Keep Laughing, Ye Devils!

December 9, 2017 1 comment

SAMuysNIt took me a long time to accept that laughing is good for you. Well, me.

I laugh, you know. Can’t help it. Life is funny. Fun, too. Mostly funny. Funny, like in a weird way: it smells funky, has more legs than needed, and the arms are too long. Mutant of an existence, joke of the century. It’s hard not to have a laugh. I love a good comedy every once in a while and I watch stand up comedy once a month. I like goofy jokes and laughing at myself helps too.

There we go. Laughing at yourself, or even better, with yourself. It does you good, apparently. I never thought laughing actually serves a function. But our hard working scientists and psychologists keep finding more (funny) stuff about our existence, physiology, and mental health. According to them, laughing is good for your health, and even smiling is beneficial. Yes, smiling, this slight stretching of lips turns out to be a meaningful exercise, supporting your feeling positive. I don’t know how they find these things, but it’s cool. Here is some info on that: “The scientists believe it is the physical act of laughing, rather than an intellectual pleasure, that makes laughing feel so right. According to the study, the muscular movements associated with laughing increase the production of endorphins, a chemical that is known to make people feel good. The study thinks they have answered the question of do we feel good because we laugh or do we laugh because we feel good? They believe the answer is we feel good because we laugh.” (“Why laughing makes you feel so good” by Esteban D. Christian Olan, ) Also check and .

I wanted to write about the good that comes from laughing for a while, and perhaps I actually did, some long time ago, but I am too lazy to go check. So I am writing a new post instead. I’m feeling positive, OK?

So, the reason I finally decided to write about laughing is a week ago I fell on the ice. Not the most positive event, but hear me out. I was walking from work on the way to catch a bus home late at night, and stepped on the black ice. And here’s what happened that made me think of writing this.

Just when I realized that my right foot slipped on the ice and in the process my other leg went up in the air, higher than usual, I knew I was losing my balance and was going to fall, most likely on my ass. The “oh shit!” thought balloon went on in my head, but also a memory. That was not a memory of me falling before, but a memory from a movie, which I am going to mention very soon. First, though, I fell.

I collapsed on my lower back and ass, and a slightly on the left side. It hurt for a second, but then pain was gone and anger was the only emotion present. Anger? Yes. Some not very responsible owner of the house by which I fell had no care to salt up his sidewalk, or breaking the ice at least five feet in both directions. There is no light pole in sight to give me a hint there maybe have been a large ice patch. So I wasn’t awfully happy about that. Plus, I was still intending to catch the bus, and the longer I lay down, rubbing the sore parts of me on which I landed on, the higher was the chance I will miss the bus, by the way, the last bus of the evening. Sucks. It was a bit too early for me to get up, and all I could do was swearing. “F this, f that!”, you know, the usual.

And then that memory of the movie came back. The movie was “Home Alone.” I don’t remember which one, because I love both of them to death (well, the third was cool too, but the cast was all different). What I do remember is how the robbers would run after Kevin the kid, and slip on the ice and fall down, but do so, obviously, posing for the camera, so it looked slower, and you had a chance to catch the expressions of their faces, eyes bulging, mouths opening, hands flying. You could see every detail. And I have no idea why that memory came to mind, but I tell you one thing, – all I was thinking was that when I was falling, I must’ve looked the same, only at much faster pace.

And it made me laugh.

I lay there, on the ice, laughing my ass off. And the ass was sore, remember, but I didn’t care anymore. I just laughed for half a minute or so and then started to get up. I walked off to the bus stop slowly, because I was sore, but I was no longer swearing or feeling angry. I just watched my step, a bit more attentively now, and I was still snorting the laughs. And then I started thinking of what I am going to do when I get home, how awesome it was that I had a day off next day, so I can sleep in, and that it would be a good idea to stretch before bed, hee hee, and that maybe adding a hot bath with sea salt would be great idea too (hee hee). And so from a righteously angry ghoul I was slowly turning into a Winnie the Pooh, mumbling laughter and thinking happy thoughts. It felt really good, I tell you. It was a good night from then on.

And here’s the thing. As I wrote above, I was righteously angry. Somebody was irresponsible and I fell a victim (more or less) of that inaction and so I had every reason to be unhappy. But I don’t like being angry (even though often I am), and I prefer laughing more than raging. So the way the memory of Home Alone’s thieving ice collapsers came to mind served a great positive diversion for me that I thoroughly enjoyed, and better than that, learned from.

