Friday, October 19, 2012

Am I Just Paranoid, or Am I Stoned?

I took the day off yesterday. A mental health day. It'd been a shitty week at school overall, and I didn't have anywhere PRESSING I needed to go (though today I really do need to pick up my restless leg syndrome pills....), so it was a Polish-bath (wash the essentials, spike up the clean hair), stay in jammies sort of day.

Luke stopped by after school to pick up some stuff for the weekend at Craig's, and asked me if I was sick. "No, just tired," I told him. He chiefly wanted to change shoes at the mail, he recently received his new pair of custom-made Converse All-Stars. They're wildly crazy and unique, like Luke, they have 5 tongues, uh, unlike Luke, and the tongues are all in different prints, and the shoes say "WaLrus" on the backs of the heels, the "L" being capitalized for "Luke." He'd wanted these shoes since last Christmas, and I finally had the spare resources with which to buy them. Luke's very happy with the way they turned out. He joins Mom and Dad in all having custom-made Converses. Note: They ain't cheap and he's vehement about keeping them in pristine shape. For being such a shoe SLOB, he's treating these shoes by actually CLEANING them after he gets home from school. (Hello, Mom trait!)

Once he left, though, it was back to the barely-awake malaise of the day. Had a wonderful conversation with Kate about her uber-interesting entanglements and vivid anecdotes. Let's face it...compared to some people, despite all the drama played out via my blog, I think, sometimes, that I live a very, very boring life. Kate would disagree. She knows. She understands where I am coming from...she's a chick. I posted the picture below to my Facebook, and several women "liked" it. Then a man chimed in and commented, "Know what?" My point, exactly, dumbshit.


It's widely known that Green Day front man, 40-year old Billie Joe Armstrong, went into rehab recently for substance abuse an un-publicized origin, though the singer/guitarist received a DUI in 2003. While the band has an upcoming tour starting in November to promote their first-in-a-trilogy set, "Uno", "Dos," "Tres," it's unlikely the band will begin performing on schedule. The bassist asserts it's "killing everyone in the band." It's speculated Armstrong will remain in rehab into the new year. That's some pretty heavy shit if you spend like 90 days in rehab. (I spent a week and a half in detox.)

I'm no novice to addiction within the musician community, including myself. I applaud the Green Day leader to at least acknowledge that he needed help, and is getting it. He might not subscribe to the 12 steps, as most musician/punky souls I know (some famous, some infamous), but whatever it takes him to get and stay clean and sober, I wish him all the luck in the world. I try to remind my own (BMF) alcoholic/former addict friend not to freak out on those occasions when he's started drinking again, having done a rehab stint 2 years ago himself. It's not THAT big a deal. He usually feels really bad about it and thus bad about himself, and he's self-aware enough to know that the first drink is one drink too many. 8 out of 10 alcoholics or addicts will relapse after treatment. That's fact, not conjecture. It happens to the best of us.

I'm reminded of another Billy, Joel in this case, who sang in "The Stranger":
"Don't be afraid to try again. Everyone goes south every now and then. You've done it. Why can't someone else? You should know by now. You've been there yourself." 

Addicts are a unique brand of personalities. We're compulsive, irrational, wildly seek adventure (or at least calm amid a storm) without mindfully pondering the consequences thereof. 80% of us have slipped out of sobriety and gone back to drugs, alcohol or both. It's the rule, not the exception. Addiction is a chronic, fatal brain disease. Getting angry with us and harboring disdain or shame for when we slip up and revert to our favorite, nasty coping mechanism, serves no one.

But I digress.

After reading a story online about a fight a couple got into over one of the men listening to too much Alanis Morissette, the one man beating the other with a broken plate, I stumbled upon this video. Alanis recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, singing a VERY different spin on one of Green Day's classics, "Basket Case," one of our punky anthems from the 90's.

This stripped-down version gave me chills. It's what I want the whole world to listen to when it comes to being mentally disturbed (and addicted, frankly).  Alanis did a beautiful, thoughtful, loving job, which you must check out.

(No, I'm still not over Alanis' "Ironic," in which absolutely nothing was ironic; it wasn't even coincidental. It was just all kind of a big bummer. *That* song would have me slamming broken plates in my partner's face if I had to hear it more than once or twice in 15 years That's a separate argument over semantics.)

Clearly at his rock bottom, Armstrong raged during a performance last month when the teleprompter indicated he only had 1 minute left to wrap up the band's set at this music festival. Ironically, when Billie Joe had his utter and complete breakdown, it was in the middle of playing "Basket Case," when the singer just Totally. Fucking. Lost. It. Now THIS is punk IN ACTION. And I can't say I blame him. This is how I feel, frankly, most of the time. I just don't have guitars to smash at my disposal, but BOY do I wish I DID.

To see the original, rollicking Green Day version (and keep in mind, my son's seen Green Day live and I haven't! And I'm deeply jealous!), see below. A totally different vibe and visually, not *unlike* what it looks like, from my experience, being in psych ward when you're tanked on medications. I'd not noticed what they did to colorize everyone's eyes in this video before, but it's totally cool. 

As everyone involved in my mental health has concurred, making any major life changes during such a stressful period for me is unreasonable and ill-advised. Cigarettes: They don't kill everyone!

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