Everyone has at least one. Some us have dozens, the really cool ones have hundreds.
Be it smoking, drinking, drugs, strip clubs or comic books, addictions take over your life. Throughout my life I've stared the addiction monkey square in the face and sat by while he cleanly tried to scratch my eyes out and eat them like snack food.
I didn't drink until my 21st birthday, were I let some friends ply me with mass quantities of beer and liquor. They made me "Drink the Alphabet", a daunting task even though I made it the the letter "M" before the bar closed. After that I did a lot of drinking, heavy drinking, the kind of drinking that leads to blacking out and waking up in bed with unknown women.
Yeah I know some of you might be saying "How is that bad, you moron?"
I woke up between to cute girls, neither of them completely dressed and I still had my clothes on. Something might have happened, something fun, but I was still clothed. So nothing REAL fun happened. Damn the vodka!
During this heavy drinking I engaged in another addiction. Let's just say it was very herbal in origin. I was in love. I was able to get silly, eat all the pizza and potato chips I wanted and still be cool. What was not to like? It was a social icebreaker.
It was also a gateway.
I tried a a lot of other things. A lot. Now fortunately I'm terrified of needles but those options were open to me. I got wild, did some crazy things, and don't regret a single moment of any of it. I do regret the days after. Hung over, confused, sweaty and wondering if I made a jackass out of myself. Definitely the best way to spend a Sunday morning. Or Tuesday afternoon. Or the month of May. Or pretty much 1992 to 1997.
Then one day I had a revelation. So it wasn't so much a revelation but an irrational bout of paranoia and dread. I stood waiting for a cab to take me home early one morning, heavily dazed by the amounts I had just smoked, when I swear that everybody was looking at me. The problem was I was on the street alone. Nobody around at all. That was when I decided to stop that little habit. That was 11 years ago.
I stopped drinking after waking up one to many times, feeling like I had just fought eight rounds with Randy "Macho Man" Savage. I realized I was getting to old to hang like I had when I was in my 20's. I hate headaches. So drinking became a thing of the past. That was 8 years ago. Now I will admit that I do occasionally drink, but no where near the level I once did. I've also discovered I now have the alcohol tolerance of a twelve-year old girl (provided of course her name isn't Drew Barrymore). Yep I'm a cheap date.
One of the things I discovered as a replacement for these addictions, a plan that doesn't involve Twelve Steps, but does have a very strange support group, is Live Action Role-Playing or LARPing.
I've given up drunken nights of bar hopping for dressing up in clothes that went out of style back in the 15th century. I've set down the bong pipe so I can pick up a sword, ironically made of PVC pipe and foam padding, so I can whack the hell out of someone dressed pretty much the same way. No more hang overs and hallucinations for me anymore. Now I have bruises and sprains, torn ligaments and dislocated fingers, mosquito bites and broken pinkie-toes.
I'm just glad I became worried about my sanity and well-being.
8 years ago