Table of Contents


Unconscious belief. I developed a drug-dependent mindset while I was living in Kenya in the mid-1960s. By then I already unconsciously believed drugs were a legitimate way to feel good; the culture taught me that. I was eager to try stuff out.

First it was booze. I started with alcohol, because my parents were suddenly quite willing to let me drink. This was a big turnaround for them. They had been genuine teetotalers back in the deeply hypocritical South, where almost everyone drank and pretended not to. I started drinking booze soon after we arrived in Kenya. I didn't like the taste of alcohol, but Tony in the flat next door helped me out with that by inviting me over to taste my way through his extensive collection of liqueurs, with my parents' express consent. Alcoholic candy, now we're talking.

Then it was dope. Marijuana wasn't even on my radar when we moved to Kenya. For most of the fist year there I explored the wonderful world of booze. And then I met my muse. For the first few years after I went down the rabbit hole in Kenya, smoking dope was delightful. I started smoking good Kenyan bangi and jamming the blues at the same time, with the guys in Once Upon a Tryp. Those guys invited me to jam, to improvise, to create something in the world of music. It was a sweet initiation. In college, dope became my musical companion. I got stoned and listened to progressive/psychedelic rock: Spirit, ELP, Yes, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd. But I never stopped drinking except for the first few months of my freshman year at FPC.

Then I went back to booze. Despite my initial indiscretions I was enjoying booze in Kenya before I got turned on to pot. Booze was happy to take me back when daily dope smoking got me so addlepated I couldn't maintain a train of thought long enough to write a simple essay. Pot and other psychedelics were also making me feel alienated and paranoid. I got to feeling burned out on the whole idea of tripping and mind expansion. I turned to booze to calm me down and sweeten my life. My good friend and roommate Bob helped me out with that. I soon became a happy drinker. My drug-dependent mindset had everything under control. When one group of recreational drugs became a problem I just switched drugs. Getting clean was never on the table. I didn't even consider going without drugs. Moving to Boulder totally clinched it: booze was now a holy sacrament. Later in life I had occasional thoughts of cutting back but quickly forgot about them. I was one of those who are different, as they say in AA, who can't use drugs of any kind casually. Leela was behind that, and it was a brilliant long-term strategy: it worked.

Hail holy booze. Booze got a perverse boost during my decade plus in Harmonizing (1978-1991). Perverse because being free of alcohol and other recreational drugs is absolutely critical to my progress with love. The boost came from the man himself: TH, Yo, Marc Tizer. He earnestly preached the gospel of booze to all his disciples. That was a big drawing point for me, enthusiastic about booze as I already was. The most revered saint in Harmonizing heaven was George Gurdjieff, also a staunch proselytizer for the glories of booze. He wrote his most successful book, Meetings with Remarkable Men, by sitting down with a big supply of Armagnac and powering through the book as he chugged his was through the brandy. Gurdjieff, famous for all his injuries, died of liver cancer with a side of cirrhosis. I didn't learn that tidbit until long after I left the cult.

The introvert's best friend? For most of my life I never thought about introversion one way or the other. It was just some Jungian term. Then in the late 2010s posts about introversion started showing up on social media. Introverts' manifestos, self tests, care and feeding of introverts. For a year or two it was hip to be an introvert. I read some articles, took a few of the self tests, then did some reading in more serious sources. Turns out I'm an introvert; who knew? It felt mildly empowering. What I see now is that starting in Kenya in the mid 1960s my life became a staggering dance between introversion and drinking. Before Kenya introversion was no problem. I connected with the world via nature, and I loved it. I had no desire to bond with other kids, with good reason. Most of my peers in Marianna and Asheville turned into small-minded southern hicks and thugs as they grew up, and I could feel that in them as kids. In Kenya I started using drugs as social lubricants right off. From the mid 1960s until I quit drinking in 2016 I relied on booze to make social situations bearable, even in my own home. Booze gave me a fake extended family: the fellowship of users. But the more I drank, the more booze I needed to defeat my normal healthy introversion. Booze was slowly killing me.

More is better. Or at least that how I acted through the five plus decades I drank. Not frat boy style, drinking until I puked. I did have some class. But I slowly drank a little bit more, bit by bit. If one beer's good, two's even better, eh? As long as I still felt good and wasn't having hangovers. Little did I know I had a special dispensation: Leela helped me along my way to full-blown drunkenness just in time to quit. She had a long term plan for me, and making drinking feel easy on me was part of it. For the climax of Leela's plan to work I had to surrender to her deeply. I had to give up safe, commonsense approaches that didn't work and follow crazy, counterintuitive guidance. I did, and Leela's left hand path worked perfectly. She saw through time to a successful finish and she led me there, step by step. It was exactly the right solution for me in particular, and Leela helped me prepare for it for decades, the solution to a problem that had ruined my life an uncountable number of times. She then delivered me to the cure at exactly the right moment of my life. Leela's plan relied on the conscious connection I had with her via muscle testing and body sensing. Those techniques had proven to be reliable. I used them to lose fifty pounds I needed to lose without going hungry or being miserable. They guided me out of a failed marriage to a new life I was loving. I was able to feel in my body what kinds of food and drink were right for me and what to avoid. I had developed deep trust and confidence in Leela's guidance. That made it possible for me to surrender.

