Monday, June 11, 2007

That Elusive Magic Pill

Her baseball cap hung low over her brow with her hair pulled up underneath. She was sitting next to me on the bench. She was dressed in a very old and faded Sponge Bob Squarepants t-shirt and some faded blue jean shorts. She looked just like Rosa always does.

"Tell me more about your past and your illness," she asked, drinking her soda and smoking a cheap cigarillo.

"Well," I replied, "when I was married, I would just disappear into the woods for weeks and live homeless."

"You're shitting me," Rosa said.

"Rachel would drive way out into the country, find me, and coerce me into coming home. I wouldn't take my medications then."

"What did you eat?"

"I lived mainly on beer, beef jerky and freeze dried meals. I would pump water through a filter out of the pond to drink."

"I can't imagine you doing stuff like that now. You are so responsible," Rosa said as she scoffed.

"I think about it every day," I replied. "I want to walk out my backdoor with my big backpack on and just disappear, leaving my life behind. I have to fight the urge."

The sky had grown overcast, threatening rain. I grabbed Rosa's hand to pull her up and urged her to walk home with me.

"You know what I would always dream of when I was homeless?" Rosa asked as we walked.

"What?" I replied.

"I would dream of a nice husband, two story house, a car in the garage, and kids. I would get clean for a day with those dreams in mind and would find myself smoking my pipe by the end of the day, fucked up and broke."

"Addictions can rob us of so much."

"They robbed me of getting to see my little girl grow up," Rosa said. "Momma raised her while I was out partying and fucking around."

"We need a magic pill," I then told Rosa, "a pill that cures my schizophrenia and alcoholism. I want a normal life."

"But you wouldn't be you!" Rosa exclaimed.

"Yeah, you are probably right," I replied, but it wasn't much solace or comfort.

I am still searching for that elusive magic pill, but the cynical side of me knows it will never come. It is far more profitable to treat mental illness and addiction than to cure it. Whole industries would wither and die without them for we live in the land of the almighty dollar. Until then, I will take comfort in my friends and the support groups that have come to mean so much to me. And there is always today for we must take life one day at a time – a mantra I have come to live by.


Josie Two Shoes said...

Amen to that Andrew, it's the only way I make it!

2 LMZ FARMS said...

I don't know what it's like to have an addiction. I do know what it was like living with a spouse that had one. Thank God you got clean and sober but my x still hasn't. He doesn't think he has a problem. That's all we can do is just live day to day. Hang in there.

Barb said...

Amen Brother, I have been chirping that same mantra for 17 years...since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It is FAR more profitable to treat MS, then to cure it. I just have to sit, becoming more disabled, waiting for said industry to wither and die, while I sit in a wheel chair every day of my life, unable to get out! Today is ours, tomorrow may never come~ Thanks to our friends!!!!

ANITA said...

Taking life one day at a time is mantra we can all learn to live by. Execellent post.

EuroYank said...

Great points! The money grubbing pharmaceutical industry like healthcare is run for profit not cures, and doping the victim keeps another client hooked for life.


If you find this magical pill, please let me know. My issues may not be as tough as yours that you have to tackle constantly, but I could definitely use a magic pill.
Good luck with your meeting tonite if it commences.

justLacey said...

I think we could all use a magic pill in some aspect of our life.

bad-dog said...

Pharma-fascists use drugs to control us. Just as you say, by giving us a treatment for the symptoms rather than a cure.
Be extra wary of any company offering the elusive magic pill!

In the meantime, count me in as one of your newest regular readers! Your blog continues to inspire me.

Wannabe-a-Writer said...

I'm glad I found your blog, Andrew.
Your words are inspiring. I'm a recovered alcoholic. I deal with depression, too, by taking medications. I would like to be clean of all med's they can make you more screwed up.

I will be reading your blog from now on.

Leta's said...

I am writing this because I left one on and I think you removed it. Maybe you don't like the truth about your schiz or what and want to pretend and write I don't know. I felt sorry for you and you write like someone with something wrong.

People usually have enough sense not to go into detail about it but that is just what is attracting it the attention is all of the stupid things you are writing and being pathetic.

I am not going to tell you you have great writing and the other silly things people are writing.

I am a Yankee and all anyway and older and can't stand AL. I didn't really read it (yours) very well and someone named Rosa there I don't think I'd like. I can't stand people that give spare change etc but I feel sorry for the homeless.

What I wrote was what everyone else knows and at the same time a lot don't know about getting rid of schiz to get rid of the voices you tell them to go away. and they will.

Maybe you think they are saying things now or not to which is really bad.

I won't bother you anymore.

I just looked to see how it was connected because I thought oh no it's connected and they can get my blog space but no one does. No one is answering it like the other. Maybe because it is the truth and not catering to them.

amcdermott said...


I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now and have become an avid fan due to your writing style, brutal honesty and tenactity.

People often say "God invented alcohol to prevent the Irish from ruling the world." Well, I'm from Ireland and I agree whole heartedly with this, we have a very irresponsible attitude towards booze and it is all swept under thet carpet under the pretence of it only being a "bit of craic (fun)". I'm a not much of a drinker myself - never really found one I liked (though that doesn't stop me from having a few drinks now and then).

Anyway, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this story ( if you felt like sharing. Although not strictly legal I can see the reasoning behind this woman's thinking. Kids will get beer even if they are not legally allowed to. They will get drunk quicker and because they are generally less responsible than adults will do riskier, dumber things wile intoxicated. In Ireland, this woman's attitude would be seen by many people as being quite responsible - they would think you won't stop them from getting the beer so its better to let them have it but supervised.

We have a drink problem in Ireland. It needs to be controlled - of that there is no question. I think however that a legal drinking age of 21 in America, the leaders of the free world,is a little too restrictive. Yes there have to be laws, there has to be some age limit but at 18 in most states you are probably considered old enough to drive, to vote, to marry, to die for your country in Iraq but not old/mature enough to drink?

Anyway, apologies for this Joycean, stream of consciousness rant but as I said, I would be interested to hear your opinion (or any body elses for that matter). Hope I'm not out of line - apologies if I am.


P.S. Apologies if this is a double post, I'm not sure if comments need to be pre-approved or if i didn't actually click send the last time)

Finazio said...

Congratulations for your blog!oy

Hero Aiyami said...

Wow Great. Alot of description.

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