Sunday, December 31, 2017

Goodbye, 2017. Please Kiss Me First, 2018

We should all get Participation Trophies for 2017.

You know, one of those generic trophies that says "As long as you had fun, you won!"  But that wouldn't really cover shitshow 2017 was, would it?

Perhaps a Golden Turd.

It's important to reward those who so richly deserve to have their efforts recognized.  This year sucked.  Normally I'd personify the year and come up with some kind of witty dialog to illustrate just how badly it sucked but honestly, at this point, it's just too much.

Perhaps we should offer other awards for this year.

A lot of us deserve that award.  So many people had it coming, too.  It was hard to get through 2017 without stabbing somebody because it seemed like every day somebody new made the list.  

This year was so bad, I feel like I can't really speak the words but instead I have to use a doll to point at the places where 2017 hurt me.  The problem is, so much of what happened this year was self-inflicted.  

I did a lot of it to myself.  I wish I could say it was all "them" or "that" but no, I'm self-destructive.  

I'm starting to feel like crap.  I'm thinking somebody gave me their bug.  Because it's so damned cold out, and I don't have a car to drive anywhere, I'm kind of stuck here.  And I don't have a job, either.  I lost that a day after Christmas.  The car died two days before Christmas.  

What this all means is I'm sliding into 2018 ready for some serious changes.  I'm ready, too.  I'm ready to blast into 2018 like a 10 year-old shithead on a sugar rush in Walmart on the day they put out the toys for Christmas.  Come at me, bro.  

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Ghost of Jacob Marley's Shithead Grandson

It's Christmas Eve. 

Thankfully I'm not with my family.  My car showed mercy upon me and died.  I'm thinking it's most likely a blown head gasket.  I say it's a mercy because it snowed today and my tires are bald. 

Better stuck at home than in a ditch with broken bones sticking out of my skin as my car burns with me trapped inside.  I say that's my luck but the truth is The Powers That Be would never do that to me.  They'd never let me out of this rotten manure pit hurling through the cold dark of space so easily.  I'm fucking immortal.

That's a bitter thing to say but honest depending on your perspective.  But that's all about what life is supposed to be, right?  Perspective?  How we frame something is supposed to make it a reality, they say. 

I've been getting better at framing things in a more positive light.  I hate it, though.  I feel like Karl Rove standing behind Rupert Murdoch with a hand on his shoulder, whispering in his ear.   It feels like self-propaganda as if I'm somehow spinning reality to fit the narrative. 

It feels false to me to say this Christmas Eve is somehow not bad at all.  After how rough these past few weeks have been and all, to say simply that things aren't all that bad feels disingenuine but it's the healthy choice.  It's the healthy path. 

Self-deception can go both ways, I guess.  You can lie to yourself and tell yourself all kinds of stories about how you've gotten a lot of positive things done despite the harsh terrain.  Or you can totally discount your progress as inconsequential because you're not this enough or that enough.  For some reason I am perfectly content to discount myself but even remotely being positive is about as comfortable as shoving a cactus up my arse. 

Tonight I walked up and down a flight of stairs without issue.  I even carried laundry baskets full of wet clothes without having to stop and take each step one at a time, or keep the basket on the steps while I repeated the tedious trek.  Put the basket on the highest step you can reach, put both hands on the walls, take one step at a time until you catch up to where you set the basket, then repeat. 

That's how I used to go up the stairs leading out of my basement where the washing machine is located.  It was a rough journey, too.  My knees would feel like they were about to blow out and I wasn't nearly as stable as a toddler just learning how to walk.  I was terrified of falling. 

That's a reality when you're too big to move around much.  You know if you fall down you're fucked.  Proper fucked.  Because you're not getting up that easily and when you're a loner like me, that means you might be on the floor for a while. 

When I was a kid, my grandma's sister, Naoma, fell down and was pinned between the couch and the radiator in her apartment.  She was horribly burned because she was stuck there for over a day.  She was in the hospital for almost a month.  That's not going to be me.  I'm careful.  I'd much rather learn from the tragedy of others than from my own mistakes, miscues, and missteps. 

The Frank Capra classic "It's a Wonderful Life" is on television right now.  It's an annual thing I haven't watched since I was in college.  I always found it a hard movie to watch.  Capra was a genius in his day for making the audience sympathize with his main characters. 

Just like George Bailey, we've all made choice we thought were best for other people. 

Something's been bugging me lately.  Well, okay, a lot has been bugging me.  I try to reframe it but it's still there.  It's the self-destructive thing again.  The things I have ruined. 

I've bitched and complained about relationships I've tanked plenty but I've never mentioned how I've done the same with jobs and other aspects of my life.  Right now I'm faced with some decisions about my employment and I'm wondering if I'm going to repeat those mistakes over and over again.  It's bad enough I can't be happy for more than 24 hours with a woman but I'm almost as bad with jobs. 

If the job is utter shit, I stay.  If the job is really bad, I'll apply twice and stop by once a day until they give me the damned job.  Usually it's something horrible like shoving a cactus up my arse for minimum wage and a bonus for extra needles they take away routinely because sometimes the cacti are too smooth.  That's my dream job and I've done that job with a dozen employers over the past 20 years. 

I wouldn't know what to do with a good job that paid well.  I'd just blow that extra money on all the bills I've neglected for the past 30 years anyways.

But this is the season of re-framing things and being positive.  I have no idea how to reframe this one.  I don't have a fucking clue how to spin this shitty story into something positive. 

But on this Christmas Eve, while I sit alone and monitor a quiet internet because everybody is with family and people who care about them, I can say I've done more this holiday season to rise above the darkness that always consumes me.  I have done more positive things for myself than ever before and I have made more progress than I thought possible.  I might not be hitting any home runs in my life but I've made positive steps in the right direction. 

That's not bullshit spin control, either.  That's truth.  So sure, a year ago I was a basket case, and my brain spun around like a centrifuge, while I lined up another kamikaze ran into the dirt, but that's not happening this year.  This year, I've gone full Bill O'Reilly and Wolfe Blitzer, and I'm telling a positive story--truth be damned.      

Monday, December 18, 2017

The Quest for New Memories

My wife and I were married on December, 18th.  Today.  And it was 18 years ago. 

I'm not doing well.  I never do, either. 

I hate the fucking holidays for a lot of reasons.  This is one of them.  To me, this day is a reminder that I used to be happy. 

Here's a memory I always go back to in my head:  My wife and I, sitting in our small apartment in Seoul, in the Ewha District, as she holds our daughter.  Raven is drinking from her bottle and I'm petting our dog, Charlie.  Charlie is laying down and Seung-Hee, my wife, is looking at me and smiling.  We're talking about how lucky we are.  We're talking about how fortunate we are to have gotten to the point we're at and how incredibly grateful we both were to have what we had because neither of us thought it was possible.  Not for us.  Not in our lives. 

My wife and I both remembered where we came from.  Her life wasn't very good, either.  And she wasn't looking to meet anybody when we first met.  Our first dates weren't even dates.  I was teaching her English via e-mails and both of us had very shitty weeks.  I was starving for something other than the few dishes I knew and I told her--be my food guide and I'll take you out to dinner. 

That was our first few dates.  They weren't dates--she was teaching me about Korean food and I was teaching her English. 

In short time, we discovered something about each other--we respected each other on an emotional level.  She knew I wasn't going to be some drunken asshole, I wasn't violent, I didn't yell, and I didn't push her around or bully her.  I respected her thoughts and feelings, asked her rationally what she thought about things, and we made choices based on a calm, respectful conversation. 

Most of the time.  I was an asshole sometimes.  I'll admit this.  And there were times when she was very controlling and jealous.  Plus, she really didn't like my darker side, which I kept very hidden from her.  Gladly, too.  I wanted to be for her what she wanted me to be. 

On that night, I knew I'd finally had everything I've ever wanted out of life.  I had a family.  That's all I wanted.  That was the ultimate goal for me--a family.  I wanted to do it better than my dad.  I wanted to be a better husband than him, too.  I wanted to start from the beginning with a family and be the man I knew I could be for somebody who cared about me the way I cared about them. 

And I lost it.  All of it.  I had it and lost it all.

I won't go through the long, shitty story but suffice to say I lost everything no matter what I did, how hard I fought, and it left me devastated. 

Is there anything worse than knowing what you have and then losing it? 

On this day, every year, I am reminded that I was happy once.  I was happy once, goddammit!  And I can't get it back no matter what I do.  Losing my family changed me in a thousand ways and I'm no longer the person I was.  If my wife saw me today she wouldn't even recognize me.  I'm not the guy she fell in love with anymore. 

