I’ve mentioned before that one of the inspirations for this blog was a book called “The Heroin Diaries” by Nixxi Sixx, bass player and lyricist for Motley Crue. It’s a book of diary entries he wrote from late 1986 to late 1987, at the time the “Girls Girls Girls” album was recorded and the band toured the world to support it.
At the time, he was in the tight clutches of a heroin addiction that would nearly kill him by December 1987. He was in fact dead for a few minutes, but a needle to the heart brought him back to life.
Last night I was flipping through the book again and noticed that Sixx often went days without showering. If he took a shower, it was a good day.
His girlfriend at the time, Vanity, is also described as being a mess all the time because she was too high to notice.
As a former manager for Motley Crue put it, when you’re strung out the first thing to fall by the side of the road is personal hygene.
From my experiences with depression and addictive behavior, I can tell you there’s a lot of truth to that statement.
In my early 20s, when I was binge eating in the basement of the house in Revere, I would go days wearing the same gym pants and bath robe without taking a shower. I was so depressed I just didn’t care.
Besides, it’s not like I was having much luck finding girlfriends when I was clean.
My friends were often just as bad, especially Sean Marley, who at the time was descending into his own little hell and was running sleep-deprivation experiments on himself.
The hang-ups weren’t unique. I’d obsess about finding a girlfriend, which I couldn’t do because I was trying too hard. I was also going through my parental hatred phase. In hindsight I was an ungrateful slob. After all, they did let me have the entire basement apartment as a bedroom and let be throw parties at will.
But my weight was piling on as I dove deep into binge eating. Marley had recently died and I was doing an editing job that was killing me because of the hours I was putting in. I showered so I wouldn’t offend anyone, but I would wear the same clothes days at a time. I figured if I wore the same pants every day nobody would notice because I’d change the shirts. I’m sure some people noticed.
The good news is that I got over this sort of behavior as I went to work on the root causes of my OCD and related addictions.
So don’t worry. I’ve had my shower and a fresh change of clothes.
But if you’re standing next to someone in the elevator and they just happen to reek, go easy on them. They’re probably just going through a rough time.
With any luck, it’ll pass.