I’m collecting stuff for an upcoming post that has the potential to be one of my “classics”, but I wanted to at least get something written just to get my brain moving a bit. Slowly but surely, my writing is coming back around without the need for a complete derangement of emotion. It’s kind of like recovering from a stroke…bit by bit the pieces come back to life, but it takes time and a lot of work. I like the voice that I have here, and that’s what I want to achieve again minus the mood altering highs and lows that used to drive it. I see glimpses of it, but it’s missing the flow.
The Saturday 8am meeting this week revolved around “anger”. Anger is something I very good at….it can drive me like a glass pipe full of crystal, zeroing me in with focus and purpose that is all-encompassing and more than likely damaging. At the meeting I said “I have to treat anger like that first drink…whether my mouth is opening to take a drink or to speak the brilliantly poisonous words I’ve crafted, it has the potential to be the end of all things”. And it’s totally true. I still get explosively angry at stupid, stupid little things like trying to put together patio furniture, but that energy is very short lived. If you’re not in “grenade range” of me during those few seconds, there is no danger. What I’m talking about is the big stuff….religious hypocrisy, my federal team lead trying to get me fired without cause, Tea Party dipshits…..I can dance around with all of that stuff, but if left to my own devices it can go completely off the rails. The amount that I used to drink is equal to how angry I can get. I used to be able to drink a lot. If you’re an alcoholic, you know what I’m talking about….our “a lot” comes from a completely different equation. My wife and I were watching the documentary on Lemmy from Motorhead this weekend, and it didn’t gloss over the way he drinks or does dope. As it went on, I said somewhat proudly yet still sadly…”I partied like Lemmy”. Anyone who has witnessed it would have to agree. I’m not bragging, it’s the definition of total insanity, it’s absolutely fucked up….but yeah, I partied like Lemmy. Not just the amount or frequency, but “the way he does it”. Exact same style, mentality, persona and self-loathing. Ozzy and Alice Cooper both chimed in and gave props to the way Lemmy could party….praise from Caesar to the nth degree….so I guess all I can say is I’m pretty happy to be alive. But I took it to the wall, man. There’s a whole lot I’ve shared in this blog, but there’s a whole other chapter I might get to the point where I can share someday, and it’s kind of like one of my oldest friends used to say….”If you say you can drink me or Jerry under the table, what you are really saying is you need to check in somewhere and get help”. The irony in that statement is pretty hilarious considering how I got to where I’m at now, but I say all of that to say…..I can get that angry too. Some of the things I’ve said and done out of anger are just horrific. It makes me sad that I can get to that point, just like it makes me sad to remember what it was like right before I left for rehab.
Everything about anger mirrors the mood-altering aspects of drinking…..the deliciousness, the temptation, that initial rush as your bloodstream adapts, and especially the hangover…the regret, the embarassment. So NOW I work on saving myself the humiliation….I just don’t go there. And with the way I think, and write, and my knack for dissecting someone’s soul…it is not always easy. Quite simply, you have to take “the things I cannot control” to heart. Overall, anyone who knows me now would say I’m pretty low-key…obsessive and focused on some stuff…but generally no huge displays of emotion or anger. BUT I do have situations that could kick off an extinction level event if I were to let it go to its logical conclusion. My co-worker/former team lead…someone who has only ever worked for the government in the same place, in the same role, no drive for upward mobility, for 25 years…exactly what you think of when you picture a stereotypical government employee. Long story short, I don’t know how many times I went under the bus whenever she’d be under pressure to do actual work. Her lack of productivity was somehow caused by my imcompetence and laziness. Everyone all the way up the chain of command knew she was lying, but I’m a contractor and she’s a fed with enough years of service to be “untouchable”….so thankfully I got moved to another project. She would have kept going and going until I finally lost my job over absolutely nothing…..good example of something I could waste days and days of my LIFE being angry about, much less the energy that would go into getting even. But when it comes down to it…I love my life, and she hates her life (something she vocalizes regularly). If I got fired, I have mad skills that would eventually get me another job….she would never be able to find a job outside of the government with her resume. I have family that I love, she’s on her fourth marriage, her oldest daughter has disowned her and her younger daughter is a criminal. I mean….there are so many levels of things I have no control over when it comes to her defense and coping mechanisms in the office that at MOST it would be like kicking a crippled person if I went after her. The joy of leaving work and not having to think about it until I come back the next day, and the things I get to enjoy in my personal life make me far beyond lucky…..and I could destroy all of that with anger just as pathetically and needlessly as I could with alcohol.
In addition to people who generally display all of the same fear and control-based dysfunctions as an alcoholic minus the alcohol, I do my best to avoid the black hole that is the American Hyper-Charismatic movement….Bethel Redding, IHOP, Vineyard…any of the places just north of the Assemblies of God. Oh, and the Assemblies of God. I did spend an inordinate amount of time chronicling the fake resurrection stories that came out of Bethel, and it was HARD not to keep going on that….especially since I literally mapped out the way the entire story would unfold just hours after the initial reports. It’s kind of like the old definition of insanity- doing the same thing and expecting different results. I knew in my gut that when an evangelical organization is caught in a lie, they defend the lie by making the whole thing about something else. That’s what Bethel did, and no matter how angry I got towards the end….I finally had to realize that no matter how right I was they’re going to do what they’re going to do. All you can do is be wary of those types of people and situations.