I've tried to get back what I had and I just can't.  It's like they were taken from me because I had to fall apart.  I had to be damaged.  Fate had plans other than happiness. 

And sometimes the answers to our prayers is "Go fuck yourself." 

When December 18th rolls around, it feels like I haven't been happy since I lost them and that no matter what I do, I never will be again.  Every effort will be nothing more than a feeble attempt at a replacement for what I had so I can lie to myself and make believe it's ok. 

But all of that is nothing compared to the guilt.  My wife forgave me.  Our last conversation on the phone was her forgiving me for all that happened.  She said she knew it wasn't my fault and I gave it my best, but there were too many things happening at once and it just wasn't allowed by fate. 

It is a punch in the gut to have someone you failed forgive you and tell you she still loves you.  I wish she had told me she hated me.  I wish she told me she wanted to shoot me in the face.  I wish she had told me, "If I ever see you again, I'm going to throw acid in your face and cut off your various body parts, you son of a bitch!" 

But no, she was the woman I knew she was when I married her.  She forgave me. 

I feel like I've ruined her life.  I feel like I have exposed her to all kinds of horrible shit because it's Korea and dangerous for women.  I feel like I'm responsible for everything bad that has happened to her since I left.  And I am responsible.  She was my responsibility and I failed her.  Fate and the gods be damned, the blame rests at my feet, no matter how many incredibly weird things happened to destroy our marriage. 

But here's something I'm starting to consider after friends pointed out a different perspective:  What if it wasn't about me?  What if all of those times I got back up and came so close to getting them back only to be derailed by something was Fate and the universe removing me from their lives so they could walk their own path? 

What if it wasn't about me at all?  What if they needed me to be removed from them so they could grow in their own ways? 

I've blamed myself for things that were totally out of my control for a long time.  Long enough, really.  I'm afraid to let this go, though.  I'm afraid to walk away and I don't know why.  But I can't keep living like this.  I can't keep punishing and tormenting myself for things in the past I couldn't control in the lives of people who deserve their own fate. 

In the past, I have written a letter to my daughter, explaining to her how badly the guilt I have carried around for years has eaten away at me.  I shared that with some but a friend suggested I do it again and this time, keep it private.  The goal of this is to communicate with my wife's higher self on a soulful level.  Those vibrations are important.  She might not hear me directly but she will in her heart. 

I can't contact my family.  They moved when I was homeless and I didn't get my mail, so I lost contact with them and I have no way of finding them.  It's done.  I wrote the letter to my wife tonight and I feel better because of it.  I didn't say "goodbye" as much as I released myself from the bonds of guilt, anger, and loss. 

I feel like I made a step in the right direction today.  It's going to be a long journey and it might take a long time for me to let go of this.  I'm still angry and incredibly upset.  I think part of that is because I just haven't dealt with this much and instead buried things because I just couldn't deal with it.  Maybe one day I'll find some kind of happiness.  I'm trying.  I really am.  I'm not sure what to do next but I feel another lesson will present itself later on down the road. 

For now, I will accept that I have lost happiness, and hope it doesn't last forever.  It often feels like it is forever but I've been wrong before.  I hope I'm wrong about this. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Love Songs of a Kamikaze

Earlier this week I reminded somebody the entire reason I'm making all of these changes is because I don't want to die alone.  Sure, the world is full of people who die alone.  Thousands of people a day die alone.  I don't want to be one of them.

Yet I have structured my entire life to keep women away.  Not at a distance.  Not at a certain length.  Away.  Totally and completely away.  

Oddly enough, all but a couple of my closest friends are women, but we can ignore that.  Nothing is going on with any of them.  No friends with benefits, no friends with an occasional hook up, or anything like that.  

In fact, my friends don't talk about sex at all with me.  I love that about them.  I love not hearing about their sex lives and I love that all but one never sends me naked pics of themselves.  

I'm not like other men.  I know this about myself.  I don't watch porn, and in the past few years, all things sexual have become abhorrent to me.  To say I get uncomfortable when a woman talks about her sex life is an understatement.  

This week I've been having a lot of nightmares.  On Monday morning, my alarm woke me out of a nightmare about a woman cutting off my Mr. Happy.  She was laughing and just as the alarm woke me, the blood was beginning to gush.  And it really hurt.

That nightmare probably says more about how I react to women than I'd spell out in plain words.

I don't hate women.  Quite the contrary.  I fear them.  I'm terrified by them.  I see them as either a friend or a vicious, carnivorous predator ready to rip organs out of my body and feast upon them.  When I see a beautiful woman, I see claws, fangs, and bloodlust.

No grey area, either.  One or the other.

It's part of the reason I seek out women who are unobtainable.  My dream girl is over 1000 miles away, totally out of my league if we were to meet face-to-face, and possibly married.  Knowing I'll never meet her is best.  Knowing she'll keep me her dark secret is even better.  Sure, it sucks she'll never tell her friends about the weird guy in the creepy van, but it's best this way.

But all of that doesn't matter.   It really doesn't.

Within 24 hours of being happy, I will self-destruct.  I will ruin everything and totally make a huge mess of things.  I've done it way too many times.

If the most intelligent, witty, kind, and beautiful woman came to me and told me she felt a connection with me, within 24 hours I would do something stupid to drive a wedge between us.  I would tell her something about myself out of context that would make her realize I was a mistake.  It would be the truth, but it would be a random thing out of context, and she would have to realize things were wrong.

I self destruct whenever things are going well.  I don't know why.

I've lost weight.  I've made progress.  I've been doing so well.  But too many people have complimented me and encouraged me.  I've been starting to feel like I'm not a waste of flesh and that there might be a better future than the one I imagined.

So, I've been eating carbs.  I've been eating chocolate, ice cream, and bread sticks.

I can blame all kinds of things.  Budget, food costs, etc.  But no, this is me self destructing again.

I can't stop it.  I have to destroy anything that brings me happiness or puts me on a path to a better life.  And I don't know why I do it.  I just don't.

One of the reasons I've stopped connecting with women was because I just can't bring myself to hurt another one with my self destructive instincts.  It's instinct at this point--I just do it without even thinking about it.  And it kills me to know how badly I've hurt women who cared about me.

I don't know why I do that.  I really don't.

I keep going back to that quote from Milton's Paradise Lost they used in the movie The Crow. 

Am I really that bad? 

I can't be, but somehow I have developed a self-perception that is and it has tainted everything around me. 

I keep going back to a memory from not too long ago.  I cared about her, she told me she cared about me.  And then the clock started to tick.  Within 24 hours it was done.  I'd fucked it all up. 


I was furious with myself.  I still am.  And it still hurts.  Just 24 hours and I'm still angry at myself for fucking it all up.  I hurt a woman deeply just because she was stupid enough to care about a guy like me. 

I'm working on sorting this out.  Last week I had the realization that all of my perceptions of self, since as far back as I can remember, were based on the valuation given by broken people with issues.  People who were deeply hurt and from painful pasts who could only cope with alcohol and violence and rage. 

When I was three and a half years old, I watched my babysitter throw her drunken husband down a flight of stairs and proceed to beat him with a vacuum hose while he begged her to stop.  I was sitting at the base of the stairs.  I pulled my knees up to my chest and covered my eyes with my hands while I shook with fear. 

When I was about four and a half or five, somebody giving me a bath suddenly flew into a rage, grabbed me by the back of my head, and shoved my head under the water.  They held it there for a long time and I was certain I was going to die.  I ran out of air and let go, knowing that was how it was going to end.  Then, they suddenly pulled me up out of the water.  They were pale, shaking, and crying.  We went downstairs to have some orange juice and never spoke of it again. 

Food healed the hurt that night and made it all better.  Another pattern I need to work on. 

Somehow, I took moments like that, and instead of assigning blame to the people doing the deeds, I turned them around on myself.  I somehow twisted events like that into meaning that I was a bad person.  I have no idea how that bit of logic worked out but that's what I did. 

I thought, for my entire life, there was something fundamentally and centrally flawed about me as a human being when all along it wasn't about me.  Even decades ago, when I learned it wasn't about me, I kept the original self worth and self identity.  Despite knowing and understanding the world I grew up in, I maintained the flawed perspective that got me into this mess. 

The old lens through which I looked at myself is falling apart and good riddance.  I am working on developing a new one.  For so long, I always saw myself reflected in the eyes of others.  So when somebody liked me, I instantly thought they were somehow flawed themselves, and of poor judgement.  I knew who and what I was, why didn't they? 

I am now re-thinking and reinventing everything I knew about myself.  I am looking at how I came to believe in who and what I am, then trying to see where those perceptions were false.  I have no clue what to do after that. 

