Why’s he got that?

I look around asking why I don’t have this or that. It’s because I’m afraid of failing. I don’t take the action and the risk to make it happen. I see all these mediocre dudes on the beach with attractive girls and I wonder, “why don’t I have that?” I’m pretty fucking mediocre too, why am I not with her.

Now, I know there is a whole lot wrong with what I just wrote. I know everyone has different tastes.  I also know I am judging by appearances and my perspective of other people.  These guys may have lots of other amazing things about them like personality, great career etc.

Also, I know that I could be dating attractive women, but I choose to be emotionally unavailable, say really stupid shit I should keep to myself and have lots of unprotected sex.  So, yeah, there’s lots of reasons I’m sitting alone on the beach right now. We’ve addressed that, now lets move on.

The real point to that, is those guys most likely put themselves in the right position to be in the place they are in. They may have taken risks to go up and meet the girl. They could have built their life up to a place that is attractive to her. They could have been introduced by a friend who thought they would click. All of that is by design one way or another.

A mutual friend may have thought they are both great people so she put them together.  That never happens to me, because I’m horrible at dating, I sleep with everyone (which my friends all know), I don’t allow sleepovers and I’m generally kind of an asshole. So my friends don’t usually want to subject others to dating me.

If I want to have someone, those behaviors have to change.  Making those changes are solely up to me.

This can obviously be applied to anything you want in your life that you feel don’t have and should.  I was using dating as an example, because it’s something so glaringly obvious that I’m really bad at.  That and I like to be self deprecating because it’s fun.  Don’t judge me.

So if you actually want something to change in your life, shut the fuck up and do something about it.  Stop making excuses and make changes to your life so you can have a chance to get what you want in life.  Don’t be entitled and expect things will happen for you, just because you feel you deserve it.  I’m busy doing that, so fuck off and get in line.

If You Fell Down Yesterday


Falling down is a part of life I know all too well.  At times I feel like I may never get back up. When I’m down I take comfort in vices that numb my senses and stunt my ability to make progress.  It makes no difference if it’s drugs, money, sex or violence; they are all the same type of distraction.  They temporarily fill the void I feel and keep me stuck.

When I’m struggling it can I feel like I will never make it past whatever I’m feeling.  I once heard someone make the analogy of hard times in our lives being like the seasons.  He likened depressions and funks to a brutal, cold winter.  The fact of the matter is it will take time, but eventually the seasons will change.  Winter will turn into spring.  The snow will melt, the flowers will bloom and you will feel the warmth of the sun again.  The same thing can be true for difficult times in our lives.

People become accustomed to living at a level much less than what they are capable of.  I know I certainly have lived this way.  It’s not that I didn’t care, it was more so I was unsure of how to change and what my first step should be.  What people don’t often recognize is it doesn’t matter so much what your first step is; what matters is that you make an effort and take action towards lifting yourself up.

There are few circumstances too difficult that the resilient human mind can’t endure.  There are stories of those abused and forced to live in the worst conditions imaginable who have created amazing lives for themselves through hard work and dedication.  Take for instance the story of  Viktor Frankl.  He was a holocaust survivor, the horrors he endured most of us couldn’t fathom.  He used his experiences in the concentration camps as the basis for writing books and making strides in the fields of therapy and psychology.  The basis for one of his most famous books, Man’s Search for Meaning, was how he discovered the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence and a reason to continue living; even when faced with the cruel reality of life in a concentration camp. (more…)

The Thing About Expectations and Assumptions


I woke up exhausted, still trying to recover from my Thursday night, which ended at 6:30 Friday morning.  I didn’t want to get out of bed and face everything I had to do today.

My day has been riddled with expectations and assumptions.  I’ve been agitated all day by the littlest things.  My mind is running wild with fear and aggravation.

This morning I went to visit the job site for a rehab I am financing.  The drive took far longer than I had anticipated.  There was traffic, cars moving slowly on single lane road and I seemed to hit every red light.  By the time I got to the site I was annoyed.  I met with my friend who is doing the rehab, only to find the lockbox holding the key to the house was stuck shut.  He tried repeatedly to open it with no avail.  We were locked out.

Since he will be replacing the windows, he broke one and we climbed in like cat burglars.  During our walk through I wasn’t exactly impressed with the progress.  I was having trouble envisioning how the finished product would look.  I had expected to see a greater amount of work done on the property.

This was the first time I saw the house since the rehab began.  I haven’t been asking for updates, nor have I looked at the project schedule.  I had nothing to base progress off of except my own unspoken expectations.  If I had been more involved with the project and the work schedule I might be able to assess if things are on track or not.

