When I Just Don’t Have The Words

Some days I can sit down and the words and emotions flow like Natty Light at a frat keg party.  I can express exactly what I am feeling and thinking.  I’m in a state of flow.  Its a an amazing rush.  I feel like Arnold in Pumping Iron.  “Im cuming all day and night” 

Then there are days like today.  I feel like I’m beating my coked up dick with sandpaper.  No matter how hard I try I’m going to end up with half a chubby that’s really chaffed and sore.  I have a lot inside of me that I want to say, but the words just seem to escape me.

I have a vision in my mind of how my writing should look.  Being hopeful my words can help others .  Putting my stories and thoughts out for those who can related and are struggling to find their way.  My goal is to create pieces of art that cause others to become interested in their own lives.  To help them start experimenting with what works and what doesn’t.  I strive to build a successful life to show others that if someone like me can do it anyone can.  “Each one teach one.”  Everyone has some gift they can and should share with the world.

Creativity has been a struggle throughout most of my life.  Always wanting someone to give me direction on what to do with my life.  Having a them lay out a solid game plan and show me the end goal.  The majority of my hesitation stems form fear of trying something new and looking like a fool to others.  I have struggled to be a leader.  Writing allows me that creative outlet where I can take the risks.  I can bare my soul in a cathartic way that forces me to face my fears.  Writing builds leadership quality because only I can create with the words that are in my mind.  There is no one to tell me what or how to write.

For me, its important to push forward and create when I don’t feel like it.  Complacency and laziness haunt me at times.   Im just getting back into writing so I need the reps and the practice.  Many times I just vomit utter shit onto my computer screen that seemed like an amazing idea when I started.  But I learn and I grow from the exercise.  Even if what I produce may not make it onto my blog its never wasted effort.  Writing always serve some purpose for my life at the time.  It could be as simple as forcing me to get out of my head, or it could help me work through some of my deep seeded shit that brings me down.

I get to say some real shit that people may judge me for.  Friends, family members, business partner, acquaintances may all view at me a little differently after hearing my story.  The ability to be genuine and authentic is what touches and inspires others.  I want my readers to feel my joy and pain.  People will hopefully laugh or cringe at the dumb shit I’ve done and feel better about themselves.   If Anything I have experienced and shared helps the life of others I consider it a success.

 

What I learned Last Night at the Casino

Last night I got the itch.  I was bored, no one wanted to go out and I needed to get out of the house for a bit.  I decided to take a trip to the casino.  The delusions of grandeur started flowing in my head.  I saw me there spending an action packed night of meeting new people, laughing and watching the money roll in.  Now, from my experience, the odds of my night going that route were about as likely as Klansman finding a date on blackpeoplemeet.com.  But, I went into it with a positive attitude and was ready to play some blackjack.  Don’t get me wrong I have won big before, but its been awhile.

I scoped the place out for a few minutes until I found a table I felt comfortable with.  I sat down, threw out a grand and was ready to play.  Most the night I was up and down small amounts.  I couldn’t really get traction one way or the other.  I decided to change tables.  Once I got to the new table it was all over very quickly.  I played to win, made all the right calls.  The cards just didn’t fall my way this night.  As usual the house won.  I should have just walked up to the dealer, handed him my chips, told him to kick me in the balls and been on my way.  It would have saved me some time

Normally I would be the typical loser in the casino and done one of two things.  Either I would have pulled out more money and kept losing, or I would have continuously replayed those hands over and over in my head.  Making judgment calls on what I should have done.  I would have made myself completely miserable thinking about how I should have played.  The mental and emotional hangover would have probably lasted for a couple days.  I would have shamed myself for being so stupid and wasteful with my money.  Those thoughts would have snowballed from money worries to my ex, I’m not in the shape I want to be, all the way to why I’m not where I want to be in life and just kept going.  The negativity would compound and spiral out of control quickly for two maybe three days.  All over my decision to gamble that cost me to lose a $1000.  Which a friend of mine made me feel worse about when I told him how much I lost.   He responded “You lost what my 60 hour work week makes me before taxes.”  I could have gone without hearing that.

Im not a rich man by any means, so that money could have been spent in much better ways.  The thing is its the past.  Its done and can’t be changed and I have accepted that.  That may not seem like a whole lot to some people, but for someone like me that is HUGE.  I am starting to be able to make mistakes without shaming myself.  I don’t have to place a negative value on myself because I had a little set back.  Just because I lost last night doesn’t prove my life is a constant failure.  In the past I would have allowed myself to see things that way.

