Situated amongst the many terrace houses in Darlinghurst is a clinic, it’s a renovated terrace house. The staff there assists the homeless to get housing, and they help them get back into mainstream society. They also give vitamins to the down-and-out’s who want them. The clinic also has shower facilities for people to use. It might seem strange to some however, many of the homeless have resided themselves to living a life on the streets. The clinic was their home away from home. They were happy enough to use the showers, and take the vitamins that were freely available. It’s still open today however they no longer give out vitamins, a funding problem.
One day while I was at the clinic a guy pulled out a knife, and lunged at me. Fortunately I wasn’t smashed, which was a rare moment, and even better that I was able to sort the moron out. It was a close call. Another centimeter and he would have got me and he would have been the one to come out on top. The councilors who worked at the clinic were the first people to tell me about detox. A place where people who had the problems I was having could go and get help.
Two years after finding out about this vital information I acted on it. Is it any wonder my life was a nightmare? It could have been worse, and I have since made up for my lack of actions. No action, no life is the way I view things these days, and I don’t think I’ve got that one wrong. Although I often say, “things could be worse”. I sometimes, think a better things to say is, “things could be a lot better”.
My consumption had become so great that in order to live I was almost dead, and that’s the state I was in when I arrived at my first detox. I pretty much fell through the front door. The staff was familiar with clients turning up totally fucked, although most didn’t. However no surprises for them when some one did. How else was I going to get there? I just didn’t have wat it takes to turn up without knowing where I was really going. Also far as I was concerned it was the last time I was going to use drugs so I took so many as I could get. The memories of my first day in detox are too vague to recall. No big deal, there’s many days of my life which I just don’t know what happened. I figure that maybe a good thing.
The hard yards for anyone in detox starts when the effects of alcohol and the drugs have worn off. Which in my case was the following day. Welcome to hell. Detoxing without the help of medication is a horrible drawn out painful hideous feeling that I thought was never going to end. It’s just too much. However for every action apparently there is an opposite, and equal reaction. The really bad news is that there is usually more than one hideous stuff up experience of detoxing before the pain associated with talking drugs becomes greater than the pain of not using them. That’s only for the lucky ones. I guess I was lucky. Wow, I wonder what the unlucky ones had to endure. I was an awful mess and so tied. All I’ve ever really wanted is for my life to have some reason and contentment and somewhere I could call home would be nice.
Some normality without all the bullshit dramas would also be welcome.
I’d reached a point in my life where my behaviour needed a complete coverhaul. I didn’t know it at the time however I was an addicted to the lifestyle as as I was the drugs. I wasn’t much of a lifestyle. First I had to change my thinking, and I’d done far too much damage for that to be an easy thing to do. After years of addiction, alcoholism, self-hatred, and the rest of it I was crazy. I had left a significant trail of carnage. In some respects I wasn’t all that different to any other addicted person. Although I was out of balance long before I took drugs and then there was the carnage I left behind. Which in anyone’s language would be considered excessive. For a few years the violence was a daily occurrence and often in the extreme. The number of people who finished up with broken bones is staggering. Most people would have difficulty believing just how many there were. The only thing that surprises me is that no one died. More than a few went about as close to death as you can get. However I guess they weren’t meant to die.
I was unbalanced, unpredictable, and had little idea of my own reality. This wasn’t all bad news because to face up to all the damage I did in one sitting would have been just too much to cope with. I would have gone completely mad. As it was I did get worse before I even looked like getting better, which apparently is just part of the recovery process. It’s a thought I sometimes ponder, and think how close to the point of no return was I?
The only way I knew how to live in my own body was to use copious amounts of drugs. When I stopped the self-medicating, life for sometime was almost unbearable.
Aesthetically the detox was very pleasant. It had a great garden, and the patio was magnificent, a place where I spent most of my time. There were a few interesting characters who I met while I was there. The worst of them I seemed to get along with the best. It’s been like that for most of my life so nothing new there. It was late summer, Mardi Grai week. A week when the homosexuals celebrate being homosexual, something I don’t get but anyway. The food was great, and there were even biscuits to have with coffee. It had been a long time since I’d had a decent meal, with coffee and biscuits. What a treat. I felt like I was on a holiday resort. Something I haven’t experienced yet however I had imagined it had some similarities.
While I was still wired I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. However when the drugs left me and I was introduced to group therapy that soon changed. A bunch of losers, sitting often in a circle, talking about how fucked up their lives are, and this was going to help me?
