Journal Entries: The Last days of Alcohol

These entries are an accompaniment to my essay “Alcohol Abuse and the Souls Relation”

March 21, 2015 —

Happy birthday man! Wow, I’m thirty. 30 effing years old. First journal entry too, which is amazing considering how long I’ve been trying to start.

I am so proud of myself for where I’m at right now in my life. Right now I’m sitting in my room 285, at the far end of the Miramichi wing, in the Canadian Coast Guard College. Wow! How great is life? I hope I always feel this great. I’m crying tears of joy. I am so loved and appreciated by so many people.

It’s so hard to accept these feelings, they are extremely foreign. I’ve beaten myself up for a long time. I let myself be wrapped up in depression because it felt so comforting. It felt super warm. I een thought I was happy but I know now I wasn’t. God, I wasn’t even close. I’m not there now but I’m getting closer.

I think about who I was on this day a year ago and I can’t recognize that person. What a miserable wretch I was. But now I’m letting my inner ROCKSTAR SHINE!! FUCK! YES! Mad props to Simon and Casey for helping to show me the way. But, and this is a huge but, they could only show me the way. I had to walk that path myself. I had this rockstar inside myself this whole time but I was too buried in self loathing and victimization to realize it. I feel so damn good.

I want to keep this first entry going but I only have 40min to get ready to go for my bday dinner in Sydney at Governor’s. I’m throwing a rockstar party at Chez Nous tonight and it is going to be sooo sick!! I love life.

March 25, 2015 —

Wow, what a crazy few days. I’ll start with the birthday part. It was so amazing. I can easily say it was the best birthday of my life, or at least, the best in recent memory. I went to Governor’s Pub in Sydney, NS with Doug, Joe, Conal, Kenny, Trevor, Beth M, Beth F, Shavonne and Gen. I had the agave-lime grilled tofu which was super delicious.

We got back to the college at around 7 and it was time to get the Foosball tourney organized. It ended up being a 6 team round robin before elimination. Conal and I went out in the first round, which sucked, but we played great, After that the party really got cranking.

Graham, in the kitchen, made me a vegan black forest cake which was so fucking delicious. It was totally unprompted too which gave it extra flavour from love. Goes to show you that a little appreciation and love to others will always come back full circle. I served it to everyone in the bar which totalled about 25 people but didn’t tell them it was vegan until afterward, tricks!! They all said it was the bests black forest cake they’d ever had which was a great little vegan victory.

I was iced 5 times I think, haha, they blurred together. Either way I embraced them and downed them on tables and on the bar top. One of the cadet’s, Vincent, shares the same birthday as me and I iced him in a sandwich! What a legend, he did it out of the sandwich!

When midnight rolled over I got up on a table and gave a speech expressing my gratitude, appreciation, and love for al who came to celebrate with me. I then announced the two winners of my Rockstar prizes for the people that best let their inner Rockstar shine. 2nd place was Trevor, the Prez, who won a jar of Cape Breton unpasteurized wildflower honey. 1st place was Vincent, who won a twisted wire pendant in the shape of a tree. The place went nuts when I announced Vincent and I genuinely believe he will always cherish it. Honestly, he deserved it.

Festivities ended at 1am and I ended up going to Capri in Sydney to keep the party happening with Colin, Felix, and a cadet named Joe. It was fun but at the end we got caught in a massive downpour and didn’t get back to the campus until5am. We met up with Conal, Shavonne, and Kenny and partied until dawn broke.

All and all, the night was a massive success. However, it definitely did not need to go as long as it did. Capri was in no way necessary. I ended up spending an extra $200 of money that wasn’t mine to spend and now that I’ve been paid today, half is gone instantly. I’ve tried to justify it to myself the past few days that it was okay, since it was my 30th, but fuck those excuses. I am disappointed in myself. I blew through approximately $1200 in the last 2 weeks and now I have $220 to last the next 2 weeks. $110 goes to student loans and I have to go see Gram + Grandpa for Easter net weekend.

Why do I always try to keep the party going? What’s wrong with just calling it a night and accepting a great night without trying to milk it for every last drop? Proudie always said, “nothing good happens after 2am” and he is absolutely right. I spent money on people I don’t know, that don’t care about me at all. I hope this is a lesson I learn from but it’s been a repeat lesson for years. I try to buy people’s affection, I hate it. I hate feeling down about myself because of money. I’m on a very limited income and I need to save as well, so I hope I truly learn this time.

