The Foundation

So at the risk of sounding like a complete buffoon- I’m already resigned to being a partial buffoon- I will ponder what can be scavenged from Erik Erikson’s theories on developmental Psychology, and compare them to my own childhood experiences. Hopefully, though with some degree of skepticism, I can analyze the events of my life and come to some sort of understanding of how I came into my current predicament, so maybe I can attempt to pick up the pieces of this fucking disaster that my life has become. I mean, for Christ’s sake, a year ago I probably would’ve been quick to succumb to the folly of moral judgement upon the person I am today. What am I today? I’ll get around to that, but if I were to throw a label on me, I think most people understand what a junkie is right? You remember that commercial, nobody ever says I wanna be a junkie when I grow up? I still haven’t met anyone who contradicts that paradigm, so kudos to you, 80’s anti drug campaign, you hit the nail on the head. Too bad the actual policy has been a dismal failure- I don’t mention that often enough in this blog, do I?

So I guess that Erikson thought the first stage of development for infants revolved around two outcomes based on his conflict model which he used throughout his whole developmental roadmap, so to speak. The first challenge encountered is trust vs. mistrust, which, in my opinion, is irrelevant in my case. I don’t remember, but I’m pretty sure I was nurtured enough by my mom. I won’t go into to much detail, since well, I was a fuckin baby- nothing exciting going on there. You all have heard those stories about fucking neglected babies growing up with serious issues integrating into society. Shit, maybe some of you are living through that kind of existence right now- in which case, you can discuss that with your therapist, or continue your successful career as a high-functioning, corporate executive psychopath in upper management. You may never experience love, but you have the ability to completely destroy other people’s lives, without those pesky emotions like guilt or empathy to weigh you down.

I don’t know how much truth rings in Erikson’s developmental psychology model, but he believed that if at any of the stages of development, there is an outcome which results in, well, I’ll use the word failure to overcome that stage’s challenge, there is a corresponding virtue which is not developed. In the first stage, for example, the virtue of hope is carried on throughout life if you were coddled enough as baby.

To that I say…. mehhh. Maybe, maybe not. There is definitely some situations where this has proven to be true, and it seems to fit with most people’s lives. I welcome any opinions on Erickson’s model of development. Please comment and share your thoughts and experiences. No judgements here on my end, just curiosity. Thanks for reading, I’ll probably explore this topic further in coming posts.

You’re doing it all Wrong

I’ve been doing this blog thing for all but a few months now, and I’ve been touched by a brief moment of self-awareness which so rarely finds me these days. You know, that kind of perspective you gain on yourself when you realize Yeah, I am going on a drive which doesn’t require me to get out of the car, and most likely nobody will see me. I should probably put some pants on anyways. How embarrassing! I’ve been driving without pants on this whole time- figuratively and literally.

I kinda jumped into this thing like pompous windbag, belching my problems into the ether, as if the ether wasn’t already rife with problems. As superficially shitty of a person I seem to be, I truly don’t want to add to the endless litany of voices screaming ‘woe is me’ unto deaf ears- unable to hear, with the exception of their own plight.

Before one can empathize with ‘woe is anyone besides oneself’ one must understand his or her neighbor’s thoughts, feelings, motivations, and fears. After those have been identified, we can start doing a side by side comparison to see how it checks out with our own experiences- a woe-meter, if you will. Understanding your neighbor’s woes, and running them through the woe-meter while considering their circumstances, guaged against your own, will either result in achieving empathy. Then you get to decide whether their woes are either, like, WOAH, or more like NO. Is this all a bunch of bullshit I’ve concocted on the spot? Why don’t you figure that out for yourself, you seem to be a responsible individual.

What I’m getting at is I’m going to start telling my story in this blog, and bring the woe level down to a dull roar. Also, as an added bonus, I will try… yes, try really hard to be a little more active in the WordPress community in general. Does anyone care? Probably not, but I know I’ll be getting my 8 hours of sleep at night. My story will be accurate from my viewpoint, but names will be changed to protect the innocent- but more so the guilty. I’ll try to keep things interesting but relatable. Feel free to throw forth your mighty bolts of judgement from yon ivory towers of cowardly fortitude. My shield of self-loathing +3 renders me all but impervious to such simple rhetoric. But be warned! This place reeks of indifference to all but the most complimentary praise and admiration.