Losing that money turned out to be an investment in my mental health.  Im not saying it was the best value for the investment.  Losing $100 and feeling this way would have been much better.  For someone who obsesses and allows those obsessions to turn into much larger issues I feel like this is a pretty big step in the right direction for me.  Learning how to deal with mistakes and failure without the toxic shame.  Also, I will probably stay away from the casino for awhile too.  It’s been making me its bitch for a couple months now.

 

Dealing with Crippling Anxiety and Fear This Morning

I went to bed last night feeling well and free looking for to the day ahead, but my mind and my dreams had other plans.  I woke up in a mental prison.   I was covered in sweat feeling like the flu hit me.  It wasn’t the flu that had me paralyzed to the point I couldn’t get out of bed.  It was my mind. My fear and anxiety crippled me.  I was pretty sure the day was over before it began.  The Struggles with my life I have been facing had apparently snowballed overnight.  They all flooded me at once.  It was too much.  Thoughts were racing through my head about my business, my life, my ex.  Thoughts of how the stress is eating up my muscle causing me to lose weight and get ill.  The stress is causing my already thin head of hair to fall out quicker.  Over and over again the same thing replayed in my head.  I’m lost and I’m not making progress!

After about 90 minutes of laying in my bed, tossing back and forth, I decided I had to get up and drink my morning shake.   As soon as I swallowed the last gulp I stormed back into the safety of my bed.  I cuddled with my dog for a little bit.  Finally I couldn’t take it anymore and I got up and sat on the couch.  My hands and body were trembling.  It was as if I had done too much speed.  My brain was causing the rest of my body to get totally out of whack.  I knew I had to take action an do something to get out of my head.

The first step was to try the mindful awareness app that had been sitting unused on my phone for months. My therapist had recommended it as a way to  to help center myself.  The app made a slight difference, calming my breathing and allowing me feel the spots where the anxiety was resonating from.  It wasn’t enough to get me off the couch.

Next I went to YouTube and looked up motivational videos.  I watch a few until something clicked.  This video spoke to me for some reason.  I played it repeatedly until I worked up enough energy to take a shower and head to the gym.  I literally listened to this video for the better part of two hours.  The strength I found in the words I heard got me out my house and through my workout.

The most impactful part of the video for me was when they discussed “yet.”  The speaker talked about how people put in the effort and they keep pushing and pushing, but they aren’t getting to where they see others or where they want to be.  They are giving it there all and putting everything they have into their life but it just hasn’t happened “yet.”  That three letter word, yet, gave me hope.  It fueled a fire inside of me to do my best with what I had today.

On many days like this I would look at how late it had gotten before I got out of bed and given up on the day.  Before the day had even started I would have looked at it at a failure.  I would tell myself tomorrow would be better.  Then I realized all was ok.  There was still plenty of time in the day to make it great.  I can still accomplish and build today.  there is no reason to trade today in and take a mulligan. I Forgave myself for feeling defeated.  In my head I made the choice to make the best day I was capable of.

This morning allowed me to revisit several principles the world and others have taught me over the years:

  1. Even though I hurt like hell it didn’t kill me
  2. My life is much better and more fulfilling than I give it credit for
  3. I do not have the answers to my life right now and that’s ok
  4. The human mind is so powerful that it can be my best asset or my worst enemy
  5. I can’t always control my feelings but I can control how I let them affect me
  6. The only way to get out of my head and feel better is to take action

Even though I didn’t know what to do or how to make myself feel better, I still took action.  That was the only cure for my situation. Action allowed me to change my outlook.  If one thing doesn’t work I have to change my approach and try something else.  I needed action to get out of my head and refocus my thoughts.  To give me the strength and energy to get through the day.

The universe, God or whoever; taught me a valuable lesson today.  Like most experiences in life I need to look at the pain I went through with gratitude for the knowledge I have gained.  Now I have a plan for tomorrow or any other day in case I wake up feeling the same way.  I have created a contingency plan.  I know the steps I can take if I feel this way again.  I have the app ready to go and I have new motivational videos lined up to to watch.  If those things aren’t enough I have articles ready to read, podcasts to listen to and people who I can talk to.

It was a reminder that every day I need to create, build and live the best life I can.  Some days little victories like getting out of bed are a huge success.  I have to take these little successes and allow them to accumulate to bigger successes.  Before I know it life has a way of shifting itself from fathom to abundance.  When I look at very successful people I know, they key seems to be humbleness and humility.  To do the right things on both parts of the spectrum and to show appreciation and gratitude for the life you live.

