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Archive for November, 2010

I’m Obsessed

Part of the overall problem with being an addict (and I promise this is not another post about alcoholism blah blah blah I know I get it, you’re bored, ME TOO OKAY?) is that I am in general a compulsive person. My compulsive nature made me drink way too much but I overindulge or have overindulged in almost anything and everything. I’ve discussed my colossal problem with sugar -specifically candy Red Hots, Lemonheads, anything SOUR the sourer (is that a word?) the better, you’d think I was nine and not forty-four.

I have to make little rules for myself to stay off of sugar. I can’t have candy but I can have fruit sweetened cookies. If you think it’s not really possible to binge on a sugar-free cookie you’d be so very wrong. I’ve gone through an entire bag of Michelle’s fruit sweetened Chocolata Chip or Oatmeal Cranberry cookies from Whole Foods which are not a bargain at 5 bucks a bag. You might think that eating six big cookies would be much worse for me than just say eating a little Halloween candy right? But that’s where my compulsive brain comes in. Since I’ve decided that candy is off limits and fruit sweetened cookies are still on the menu, reason goes flying out the window. I’m sure some of you will have lots of suggestions for me on how I can work on myself to overcome this but save them; I’ve been in and out of therapy for years and I’m well acquainted with my flawed thinking.

It’s too bad I went with bulimia as my eating disorder of choice because I feel with my overfocus problem I could have been a pretty good anorexic. I might’ve given Portia Di Rossi a real run for her money. Oh really Portia? 82 pounds? Well looky here, I’ve got 81.3! But I had to go with the bulimia, made famous by sorority girls and housewives not skinny actresses. I have the disease of more is better, although I fully understand the anorexic need for control, it’s the numb out I crave.

So now, twenty years past puking, 18 months out of wino-ville and many months off of candy, I’m still an obsessive lunatic! Today my obsession is with a song -specifically and embarrassingly Flo Rida’s The Club Can’t Handle Me. When I say I’m obsessed, I mean, I’ve just downloaded it on iTunes and I’ve played in sixty times in a row. I can’t make myself sick of it.. The thing with addiction is that the addict doesn’t want to do the thing they’re doing. They feel a simple and overpowering compulsion to do it. I don’t want to listen to this song anymore but I have to. Am I enjoying it? Maybe the first twenty times through. I possibly danced a bit with headphones on. But I’m forty plays past pleasure and now wanting to not want to hear it.

My obsession with songs goes back to one of the first songs I was obsessed with: Torn Between Two Lovers. Oh yeah, I have good taste. I’ve been hooked on a million bad songs since then including Hall & Oats – Kiss On My List, John Lennon – Woman, Santana -Winning, I almost had to file for a legal separation from that horrible Fray song that was on Grey’s Anatomy because my love for it started to cross the line. I’ve overplayed everything from Kenny Loggins’ Rainbow Connection to The Theme from Schindler’s List, eventually requiring an endless loop to get me over them.

I guess it’s just some defect in my brain that makes me feel I’ll never get enough – be it love, Xanax or bad Jason Mraz songs. I should really just make peace with it although I do hope that I can transfer my pull towards Flo Rida to the Gym. But probably not. Or maybe I can settle for listening to Flo Rida AT the gym.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on November 8, 2010 10:21 pmUncategorized8 comments  

Don’t Get Drunk Fridays: Jane’s Story

I’ve known Jane for a lot of years. She’s a talented, hilarious, very giving woman and mom. I didn’t know she also used to drink too much but when I found out I asked her to share her story. It’s so powerful when we are open about having this problem because slowly we can take the stigma out of it and more and more people can feel free to just say, “Yeah, that sounds like me. I must be alcoholic.” And we can say, “Great! Join the club.”

“No one looked more forward to getting wasted than I did. I grew up in central Iowa, where secret parties with kegs of beer (and the occasional grain alcohol punch made in a big trash-can) were a rite of passage. But my parents were extremely strict and good at laying on the guilt, telling me if I were to get drunk rather than keeping my wits about me, I might end up driving drunk and killing myself or someone else. And God forbid I let my friends get drunk and drive themselves home! No, a good friend abstains and makes sure everyone gets home safe and sound. This idea appealed to the deeply co-dependent side of me, so like a good little soldier, I was a designated driver way before it was cool to be one. I know, I know- it’s still probably not very cool.

When I turned 18 I ran as fast as I could- straight out of Iowa to the bustling, cocktailing island of Manhattan. The very first night I was in the city, I found a posse of acting-school newbies to run around and get loaded with me. About three drinks in, it hit me like a brick- this getting drunk was maybe the greatest thing I’d ever done in my life and it probably also meant I was going to have a problem with it. It’s so sad to be stuck for a dozen years in that limbo of crippling denial and nagging self-awareness. I was a highly functioning drunk. I held down several jobs while I ran a small theatre company and began writing my own plays.

But, because the disease is progressive, the area of my life that began to pay more and more was always my personal life. Eventually, I only dated men who were just as into getting wasted as I was. My last serious boyfriend, upon asking me out on a first date, paused and said, “Hey, I really like drinking. Do you like drinking?” My face lit up with happiness and relief and I said back, “Oh yeah, I love drinking.” That relationship then proceeded to play itself out like a 1980’s version on Ironweed.