Once my expectations came into play my mind immediately became filled with negative thoughts.  I second guessed my investment,  “Why did I get myself involved in this?”  Will I get my investment back?  I pictured the worst case scenario playing out.

I took that same mindset with me to the gym.  My mind kept me from pushing myself and having the workout I wanted.  It wasn’t a bad workout, but it didn’t quite meet the expectation I had in my head.  My arms didn’t get the pump I thought I usually get.  I couldn’t push the weight I normally use.  Whether or not any of this was reality I’m not sure.  But my mind sold the idea to me and made me believe it.

A friend of mine text me to say hello and see how my day was going.   Her replies weren’t fast enough for my liking.   I was annoyed.  Why would she text me in the first place if she didn’t want to have a conversation?  I made assumptions about her reasons that drove me crazy. (more…)

Grant Me The Serenity

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.”

I’ve said the serenity prayer thousands of times in my life.  It was one of the first prayers I ever learned.   My Pop-Pop had it sitting in a frame on his desk when I was a child.  He was a recovering alcoholic and that was their mantra.

I’m a control freak.  I want everyone to act according to my plans and beliefs.  This never happens and only sets me up for disappointment and frustration.

Recently I have come to understand what the serenity to accept the things cannot change means.  Serenity comes from letting go of expectations and allowing people and things to be whatever they are going to be.  Being in control of myself and not letting other’s actions affect my life and happiness.

When certain people enter my life I feel my anxiety build.  I lose focus and have difficulty sleeping at night.  I want so much better for them than they want for themselves.  I have codependency issues.  I feel the need to save them.

I’ve struggled to accept others for who they are.  I want to change them and mold them into someone I feel is better.  In the end the person usually resents me for my actions.

Serenity does not come easy for  me.  It is incredibly difficult for me to accept the world will act as it chooses and not allow that to impact my happiness.  Especially when it involves the behavior of someone I love and care for.

Things I cannot change have taken up too much real estate in my mind.  Learning to cope with anxiety and let go of these thoughts has been crucial.  I’ve distanced myself from people and learned to love them from a far.  I’ve come to terms with the fact I can only influence others to make changes if they are ready and willing.

I’ve wasted years worrying about how others choose to live their lives.  Looking down upon their choices and placing my expectations upon them.  I’ve been condescending when I should have been focusing more energy on how I  live my life.  Trusting that no matter what someone else does, I have enough confidence in the life I have built for myself that my world will not collapse.

Serenity is knowing I cannot change anyone.  People are going to be who they are going to be and will live the way they way want to live .  Not everyone will be willing to put in the hard work and effort its takes to be the best they can be.  The sooner I accept that fact the sooner I can have my serenity back.

On Resentments…

burning paper 02

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ”

Resentments undermine progress and wreak havoc on my life.   They serve no purpose other than to drain my emotional health and positivity.  Resentments keep me in the past.  They handcuff me and stifle my ability to move forward.

Resentments have very little to do with what another person has done to me.  They are about the injustice I feel I have suffered and find unacceptable.  I hold onto these toxic feelings because they are comfortable and familiar.  I don’t have to think much to process them.  I can simply feel the anger and indignation fester inside of me and know that I’m alive.

12 step programs thoroughly discuss and address resentments in their literature.  One of the most powerful statements that I have read on the subject comes from the Big Book of AA:

“This mental habit extracts tremendous costs. After all, resentment does nothing to change the person we resent. Nor does it resolve conflict. Instead of freeing us from the wrongs of others, resentment allows those people to dominate our thinking — a kind of emotional bondage.”

Working through resentment is an arduous task.  It takes the ability to truly let go and not only forgive someone else, but yourself as well.  In every resentment usually lies shame, embarrassment, guilt, sadness and anger (the list extends far past that).  I feel that my actions have played a role in creating all of my resentments .  There is a part of me that questions what I could have done differently in order to avoid these feelings.

In order for me to relinquish my resentments I need to get passed my fragile ego and accept things for how they are.  That is the starting point.  From there, there are others processes that I have been taught, or learned on my own, to create a resentment free life.

I have been told to pray for the people I resent.   Asking God to give these people all that I would want for myself.  It takes the power away from the resentment.  If you are able to pray for someone you have such ill will towards you can overcome your feelings.  At first it may feel like just words.  That’s fine; go through the motions anyway.  I have done this for several years and it has helped me.

The other day I tried a powerful exercise.  I wrote a list of everyone that I was resentful towards.  Then next to each persons name I made a very detailed list of each reason I had to resent them.  Some of these reasons seemed silly and foolish, but it was important that I write them down.  It got all my feelings out of my head and made them real and concrete.

