The gift of experience

I’ve been handed many gifts in my life.  Amazing opportunities to help others through my own personal experience.  I’ve been giving the gifts of Tourettes, addiction, cancer, and depression just to name a few.  I didn’t always have this perspective.  As a matter of fact, I only came to realize these as gifts a few days ago.

Each one of these gifts has shaped me through adversity and allowed to share my experience in hopes of helping others who may be going through similar situations.  I felt alone with my battles.  But millions of people are going through what I am / have.  I’m not special or isolated, I’m in a sea of people.  I just never had the courage to open up and look for them.

For some reason, I was laying on my couch thinking about leaving rehab 8 years ago.  I remembered one of the counselors telling me “I wish you weren’t leaving this area, you could do a lot of good for others here.”  It was nice to hear, but I didn’t put any really credence into it.  How could I, a guy who had 60 days clean do anything for anyone?

I’ve never felt I have had much to offer.  I’ve rarely felt that I was good enough to deliver value to anyone.  I mean, Look at my life.  I’m 37, single, horrible at relationships, still partying too much and struggling to make it through basic adult life.  What could I possible offer anyone? .

I’ve come to the realization that I can offer experience.  Not advice, but experience.  There’s value in sharing the things we’ve been through that help others feel not so alone.  Hopefully it will encourage more people to share their experience and help those around them.

I’m certain that each one of us has something worth sharing that will benefit someone else’s life.  It’s called being of service.  That’s really what life is about.  It’s easy to find meaning and fulfillment by being of service to those around you.  Everything else in life is just extra.

Just for today

Today is my 18 month check up at the oncologist.  Every three months I come here for a full day of tests and appointments.  Most of the day I’m sitting in waiting rooms working to keep my mind off the fact I’m surrounded by people who are dying.

I’m one of the fortunate ones.  I only needed two surgeries to get rid of my liver cancer,  no chemo or radiation.  I’ve been given another chance at life. I’d say a second chance, but this is probably my 50th.

When I think about how many chances at life I’ve received I’m grateful. But, I’m also very frustrated with myself.  Life’s precious and I know that, yet I don’t treat it as such.  I continue to make the same mistakes repeatedly, wasting years of my life.

I spend too much time on social media, I do drugs I said I wouldn’t do anymore, I continue relationships that aren’t healthy and run a business that makes me unhappy. I lack passion and kowtow to fear. I settle for the status quo of “good enough.”

What kind of life is that?  From the outside,  people may think I live a good, comfortable and sometimes indulgent life. That may be true in comparison to others.  But, I’m not living the life I truly want to live.

The truth is, I’m not exactly sure what the life I want to live looks like.  I’m still experimenting with what works for me. This could all be a symptom of my age; coming up on the midlife crisis and searching for meaning.  Some existential belief that I need to leave my mark on this world or I won’t have lead a life worthy of my years.  I’m not sure.

But today, I received another clean bill of health and for that, I’m grateful.

15 Steps To Be An Ungrateful Dumb-Ass

head_up_ass 2

  1. Get liver cancer
  2. Have two major surgeries to get the liver tumors removed
  3. Once your health gets back on track and you’re feeling well, start making poor decisions
  4. Get drunk several times during the month
  5. Wake up the day after a drinking binge at 1 in the afternoon
  6. As soon as you get on your feet, vomit while trying to piece together how you got home
  7. Find several pictures in your phone you don’t remember taking
  8. Check Snapchat and see all the snaps you don’t remember posting
  9. Find your pants in the shower
  10. Come to the realization you drove home drunk
  11. Waste most the day sleeping on the
  12. Spend the few waking hours of your day laying on the couch, smoking weed, eating pizza and beating off
  13. Watch The Big Short and think about ways you too can conquer the stock market
  14. Fall asleep and wake up feeling shitty on Monday morning
  15. Piss part of Monday away as well.
There you have it.  The steps to being an ungrateful dumb-ass

Episode 22: 2015 – It’s A Wrap – Year In Review

2015 was a crazy and turbulent year, full of adversity and new beginnings.  We look back on the year and what it’s brought to our lives.  I’m so grateful for everyone who downloaded our episodes and supported the show.  It’s been more fun than I can even explain.

The show opens with a quick synopsis of the key points of 2015, where we discuss vulnerability, getting outside your comfort zone and taking risks.  Justin shares lessons learned and perspective gained from falling off a 55 foot cliff.  We share our new years resolutions and why people rarely achieve them.  We round out the segment with the importance of starting every day at zero and having the vision to scale what works.

