Return of the Mac

Ahhhhh....sweet relief. After over a month of being bereft of technology, my precious laptop is back in my loving arms. I've been spending time organising files, reinstalling programs, belatedly responding to messages and generally arranging my life. I also received the video from BBC News 24 of my second appearance in January, so if you're interested take a look at the vid posted. It goes into more depth of the issues I've faced over the years. 

As a result of sorting out my life, I've been very busy this week even though I'm unemployed. Unemployed and poor. I'm looking for part-time work to support me as I act and write, but unsurprisingly struggling, although I was offered an interview for a high-paying full-time gig this week. I toyed with the idea for a moment as the money was very tempting, but in the end I realised I don't want a mediocre, sell-out life. I want to do something I love (or at least like an awful lot) and I haven't been on a voyage of self-improvement and self-discovery to just pack it all in now. It's taken me awhile to fully commit to a life in the arts and I can't quite give up just yet. On top of that the job required a 12-hour work day and I know that in order to be mentally healthy I need a good dose of rest. In addition, I left politics behind for many reasons, not least was the fact that I was going mad from the stress and lack of sleep and I reminded myself that no one offers the kind of money in question if there aren't high demands. Integrity means I'm not just true to my art, but it also requires that I acknowledge my limitations and admit that lifestyle doesn't work for me, no matter how driven I believe myself to be. I can work long hours writing and acting, but there's a motivation for me that exists in creating that makes me want to push my limits, whilst simultaneously understanding that they are real and to be respected.

So what am I celebrating today? Well, definitely not this atrocious weather, but a day to myself to write, read, learn, watch, observe, and absorb life even though I intend to spend the rest of my Saturday indoors by myself. Speaking of Saturday, today is also the birthday of the late Saturday Night Live comedian Chris Farley who died of a drug overdose at the age of 33. In tribute to Farley I've posted a scene from Tommy Boy.

His life and death echoed that of John Belushi, a previous SNL alum, who also died at the age of 33 of a similar speedball overdose. There's been a lot of chat in the media at the moment about celebrities and drug addiction due to the recent death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Farley entered treatment 17 times in an attempt to recover from drugs and alcohol and his health problems due to overeating. This illness is a deadly disease that wants to destroy you. For those who don't have those self-destructive thoughts the idea that your own mind wants to kill you seems unfathomable. It certainly is counter-intuitive, but enter a room full of addicts and alcoholics and you'll realise those same instincts exist in all of them. I spoke to a friend recently who was convinced that if people have to rely on 12-step fellowships relapses are inevitable because they treat the symptoms and not the cause so, therefore, science needs to create an alternative treatment. I disagree. Yes, it is a lifelong effort which must be implemented daily, but you get peace of mind, serenity, happiness and your life back. The rewards for this are worth far more than anything that could be achieved by popping a magic, sober, recovery pill because that would at best treat the physical side and not the mental malady that accompanies it. Unfortunately, not everyone 'gets' recovery and that is a tragedy, because we lose great talent such as PSH, Farley and Belushi. I want to end this post with something profound, an answer to the whys and the hows of addiction, but truthfully I don't know why some are the lucky ones and some aren't. I do know that my friend Nick Evans discusses these questions articulately (and hilariously) on his blog The Inside Job. With 12 years sobriety under his belt, he provides a level of insight that I cant. Check it out and, if you like it, share it. It might not save everyone's life, but if someone can relate and it gets them into recovery it could save one. That one might not be a Chris Farley or a Jim Belushi or a Philip Seymour Hoffman, but more importantly, it might be a person you love. 


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