I have people who are helping me and guiding me along but this is scary shit sometimes.  But sometimes, it's like being able to re-take a driver's license photo.  I get to have a more honest appraisal of who I am. 

I have to fix this.  I just have to.  I'm self destructing in a thousand ways with a dozen choices every hour.  I don't want to die alone because I have the instincts of a Kamikaze pilot with a hundred kills painted on my side.  But more importantly, I can't hurt any more women.  I just can't.  I feel so horrible already and knowing I can't control this makes it worse. 

After a while, it becomes just another sick cosmic joke.  The guy with severe abandonment issues self destructs when he finds anything close to happiness.  You can only tell a woman you're sorry so many times before they start to think you're doing it all on purpose.  Or worse, they realize just how far gone you are mentally, and how they need to run.  You feel like a monster when that happens.  Inhuman.  It's hard to apply the new self valuation and perceptions of self when she's backing away like a woman in Hannibal Lecter's kitchen after she sees a couple of toes in the garbage disposal.   

A lot is changing.  I know that I am changing, too.  I am changing in the most positive way I know how and with the help and aid of friends who genuinely care about me.  I'm not sure who I am but I am starting to narrow it down a bit more every day.  I'm very curious about what I'll come up with.   

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Small Victories on a Good Day

It's almost midnight.  I'm exhausted, in a good mood, and I almost typed the word "happy." 

Almost.  I stopped myself and deleted the few letters I got out.  I mean, I don't want to get too crazy here. 

I left my apartment. 

I don't normally do that.  There's a little girl I'll leave it for but that's about it.  She's very special to me and I love being her creepy uncle. 

Today, for the first time in well over four years, I left my apartment for a destination that was more than an hour away and new to me.  I was so anxious the night before I didn't sleep until 6am. 

When the time came to leave, I was even more anxious.  Anxiety is like a big, dark monster riding on your shoulders, licking the back of your ear as it delightfully tells you all the awful shit that is waiting for you outside the door. 

You can hear it smile as it sings in whispers about all the things that will go wrong and how horrible it will be. 

You believe it because you remember.  It's hard to forget things and you know what's out there.  It's even harder to ignore and just go on with your day. 

But I left my apartment. 

It wasn't easy.  I had to work up to it and because of that I was running late.  I slept late, too, because I didn't sleep at all the night before.  Such is the penalty of anxiety. 

The road trip was supposed to take three hours. 

On the way there, I saw a cow giving birth not more than 20 feet from the road.  Nobody was there to help or do anything about it.  Such is Wisconsin, I guess. 

There were several times I almost stopped, turned around, and came back.  I was so uncomfortable with what I was doing it was almost too much.  But I brushed aside those thoughts as false and just kept on going. 

I made a few wrong turns on the way.  Instead of three hours, it took me more than four to get up there.  And I couldn't stay long because I have to work tomorrow morning.  Oh joy of joys. 

I even audibled mid-way through and changed the route.  Instead of bypassing Madison via county roads, I got tired of following tractors, and went through Madison anyways. 

But it was nice.  I made it safe and sound. 

Here's the weird part that gets me--the anxiety went away once I got about 1/3 of the way there.  Even when it was clear I'd made a wrong turn here and there, I wasn't nearly as anxious as I was when I first got into my car.  That doesn't make any sense to me but that's the truth of it. 

Today had some great moments.  Not only did I leave my apartment and go someplace new, I was able to tilt my steering wheel down two positions for the first time.  Since I've had that car, I've kept the wheel tilted up all the way.  Just four months ago, it was rubbing on my belly.  Today, I had several inches of space to work with, and I was able to tilt that wheel down. 

That was a good moment.  It meant progress for me.  Tangible progress.  Instead of feeling like I've lost weight, I had something to measure, and show. 

I feel like I've done something today.  A milestone of sorts.  I unlocked an achievement and levelled up. 

And it feels good.  I can honestly say that.  It feels good.    

Friday, November 24, 2017

Be Thankful and Get On With It!

I'm lucky. 

I know I often bitch and complain about paper cuts and other terminal injuries here but I know in my heart I'm lucky. 

I'm lucky I have friends who give a shit about me. 

I have friends who actually care if I live or die.  I have friends who say things like, "Ted, don't die on me" or "I would really be hurt if you died." 

I have friends who watch out for me when I don't watch out for myself.  There have been times this year when I simply did not care about the consequences of my actions and my friends did.  Not only that, they stepped in and actively brought my attention to such things, and tried to steer me away from bad choices. 

Not that I listen, mind you, but they tried.  A for effort, right? 

I'm not going to insult myself today.  I'm not going to make a bunch of self-deprecating jokes, either.  Instead, I will say that I was on my way out and I didn't care but they did.  My friends cared. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who invite me over to their house for Thanksgiving because they know if they don't, I'll sit around at home and binge-watch crap like Lucifer. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who know me well enough to know I need to hear positive affirmations because it's hard for me to do it myself.  My friends know I have a lot of negative programming to overcome and they are doing their best to re-write that programming to reflect a positive self-image.  I can't do that myself.  I need friends to help me. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who put up with my self-pity as I wallow in the pit I dug for myself. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who listen to me complain about being alone after self-sabotaging just about every single relationship I've ever had. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who help me get the ice cream out of my freezer so I don't sit around eating it while binge-watching crap like Lucifer.  I have no idea why I keep watching that show but I do.  It's really not very good.  Lucifer is a pansy, his romantic interest is clueless, and his mother is so conflicted I keep waiting for her to split into two people.  All the while, they talk about God as if he's some drunken father stumbling around with a bottle of cheap whiskey. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who know about healing, recovery, and holistic methods for curing ailments that are often self-inflicted.  I never used to know much about that sort of thing.  I never cared.  I knew where I was going on pulling up and out of that nose-dive just wasn't part of the plan.  But my friends knew better and now that I'm making the effort, they're supplying the tools. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who hug me and tell me I'm important to not only them but to the rest of the world and losing me would be bad for everybody. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who made sure I went to see a doctor when I was perfectly content to just let nature take it's course. 

I'm lucky enough to have friends who watch out for me when it comes to women because I tend to be an emotional moth with a streetlamp.  Oh, you aren't repulsed by me?  I'll just gravitate towards you until you tell me you're not interested in anything other than friendship and totally destroy me because I banked everything on you being my salvation. 

Until I self-sabotage and self-destruct right in front of you, of course. 

I'm lucky I have friends who are there to help me pick up the pieces and wrap them all up with duct tape so I can do it all again a few months later. 

I'm lucky I have friends who don't roll their eyes when I tell them about the new "She's the one" every couple of months. 

I'm lucky I have friends who are happy for me when I announce some small victory because I'm so used to having every victory taken from me that I disqualify them myself now.  Just lost a few pounds?  Those are the garbage pounds early on.  Don't mean anything.  Just put on a pair of pants I haven't been able to wear in over a year?  Garbage pounds, no big deal. 

Tonight, I walked down a flight of stairs with a load of laundry and back up.  I was able to do so without pain, or having to go slowly, because of fear of falling or bad knees.  The lost weight is the reason for that.  I could discount that achievement by saying a lot of things.  My friends won't allow that and cheer for me when I'm not capable of being happy for myself. 

I'm lucky to have friends who understand that even a minor victory is still a victory. 

I'm lucky to have friends who didn't turn their backs and forget about me even though I removed myself from as much of life as possible. 

So yes, I'm thankful.  I'm thankful for a lot of things but more importantly, I'm thankful for people.  I'm here because of the people in my life.  Things aren't nearly as important as people.  Things are just things.  Situations can be managed.  It's the people who make the real difference in our lives. 

I'm afraid of admitting this.  The last time I expressed gratitude like this it was with my wife.  We were talking about how great things were.  I was holding our daughter and she was laughing as I blew raspberries into her belly.  My wife and I were acknowledging how good things were for us.  Within a few short weeks, all Hell broke loose, and everything was shattered. 

I don't think I could survive another one of those.  But fear is the mind-killer and so I'm confronting Fate by acknowledging that I'm lucky to have the people in my life that I do.  I feel incredibly vulnerable right now but ungratefulness is the worst sin of all.  Not acknowledging what you've been given diminishes just how great that gift is so saying nothing is far worse. 

I'm lucky.  Please, Fate, don't take this away from me, too.  

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Are You There, Lucifer? It's Me, Ted.

I'm making huge changes in my life right now.  Worse, huge changes out of my control are happening around me.

It used to be, when those things happened, I retreated.  I couldn't deal with it so I retreated into the comfort of oblivion.  I unplugged as far as I could.  One time I almost ended up in the ER.

