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. (more…)

Confinement – Sentenced To Serve


Rules exist in our minds.  The rhetoric we have been taught for all of our lives has shaped who we’ve become.  Very few people ( including myself at times) know how to think and feel on their own.  We base our thoughts and feelings off of what society has shown us.  Unable to breakdown ideals to their most basic principles and evaluate them for what they are.  Never looking for a deeper understanding, because somewhere along the way we were taught to process events in our life as good or bad and we accepted that with certainty.

Humans have a nasty tendency to view circumstances in our world as personal.  Only taking into consideration how our live’s are effected at the present time.   However, there is a paradigm shift which starts with perspective.  We can look at occurrences as corrections or validations of our actions.  If something doesn’t work out it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad.  Instead, it could be viewed as a sign it wasn’t right for us at present or we need to change our approach.

For example, I’ve destroyed all of my intimate relationships in the past.  Yet I complain about not being able to find someone to share my life with.  I continue to look for girls in all the wrong places.  If nothing changes, nothing changes.  What didn’t work for me then, still isn’t going to work for me today.  My methods and reasoning are flawed.  It’s like trying to open your front door with the same wrong key, over and over again.  No one would ever try that, it would be insane.  It’s life’s way of telling me to try something new.

Building something new is hard.  I don’t know the outcome, so I’m apprehensive.  I’ve sought out routine and comfort, fearing the results of trying something new.  I’ve been afraid I knew better and shamed myself for trying something new only to fail.

I woke up and realized I had the “things” I wanted for so long; only to realize those “things” weren’t what gave my life meaning.  They validated my insecurities and padded my ego, but never gave me a sense of fulfillment or being whole – That can only be found by living a life you are proud of.  Filling life with as much of the content that truly feeds your soul.  Everything else will eventually lose it’s appeal.  Looks fade, cars get old and money can’t fill the voids inside. (more…)

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


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Fuck You WordPress

Stress And Frustration

You cocksucking piece of shit platform.  I save a draft and you tell me “the action can’t be performed at this time.”  I lost everything I wrote over the last two hours.  Why do I constantly have to save my work in a word document to ensure I don’t lose everything I wrote when I click save? You’re a piece of shit Matt Mullwenberg, choke on a bullet.

I can hardly think straight while writing this post.  My anger and anxiety coupled with the fact I’m incredibly tired makes this all the more uncomfortable.  I want my post back.  I want to be able to re-read it, edit it and post it as I had originally intended.  I don’t want to write it all over again.

I feel like I will explode thinking about this.  The thought of trying to remember what I wrote in order to rewrite the post makes me uncomfortable to the point that I want to shout and cry.  I want to break my computer, tell everyone how unfair it is, disparage WordPress and go to sleep.  I feel drunk with rage.  FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!

I’ve been pissed about losing my work for hours now.  I’ve spent more time pining over losing the post and looking for ways to recover what I lost than I have trying to write a new post.  My post was well written and powerful; something people should read.  Possibly a literary masterpiece.  Well maybe not quite that good.

That’s the problem with life.  Its easier to brood and complain about what happened than it is to change it.  Taking action and making changes takes conscious effort.

My life parallels this episode.  I fight accepting what’s happened in my life.  I try to reclaim what I feel I lost:  Relationships, businesses, my identity, my size.  The list goes on ad nauseam.

I’m nostalgic.  I love going into my past.  I look for anyway possible to get back what I’ve lost instead of putting in the effort to start something new and moving forward.  Even when I know there is something better for me out there.  I’m like a child who needs to keep all of his toys, including the ones he no longer plays with.

I backtrack and try to reclaim old relationships.  I look for ways to rekindle a spark when we have proven we can’t coexist numerous times.  We can’t be happy because life throws a curve ball into our plans and we never quite recover.  We don’t put the time and effort necessary to be a happy, healthy couple.  We never work through our wreckage and heal the wounds of the past.  We only rush back into each others arms in order to quell the pain of loneliness and the of being alone.