The more I thought of it, particularly in the lines of “hey, I should write something about that!”, the more I was recalling how from time to time this year (probably in the past too, but mostly this year) I’d want to swear at a driver who cut me off on my walking the dog, or a person shoved by me, or something of the sort, people being rude and/or oblivious to the presence of others, and I’d laugh instead. Just pushed the negative out of the way, and as soon as that happened, the anger, and so often righteous anger, would just piss off. Not completely without a trace, but still, a big chunk of it. And the day kept on going without me wanting to rip somebody’s head off. I felt better that way, for sure.

I keep laughing. When I can. When I know I have to. And then some days it just comes. I pun around, joke around, and I like to see people laugh, or get puzzled, and sometimes I don’t even know what came over me and I laugh or smile like an idiot. It works well that way. Less ripped off heads, hey!

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Dreadfully Impatient

December 6, 2017 Leave a comment

I thought

That I didn’t have a minute

To wait on you

Spilling your stories

Over and over,

Year after year.

Someone thought

This is how we learn,

That everyone deserves a chance

At whatever pace,

But not me, of course,

For I needed to run fast.

Well I run into

Half a hundred lamp posts on the way

And I had to stop

Because it was hurting too much

To think.

And I learned in shorter time

That looking back helps

To avoid stepping on nails,

Especially if I remembered

Which spot those nails were.

I didn’t have to run anymore

Because care to be somewhere

Was no longer there.

And rushing you to tell your tales

Was ruining your peace of mind

While mine was too impatient to see

You were in pain so different than mine

Yet so familiar.

I no more care for this fast running world

That moves into its own demise

Without seeing it,

But I wait on you to tell me the same story,

Sometimes smiling,

Sometimes tapping my fingers impatiently,

Still I try to be as good to you,

As I wished you and yours were to me.

Categories: Uncategorized

“Let the Right Ones” Inn

December 2, 2017 1 comment

I remember a couple of people from the days I worked at a homeless shelter. They were leaving in the morning and as part of saying “goodbye” and “have a good day” told them to “take care of themselves.” This was at two different situations, but in each of them, the person gave me a look of disbelief, if not sarcasm, and said: “How the hell am I going to take care of myself? I mean, look at me! I drink every day and sleep at a homeless shelter where people clean after me!”

It made me think then, it makes me think now. Sometime looking after yourself is hard, especially, like those two folks, you live in conditions where everything seems to be playing against you.

And then came the thought that sometimes to take care of yourself means you need to let others take care of yourself. Let them make one step into your life and trust them to do good things for you.

ie-allow-clipboard-accessEasier said than done, though.

I know about myself that it took me forever to let people help with things, because, naturally, I knew better! Or, I didn’t know any better, but I, naturally, will find the way to do it right. So it was mostly out of pride. With drinking especially, because for the longest time I was sure I could fix things myself… until I realize I couldn’t and that I’ve wasted almost ten years on proving others wrong… and it didn’t work anyway, so I will keep trying until everything goes to crap and I will find myself screaming for help!

I actually ended up calling for help, and how lucky I was. Not because there was an adequate help for me, but that I actually made the step forward asking and accepting, learning and improving. Often people don’t accept others help because they don’t want to show they need it… but not out of pride.

No, more out of fear that their secrets will come out. Well-guarded mysteries they never wanted others to know about. And those usually are not secrets of their crimes (theft, murder, unfaithful life). No, it’s trauma. Physical health trauma? Yes, sometimes, but most of the time psychological. More in the lines of something that was done to them. What was done and how they perceived it and how they treated it through the year after. Childhood abuse (physical, sexual), family violence witnessed as kids, surviving with having no proper home or enough food, being bullied at school and then being bullied through life. Abusive relationships. Facing sexist behavior at work…

Admitting to these things done is scary. People often deny that these were happening for all that time. They try to keep it hidden out of fear and shame. Fear that someone allowed themselves do it to them, someone who they trusted, and if those people did it, who will they ever trust? Shame that they didn’t stop others from doing it to them, and again fear to let anyone know because they could be blamed, ridiculed, or not believed.

Letting others in to help you with those traumas can be very difficult, and trust is the first door to open. Being heard and trusted, just knowing your are heard and trusted, is the huge step toward healing.