Not that I would have called for help or made an attempt to pass out in a public space so somebody could find me.  Had I really OD'd and died, I would have rotted in my apartment, and nobody would have known until one day all anybody could smell was rotten, dead fat guy.

The worms would have been crawling all over me as flies do tend to lay their eggs.

I just didn't care.

As long as I could run away, it was okay with me, because oblivion was always preferable.

But now that's not an option and I've made choices that have put me on a path that eliminates those ways to hide.  I'm told it'll make me happier later on down the road but right now it just sucks.

Case in point:  I had something happen recently to upset me.  I was extremely upset and hurt.  Usually, recovery from this would involve copious amounts of doughnuts, Mt. Dew, and other substances that alter my reality.  Enough to numb me so much you could perform surgery on me and I wouldn't care.

But NoooOOoo!  I had this brilliant idea to get healthy or whatever.

So, doughnuts are out of the question and the substances are as well.  Instead of running away, I'm dealing with the anxiety and depression and Satan knows what else.  I can't even count all the emotions anymore.

I feel like a kid who fell off his bike and his Mommy isn't around.  My knee is bleeding, my wrist is really swollen and I can't move it, and I'm on the front lawn just balling my eyes out but nobody hears me.

Okay, that was dramatic.  Even too dramatic for me.  Scratch that.

I feel like I took a wrong turn in Albuquerque and now I have to drive through the shittiest neighborhood ever to get back on the right road.

Last night, I pushed things a bit with my recovery.  I pushed until at around 2:30AM, I was twitching so hard, it felt like ants were in my muscles.  I'd taken a couple of Flexeril to deal with it and instead of helping, it had this strange effect where I felt the acid build in my muscles a few seconds before the twitch would not happen.  Instead, I'd feel pin and needles in that muscle.  Every 30-90 seconds this would repeat and had been happening for about two hours.  I couldn't sleep no matter what I did, nor could I get comfortable as my skin crawled.

I lasted until 2:30AM before I grudgingly conceded and acquiesced to my addiction.  It was a minor victory because I pushed for 18 hours or so.  It was brutal but I did it.

Here's the thing:  I keep reminding myself how this was my choice.  I made the decision to improve my health.  That meant eating better, exercising when I'm not too sick, and getting off various substances and habits.

It's been an incredible battle but I keep doing it.  I haven't stopped.  I want my life back.  I want my body back.  And more to the point--I want my mind back.

I've been incredibly angry these past few days.  I've been punching walls and getting off various social media so I don't shit-post all over the place.  Nobody cares that I'm missing but at least I know I'm not flooding those places with my bullshit.

I'm angry for a lot of reasons.  I'm angry at what has been taken from me.  I'm angry about what I've lost.  I'm angry at all of the time I've wasted just surviving and not living.  I'm angry that out of my 46 years on this miserable planet I can only point to a few months as being happy.  The rest have been spent struggling with depression, recovering from this or that, or in futile efforts to move beyond my station.

I'm angry at all the missed opportunities because I was too damaged to take advantage of them.  It was the damage I've been angry at.  The wreckage of the past.  I've been furious at this.

And I'm angry at myself.  I'm angry I didn't handle things in a healthy way.  I'm angry I escaped.  I'm angry I withdrew until I became a morbidly obese recluse while life passed me by.  All the while, lamenting how devastated I was my life was a miserable disappointment.

Now it's the 11th hour and I'm trying to pull out of this nosedive.  I'm furious at how much momentum I have going into the abyss.

The past week has been hard on me.  Work has cut my hours, I finally discovered who betrayed me, a person I had grown close to ghosted me, and all the while I have been working on recovery.  I have been doing exercises designed to take back my energy from those I have given so much.

But there's something else.  Satan has been on my mind a lot.  I know that sounds random but it isn't.

I've been listening to a lot of Satanic/Occult rock music.  I've found some good stuff, too.

Haunt-- Revenant  I really love these guys.  Their sound is much like Ghost but there's something else.  Either way, brilliant stuff.

Blood Ceremony -- Goodbye Gemini  How on Earth have I missed these guys?  I love their sound.  It's so 70's and dark, yet beautiful.  Just stunning.  And, of course, she's beautiful.

The Devil's Blood -- Voodoo Dust  Much of their work is visionary and once again I'm asking myself how I could possibly have missed this for so long?

The Devil's Blood -- The Madness of Serpents  I love her voice but this song should have ended at 4:00 instead of dragging on like it did.

I realize now why this has been on my mind.  Satanism is about personal responsibility.  It's about becoming stronger than your own environment and defeating your own personal demons.  Satanism is about taking charge of your own life on a level most people are unable to do and pushing through the bullshit in your mind that limits you from being more than what you are.

Satanism is intolerant of personal weakness.  Western religion, as well as most religions, teach that you should give up your own personal power and strength to a higher being.  Satanism teaches that you should be responsible for everything you can control, even if you need to use magic to control it, and the limitations are all on you. 

In recent months, I have felt incredibly weak from all that has transpired, and instead of looking to something outside myself for help, I have pulled within.  So much of what I thought I needed was inside me all along and I never knew it until now.  I've been seeking answers to questions and problems from external sources when really all I need to do was trust in myself. 

That also means I don't need to eat a dozen doughnuts while watching videos online.  I don't need to drink a 2-liter bottle of Mt. Dew in a day.  I don't need to alter my reality.  I can do this.  I can deal with what's being thrown at me because I'm strong enough. 

I just needed the Devil to remind me of this, that's all. 

Hail Satan!  

Thursday, November 9, 2017

When the Armor Fails

The heavy oak door to the Healer's chambers burst open despite the iron locks and massive weight.

He stood up from his desk near the warm fire. 

"What sorcery is this?"

Only then he saw the white hair of the old woman known as The Seer.  She was leading a group of people who carried a large man in a blanket.  He was unconscious.

"I need your help tonight, old friend."

The Healer looked into the blanket and examined the man in armor.  It was Our Hero.

"What happened?"

"We need to get this armor off him right this instant!"

The Healer ran his fingers along the underside of the thick breast plate.  It was deeply gouged and dented from countless battles.

"Why did you bring him here?  Why wake the whole castle with this in the dead of night?"

The Seer showed him the unfastened straps dangling off Our Hero's body.

"How are these armor plates staying on him?"

"Look closer, Wise One."

Once again he ran his fingers under the armor and gasped.  "I can't tell where He begins and the armor ends!  It's meshed with is flesh!  It's a part of him now!"

"And if we don't get it off his body soon, he will die."

"He's dead already, my old friend.  There's no way to get that armor off his body.  It is now one with him."

"No!  We can cut it off.  It'll take some time and patience, but we can do it.  You, a skilled Healer, can do it."

The Healer looked up at the faces of those who brought Our Hero into his lab in the basement of castle.  They each wore expressions betraying their thoughts.  Worry, sadness, anger, disgust, and contempt.

He struggled for so long, he just needed protection

I hope he doesn't die like this....not like this.

How could he have been so stupid!  

Pathetic!  Nobody needs armor like that!  

It's weakness.  He's not a hero, he's just a weak man!  

"I will need each of you to assist me."

"Well," said one of the group.  "I've got plans.  I mean, really, I need to get going.  Besides, you guys have this under control, so bye.  Tell him I'll send a pigeon courier some time this week, okay?  Thanks!"

After she left the room, the Healer and The Seer spoke to each other in hushed tones.

"He's not going to want to lose this armor," she said.  "He doesn't think he can live without it."

"How many years has he worn this on his body?"

"At least nine, that I know of," she said.  "It became a habit after having so many battles."

"His enemies will smell blood and come for him.  And we can't protect him."

"I know," she said.  "But if we don't do this, he will surely die."

The Healer rubbed an ointment under Our Hero's nose while The Seer chanted a spell.

"He will be asleep for a while longer but once I start to carve this off his skin, he will awake from the pain.  I hope none of you are shy about blood--there will be a lot of it tonight."

A few left, the most loyal stayed, and the grim work began.

The first cuts were shallow, to test the flesh, and to see how bad it was.

"What's that horrible stench?"  A member of the group held a rag up to their face.

"It's infected," said the Healer.  His face held in a grim mask.  "And you're right, my dear friend.  If we don't remove this soon, he will die."

"Let us pray we made it in time," she said.

The Healer looked at her for a moment, and raised an eyebrow.

"I did not see his Fate, my Healer friend.  I don't know if this is his last day with us or not."

"Then I shall work faster," he said.  Sharp scalps were on a tray next to him, lined up in a row.  He would grab one, slicing as delicately as possible the skin away from the armor that had protected Our Hero for so long.

Bit by bit, the Healer released the skin from the armor.  The cold, stone room filled with the stench of necrosed flesh and infection. As a scalpel's blade lost its edge, he would put it down carefully and grab another.

