This was originally posted to my blog, Diabetes Odyssey.
As I lay in bed earlier this fine evening, unable to sleep due to the discomfort of an ever worsening UTI (urinary tract infection), I found myself longing (not for the first time this month) for days past; a certain, specific time in my life when I lived carefree, no worries, no anxiety, no pain, no suffering, no responsibility…
No, I am not talking about my childhood.
This time I long for was a happy time. The happiness was a lie, completely unreal. But it felt real in the moments. The moments when I was surrounded by friends, drowning ourselves in booze, suffocating ourselves with the heavenly flavor of Hookah.
These were the worst years of my life: Unemployment, debt, lack of health insurance, worry, anxiety, stress, every week there was a new disaster to pile on to the rest of our sorrows.
But I was able to escape the horror nearly every evening by accepting the free booze and hookah from friends who just magically appeared at my door.
Natty Light, Coors, Budweiser, Shock Top, IPA’s, vodka, tequila, rum, wine, gin, whiskey, Red’s, Smirnoff, Fireball, Kinky, Four Loko, water…you name it, we had it.
A 'barrow of empties after a gathering.
We played drinking games: 3-man, shoulders, beer pong. I even invented a card game called ■■■■ Your Friends that was guaranteed to end with at least one person puking their booze-filled guts up.
A sampling of ■■■■ Your Friends
I could get drunk, fill my lungs with the cool smoke of some Lemon Chill or Absolute Zero, lean back on the couch, close my eyes, and listen to my friends laugh and joke…let the world spin with my drunkenness and tobacco high.
Total freeedooom from the world. ■■■■ you, ■■■■ you all, you messed up life, horrible people out there, the faceless tyrants, the demons who prey on us - the working poor class- the ones who work our asses to the bone for…for nothing!
No worries in this moment, no stress can penetrate the alcohol and tobacco shielding my feelings, my mind, my everything. Anxiety gone…for now.
As my life fell to pieces around me, I continued to live… as long as I had these evenings of escape to keep me sane. I didn’t completely fall apart emotionally and psychologically because I had these nights of respite from the terrors of reality.
But it was killing me physically. I didn’t care. I knew I was being utterly self-destructive. No one stays healthy very long with this kind of lifestyle, but a type 1 diabetic living this way day after day for over two years…it was a self-inflicted death sentence.
I knew it, and I didn’t give one single ■■■■.
Me chugging cherry vodka
Then times changed. Things got better, and things got worse. I did almost die, I ended up having open heart surgery. I straightened up my life, I came to my senses, I tried to be healthy.
I tried…really, I did.
For over two and a half years now I’ve tried so frickin’ hard to get healthy. But I’ve come to realize I will never get any better than I am right this moment. It’s just one thing after another. I haven’t fixed anything, and more things keep popping up. I’m working so damned hard to just stay half dead.
Why worry? Why live in stress, anxiety, pain, why spend day after day in constant battle with my health? Never a break, never being able to relax.
Why? What’s the point?!
I find myself more and more often now longing for those days. Why not surround myself with friends, get wasted, fill my lungs with glorious hookah, and just waste away in relaxed comfort?
Why not? I’m gonna die anyway, why not do it in comfort?
Because I’m no quitter, that’s why! I’m one of those dumb-asses who finds purpose in suffering! Pain means you’re doin’ it right! Turmoil means it’s working!
But, I’m tired. I’m fed up. I’m lost in an ocean of depression and diabetic burnout.
I feel like I’m done with all of this. I just want to turn off the anxiety, sorrow, and hopelessness.
I need help… or an entire bottle of Jager.