Lost in the World of Things

“Broken Often and Growing Stronger Always”

In my 21st year, I was trapped in a jail cell of my own design. Bent on self-destruction, my weapons of choice were the poisons of alcoholism and drug addiction. In the words of one of my favorite authors, Stephen King (from Shawshank Redemption), I was “…get[ting] busy dying”. I picked up the bottle at eleven years old and I wasn’t able to put it down for any length of time until I turned twenty-two. By that age I had been working at Electric Boat in Groton Connecticut for almost three years. I was soon to be asked to resign, or submit to rehabilitation, once I’d been caught hammered on the job. At age seventeen, I was hired to install pipe hangers on world class submarines (WMD) for General Dynamics. This job was certainly not a fit for me, being a peacekeeper in my social life, and a happy-go-lucky party animal while living as a solitary inmate in a self-fabricated prison system. Ever since I arrived at the shipyard, I’d been trying to slow down the physical and spiritual degradation brought on by my addictions, but so far, I had experienced very limited success with those efforts. I would make it a few days without a drink and then I would binge for two weeks to make up for lost time. I always imagined myself to be a reflection of the rock and roll stars I idolized back then, like Jim Morrison or Ozzi Osbourne, so it was natural for me to change my disguises (masks), with the fluidity of a cuttlefish. *Yes, here is where you might Google “Cuttlefish” if I lost you with that analogy. I’ve become a huge fan of the tiny cuttlefish over the years, so I couldn’t help but give them a shout-out here. As one who was able to swap out identities with ease, I was usually able to blend in with the rest of the crew, even in an environment as alien as the inside of a Trident Nuclear Submarine. I went to work each day with a simple strategy – to make it through another shift so I could earn the money I needed to fund my Rock Star Fantasy lifestyle.

Stay with me now, this story is only beginning to simmer. I’ll take it to the boiling point, when I return! 

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