Coupled with this, yesterday was our first Traffic Simulator Evaluation I was stressing so hard because on Monday I failed the practice eval with a 67%. Pass rate is a 80% mark. Monday night I barely had any sleep. Almost every hour I awoke in a panic. I am proud to say though that I passed with a 92%. Doug passed as well with a 84%, I believe. I was super nervous for hi. He’s my best friend here so it was tough to imagine life here without him.

Unfortunately though we had 4 fails as a group. Bonnie, Joe, Conal, and Kenny failed. We were all super excited to celebrate our passes but how could we when we went 7/11 on the day. I honestly had a terrible sleep again last night thinking about their supplementary eval today. And fuck, what happens? Joe and Bonnie both fail again. Joe got absolutely picked apart on phraseology from what I hear. Maybe passing traffic a bit too early but never any close situations for an auto fail.

I really feel bad for him. He has a wife and three kids at home in Sarnia counting on him. He must be feeling so much pressure right now. Bonnie… I am not shocked she is in this positions, however. Since day one she has had an appalling negative attitude. Always complaining, self-deprecating, never seems engaged or like she actually cares. She’s coming from a government position with the Coast Guard Centre in Halifax and just isn’t engaged. Believes that no matter what the Centre will look out for her. Terrible defeatist attitude that is her defence mechanism for if she fails out. Oh well, I try not to let it bother me… It usually does though.

They have to defend themselves tomorrow in front of a TPRB (Review Board). Last chance to leave it all out there and try to explain what happened. I hope I never have to take a supp but I REALLY hope I’m never in front of a Review Board explaining myself. My worst nightmare at this point.

I just got off the phone with Lauren and she is going through a really hard time right now. On top of her dad dying unexpectedly late last year, her cousin Anthony was killed by the police in Calgary a couple weeks ago. She’s feeling a lot of regret about not going to a wedding in Mexico in January where she could have gotten to know him more.

I don’t know what to do to help her. She wants to escape to Asia to meet up with some girlfriends but doesn’t have the funds to pull it off. She’s trying a website called GoFundMe to help, but she’s overall stuck in a rescue mindset. Hasn’t been able to find a job in her field and can’t find the motivation to be super active applying.

I can identify with that though. Laid off and too paralyzed to get just any job. Leah and I had a lot of problems but that one I definitely played a huge role in. As much as I want to help Lauren, maybe the best thing I can do is listen to her and offer my advice even though it will fall on deaf ears…

Speaking of Leah. I find myself missing her a lot lately. I have my wounds from that relationship but there was a lot of love there too. I wish we had both been stronger, or in different times in our life. It annoys me that I miss her so much. But I would also love to hear her tell me she loves me, or cuddle on the couch watching Game of Thrones. I’m not even sure if it’s her I miss or the feeling of being loved.

Last night I had a nightmare that we were together here at the college and it was the same as last year. I never want to be treated that way again. I feel like I’m becoming a great person but it doesn’t seem like women are even attracted to me. Maybe I’m just not in the mindset where I want, truly want, someone to be attracted to me, so they aren’t. I don’t want to use anyone or break any hearts, and I’m not even close to figuring myself out. I’m so curious to find out, who will my next girlfriend be?

March 28, 2015 —

What a terrible few days. After writing in here about my troubles with not letting the party end, I went and did the exact same thing with horrible consequences.

I went to Chez Nous that night and started drinking, heavily. Then when the bar closed I couldn’t let the night end so I got in a cab with some cadets and went to Steel City for karaoke. They got kicked out but I stayed, of course, and went to Capri. I was drinking beers and shots so quickly I should have known bad things were bound to happen. I spent $150 and lost my jacket, but that’s not the worst. I forgot to pay my cab, puked in my room, and it was all found out.

I’m now awaiting my time in front of a Review Board for misconduct. It will be either Tuesday afternoon or most likely Thursday. This fucking sucks.

I’ve since, attempted to apologize to the cleaner but she was having none of it. I’m preparing apology letters to housekeeping, the commissionaires, and the taxi company. I’ve also contacted the Employee Assistance Program to begin seeing a counsellor for substance abuse. I feel like a huge bag of shit because of my actions. I continue to make poor choices where alcohol is involved.


