I benefiting in ANY way from consuming this shit? And on and on go the questions I’ve debated mentally to death. The horse got shot years ago and here I am still beating it with my sharing stick. All that has culminated into the psychological version of a computer error message and a massive pixelated question mark. Embracing the social drinker life style doesn’t work, setting rules and regulations doesn’t work, abstinence doesn’t work… So wtf?
Years of compounded self deceit leaves one with a pretty cluster-fucked internal dialogue. There are so many different versions of my life stories, each version with a different subconscious aim, I don’t even remember what actually happened half the time. Hyperbolic recounting and manipulative emissions are par-and-parcel for storytelling in the 21st century but the fucked up part is when self awareness gets overridden by sub-contextual motive. I’m not entirely sure I haven’t hypnotized myself into believing several non-events have actually happened just by sheer repetition of bullshit “epic” tales. This fuck-up-ery was born out of the incredibly egotistical state achieved through long term heavy drinking. The version of my personality born from this “bad habit” has developed into a full fledged alter ego and she’s a fucking psychopath. At this point it appears that “she” isn’t the only entity that glides through the open door from the dark recesses of my mind to the pilot seat when I crack a nice cold one… I need to get brutally honest with myself and whomever decides to read my rambling gets to come along for the journey. Humor me?
A little history on my relationship with alcohol might be necessary. Up until my first drink at 13 I was a sorrily naive, sweet, honest young girl. A bit of an obsession with masturbation and television, as well as social media and boys, but no major kinks in the chain of my day to day existence. Grew up in a large Canadian coal and drug funded Gotham-esque city, but always in the most cookie cutter neighborhoods. Friends and acquaintances had abusive parents, drug problems, lived on the street on and off but I only ever observed from a distance. Curious but too afraid of everything to delve very far into substances or debauchery in general. Drugs can kill people and death is terrifying so why go there? Pretty safe and standard logic… But then, around age 11, my father’s mother died abruptly. Turns out she had been feeling ill for months but was just trying to soldier through in order to keep the focus of the family on my grandfather who had also been sick for a time.
That’s the impression anyway. So this amazing woman I always looked up to, who taught me most skills, who made me feel safe and was always my biggest fan was gone. Just randomly. It was Halloween, my favorite holiday, had a fantastic night of softcore tween partying with friends and way too much sugar… woke up the next morning and my mom told me “Grandma is in the hospital” later that week she died. Turns out she was riddled with stomach cancer of the worst sort. The doctors only found that out when they decided that she probably had a tangled intestine or some shit, only to open her up and find the motherload. It was essentially too late to do anything, she died a day or so after. This was the first death I really experienced in any personal way and it fucked my head UP. I couldn’t understand how someone who was so part of life as I knew it could just be gone suddenly. Shook the foundations of reality.
Anything could change at any moment and there was almost nothing I could do to control it. Anxiety and depression became the themes of most days. Insomnia due to the fear of suddenly dying in sleep, hypochondria, “googlitis”, germophobia, OCD and all that kilt. The days of sunshine and lollipops had been brutally murdered and replaced with an imagination hellscape. The beginning of my “Loss of Innocence” was aggressive and yet hidden, glossed over by seemingly normal puberty symptoms and teen angst. Reclusive, irritable and generally complacent I started investing more time in hanging out with friends and less in creativity or school work. I really didn’t want to give myself space to think, distractions were key. And then I found the ultimate solution- Alcohol. That shit could quite down an entire arena of commentary! Not only that it made socializing easier for a kid riddled with closet anxieties and fears. I’m not even sure what my first drink was but I know the first time I got drunk. Vodka. The cunt of all hard liquors. My friends and I mixed it with some fruity pop and walked around the neighbourhood for hours. I didn’t think about the scary dark shit in the back of my mind even once. Even falling over and bashing my head seemed funny. And hell, then I was sick and passed out. Next day I didn’t even have a hangover and could just do it all over again. What a revelation!
So far this probably seems like pretty standard white people problems. Which it basically is and always had been. I kept drinking at and steadily increasing rate, everyday for months at a time. Mostly unbeknownst to my parents and family. Crazy, party type friends became my best friends because hell they were always down to sneak around, steal booze and drink. Generally able to keep my grades up and be nice enough to my family no one was the wiser. Soon the ego-monster started to develop, I thought I was untouchable. Now even death seemed like it couldn’t touch me and I became more and more manipulative to get what I wanted. Lying became a sport. Sex became a power play. Slutty clothes and raunchy low quality electronic music encapsulated my weekends. Sneaking into clubs with fake I.Ds my list of “friends” began to expand due to my more than generous weekly allowance. I didn’t shy away from buying booze for anyone who would keep me from loneliness and thinking. All the things I had known to be bad behaviors became “cool” and being selfish was “tough”. I thought i could control people and their thoughts, that doing whatever I wanted was justifiable through self expression and gaining experience. I even convinced myself that I could evade Karma by accepting my own actions as human nature. Nothing to be done for it. “This is who I am and everyone else can just deal.”
