Ramblings of a Former Madman

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FRUSTRATION: vexing, infuriating and spiteful

Are you actually back for more?

Resilience is a good thing until it isn’t. Click To Tweet

I thought for sure your ride with Terror and Bewildered would have broken you…
How can you be back? Those bastards left you a whimpering moron.

I’m sorry for judging you. I forgot my own ride with Frustration.. I got back in the saddle and rode them all.

I can see you’re determined to as well. It took a lot to break me.

Resilience is a good thing until isn’t. Drop it.

It will stop the pain.

Oh, but that would require you to surrender… Okay. That’s not gonna happen.

The only thing I can offer is to share my personal ride with this bitch.



You can keep the bottle but quit whimpering and get on your horse. Time to ride. Click To Tweet

Let me help you understand her because you’re not capable of it, comrade. After Terror and Bewilderment, you’re whimpering and brain-dead in the corner, cradling a bottle of booze.

Drunk, meet Frustration.

She’s the most vexing, infuriating and spiteful of all of them. Looks are deceiving; she’s not a wild ride. In fact, you won’t want to leave her at the end. She’ll take you right where you want to go.

You can keep the bottle but quit whimpering and get on your horse.

Time to ride.



March, 2007… I’m done.

37 years of drinking, followed by riding with Terror and Bewilderment, had kicked my ass inside out. I’m terrified. I have lost so much blood, I finally was forced to the damn hospital and a CT scan to look for the source of all the blood I’ve been throwing up.

Cirrhosis. Fucking cirrhosis with portal hypertension causing the blood vessels in my esophagus to burst and requiring a blood transfusion. I’m at the end of my rope.



I get on Frustration. The horse isn’t a bad ride. The horsewoman riding along side is smiling.

Well, it’s more of a sneer. But she says she’ll help me.

I hope she can, I’m so lost. I can’t drink anymore but can’t imagine life without it. God, I miss all of those years where I was in top performance and still able to drink.

Where do I go?

Frustration grins at me, sweetly making a suggestion aimed at my ego. “Don’t make a drastic leap here. You’ve always been a big reader, smart, and self-disciplined. Do some research. Find a good self-help book and lay out a plan.”



Self-Knowledge, willpower and fear won’t keep an #alcoholic from drinking. It never has. Click To Tweet

In 2008 I had read every book on alcoholism and understood all to be known about this mystery. For a year, I made plans to find sobriety and promptly relapsed. The obsession, compulsion and desire to drink never leaves me. It haunts me 24-7, every damn day.

Another bleed. The doctors tell me if I have one more, I won’t leave the hospital alive.

I’m so damn frustrated! I sincerely try, I spectacularly fail. I try a different book with the same result. No matter how much I learn, how much willpower I expend, I relapse. I’m going to die and I can’t stop it.

Self-Knowledge, willpower and fear won’t keep an alcoholic from drinking. It never has.

2008-2015: If I don’t kill myself, I’m going to kill someone else. My frustration has morphed to anger. I’m infuriated and wind up at the alcoholic’s last resort: AA.

Frustration took me there herself but it’s not so bad. I like the program and particularly the fellowship.

Nothing changes. It’s a never-ending cycle of sobriety, relapse, Bewilderment, Frustration, Terror. Over and over.

For 9 years, 12 major bleeds, 5 blood transfusions, multiple GI bleeds, cirrhosis, portal hypertension, spleen disease, severe anemia.

Oh and alcoholism, can’t forget that.

The Stranger has robbed me of any dignity I had possessed. I deserve and receive no respect. It doesn’t matter that my whole family has given up on me because I’ve given up on me. If The Stranger and his disease from the pit of hell doesn’t load a fatal bullet in my chamber the next time I play his twisted Russian Roulette, I’ll do it myself.

Frustration, take me to Despair. Please, I’m begging you.

I give up.

She gallops along, reassuring me the whole ride.

“I understand your suffering, Jim. Let’s end the pain, shall we?”



Well friend, I hope you see why The Stranger had Frustration next for you.

Somebody had to give you false hope, smash it to pieces, make you sick, upset, angry and destructive then resurrect your false hope. Your will for life -our most primal urge- had to be destroyed.

The Stranger likes prolonged suffering and the willing acceptance of death. That’s where Despair comes in. Stay tuned.


If you wish to continue your education in suffering, be sure to read my blogs on Terror and Bewildered. Need a refresher on what the hell these horsemen are about? Click here and enjoy the ride (you won’t, it’s just something people say.)

Ramblings of a Former Madman

Join my mailing list for satirical musings, gripping stories, indelicate but often hilarious commentary, and (questionable) life advice.

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