ShowerThoughts and the New Covers:

  • How often has a receptionist at a sperm bank said the phrase, “thanks for coming”
  • If Kanyne West became President, you would be able to see the first lady on Pornhub – That sloppy, Armenian pig getting dicked down by Ray Jay
  • “As Fuck” as a unit of measure
  • The use of emojis closing the language barrier in the dating world and what you can tell about a person by their most used emojis
  • Dirty talk sex blunders
  • FDA banning tanning beds
  • Steve Harvey’s blunder

We end the show with a Meditation from the man we named the segment for , Marcus Aurelius.  “The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.”  Creating happiness in your life based on perspective.


Twitter: @WhyTheHellBlog


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This episode sponsored by, use promo code WTH at checkout for Free Shipping and 10% off your order. You can also support the show by clicking through our link when shopping.


Producers note: Launching a podcast in 2015 was a strange and rewarding journey for us.  This year, find what song you hum in your head, and sing it out loud!  There are no wrong notes.  You’re going to find satisfaction where you’re most uncomfortable.  Much love to you all for joining us, we hope to meet you on your own new adventures!


Episode 17: KRS Beats Cancer

The title says it all!  KRS discusses his most recent surgery and time spent in the hospital – including some interesting side effects and a lack of shame around the hospital staff.  The conversation considers if a brush with mortality is truly an agent of change.

In this weeks Shower Thoughts we discuss Facebook replacing the need for high school reunions, Apple’s insane terms and conditions and the most real calculation of flossing ever created.

We close with Meditations, using an monologue from an unusual source – Jim Shockey’s TV show Uncharted.  We look at what drives people to create their own adventures trying to meet personal challenges in uncharted territory.

Twitter: @WhyTheHellBlog


Visit our Shop!  Buy our t-shirts designed and inspired by this podcast at


This episode sponsored by, use promo code WTH at checkout for Free Shipping and 10% off your order. You can also support the show by clicking through our link when shopping.

What Cancer Has Taught Me


I was diagnosed with cancer a few weeks ago.  During this short period of time, events unfolded which taught me a great deal about myself and life (or reminded me of things I may have forgotten).

Since my first surgery six weeks ago, I’ve had more down time to sit and think than I have in years.   Due to the invasive nature of the surgery and the lengthy recovery period, I have a limited ability to perform what I’ve been accustomed to viewing as basic life tasks.  This isn’t necessarily a good thing for me, “idle hands are the devils workshop.”

So many thoughts have been plaguing my mind and making me insane.  I needed to get it all out of my head and into words to try to make sense of it.  This is what I came up with.

1.  People will walk out on you when you feel you need them the most.  They will do things you can’t imagine doing to another human (even if you have done something similar to someone else, as I have).  It will be incredibly painful.  Be thankful they showed you how toxic they are and how you no longer need to be a part of their life.  It’s impossibly hard to think this way at times, but it’s for the best, this I’m certain.  On the opposite end of that spectrum, some people will surprise you when they come out of the woodwork to show you they care.

2.  People won’t know what to say to you when you’re going through difficult times.  Some people may avoid speaking to you because of this fact. Others will try to find the right words when there isn’t much to say.  Be kind to them for trying and tell them how they could best support you in your time of need.  You can’t expect them to be mind readers.

3.  I’ve learned to hate the question, “How are you feeling?”  I want people to talk to me the way they used to.   I don’t want an illness to define me.

4.  Even when the sky is falling, the sky isn’t falling.  No matter what happens the world keeps on going with or without you.  It’s the way life works

5.  Learn to be your own advocate for your health.  Read, research and reach out to people who have been in your shoes.  I haven’t done much of this, but I hear it helps.  Ask your doctors questions. Push back if something doesn’t seem right and get a second opinion if you feel the need.

6.  Don’t ask yourself the question, “why me?”  It’s a stupid question which serves no purpose.  The reality is it IS happening to you and that’s what matters.  Wondering “why me” led me to pity parties and feeling helpless.  It’s nonsense.

7.  I’m a junkie and if given the opportunity I will eventually abuse pain pills; even when I need them for pain.  I can’t trust myself with pills . Doctors may push them on you to make sure you aren’t in pain.  Some will even tell pain meds are necessary and not taking them will impede your healing.

8.  Going through withdrawal sucks.  I will do almost anything to avoid it.  Including staying on pills when I don’t need them.   It’s a reminder that pills ruin my life and make my ADD and OCD completely unmanageable.

