Nuns Are Cunts and Fuck AA

Hello again, and welcome to the continuing blog of a man losing it. I’ve an hour’s internet time left here, so I’ll have to write this quick. No pressure. I realise the title of this blog is probably a bit much, and not even really the subject of the blog, but I need to start grabbing attention. Though on the AA front, I’m a little tired of their rhetoric after 22 years of it.

Let’s start with 26 year-old Rob. I wasn’t in a great place back then. This was probably around the time my drinking was becoming problematic, and I was living in a situation that wasn’t all that healthy (I won’t go into exact details).
Anyway, I was looking for that ‘thing’, the thing creatives need to pull themselves out of the myre. It was about 1996. I’d started drawing comic strips of people in my life that were not good for me, only to be chided about it by others. I was recording songs using two tape decks, so I could harmonise and play bass along to myself on guitar, and writing poetry (yeah… I know! Poetry!).

It was the year I’d discovered Dylan Moran and Bill Bailey, and we were in between The Bends and Okay Computer. But I never had ‘it’. I’d try stuff and give up. I SHOULD have persevered, but discipline was never in my nature. My other option at the time was AA, an oft-mooted solution by my ma, who was rather militant about her al-anon lifestyle, so mainly to keep her happy I went down that route instead. I wish I’d never heard of the fuckers.

Thankfully the Sisters of Cuan Mhuire recently cured me of any respect for or faith in anything AA has to offer. Even with the shit I’m in now, I know I can’t go back there and retain any sort of honesty with myself. Sponsors and steps and ‘spiritual growth’. Listen, motherfuckers, life IS spiritual growth and steps, you don’t need it in writing. It’s like they’re telling you ‘you can’t control things in life, now here’s some leaflets to help you control things in life.’ I DO realise it’s helped out a lot of people over the years. Usually the type of people who use words like ‘surrender’.

Another option presented to me was to go into another residential program with the Simon Community, which will first involve 10 days of jumping through hoops, with 5 piss-tests, but where will residential care get me? There ARE people in my life who want me there, but that’s not going to keep a man sober, if the sobriety is controlled until the day it’s not.

I’ve managed to stay sober thus far, since the detox, mainly because it’s required for staying in the hostel I’m in. Though apparently you ARE allowed drink during the day once you don’t bring any back, or turn up pissed. At least one resident does so and is quite open about it. But if I could do that, I wouldn’t have a problem, right?

I’m currently pointlessly chasing paperwork to get into a better place, and it turns out the bureaucrats are still getting it wrong. I needed a form which it turns out I didn’t need and was of no use anyway, ‘cos they’re not taking names for another month, etc. I know that sentence doesn’t make sense, but that’s how much sense all this makes. I’m ‘ok’ in the hostel I’m currently in, but I don’t have the freedom to say, stay in a friend’s on any give night, because I HAVE to be there every night to keep the bed. Not smoking. It’s quite a lonely existence.

You’re kicked out at 9am, and left to wander the streets all day. If I’m lucky and still have money, I’ll go sit in Thomas House for an evening sipping splash coke and drawing til it’s time to check in for the night, though that won’t be happening again ’til next dole day. I’ve 30 cent to my name right now, but hey, at least I know where to get free food, and I think I can make my tobacco stretch. So for now it’s walking about with people shouting at me to vote yes. Or no. Or yes. Or …wait….what? Listen, I’m getting mighty sick of these campaigners at this stage. PEOPLE WILL VOTE HOW THEY WILL VOTE! What’s the fucking point in starting a 50,000 euro kickstarter campaign to get ‘Vote Yes’ posters printed? You absolute cunts. Do something REAL with your lives.

Did I mention this would be an angry blog? Maybe I’m out of order. In fact, there’s no ‘maybe’ about it. I should have an ‘Out Of Order’ sign around my neck. I was doing fine for a time. But Jesus the last 7 or 8 years have been getting tougher by the day. It MAY have started with the near fatal beating I got, and the other subsequent attacks. I’m not blaming them per se, but it all certainly affected my decision-making skills. Haven’t been able to live up to or stick with a single decision since. Relapse after relapse, broken relationship after broken relationship, it wears me out. I’m at an all time low, and all I can do is hope the next day is a little better. It always feels like it’s a little worse, though.