I had to be willing to be uncomfortably honest with myself about why I harbored each resentment.  Sometimes those feelings were embarrassing even to admit to myself.  However, it was important for me not to be judgmental about what I wrote as that could keep me from being completely forthcoming.

I started the list with the most obvious person that I harbor the most resentment toward, myself.  This list was by far the longest.  There are just so many things I have done that I resent.

Then I added my family, my ex girlfriend and people from my past that tormented me.  I added anyone to my list if I dwelled upon their “unacceptable” actions towards me.

By the end of the exercise I had 10 people on that list.  That seems like a lot of people to have resentments against.  I have struggled to let go of this poison.

After the list was completed I reread what I had written.  That sparked some more ideas of what I was resentful about and I added to the list again.  Once I had emptied my tank and my list was complete I folded the papers, said goodbye and burned them it my sink.

I watched as the flames grew larger and smoke emanated from the paper.  The words turned black and slowly disappeared in front of me until eventually the list was nothing but ash.

The process of writing them down on paper,  facing them and then burning them  was cathartic.  I felt a sense of relief.  The burden of all the resentments I had carried round with me for far too long seemed lighter and less intense.

Resentments can only live inside of our hearts and minds.  They do not exist anywhere else.  The more they are ignored the stronger they become.  Learning to resolve resentment gives us mental and emotion freedom, as well as the ability to become more confident, happy and cognizant of the world around us.

Being Tortured Is A Choice

Pain-Is-Inevitable-Suffering-Is-OptionalI’m a glutton for punishment.  At least I used to be.  Looking back at how I handled many of the trials and tribulations in my life, I can honestly say I chose to be tortured.  I don’t think I necessarily made those decisions on purpose.  But suffering was the path I embraced.

Its hard to stay even keel when going through tough times. Especially when it feels like there are life altering, negative implications.  I know it’s a hackneyed platitude, but sometimes It’s hard to see the forest for the trees.

However, there are ways to utilize these arduous events as springboards to something positive in life.  Looking at my own life I find this to be true.  Out of every tragedy (or what I perceived as tragedy at the time) there has always been a lesson to learn and an opportunity to make my life better in some facet.

There have been times where I felt my world would end.  For example, two years ago I had to stop using steroids, give up my very lucrative illegitimate business and move away from the place I had called home for many years to start a new life.  I had to change everything I had known for the past decade (for better or worse) and become someone I had no understanding of.

I didn’t know what life would look like for me without the facade of who I had become.  It was the most uncomfortable time in my life.  At least it felt like it was at that point.  Today I realize it was a minor bump in the road.  I had previously survived adversity that felt like the death of “me” many times.

The results stemming from my behavior snowballed into more torture for myself.  I lost my relationship and the family setting I had so desperately wanted.  I ended up relapsing back into my opiate addiction.  I even debated making the ultimate mistake, committing suicide.

I chose to be miserable and create pain and suffering for myself.  I didn’t realize it at the time, but that’s what I was doing.  I had options, a multitude of them in fact.  However, I didn’t recognize them as such.  I was too focused on what I perceived I had lost.

I was unable to be observant of my environment.  I couldn’t focus on what my life could look like in the future.  I did’t understand that I could choose to be happy in that moment if I kept a level head and reminded myself that what I was going through would pass.

Learning to step back from my own situation and applying a less emotionally charged perspective has taken a tremendous amount of time and practice.  Quite often I fail at this.  Its like anything else, it takes a lot of reps to build that mental muscle.

We all have choices in our lives every day.  From the simplest choices like what we eat and what we wear.  To the most difficult choices of what we think about and allow into our lives.  There’s a quote I used to hear in AA when members would discuss the recovery process.  They would say “its simple, but its not easy”  The same holds true for how we choose to view adversity.

I’m Kicking Again

man having painful depressionCrawling out of my skin; all the familiar symptoms rush over my mind and body.  Weakness and fatigue beating me down.  My body fluctuating from hot to cold.  The inability to think or focus because my mind is clogged up and foggy with thoughts that don’t serve me well.  Restlessness and irritation.  The bloating and stomach pains.  The night sweats.  All this evidence leads me to one conclusion: I’m going through withdrawal.

My doctor has prescribed me Xanax for several years now.   I have been using it to fall sleep on a regular basis for the last 18 months.  I’ve tried many other natural supplements and sleep techniques over that time period with little to no success.  I know its not the best option, but it’s worked for me.

I’ve slept horribly for the better part of 15 years.  I wake up numerous times every night.  A myriad of factors effect my ability to get enough sleep.  Having to urinate during the night, body pains, anxiety and the inability to shut off my mind are the main culprits.