Living in fear and shame, there may be no pride left to cover with. It’s quite dangerous, because isolation may seem like the safest and reasonable thing to do. But it’s not. The more we isolate, the more we believe it works for us. Although deep inside we know that we strive for the company of others, on the top of our mind we relish in thoughts that everyone should just leave us alone. Leave us in our own shelter and let us be.

It is not a right way to deal with life, but we so often take it. I know that I did. I only survived and got better because I told myself that I couldn’t do it on my own again. I was scared that I couldn’t care for myself like I used to, but I cared enough to scream for help. I was very lucky. Those who I reached, the people in recovery and long lasting sobriety were willing and caring. They stand by me since then.

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Perfect Paranoia

December 2, 2017 Leave a comment

paraAt the latest home group AA meeting we discussed Step Three, reading from the Daily Reflections book. So we talked about “Thy will be done, not mine…” excerpt as pertaining to the Step. As well, a particular line stood out for me: “I am responsible for the effort,… God is responsible for the outcome.”

I think that is very clear put statement for Step Three altogether, as long as the effort is honest and sincere, analyzed, not invading others’ interests, and is not abusive.

My effort in life, it works in a specific way. I do not consider myself better than others, but I am indeed special, just like I consider everyone special. I am different. Not better than you, not worse. Different. And the way I do things, in a special way, it works for me, otherwise I wouldn’t be here, sober for over ten years. The sobriety I am talking about is a gift, something you were given and it is to be appreciated. At the time, it is also a skill, something to hold on to and to practice, every day, because nobody has cancelled life struggles of any kind and degree, and everybody deals with it on a daily basis. People who are addicted to substances and behaviors struggle with life too, and often it is harder for them, just like for people with disabilities, or people with financial difficulties, than for the folks who sometime I hear in the meetings are called “normal people” (I am still not sure what this “normal” means. Sure sounds boring, though.)

I treat my sobriety, and skills, and ideas about sobriety very seriously and I keep them as precious. Without them, I’d be in jail, mental hospital, or dead. So I am trying to be aware of things that are not good for me, and I work on things that are good for me. I could be over-protective of these things/values, and for me there is a good reason for that. I recently read an old story by Stephen King called “Everything’s Eventual.” There is a line when the protagonist is feeling someone is after him and he recalls a friend saying once “Perfect paranoia – perfect awareness.” I think that although “paranoia” is a bit of an exaggeration for my being over-protective of my sobriety, this line does describe me well, regarding my relation to recovery, viewing myself, others, and things I can do, and cannot do, and what works for me and what does not.

I often hear people in recovery try to put aside previous activities and concentrate on lighter, positive things. I certainly am a more positive person now than I, perhaps, ever was, but going all positive and light didn’t work for me. I always have been a fan of fast and loud and aggressive music, and with sobriety it didn’t change. I remember listening to death metal through the whole of the first year of recovery. It helped me to move on forward and get things done when I felt I had no energy to do it. I also write dark and weird stories to motivate me to see things about people, and things they do, or see, or embrace, or dislike certain things about life in the way I missed before. When I drank I only saw what I wanted to see or perceived things negatively quite often. I consider myself more open and alive these days, but others may not see it that way.

My Trezvennost, sobriety of body, mind, and spirit, my lifestyle, and self care are of primary importance to me. With that in mind, I cannot stand people who try to impose things or ideas on me. I have a right to say “no” if I feel I do not agree or do not need something that is OK or “normal” for someone else. I recall my Mom flipping out a bit when in my early recovery I told her of the principle “higher power of your own understanding.” As a relatively new Christian, she was appalled to hear that someone can choose how to define their spirituality, and how to fit it into their life, and that such a well respected organization as AA that she heard of before actually encourages people to do that. I asked her, “Does it really matter what people believe if it truly makes their life better, in a wholesome way? And shouldn’t you, as a believer in positive spiritual transformation, be happy that people are getting better, basically coming to life back from the dead, even though it is not within the frames of your own faith?” She didn’t find what to answer me, besides pouting. I understand that in the conversation with me she acted as a parent, but I am an adult too, plus I could then (like I can now) see that the approach I was talking about was clearly working and making wonders in my life. It doesn’t mean the end of the world if it is not done your way, is it? (Love you, Mom!) Funny enough, I have to work on keeping that in mind as well.

