Useful Bits of Advice

How I Got Here – Gains vs Loses

I lost it all. At least that’s how I felt.  No more steady high dollar income, no more life of crime, no more single life and no more steroids.

My life changed drastically 4 years ago. Some of the changes were voluntary, while others were forced upon me. Instead of appreciating what I would gain in my new life, I could only focus on what I no longer had.

My ex-girlfriend and I were moving in together to start a life as a family with her son. He was 3 at the time and I wasn’t going to allow him to be raised around a man who was selling drugs. He deserved better than that.  So I quit my lucrative profession of choice for the last 20 years and I had no idea what I was going to do.

Luckily, I had saved up a nice nest egg to make sure we would be well taken care of for a couple years. However, I totally lost perspective of that.  All I could think about was what in the hell was I going to do now.

I was lost and I certainly didn’t have the work ethic to go work for someone else. My ego told me that was beneath me.  I was an entrepreneur, so I had to figure out a way to be my own boss. It’s amazing what ego and arrogance can lead you to believe.

I was forced to give up using steroids because a scan found pool ball sized tumors on my liver. The doctors told me they were liver adenomas from using steroids and I had to quit using immediately. Two years later I found out they were cancerous and had be removed, but that’s a story for another time.

I had been using steroids off and on for the last 10 years. The last 2-3 years I used them continuously.  I was obsessed with how I looked and how “big” my muscles were. If I had to rank the importance in my life, it was in the top 3 things I cared about most.

Without steroids my muscles quickly diminished and my clothes no longer fit like they once did.  I would put on a shirt I used to love and have a meltdown complaining about how it used to fit.  I lost 15 pounds in a couple weeks. I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror without clothes on.

I never wanted to buy new clothes because I didn’t want to admit I was now going to have to wear XL shirts instead of XXL. I kept telling myself it was a challenge to grow back into those sizes. I ended up wearing clothes that looked sloppy and made me miserable for many months. Buying an XL Shirt was admitting to myself that I accepted my life had changed and I was unable to do that for quite some time.

On top of the weight loss, I had plenty of hormonal issues from coming off the steroids abruptly.  My testosterone levels were almost nonexistent. I was gaining fat, having mood swings and my dick wouldn’t work unless I used Cialis.  In my mind I was a fat, small, jobless, limp-dicked has-been.

Notice how I didn’t even mention the very real and possibly life-threatening issue of liver cancer in all if this? At this point in my life it was so far in the background of what was important to me that I rarely even took it into consideration.  I was very sick mentally.

It was a perfect storm of shit for me. I was lost, so I turned back to drugs for a reprieve from it all. I ended up destroying my relationship with the woman I loved in less than 4 months of moving in together. I ruined the chance at having a family with her son. I caused massive amounts of wreckage in my life and theirs. I hurt them both deeply as they became collateral damage from my inability to cope with change.

I lost my persona of this financially well-off, muscle bound, drug dealing womanizer I clung on to so dearly.  I didn’t know how to live a life without these things. It’s sad and pathetic to admit, but that’s the blunt truth. That’s the person I aspired to be and without that I didn’t see a future I wanted.

I tried getting the family I destroyed back several times, but too much damage was done. Every time she and I tried we created more damage, until we could no longer have contact because it wasn’t healthy.

I wish they knew that they were angels that came into my life to save me. If it wasn’t for them I most likely would never have given up selling drugs.  Unless I got caught, which was only a matter of time. I probably wouldn’t have given up using steroids, as she was the one who truly talked me into stopping. It wasn’t the doctors and the test results that changed my minds.

She begged me to go back into counseling, which eventually I did. My therapist has been a navigator for me helping me through my life. Giving me guidance and facilitating my growth.

I miss them both so much and wish the world for them. It hurts so badly to think that two people who you love so much and have benefited your life in so many ways can’t always be a part of it.  But, I’m trying to follow my advice from before and looks at what I’ve gained instead of all I lost. Those two are irreplaceable, but new people and journeys will fill their lives and mine; hopefully bringing love, excitement and happiness that we couldn’t achieved together.

After a of couple years and two major surgeries to remove my liver cancer, life started getting better.  There’s really no secret to making your life get better. In my opinion, you put one foot in front of the other every day and try to make progress in life. You work hard on yourself and at your chosen profession, you learn and adapt, then eventually you see progress.

It’s not easy, I struggle often. I’ve started a growing a semi-successful business that allows me to pay my bills and I’m proud of that to some extent. It’s nowhere close to the life I had financially, or where I want to be, but it’s movement in the right direction.

I’m learning the value of hard work and building character I never had. After all I’ve been through I’m grateful for the life I have. Not as grateful as I should be all the time, but no ones perfect.

Leave a Reply