I decided several weeks ago that it was time to wean myself off Xanax.  I have become dependent on it for sleep, but my body has developed a tolerance to it.  Continuing to take it this medication in the future isn’t a sustainable option.

Coming off of benzo’s can be a very difficult and dangerous process.  Quite often people experience very adverse side effects including seizures.  I tried kicking cold turkey when I was in California a month ago and the withdrawal symptoms were too great.  I didn’t want to ruin my vacation.

When I returned home from vacation I decided it was time to come off.  I cut my usual dosage in half for two weeks; then in half again for another two weeks.  I should have kept taking it every other day for another week or two, but I was ready to come off.

It’s been over seven months since I had to kick opiates.  I’m employing many of the same supplements and methods I have in the past to mitigate some of the side effects:

  • Plenty of water with fresh squeezed lemon – Withdrawal makes me very dehydrated.  I’m drinking at least 1.5 gallons of water a day.  This keeps me hydrated and the lemon is a natural way to detox the liver.
  • Vitamin C –  Keeps the immune system healthy.  There’s been studies showing mega doses can ameliorate withdrawal symptoms in opiate addicts.
  • Magnesium – It calms the nervous system and lessens anxiety.
  • Getting plenty of sunlight – This is important for vitamin D production.  Being in the sun makes me feel invigorated and my mood appreciates.  Taking a walk in the sun is shown to release oxytocin which is known as the “happiness hormone.”
  • Exercise – No matter how weak I feel, partaking in some sort of exercise always aids in this process.  It gets the blood flowing, endorphin’s going and takes my focus off of other symptoms.
  • L-Tyrosine – This amino acid helps immensely with energy.  Unlike with caffeine or other stimulants, L-Tyrosine does not make me jittery.  It gives me nice, smooth, prolonged energy.  It can also increase dopamine in the brain to counteract depression.
  • Alleve – To deal with all the body aches and pains.

Last night I tried smoking weed to counteract how miserable I felt.  Getting high completely wiped me out to the point where I could barely function.  It took me 20 minutes to walk my dog around the block.  My motor functions slowed to a crawl.  I lay on my couch half paralyzed until I fell asleep.

I stopped taking Xanax seven days ago.  The last two days my symptoms have been the most intense.  As I write this I’m not sure if it will turn out to be intelligible.  My brain is barely functioning and my body would like to shut down.  However, I feel like am nearing the tail end of this debacle.

This experiment didn’t go as smoothly as planned.  Nonetheless, It’s a surreal feeling knowing what I’m going through internally and still having the ability to be in control of my feelings and emotions. Having a clear head and being in a more stable place in my life makes handling this situation much easier.  It’s a completely different experience then kicking drugs I was using recreationally.

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.



Purpose and Progress

Last night I made the decision that my life had fallen off track the last couple of weeks.  Ever since my vacation to California I had become unproductive and had lost focus of my goals.  My life had become all about play and very little about work.  I decided this was no longer acceptable and I needed to correct my behavior in order to restore some balance to my life.

Last night I set my alarm earlier than normal so I could get a head start on a productive day.  As the alarm on my phone blared its annoying cry this morning at 6:30 I tried to figure out why I was getting up early.

I could think of 100 reasons why I wanted to hit snooze and stay in bed.  I had fallen asleep late.  I woke up several times during the night.  My allergies were killing me.  My dog was being adorable the way she way laying with me.  But I literally couldn’t think of one reason as to why I should get up and start my day.

The outcome was obvious; I hit snooze.  Over and over.  After the fourth time I hit snooze I finally woke up, measured my dick, hit my knees, said my morning prayer then went to the kitchen to make myself a protein shake and eat 2 tablespoons of coconut oil.

article-2268950-1730381E000005DC-879_634x654The sad reality of what got me out of bed this morning is that I had an erection I wanted to measure.  Lately I’ve been feeling like my penis hasn’t been working correctly.  This has been a struggle for me ever since I got off steroids almost two years ago because I now have low testosterone levels.  In my mind it looks and feels much smaller than I remember.  This summer it felt and worked fine but I had a mental blow to my ego/penis that made me second guess the whole situation.

The only motivating factor that could drive me out of bed this morning was my fear and insecurity.  I had a good, full erection that felt right for once and I wanted to get out of bed quickly to measure it before It went flaccid.  Once I measured it I felt a little better and started my day.

On days like this it’s clear to me I struggle with my vision and purpose.  When my thoughts about staying in bed asleep far outweigh my ability to wake up and start my day, I know there is a huge disconnect.  I can make 1000 excuses as to why I couldn’t wake up and start my day early.  But the reality is I didn’t have a strong sense of purpose for my day.