One finger on Our Hero's right hand twitched.

"He's waking up!"  One of The Seer's helpers put both hands on his arm.

"We've only got a few moments left," said the old crone.

"And I've got at least an hour's worth of work to do," said the Healer.

Suddenly a chair flew across the room and smashed against the opposite wall.

"What in the hell was that?"

"It's one of his demons," cried The Seer.  "It's found him!"

"I can't see anything," said one of the helpers.

"And you won't," said the Healer.  "They belong to him.  But be careful because they'll kill you just the same."

A table disintegrated into a pile of splinters.

"He's coming for him!"

And then Our Hero's eyes shot open.  One hand reached for his sword and there wasn't one strapped to his waist.

He sat up and looked around.  One of the loyal friends who stayed to help was pushed aside without seeing the creature that did it.

Our Hero grabbed two of the dull scalpels and a battle ensued.  He sliced and stabbed an monster only he could see but everyone in the room could feel.  After the better part of an hour, there was the sound of limp flesh hitting the flagstone floor.

The battle was done. He was exhausted, covered in sweat, and blood both his own and otherwise.  Frantically he felt for his armor. 

"What have you done?"

The Seer knelt down next to him, placing a hand on each side of his head, holding him firmly so his frantic eyes would focus on her. 

"Listen to me!  Listen to me!  You are dying!  Can you understand that?  This armor is killing you and it has to be removed.  You are dying!" 


"Yes!  You cannot heal with it.  You are dying from infection.  It has become toxic." 

"It's my armor!  I need it!" 

"No," said the old woman.  "You do not.  You only think you do.  And you cannot rely upon it anymore." 

"I'm going to die without it." 

"You'll die with it, too." 

The Healer and the loyal friends slowly surrounded Our Hero, lifted him up, and brought him back to the table. 

"No," he said.  "Don't take my armor."  It sounded more like a plea than anything else. 

"This is killing you," said the Crone.  "I know you might have needed it in the past, but it has to go." 

"You can do this," said The Healer.  "You're stronger than you think." 


A day later, Our Hero was in a bed, covered in sweat and shivering.  He tried to talk but couldn't without vomiting.  His skin was white and once every few seconds he twitched.  He was oblivious to the two people in his room with him. 

"He's not good," said The Healer.  "I can't give him anything to sleep because it'll make the infection worse."

"I know," said The Seer.  "If he survives this, he'll be fine." 

"Let's just hope when he leaves here he doesn't find more armor."   

Friday, November 3, 2017

Do You Adore Life?

In the past few days, I have been haunted by something I cannot find an answer to no matter how hard I try.

It started because of a song.  I love the fact that I can still find new music that makes me think.  I love how I'm constantly discovering new music.  I think once I walk away from new music altogether and dismiss it as being redundant and derivative, that will signal when it's time for me to finally die.

I first heard it in the end credits on the Hulu show Chance.  I dearly love that show.  It's in the second season right now and Ethan Suplee's character, D, is so very similar to how I used to be many years ago.  Damaged, angry, lethal, and ready to hurt somebody without remorse and enjoy doing it.

When I heard the song, it was just the final few seconds, and it was beautiful, so I went on Youtube because I'm OCD about shit like that.  I hear a song, I have to know all about it.  I have to.  It's not something I can walk away from, either.  I've tried.  Believe me, I've tried.

The song was by a London band called Savages titled "Adore" and it's one of those that grabs you.

It's not a statement of fact for the singer.  Listen to her and watch her as she sings.  She's not telling you how life is just something to live.


What she is saying is despite all the bullshit she's had to go through, she has taken the attitude of "Fuck you, I'm living my life and having fun."

She is saying that nothing anybody does will get in the way of that.

Then, she challenges us.  She challenges us to get up and live.  Live our lives and enjoy them.  Not just go through the motions but actually get out there and adore the life you have.

This is what haunts me.  Because I have not lived my life in a very long time.  I have existed.  I have gone through the motions so that I can be left alone.  I have self-sabotaged to the point where I have guaranteed I will die alone.  I have isolated until I've been forgotten.  I have done everything possible to drive my life nose-first into the ground.

And now I'm bitching that this life has been shit and I haven't really lived it.

So now that I'm in what I feel like is the fourth quarter, I'm trying to pull up out of this nose-dive and trying to change things.  I'm trying to actually live this life and instead I'm finding myself to be angry at the past and full of regrets--which is something you cannot do if you are living your life.

I'm not living.  I'm surviving.  I'm keeping my heart beating.  That's about it.

In the 1987 cult classic Dudes, with a very young Jon Cryer and Flea, there's a scene where they meet up with an Elvis impersonator driving a massive white Cadillac.  He asks them what kind of work they do and one guy says, "Survival."

The Elvis impersonator says, "Survival is the slowest form of suicide."

I've never forgotten that and it's always bugged me that really all I do is survive.  I'm sick of just surviving.  I want more.

I want it bad enough to make changes in my life.  Hard changes.  I've woken up sick for the past three months because of withdrawals while I taper off stuff.  I've begun to lose weight.  I've even gotten out of my apartment more.

I cannot live like this.

But do I adore life?  Am I in love with life?

No.  I cannot say that I am or ever was.   Looking back, it was a lot of boredom and just dealing with shit.  I was always stuck in the mud and had no clue how to get out of it.

But I'm done lamenting the past.  I'm done. I did the best I could with what I had to work with at the time.

I want to adore life.  I want to have a life worth having.  And I want to change things so that one day, I can wake up and not feel loathing and dread that I'm on this planet for another dreary day.

I don't remember the last time I woke up and looked forward to something.

I've been accused of being an old soul by a number of people.  But does that mean the enjoyment has been taken out of life?  If I am an old soul, then what exactly do I need?  What am I missing?  What am I craving that would satiate this need?

I don't have a clue.

And that bothers me, too.  I have no idea what I want.  It's like the foundation of my self-definition was shattered and reduced to dust so now I have no idea who I am or what I want.  And without that I am not enjoying life.

I've said before I take the longview of things.  I've been here before and I remember bits and pieces of those past lives.  I can only wonder if that's tempering my view of this life to a point where I don't engage life as I could.

I'm jealous of people like Jeb Corliss because of the sensations he must feel.  I'm not interested in pushing things beyond a certain point.

The reality is, that no matter what you do in this life, it’s coming to an end. Once you accept there’s nothing that you can do about your own mortality, then you’re now free. You have no control, so stop pretending you do. And just get on with living your life. Stop living in fear. - Jeb Corliss

But that's not true, is it?  This isn't the only life.  I've touched the veil that separates our worlds.  I've embraced the darkness and breathed in that energy until my aura turned black and I vibrated with a power that terrified everybody.

And I miss that.  I miss touching that veil so much.  I miss who was on the other side every single day of my life.  For me, living life is playing in that darkness and exploring.  It's really the only time I ever felt alive.

What does it say about me that for me, living life, is being so close to death?

Once I get my higher brain functions back, I know the road I plan to go down.  I know what I'm going to do.  Once I get my higher brain functions back and I can once again feel the flow of energy and smell the winds, I have plans.  I am going back to that edge and I am touching that veil again.

And only then will I be able to say I feel alive.  

Monday, October 30, 2017

Feedback Loops and Devil's Night

I love Halloween dearly despite it being the time of year I take a serious beating by life as if there's a holiday dedicated to kicking my ass.  Octobers are rough for me.  They've always been rough ever since I was a little kid.  I have no idea why this pattern is like this. It's a feedback loop.  Again and again. 

When I was a kid, it was report cards with bad grades and severe head colds and my dad being drunk and angry at me for not being the football star he imagined himself to have been.  He was disappointed that despite me being bigger and stronger than he was my age, I wasn't a football hero.  I stopped playing football after my freshman year because of grades.  Besides, I really hated playing football. 

October was when bad things happened.  It's always been like that. 

Right now, I cannot work because my entire cable package isn't working and hasn't worked for days.  MediaCom won't be out until the day after Halloween.  I'm going to lose half a paycheck over it because I cannot work without cable. 

And my computer monitor isn't working right.  Once again, I need to get another one, because I'm the only guy I know who needs a new computer monitor once a year.  I'm using the one from work and I'm not sure what I'm going to do when work starts back up again. 

But there are some lucky things happening right now. 

I have a DVR full of recordings I haven't had time to watch.  I've caught up on Star Wars Rebels, Gotham, and a few other things.  Right now I'm watching Doctor Who.  I love the Doctor.  He's taught me a lot. 