 

I Got a Shitty Dragon Tattoo

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When I was 21, I started getting more tattoos. My best friend, Erik, was a tattoo artist.  I remember seeing a “tribally” looking dragon on a piece of flash.  At that moment I knew that bad ass dragon was going permanently on my right shoulder and trap.

Yep, I was certain this tattoo was for me.  Erik tried to talk me out of the tattoo.  But I was leaving for spring break in a month or so and I needed this tattoo.  (Yes the same spring break with the Mexican hooker).  So we sat down and he began to place this abomination on me.  Don’t get me wrong, from a technical standpoint it wasn’t a bad tattoo, he did a good job.

I sported this dragon proudly for a good year or so before I added more tattoos.  It was like a banner that told the world I was a douchebag and I know it.  I mean it wasn’t tribal band HOLY-FUCKING-SHIT douche level, but it set me apart from the pack of normal dudes.

I remember wearing tank tops to proudly display my dragon for everyone to admire. Fuck right doggy, that’s a fucking tribal dragon!  I’ve had several girls lay with me naked, looking at my tattoos, ask me why I have this stupid fucking dragon.

As I got more tattoos, filling out my sleeves and chest, this fucking dragon always got in the way.  It was like someone took a shit in the middle of painting and said “fuck it, lets just leave it there, I think it adds character.”

My whole right arm is done in black and grey with many great pieces which flow together very nicely.  Then its capped off at the shoulder by this fucking dragon.  I want to get it covered up, but I would have to put a big color piece over it.  That would kind of fuck up the scheme of my arm.  I could get it lasered off and start over, but I don’t want to endure the time and pain of that process.  So I’ll probably live out my days wearing my scarlet letter of douchery!

Come to think of it my chest piece is pretty shitty tattoo.  Megan Massacre from NY Ink did this tattoo before she was famous.  She used to work for my buddy.  I’m pretty sure she always hated me, so she tattooed a pile of shit on my chest.

At least I wasn’t as dumb as a lot of people and never got someone name or initials tattooed on me.  Love of Christ, what are those people thinking.  I have tried to talk so many people out of getting those tattoos when I used to be a partner in a tattoo shop.

Most people with tattoos have at least one really shitty one that they have no clue what they were thinking.  So yeah that was a post of just me bitching about my tattoo.  So whats your shittiest tattoo?  Share, we all know you have one

I Want To Be The Drunk Guy Dancing At The Bar

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I turned to my friends and said “look at those idiots, I’m so glad we don’t have to do that.”  I ridiculed the guys dancing at the bar, trying so desperately to meet girls.

In reality, most of the those people are out there living life and having fun.  They are the ones who have real courage.  They aren’t afraid to look foolish to people like me.  I sit back and judge, but often I don’t have the balls to be out there doing what they are.

Now I don’t necessarily want to be the drunk guy dancing like a maniac at the bar; even though I have.  However, in my mind, it’s a perfect analogy for people who do exactly what they feel like doing.  They don’t worry about other people’s judgments, they just go for it.  That’s the person I want to be in all aspects of my life.

For the last 10-15 years I was “too cool” to try new things.  I felt I didn’t need to do these activities because they were below someone like me.  It’s insane how I would spin this shit in my head.  The fact is I wasn’t confident in myself.  I feared how other people viewed me.  Deep down I looked up to those who conquered their fears and dance drunk at the bar.  They don’t seem to fear rejection.  They feel they have something to offer and aren’t afraid to prove it.

Years and years of getting what I wanted without having to try very hard put me at a disadvantage.  I missed out on an important skill set for a successful life.  The ability to deal with rejection and failure.

I listen to the voices in my head that tell me I can’t do things.  I’m not good enough or I don’t have the skills.  My mind will come up with any excuse why things won’t work out or why I didn’t really want something in the first place.  This is inner dialogue that wants to trap me and keep my life small.

Today I fear taking little risks like talking to strangers, starting new businesses, approaching a girl.  When I put that into perspective of how I have lived my life for the last 20 years it’s insane.  If I fail at talking to a girl, she tells me no and I feel a little embarrassed.  If I fail with a company, I may lose money and set myself back financially.  If I failed in my old lifestyle, I would have easily ended up doing 5-10 years in jail.  To a normal, well adjusted adult this equation doesn’t add up.

