Once — Part II

Written in prison, 4/15/2016

Part II

            Once I was fifteen years old, and life had begun to really make me fold. Strife would always bring on my low self-esteem, as if it were some sort of ingrained new strain of a virus type of thing. All it would bring on was this new feeling of depression, and my life started feeling so damn compressed, then. There was sports, school, and family trips to resorts with swimming pools. I was constantly attracted—also distracted—to girls, new cars, and going to the bazaar to look at and envy those who smoked cigars. I had no time to savor or employ the activities that were supposed to be bringing me joy. Life seemed to be a ploy, but I have a confession, and I won’t be coy: but I met a girl that year. Soon she would unfurl into the first love I knew, adding some cheer to the gears that wound my strifed-life.

This chick named Dana really knew how to tame a boy like me. My life became thick with game, a chance at fame, a life no longer lame or the same. I was in Junior High, still, and now with my shy-guy style, sporting a shiny new braces-free, wry smile. I felt that Harriet Eddy Junior High was super petty, but went through it all the while. The only cool thing was their famous French fries and no more younger grade school kid cries. I soon met a girl named Jennifer and all my friends started to concur that I shouldn’t be around her. But funny things happen: that “her” would soon become my life, and she might—actually did—become my wife.

            Until then, we skip back to all of the strife. I graduated from junior high in tact; in fact, I seemed like a man now, in more ways than one, seemingly now un-green, if you know what I mean. Yet I still always felt like a fiend. I constantly needed more and started looking for the next score. I had secret loves on the side, which always made my new girlfriend Jenn cry. We would break up and get back together, fairing the weather, make up and try to retie the tether. Little did we know, our relationship was still soft as a feather, and later in life we would measure our future together on all of these displeasures.

            Summer came later that year in Cali and I tried to act coo’ and jolly, and I even got me a gig at the Sacramento Zoo. The neighbor girl Aly had her a fairing friend name Erin; she became one of those side scores that I began caring for. She just had this beautiful glow, but I was way too shy to even say ‘hello,’ but soon, she became one of my best friends, though. That summer, right before high school, I took a nice little cruise to Mexico. My brother soon introduced me to kids he said were cool, but all I saw them do is drink lots of booze. At first, I didn’t understand, but as life goes, things go unplanned, and soon, I wanted to be part of the band. One night was the night that would change it all; my brain could no longer strain or stall, and I didn’t know then exactly how far I would stumble and fall. That night was the first night, the first time—my first sip of a highball of alcohol.

            Once I was sixteen years old, and I no longer felt pristine, still bold, yet cold; I could no longer fight it at all—I felt the consistent and persistent call of alcohol.  Life was confusing and I heard constant abusing screams inside of me that felt like an attack. Therapists thought they had all of the facts, so they wrote me many prescriptions for Prozac. I found myself still with Jenn back then, and we fended for ourselves through constant bends and mends, ups and downs, many frowns, always trekking through and over atop mounds and mounds. I felt the pounds on my shoulders, like boulders were piling up and tilting me over, wilting me down to the ground like a flower grown colder.

            I acted a fool in school, but still did well, so to speak, in that hormonal oval abyss called Laguna Creek. I felt so amiss and felt like a creep most days, doing what I was doing, lying and lying to myself until it felt like I was dying up on an unreachable top shelf, but I still kept on trying to seep through the cracks and stay on track until one day I blew up within and couldn’t retract. It was the day I caused myself harm by cutting myself on the arm, so irritated by all the built up strife within my life. There was a hole growing bigger inside of me until finally I put on some rock and roll and took a long stroll with a knife, wanting to just end it that night, just trying to make everything alright. But I guess the Big Man had bigger plans to deal with my distress, because here I still stand, a better man—I’ve acquiesced.

            That hole inside of me bore deep into my soul, and I no longer wanted to be so shy in life and to be so dull. I thought that back then I had all of the answers, so I had turned to drugs and other cancers, but nothing could ever come close to filling that hole, or even pose or trump that call, like my forever and ever coveted alcohol.

            I write this now ten years later from my prison cell, wondering where it all went wrong and where I fell. There are so many things in this story that I missed and skipped as I’ve reminisced, but I’m still on a mission to tell all about my condition, and I have a suspicion that people need and will want to know more about my transition to submission. If you want to hear more, and you know who you are, do not worry, I plan to start a memoir. For now, here’s my condition: I may now be a divorcee with many felonies, but I will not and cannot let that define me. Life is fine and worth living, and I won’t let alcoholism categorize or defeat me, so I sign off now saying simply that I’m on fire and ablaze to retire the drinking and drugging days. I promise to amaze, I’m no settler. No more constant bends, “I’m sorry”s, and amends. I’m better than this, so stay tuned when I say so—here comes Ryan 2.0. I will stay strong and grow old, a brand new kind of bold, no longer so cold. I will never fold. Here we go. . .

Author: Ryan S.

Born and raised in Elk Grove, CA, I've battled with various addictions throughout my entire life. I've discovered that through writing about my experiences and struggles, along with the other various forms of writing that I do, it gives my addictions, traumas, and worries of the future a little less power within my thoughts. This, to me, is therapy, and a route toward recovery through a little hindsight, which brings me to a happy medium with my struggle within my discovery of self.

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