This weekend, I went to a Halloween party.  Those of you who know me will know I have a terrible time leaving my apartment.  I'm reclusive and a borderline shut-in.  I leave my place maybe once a week.  So for me to actually leave and go see people isn't easy.  But a voice was telling me I needed to go.  There was something about this Halloween party that was important and I had to be there. 

It was a fun time, I met some new people, and was able to offer words of solace to a woman who was doubting herself.  Plus, I met a very gifted young girl who is incredibly powerful.  She's a medium and very sensitive.  She can see spirits and talk to them.  It's my belief I could teach her a few things about defense, energy, and perspective.  I'd hate for somebody to learn lessons the hard way like I did. 

The Doctor Who episode I'm watching right now is the first adventure Peter Capaldi takes his new companion, Bill, to Earth's first colony on another planet.  There are these buttons everybody wears that reflects your current mood.  And if you're not happy, you get killed.  Just like that. 

This blog has become my own person Black Box like on an aircraft so I can document just how far down I've spiraled and what I'm doing to get back up.  Or if I ever will.  The New Agers in the world will tell you that if you're feeling down, all you need to do is think happy thoughts and change your mind's perspective. 

As someone who has dealt with severe depression and all kinds of damage, and has been accused of being broken and damaged, I can tell you that isn't the case at all.  You can't just think happy thoughts and move on from there.  Thoughts aren't easy to change. 

As I've said before, you can't think your way into right acting but you can act your way into right thinking.  It's impossible at first.  It's like trying to walk up a wall or stand on your head.  But it's the little things you do while you try to scale that wall that add up and make the difference. 

My mood is better.  That moment of clarity I had two weeks ago was powerful and saved my ass from a dark road with a fast end.  I've been making the effort to do what is right and pull out of this tail-spin. 

But every once in a while I hear some New Ager/positive thinker and it just kills me.  Somebody once told me to "Just decide to be happy."  It felt like a knife in the gut because I had now idea how to do that.  I felt defective because I didn't know how.

I want to live my life.  I want to find all of the things that make this life worth living.  I want to experience the things I see everybody else having.  So much of this life has been just survival.  It upsets me to know what I've missed out on and to know what has been denied to me.  Worse, that which has been taken from me, and I can never get it back. 

My friends tell me it's not too late.  They tell me it might still happen.  I just have to believe it will be a reality and move accordingly.  I have no faith.  I have no hope.  But I'm doing what I'm doing because there is nothing left for me to do.  I have two options and as I've said, I've picked this one, for now.  And I'm ready to jump to the next option at the first definitive sign that this is wasted effort and worthless. 

But those who tell me to "just be happy" seem to me to not understand things.  How does one do that?  How does one just suddenly decide to be happy?  To me, it's a form a denial.  It's a lie you tell yourself.  It's about having no guilt, remorse, and being incapable of empathy. 

Sociopaths suddenly decide the past no longer matters. 

But that's not fair.  I've known some who weren't sociopaths but they still just suddenly decided one day to start life anew and leave all the shit behind them.  I don't get it and I never have. 

I've been the victim of it, though.  I've been the past that gets ignored.  I've been the mistake that got erased. 

But I've never been able to just "be happy" and live my life.  There are no switches inside my brain for that magical transformation.  And I'm not even sure I wish there were because it seems like a horrible thing to do to those you care about. 

I have always felt like doing that is somehow a denial of yourself and a denial of who you are.  The reinvention of yourself has to be from devastation and cannot be on the fly or mid-stride because otherwise it's an evasion of truth and just another form of self denial. 

To me, somebody who has just simply decided, "I'm going to be happy" is the same as someone lying to themselves.  I've been left behind by those people before and I can tell you it's incredibly painful to be an afterthought or worse, to be treated like a reminder of a past they want to escape. 

I will never do that to another person. 

So what am I going to do? 

Well, tomorrow is my birthday.  I've scheduled an appointment at the clinic to get some bloodwork done and get a follow-up check-up.  I have no idea what will come of it. 

After that, I'm not sure.  I really don't want to spend tomorrow alone but there's no other option.  Once again, it's how I've set my life up, and this is the cycle I'm in.  There aren't many options. 

I did this to my life.  Not directly, but my actions did this nevertheless.  I'm trying to fix it.  I'm going where I'm invited.  I'm visiting people when they ask me to stop over.  I'm trying to fix this. 

But it's going slowly. 

People all around me are moving.  They're evolving.  They're becoming the person they were meant to be.  And all the while I'm stuck in the trenches doing battle daily with personal demons and a head full of ghosts. 

I want the magic switch I can flip to stop memories.  I want to forget about those I've cared for deeply and rejected me.  I want to forget about how badly my name is a curse word to some.  I want to forget how many years it has been since I felt happy. 

Actually, I'll be honest here and say there is a switch.  It's just a substance you put in your body to make it all go away. And it was killing me so I have been walking away from it.  That, my friends, is a battle for the ages! 

I feel so badly on most nights!  There are nights where it is a monument to my own internal mechanisms just to wake up the next day to do it all over again. 

So how to do I just turn my back on all of that and sing "La-Di-Da, I don't give a fuck about anybody but myself and my own happiness!  La-Di-Da" while smiling broadly? 

Tomorrow is Halloween.  I'm really hoping something happens.  And maybe that's part of my problem.  In truth, I need to make things happen instead of waiting for it.  Fortune favors the bold and I'll be honest and say I'm not very bold.  I'm withdrawn and reclusive.  So how do I change that? 

Furthermore, is it something I can speed up or is it like bread dough rising and I just need to let it take its course? 

I'm just not feeling Halloween this year.  For some reason it's just not that magical to me and I don't know why.  Maybe because it's so fucking cold outside that we had snow today.  Or maybe because I haven't eaten any sugar in the past three months.  I'm craving it.  Badly.  Or maybe because I keep my apartment decorated with Halloween decorations all year long.  I don't know why but for some reason Halloween just doesn't have that spark for me this year. 

But I'm looking forward to getting on a scale tomorrow.  I want to see how much weight I've lost.  It's a small, insignificant victory.  Hollow, really.  But I want to know.  My pants fit me better so I'm curious.  I try not to tell myself it's too late.  I try not to think about those I've cared about who rejected me or of all those times I imploded and self-destructed and ruined everything.  A few pounds won't fix that.  There's no amount of weight I can lose that would fix anything.  And I can be clean and lucid all I want and that won't fix anything either. 

So where does that leave me? 

On Halloween I am going to treat myself to something sweet.  Diabetes, heart problems, and threat of stroke be damned.  I'm going to eat things and celebrate.  It's not a Happy Switch but it's the best I've got to work with.  I'll be alone, but that's okay.  I put a lot of effort into destroying my life whether I wanted to or not.  It just happened that way.  And while I miss certain people, I can't change the past, nor can I undo what I've done. 

I have no idea what's going to happen next.  I'm just going through the motions and if the universe decides to give me something, then so be it. All of my plans have always failed.  All that I have wanted was kept out of my reach and all I have loved or cared about have left me or were chased away by my own insanity.  So at this point, I'm not sure what I could possibly look forward to, but I'm going to hang around and find out.  No magic switch, just clawing my way through one more day, and that's the best I've got right now. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Misery Loves Company

Right now I'm popping muscle relaxers like candy to deal with the weird twitching and body anxiety that makes me vibrate and jitter as I clean up.  It's something that happens as neurons are no longer suppressed.

It's like restless legs syndrome of the entire body.  Without the muscle relaxers, I'd be twitching every few seconds, legs kicking out and arms jolting like some demented marionette.

Maybe if I'm lucky I'll get two hours of sleep tonight.  That's the lucky version.  But the good news is I haven't thrown up at all today.

I'm sick of happy people.  I'm sick of "good news" and all of that shit.

Normally I wouldn't be so sour about this sort of shit but right now I just can't take hearing people gush about how well their lives are going.

This friend got a new job blah, blah, blah...

This friend finally got pregnant after months and months of effort blah, blah, blah...

This friend found Mr. Right who worships her and takes care of her blah, blah, blah...

This friend's career is going well and she's gaining momentum blah, blah, blah...

This friend is finally fucking the guy she had a crush on blah, blah, blah...

And a friend thought she'd "cheer me up" by sending me pictures of her vagina.  Because I love pictures of a nude woman I'll never have.  Seriously.  How in the fuck is that supposed to cheer me up?  "See how all men want this?  You ain't getting it!  Looks good, doesn't it?"

Yes, I know I'm being grumpy.

I'm so angry at happy people right now I could scream.

I don't want to hear about happiness.  I want to hear about how fucked up somebody's life is and how they're miserable like me.