For the longest time I rarely second guessed what I was doing.  I knew the consequences of my actions, as well as the repercussions that came along with my choices.  But, it seemed worth it somehow.  Part of me felt I didn’t have anything to lose at the time.  I became a victim of my own circumstances.  I convinced myself this was how I wanted to live my life.  Don’t get me wrong, at times I was scared for my freedom and there were many sleepless night.

Normal, healthy risks in life scare the shit out of me.  I create irrational thought processes in my head based on fear.  Even when there is no evidence anything horrible will happen.  To quote Jamie Foxx, “on the other side of fear there is nothing.”  There is no definite outcomes in life, only what we can create.

Doing the same thing every day is my nightmare – A fate worse than death.  Turning today into an experiment makes life exciting.  What can accomplish and how can I make progress?  Answering those questions makes my life worth living.  If I’m lucky (I use that word in loosest sense) things may even go my way.  I will taste success that day.

When I try something new I build confidence in who I am and what I can endure.  I reinforce the lesson that pain and rejection won’t kill me.  I can’t dwell on the past or worry about the future because my mind is forced to be present and focused on what is occurring this very second.   That’s what being alive is about; living right now.  Nothing can every happen in the past or the future, because all there is is now.

Quieting the noise that goes on in our mind’s establishes mental freedom.  Tune those voices out and see how much better your life becomes.  Go out, get hammered and dance your ass off to whatever song you choose.

 

 

3 Day Split – “Complex” Workout

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I created this program in June 2014.  I used myself several times personally and with people I’ve trained.  It can be rather taxing on your body.  You really need to make sure your nutrition is on point, especially your peri-workout nutrition.  I take in the 65-75% of my daily carbs around the time I train.  Starting 45 minute pre-workout, intra-workout, and final carbs within 30 minutes of completing this workout.

I have trained several people with this routine and nutrition protocol.  The ones who stuck with it gained appreciable muscle mass while staying lean or even losing fat.  I lean up rather well using this routine without having to add any additional cardio work.  I PROMISE YOU, the results are rather dramatic.

Complexes are not a new style of training, nor something I came up with. This is just my spin on using complexes, as they are not complexes in the traditional sense.  This is going to be a 3 day split based on Push/Pull/Leg.  It’s mainly comprised of complexes – a series of exercises performed one after the other with 10-30 seconds taken in between each exercise in order to set up the next exercise.

I refer to one completed round of the complex as a “wave.”  I use pretty straight forward compound movements for the most part.  You will take about 45-90 seconds rest between each “wave”.  If you need more time take it, this is not set in stone.  I have added Youtube clips of exercises in case you do not know what they are.  If you need any other info just ask.  We will do this for the first 4 weeks and see how you are progressing and then make changes from there as needed.

VERY IMPORTANT: FOR ALL EXERCISES make sure you pick weights that are challenging so that you do not easily hit the rep schemes and then move to the next exercise as that will not lead to the best possible conditioning

Day 1 Push

Chest Complex – Start out with 3-4 waves of this and work your way up to 5-6 waves as you can.  Do not try to progress to fast and risk injury or discouragement

  1. Heavy DB press – pick a weight that is taxing that you can do for a rep range of 4-7 reps before failing (don’t go completely to failure here)
  2. Banded DB Press ( or Incline DB Flyes if you don’t have resistance bands)– pick a weight that is taxing that you can do for a rep range of 8-10 reps before failing (don’t go completely to failure here)
  3. Plyo Push ups – you want to be able to get anywhere from 3-10 reps on these before getting to failure. I want you to really focus on exploding off the bench with no pause  at the bottom when your chest is about to touch the bench.  This will allow you to learn how to better use your stretch reflex.  This should be performed with fast and explosive movement   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tF6Fd-vdB-8
  4. Speed DB press – I want you to perform regular flat DB press but in a fast and explosive manner.   Use a weight that is about 50% of your 1 rep max. Do as many reps as you can in a 15-20 second time period.  Really focus on accelerating the weight as fast as you can

Shoulder Complex – Do 3 waves of this

3 sets 8-12 reps per movement (I use 25-30 lb. dumbbell’s for this complex for reference)                         Do these seated: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJ3T5V_Etnc

  1. DB Front delt raise
  2. Side DB lateral raises
  3. DB Shrug, clean, press

Triceps Monster Set – 3 to 6 waves of this, start with 3 –

  1. Triceps V bar pushdown – 12-15 reps
  2. Triceps kickbacks – 8-10 reps
  3. 1 arm overhead DB extension – 6-8 reps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znaQrmMYEYw

Day 2 Push

Back Complex  – 4 to 6 waves of this, start with 4 .  If you want more volume later we can add some pull-down work