I debate going back on steroids all the time.  I walked on the boardwalk today and looked around thinking about the looks I used to get when I was more muscular.  People would stare and make comments to me about how I looked.  Someone would always make the obnoxious comment, which they thought was hilarious, “You need to workout more pal.”  I used to complain how I hated the attention.  But obviously I didn’t hate it that much If I’m missing it today.  Regardless of the issues steroids have caused in my life I still want to use them again.

My past business venture was very lucrative.  It allowed to me have an inordinate amount of free time to spend however I chose .  I was able to travel, buy anything I wanted without thinking and I never had to work very hard.  I also had many sleepless nights, visits from various three-letter authorities and had to lie to most people about my career.  Still, I miss those days and often consider going back into that business.  I have to work hard now to make in a year what I used to make in 2-3 months.  But I no longer have to worry about going to jail.  So there are obvious trade-offs.

So why do I stray from my present and do whatever I can to get back what was lost?  Fear, comfort and laziness are the main reasons.  I’d rather deal with The evil I know versus the evil I don’t know.  It takes a lot of time and hard work to create something new.  I’m impatient and want my life to be how I remember it.  Quite often I don’t have an accurate recollection and romanticizing my past.

You can’t always recover what you’ve lost.  Sometimes you need to make a decision whether to dwell over what no longer exists or make something new.  Life is constantly changing and having to rebuild and recreate is a big part of it.   Starting from scratch is overwhelming and seems impossible at times.  However, it’s a necessity in life.  Take what you have learned, let go of the past, move on and start new.

I Pissed On My Protein Bar

I jumped out of bed at 4 A.M. with a massive urge to piss.  On my way to the bathroom I grabbed the protein bar I had sitting on my dresser and started eating it.

home-designI stood in front of the toilet emptying my bladder while I ate my delicious chocolate Power Crunch bar.  I could barely keep my eyes open.  As I took my third bite of the bar it cracked in my hand and the majority of it fell into the toilet with the wrapper attached.  I continued to piss on my bar while my brain tried to make sense of what had just occurred.

I came to enough to realize that I had a little bit of an issue.  I couldn’t flush the rest of the bar with the wrapper.  I needed to reach into the toilet bowl full of my own piss and pick the bar out and throw it away.  It wasn’t the most appealing activity to perform at any time of the day, much less at four in the morning.  I put my hand into the bowel, grabbed the bar and threw it out.

A couple of things went through my head at that very moment.  First, I was a little bummed that I couldn’t finish my bar because they taste amazing.  Second, I just put my hand in piss to fish this bar out of the toilet; that’s gross.

At times I ruminate over little disappointments like these.  I allow them to ruin my mood and possibly keep me up for hours.  But my mind quickly shifted to the fact that I wanted another bar I have a cabinet full of them.  I can easily wash the piss off my hands with a little soap and water.

Why do I bother to write this story you may ask?  Well, because I had this experience a couple of hours ago and I didn’t lose my mind or break my toilet in the process.  That may not seem like much to some people but to me it’s pretty fucking amazing.

So often the trivial setbacks life throws at me have had so much power over my actions and attitude.  I have allowed the tiniest misfortunes to snowball and turn into much larger problems.

I had a counselor in rehab once tell me, “Its not the big dogs you have to worry about, you know how to deal with them.  Its the little dogs jumping up to bite your nuts that always get in your way.” He was absolutely right.  Its ridiculous when I think about the hardships I have endured and been able to  move forward; yet something like dropping a protein bar in the toilet could ruin my day.

This analogy may be a stretch for some people.  But when your mindset is one of abundance you automatically become cognizant that small setbacks and disappointments don’t need to take you off your path and eat up your time.  Learn from your mistakes.  Change your approach next time to make sure the same results don’t ensue.