And while I'm at it--do dry heaves count as puking or are they something different on the tally sheet?  Asking for a friend.  He's in bad shape but twisted.  You wouldn't believe how sick he is right now.

My head does this weird OCD thing at times like this.  It goes in a loop with ear worms.  The last time, it was a couple of pop songs and an old Pantera song.  Or, the the last time was JPoP songs.  The American pop songs were a year ago.

I forget sometimes how this works.  My brain has everything jumbled.  Sometimes it's hard to talk and actually articulate anything meaningful.

Yesterday, I went to see my medical guy.  I love him dearly and I'm lucky to have met him.  The scheduling nurse asked my phone number and I couldn't remember all of it.  I just couldn't get the numbers straight.  I was so frustrated I felt like crying.  I just couldn't remember my own fucking phone number.

The good side is I've dropped a few pounds.  Twenty-five, actually.  If you've read this black box of mine long enough, you'll know how kind I am to myself.  I was disappointed and upset when I saw the numbers on the scale.  It's so hard for me to accept progress that isn't outstanding and beyond expectations from myself.  I just expect myself to be awesome if I do something and if I'm anything less there are consequences. 

I'm almost on the other side of this.  I can feel it.  I'm almost ready to turn a corner and be free of the hooks burrowed deeply into skin.  Almost.

The difference has been my friends.  They've put with my non-stop whining and complaining and moaning and bitching for well over two months now.  The lack of sleep, the self-pity, the anger and frustration.  I'm lucky.  Again.

A friend pointed out that I might be stronger than I think.  I asked the universe for help and in the last month people have come out of the woodwork on my behalf.  People with experience in the very things I'm dealing with.  And let me tell you--some of it is very specific.  You don't just find these sorts of people from a Google search.

Things have begun to change.  I can honestly say that.  I mean, I'm still an unlovable reclusive shut-in, but I'm beginning to feel better.  I'm beginning to feel like maybe I can get through this.  I just need, for now, to not feel like the most miserable person in the room. I've been that guy for far too long and I'm trying to change that. 

As I've said before, if I'm going to be here, then I'm going to have a life worth living.  The clock is ticking.  I need to hurry. 


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

It's Your Shamanic Death, Charlie Brown!

I know that I've been saying some crazy things lately.  And I know that I've sounded suicidal and at times delusional.  Please understand that I'm neither of those things.  It's just that my perspective on things is deeply spiritual and things are going on right now that are powerful.  

This is going to sound like more of those posts but I need you, Dear Reader, to please stick with me here.  

This is important.  

I had a moment of clarity today that was so powerful it illuminated for me a path towards a future I never thought possible. 

I was in my kitchen, getting sicker by the minute, the withdrawals building in intensity.  And my mind was filled with the realization of light and rebirth.  The Phoenix.  

I'm a Scorpio.  We are represented by three symbols:  the scorpion, the eagle, and the phoenix.  We're dark, sure.  The darkest of the dark.  Why?  Because we look in the shadows without fear.   

This is important.  The phoenix periodically dies and is reborn from their own ashes, burning brightly and flying high.  Darkness that once consumed it cast aside and put in the past.  It's about healing and rebirth.  

So, I was in my kitchen.  I was anxious and nervous.  I was upset.  And then I wasn't.  It left me and I finally saw what was happening to me.  I realized the path I was on was all part of the fate I was so determined to understand.  And dreaded.  

In my kitchen, at that moment, I suddenly realized I was dying a spiritual death and that it was going to be okay.  This is how it is supposed to be.  

What does a "spiritual death" mean?  

I've alluded to a lot of things in the past.  It's really been a problem for me.  I doubt anybody has ruminated and dwelled on their own past nearly as much as I have in the last year.  It's just not a healthy thing for a human to do.  So why did I do it?  

I think part of me is still kicking myself for things I somehow believe I could have changed.  I'm hard on myself.  Brutal and unforgiving, really.  I blame myself for the loss of my family.  I blame myself for a lot of the abuse I endured as a child.  Worse, I blame myself for what my mom and sister dealt with from my dad, and how it's my fault because I didn't do enough to protect them.  

There are other things I carry with the same perspective and it's just not fair or logical.  All of that needs to end.  It's killing me.  

There's a long list of things like that.  Twisted thinking hammered into deformity from years of improper coping skills.  It's difficult for me to allow myself to say, "I did the best I could with what I had to work with at the time."  

And I don't let things go very easily.  

A part of you dies.  

That sounds melodramatic until you've experienced it.  It's serious business because a radical change takes place.  It shreds the mind and breaks the heart while pushing your body to the its limits.  It's not pretty to watch, either.  

Standing there, in my kitchen, shaking and sweating from the hot flashes that come on suddenly, I could see what this road was as if a heavy fog suddenly dissipated.  

Some cultures have rituals for this.  Various Native American tribes had rituals and rites of passage that were all part of a shamanic death.  It's one of those commonalities that appear again and again worldwide.  Let's face it, the story of Jesus Christ in the New Testament is a literal Shamanic Death, where he suffers, dies, is buried, and he rises from the grave anew.  

I'm not saying I'm Jesus or anything insane like that.  I'm saying that the theme of shamanic death is a common one.  

A friend sent me this video today.   This describes pretty much exactly what I'm going through right now.  It's just another interpretation of what a shamanic death means through the lens of another culture.  I found the video to be incredible in how accurate it was in describing the earlier stages.  

She pointed out that this was triggered by the eclipse we had this summer.  They're powerful and will move all kinds of things in our lives.  And I'm so grateful for this.  

I asked the Powers That Be in the universe for help.  Shit was bad and I needed help.  In the past month or so, people have come out of the woodwork into my life with various experiences that were all similar to my own.  Instead of me telling an insane story nobody believes, I have a shared experience with somebody who went through it, too.  That alone is more powerful than any medication.  

I have a medical professional I completely trust and know I can rely upon.  That's not very common, either.  

I have friends who want me to be here tomorrow.  

And today, for the first time in an incredibly long time, I saw where this road could really lead me.  I saw, for the first time, just what others meant when they told me I could do anything I wanted.  And for the first time ever, I envisioned in my mind just what I could become as a person.  I saw this without remorse and envy.  I saw this without anger or sadness.  

Today I realized that I can be what and who I really am through a process of dying and being born again.  

But this was all the easy part.  The hard part is coming soon.  In a few days, under medical supervision, I will begin the painful and horrific rite of passage that will lead to me being off the substance I'm addicted to forever.  It's finally going to happen.  My medical professional and I had a gameplan to slowly taper off over the course of months due to the high dosages I'm accustomed to but because of a series of circumstances things have to happen now.  

I can do this.  I can do it and I'll be healthier because of it.  And if I lie to myself enough about wanting to do it, I might actually believe it.  Because right now I'm terrified.  

Today I went for a short walk before work.  I moved better than I have in almost three years.  Faster and without pain in my hips or knees.  It's because of the weight I've lost thus far.  I don't know how much but I know I've lost a bunch. I don't like mentioning it because I feel like the slow kid who got an award from the teacher for not shitting his pants in class that day.

The transformation has already started.  The hard part is coming in the next few days.  I have my friends and professionals ready to go.  Now all I have to do is submit to death.    

Monday, October 16, 2017

Options: Pick One

When I was a Senior in high school, we were constantly told how those were going to be the best years of our lives.  I was miserable.  I was horrifically depressed and had no tools whatsoever to deal with any of it.

One day I was walking down the hallway wondering just why in the hell I was putting up with this and if I should just walk in front of a train to be done with it all before it got worse.  I must have had that look on my face because our Principal, Mr. King, saw me.

"What's wrong, Ted?"

"I just can't believe these are the best years of my life."  It was hard for me to speak.  I was that depressed.

"They're not," he said.  "These are the worst.  It gets better."

He slapped me on my back and sent me on my way.

I never forgot that.  I carried it with me for a long time.  Things will get better.  They just have to because they can't get any worse, right?

In a couple of weeks, I'm going to turn 46 years old.  And I feel like I'm hurling towards some kind of terminal crossroads.  I'm going to have to make a choice.

I'm going to be honest and say this life has never really been that good.  I've never really enjoyed myself much.  I tried, too.  I really did.  But it just never panned out for me.  I've had far more miserable moments than I've had good ones.

If given the option to do it all over again, I wouldn't.  Given the option at age 18, knowing what this life would become up to this point, I'd have walked in front of that train.  I really would have.

Tonight I went for a walk after work.  I walked down to the creek and back.  Last month I would have never been able to have done that.  The pain in my hips would have been too much and my knees would have just screamed at me.

I was able to go down and back without hip pain or knee issues tonight.  I was winded as fuck, but I wasn't in pain.  It's improvement.  A very small one, though.  Not enough to really do much with.