Blood work. Mentally, I was concerned about my drinking. I drank every day, and I was no lightweight. I would prefunc at home, then wherever I went I had a bottle with me to swig out of. But whenever I did muscle testing or body sensing about drinking it was always A-OK, a nice warm glow, enjoy, full speed ahead. I never got hangovers. I always felt great the next day. Then my guidance changed. Leela started prodding me to drink more. Vodka and brandy instead of beer and wine. In just a few weeks I went from social drinking to full-time drunkenness. Drinking first thing in the morning at the height of it. But still no hangovers or other ill effects, just encouragement from my body. So I had already been drinking the day I had an appointment at the neighborhood clinic to get a prescription refilled. I needed blood work for that, and the ARNP asked if she could add a liver panel. She had asked me about my drinking; I was quite open about it. Test me! A week later I got a call from the clinic. They wanted me to come in. They were concerned about one of the numbers on my liver panel. It was four times higher than the safe limit. I mumbled something on the phone, hung up, and collapsed on my bed in the fetal position, testing furiously. Leela was right there; testing was crystal clear. This means I have to stop drinking or die, right? Right. Right now, right? You got it. So I stopped drinking, cold turkey. I never went in for my follow up appointment.

Detox. That was Monday July 25, 2016. Monday meant Waltz etcetera. I felt OK through the afternoon, just a headache as the morning's booze wore off. But by the time the dance started I was a shivering wreck. I sat behind the DJ table that night with my head down, shaking and hanging onto my sweetheart Ruth for dear life. I was in no condition to drive, but I made it home to safety. Ruth followed me to make sure I did. She moved in for the next few days and stayed with me as I shivered and sweated my way through detox. And that was the end of my drinking. Famous last words. About ninety days later I fell off the wagon. I spotted a half-full bottle of vodka in my cupboard and I was like yeah, that'd feel great! I started drinking again like I'd never quit. Ruth was coming over for dinner that night, so I bought us wine and was ready to offer her some when she arrived. She broke up with me on the spot and left me there all deflated. I launched into an eight-day bender that didn't end until I confronted death again. This time I wasn't just hearing about doom on the phone, I was feeling doom right here right now in my body. I woke up in the night just burning up inside. I wasn't just hearing about liver inflammation, I was feeling my liver burn up, with horrifying intensity. I could feel how I was killing myself with booze. I stopped drinking again, and this time it stuck.

Fallout from quitting. Giving up booze had all kinds of unexpected consequences. When I started drinking again after ninety days it wasn't because I was having physical cravings. I never had cravings for any drug except tobacco, and they were pretty mild. What I had was a heavy psychological dependence on booze. I started drinking again because I didn't like the sad sack I'd turned into, moping around and dull. I missed being the jolly fellow booze made me. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. I can see now that quitting booze set in motion both my breakup with Ruth and my long slow descent into momentary homelessness that precipitated finding my new home. Ruth and I fell in love when I was a moderately heavy social drinker. I was under the influence essentially all of our time together. She was not enchanted with the quieter, more inward guy I turned into as my natural introversion reasserted itself. As for me, when my boozy life receded I started feeling how lonely I was with a part time girlfriend. I had successfully drowned that sorrow in booze for six years. We didn't break up for two and a half more years, but the seeds were sown in detox. Quitting also separated me from my housemates, who both drank of course. I didn't realize it until long after, but that was when I gradually started feeling ill at ease in the Crown Hill house. It was no longer a good home for me; I needed to live in an alcohol-free environment.

Really truly done. After I quit drinking the second time I thought I was done with booze for good. But Leela said not so fast. She wanted me to look more closely, to grasp my new status more deeply and fully. Her guidance was for me to try drinking again and see what happens. I resisted that guidance furiously, but she didn't let up. I finally gave in and did it. It happened in two stages, over a period of several months, six to eight months after I quit the second time. The first stage was a one-shot. I'd been chatting online with a girl who was interested in learning to dance, developing a bit of an online crush. One night I impulsively suggested we meet for a drink. She accepted and we met in a Fremont bar. I ordered a glass of malbec and she ordered some kind of craft cocktail. The malbec was dreadful. I'd lost my taste for big red wines a long way back. I used to love fruit and alcohol bombs like old vines zinfandel, but as I started drinking more I could't stand that kind of thing. The same thing happened with beer: I had been a fanatic for double IPAs and imperial stouts, but I lost all taste for beer and switched to cider. I couldn't stand hops or tannins. We tasted each other's drinks; hers was even worse, like nasty medicine. I drank enough to get a buzz, but I didn't like the feeling. Plus the crush had evaporated almost immediately. I beat a hasty retreat. The second wave was more measured and sensible. Leela guided me to buy something that would be relatively palatable: several bottles of cheap Aussie white that I knew would be sweet without much character. Over the course of a couple weeks I drank three or four times: a couple of glasses at home, enough to get a buzz, then out dancing. It became clearer with each outing: I did not like the feeling of being buzzed. I did not want to consume alcohol in any form, for any occasion. I had no interest, no desire, no craving at all. The obvious conclusion: I had been a heavy drinker, drinking myself to death according to my bloodwork, but I was never an alcoholic. I was just trapped in the illusion I needed booze to feel good. It took a few months for that to wear off; after that I never missed it.

Dry drunk is an AA term for someone who stops drinking but continues a life that's still broken, an addicted life. My life was still broken because I still unconsciously believed drugs could be a legitimate way to feel good. That belief was hidden from me, so it had to be exposed and rooted out. I had to get all the way clean of drugs before I could see that delusion for what it is: spiritual poison. So Leela arranged for me to get all the way clean. She forced me to take up cannabis by calling on my unconscious belief in the value of drugs as a legitimate way to feel good.