I thought I’de just left hell. In my first therapy group the councilor who was running the show asked me to tell the group members about myself, which I did. Well I at least attempted to do. However, after a few minutes of talking she lost control and began screaming at me. Then threw me out of her group. I couldn’t believe it! I was at a loss, my first therapy group and Im thrown out. I was only talking about my life, which she asked me to do, and giving the censored version at that. What the hell did they want me to do, lie?
Fortunately another councilor came over and spoke to me, and put things in perspective for me. I think it worked, although I only attended one other group walking out. It’s not as if I had to organise a removal truck or anything . I simply picked up my one bag and walked out.
During my five day stay they did tell me I’m a person who should never take drugs of any description. Well they probably say that to all the losers that come through, screw me sideways. Their stand response to all their clients, however they did have a point. There was one other significant thing which happened to me while I was there, and maybe it’s the only reason I was there. I sorta believe in that things happen for a reason. I’d been there coming up to four or five days. It was in the afternoon and I was about to walk up the stairs heading to my bedroom. At the same time a guy at the top of the stairs was about to walk down, that was until he spotted me. He turned white and just froze.
I thought the guy was a nutcase, which didn’t concern me. They were easily handled so began climbing the stairs. However, what happened next did take me by surprise because I’d never seen this guy in my life. He knew my name, is it okay if I walk down the stairs he asked. “Sure it is mate,” I replied in a casual way. “Are you sure it’s okay?” he asked again. “Where do I know you from, buddy,” I replied in a more severe tone. When he told me I understood his concern. Although some ten years had passed since I’d last been there. I had made more of an impact than I ever had realised. I knew that my behaviour had an effect on others because it was too wild not too. I just didn’t realise the severity of the impact. Maybe I should have because it was a period in my life when I was well, let’s say, I lacked humanity.
That encounter did make me think some. At one time I thought being known as a guy not to cross with was a good thing, in fact very good. Considering what I was doing at the time I was probably on the money. However, ten years later I had a different take on it. I preferred to be the invisible man. Didn’t I have some work ahead of me? I walked into that detox a mess, and now I was walking out with the realization that I needed to change. For that I guess it served it’s purpose.
I left the detox, and all things considered I wasn’t feeling that bad. I only had then dollars to my name. I needed somewhere to live. So I headed back to the clinic in Darlinghurst to see if anyone there could help me. The staff there did say if I was clean and sober they would help me find somewhere to live and it turned ou they were telling the truth. Things were beginning to look up.
I was told about a place that fitted my criteria, and it happened to have a vacancy. I gave them a call, and later that day I moved in.
Basically it was a few guys who had taken the plunge into the spiritual world of no longer drinking and taking drugs. It was a disaster. They were closer to Pluto than any spiritual enlightenment. By the way Pluto is the farthest planet from earth, and it will remain that way for another two hundred and twenty three years or so. I left after six weeks and moved into a three bedroom apartment with one of the guys I’d met there.
Don was probably the most insane out of them all however I knew I would be able to get along with him. For the next thirteen months the new apartment was my home. After a few weeks of living there I was beginning to feel normal, or what I thought was normal. I was paying rent, buying groceries, and any other bills I had were getting paid on time. This is what normal people do, I thought. Money was scarce because I didn’t have a job however I was managing. I joined the local gym and spent most days at the beach. Within a few short months I was looking very good. My old life was history. Although your former life could be refunded in full at anytime.
While I was in detox I was introduced to AA meetings. The staff said they would help and they were right. I enjoyed the meetings, it was like going to a live theatre. Not that I’d ever been to a liver show before that was to come much later. However, that’s how I envisaged they would be. The humor in people’s stories, although mostly black is what kept me going to them. The fact that they were clean and sober, and seemed happy about it is something I didn’t really give a lot of thought too.
So the problem wasn’t about the amount of alcohol or drugs I took it was rather why I took them. It’s no mystery that drinking enough alcohol will change the way anyone feels, add drugs and the change is considerably more dramatic. I just wanted to feel good, and never did unless I was wired. Why else would I drink or take drugs? The drugs were needed simply because the alcohol wasn’t enough.
I was going to six meetings a week, and training at the gym four days a week, and in between I was going to the beach. All things considered I thought I was doing quiet well. The people at the meetings were nice enough although I didn’t have a lot to do with them. I wasn’t there to make friends, or enemies for that matter. I attended them, and pretty much minded my own business, which is something that I’m good at. I wish more people could do it.
I went to a meeting one day and saw a girl who I’d never seen there before. It was hard not to notice her, she was tall attractive and had some style about her. They don’t come around like this everyday, I thought. I left it at that because I’ve never been really into the chasing after girls game. I think it was something to do with arrogance. If they want me they can do the chasing, other than that I couldn’t be bothered. I’ve done okay with it so far. Over the next three months we exchanged the usual pleasantries, and I would have been happy to leave it at that. However, she was showing a little more interest as time was going by. So one night about six months after first talking to her I asked her out. It was a pleasant night, and at the end of it I escorted her home and that was that.