I keep going over and over again in my head the balance of this life.  Is this shit worth it?  I'm kicking an addiction, losing weight, facing my demons (literally and figuratively) while trying to keep sane enough to function.

What could I possibly hope for?  I know the odds are not in my favor.  In truth, this doesn't look good.  I don't see a happy ending here.  And I just can't dream of one.  I can write fiction all day and all night.  Right now, I'm world-building.  My WIP is fantasy/sci-fi.  I can create all of these races and religions but I can't picture in my head a better future for me.

Tonight, a friend I've been unloading upon sent this to me:

Losing weight isn’t some magic pill.. Nothing is. Life has good and bad regardless of where you’re at. The key is to find the good wherever you are. It’s a skill. And a habit. You have a different habit that sees the grim parts because we keep getting blind sided by life. It takes time to retrain the mind. Just like losing weight. The mind is a muscle too. It needs strengthening, consistency and nourishment. Some days are harder than others. But keep training it toward gratitude and slowly you’ll start to lose a different kind of weight. One that’s weighing down your soul 

It's the first thing to make sense to me in a long time.

In a lot of ways, all I can see are the gaping wounds and the damage that's been done.  I don't see the healing.  I don't see a way out of the wreckage, just the wreckage.

So I have to wonder how to fix that.  How does one change their perspective?  How does one fix their way of seeing things?

Because right now, I don't see a happy ending here.  I see a number of reasons to just be done and check out early because I know how this movie ends.

Here's my logic in all of this:  Let's say I bust my ass and do everything perfectly for two years.  If I'm lucky, with my age and metabolism, I'll be lucky to lose maybe 150 lbs in that two-year period.  Fine.  So, I'll be functionally fat. I'll look like a shar-pei puppy with all of the loose skin dangling, and it'll smell like shit until I cough up $50K for the surgery.  Or, if I'm lucky, it'll be so infected that it's life-threatening, and my insurance will cover it.

But that's not the big issue.  The big issue is just how my mind is so fragmented.  I gained this weight so I would have a defense against women anyways.  This way, I could be safe from all of the shit I've been terrified of but couldn't put into words.  I have legit reasons.  I'm not going to spell it out of you, figure it out.

So I have a host of issues between my ears to fix.

And that's just so I can be moderately functional.

Then, let's add a student loan that continues to grow exponentially that I'll never be able to pay off because I can't even begin to make the bare minimum payments on, along with medical bills, and how does that picture develop for you?

This is what I see.  And I know it sucks because I can't stand it.  But it's honest.   It's a massive mountain of crap that just can't be fixed in a couple of years.  So by the time it even begins to improve, I'll be so fucking old it just won't matter.

So tell me it's worth it.  Tell me there's a reason for me to still be here or to even try to fix it.  Because I don't see one.  I don't see a single reason for me to fix anything but for that one hope, a wish, really, that somehow something magical will happen.

There are no magic beans in this world.  There is no magic.  There is nothing.  And I just can't see a happy ending here.  I see more of the same shit I've been dealing with.  To me, that's not going to be an option.  I refuse.

But that's bullshit, too.  I don't have to fix everything.  I just have to improve things, really. 

So what do I want?

I'd like to go to bed with a smile knowing I had a good day.
I'd like to have a string of days worth reliving.
I'd like to be able to wake up without feeling depression and loathing.
I'd like to feel human again.
I just want to enjoy being alive.  That's all.  Really.

Life isn't supposed to be like this.  I'm sure of it.  I've seen other people and they're much happier than I am.  Nobody else is on the edge like this.  If so, they certainly haven't been there for as long as I have.

So what am I going to do?

I once told a woman I cared about deeply, and still do, "I'm a morbidly obese drug addict.  You should run."  I really thought I was protecting her.  I wanted her to be happy and I knew I'd just fuck it all up.  It killed me to say it but I knew I had to.  I wasn't enough for her and I knew it.  I cannot bear to repeat that time in my life.  I cannot and I will not.

I recently told a woman I'm sick from withdrawals.  I didn't want anything to go anywhere between us because I cannot bear to get close only to have it fall apart again because of how I am.  It's better to end it now and protect her from me.  It's a shame, too.  I really liked her. 

I am shackled to a past I cannot run away from or ignore.  I am haunted by things that were out of my control.  And I cannot help but think this past is just going to keep repeating itself over and over again because no matter what I've done I cannot break the cycle.

It's 4am and I cannot sleep.  Again.  Always again.  I'm sick of the night.  I'm had it with the night.  I want to be a daytime person again.  I want to be with the living.  I want to be a regular guy again with a regular job in a regular boring fucking office surrounded by people I silently judge for their mediocrity.

I used to care.  That's the problem.  I used to care and that part of me still cares a bit but I've killed off so much of it with the drugs that it no longer even knows if it's alive or dead anymore.

Caring sucks.  Caring is being open to losing and I've always lost.  Caring means you allow yourself to risk getting skullfucked by fate again and again and again just like it's always been and you just can't see a way out of it because somehow you pissed off the gods and they made you their favorite chew toy.

For the past few months I have been very much aware of how everybody in my life has move on beyond where I knew them but me.  I have gone down.  They have gone up.  They have found happiness and joy and I have not.  I have been in a downward spiral I cannot seem to break out of nor do I seem to really want to because I kept one foot in the grave and the other in trying to fix things.

Always keep my options open, right?  Caring hurts.  Working hard towards something only to have it taken from you hurts.  So why care at all?  Because we have to care.  Caring is life.

But I'm not really living, am I?  Not really.  This isn't living.  My heart beats but that's about it.  It's not living.  I'm not even really alive.

This morning.  Or yesterday. I can't keep track of this shit anymore.  A friend reached her goal.  Two years ago, she began a rigid course of diet and exercise.  She was just like me.  Only without the booze, drugs, psychosis, and a few other fun things.  And this morning she told me she slept with her crush.  A major lifetime goal was achieved.  A milestone.  She did it.

And it kicked me in the head because yet another one moved on into happiness.  I knew it was coming.  I saw all the signs.  I was waiting.  Holding my breathe for that moment and sure enough there was the message waiting for me when I got online.

And I was sitting there, my heart fluttering and doing all kinds of crazy shit because I was in withdrawals.  Sweating, puking, twitching.  My head was spinning so badly I had a hard time reading much but I certainly read that message. 

I hate seeing happy people because it reminds me of what I don't have and cannot find, and what has been denied to me for many, many years.  Petty, I know, but it's honest.  Misery loves company.

I feel like I've been screaming for days.  Screaming until my lungs hurt and my voice is gone.  Screaming at the ghosts in my head that won't leave me alone and the demons I want to come back just one more time.  Lie to me, it's ok.  I'll buy into it 100% and tell myself it's all real and you really do care.  Just as long as when you're gnawing on my soul let me tell myself that I'm happy because right now I'd rather hang out with you than sit here in this empty fucking apartment another day.

I gave up years ago because I got hurt so badly I didn't think I could survive it again.  I ran away.  After college, I thought I'd cleaned up my life and did what I needed to do so this shit wouldn't happen again and it did.  It fucking did.  I lost everything again and again so I kept one eye on oblivion and waited for The End to come.  But now that I'm just a few miles from the destination people are coming out of the woodwork to tell me not to do it.

"No, Ted!  You have so much to offer and so much to give!  Life isn't like this!  Don't do it!"

Where in the fuck were those people when....

I can't see the Happy Ending everybody else does.  I just can't.  And I don't believe in fairy tales anymore.  I've seen too many of them proven to be nothing but lies and bait.  All I see around me is how happiness is for those other people and it's just too late for me.

I wonder how far gone I really am and if I can get back to any kind of life that's worth living.  I don't see it but people tell me they do.  I have to wonder if they're telling me this because they just don't know what else to say.

I have to make a choice soon because I can't keep doing this.  I can't.  My head is unraveling and there's not much left of me.  I feel like a different person than I was a year ago.  I changed.

I'm going to see my medical person on my birthday.   There's a certain symmetry to that.  We're going to do a blood workup and check things out.  My legs are far less swollen than they were a month ago and the ulcers that were oozing puss on them have all healed.  My pants are looser around my midsection when I'm not bloated and constipated from the drugs.  I can walk further than before.  I can walk longer than before.  I can do things I couldn't do 7 weeks ago.  It means nothing to me.  Nothing.

That bothers me.  An achievement I can quantify easily and it means nothing to me.  Why not?  Why is it so meaningless?  Because I know that it's just window dressing for the real problems and I just don't know how to fix those.

This plane is running out of fuel.  I need to make a choice.  Do I glide or eject?