Thursday, March 3, 2016

Microstory 269: Perspective Forty-Four

Perspective Forty-Three

Hi, my name is Forty-Four, and I’m an addict. I’m not going to stand here and tell you that “it all started with my mother” or something like that. Not to say that family issues are below me, or there is something wrong with that; it’s just that I had a pretty happy childhood. My parents were loving and encouraging. They never smoked, never gave the impression that they did drugs, and always drank in moderation. No, I didn’t become an addict because of trauma or stress or anxiety. I began to experiment with drugs several years ago in order to open up my mind. You see, I’m an artist, and I consider it my primary job—not to literally make the art—but to alter perception. I figured that I couldn’t do that to the best if my ability if I was bound to only my one perspective. I started slow, just a little marijuana now and again, before  working up to harder and harder things...and more often. I did this on purpose, not because I just kept getting roped into “a little bit more”. I actually wrote up a plan on the computer, with a timeline and other charts. I could show it to you if you have an hour or two. Things were going well, and I mean extremely well. I was churning out what I considered to be not only my best work, but some of the best work I’ve seen from the modern world. And I didn’t only think this while under the influence. This stuff looked good while sober, and others seemed to agree with me.
I was making boatloads of money, and I always felt in control. I never had any significant memory problems, and my family and friends made no move to give me an intervention, because my relationships weren’t suffering. But then things started spiraling out of control. I tried a medication that’s meant to get you to fall asleep, but at the same time chugging energy drinks so that I would be forced to stay awake, along with lithium salts. This was a bad combination, but one that I couldn’t stop myself from continuing. They gave me bad thoughts, and feelings of invincibility. I was suddenly interested in understanding the perspective of serial killers. I didn’t hurt anyone, mind you, this isn’t a confession. But I believe that I became uncomfortably close to “trying it out”. So I had to get out of that life. Like any good artist, I didn’t enter a rehabilitation program. I literally locked myself in a room for days with gallons of water, canned food, and no toilet or cell phone. I waited for the my neighbors to call the authorities about the smell, thinking that that would hail the completion of my sobering period, and also become a story that would sell more art. I realize now that this was just as dangerous and stupid as the drugs. My sponsor, Forty-Three has fortunately been here to help me realize that I was only really ever addicted to both the success and torture of creating beauty. I’m not out of the woods yet, but I’m getting there. Thank you.

Perspective Forty-Five

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