9.  I’ve felt weak and helpless and wanted others to feel the same way.  I’ve taken my anger out on people who don’t deserve it.  Then I feel shame and guilt for acting like an asshole.  Be nice, it’s easier

10.  Be a good friend to others.  Talk to them about what’s going on in their lives.  I want them to feel comfortable talking about their issues and not feel bad because I’m sick.  It’s free therapy to listen to someone else.  Offer advice only if they ask for it.  It’s the best way I know to get out of my own head and stop worrying about my issues.

The Man I Aspire to Be


My Pop Pop was the best man I have ever known.  He the was strongest, kindest and most selfless person.  The type of man who didn’t need to demand respect because it was always given to him.  I can rarely finish a sentence about him without tears pouring down my face.

I don’t know as much about his life as I would like.  Unfortunately he was taken from this world at the young age of 58.  He died of Liver Cancer.  I was only 10 at the time.

What I do remember is how much he loved me.  He spoiled me and treated me like I was the most important person on this earth.  I’ve never felt love like he showed me.  To this day he still has a huge impact on my life and I mourn his passing.

Pop Pop had the most amazing, deep, belly laugh.  It was so loud it would fill a room.   His laughing almost always ended with him running out of breath and coughing due to how much he smoked.  I can hear his laugh in my head as I type these words.  Nothing I put on paper to describe it would do it justice.

He smoked like a chimney.  Three packs of Kools a day.  I remember telling him he smoked too much and he should quit.  He never quit, but he cut back to one pack a day after my comment.

He had a sordid past, much like myself.  He was a State Police Officer in his younger days.  He was also an alcoholic who was arrested on several occasions and even ended up in jail.

In his 30’s he joined the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and became a drill sergeant.  He used this time to turn his life around and became clean and sober.  He educated himself, taking courses to be an addiction counselor.  Eventually getting his degrees and certificates to work in the field.

Working with addicts and alcoholics was his passion.  He understood the message and purpose; paying it forward helping 1000’s of those afflicted with the disease.  He worked diligently in New Jersey, fighting to better the lives of others.  In his obituary a friend described his passion for what he did by saying, “The man just didn’t know how to mince his words when the bottom line issue related to the quality care for and alcoholic in treatment and the ability of the facilities to deliver that care.” (more…)

Pardon My Absence

The last several weeks since my surgery I’ve sat around and felt sorry for myself.  Constantly asking “why me?”  I’ve made myself a victim of circumstances I created.

I chose to play science experiment on my body and pollute myself with everything imaginable for many years.  That was my fault and my doing. I can’t blame anyone else.  Life and the choices we make have a way of catching up to us.  Not everyone will face that reality, but most will.

I’ve wasted my time the last three weeks doing very little to better myself.  Watching reruns and stalking social media.  I looked for every excuse to be miserable and sad instead of looking for opportunity in this tragedy.  I haven’t appreciated all of my friends and family who have reached out, visited and supported me.  I’ve been too concerned about the weight I’ve lost, how I look, and the things I can no longer do.

During this time I’ve had someone close to me break my heart when I felt I needed them the most. Once again that was my fault. I put faith and expectations on a person who could never step up in the role I wanted, because they are no longer capable of being the person I need.  I knew that and brought that pain on myself.  I need to own that instead of letting the anger and disappointment become toxic to my life and recovery.

I’ve thrown the worlds biggest pity party for myself.  I traveled down the path of my opiate addiction.  Abusing the medicine I truly need for my physical pain, in order to numb the mental pain I feel.  I haven’t wanted to accept my circumstances.  I’ve only wanted to escape from my reality.  I know this serves me no purpose other than to drag me down further into a hole of depression, anxiety and sadness.

What I’m facing is scary and causes me to look at my own mortality.  I have liver cancer.  It’s not a death sentence.  But, I know there will be a tough fight ahead of me to beat this.  Staying positive, active and being my own advocate are going to be incredibly important to my recovery.

If I continue to act as I have I will allow this to break me.  I’m better than that and I have faced adversity before.  I want to live and better the world around me.  Not succumb to circumstances because I was a quitter.

If I have learned nothing else from this, I realize I am such a fortunate individual to have so many amazing people in my life who have helped me so much.  I especially want to thank Chris McNichol.  I don’t know how I would have gotten through all this without you.  The time and effort you have put in helping me at Fox Chase, well I don’t even have the words to describe how grateful I am.

I want to thank everyone who’s been there for me.  I know I’ve been a huge pain in the ass.  Thank you for continuing to care and picking me up when I fall down.  I love each and every one of you for your support.  I’m sorry for how I’ve acted up to this point and I promise to pull myself together. I wouldn’t have been able to start climbing my way back up and facing all of this without all of you.  I don’t know that I can ever repay any of you, but I would like to try.