The answer is, I have a problem with alcohol. I need this help. I need to stop drinking. Forever. I’m not equipped with the tools to say, “enough.’ Ever since getting here I’ve been drinking far more than I ever have, yet I never voiced this or took a night off. At first I was able to keep control, just a couple drinks, no after parties, but I couldn’t hold on to that discipline.

So here I am with my Coast Guard future hanging in the balance. I want to stay optimistic that I can make it through this, but life is unpredictable. All I can do is put my best self forward, and hope the board shows leniency. If it doesn’t work out, this will be a harsh lesson, and one I will never forget. My life won’t be over, it will keep going down a different path, but it will still be an alcohol free path. I hope that a few days from now I can give a message here rejoicing my remaining at the college. Only time will tell.

One thing I have to say is, I am so disappointed in myself for what I’ve done. I’m surrounded by people who love me but I never turned to them for help when I noticed I was slipping out of control. I tried to be strong. I tried to solve it on my own. But there is no weakness in turning to others for help. People look to me for support, or guidance, all the time yet I feel too much pride in turing to others. This is my true weakness, my pride.

I am not an island, alone yet surrounded. If I truly want people to open up to me when they’re in trouble, I too need to open up when I am. I can’t just speak of past troubles while everything is great.

Learn from this, I am not alone.

April 7, 2015 —

It’s warm, it’s sunny, I’m wearing nothing but shorts, I’m in Nanaimo. Despite my best recovery efforts I couldn’t make it past the review board. There were 8 people involved in making the decision, 4 from the Western Region, 2 from Ottawa, and 2 from the College. I gave a great opening statement and answered their questions to the best of my ability but it still wasn’t enough. This happened last Thursday and Friday I was on a plane back to BC.

What a messed up turn of events. At least I got to see Lauren and Lisa before I left the province. I’m trying to take positives away from this experience. I have a lot of knowledge I never expected to have. I sure as hell know a lot more about myself than I ever have. For 2 months I was the king of that school, but I let it get to my head, and my hubris brought me down.

My initial return to BC was wicked. I was riding a high of seeing my best friends again, and being back in Victoria, but now it feels like the gravity of the situation is setting in. I’m in Nanaimo, I’m at Dale & Barb’s, I have no job and no prospects. Dale has been sure to let me know how disappointed in myself I should be. That I didn’t stick to my plan of keeping my head down for 5 months. I didn’t even remember having that plan. When I was at the College, my past life seemed like an extremely vague memory.

God, I fucked up, and now I’m scrambling, again. If I hadn’t fucked up like that though, I most likely would have when real stakes were on the line, so I don’t begrudge them their decision. I forced their hand. They couldn’t trust me so they had to cut me loose. I hope I can prove to them I genuinely want to change, and they bring me back in July, but chances are low. My old classmates seem to believe, but I can’t afford to put too much hope in that option.

I guess what really hurts is being genuine, and still not being believed. I didn’t give them any reason to trust me, really. C’est la vie.

So here I am, square one. I have to get out of Nanaimo as soon as possible. It’s stagnating and is really making me hate myself. Casey and Simon leave for NZ at the end of June, so I’ll take over their room in New Zanada, but that’s almost 3 months! JEA is closed to me forever, Nanaimo has no prospects. I’m going to ask New Zanada if I can live in a tent in the yard, but who knows how that will play out. I’m helping Simon put together Rise & Shine, but right now that’s his project and I’m just helping. Long term, my plan is to take over when he goes back to Wellington, but that is a ways to go. Still leaves my life in the air as I write this.

All I want is for someone to rescue me from this, but I know that doesn’t happen. No one can get me out of it, except me. Had to keep my nose clean for 5 months and I couldn’t even do it. This is why I have to stay sober for the rest of my life. If I ever think it’s a good idea to have one, all I need to do is look at this moment, when I almost had it all, but lost it for the momentary satisfaction of feeling drunk.

I have to leave Nanaimo before it kills my spirit.

May 3, 2015 —

I had no idea I had been procrastinating on adding an entry for almost a month. And what a month it has been. I won’t say that it has been the most trying time in my life… Maybe the most humbling? I’ve had to own up to my actions on a regular basis and it hasn’t been easy. I have no other choice. I really regret my actions at the college, but I’m pushing through.

But how bout a recap of the last month?

May 11, 2015 —

So I never updated this. But now I will!!

