Hair Bands, Bad Tattoos and Alcohol

Music has always been an influence on me. It could be good or bad depending on the day. I graduated High School in 1991. It was the height of music like Bon Jovi, Skid Row, Motley Crue, Metallica, Pantera, and the Seattle scene with Pearl Jam and Nirvana. I went for the Motley Crue, Skid Row, Metallica, Pantera, kind of scene but maybe a little more aggressive at times. My best friend W and I often went to shows where guys would throw themselves into one another until bloody. At times it was like watching a National Geographic where the male Gorillas fights for top position. I know I wasn’t thinking that at the time, I was too drunk. I was also stupid enough to get involved in these shenanigans. W did too. We were we lucky we got pulled out of there or we would have had more than bleeding elbows.

In our state we had an amusement park. It had what they called a “Flume”. It was like a water roller coaster that you rode in a log. We loved it. It also had a Ferris Wheel where you were in a cage not seats. The cage had a wheel in the middle that you could use to try to control the spinning of the cage. It was brutal. The people hired to run these rides must have been taught by the Marquis de Sade. If you screamed or threw up you had to stay on the ride longer. I would see this one guy taking sips from a flask who was managing the spinning cages. Everyone knew not to walk near the ride while it was running because chances were you’d be hit with vomit or pummeled with loose change.

The park also had live bands. This was the best part. We loved going to see bands play there. W and I were able to see and meet so many bands and we were also able to drink underage. I’m not promoting this. I’m reminiscing about my past that included alcohol abuse starting at an early age.

In the beginning my drinking was fun. W and I were able to meet (most of you will have no idea who these people are) Winger, Pantera, Danger Danger, Slaughter, Dream Theatre, there’s one band I can’t remember the name of but I know it begins with a S and they wore plaid shirts. The lead singer was pretty with long, straight, shiny brown hair. That narrows it down doesn’t it? lol

It’s those days I miss. I don’t miss getting crazy drunk and getting prison style tattoos. I’ve always watched Ink Master because I find tattooing to be an art form. My father disagrees completely even though he has two tattoos himself. His are worse than mine! At least you have some idea of what mine are his look like bluish green blobs. I mentioned that he should get them fixed once. He said they are a reminder of his stupidity. He is such an artistic person but also a person who likes nothing more than to punish himself. LIGHTBULB! That’s where I get it from! Anyway, when I see some of the work done on that show and online I am blown away. I wish I had waited to get one of mine fixed. When the “professional” went over the prison tat you can still feel where he went too deep with the needle and there is scar tissue. I’m pretty sure it isn’t supposed to be like that. He had just been featured in a Nationally known Tattoo Magazine and his ego was inflated. He specialized in certain genres and that’s all he wanted to do. Trying to talk a client into a mechanical insect or a lotus for almost 2 hours when you knew 2 weeks ahead of time she wanted a wolf is just ridiculous. I don’t think I can have anymore done to it. The scarring seems deep. I’ll have to research someone to find out. Maybe they will let me be on Ink Master.

Alcohol has brought me down many roads and I’ve met many different people. Some were cruel, some were unexpectedly kind. I’ve met some that made my heart bleed. One such man was a Vietnam Veteran. I believe he suffered from PTSD. He was homeless (he lived in an abandoned car) and an alcoholic. Sometimes late at night when I was still awake and drinking I would let him come in J’s apartment. I didn’t want him there when they were around because they were ruthless with him.

He would talk about the War and how he felt when the guys said things to him. It killed me when I heard one of them call him a “baby killer”. I lost it that night. They were done treating him like scum. I paid a price for protecting him but I don’t care. They never messed with him again. They also threw M-80’s into the abandoned car to scare him. They filled empty beer bottles with urine and re-capped them. I stopped that from happening. I took the urine 6 pack out of his hands and gave him a brand new 12 pack that I had bought and made sure no one went near him. Should I have been enabling him? At that point of his disease I don’t think there was any going back. His suffering was too severe. I saw the pain and nightmares he carried with him 24 hours a day. Who was I to deny the man relief or judge him? I also had my own pain and it was easier helping someone else than looking at myself. I don’t know what happened to him. He had daughters my age. He always said to me “You’re better than this. You need to get away from these guys before it’s too late.”. It was too late the day I took my first drink and felt some of the grief, hopelessness, and misery slip away.


P.S.~ The man is from Danger Danger. I found the picture the other day. Those are my tattoos. I have a third but it’s in an odd area now due to my weight loss. We’ll just leave it at that.


About darie73

I have lived with Bipolar Disorder since my early teens. I have lived with Social Anxiety Disorder for even longer. I self-medicated with alcohol for over 20 years, that's how long it took to get a diagnosis. I'm open and honest about my mental health so hopefully one day the system will change. View all posts by darie73

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