  1. Rack pulls – (start bar at knee height and really use your hips to drive the weight up ) 3-7 reps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uCG8NfBcnys
  2. Deadlifts from the Floor – 3-5 reps
  3. bent over rows – 5-7 reps
  4. Hang cleans – 4-7 reps
  5. Jump deadlifts – 8-10 reps. This video shows you how these works but you really only need to bring the bar down to your knee. Start light with these like 20% of your max deadlift http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_imsU6O4CAA
  6. Speed inverted rows – do as many of these as possible and as fast as possible during a 15-20 second timeframe http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=t97EjUsCFNw

 

Biceps Monster set –3 to 6 waves of this, start with 2

  1. Supinating DB Curls – 8-10 reps
  2. Incline DB curl – 8-10 reps
  3. Hammer curls – 5-8 reps

Day 3 Legs

  1. Leg curls – 2-3 of 15 just to warm legs up

Leg Complex- 4-6 waves of this, start with 3- 4

  1. Squats – 4-6 reps
  2. DB Jump Squats – 8-10 reps. Use 10-20% of your max squat so maybe start with a 10-15 lb. DB in each hand to get movement down.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Cynl9l0eB4  This example in the video is ok but don’t pause at the bottom like she does, just land, squat and fire right back up into the jump.
  3. DB Step Ups– 4-6 reps. Really do these once again in an explosive manner on the (concentric) stepping up movement.  Try to press yourself up onto the stand as quickly as possible. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfMlQDGydnk
  4. Body weight lunges – 8-10 reps on each leg. Do these lunges very deep and long to active the glutes, hamstrings and VMO (Tear drop muscle around knee).  Do these in a very slow controlled manner, focusing on feeling the movement.

Glutes

  1. Weighted Hip thrusters – 5 sets of 8-12 reps. Start out with little to no weight.  Eventually through the weeks/months, work your way up to using more than your body weight.  You start with your weight on your heels.  When you get to the top of the movement really squeeze the glutes and feel them doing the majority of the work.  Here are two videos of different ways to add weight, you could also use a DB.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUG0JfITlFI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_ru8S6FETg Don’t go as fast as this quick, slower and more controlled

 After 4 weeks I do a deloading week.  I will drop the volume and weights about 30-40%, but stick with the same workout.  Some athletes do not need this type of deloading, but for me its a must.  My body starts to slow down progress and I tend to flare up old injuries if I don’t take a break.  This is me personally, it is important to understand and listen to your body as your progress with your training.

Freebasing with the Squirrel Master

Like Rick James said “cocaine is a hell of a drug.” The craziest thing about my coke use is that I cant recall a single time I actually enjoyed doing it. Yet I did a shit ton of it for 15 years. Coke made me twitchier , I walked around with a “cold” all the time and it guaranteed my dick wouldn’t work.

From my experience coke brings out all the shittiest people to hang out with.  People who hate each other will stay up all night ripping lines talking about saving the world. The only reason any of them are there is because one of them has coke.

The yacked up conversations are by far one of the worst parts about doing coke. It usually ends up a bunch of random assholes in a room or a kitchen all fucked up, talking about shit they most likely will never do. Just thinking about it while writing makes me feel a little sick. But Ill get off my soapbox and tell my story.

One of my college roommates was a skinny, angry redneck that chain smoked Newports. He had short little T Rex arms and kind of looked like he may have had Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  He was loud and offensive.   However, part of me found him hilarious. He always spit when he spoke and his breath reeked of smoke. We called him the Squirrel Master. The name stemmed from squirrels invading the walls of his room and his stories of making squirrel potpie when he was younger.

We used to compete in really stupid and dangerous contests. Like who could do the most coke in a given amount of time or who could do the biggest line. One night we finished an 8 ball in less than 25 minutes. I ended up laying in my bed praying not to have a heart attack. He went out partying all night. Advantage….Squirrel Master!

Sometimes sniffing coke just wasn’t enough. We would step up our game and get creative. So we would break out the tinfoil, a splash of water, a lighter and an emptied out pen. If you use all the ingredients correctly, ta-da, you can smoke freebase.

Freebasing seemed to be more of a Sunday afternoon type thing for the Squirrel Master and I. I’m not quite sure why, but its just how it went down. One Sunday afternoon we ventured upstairs to his room in the attic and got everything prepped. Tossed the water on the coke and melted it down on the tinfoil. It was time to get down! We started taking a couple pulls of the shitty metallic tasting smoke through the pen .