It was a deceptively lucky stroke that laid the groundwork for my getting sober. I had started performing sketches with a small group in comedy clubs all over NYC. My manager decided he wanted me to fly to LA to showcase for the industry. A quick February trip turned into a suggestion that I stay through pilot season. As I approached the possibility of getting a license and driving a car again, my anxiety grew. I began to ask people around me- at parties, on the bus, at the grocery store… just how much booze I could drink and not get too drunk to drive. This wasn’t New York and these people weren’t the cast of enabling alcoholics that I was used to having around me. Most people got this look in their eye when I asked them about drinking and driving that was such a sad mixture of pity and fear, it froze my blood.

One morning, a few weeks into my LA odyssey I woke up hung-over after a late night of bar-hopping with one of my oldest NYC pals that had relocated years previous. As usual, I was trying to piece together what I had said and done the evening before. Recovering from these drunks was getting harder and harder, I was throwing up blood occasionally, the skin under my eyes had red, mottled little blood-vessel bursts. I was breaking down. I looked in the mirror at this mess and said, out loud, “Well, maybe today is a good day to stop drinking.”

But, I’m a prideful thing and I decided if I was really going to make this move, declare it to be so and live day to day with the consequences, I had to really think this through. I was living with a friend of my brother’s in Silverlake. She was long gone to work and I was alone to sort through my thoughts and feelings. I made a pot of coffee and sat down on the stylish, green retro sofa at around 10am. For the next eight hours I barely moved a muscle, except to sip coffee refills, as I sat there and thought about making this move in my life. Around 6pm I’d made up my mind.

I got out the phone book and called AA to find out where the nearest meeting was. The next day I went to the first of about 50 meetings where I sat in the back and said absolutely nothing, then slinked out.

When I was six months sober I finally spoke my first words at a meeting. I went up to get my chip at a huge meeting in Hollywood and whispered “Jane, alcoholic, thank you,” into the mic. I very highly recommend NOT getting sober like I did. I wished I’d reached out and made friends those first few months. I wished I’d had a sponsor sooner. I was just so plain terrified. This program has given me my life. Every single thing I have that I cherish (my husband, my son, my friendships, the artistic endeavors that bring me joy) starts with my sobriety and my relationship with God. I’m not saying that either of those things came super easily. I was lucky the obsession lifted for me very quickly, but I struggle on a day to day basis with living that serenity prayer. The struggle is worth it. On February 25th of this year I celebrated 16 years of sobriety.”

If you want what Jane has come and talk about it here.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on November 5, 2010 2:37 amDon't Get Drunk Friday7 comments  

Open Letter To Charlie Sheen

Hi Charlie,

How’s it going? Dumb question right? Obviously, it’s going fine since you are back in production on Two and a Half Men and Little Lady. You didn’t miss a beat even after your crazy lost weekend.

As one parent of twins to another, I have a confession to make: I’m a little jealous. Here’s the thing: Since I had my girls (and another kid on top of that) I never get to take a vacation, let alone a wild romp in NYC where I stay up all night doing lines of coke off a high paid escort’s ass in a hotel bathroom. First off, how did you find a sitter?

I’ve heard you can arrange for one through the concierge but even if the hotel did get you someone, doesn’t it get expensive after say four a.m.? Are they in double overtime? Did you keep your phone on the whole time in case one of the twins woke up and the sitter needed to get a hold of you? I know my Blackberry’s at least on vibrate even if I’m just going out to sushi for an hour. Please, Charlie, share your secrets!

I suppose money isn’t an object especially when you can afford not just a random hooker but someone with actual porn on their resume. Personally, I’d never heard of your call girl, Capri Anderson, because I don’t watch much porn these days. Not because I’m morally opposed to it or anything like that. I’m just tired! After a long day of waking at the crack of dawn ( hope the word “crack” wasn’t a trigger 🙂 ), making three kids’ lunches, arguing over what they’re all going to wear (just this morning my twin Matilda was demanding to wear a swim suit to school even though it was 57 degrees outside -so frustrating!! LOL) driving to two different schools, laundry, trying to figure out why my dishwasher is leaving my dishes dirty and has gross scum around the bottom of it, arguing with the unemployment office etc., about the last thing I feel like doing is popping in a porno. Sorry but it’s true!

Honestly, I just don’t know where you get your energy! I mean, besides the cocaine. Do you drink vitamin waters? Workout? I try to get to the gym as often as I can but half the time something comes up. For instance, the last few weeks I’d been chairing the raffle committee for my daughter’s school and it was exhausting. I barely had time to shower. But you, my friend, are overextended. Movies, TV, assaulting your wife, violating parole, trashing hotel rooms, attacking a prostitute because you thought she stole your wallet and cell phone! It’s no wonder you ended up hospitalized on a seventy-two hour psych hold- you’re trying to do way too much! You need to delegate, mister! That’s what assistants are for!

A lot of people don’t understand how hard it is to raise twins and also try to maintain your identity. But I do. Boy do I. I could write a book. You and me, we’re in a special club. We get each other. The twins thing is a tough gig and we all need to blow off steam now and again.

So here’s hoping the judge is a parent of twins too! But if not, and you get sent to the pokey, try to take some time out for you. Just some Charlie time. Write a novel, lift some weights or just get some reading and smoking in. You’ve earned it.

Sincerely,

Stefanie Wilder-Taylor

P.S. Are you giving your twins one birthday party or two? I can’t decide!!

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on November 3, 2010 12:27 amUncategorized29 comments  


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