I pray in the beginning of the day and go through the rest of it, trying to do my best, respectful of others, trying to be a part of solution, not a part of a problem. The rest of it is carried out the way it should be, the way my Higher Power (God) wants/plans it to, but things work out well if I keep remembering very well where my will and His will are balanced, and where boundaries in between lie. Those are most important things for me to keep in mind. Otherwise, my will keeps rushing out – to be noticed, to be satisfied, – and with it all the things that taste, and look, and feel great, but also so harmful for my body and spirit.

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False Memory Born of Belief

November 25, 2017 Leave a comment

False-Belief-Of-OutsourcingHe remembered things that may not have happened.

He still remembers having fun with others when they were not there.

He thought he was known for a fun person until he saw no one cared to play with him, and he wondered a lot about it.

He thought for a long time it was all about him, the good, the bad, and the horrifying, so he lived his whole life in a metaphorical barrel he refused to leave until it was time to be driven for burial.


They thought they were good.

They also thought there were things they should’ve done that they ignored.

They thought that on their own they did a hell of a lot of thinking.

They thought that thinking did them a lot of good to make things happen, yet they also felt they were stressed out a lot because they saw many issues coming up and it was just too much to process, thinking of how they were going to deal with all that.


She is all these things that happened to them all.

She remembered a lot of the cool stuff, that others considered weird.

She doubted so much that she no longer wanted to make a step forward.

She is so much more than she was made to believe, and deep inside she may carry the good, and the wonderful, and the pretty friggin awesome, but after believing there was no one to play with, she believed in the OK, the not so good, and the horrifying, and all she wanted was to be alone, forgotten, ignored, invisible, with only a little voice deep inside her whispering that she wanted to be acknowledged.


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When It’s All the Same

November 18, 2017 Leave a comment

Groundhog-DayI sometimes call it the “Groundhog Day Syndrome”, relating to the movie, starring Bill Murray, and not the North American tradition. I’m particularly relating to the episode when the protagonist, Phil Connors, the Weatherman, drinks with two folks and explains his problem with waking up every day, facing the same day, each time, and one of his companions notes, “It’s a story of my life!”

It is actually scary sometimes to take a look back at the last year of my “drinking career” and see how it was. Scary, because in my mind, since the time the event(s) passed by for over a decade, the memory grew colors and gained some sort of emotional weight. It’s grey and it cries sadness. Each time I share in the AA meeting about that time, I call it “fucking miserable” and it’s true. So it was. Each day felt like winter went for too long. Reality was frozen and time sort of stopped, so it was all the same. Headaches. Inability to make yourself get out of bed, but not for the sake of being tired, or to keep warmth in longer. No, in order to not face headache and it’s intensity. And intense it was, because the night before I drank way too much. Vomit. Lack of appetite. Lack of money. Strong desire to drink some more to ease the headache, even though a part of the mind was whispering “no more of this crap, no more!”

Scary, yes. Not just the actual portrait of how it was, but also the fact that it kept going, on and on, Groundhog Day syndrome indeed. Only different from the movie, in my life the days of the week were changing, and numbers in the calendar succeeded one another, but not to me. Not really. It went on for months. It took years and years to build up, and that lead to the dreadful sameness of reality experience. Negative sense of living was ever present.

I felt like I needed to change something, but didn’t know where to start, because although I knew alcohol was killing me, I couldn’t give it up. In those times, I often thought I could meet someone who would save me. Hope dies last, the say, but I hoped too much and took no action. Soon after, it started to feel like it was someone else’s fault. I didn’t care for others anymore. People faces around me looked the same, there were no friendly ones, and the happy ones were extremely annoying. The only joyous time, it seemed, was only when after school or work I’d pour a drink down my throat and let intoxication take me. Those first couple hours were so sweet and fun, and then it all would start to go dull, until it’s time again to crawl to bed. And then… it’s a (new) old day again, It’s All The Same day again. Solitude, blame, hopelessness, inaction, anger, suicidal thoughts, alcohol love affair, bad dreams, weakening mind and stomach, oblivion… start over.