When one opportunity falls through you have 4-5 more on the shelf that you can run with.  You just have to go to the sink, wash the piss of your hands and grab another protein bar from the cabinet.



The Opportunity Costs of Life

Every action we take in life has a cost.  The currency we pay in may be time, money, health, sanity or relationships.  Most people never think about this until they get a little older in life and reflect back on past years. They come to the understanding that all of their actions have put them in their current situation; whether it’s fortuitous or tumultuous.

Every choice we make takes away from another opportunity that could have been.  Sometimes the costs are so great that looking back on them drums up great pain in our souls.  For the intelligent, wise, or possibly just lucky; their opportunity costs have been low. They have lived their lives in a very fruitful manner where the gains have exceeded their losses.

I struggle with judging the costs of my actions and how they affected my life.  At a cursory glance I immediately think I paid a heavy price.  I have made decisions with my life that have been very costly to my health and well-being.  My lifestyle, career choices and rampant drug use and abuse throughout much of my life has had a profound impact on my present situation.

I’m fortunate to be as healthy as I am.  I’ve done a massive amount of damage to my body and been lucky enough to avoid extremely serious issues.  I believe these were bumps in the road that God or the universe has thrown in my way to wake me up and correct the path I was on.

Five to six years ago I was using coke and painkillers very heavily.  I also drank and used steroids.  During this time I contracted a virus that attacked my heart and I was hospitalized.

After a couple days at the hospital I was diagnosed with a viral cardiomyopathy.  The doctors were uncertain whether my heart would get back to normal, stay the same or get worse.  They covered all the possible options with their amazingly vague prognosis.

Over the next two years my heart recovered.  I was on ACE inhibitors and beta blockers to control my blood pressure and hopefully prevent my heart from further damage.  I never stopped using opiates, even while in the hospital.  Two weeks out of the hospital I was back in the gym. Three to Four months after that I was back on a low dose of steroids.  A couple weeks after starting back on steroids I was using coke again.

My bill for that life experience was rather steep.  However, without batting an eye, I continued on the road I was on.  They say pain is the cornerstone of growth and change.   For much of my life the pain had to become unbearable for me to make changes.

Less than a year after my cardiomyopathy I ended up in rehab for the second time in my life.  I was clean and sober for about 6 months.  I met a ton of good people in the program.  I learned valuable tools and truths about life that I will never forget.

Unfortunately, I didn’t always put these tools to use.  Once I stopped going to meetings I was back to using pretty quickly.   Then, for some reason I just decided I couldn’t use coke anymore.  I hated it and what it had done to my life.  I just got to a point where enough was enough and I couldn’t stand the pain any longer.  On the 4th of July in 2012 I quit using cocaine and have not used it to this day.

I continued to use low doses of steroids until the summer of 2013, when I was 33.  I always looked at steroids as being rather benign, unless you use absurd physiological doses.  Even after what I am about to tell you, I still have that opinion of testosterone in small dosages.

I had just gotten back together with my ex girlfriend.  We spent the majority of the summer at her parent’s beach house.  I wasn’t using pain killers or coke.   I was in love with the woman I thought I would marry.  I was preparing to quit my illegitimate business ventures and I had plenty of money. Life was pretty damn great.

Then I started having some pain in the lower right side of my abdomen.  My doctor thought it could be a hernia so he sent me for CT scan.   I was at my ex’s beach house eating dinner with her when I received a life changing phone call from my doctor.  He told me the scan showed I had two pool ball size lesions on my liver that were more than likely Hepatocellular Carcinomas (Liver cancer).

I went through a gamut of tests over the next couple of weeks.  Including several liver biopsies, which were possibly the most physically painful experiences of my life.  When all the smoke cleared I had gotten lucky again.  The lesions turned out to be Hepatic Adenomas.  The doctors diagnosed my steroid use as the cause for these lesions.

