In September of 2014, I received a phone call from a fiance of mine from 30 years ago. I knew who she was, but I had almost completely blocked the memory of her and us from my mind. The best I can tell is that the massive amounts of alcohol, marijuana, and methamphetamine I consumed affected my amygdala and hippocampus to the point that I experienced a strange version of a “substance-induced amnestic disorder, retrograde type.” Over the course of the next year, my memories re-integrated in an unbelievably painful and confusing process, of which I feel the after-affects to this very moment. I also learned that catharsis is an excruciating event.
Don’t worry, this is not going to be a whiny emotional dumping ground for all that. In fact, it was incredibly liberating and empowering, even if my ‘sanity’ was at times questionable. During the process, I completed a Masters in Addictions, got hired as an instructor at my local community college, and got accepted to a PhD program in Psychology with a Specialization in Addictions. I also got divorced, left the cheerful insanity which is counseling in the military, and finalized my absolute separation from the ‘traditional’ recovery of Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous.
Now that my memories are restored, I have also reconnected with some of the most important and meaningful things in my life, dating back to my teenage years. Which brings me to this blog. These pages are literally a hodgepodge of things that interest and appall me. For instance, I assert that the music I identify with, which is fairly extreme heavy metal, had more to do with my recovery than the 12-Step rooms.
So that’s what I’m writing about: anything I flipping want to. For the story of the Phone Call, you’ll just have to wait for the book…