Sometime after that I stayed that night at her place and a few months after that she moved in with me. Not a good move. Now I was in a relationship, which is something I knew not much about. Being locked to the one girl wasn’t in my plans. We were living together for about three months before I met her parents. I’ve never been big on meeting parents. I liken it to a job interview, and I avoid those like the plague.
It was a Saturday and the sun was making a stand. Out of the blue Angela asked if I’d like to go for a boat ride. “You have a boat” I asked. “Yes”, she replied and pretty much left it at that. I it was good weather for it, and it was years since I’d been out in a boat so we headed to her parents house where her boat was moored.
Her parents had a magnificent house on the waterfront. In the garage were two Rolls Royce’s and Mercedes Benz. I didn’t know about these either. I walked in and met her parents, who were conservative to say the least. I couldn’t imagine what they were thinking when they set eye’s on me. I looked like I used steroids, and was into heavy metal bands. No for both, I trained hard and I’m not into people who nod their heads vigorously more than three times.
Angela was from a wealthy family, and had traveled extensively and experienced some of the finer things in life. Skiing in some of the world’s best resorts and flying her Dad’s Learjet were considered normal. Loot gives you a lot of choices, and her dad a huge amount of it. We took the inclinator down to the wharf. An inclinator is a lift of sorts, and as we were traveling down to the mooring I was dreaming about owning one. Angela’s boat was a six metre speedboat, which was once used as the life raft for her Dad’s boat.
Within a few minutes we were cruising the waterways. Angela knew how to handle a speedboat, and without any discussions she thrust the lever to full speed and headed straight for the rocks. At the very last second she reefed the steering wheel and swung the boat around. After a few minutes of her doing this I was becoming agitated. I don’t do well when other people are in control of my life in what I consider dangerous situations, fun or no fun. I told her to take me back to land, no argument from her. Over the next few years we went in her boat less than a handful of times, and never again like that.
I don’t know if Angela’s parents ever thought I was thinking about the money they had. I wasn’t. Ten years earlier I was in a similar situation. Nice girl, parents were loaded. It was while I was in the army. There are some girls out there who just love a man in uniform, even if he is insane. One of my army mates introduced me to his girlfriends’s friend, what a disaster.
We went around to her house, which was a very pleasant two-storey house in one of the finer suburbs of Brisbane. Downstairs they had a magnificent snooker table. I very much enjoyed playing snooker. My skill was far above average although I wasn’t quiet good enough to win any championships. They also had an inground swimming pool, which was worth trying out. The whole downstairs area was designed to cater for parties. Their snooker table kept me going back far longer than I should have. It didn’t help that her parents were happy for me to bring my friends along, so I did and we partied hard. Sometimes I would bring along twenty to thirty people.
Tanya and her parents became quiet attached to me, god knows why. I know I can liven things up, however Tanya wanted to marry me. Her parents were encouraging the idea. I only wanted a game of snooker. I never sent out the message that I wanted to marry her. I guess people see and hear what they want. I was offered many things including a waterfront house, a position within the company and plenty of loot. I declined the lot and moved well away. The whole thing was a bit of an ordeal really. They had me followed, investigated and even questioned by my mates, some of who gave information freely. Friends can you trust them?
It was an interesting time in my life. There are guys out there who dream of this happening to them, and to some it does. However, I just couldn’t do it, its just not my go. A number of my friends were envious of my situation, which took me by surprise. Maybe it shouldn’t have but it did. I sacked them as friends. I’ve never liked jealous people. I figure the world owes no one a living.
You want something, then get off your backside and make it happen is my philosophy. So I wasn’t prepared to sell myself, the price wasn’t right. I would have considered a night or two however a whole lifetime was out of the question.
So Angela’s parents had nothing to worry about as far as me being around for the money, and maybe they never were. As far as there thinking I was a lunatic. Well I needed more time to prepare my case. Not soon after Angela moved in she moved out, and I was happy that she did. It was always going to be a disaster however it’s so easy to overlook reality in times of excitement. We continued to run into each other from time to time. It didn’t help that Angela decided to join the same gym as me. As a result of all this it wasn’t long before we decided to get back together and try the relationship thing again. What a stupid thing to do, if it didn’t work the first time it’s not going to work the second, third or whatever time. That’s simply the way it is when it comes to relationships, certainly in most cases. Unfortunately I choose to ignore common sense, and I guess Angela did too. So now I’m back in a relationship, which I think is going to workout, however it never will.