First dope. Ever since I went down my detour in Nairobi, drinking and drugs were delightful. I started dope and jamming at the same time, with the guys in Once Upon a Tryp. I'd played music before, but with Purcy and those guys I learned to jam, to improvise, to create something in the world of music. We were playing music I loved. In college, dope became my musical companion. I got stoned and listened to psychedelic rock: Spirit, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, HP Lovecraft, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd. Instead of Beatles vs. Stones the great cultural division was Airplane vs. The Dead. I was no deadhead.
Then booze. Dope turned out to be a bad idea when I found I couldn't maintain a train of thought long enough to write a simple essay. Pot and other psychedelics were making me feel alienated and paranoid. I felt 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. When one group of drugs became a problem I just found a different drug. Getting clean was never an option. I didn't even consider going without drugs. 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. Thank god.
Surrender. Leela's brilliant strategy required surrender. I had to give up the safe, common sense approaches that had never worked and follow crazy, unintuitive guidance. I did, and Leela's crazy strategy worked perfectly. She has what my thinking can never have: the truth. Thinking is just words. Wisdom can't be put into words. Leela saw through time to a successful finish and she led me there. If someone thought this strategy up he'd be dismissed as a lunatic, and rightly so. It was exactly the right solution for me in particular, and Leela gave it to me at the exactly right time in my life. The strategy relied on the conscious connection I had developed with Leela via muscle testing and body sensing. I used those techniques to lose fifty pounds easily 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 a lot of trust and confidence in Leela's guidance. That made it possible for me to surrender.
Glow. Of course I was concerned about drinking. I was drinking every day, and I was no lightweight. I would prefunc at home, and then wherever I went I had a bottle with me to swig out of, usually spirits. 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.
Rx. But then my guidance changed. I was prodded to drink more. Nudged from beer and wine to cheap vodka and brandy. In just a few months I went from social drinking to full-time drunkenness. But no ill effects, just encouragement from my body. So I had already been drinking the day I had an appointment to get an Rx refilled. I needed bloodwork 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!
4x. 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 into fetal position. Leela was right there. This means I have to stop drinking or die, right? Right. Right now, right? You got it. So I stopped drinking. I never went in for that 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, hanging onto my sweetheart Ruth for dear life. I was in no condition to drive, but I made it home. Over the next few days as I shivered and sweated my way through detox. That was the end of my drinking, or so I thought. About ninety days later I fell off the wagon. I spotted a half-full bottle of vodka as I was putting something in the cupboard. I was like, oh 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, bless her heart, and left me there all deflated. I launched into an eight-day bender that didn't end until I confronted death. 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. I had to go through it all again to learn the lesson. It was too easy the first time. Once I was sober and stable I made up with Ruth, with the understanding that there would be no more drinking. I had become a dry drunk.
Dry drunk is an AA term for someone who stops drinking but continues a life that's just as broken, an addicted life. My life was still broken in two ways. I still unconsciously believed drugs could be a legitimate way to feel good. But 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. The other way my life was broken was my relationship with Ruth. That deserves its own paragraph.
Tsunami. The story of how Ruth and I got together is here. The broken part was our poly status. I've slowly learned not to be dismissive of polyamory in general; it's all in the details. The salient detail that made my poly love affair with Ruth a bad idea was my status as a poly widow. Ruth could only be my part time girlfriend. Her family came first and needed the great majority of her time. She did her very best to do right by me but it wasn't enough. I was very lonely much of the time. I had been drowning that sorrow in booze the first six years of our relationship. When I quit it hit me like a tsunami. A real tsunami, not the wall of water in the movies. Every little wave goes a little further up the beach. After two years of slowly drowning in loneliness I was ready for Leela to step back in and force me to take up cannabis by calling on my unconscious belief in the value of drugs as a legitimate way to feel good.