I spent most of the last month in Nanaimo at Dale + Barb’s. Honestly, after that first aggressive disappointment from Dale it wasn’t all that bad of a time. The food was horrible for me, I gained 15lbs, but I was overeating a lot to try and fill up my emotional void. I really didn’t do much in Nanaimo. Highlights, though, definitely include reconnecting with Taylor York, and also with Dana Smith. In general though I’ve just been working on accepting the fact I’m here.

So here I am, back living in Victoria! That is the best news out of all this I can give. New Zanada took me back and I now live in a tent in the backyard. I managed to squish a queen size mattress in to it and I have to say, it is amazingly comfortable! Next step is finding a job.

I had two interviews before the weekend and both seemed promising. One was for a charity fundraiser, the other was a chainman position at an engineering firm. I was supposed to start the charity job today, however I didn’t go. I e-mailed them in the morning to say I had another job offer. There were just a couple things that made me believe I didn’t want this: 1) Instead of fundraising for “Doctors without Borders” it was for “Greenpeace.” I don’t agree with a lot of what Greenpeace does. Specifically their aggressive nature at sea. 2) The scripting was terrible. This seems like a tiny reason to back off, but it made sense to me. Super vague wording, no actual facts, and it didn’t leave me feeling inspired at all.

I think I was doing it more as a, “hey everyone, checkout how great I am and how much I REALLY care!” Rather than coming from a true desire to create change. I want to keep up this positive vibe, keep this outlook on life, keep trying to help make a change, but on my own terms. I love a lot of stuff about me right now, but this especially so, and I think this job would have ruined that. All these years I’ve avoided working in a commercial kitchen for fear it would ruin my passion for food, this is the same, but with positivity.

Anyways, that door is closed now. Fingers crossed I get the surveying job because it sounds great to help get me back on my feet. $20/hr, full benefits after 3 months, and full time hours which would be stupendous. Well, actually, fingers crossed for the Coast Guard.

Some of the things I’m feeling thankful of right now; the city I’m living in, the house I’m living in, the friends who have welcomed me back with such intense enthusiasm, my family who continue to support and love me, Gatsby who will love me unconditionally forever. I am genuinely stoked on myself. It’s been an adjustment realizing that I am a good person. I have an energy and an aura that seems to draw a lot of attention, beyond the Rockstar clothes I wear. But I guess it’s that intense (as was described to me by Yannick at the College) personality that allows me to wear the clothes without ridicule. I wear the clothes, the clothes don’t wear me.

I’m confused by women though. I don’t feel like I’m attracting anyone. Lisa has told me I’ve been referred to as “oozing sex” and Brian mentioned something to that nature about women being attracted but I’m not seeing it I used to be able to read every sign or action and figure out if she wanted to kiss me, now I’m confused.

I have really started to believe that we attract what we’re ready for, so maybe I’m not ready for anything or maybe no one is ready for me. I’d love to believe it’s the latter, but I’m more inclined to believe it’s the former.

I’m meeting plenty of eligible ladies. I have to say eligible, not single, because of the polyamorous views I’m starting to get behind. None just seem to really catch my interest. Well, I suppose I do feel a definite sexual attraction, but intellectually, no, emotionally it seems empty beyond interesting friendships. I guess that’s good in the sense I’m still able to focus on me.

I’d love to have sex though. I had drunken sex, barely remembered, with a woman just before leaving for the College. However, before that it was with Stephanie(name changed to protect identity) last October before she moved to Vancouver. That is a long time in my adult life. I’m on Tinder again, but I think I over-saturated again and have too many conversations on the go. Didn’t go on it at all today, it has been giving me some serious social anxiety. Speaking of that, however, I am WAY better at replying to people and saying no! Really proud of that even if it is still a work in progress.

I had my first Bro Hike with Brian yesterday since I got back. Wow, I am worried about him. I left for the College and we took two totally different paths. I stood on my own as a Rockstar and greatly improved as a person. Brian let himself slip in to depression and despair. Didn’t start working out, actually ate worse, left his job, had to take on a roommate in his one bedroom apartment to help supplement what EI couldn’t cover. He did not take care of himself. He said he was really disappointed in himself so that’s a good start. His inspiration needs to come from within, not from me.

I’ll always be there for my friends, but they have to want it too. I have a great quote on my phone which I think aptly sums up how we should take care of ourselves. As follows:

“The greatest gift you can give to somebody is your own personal development. I used to say, ‘if you take care of me, I will take care of you.’ Now I say, ‘I will take care of me for you, if you will take care of you for me.’” — Jim Rohn

May 18, 2015 —

Life is good.