On a Normal Day, I am Apollo…in the Neitzschean sense…(see:Birth of Tragedy). Reason dominates…cool, calm collective…unruffled. Clinical detachment.
Sometimes, though, Dionysius comes…and I am just the opposite.
A “Therapist” told me several years ago that I suffer from “Bipolar NOS”(not otherwise specified,lol)….and that my descent into Drunken Psychosis is my “Manic Phase”.
There are, apparently, Triggers that induce this state….and the Trick is to determine just what these Triggers are. No small task.
I have, from earliest times…although I was unaware of it…been quite shy. In hindsight, I chalk this up to being a Freakish Genius, among the Mundane. I was never like the other kids…and was unskilled at and bewildered by Social Norms and Constructs…
I clung to my Anomalousness… it was, and is, my defining feature.
Too, it turns out that I was/am what Jung referred to as “Innately Sensitive”…my sense organs function “Too Well”…which may sound great, but is really quite uncomfortable, especially in Crowds.
These two “qualities” set me apart…social situations were, in the main, horrible experiences. Our “Culture” is not very tolerant of Strangeness…and I have always been Strange…and, with the Vibe Antenna,I Grokked the reactions of others to my Strangeness.(how accurate this Antenna is, is unknown.)
Round and round.
Alcohol was the cure, it seemed…although, at the beginning, the side effects were a little bit worrisome. (These side effects have grown worse, over time…to say the least.)
I found myself drinking, before anything having to do with social interaction…and then, it was normal…kids drink, after all. But I was, unknowingly, drinking to cure something….social anxiety.
Later, after the Cop Crusade, the betrayal by Her, and all that came with it…drink numbed the (psychological) Pain.
I knew, from the time I was 19, that I had a “Problem”…and even sought treatment…but I was Anomalous in this, as in almost everything else. AA, and all the other systems and ways of Treating alcoholism, are geared, designed, to treat the Average Drunk …and I was anything but average. I could go for long spells without a drink…I generally didn’t “take a nip” in the morning…etc. I was a binge drinker. And, counterintuitively, I knew what I was doing…
I didn’t accidentally drink, like many of the folks I met at AA…I deliberately set out to drink…to get to the Sweet Spot(see Streetcar Named Desire)…where my control ended was after the Sweet Spot had been reached. This is where things got entirely out of hand, and I found myself to be very crafty in finding more drink.
Another anomalous effect that alcohol seems to have on me, is the stimulant quality. This is well known in the research…it acts as a stimulant on almost everybody…but in most folks, this effect diminishes…and it’s true nature takes over…folks generally pass out, at some point. I do not…
Wanna keep me up for 3 days? Keep the beer flowing.
For a long time, I’d drink after work, due to my legs…and this was mostly fine…
Alcohol is a remarkable analgesic.
These Reasons for procuring alcohol, and indulging, were very real…not excuses…the Pain relief, especially. I was, for a long time, quite unaware of the Social Anxiety…the nascent Agoraphobia…that I was, inadvertently “Treating”.
That didn’t occur to me till much later.
911, the birth of my Son, and the collapse of my Café…as well as the broad societal movement towards fascism…all of this contributed to my withdrawal from the world. Panic Attacks….and less intense Anxiety Attacks…I was bewildered by this. The Rightward turn of the country was particularly acute out here, in rural Texas. My inherent Anomalousness was more glaring than ever…and made ever worse by the drive to Understand what all was happening. The more I learned, it seemed, about the world…the more anomalous I became.
In decent times, Americans have a penchant for denial, and a general Fear of the Other…the different. In hard, confusing times, this Penchant grows worse.
And here is me….Anomaly, personified.
The long term feeling (not unwarranted) that I do not Belong…was confirmed at every turn. I withdrew.
By this time, my legs, etc had deteriorated to the extent that I could no longer work…and this increased my Isolation…self-reinforcing loops. Not only was it Physically Painful(and scary) to go among the Mundanes(I walk funny, and fall down)…it was often Psychologically Painful(and terrifying).(I cannot fathom “small talk”, and no one seems to understand what I think about.)
Now, life is all about avoiding Triggers…I cannot go to basketball games, for instance. I abhor long trips, especially back “Home”…too much memory and associations. ….Dionysius comes to attempt to relieve the pressure…
It usually fails.
After a Dionysian Drunken Revel, I often won’t leave the house(the depressive phase).
I wallow in self loathing…and drown in a well of self pity…and wonder what Dionysius did, while Apollo was away.
All of this is made more intolerable by the Far Place I find myself stuck in…like a moth in a web. If the country , as a whole, is intolerant(in varying degrees) to Anomalousness…a Podunk Texas Town is even worse. For 10 years, the folks around here have been instructed by Fox to Fear the Other.(there is no other “news”, is there?)
I know myself to be Other….and when I lift the basket from my Shining Mind, it is apparently apparent to them that I am Other.lol.
Ergo, I am a Hermit.
And try really hard to suppress the Dionysian Urge for Release.
I have been only moderately successful in this endeavor.
Apollo’s mouth is shut…knowing that Lofty Sentiments, Erudition, and even Logic, itself, are largely unwelcome in my part of 21st Century Amerika…
Dionysius’ mouth is open…and all the pent up Rage, and Loneliness and Mike the Martian-hood…as well as the limiting effects of my Crippleness…burst forth, whether they are wanted , or not.