The Squirrel Master was really fucked up and just had that twinkle in his eye that said “Im going for it.” He lit up the lighter, hit the tinfoil and pulled a giant cloud of smoke in through the pen. He held it in for as long as he could and then it happened. His eyes rolled back in his head and he unleashed the most vicious hacking cough I have ever heard. He fell out of his chair and hit the floor. He continued coughing violently and tears started rolling down his face.

When I saw him on the floor I ran downstairs as fast as I could. Now I’d like to tell you I went to go get him some help. But, Nope! I went and grabbed the rest of my roommates to come see what had happened. My friend could have been having stroke for all we knew. But, we were too busy doubled over, half in tears pointing and laughing at him to care.

The Squirrel Master came out of his coughing fit just fine. Well as fine as you can be when your whacked out on Freebase. He joined in on the fun and started smiling and laughing as usual. The first thing he did when he got his composure was go right back to that tinfoil, take a hit and then light up a Newport.

Clearly we were shitty fucking friends.

I May Not be as Batshit Crazy as I thought – Dealing With my OCD Thoughts

Up until recently (Im 35 now) I never understood the thoughts that I obsess about on a daily basis. The things that just pop up into my head and I play out in my mind OVER AND OVER again. Sometimes I even have conversations out loud with the person or thing I am obsessing over.  I just figured this was either all natural and normal or I was just a deeply disturbed person.  Either way my thoughts tortured me continuously.  From the moment I woke up until I Xanax’d myself to sleep I would just obsess over these horrible thoughts.

Some of the times I did not mind some of these obsessions.  For instance, I would have thoughts of running into people who wronged me as a child and exacting my revenge on them.  However, many of my obsessions would come on so strong they would literally make my head tingle with anxiety and feel of nauseous  deep in the pit of my stomach.  The unwanted thoughts were derived from fears and insecurity. Things like what my girlfriend or ex-girlfriend would be doing with another man.  Thoughts of gloom and doom, like how my life was a complete failure.  I would have unwanted thoughts about someone randomly hitting my dog with their car and killing her.  I would then allow the thought to continue on as far as to how I would kill the person after they killed Maddie.

I continually had obsessions of myself failing at all my business ventures and as a person. I would picture myself losing everything I had.  My life as I know it, my money, the people I love and it would end with me committing suicide.  These obsessions occurred so often that I started accepting them as a likely outcome for my future.  My unwanted thoughts had just become to much for me to handle and I doubted everything and anything positive in my life.

One day I was driving and I was listening to Howard Stern and he was talking about his OCD. He and his guest were talking about the obsessive thoughts and something just resonated with me. It was like listening to a part of my story.  Once I heard this and thought about it an odd sense of calm came over me.  It was like finding a small clue to solve a huge mystery.  For a brief period of time my obsessions just stopped.

Now I only really thought of OCD as people who was their hands 100 times in a row or touch light switches 26 times before they could leave the house.  I later found those were examples of the compulsions.  The obsessions or unwanted thoughts are what drove those compulsions.  To oversimplify this all, this condition stems from “faulty wiring” in certain parts of the brain.  I talked to my therapist about my thoughts on OCD and he recommended I read a book called “Brain Lock.”  I related to so much in this book.  The more I read the better I felt.  There were so many examples of people in the book with the same exact obsessions and odd thought I experience.  For example, many people besides myself have irrational fears and thoughts when they are holding a knife or dangerous object that they may use it on someone they care about.  I used to have these unwanted thoughts often and they really made me feel like I was an evil, demented person.  In reality they were just unwanted, irrational thoughts that I would never act upon.  All these insane thoughts I had could finally be explained and there was hope to have a life without them.

Brain Lock lays out a 4 step plan to deal with these obsessions.

  • Step 1: Relabel
  • Step 2: Reattribute
  • Step 3: Refocus
  • Step 4: Revalue

Essentially, what I do with these principles is tell myself its just an unwanted thought and I do not need to pay attention to it.  Then I direct my attention to something else that is constructive. For example when a thought about my demise may come up, I will stop the obsession in its tracks and turn my thoughts to my work.  I an write, read something uplifting or exercise.  The book coined the slogan “its not me its my OCD.”  This may sound really fucking cheesy, but I can repeat this simple statement daily and it truly helps me deal with the obsessions.

Don’t get me wrong these unwanted thoughts continually pop up in my mind and haunt me still to this day more often than I would like.  Sometimes they kick my ass pretty bad.  However I now understand the skill set to handle these obsessions.  Some times they still get the better of me and they take me to a dark place that’s very bad for me.  I still have a lot of work to do, but I can see the progress I have made in 3 short months.  The feeling of freedom from unwanted thoughts that sabotage the good in my life.  These results make me very hopeful for the future.

