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Addiction 1: YMMV

Don't try this at home, kids. My struggle with addiction, and especially my way out of it, are not suitable for children under 95. I don't recommend any of this for anyone.

People are strange. Ever since I went down my detour in Nairobi, drinking and drugs were delightful. I was a musical stoner in high school. I started dope and music 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, like that Doors song (the keyboard riff became a sax riff; thanks Ray!), and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

I was no deadhead. 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.

Getting clean was never an option. 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. I didn't consider going without drugs. Later in life I had occasional thoughts of cutting back but quickly forgot about them. I was one of the lucky few, as they say in AA, who are different, who can't use drugs of any kind casually.

You can't make this shit up. The steps I went through to escape addiction are really crazy and unintuitive, yet they worked perfectly. My wisdom has what my brain can never have: the truth. All my mind has is words, and wisdom can't be put into words. As Lao Tzu put it, those who know do not speak; those who speak do not know. My wisdom had the truth of escaping addiction, and led me there. No one could ever have thought something this crazy up and made it work.

The key to all this was that I had been able to develop good access, a really good conscious connection with my wisdom via muscle testing. Muscle testing guided me to lose that 50 lb easily without going hungry or being miserable. It guided me out of a failed marriage to a new life I was loving. I also often also used body sensing for really important testing. I was able to feel in my body what kinds of food and drink were right for me and what to avoid. I had a lot of trust and confidence in my wisdom's guidance. That was critically important.

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.

After all, I was bulletproof. 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. I was bulletproof! 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!

It was 4 times higher than the safe limit. 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. I mumbled something on the phone, hung up, and collapsed into fetal position. My wisdom was right there. This means I have to stop drinking or die, right? Yup. Right now, right? Yup. 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 Lynn for dear life. I was in no condition to drive, but I made it home. Lynn followed me home and moved in for the next few days as I shivered and sweated my way through detox.

Relapse. And that was the end of my drinking, or so I thought. About 90 days later I fell off the wagon. I spotted a half-full bottle of vodka as I was putting something in the cupboard, and I was like, oh yeah, that'd feel great! I started drinking like I'd never quit. Lynn was coming over for dinner that night, so I bought us wine like I always had before, 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 then launched into an 8-day bender that ended when I confronted death.

Burning up. This time I wasn't hearing about doom on the telephone, I was feeling doom right here right now in my body. I woke up in the night just burning up inside. I wasn't hearing about liver inflammation, I was feeling my liver burning up, with horrifying intensity. I stopped drinking again, and this time it stuck.

Dry drunk. I had to go through detox on my own this time. I had to do it on my own to really learn the lesson. Once I was sober and stable I was able to make up with Lynn, with the clear understanding that there would be no more drinking, and there was no more. I had become a dry drunk.