Those memories are no fun, as you can see, but they are good to hold on to, because they make today feel so much better and brighter than anything, no matter how gloomy I may have thought it was. I keep saying that joining AA was the best thing I ever did, because it changed my thinking, feeling, thinking in so many ways. Yet the first week of sobriety, while surrounded by other sober faces, so different, so understanding, was like a gust of fresh air of new life I never thought I’d be breathing again. And just like Phil Connors, the Weatherman, learned something about himself and the people around him, to change his life, I did too. No doubt about it.

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The False and the Vicious

November 9, 2017 Leave a comment

spaceI didn’t write for a while. Almost three months. Wow… But, I rather write nothing than write crap. I must also say last three or four months were quite busy regarding writing new stories and submitting them, so the Writing Magic did happen, and very actively so. So did the sober time marched onwards. Thanks Gods for that.

As for this story, I wrote about it before, but I’m sure repeating good ideas is good for the memory to act upon good things in the present and future. So I’ll keep on with the right things. Below are my ideas on some subjective, some objective (I hope) and on the irony of the False Motivations and the Proverbial Vicious Cycle of Addiction.

Living sober, I often looked back at my drinking time, compared what I said about it in AA meetings with what I heard other people shared, and I saw that very few people had thinking similar to mine toward reasons for drinking and not being able to stop. This is not to say that I am hugely original, just that there are so many of us around, and everyone’s stories are different and maybe some of us don’t express certain thoughts, out of being ashamed, or out of fear to be judged.

My vision of why I started drinking and drank for a while, besides the brilliant AA theory of allergy (yes, brilliant, I am not being sarcastic; it is bloody smart and I wish I figured it out waaay earlier!), is as follows. I was under a certain amount of stress at school (I was never a great student and besides just a few particular classes never was fond of going to school), and at home (it seemed my parents, although being great people then and still are now, had no clue what I was into, which is understandably not easy dealing with an introvert like myself!). Alcohol was always a guarantee of a good time. Each time I drank I was happy, although the more I drank, the less I was happy, less social, and hangover sucked big time (yet, the negative sides of drinking never deterred me from drinking again.) I also felt like I needed to have good time more and more, often because I didn’t seem to fit in the groups of interest among classmates and didn’t have much success with the opposite sex. So I used the “escape to euphoria” tactic a lot.

Besides those usual teenager/young adult every day problems, there were other ideas that were on my mind, partially thanks to the wonders of the media. I placed them in two categories: Mythology and Facts.

What I understand by “Mythology” is all the stuff I heard and saw that was not entirely (or not at all) true regarding alcohol consumption and society. Among those were/are stereotypes uttered with serious face and just plain laughable fairytales and arguments. For example, “everyone drinks”, or “you can have one”, or even “you’re not a man if you can’t have one”, and of course bad old classic Russian challenge “Don’t you have respect for me? Drink with me!”

In addition, there are stereotypes that all musicians and writers drink and do drugs and that’s what keep them going, helps them to create masterpieces, and that’s the right way to have a good time. Since I was always into rock music and reading books, and I read and listened to tons of material, including about the authors and composers, I was sold on the idea of debauchery and creating under influence. What was an attractive idea to a teenager was very hard to bash out from the young adult’s mind.

Also that undying impression that all Russians drank was very potent! I mean, we Russians do drink, and there is a hell of a lot of us, so it is easy to make an exaggeration. But that particular exaggeration dealt a massive blow to my psychic. I started drinking around the age of 15, and just in one year I was doing it rather unhealthily – drinking a lot and couldn’t stop until I puked. Boozing with my classmates back in high school in Russia, we kept reminding ourselves that it was OK to drink, and everyone around us did (which was not true), and it’s a our Russian people’ second nature, just like fighting wars and flying to space. That kind of a mindset failed to get me on a rational thinking plane when I started thinking every once in a while that maybe I drank too much. The idea that drinking a lot of alcohol often was the typical Russian thing had stuck in my head for a very long time, and my corrupted mind always pushed for winning the eternal argument of “to beer or not to beer?”

Besides “Mythology”, there are also what I call Alcohol Facts, such as “drinking alcohol is one of the oldest human traditions” (laying out a red carpet to the stereotype “everyone drinks”, therefore “it’s OK!”) And it’s hard to argue with history: Ancient Egyptians made beer and the Greeks – the wine, and so our ancestors kept enjoying the wonders of spirits variations from then on for many a century. History doesn’t talk about the alcoholics that perished along the way down from Tutankhamen time. Those things are only to be found in individual biographies of particular famous individuals, and only if you looked deep. Therefore as a kid, and as a teen, I wasn’t aware of the victims of intoxication consumption in the World History. I only learned of conquests, reforms, and discoveries… such as booze, among others.

