Tea in the Morning

I finally got to sleep this morning at about 2:30 AM and had many bizarre and disturbing dreams. I saw my Mother in these dreams, and she was upset because something had happened to Dad. I woke up a couple times and finally got out of bed at seven. I am not tired, but feel strung out from my long night.

It’s light outside now so I took Junior for his morning walk. He got fixated on something under the picnic bench, probably a mouse, and pulled like a son of a bitch trying to get under the thing. I had a time pulling him off his obsessive drive.

They are working on the water line across the street this morning after a break of almost a week. Hopefully they don’t fuck anything up with the wires, knock on wood. The farmer was out for the last two nights plowing up the field there, so it looks like he is going to plant something this year. I was wondering a bit whether they were going to start building houses now that utilities are coming through.

I have another cup of tea. Junior is skulking around the room now looking for more food. It is dark and dreary this morning and more rain is on the way. I am going to give sobriety a chance today and not buy any alcohol. The shit just ends up shutting me down and things end up fucked over in some way. I don’t even know why alcohol is legal with all the problems it causes.

I spent some time last night and this morning reading people’s blog posts about journal writing and mental illness. Maybe someday I will write about my own adventures in mental wards and in the world with a highly-stigmatizing mental illness of my own. Aside from my addiction, I am doing well these days.

My plan for the day is to watch my diet and get some exercise. I will probably stick to veggie smoothies and some pea soup this morning. I had some scrambled eggs last night at about 11:30, but don’t feel the need for more this morning. I have been doing some light weightlifting, but I need to step up my game on that. I also need to keep away from liquid calories as they are fucking up my program. I know I say this a lot, but I am done with booze. I am going to make this journal a chronicle of my journey from poverty and isolation to the better life that lies in my future.

Sleepless Night

It is warm tonight for early spring and a gentle rain is falling. I have been drinking tea and having snacks this evening instead of being passed out in bed for 12 hours. I suppose this is one of the side effects of ethanol, disturbed sleep, but that bottle wore off nine hours ago. I just have some thinking to do tonight and need some quality time for myself.

I watched part of a lecture tonight on how to write academic papers. You start with a problem that matters to people who might read your work and then propose a solution. This gives your writing value. Well, this journal seems to be about nothing but my own problems lately. I have no real solution for my problems, aside from putting an end to the behaviors that cause the problems in the first place.

One problem I had earlier this year is that my friend got me hooked on smoking for a while there. It was a real problem because not only is smoke addictive, it also costs a lot of money I don’t have. I tried quitting a dozen times, after every pack ran out, but I burned through a lot of my money buying smoke that does nothing but pollute my lungs. It has been about a month now I have been off the smoke, and I had a little help.

With almost my last $15 I bought a small container of nicotine lozenges. When I got the urge to smoke I sucked on a lozenge until the nicotine hit me and the craving was satisfied. Then I wrapped the lozenge up in a piece of foil and put it in my pocket. It took 2 weeks, but in the end I only used two lozenges in those two weeks, and I haven’t bought smokes since.

I wish there was some way to do the same thing with ethanol. Yes, there is naltrexone, or vivitrol, but I am already on dopamine and serotonin blockers and don’t want to block my endorphins as well. Kava seems to cut my cravings for booze, and I have some on the way later today. I went almost three days before this morning, but failed at staying off the sauce. Today I start over. Today I beat this thing and find happiness in the creatures around me.

My dog creature Junior has taken over my bed. He’s curled up with my pillow. He snores a little now and then and twitches in his dreams. It’s after one AM now and I am still not tired despite the cup of chamomile tea. I have been sleeping 12 hours a night for the last month or more it seems, so one sleepless night won’t bother me. What I need to do is read some of the blogs here on WordPress and find other people who write about their life. This is a personal journal, and these are my thoughts. Make of them what you will.

A Scanner Darkly

A Scanner Darkly is perhaps my favorite novel by Philip K. Dick. Published in 1977, it is one of the later books Dick wrote before his death in 1982. The novel depicts a drug culture set in the future of 1994 and is based on his own experiences living with drug users in the early 1970s. The main character, Bob Arctor, is both a drug user and an undercover agent tasked with finding the source of a drug called “Substance D,” slow death.

I first read this novel in 1980 when I was getting into going to book stores and starting my collection of books. The novel is interesting and fast paced, and I spent the night reading the book in my basement in one long session. Over the years I lost that first copy of the novel, but I later purchased a re-issue. I think over the years I have re-read this novel four or five times. I saw the movie they made of this that came out in 2006, but the movie would have been impossible to follow without having read the book.

A Scanner Darkly is in many ways an indictment of the drug subculture and portrays drug users in a realistic and unflattering light. The novel is an allegory of the drug using population and the rehabilitation centers that profit off the misery caused by addiction. It is ironic that the ultimate source of Substance D is also the rehab center where the brain damaged addicts are sent by the government. In the end nothing is done about the drug, as the agent who discovers the source is at that time so damaged by his own addiction that he can do nothing meaningful with his knowledge.

In some ways I wish I had never read this novel, and in some ways it was prophetic for my own life. I have had many of my own experiences with drug users and can see parts of my own life in this novel, but in the end, addiction is nothing but the pointless destruction of life. Slow death is a good way to describe drug addiction. If I could have learned vicariously from reading this book, it might have been better than the path of madness I followed in my own life. In the end, it is better that I had the experiences I did and that I learned from my own mistakes.