“Nice Guy, Vicious Crackhead”
“It was early, late, lockjaw hour.” -Sam Lipsyte
My AA sponsor once told me that, “Rocky, we live our lives forward, but understand them backward, especially in a spiritual sense.” Profound. I wouldn’t come to learn that it came from Soren Kirkegaard till much later, helping me to understand that C.S. Lewis was right when he said, “To live is to plagiarize.” It seems all of them were right. Looking back, I understand the night I tried to kill myself differently.
Suicide: A Permanent Solution for a Temporary Problem
The black matte finish on the Glock 9mm, bore no reflection, like my soul. It just sat there on my Office Depot mahogany generic manager’s desk with the genuine imitation leather desktop. Although it didn’t move, it spoke to me, “One squeeze, and it’s all over! Just do it!” The crack pipe on the paper towel a foot away from the gun also spoke, “Are you kidding; we have $100 of hard left, cash in your pocket and a hooker you haven’t met yet out there somewhere.” I knew the $100, would be gone, so would the $600 in my pocket, which was all I had left for the moment and after it was gone I’d have no money, and no matter what promises “she” made to me, she would leave as well. Alone at rock bottom again! Broke, terrified, and drenched with dissatisfaction and shame.
My zip code for the last two years. It was 3:33 am. The Trinity? The Christian God of judgment had been chasing me for years without my decree or consent. I had my holy trinity: a pipe, a rock and a lighter. They could all go to hell and wait for me.
How Vicious the Cycle Became
The drugs had me living an unlivable life. The Jekyll and Hyde lifestyle of being a business owner and a crackhead had caught up with me too many times. I had been to the 12 step fellowships for fourteen years with no results; the psych ward wasn’t useful either. It was explained to me that a bottom is when your expectations fall apart quicker than your life can. You have been doing this so long that you know the game. You can lie, cheat and steal through the next run and face the consequences after. Take it on the chin and get up. While just inching your way through the debris of your recently self-created rubble to start to piece it all back together again.
You may even get good at rebuilding, masterful possibly. Inevitably there always comes the day where your back on your knees in the rubble again. Every damn time! Your expectations are falling apart quicker than your life can is when you see the rubble moment coming before you can even get up. It delivers a life paralysis. An “F’ It!” or “Why Bother?” of epic proportions. I just let all my life fall by the wayside. I attempted to fix nothing. The girl, the business, the house, and the worst part, the dog, all gone. Sometimes God removes everything so that it can be just you and Her.
The Nice Guy
This was the suicidal dark side of me in addiction. But I didn’t use all day every day. On the days I wasn’t a vicious crack head, seeking the utopian experience in any form I could get it regardless of the consequence to myself and others, I was a pretty nice guy. I ran a marketing business. I spent most of my time training and developing young entrepreneurs on leadership.
I poured my heart and soul into doing my best to build relationships that bettered peoples lives. I helped my family financially whenever I could. I walked and played with my dog daily. I wore a tie to work. I even was elected a “block captain” in my neighborhood. That’s a democratically elected position to help clean up your neighborhood. I only got drugs off the streets one bundle at a time, unfortunately.
The big book of alcoholics anonymous speaks of a dualistic nature within alcoholics. It entirely applied to me. After working the steps with a sponsor some things changed, some didn’t, But that’s another blog: “Nice Guy, Vicious Big Book Thumper!”