Monkey On My Back

Success is addictive.

Four score and about 3 years ago, I might have needed an intervention. I was the shit- body banging, hosting parties around the country, traveling constantly, a radio show on the hottest station in the ATL, car paid for, on a record breaking reality show, on the cover of several magazines, endorsements & a boyfriend that loved me … well at least I thought he loved me. Come to find out he was cheating on me with a girl 6 years younger than me. A college dropout with no car, no job & no real ambition other than she wanted to be a “model” … in Atlanta … go figure.

I took it hard. I replaced food with alcohol and him with a 19 year old of my own. I set my eyes on retirement & fell into complacency. Anything that took any energy above average, I didn’t do. I didn’t allow myself to want anything that wasn’t guaranteed or didn’t come easily. I found a lifestyle, a relationship & a means of income that any idiot could wake up at 3pm, drunk from the night before & do. When the relationship went sour, probably mostly because of my lack of enthusiasm & concern, I happily fell into being single which is even EASIER to do. I recently woke up, amazed at how much I have failed to accomplish over these last maybe 2 years. I #BLAMECRISTAL.

I am determined to have a record year. I began 2010 by losing 15 lbs on the Master Cleanse and since changing my eating habits & getting back in shape. The morning of March 15 showed me something I really wanted. Like REALLY REALLY wanting something. Like willing to sacrifice anything to have something type-of-something.  It feels good. Even when I feel like it’s unattainable, it just feels so good to WANT to put your energy into something, to WANT to work, to actually try again… and it has affected other aspects of my life. Many of you know I’m curbing my enthusiasm for curse words & I actually get up at somewhat normal human hours now. I’ve stopped drinking so much, going out so much & running away from home. For those that DON’T know me personally, I “run away” often. I’ll go to the airport and just GO. I’ve seen a lot of the world this way but it is far from an adult way to deal with your problems and often the cause of more.

When you go thru rehab for something its often referred to as “getting the monkey off your back”, well now, I’m doing quite the opposite. I’m working on getting him BACK on. Addiction feels so good. The itch. The feeling of wanting, needing something so bad, you’ll do anything for it. I built a step ladder out of my heart & I got a pocket full of bananas. I’m going all in.

Did I mention that I love monkeys?

{Photos by D. Hathaway}


27 comments to THE MONKEY ON MY BACK

  • The rest of the article was seen later. The writing is engrossing and you in the images are striking.

    MJ with Bubbles didn’t hurt either. :)

  • I loved this blog Cristal. I had no idea you went through certain things but it has opened my eyes to a lot of things I was concerned about with you. Glad to see youre climbing your way back to the top .. I gotcha back mama!

  • Girl – I feel you more then you know!!! I have been going through some of the same growing pains (don’t know if Jarek told you). I’ve been writing a blog about my “transformation” as well… Oh – and not to mention – I too LOVE monkies!!! I was born in the year of the monkey and went to the monkey temple in Kathmandu and was bit in the hand by a monkey. Monkies and Tigers – my two favorite animals. Anyway – I’m excited to follow in your journey – and when I finally lose my 25lbs – I still want you to take me shopping!!!!! :)

    Please wait till Friday to get the 200 list thing from me! You’re gonna LOVE it!!!

  • Oh -and I smoked a joint with a chimpanzee in saudi arabia! Swear to God! Have witnesses!

  • SoBossy

    This was a very cute and sexy juxtaposition of two elements.

  • SultryAS

    cristal, i must say that reading this post felt like reading a page out of my life a cpl of weeks ago! im only 23 and i was in that same “slump” for months, popular, responsible, positive, achieving my goals…i had everything i wanted from myself and from everyone around me…and right when i was at my “peak” everything came crashing down and i was blaming everyone and everything else for it and decided to just say eff it and do me instead of being the woman i was and take some responsibility for a mess that i cldv been prevented.

    u had a depressing tweet last yr lol and i replied to u that all u needed to do was look in the mirror and u shld feel better. i had to take my own advice and wake up to reality and realize how much worth and potential i have that is wasting away by sleeping late and missing class.

    so glad u r sharing ur evolution with everyone, it can b so easy to shut down when things seem to b too much and run away, but ppl need posts like this to help get motivated and to know that everyone is capable of bouncing back, they just have to do it and want to do it…

  • So long as it is for something good, addiction is something we need to accomplish anything worthwhile in life. It’s easy to be bad and lazy which will only bring more and more of life’s problems. But, if we want something good, we have to get up off our butts and go get it by doing the hard work it takes to achieve life’s worthwhile goals. And, to keep doing the hard work takes an addiction to the success it brings.

  • CallmeDeweezy

    Okay Article was excellent we all are growing into who we want to be take your time your seed will grow and on the comments Syhper you crazy Gal

  • Yeah, it would feel good to really WANT to do something, or to really WANT to go SOMEWHERE…ANYWHERE for that matter. The main(if not only) thing that I really WANT to do is GET SOME OF MY POETRY PUBLISHED IF POSSIBLE. So, I guess that a lack of enthusiasm is something else that we have(or had) in common. PEACE!!!

  • C4C

    great entry, hit really close to home in some ways. thanks for the inspiration.

  • You already know you’re my inspiration….

    Hey guys, don’t forget to check out: for more Cristal news.

  • Glad ur working thru ur trials & tribulations momma…keep #writing no one can ever stop you! Great post! :-)

  • Eljin

    You’re so beautiful and intelligent.

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  • That blog was awesome…not what you went through but the words describing the want and the drive that you’ve gained! Recently I’ve been feeling like not caring and being complacent but that’s not what I want…I have passion, I have goals, I have dreams, I have something that I want to pursue and this blog has further encouraged me to do so! I’ve been cheering for you since Serious with the red tips, but now I’m encouraging Cristal :) Keep writing, you have inspired me in a big way!!

  • This was a dope read, much props for being honest about the struggle that we all go through but only tell the “Good” side of it.

  • Great post, great title (of blog). So relate to the “getting the monkey ON your back” concept. You can do it Cristal.

  • Tee

    I love this and it was a great read. One reason in particular much like you use to do I often take trips or “run away” from problems/life. Your blog has inspired me to push myself to do things I have been putting off for some time. I just wanna say thank you!!!!

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