In my travels I meet many people; the % of happy, stable people is minuscule. Of the unhappy people most are comfortable in their unhappiness, this is incomprehensible to me. Then there are those that are unhappy in their unhappiness and say they would like to change their circumstances. Most blame the circumstances for the unhappiness and believe if “things” were different, they would be happy. I spent many years believing this, changing girlfriends, jobs, homes and geographical locations often. While this has caused me to have lead a rather interesting life, with many highs and lows, it did sweet fuck all to make me happy; and my pursuit of happiness in a bottle took me to the very depths of hell instead. I have recorded the things that happened and here is an excerpt from:
The Chronicles of the Mexican Horse Thief II.
“The hole that I was in at this time was not a pretty one, for anybody involved, me included. My morning would start with me reaching for the little bit of vodka I always saved for the occasion. I would have to hold the bottle in both hands in order not to knock my teeth out, I was shaking so badly. The first sip caused me to gag violently and I would manage to keep it down for a whole two minutes. I would then have to rush to the bathroom to vomit it up, as I ate almost nothing during this time raw alcohol would be all that came out at first. After dry heaving for a while bitter green bile would be next. On occasion and with more and more frequency blood would follow the bile. This unpleasant ritual completed I would stumble, or literally crawl back to my bed and lie there until the shaking calmed down. As soon as I was able I would take another small sip of vodka, this usually caused more gagging and violent shaking of my whole body. Nine times out of ten it stayed down. A few more small sips and I would feel much better, and I could start my day. This may sound terrible but it was a thousand times worse if I had drunk my entire supply the night before. All the gross carryings on in the bathroom would be the same, but if I did not get those second or third sips I would shake and be in absolute agony until I could get my hands on some alcohol. At this stage of the disease you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I now joke about the fact that hell holds no fear for me as I have already been there and survived. Death at this stage would be liberation. I did not know it but on trying to get sober I would see even worse! If no alcohol was available I would have to wait until 10’o clock before I could get some at the bottle store two blocks from my house. I would have to walk, as there was no way Charmaine could or would leave her car with me, and I don’t blame her. On what I now considered to be a normal day, getting through all that and feeling strong, my next move would be to the hotel bar. Malvern is divided by a long main road, called Jules Street, the top end gets better the further one moves from the road, we lived three blocks up, making it and alright spot. The hotel was over the road, down two blocks and next to the railway line. Need I say more? I spent countless hours in this dive.”
This is about as far from happiness as one can go.
Then one day I decided to change it and had an epiphany; it was I that had to change, not just stop drinking but CHANGE! I in a moment of rare clarity saw that I had to change my fundamental outlook on life. I did not know how, but fell into another Strange Classroom, up until now my Strange Classrooms were mainly about survival not happiness or anything near it. By now I was sick of survival I wanted to LIVE!
And so I set out and attended this Strange Classroom. I hated what they told me and left, got into trouble and went back, a few times. Then one day I “got” what the meant when they told me, “When the pain becomes greater than the gain, you will change.” After that never missing my Monday evening class, okay, truth be told, I missed ONE class in 7 years, and yes, a pretty woman was involved.
Now all the unhappy people that say they want change, paying lip service and doing nothing will get you just that, nothing. You have to work, and work very hard, you will have to suffer pain, like you never felt before, you will have to go about this and give it 100% or you will fail and revert to your old miserable self. The first step is the hardest.
You have to take a long, good and HONEST look at yourself, no-one or anything else. The change can only start from within. Then once you have done that, you have to decide what you will do about this person you saw in the mirror.
Happiness is actually a matter of choice and like everything in life it has a price, you have to decide if you are willing to pay or not.
A compilation of my Strange Classrooms is soon to be released, please “Like” and keep an eye on this page.
Here is a story of developing and breaking an addiction, while dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome at the same time.