I begrudgingly stopped using steroids when I first got the news that it could be cancer. I lost a good deal of my size, my dick didn’t work right for 6 months, and mentally I was a wreck.  I started using painkillers again during this time and ultimately my actions from that point on cost me my relationship.

Looking back on how I handled these changes I feel very foolish and ungrateful.  I had just been giving a new chance at life being told I did NOT have liver cancer.  I had the opportunity to move to a new area with my girlfriend and her son and start a new life.  I had given up my previous life, without having to go to jail.  I had saved up more than enough money to live off of for several years. But I couldn’t see past the pain of the change.

I decided to choose being stuck.  I was sulking and trying to bring back the past instead of looking towards the future and being open about the possibilities.  I lost two people I loved and a future I hoped for in this process.  It was a heavy price I had to pay for the choices I made.

It’s easy for me to see what my actions have cost me.  It’s much more difficult for me express gratitude for all of the lessons life has taught me that I never wanted to learn.  I have lived an awful lot in my 35 years.  I have done and seen things the majority of people I know have not. I have the ability to enjoy my life with many comforts that I take for granted.  I am able to learn, grow and start over with a new found self.  I have friends and family that love me despite my actions.

My life has lead me to this point where I’m comfortable enough with myself to share my experiences.  I have faith that my words may resonate with others and help them choose life.  That I can create a better world for myself and those around me.

If I had never have paid these opportunity costs in pain, I wouldn’t be where I am today.  I may never have felt this sense of purpose in my life.  I have so much good surrounding me.  Good I may never have discovered had I not made decisions that took me to a point that I had no choice but to make a change.

Life changes.  The reality is the only way to be comfortable is to accept change.  Stop fighting the old and looking for comfort.  Nothing ever stays the same.  People go in and out of our lives.  We change jobs.  Our looks change.  Feelings change.  The only constant in life is change.  Embrace the change.

Maybe I’ve Just Looked At It All Wrong


Single at 35, unsure about a career, living off my savings in a small apartment I rent with the only thing that loves me unconditionally, my dog.  I look at my life and feel like I am a failure.  I should own my own house, I can certainly afford it.  I should settle down, have a relationship and a family.  Live a more “normal” life.

People often tell me I need to put roots down and create a life somewhere.  But what if that’s not the path for me right now?  I have no urge to own my own house.  I only want a house because I am embarrassed by the fact I don’t own one at my age.  I’m embarrassed by how I choose to live even though I have the means to live much better.

I put all these outward expectations on myself.  I don’t live the life I envisioned I would at 35.  People probably look down on me and my behavior.  Wondering when I will pull my life together and “grow up.”  I beat the shit out of myself mentally and emotionally.  I have so much guilt and shame from my past and it spills over into how I judge my life today.

These past 5-6 months have been very difficult for me.  I lost my relationship with my girlfriend, her son and the life I thought I was going to live.  I am unhappy with my career choices.  I’m not making the type of money I am accustomed to.  Life has drastically changed in many ways.

During this time I have struggled with depression to the point that I have contemplated suicide on more than one occasion.  I have told myself that how I am living is unacceptable.  But why?  Who’s rules have I been living my life by?

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve fucked up a lot.  I have put life off for longer than I should.  Maybe I have Peter Pan Syndrome.  I’ve missed out on a lot of great opportunities and relationships in my life because of my choices.  However, those same choices are whats driving me to change my life for the better.

Fear is the driving force behind all my negative thoughts about my life.  Fear that I will never find someone to share my life with.  Fear that I will never have a family.  Fear that I wont be able to find success in the legitimate world.  Fear that I will end up like my father.  Fear that I will settle for a life less than I am capable of living.  Fear of making mistakes.  Fear of failure.  It’s this illusion of fear that I have allowed to run my life and keep me from living the life I deserve. (more…)

The Snowplow Metaphor that Became a Reality

This weekend I went to Baltimore to meet up with some friends at a Belgian Beer-fest.  On Saturday evening I decided to drive back home to Philly when I saw snow starting to come fall. The weather reports were calling for some heavy accumulation and I didn’t want to be stuck.  It was Valentines day and I hadn’t booked a hotel for the night.  To make matters worse we were hanging out about a mile away from where my ex was currently living.  It had the makings me of getting horribly drunk and doing something asinine so I left.