At the moment I wonder where I’ll be in life when the new series of Doctor Who starts. Oh God, the fucking feminists are going to try and appropriate that too, aren’t they? Fuck.

This has been Rob, today. Don’t like it? Fuck off.

 

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Posted in Alcoholism, Biography, Dublin, Homelessness, Ireland, Mental health, Relationships | Tagged , | 2 Comments

A Homeless Man Writes…

Catchy title, huh? Managed to find an internet cafe (yes they still exist), so thought I’d spew my cerebral phlegm at the world one more time while I have the chance.
As many of my friends know I did a stint in Cuan Mhuire’s maltreatment centre last summer, staying on a while longer to do what I thought was valued work only to have them change their tune and I had to walk. Luckily I managed to wrangle a place in their Dublin based halfway house, Teach Mhuire, for a few months. A good place, if not for the constant adding on of group therapy sessions at night when one actually has shit to do, I cracked, and had a relapse. Fun. I refused their offer to return to the nuns for another 3 month stint, and tried other avenues to pull myself back up. They didn’t really work. I decided to throw in the towel and a friend drove me to Galway’s Cuan Mhuire to check me in where I was unceremoniously told to ‘fuck off’, as 1: I had spurned their original offer, 2: I had ‘already done the program, and doing it again wasn’t going to help’. Which is fucked up as I’ve seen SO MANY LADS repeat it, but 3: I suspect their main reason for saying no is that they know that I know that they’re insane. I told ’em as much when I was down there. I have seen such craziness, mainly based around some blessed virgin chick who’s holier than us all. They also have an effigy of some poor naked guy nailed to a piece of sturdy carpentry. Not sure what that’s supposed to do for people. And other weird religious ceremonies.

Anyway, that avenue is now well and truly closed, and I’ve had to go down the route of the hostel system. So, after a 2 day detox stint in Beaumont hospital, and with the help of another friend, I’ve set to work. It has been an interesting and hellish week.

First stop for any homeless services in Dublin is the DCC office at Parkgate street. As long as you’re genuine and civil, they will go above and beyond to help, and they have been nothing less than wonderful to me. The acquisition of hostels is difficult though, as you would usually be in a different hostel each night, which you have to acquire by freephone, and hope something is available. That can be the difficult bit. Trying to spend the day phoning with nowhere to charge a phone.

Obviously, the quality of a lot of hostels differ. Nights 1 and 2 I ended up in an ok place on Charlemont St, luckily with sound enough lads (5 bed room), though you will hear all sorts of drug-fueled / rough-lived ruckusses (rucki?) throughout the night, but it comes with free coffee. Night 3 was a place on Thomas St called Brú, an open plan affair where your best option is not to try sleeping but sit at the coffee bar talking to the staff. There are no rooms per se, only partitions, and when you eventually go to the bed you were assigned, you will find some other fucker asleep in it. The smoking area was emptier and more conducive to a night’s sleep.

Night 4 was heart breaking. A place called St Catherine’s Sports Centre and Foyer. 11 ‘beds’ in the room, I think I was the only one not drinking cans and using hashpipes. The party went on quite late and eventually at 4 am I had to go sit in reception, til 8.30 am, when it was time to leave. The most heartbreaking thing about this particular flophouse was that ten years ago it was a vibrant centre of the community where I actually worked as an art teacher, teaching risk groups like teens in peril, and recovering drug addicts. Now it was like a dark spooky ghost city.

I returned to the DCC offices to talk to someone, and lo and behold, my luck has changed. Because, I suspect, they actually like me, they got me what’s known as a ‘rolling’ bed, meaning I no longer have to ring looking for a hostel each night. I get to the stay in the same one, and can leave my stuff there. The only difficult part is once you’re in for the night, you can’t go anywhere for a smoke til you leave next morning. That bit’s hard but sure fuck it, it was the Cuan Mhuire way too. I’ll get used to it. I’ve to be out by 9am each day, and can return from 8 – 10pm in the evening, so you basically have to try and fill your day, out and about. Maybe I’ll actually get to learn to fucking busk now?