The Squirrel Master and the Pee Snowball

Back in college I was your friendly neighborhood dopeman (This becomes important later in the story).  I was always resourceful when it came to making money the wrong ways.

The college was in a shitty little town in PA.  The majority of off campus students lived a few blocks behind the school.  Kids were always walking up and down the street and hanging out drinking on each others porches.  It was a small school so pretty much everyone knew each other.

Snow days were always the most fun in college.  Snow = no class = total fucking shit show.  When we would hear about snow coming we would stockpile booze and drugs for the next day.  It was like Christmas.  Sort of.  We would start drinking when we got up. Then we would head to the main bar, which was a block from my house, for shitty food and more booze.

Students ran the bar, so on snow days it would open early.  Everyone would flock there by 12-1 in the afternoon. The funniest thing is everyone bitched about the bar, saying how much they hated going there.  But every weekend it would be packed with all those same people.  There really wasn’t anywhere else to go honestly.

This snow day in particular ended up being little more special than usual.  My roommates and I got up, ate and started to drink.  I made sure to eat right away.  As soon as that meal was done I was doing my first ripper.  Eating after that became much more difficult.

The Squirrel Master and my other roommate hit me up for a bag early.  Within 45 minutes they had ripped right through it.  I knew with how hard everyone was drinking and partying they would want more really soon.

About 30 minutes after they finished their first bag the Squirrel Master came looking for another half gram. The only issue is he had no money.  Now, I was huge asshole in college.  I liked making people do shit for my entertainment.  I had the two key ingredients to make that dream a reality in college. Coke and money.

The Squirrel Master really wanted a bag.  I knew he wanted it bad enough to do something really fucked up for my enjoyment.  I told him I would figure out a way for us to barter.  Ideas went back and forth in my head, but nothing seemed worthwhile.  Then I walked outside and saw a guy walking his dog and it hit me.  I ran back inside and told him I would gladly give him the bag if he ate a pee snowball.  Without blinking he agreed.  I decided this was going to be so much fun that I went and invited the neighbors to come watch.

I walked outside and packed a cup full of snow.  I pulled out my dick and pissed on the snow just like you would if you were pouring syrup over a snow cone.  Everyone was outside waiting with anticipation to see if he would go through with this.  I walked over to him and poured the yellow snowball into his tiny little cupped hands.

Without hesitations he took the first big bite.  Everyone watching was gagging, laughing and running around.  As soon as he swallowed the first bite he gagged and spit it up everywhere.  That didn’t stop him though.  He was determined to chow down and get his prize.  People were begging him not to finish.  They were offering to give him the money for the bag if he to stopped.  Every bite he chomped down he gagged and spit right back up until he was finished.

By the time he was done most people had stopped watching.  I guess it was just too much for most people to handle.  He came up to me with biggest grin on his face and put his hand out in front of me.  It was his way of saying “fuck you pay me.”  He stepped up and met the challenge.  I don’t really remember too much else about that day.  But, the Squirrel Masters feat of strength showed his will.  College was the fucking best.

A Letter to Travis – Things I Wish I Was Taught About Becoming a Man

My ex girlfriend and I split up a couple months ago  She has a 4 year old son who I bonded very closely with.  He’s a special little guy whose laugh could make the most miserable person smile.  Leaving him was very difficult.  Before I left, I decided I wanted to write him a letter on things he should know as he became a man.  As I was growing up I never had a positive male role model to bestow much wisdom on me about becoming a good man.  Candidly, I haven’t been the best man, partially due to that fact.  I worried he may face some of the same challenges.  I wrote this and gave it to his mother in hopes it that when he got old enough he would read it and it may help him.

Recently I have been struggling with life.  A LOT!  I came across this and read it to myself.  I realize these principles have a lot of value to me at my age and in my situation.  This certainly isn’t an all encompassing list, but it has helped me with some perspective on my life.