As I started my trek home quickly realized I was driving directly into the storm.  The snow was coming down hard.  The wind was violently whipping snow all around which made conditions much worse. During certain points of the drive it was almost a complete white out.  Visibility was barely three feet in front of me.  Driving over 35 mph wasn’t an option.

Being from the North East you learn to become accustomed to driving in winter storm.   Even though I’m normally a pretty shitty driver, I’d say my snow driving game is pretty strong. But, This was one of the worst storms I had ever driven in.  About half way through I arrived at a bend in the road where traffic had come to a stand still.  The road was so icy that people were spinning out of control and careening off the side of the road.  Keeping control of my car became very difficult.  I was going 5 mph and when I had to hit the breaks my car would slide out of the lane.  Several times I came very close to bumping into other cars that were sliding all over the road with me.

With my steering wheel clenched my focus became on just getting past this small stretch of road safely.  I could see cars 1/2 mile in front of me driving safely.  It took the better part of 5 minutes to go 1000 feet.  At that point I could hear the horn blasting from the truck behind me.  The obnoxious sound aggravated me to no extent.  I was swearing and freaking out behind the wheel because of this asshole behind me.  Couldn’t he understand I was struggling like every other car on the road to make it through this section safely.  His horn continued to blast!  I couldn’t take it anymore.  I lost it.  I started to slide off the side of the road so I decided to just make it to the shoulder so this fucking guy could pass.

As I pulled to the side of the road I rolled my window down, stuck my arm out the car and flipped the trucker off.  I was screaming every horrible combination of curse words at this guy and praying for his demise.  Once the truck started passing me I realized why he was beeping and trying to get me to move over.  The truck was a fucking SNOWPLOW!  He wasn’t being an asshole.  He was trying to help me.  Once I let him in front of me I drove back onto the road and it was smooth sailing for the next 10 miles while I followed him.

I was so caught up in my own struggle to get out of the icy conditions I didn’t even bother to take a good look at the truck behind me.  Instantly assuming he was just a typical asshole on the road trying to get home faster. I didn’t stop to realize he was honking his horn to get me to move over so he could clear the path for my journey home.  I allowed my current situation to consume me and make me blind to the fact that there could be help out there in these dangerous conditions.

This story really happened to me February 14, 2015.  This situation was like a giant metaphor for my life kicking me in the balls and saying HELLO!  I become so entrenched in the bullshit that is pulling my life down that I don’t see that there is an easier way.  My impatience, shortsightedness, and inability to see the big picture causes me to make poor choices.  I can’t see past my current situation and the fact that it is only temporary.  I am only concerned with how it is affecting me at that point in time.  All I want to do is get out of whatever I’m feeling or dealing with as quickly as possible because it is just too much for me to bear.

The ride home sucked. It was treacherous and scary at times.  I couldn’t see 5 feet in front of me or control my car at times.  What is normally an hour and forty-five minute drive took the better part of 5 hours.  This type of journey is on par with how I have lived my life.  I don’t take the time to evaluate situations, see what is unfolding and navigate them correctly.

I have lived my life this way for as long as I can remember.  My tendency is to ignore signs that are telling me to stop or slow down.  The ironic part of that is I have “SLOW DOWN” tattooed across my knuckles as a reminder to myself.  Something better is ahead of me if I’m patient, do the hard work and take the right actions.  I don’t take the signs from God, the universe, friends or a real fucking snow plow that they are trying to get my attention for a reason.  That they are trying to show me there is an easier path for me to drive on.  That there is a better life or way of living if I am willing to slow down, put my ego aside and allow them to show me their plan.