Ever since my ticket purchase last week for THE WHO’S QUADROPHENIA – LIVE this upcoming November, Who tunes have been running thru my head.
On July 24th, I saw the single night showing of the movie QUADROPHENIA – CAN YOU SEE THE REAL ME? at a theatre in the West End, Minneapolis, which just made me understand Quadrophenia even more.
From the first time I saw Quadrophenia, I could totally indentify with the main character, Jimmy Cooper. I didn’t realize that he was portraying someone who was quad-polar or “quadrophrenic,” with the four polarities being a trait of each member of The Who ruling Jimmy’s mind at different times.
Jimmy. I have always loved that name… maybe because it was the name of my first real childhood friend. Or maybe because it was the name of a very significant friend in early adulthood. …well, the latter was a Jim, but with the boyish nature of our relationship, to me, he will always be a Jimmy.
Jimmy Cooper was kind of a fucked up lad, (weren’t we all?) trying to find where he belonged, trying to become his own man, yet just in a whirlwind; being pulled by these emotions and energies; loves and hates, looking up to false heroes, crashing down hard as the heroes were revealed as their true selves. And of course, masking all of it with alcohol and drugs; yearning for love, but acting out with empty sexual encounters.
Jimmy moves through a series of jobs, travels, friends, destroying what he loves most, his Vespa; becomes disenchanted with his Mod lifestyle, his drug use escalates, bringing him close to death, where he has an epiphany and he sees through all the personalities, the “real him.”
I thought Quadrophenia had something to do with it being recorded in quadraphonic sound.
My life has been wrought with different (yet, in a way, the same) insanities throughout my existence and for years I self medicated through drugs, alcohol and sex. Some of these mental warbles were inherited, while others were developed, self-imposed. Although at times it has been a struggle and brought some heartache…the mental storms have never been enough to warrant serious prescribed medication.
It is only by maintaining a clean and sober life that I have begun to understand this.
In early recovery, medical professionals were quick to give me (as they do most entering a rehab facility) the textbook, quick-fix label of bipolar-manic-depressive – which oddly enough are the same symptoms of an active crystal methamphetamine addict. I refused to start taking any medication until I was off all drugs for a year and my brain and body detoxed from the crystal meth and other substances. Sure enough, the traits that they first labeled me with diminished as I maintained a drug -free lifestyle and they withdrew their early diagnosis and chemical plan.
My life has always been cyclical…ruled by, I believe, astrology..the placement of the planets and their orbit in the universe. I seem to experince certain highs and lows over the course of the year in various seasons and certainly lunar. Usually in patterns against the norm; I am depressed in the early and mid- summer, at peace and more active in the early and mid-winter. Spring and fall are always periods of change for me. Full moons usually bring calm.
For over 30 years, events always happened in two-year patterns.
Before getting clean (off drugs), the spring and fall would always be time of upheaval and major change; either with dramatic cross-country moves; people leaving or coming into my life, major employment changes. Since maintaining clean time, changes have been (seem to be) minor things, but important nonetheless, just not as devastating, dramatic or carrying such severe consquences.
I joke at times that life seems somewhat dull for I haven’t been assaulted, evicted, incarcerated or had employment terminated in years. With clean time comes stability.
I am just exiting a low or depression and actually felt a change in my being with the passing of the last full moon three days ago. Up until that full lunar, I was sleeping a lot, lacked motivation, eating empty calorie junk food, not working out and was under frequent advisement of my shitty committee… those little nagging voices that seem to criticize existence. In the drug days, I would try to silence the shitty committee with use or just act impulsively, thinking my rash decisions were based in a solid healthy, thinking pattern, which in an active drug psychosis, made perfect sense.
I spent my early years in recovery at 12 step meetings and on a shrink’s couch under the delusion that by maintaining clean time, this shitty committee would go away and the nagging negativity that drove me to use drugs would disappear. I finally came to the understanding that no, these things do not disappear, they diminish. I have just learned by maintaining clean time to how to handle them…to recognize them.
At least this how it has been with me…I can’t speak for all in recovery. I can be honest enough to say this: There is still the nagging voice; I just try not to feed into it as much or let it control my life.
And through the years and the, um, phases I have gone thru …I have seen the real me. It just it has taken time to fully realize who that is and embrace it for who I am.
Can make it rain
The way the beach is kissed by the sea.
Can make it rain
Like the sweat of lovers’
Laying in the fields.
Love, reign o’er me.
Love, reign o’er me, rain on me.
Can bring the rain
That makes you yearn to the sky.
Can bring the rain
That falls like tears from on high.
Love Reign O’er me.
On the dry and dusty road
The nights we spend apart alone
I need to get back home to cool cool rain.
The nights are hot and black as ink
I can’t sleep and I lay and I think
Oh God, I need a drink of cool cool rain.
~ Peter Townshend