BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

An anniversary ...

Sixteen years ago today I quit drinking.

Sixteen years ago I was consuming pretty much a fifth of gin a day. I went into the out-patient chemical dependence program because it was the single most perverse thing I could think of doing at the time.

Little did I know how fucked up everything would be 16 years down the line. If I was shown the future and given a choice, would I have still quit drinking?

I don't know ... this whole financial thing is SUCH a fucking nightmare ... we have automatic checks that hit on Tuesday that we don't have money to cover, we have insurance payments that need to be in by the end of the week that we don't have money to cover. I have no clue where the dollars will come from. No clue.

I am a total failure. Sixteen years ago I was a Vice President in a Public Relations agency, making what eventually grew into a six figure salary. I drank to be able to stand work. I didn't hate EVERYTHING about my job, but it was definately one of those "soul crushers". I hated my idiot co-workers, I hated the psychos that were most of our clients, I hated the morons that were our primary and our ultimate audience, I hated having a dictatorial and abritrary boss. I kept a fifth of whiskey in my desk "just in case". Sixteen years ago I felt like prisoner in a cage with no future. I was a failure, but it was just me. Just me. I had a lot of money, but focused on my studies and my writings because there was nothing else out there for me.

I quit drinking, stayed sober. Nobody understood that my sobriety was really a huge "FUCK YOU" to the world. I figured if I was damned, if I was going to be a prisoner, if I was going to be endlessly tortured, I'd choos my own hell. So, I let go of the ONLY COMFORT that I had ever known ... I put down the bottle and the sweet oblivion that it offered. I walked out into the killing light of day saying "OK, motherfuckers ... here I am, no buffers, no crutches, have at me".

And, of course, it did have at me. NOTHING CHANGED in terms of my inner anguish ... NOTHING. Only my pain was more immediate, unfiltered by the booze. The hatred I felt for everything around me grew deeper, sharper, more bitter. Then came the car crash. Now, our company had been having trobles before 1993 (I'd been sober 8 years at that point) ... the industry we were in was going through some changes and we kept finding ourselves the "budget item" that was being cut at client after client, but the car crash I was in in the Fall of that year (odd, how I have forgotten the date) was the coup de grace. I was told that the company could not function without me (on top of all the other problems we were having) and so as of the end of the year we went out of business. I was told of this decision, by the way, while still in the HOSPITAL.

So, what to do? I had started Eschaton as a way to market my poetry (which I had been self-publishing since the 70's) earlier in 1993. The P.R. company had a slug of money left, and when we liquidated the stock, I had a relatively big pile of cash. I decided to try to make a go of it as a publisher (since the act of creating books was personally rewarding on a lot of levels), and launched into putting out "metaphysical" titles by other folks.

Now, at this point I was BURNED OUT ... as I noted above, I had been through 8 years of sober HELL, dealing with stressors that I would have previously just "drank away". I never again wanted to have co-workers, I never again wanted to have employees, I never again wanted to have a boss like that, and I certainly never again wanted to have to answer to psychotics and morons the way I had to on a day to day basis in the PR firm. The publishing thing looked perfect ... I never had to TALK to anybody ... I never had to SEE anybody ... I never had to REPORT (well, except for sending out royalty checks to the authors) to anybody. It was me, my computer, voice mail and a fax machine. Like the Simon & Garfunkle lyric goes:
                    I have my books and
                    my poetry to protect me
                    I am shielded in my armor
                    Hiding in my room, safe within my womb
                    I touch no one and no one touches me
                    I am a rock, I am an island

At first Eschaton looked on-target (although our first book got totally screwed when "outside forces" did a 180 on us, making it viturally unmarketable), with things moving along as I sort of expected them to. Unfortunately, we were never able to get the books into the major bookstore chains (a VERY difficult task), which led us to the whole Access debacle and the current state of the book company.

Somewhere along the line there, my accountant suggested to me that I sign up with Rexall Showcase International, to provide a bit of an income stream while the publishing biz was still ramping up. What I did not anticipate about RSI was that the network marketing biz is all about "people persons" and not about facts, figures, and the delivery of information. The same stuff that I was running away from ... having to TALK TO PEOPLE ... in the publishing biz, was the key ingredient in the RSI biz, I just didn't realize that yet.

Anyway ... here I am today ... 16 years sober ... a total failure. I'm now discovering that the VERY SAME STUFF that is necessary to make Network Marketing work is what appears to be necessary to get a job. The Wife is constantly on my ass about "call somebody and talk to them" ... "find out about X from Y" ... etc., when MY "life experience" is that NOBODY is EVER going to help you out on the phone ... that every exposure to people who don't "owe you" something is an invitation to kick you when you're down ... and, frankly, that's all I've gotten in this job search ... humiliation, denigration, and (of course) rejection.

16 years sober. 16 years ago I was a boozer with a big salary and no future. Today I'm a TOTAL FAILURE with no money and no future AND a family that's having to watch me trash THEIR futures too. This is almost more than I can stand. I love my daughters "more than life itself", and I'm beginning to seriously think that their lives would be MUCH better if they had "a future" and no Daddy, than having a clearly CURSED TO HELL Daddy that was ultimately going to drag them down to a life of anguish and ruin with him.

I really hate the way this world is set up. There is no reason in Hell why I shouldn't be successfully enjoying the fruits of my labors, even if in the employ of somebody else, but EVERY THING I HAVE EVER TRIED ... hell, EVERYTHING I HAVE EVER BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH (cf. the Sacred Sexuality Conference) has gone down in flames with NO GOOD REASON why it should have. The only thing I can figrue is that I am accursed, that I have been touched by the hand of evil fate and there is nothing that is going to change that.

I am so SICK of being the fucking doormat of fate. I am so SICK of writing poem after poem of stuff I FEEL which is all about how FUCKING MISERABLE it is to be me. I am so SICK of seeing shit being rewarded in this world, and truth being ground down. I am so SICK of it all.

Goodnight America....

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