Tag Archives: sobriety

Jamba Juice (the junkie way)

Time for a story!

Circa early- to mid- 2005.

the JUNKIE way

Pretty new to Los Angeles and new-ish to relative sobriety (the first time), your author, in an attempt at some sort of fidelity, creates a new habit. Jamba Juice (the junkie way). Maybe that’s weak… but, then, it’s weak. I worked at my first ever talent agency during waking hours and a west coast version of The Olive Garden on weekends (some nights, possibly)?

Meth is a stimulant. And all of the sudden, I had to be on time and on the ball, constantly. And all of the sudden (well, less suddenly than that)… I did not have Meth.

In a time of getting high (or rather, trying to be functional) in a legal manner, I improvised. I took 2 psuedofed in the morning. You know, the stuff that they use to make meth. The little red pills that are literally just psuedoepinephrine. And consequently is now behind the pharmacy counter. Boo!

One down.

I didn’t enter Jamba Juice one morning looking to get high. That’s comedy. But like bad comedy. In any event… it was on my way to work and, again, in my search for some sort of fidelity, I’d become a bit of a minimalist when it came to meals. I thought health… juice… on my way to work… try it.

Now, in 2005, the Jamba Juice offerings were much slimmer. So, I choose from what I can. Always a small, the base was a “classic smoothie” called Peach Pleasure. Okay, fruit blahblahblah, no bananas… whatever. Smoothies are misleading… they can often be crazy-ass sugary calorie-laden concoctions. But, this was great. safe. no bananas.

“You get one free boost with that”.

“huh?”

I had yet to become the ADD-fueled morning person that I would. So, it’s a bit fuzzy.

But, what isn’t fuzzy is “the boost”. This is the gateway to Jamba Juice (the JUNKIE way)!

I look at the menu or the board all confused-like (as is sometimes my default disposition that I am trying to shake). The disposition that I have no idea where I am, what to do, that this question that I’ve been asked is possibly high-level mathematics related and I could never even conceive of it’s existence, even.

But I digress.

“ummmmmmmm….. how about Energy boost?”

And a habit is born. So, this altered smoothie with Energy Boost and 3G Charger Boost (though I’m sure it was called something different at the time) plus my psuedofed plus the office’s coffee. And I am good to go. I eventually ask if they sell the “boosts” in powder form separately. They do not.

I achieve something very similar to a low-high.

But it is great! Not because I achieve aforementioned low-high in order to achieve some sort of high, but precisely the opposite. I am an adult that has a day job with a dress code. I have vacation days. Health insurance. Overtime pay. I am never late. I own a car. All this is possible. I am a contributing member of society (somehow)… furthermore, I am actually a functional human being. My one-time faraway mostly theoretical wish of walking amongst the normal people in hope of one day becoming one is not only possible… but actually happening.

So, that’s the story. This only lasted as long as I worked at the company. The head of the company is crazy and tends to clean house every two years… give or take word of an agent interviewing elsewhere*. In any event, with no agents, I really had no one to assist.

*yeah, I hate to say it… or maybe I don’t care… but “Entourage” does not get anything incorrect. People are FUCKIN CRAZY!!! And I kinda love it. I mean, not to say that my judgement is the best… but WTF?! Tens of millions of dollars are based on crack headed decisions… eeek. But that’s what I love!

And the laying-off was catastrophic because it wasn’t really about the job… it was the entire idea that I had assimilated into society… that I could do it. Of course one really doesn’t directly have to do with the other, and everything ended up being okay… sort of. Hysteria.

I never really did go back to Jamba Juice.

Such is the mundanity of dysfunction cascading as sobriety.

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a minor detail

So, I have this minor lingering ‘thing’ (that would probably be addressed if I had ever gone to rehab or NA… but then, this blog wouldn’t exist, atleast in this manifestation, if I had) that plagues me and prevents me, in part, from easily sliding back into the human race.

Like, what the fuck do people do? As leisure and all of that?

The way I see it, this issue has developed and built upon itself in a slightly exponential manner via a few channels.

a. Relative sobriety, for me, meant that I needed to find substitute behaviour. The aforementioned substitute behaviour would have been work. Work for work’s sake. Very ‘meth’, if you will. Meth behaviour without methamphetamine. This, in itself, is very suspect. Though I might add the physical quitting of the actual using of the meth is far and away the largest step in the correct direction. …or atleast, that’s what common sense seems to dictate. And furthermore, I just need to add, I am naturally very inclined toward repetitive, action-oriented meth-like behavior in general. Some might classify this as slight OCD, I might (read: do) classify these people as retarded.

Okay, back to why this is suspect… I began working at a new place, but continued doing things that I’d been doing my entire professional time in Hollywood. …things that I could do with my eyes closed, both-hands tied behind my back …oh, and high on meth and drunk on white wine. For more detail, see: ‘this took a bit more planning…’ And this may seem a bit backward, but I had been doing these Hollywood assistant-type things, at this point for about two years high and drunk. Yeah, there were about two years before that where I wasn’t. But I wasn’t very good, either: shy, learning and really just unaware of everything. And so, I was sincerely afraid that I wouldn’t be able to continue to do these things in the way that I’d finally learned to do them (communicate on the phone, blahblahblah) if I wasn’t. …high and drunk. So, it became a very focused effort to get to work on time and do my job as well as I could. Plus, one thing at a time, man… I mean, I didn’t even know that I’d be able to function in any sort of human capacity in general without the glory of intoxication.

And it may strike a longer sympathetic chord when I remind one of the fact that Hollywood is Hollywood (behind the scenes business-ness or not)… meth makes you skinny with minimal effort. When one’s only expenses are meth and 2 buck chuck… the money that would have gone to food now goes to cute, funky clothing and highlights. And not to digress too much, but the alcohol drops one’s normal filter and heightens one’s warmth and humanity and certain degree of no-holds-barred honesty while meth acts as a strange but directed filter on the ‘normal’ filter that alcohol dropped. Then meth brings forth the stagnant ideas floating around the brain while the alcohol soothes the anxiety that the meth ideas bring forth. It all balances out in a way that, on paper, seems like, “why bother doing any of this?”.

I can’t say anything to this other than “try it”.

So, in the end, I was obviously able to do my job. And because obsession is rooted in fear and I am me… it, like most things, became a highly ritualized no-brainer. But a highly ritualized no-brainer that I lived and died by. I came in early (imagine that) and stayed late. I did nothing else. …well, except for the court-ordered weekly DUI alcohol program that wasted my money and ate my soul for three months. But after this, it was seriously almost three years of nothing but work, weekend hibernation, work… you get it.

Toward the end of my Hollywood tenure, I did become more comfortable in my own skin and thus went out just a bit; slightly dipping a toe here and there back into the land of eating disorders not-otherwise-specified… oh, and drinking half a bottle of white wine a night, after work. All mild stuff (not excusing any of the behaviour)… but it is what it is. I was milder in my self-destruction and older in my time-line. So, as it goes, the intoxication became less absolute, dramatic and spiky… and more the equivilent of a bud light or something absolutely… slow and exquisitely mundane.

…to be continued. (I mean, because you can’t just have an a.) that way).

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