I’ve neglected this blog; admittedly, somewhat on purpose. Yes, that’s a lame cop-out statement but the “somewhat” applies to the 8 months or so I was slinging sandwiches in a MTO* kitchen inside one of those fabulous gas stations known for their high-end cuisine. It’s critical to mention this was the most poorly operated kitchen I’d ever had the pleasure to feel miserable in; the short-staffing and the absurdly intricate list of menu items made it next-to-heart-attack-inducing impossible for one person to run a make-line, make coffee drinks, and operate a deep fryer.
Burnt-out. That was me. And that was also many sandwiches I left in the turbo-oven.
Now, there comes a time in everyone’s life where push comes to shove; in my case, there comes a time when you are living with the wrong man and he’s unable to care about your needs. Geez… where do I find these people? Must be my unmistakable aura of PTSD-symptoms that act as a magnet attracting assholes? I’ll go with that, and then I’ll also go with sometimes a girl just craves an Arby’s cheddar & beef sandwich. This is true. All I wanted was a roast beef fix and only Arby’s would do because it’s like really, really good and strangely not at all like actual roast beef. #Enigma #FastFood #FinishTheStoryAlready
Let’s call him Francis, because that’s not his name actually, and let’s say Francis just arrived at the neighborhood watering hole. Let’s also say Francis just ordered a beer, and it’s day three or four of my ridiculous Arby’s craving, and Francis won’t take me to Arby’s because he, well, you know: He just ordered a beer. Now, let’s say I’ve had enough of this kind of laissez-faire treatment and I open up my Uber^^ app on my phone. What happens next? Glad you asked.
^^[Author’s note: Scroll to the very end of this blog post for another Author’s note.]
The Uber driver arrived promptly yet as we cruised down the gritty streets of the west side I realize in less than a quarter mile I’ve forgotten I left my debit card with the bartender. (Yes, as a harm reductionist I drink but I use Uber, and no… this is not an advert for Uber, Lyft is nice too.) We spin back around, and I point out the window, “Oh, there’s my boyfriend, Francis…” The driver seems perplexed and oddly calm simultaneously as though in a split second seemingly understanding how incredibly idiotic this situation is. Why can’t this woman’s boyfriend take her a few kilometers down the street to the Arby’s?
Between the unsympathetic boyfriend and the soul-draining kitchen job, I berate myself about my attitude; who am I to be ungrateful when the sole responsibility of being adult is, well, being responsible? Oh, you want Arby’s? Then stop complaining. You’re not getting anywhere with that attitude missy.
Then, I recall this self-deprecating thought process is a result of the child abuse I endured and the ensuing domino effect of being drawn towards the familiar types of people; adults who have survived childhood trauma can often find themselves attracted to abusive types. How wonderful is that?
I’m going to Arby’s and you can’t stop me, Francis.
Actually, now I’m so riled up I want KFC, Taco Bell and Arby’s. Bring on the cardiac arrest. Carpe diem. A creative self-harming experiment perhaps, or just justification I deserve to want things sometimes. Justly so. Not extravagant things only something I feel I should not have to be deprived of, which at this moment is an Arby’s classic beef and cheddar. I mean, how many times did I come home from work to find him with an empty Chipotle bag and when confronted why I was not asked if I wanted any all I received in response was, “Sorry, I was hungry.”
I get hungry too.
My Uber driver and I are in the KFC drive-thru and he orders a Nashville Hot sandwich for himself and I get some kind of 2-piece special box because I need me some mashed potatoes. I kindly suggest we skip Taco Bell because now I’m realizing I’m probably over-indulging. Next stop: Arby’s.
Past the ordering microphone-esque contraption box is a whitish-grey-bearded homeless-esque man who seems dazed and confused; you know the type: either harmless vagrant or serial killer. I say he may be hungry if he’s lingering in the shadows of the Arby’s drive-thru, and the Uber driver hands him the sandwich. “Hope he likes hot,” the driver muses. I’m not sure what’s going on here but I like it. This is better than Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle. In hindsight, was that film inspiration for this adventure?
Uber driver and I return to the local bar, and I insist we just take our food in to eat it. Inside, I introduce my new acquaintance to Francis. Oh, Francis, you would brag about how my writing was incredible but you never read one goddamn word. I was the lame-o. I wasn’t knowledgeable about video games and I wasn’t into the anime and I didn’t think the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was the be-all, end-all to literature and culture. I am ever so sorry my life took a different course and I have always been more intent on wondering: When the hell will I have regular visits with my kids? Oh, that’s right: You don’t care about that.
Turns out the U-driver has knowledge in economics which I loosely decide indicates he has a magical ability to do taxes which gives me an excuse to get his number. Francis wears an expression of confusion and I don’t really care about that.
Long story short, I shared my writings with the U-driver, and turns out we have a mutual interest in the healthcare field and how to revision practices to yield better results. I’m intrigued, naturally, to finally have someone I can talk to about something other than quoting Rick and Morty. (Which I like but I admittedly cannot quote for shit; takes up too much brain-space.)
At any rate, my Uber driver quickly became a new friend, and I appreciated being appreciated. I found the strength to leave Francis and take the harder road, the one where I break down, cry, scream, panic, essentially fall apart so I can build myself back up. I am just now trying to hone my skills with writing again and I feel rusty. And I also feel I’ve said all I could say about how Alcoholics Anonymous is not worth it; there are plenty of other therapies and treatments out there that achieve the results AA claims it can offer but as we all know Alcoholics Anonymous has only has a 5-10% success rate.
Blogging about this subject is a double-edged sword. I am beyond the era in my life where “recovery” and “substance abuse” issues matter to me in some substantial personal way. What I lost along the way, the 8 months I spent crafting Italian hoagies and dealing with Captain PlayStation4, it just drained me. But I’m hear. I mean here. I mean, I needed to take some time to listen and not just talk.
Yesterday I started to regain some momentum with the subject of alternatives to 12-Step rehabilitation. In all honesty, this was a goof, I just had to start writing again and put something, ANYTHING, out there. In reality, I do care.
I care because America is suffering from a huge heroin/opioid epidemic, and fentanyl, and you name it… If you’re not outraged you’re not paying attention. Instead of increasing harm reduction strategies people are bickering over offering Narcan to save a life.
Instead of looking for better, more evidence-based methods it seems there is a push for MORE 12-Step programs. That’s like saying this vacuum cleaner didn’t work why don’t I just buy the same one, I mean, the company’s tagline is their vacuums always work, if they don’t, you suck. (Ok, actually…)
While I lament on the fact I suck at a proper
metaphor analogy I wanted to share the list I made. These are my off-the-bat top 5 alternatives to A.A. (Including mention of HAMS, SMART and more)… Just click on the screenshot below and it will take you directly to the list. Because I’m extra-special nice and weird, I’ll also link it here. Anyway, I’m back, and let’s see what happens next.
*(MTO = Made to order BTW**)
**(BTW= By the way FYI***)
***(FYI= For your information SMH****)
****(SMH= Shake my head.)
[Author’s note: I do realize this is NOT the proper use of Uber, but since when have I done anything in my life properly?]