There are plenty of daytime services around Dublin that offer free food, free company and free counselling. I’ve met some great people, some scumbags, and some great scumbags.

I also like to regularly break down crying. It breaks the day up a bit.

I WILL pull myself out of this one day. I at least seem to be liked by most of who I meet, both staff and other homeless folk. I will write more when I can get more internet access. Apologies for the rush job on this piece, my resources are limited.

Talk soon

Rob

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Posted in Alcoholism, Biography, Dublin, Homelessness, Ireland, Mental health, My Own Ignorant Opinion | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Life Before Social Media…

dikpic

😀 R

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Black to the Drawing Board

There will be more!

Black1

BONUS CARTOONS:

nothing18

whoto18

R

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“The Bit in the Middle” with Paul Redmond.

Gary Christie Jones

I park the car outside the house because I can see her brother’s over and, again, taking up me driveway. Lime green he puts on it, brand new Opel, lime green he puts on it. The right front tire crushes the brown and grey pile of what’s left of the snow and I set the hand break. This yoke’s new enough too. Six month I have it and the interior already resembles me state of mind, mad it is. I stare at the scattered collection of crumpled and saliva shiny wrappers from Refresher bars and realise they’re the same colour as me brother in law’s car and I tell meself “his car is rubbish too” and I laugh and make a note of it in me phone in the “Material” file. I stumble backwards when I exit the car and have to catch meself between the door and the car. I look down and…

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Don’t Make Me Come Up There! (Part 1 – Intro)

October, 1987:

It’s past midnight. I’m lying in bed, in a darkened room, tears rolling down my face, my sobbing quite audible. My parents suddenly burst into my room, a look of worried concern on their faces.

“Rob. Rob, are you okay?”

I take the earphones out, looking at them, momentarily confused by the question.

“Yeah, I’m good. Was just listening to Billy Connolly.”

Relieved, they leave, and I go back to crying my little eyes out at this man’s comedy genius. A grown man, making this 17 year old, on his own, laugh like a drain.

***

October, 2017 (30 years later, maths fans):

I’m sitting in the rec room of a treatment centre, with about 10 other recovering drink and drug addicts. Billy Connolly is on TV, doing his thing, as brilliantly as he did 30 years ago. Everyone is laughing. Everyone except me. I’m sitting, completely ambivalent about what I’m watching, at first, then steadily getting more and more down. I go for a walk around the grounds.

‘Shit. Fuck. Shit.’ Continue reading

Posted in Alcoholism, Biography, Dublin, Homelessness, humour, Ireland, irish comedy, Mental health, standup comedy | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

I Was Cured, All Right.

Hello. How’s things? You good? You LOOK well. Well… You could probably lose the nose ring, it’s not really you, but, no no… it’s your choice, I know! Anyway…

It’s been a while since my last proper blog, about 7 months. Last July I went into an alcohol treatment centre, for a 3 month program, and would go on to stay another 2 months. It was… an experience. WHAT I experienced I’m not quite sure of yet. A very religious heavy recovery program, it had its up and downs. And I WILL go into it properly one day, just not right now. I currently live in an ‘after program’ halfway house, probably for the guts of this year, so I wouldn’t be in a position to write of my life in ‘The Village’ (as I’m now referring to it) honestly enough yet. Suffice to say, although I carry resentments towards some involved, I haven’t fallen down a religious path (some of my friends nearly thought I would. C’mon. It’s Me!) and I at least picked up some carpentry skills on the way. And yes, it kept me sober. Still have a head full of shite though, as the picture down below details roughly. Continue reading

Posted in Alcoholism, Biography, cartoons, Ireland, irish comedy, Media, Mental health, My Own Ignorant Opinion, Religion, standup comedy, The internet | 9 Comments