Things you should know as you become a man

  1. Always love and respect your mother. You may not agree with some of the things she does and some of her rules, but she has your best interest at heart and she loves you more than the life itself.
  2. You are perfect just as you are. Respect, care for and love yourself always.
  3. Have confidence in yourself and trust in your abilities. Learn the difference between confidence and cockiness (which is false confidence). Everyone looks up to and respects confidence.
  4. There are very few short cuts in life. To create something great it takes time, dedication and hard work. I have tried almost all of the short cuts in many aspects of life.  I can tell you first hand they all come with a very high price. They tend to take you to a place you don’t want to go or they end up costing you more than you realize in one way or another.
  5. Hold yourself to a higher standard. Always strive to do your best. You will be amazed what you can achieve when you work hard.
  6. Be kind to everyone you meet. You never know who that person may be or what they are going through. Being kind is a sign of strength, not weakness. It’s important to know that the people you meet on the way up in life you may meet again on the way down.
  7. If you have questions about anything always ask.
  8. Learn to ask for help. This is one of the hardest things to do for some reason but if you truly are struggling and need help, ask for it. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of intelligence, humbleness and strength. Remember the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
  9. Always make time to play, exercise and have fun. Treat you mind, body and soul as a temple. You need to eat right, stay active and take care of your emotional health too.
  10. Try working out and lifting weights. It is very good for your body as well as your self-esteem and confidence. Just don’t let it run your life and don’t let it be your only focus in life. Do it as a hobby that will pay off benefits for years to come
  11. Play sports or get involved with activities. You will be surprised how much you will learn and how much you may enjoy the team atmosphere and camaraderie. These types of things will teach you skills like hard work and disciple that will get you far in life.
  12. Do things you love and enjoy today. Don’t wait to do them later because later may never come.
  13. Read as much as you can. This is something I wish I would have done. Some of the most successful people I know are the ones that read the most and apply what they have learned from what they read.
  14. Learn to work hard and smart. Nothing in this world is free and intelligence and work ethic are valued at a premium in this world
  15. Don’t ever be afraid to take chances. Put yourself out there and try new things.  You will regret the things you didn’t try much more so than the things you did that didn’t quite work out the way you hoped.
  16. Never get into fights if you can avoid it. Defend yourself and stick up for yourself, never let anyone bully you, but only fight if you absolutely have to and there is an immediate threat.
  17. Learn to listen. I mean really listen! Don’t just sit there waiting for people to stop so you can reply. Sometimes people just need to talk to get things off their chest and being there for someone may mean the world to them.
  18. Treat women with respect. Don’t ever make them objects. Learn to be a gentleman. It’s something not many do. Open car doors for them; walk on the street side of the sidewalk when holding hands, when you take them out always pay for their dinner and make sure they get home safely.
  19. Always respect and be kind to animals. You can tell a lot about a man’s soul by how he treats a defenseless animal.
  20. Get a tailored suit. Everyone looks amazing in a great suit.
  21. If for some reason you ever get in a situation and the police are involved always wait until you have a lawyer present to speak to police under any circumstances!  Simply politely tell then “you have been advised not to say anything without a lawyer present”. I truly hope you never are in a situation where you need that tidbit of advice.
  22. Learn the difference between selfishness and selflessness. There have been many times in my life where I thought I was being selfless and I was actually being very selfish.
  23. Always take care of yourself and never let people take advantage of you. However, at the same time learn to be generous and giving with your time, intelligence and your love
  24. There are many people out there in the world that want to take advantage of you; there are also many that want to help. Learning to distinguish between the two is very difficult at times and it may take you a life time to figure out.
  25. Learn to forgive yourself and others. Let go of all the anger and hatred you may have for others or yourself, it is pure poison and will only bring you down.
  26. Never sink to someone else’s level.
  27. Peace of mind is worth a lot.
  28. When you apologize make sure you mean it! If you are going to say sorry, make sure the person you are apologizing to knows you’re sorry by not doing what hurt them again.
  29. Always remember your manners. Say please, thank you, excuse me, sorry, and god bless you. Hold doors for women and elderly people. It’s something that’s lost nowadays and I can tell you it’s always appreciated and it’s a little thing that can earn you respect and get you far in life.
  30. Forgive yourself and leave the past in the past.
  31. Learn to let go of things that aren’t for you gracefully. Holding onto things that aren’t meant for you just means you are spending less time with what IS TRULY meant for you
  32. Be very careful with drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. They can pollute your mind body and soul so quickly that you won’t even realized what happened until it’s too late. Please Trust me I know this one all too well.
  33. Don’t fear failure. Failure is ok as long as you are accountable for it and you learn from your mistake and do it better next time.
  34. Truly value the people who love you, like friends and family. They won’t be around or in your life forever so respect them and cherish every moment you have with them.
  35. Life is scary and that’s ok, just taking things as they come, one day at a time and don’t fear the future or dwell on the past. Live for today because it is all that is promised to you.