I had my list of goals I want to accomplish today written down.  I made sure to look it over last night before bed as a reminder of the productive day I needed to have today.  But when my alarm went off I couldn’t think of anything on that list.  The comfort of laying in bed was overwhelming.  I came very close to cashing in my day before it even started.

These days become all too common in our lives.  We only get up out of a sense of fear that if we don’t we will experience negative repercussions in our lives.  We may miss our bus,  get fired from our job for not being on time or get up out of fear that our penis shrank.  But how long can those negative factors be the driving force in our lives and allow us to have a meaningful and successful existence.

For me, fear only drives me enough to do the bare minimum to get the job done.  There’s usually not a lot of satisfaction in things I do out of fear.  Facing my fears and doing things because they scare me, not because I am scared of what happens when I don’t do them, is something altogether different.  For me that’s where purpose comes in.  Part of what makes me feel alive is doing new activities that I am afraid of or being put in situations that take me out of my comfort zone.

My purpose may change daily.  But without purpose my days just exist.  They tend to lack meaning and rarely lead to any progress.  They become the rat race, drowning in the tedium of everyday life.

My purpose doesn’t need to be some grandiose goal every day.  But it needs to have meaning and serve my life in a manner that allows me to create progress.  When I am able to create progress my life becomes a journey.  Turning life into a game by challenging myself through daily experiments to see what I can accomplish so that life can have more meaning than just getting out of bed to measure my boner.

Learning to Understand and Deal with Pain Without Painkillers


If someone else treated me the way I treated myself I would’ve had to kill them. The massive amount of mental and emotional suffering I brought upon myself throughout my life has been insane. At 35 I am realizing that even though I have experienced a tremendous amount of pain, I never learned how to process and deal with it. I didn’t understand how the grieving process works and what steps should occur in a healthy mourning period.

In the past, when my skin started to crawl and my mind wouldn’t stop replaying the same thoughts, I was lost with how to interpret and handle those feelings. My therapist recently brought this fact to my attention.

For as long as I can remember I used foreign substances to cope with the pain I was going through. I stuffed whatever I didn’t want to face deep down inside of me. I numbed my senses with opiates, cocaine, women, money and alcohol. I used anything that allowed me to get out of “myself”. For that brief moment in time it would my fill my void and bring me some small, but fleeting period of happiness.

My life had become a vicious cycle of chaos and pain. A considerable portion of my pain was due to my inability to allow myself to be happy and content. I struggled to accept happiness and success; even when I had fought so hard to achieve them.

Something inside of me kept telling me I wasn’t allowed to be happy. I didn’t deserve it. If I continued to stay optimistic something bad would surely occur. I didn’t understand that it was ok to allow the good to come into my life without fear of repercussions. I continuously self-sabotaged my life and created chaos.

There’s truly a sick sense of comfort in chaos for someone like me. It’s very familiar and I understand how it works. I was fearful of what life would look like without chaos. What would it’s replacement look and feel like? This thought process caused me to stay sick mentally and live in my own turmoil.

When I decided to make a change I looked at my life and decided that I had two choices. I could either stop taking painkillers or I could kill myself. There was no middle ground for me at that point. Those were the only viable options for my life.

I was able to associate the feeling of such overwhelming pain with the use of opiates that I kicked cold turkey. My mind finally got to the point where the pain and suffering of withdraw, as well as having to deal with my emotions, were not nearly as great as continuing to use. That was the key for me. Forging a mental association that linked taking painkillers to creating more pain in my life, rather than taking the pain away.

The first couple of weeks I was physically sick from withdraw. However, the next several months of having to deal with all the mental and emotion pain was far worse. I had to face what I had created in my life and it wasn’t pretty. I had to accept that I had lost relationships, business opportunities, money and most importantly time because of my actions.

Occasionally I felt that I couldn’t handle all the mental anguish. I thought It may be too much and it would consume me. I’ve seen people experience tragic events in their live’s and never came out of it the same. They stay stuck in a rut with their past haunting them forever. Continually living out the same patterns ad nauseam, only replacing the characters in their story.

I’m only seven months removed from that life, but writing about it now seems foreign to me. It’s as if I’m not writing about my own life. When I replay my past actions in my head it’s like seeing a bad movie that so embarrassing to watch it makes you cringe. It’s unfathomable to me that I lived that way for so long.

I’ve learned dealing with pain is supposed to hurt. Allowing myself to feel whatever pain comes into my life and learning from it is necessary. Pain is the most powerful teacher we have in this world. It is the cornerstone of growth and change. It has taught me many of my greatest lessons; as well as evoked the most change in my life. Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.