Then I ended up in the hospital… I was about 17 and dating a local DJ who was a couple years my senior. From up on the pedestal I so faithfully built for this boy, he could sway me in almost every way imaginable. His lifestyle brought me to a higher level of high school grade “cool crowd” and easier access to partying and alcohol. In actuality he never invited me or my friends to his parties for the longest time (teen time, actual time line about a month or two) and when he finally did it almost killed me. More correctly my attention seeking nihilism and ego based flippancy almost killed me. A bunch of us were pre-partying at a friends house, I was chomping at the bit to get going but the rest all wanted to show up fashionably late. Naturally the anxiety and social platitude lead to my chugging a mickey of vodka in 20 minutes and then jumping the gun to go alone. First mistake.
I showed up without my blow cushioning posse to a house full of older people that were completely exceeding my realm of “coolness”. The abrupt arrival and early level of intoxication threw Mr.DJdreamboat off kilter. Looking back on it he must have figured I’d inevitably make a fool of myself and him. Best to just ignore the eyesore then… Thinking I would spend my night as young arm candy attached to the center of attention and instead finding myself rejected and ignored sent me through a bit of a loop. My newly structured egomaniac dream self just couldn’t reconcile expectation and reality. Diligently cracking the cap on a party gift of 26 ounces premium vodka I started a self pity party in the vacant recesses of some randoms house. Thinking I was being relatively covert I began drawing more and more attention due to sloppiness and desperate attempts to regain my boyfriend’s affections. Climaxing in a moment of being passed out while guys made crude gestures over my head and took pictures (eventually plastered all over the newly sprouted Facebook), tapering of into multiple attempts by the boyfriend to shove me into a cab (thankfully every cabbie that showed up was a dad and refused the fuck out of driving some non responsive female teenager in torn slut gear anywhere) and finally ending in my mother and Mormon step brother coming to pick me up.
They took my home thinking I was just the newly normal level of post party passed out. After a few hours of non-responsiveness my mom got worried enough to call 911. In a classic reality TV level shit show, two ambulances and a fire truck showed up on my doorstep in the middle of one of Edmonton’s most gossip fed, foofy, high brow neighbourhoods. As you can imagine the community titillation was vastly increased by this commotion and dramatic exit. I was so KO’d that it took 4 fire fighters to lift my dead weight piece-of-shit self into the ambulance. My blood alcohol level was 3 times the legal limit, I had puked all over Mr. DJdreamboat (something that brings me great joy to look back on) so the medical personnel couldn’t pump my stomach. I would just have to ride the 48 hour drunk out. In some weird twist of fate it just so happened that my entire family on my mother’s side was staying at our house to prepare for a family reunion. My arrival home was followed by hours of listening to each member express their concern and lack of understanding for why I would want to “kill myself”. Interesting that that was the common conclusion. I must’ve wanted to kill myself. Right.
Truthfully I believe now that I couldn’t handle that level of rejection. It was too big of a failure in my pursuit of EPICNESS. Plague of the modern teens. Everything should be epic and therefore in reality nothing is… what a slap in the face. After this episode, mr.djdreamboat successively cheated on me with a mutual friend and then dumped my ass over the phone. Should be noted that this was the first person I ever had sex with, and the first person I thought I loved. It seems to be the way that if a person’s first relationship ends in infidelity that person either vows a) to never cheat on anyone EVER! Or b) to never give a shit or get truly vulnerable in a relationship again. I went for the latter option.
Highly talked up years of mediocre sex, infidelity, booze and cigarettes began to drift by, occasionally peaking in a near death experience (usually due to drinking and driving). Apathetic and romantically self deluded I regained my interest in art and writing. Honestly, mostly, out of the desire to be interesting to other people. I wanted others to love me and for it to not affect me. My neopagan knowledge and research on the occult arts developed new expressions as well. One night, after a bottle or two of red wine, I came to on my parents dining room floor surrounded by what appeared to be some sort of ritual, not quite satanic but definitely not light work either. A circle drawn and imbued with vodou-esque symbols, rock salt, red candles, an assortment of crystals, pendulum… and a bloodied knife? Oh and the quartz inclusion on my favorite palm sized amethyst was dark and muddied. After a long moment of confusion I surmised that I had created a ritual to blood bind this crystal entity with my own. While blackout drunk. This is where the plot starts to leave the cliche, coming of age struggle with substance abuse…
(to be continued)
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