Not only alcohol was created a god-awful long time ago, it also spread all across the world, into most countries where the tradition to drink wine, among other beverages, became commonplace. In Spanish and Latino countries, having several bottles of wine with dinner is a norm, or so we read in books and see in movies. Again, a movie or a book about Britain almost always features s characters sitting in pubs, and we’d get an idea that they sit in pubs all the time. As for Russia, my parents always put several alcoholic beverages out for a family reunion, and themselves, as most of my family, are non-alcoholics (although everybody at the table did drink, so do all Russians drink, hmm?)

So there is no stigma of drinking alcohol on planet Earth. Quite the opposite – it seems that it is widely encouraged. And that’s a blessed territory for the alcohol producers, therefore advertising prospers too. Ads sell you the most attractive, bizarre, funny, and romantic illusions and images of how you’d definitely benefit from the use of alcohol (which, naturally, places advertisement into the “Mythology” category), starting with the look of the bottle and ending with the depiction of profound happiness, solid gentlemen success (yes, particularly gentlemen, because ladies in those ads usually look either promiscuous or needy), and other wonderful nonsense you are assured you can’t live without. We look for what we want in the ads, we want to hear what we want, and it ads do great jobs with that, trying hard to be of service, just as much as they are often vicious and misleading.

Those are the reasons for my starting drinking and continuing drinking for a while. Quite a lot of reasons, hey. Quite a pile of crap. Rather scary, although it does make sense if you look at it from the safe distance of a psychological study.

With time, alcohol was becoming a problem for me. I failed classes, lost jobs, messed up relationships, and hangovers were getting worse. But I kept boozing. Now, why in the world would I?!

Enter his majesty the Proverbial Vicious Cycle. Let’s see what that means. I drank due to stress, and due to drinking I was causing more trouble for myself in school and work. Therefore I drank more to get more “fun” in life which in turn led to more stress, because I couldn’t manage drinking. So I kept screwing up things. Moving from one country to another, breaking up with a girlfriend, leaving most of the relatives behind, meeting new people, taking new classes, doing more homework, – those changes were many, and all changes lead to stress. The more I messed things up (because I drank to deal with changes and anxieties they brought) the grumpier I was becoming. Consequently I spent less time with others. I was getting more attracted to people who experimented with drugs and alcohol and that lifestyle in general. I was into bands that drank a lot. I remember particularly reading more Hemingway, and besides being a masterful writer in general, he seemed to write about drinking a lot.

The more trouble I ran into thanks to alcohol, the more I was looking for justification of my action and the normality of alcohol consumption. And I’d always find it, can you believe it? The proof that alcohol drinking is OK was always around. Pure magic…

So the reasons why I started drinking were exactly the reasons why I couldn’t stop drinking, because those socially created concepts and illusions were very persistent. I should also mention that those concepts and illusions are so attractive to the people who make booze and people who drink it, that they are constantly supported and/or re-invented. That’s my vision of the scoop, anyway.

And of course dependency. Addiction. The ever-rising tolerance to drug/alcohol consumption. That didn’t help me to slow down or stop drinking either. It took me over 10 years of drinking and at least two years of actively participating in sobriety groups to fully face the illusions and the facts and create a modus operandi to fight them and continue staying sober.

And that is exactly why, I think, it is so hard to not starting to do drugs and drink alcohol in our Western societies. It’s not just the advertisement that waits for us on every corner, trying to sell us a bottle. It is the stuff that hits us before we even saw a single alcohol ad. The TV, the books, the lyrics accompanying our favorite music, what our peers say, etc. And all of that is undeniable part of our lives, so banning or escaping all these things is impossible, and really, pointless. We just, somehow, need to invent a system to not to sell out, not to give in, to stay strong against the message of illusion and facts meddling with our minds and consequently bring us more trouble than enlightenment. Because it is not just about alcohol, is it? It is everything else we see every day that the ones in power and the ones with product are trying to sell to us: clothes, another car, a lifestyle, a behavior, all wrapped with smiles and promises of happiness. It’s hard to fight them, but it is our life, goddamnit. It’s worth fighting for. One day at a time, everyday.

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