The very specific types of lip service, all-for-show Christians are a bigger hurdle, because they are everywhere. I think my next post will be a good one to help exercise the muscle that deals with all of THAT without being damaging…it took a while to get there. Again, the things I can’t control. After doing a lot of reflection and witnessing enough really horrible examples, I got some level of disturbing comfort from the fact that I’ve never known one solitary “Christian” individual who puts an inordinate amount of focus into their hell and punishment theology and also comes close to living up to the standards they are preaching. Back to my old “fat preachers too stupid to recognize their hypocrisy w/the gay thing”. They allow themselves the luxury of some glaring, sinful inconsistencies, and somehow think people either won’t notice or they’ll do enough good works to make up for living a lie. And I can either focus on taking their inventory every moment of every day, or just let it go. Chances are nearly 100% that the more a person downplays grace in favor of fear, hell and/or punishment, the less likely it is that they are living a life beyond reproach….not just beyond, but even close to it. And when they say they are doing it out of love for someone, or out of concern….they are lying. If not to you, then to themselves…because that “love and concern for your soul” is what they use to allow themselves to judge you while still holding on to their own secret, and sometimes not so secret, sins. They have no concept of forgiveness and channel that unresolved anger into their obsession with proving their theology is correct simply because it is a stricter interpretation (of cherry-picked phrases). The more scripture they have to use to defend their point, the less they have let the gospel work in their own life. In my experience, this is without exception. It’s not an excuse to write off the whole thing and fly into libertinism, it’s simply recognizing that the type of control they are after is an illusion. Every time I bring this up with someone, the response usually has something to do with “but if you let people think they can do whatever they want….etc., etc.”. If THAT is your biggest concern, it is because you have failed horribly at providing a viable example of what a Christian should be. You have never been an example of love or understanding and have never been someone a “non-believer” feels like they can trust. You make it all about YOU. In secret, you know all of the ways you are abusing God’s grace, but you can hide it well enough to pretend you are a good enough example to either be an authority or have authority. Or in some cases you can’t hide it, and you don’t realize what a complete fool you look like to those who aren’t in the insulated clique that is comprised of people who are either weaker than you and admire you, or others who have given themselves over to the same arrogant disease. Your life is a distillation of “the pot calling the kettle black” in its purest form. That is why I don’t think you should pay these people a salary. Ever. You get way too many who are “called”, who come to that conclusion by default because they are either unable or unwilling to take responsibility and make a real living….they can’t manage their own life, so why not give them HUNDREDS of lives to shepherd over?!?!?! Church is their last shot at realizing a Republican Jesus American Dream…being too short on smarts and/or ambition to make the MONEY, they go for the next best thing….STATUS (coated with a thick layer of false humility, of course)! I’ve seen it all, for years and years, no exceptions, and those people you are not going to change….they always have an answer and they always surround themselves with enough likeminded fools who feed their rationalization. They interpret their emotional childish whims and flights of anger and joy as “the voice of God” or a “word from the Holy Spirit”. Porn, prostitution, infidelity, financial fraud, thievery, swingers, wife beaters, drugs and alcohol…I can’t even estimate the instances I’ve witnessed or known about that were “swept under the rug” by the same men and women who seem to pick and choose where grace, kindness, discretion or love are applicable. It’s a monstrous machine. Beautiful in its frightening, broken yet airtight logic. And if I want to write off all of the joy and all of the reflection I have coming to me in the next hours and days…all I have to do is keep yammering on about it. As fun as it is to put myself on auto-pilot and outline inconsistencies that are probably already obvious to everyone, it’s more fun to NOT process all of that emotion and focus on pretty much anything else…from golfing to 12th Step work.
Did I already mention I had a sponsee? Can’t recall if that came up already or not. Yeah, poor bastard. I’ll error on the side of saying almost nothing about him other than to mention I got a pretty easy first pigeon….smart, well educated, damagingly introspective, boiling judgmentalism, loves bourbon…lots of similarities between us, and he definitely does as much for me as I do for him. Now I realize that since all AA does is tell you that you can pray to a door knob, we’re just fooling ourselves….it’s all about being a self-improving secular humanist with absolutely no room for anything outside of doorknob worship, but somehow we soldier through. To be completely honest, I find that I’m at my best when I force myself to be a meeting leader for a quarter. Saturday morning is great, but if I lead a meeting then I’ll generally make it to at least one more, and I’m good. I’m really trying to bring a lot of the principles into my physical health…I haven’t totally ballooned weightwise, but I DID start this blog as a gastric bypass reporting tool, and as anyone with a few years under their belt knows, it’s easy to slowly gain weight. As long as I get off of my ass and avoid too many carbs, I do okay, but 12 stepping it to some degree will be a big help. As cheesy as it sounds, and as unlikely a person as I am to champion something like it, the 12 steps really are a program for living your life and would fall well within the parameters of what hyper-charismatic freaks would consider “kosher”. Biggest problem is that status, power, fame, control, ego and money don’t play a big enough part for it to be considered church-worthy, heh heh.
Soooo…our deck is repaired and refinished, I’m in the middle of putting the patio furniture together, work on the yard will begin this week as will the yearly planting of the herbs. Cookouts and dinners will begin at the house soon, and we’ll hopefully be taking out the one kitchen wall in order to make more space. Going to see Jay and Silent Bob Get Old at the Midland here pretty quick, and we’re going to celebrate our 2nd anniversary with a roadtrip to Deadwood. Christina Hendricks needs to just get naked as a gift to the planet, if you’re poor but still so Republican that you think higher taxes for rich people is bad because you trust them to pass the wealth on to you you’re one loopy cunt, I’m going to start cooking more authentic Mexican food and will pioneer a Vietnamese coffee ice cream recipe, I think it would be funny if hypocritical single-issue right to life voters realized how much of the money they spent on the goods and services they are too selfish and lazy to live without went towards funding abortions, The Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange is our favorite new restaurant, my favorite new Google search that landed someone in my blog is “unshaved pits and piss porn” and I’m getting a Sous Vide Supreme machine as an early bday gift. Golf, nature trails, all sorts of shit…..looking forward to a great spring and summer.