RAW FEED: Mental Health Month VLog: Mendo Discusses Alcoholism

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Mendo discusses alcoholism.

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  • FullofQuestions1

    It’s great that you’re talking about this.

    • MichaelANovelli

      Why not? I have nothing to hide. :-)

  • $36060516

    I’m glad you’ve found a way to live with the hole, as you put it. That section of your video was one of the more sobering (no pun intended) descriptions I’ve heard of the future prospects of a person who formerly used a habitual behavior as consolation from pain: we still have that hole, and have to learn ways to live with it without medication or picking at the scab, so to speak. In some ways it’s a little bleak, to acknowledge this reality, but it’s also true, and we can do it. We get damaged in the process of living (physically and mentally), and have to find ways to deal with that damage that don’t cause further damage.

    Your experiences in the military sound like a possible good source of future videos, if they’re something you’d like to discuss outside of these little glimpses we’ve gotten in your videos on other subjects.

    Thanks for offering us a metaphorical peek behind the sunglasses, Michael. High five from one hole-bearer to another.

    • MichaelANovelli

      Well, I like to think I’m a no B.S. kind of guy.

      I’m so glad you liked it! :-)

  • Creature SH

    Thank you for speaking so candidly about that part of your life. I think that there is a lot of merit in what you say at the end. A big, bold cornerstone event makes for a good chapter in a book and goes wonderful with dramatic movie music, but that’s not really how life works. Well, maybe for some, but I think that’s more of a marketable exception. It’s much better to take things into one’s own hand whenever there is an opportunity or simple when the mood strikes than to wait for a catharsis that might never come. And that goes for many things in life.

    • MichaelANovelli

      Well, I think I’ve reached a point where I can drink without *drinking* if I chose to, but that’s not something I’m interested in. :-)

  • Necroglobule

    Heavy stuff, Mendo. Thanks for sharing.

    I guess I’m lucky because I’ve been Puke-And-Passed-Out drunk once, and that was only because I was celebrating a special occasion. I rarely drink, if ever. When I do, I practice moderation and whiskey is my poison of choice. I just never had any real desire to get blind stinking intoxicated. Also I prefer being sober.

    BTW you’re exactly right. You’ll have more success quitting anything if you mean it. I did exactly that with cigarettes.It wasn’t easy but I kicked the habit on my own. No support groups, no nicotine patches, no intervention with weepy relatives, just willpower and lots of Juicy Fruit.

  • MephLord

    I also believe this is a very interesting introspective. I enjoy
    drinking beer but hate being drunk (I know, whut?), so I’m a different
    kind of alcohol consumer. As for the hole in ones life, or vacuum as I
    put it, it’s a truth that most people have as a first world problem.
    Most of us just aren’t happy or grateful as we should be. We have jobs,
    entertainment, utilities and social benefits that should make us happy
    and enjoy. Personally, having such luxuries has made us a bit
    complacent about life, and ultimately we take things for granted.

    an aside, I’ve been to Africa. And as surprising as it may be to some,
    some of the countries have pretty good infrastructure. Running water,
    sewer drains, electricity, good public transportation and viable trade
    aren’t that uncommon there. All it takes is stable government, no civil
    unrest and cordial trade to facilitate that; and that isn’t that
    difficult to attain. Ghana is the example I’ll use as it’s where I
    visited and although poor, the people are from as unhappy as we are in
    the NATO world.

    This is kind of a broken commentary so I
    apologize from the disjointed nature of it. But admitting one is still
    an alcoholic after spending months of not drinking says a lot about a
    character. Wolverine, Thor, She-Hulk are all still alcoholics in
    Marvel, only Tony Stark ever confronted his addiction in any kind of
    reasonable way. And although he had the same epiphany that one expects
    from a super-hero story, the other three haven’t really had to answer
    for that. So that fits into your theory: unless one accepts it as being
    detrimental and requires personal corrective action, nothing will
    change. Is it because Tony is the only one without a healing factor so
    only he deals with the truly negative consequences? Interesting concept
    to think about.

  • danbreunig

    When you’re funny, I leave amused. When you’re serious, I leave humbled. But I always leave better off having seen and heard what’s on your mind. Thanks for sharing your insights and perseverance, Michael.

    • MichaelANovelli

      So, I’m a Renaissance Man? I don’t wanna be Danny DeVito…

      • $36060516

        Better than being a Bicentennial Man!

  • Michael McDonald


    Just wanted to say that this site and your videos definitely make my day when I see them. From one soldier to another, I understand about barracks living and that environment. And you are absolutely correct in your asessment that the only thing you can do with substance abuse is to deep down WANT to stop. I went from a barracks living single guy in 1995, falling asleep with a tequila bottle crooked under my arm nearly nightly to a married father of two, falling asleep with a tallboy on my coffee table! I still drink today, but I had quite a bit to come to terms with before getting to a place where I could have a “social” drink rather than stare at a 12 pack of cheap beer and think “Well, I know what my evening will consist of!”
    Thanks for sharing man, you made this deployment I’m on bearable for this old NCO. And sparked an interest in films and talking about them I didn’t know was in me. Now if I can just learn how to operate a webcam and mic I might one day do a film review too haha!

    • MichaelANovelli

      Just don’t but one from the local merchants. They’ll break the day after you buy them…

      • Michael McDonald

        But Mendo…where else am I going to find Lava chips (They’re Halal!), a Suny DVD player (really) and Beatzzzzzzz headphones that break when you run too hard?! Plus I don’t know what I would do without BATTERY! Energy Drink haha!

    • danbreunig

      I say go for it! When you get a chance someday, just make a video. Currently I’m working on a home artistic project of my own, and I would never have started if it weren’t for the inspiration I got because of the Booth, as well as a few particular Boothers. Otherwise, I just want to extend a hand and thank you (and you too, Mendo) for your service.

      • Michael McDonald

        Thank you Dan for the kind words, it really is much appreciated! And I will, as soon as I, in all seriousness, figure out recording with sound! I have a project in mind for my wife, so I will be trying that as a “home reading” experiment first. She likes me to read to her…is that odd? Or kinda sweet? I can’t tell! :)

  • TheScottCSmith

    Thanks for sharing this, Michael. I’m also a veteran (U.S. Navy) and our experiences with booze are very similar. It’s funny you mentioned Australia, because when my ship made a port call to Sydney I spent the entire week there drunk. As you know very well military bases make it very, very easy to get alcohol, whether it’s the cheap booze at the enlisted club, or the cheap booze at the package store (or whatever they call it in the Army). I served on two ships based out of Yokosuka, Japan, and the first ship I served on was during Desert Shield/Desert Storm. When that conflict ended and we returned to port, there were people waiting for us there with pitchers of beer. It’s just nearly impossible to avoid. I’ll never forget the time I almost killed myself from too much drinking. And you’d think that would have stopped me, but it didn’t. I was eventually able to stop, and now am at a point where I can have the infrequent beer and not have the urge to have more or get drunk. Stay strong!