A few weeks ago, I went to visit my mate at work.
I had just finished working on a shoot and thought I'd pop in to say hi.
There was an old book wrinkled on the edges and the cover design was a bit tattered.
The large font "Dry" had a running smear effect... I was intrigued so I picked it up.
Ash was like "dude... this book is right up your alley. You must read it"
So I said "Ok...." without knowing my life would no longer be same as soon as I turn the pages.
I have never heard of Augusten Burroughs before, Ash mentioned the film Running with scissors and I was vaguely familiar with the title. For some reason though the story just had a grip on me from the beginning, I could quite figure out why. It soon became clear that his life was scarily but strangely familiar to me.
Augusten was a 20 something, nice suit (substitute this with an outfit for me), works in advertising (check), pretty ordinary by societal terms. But the story unfolded with early signs of his attachment to alcohol, he never went home and never saw the drinking as a big deal…until his job grinded to a halt based on his work mates’ orders that he needed help. Apparently when alcohol comes out your pores the next day it is not a good thing especially when you need to meet an important client.
I can’t say I have gone through the extremes Burroughs had experienced, but I can sure detect the warning signs on the path I was heading… it is not really a cliché as such when you work in advertising, I suppose you either like to get loose to have fun with it or you remain straight or at least sensible. I am young and liked to have a laugh where possible while my acquaintances surely didn’t slow me down either. I guess we all just gravitate towards souls where we feel most at ease.
My house was not lined up with empty bottles although that would have made a spectacular visual for a photo. But more often than not….I had lived on liquid diets for days and virtually no sleep then I would crash out HARD. The rehab experience told by Burroughs was entertaining and scary at the same time. The story is full of dramatic twist and turns, it is not really about alcohol abuse so much. I came to learn that it was more about his search for love and dealing with his hidden emotions where the worst childhood memories have been suppressed with the drugs and alcohol, the feelings all comes rushing back to him in the face of tragedy and triumph.
I thoroughly liked the story and can’t be more grateful for finding it or it had found me perhaps… either way, it has really changed me in a big way. I have stopped drinking for almost 2 months now but it feels like an eternity. I actually find it not too hard, the only real obstacle is hanging out with friends when they are all getting loose but I still love them and I have learn to deal with it.
I am just excited for a new year where I can do more photography assisting and learning from more interesting people.