NOTE All the images/artwork on BreakAway are original and produced by me. Consider it all Copywriten as of 2018. If you want to use any material, just ask, I will probably say yes.

Alone

I think I’m on day 2 or 3 of sobriety this go around. It’s so hard, I need to be locked away from everyone. I’m already getting texts from the wrong people. Maybe announcing the number of sober days might help… Maybe not… I need help.

Damned if I Do, Damned if I Don’t

At one point I decided that it would be in my best interests to have my freedom restricted, so I am not tempted by the evils constantly lurking the shadows of this Valley. This puts me in somewhat of a pickle for a few reasons. First of all, few things are so quick to throw me into a rage as being told I can or can’t do something that I am legally within my rights to do. It is like being grounded as an adult. That shit was irritating when I was a kid, but now that I’ve paid taxes, been married, had a child of my own, been deployed to a combat zone two times, witnessed things that no one should ever have to see, done things that will leave mental scars I’m unsure will ever completely heal, then yeah I would say a little bit of resentment is creeping through my soul so deeply that I can taste the anger on the back of my tongue like fuckin hot, bitter, battery acid. Rage would be a bit of an understatement in this scenario- let’s just say it upsets me to the point of me needing to walk away before I do or say something I’ll regret.

Nevertheless, I did invite this kind of restriction upon myself- sort of. I thought it would be nice to take a little break from everything and everyone so that I could take another shot at this whole sobriety thing which has become somewhat of a distant memory which haunts me from time to time in a way that I can only describe as terrifying. The symbiot that has sunk its roots deep into my being has become as natural as breathing, but is frowned upon by all my loved ones unfortunately. Society itself has even put a metaphorical pistol up to my temple, telling me I need to let this thing go, and let it go now, or there are going to be some very unpleasant consequences. Consequences which ironically enough, are often worse than those which would come about as a result of my addiction. You see how that works? Our society has deemed something unacceptable, so it devises a punishment which all but labels you a pariah and sweeps you into the gutter.

The war on drugs, right? Sure, but who uses the drugs? They aren’t really using themselves, so shouldn’t it really be called the ‘War on people who use drugs’. That’s right, if you are affiliated with or use drugs not approved by pharmaceutical companies, you are an enemy of the state and will be treated as a war criminal.

Kinda sucks that a country would declare war on its own people like that. What a great place to live.

About to Throw the Towel In

It’s simply wonderful to bear witness to the marvelous feats which humanity is capable of and bask in the glory of others’ good will, yet be all but completely impervious to their inspirational qualities. I don’t even remember what it’s like to be inspired without resorting to artificial means. I used to believe the hype- TV, movies, music, and more recently, social media platforms. Instagram is like the big dog amongst big dogs for pseudo-inspirational fluff. Fluff is all it is though- it looks amazing on the surface, but once you look past the perpetually smiling, youthful, beauty that is perhaps just a little too perfect, you’ll find the strings of corporate entities with an endless thirst for capital, ratings, votes, or points in some system which has no real meaning beyond abstract ideas for the Toms, Dicks, and Harrys of the world.

I realize I’m laying it on a little thick here, people, but that’s only because one day, in the unlikely event that I knuckle up, dig deep, and cast aside the demons that have infected my mind, I can look back on these words and partake in the merriest of chuckles. For a sadist will reflect on his own afflictions with a comfort not found anywhere else, since only he truly knows the depths of his own misfortune and misery. When that day comes, I will join the millions of drones, drudging through a life fueled by apathy and distractions that slowly but surely consume life- one day at a time, and relentlessly.

Either that, or more likely these entries will gather metaphorical dust and serve as the tragically accurate memoirs of a self-loathing moron, too lazy to be inspired enough to take back control of his life. Tomorrow is a different day, right? …right!? Because, ya know, all these days are exactly the same now- no miraculous break throughs visible on the horizon, or even conceivable at this juncture. I don’t see myself passing “GO”, nor collecting $200. I will do what I can to keep from catching fire, but I have come to terms with the notion that I will most likely drown in the process.

The “best” man… available

I can say now that I have been the best man for two weddings so far during my 36 years of existence in this mass of flesh, blood, and inexplicable chemical reactions which some colloquially refer to as life. I will share my most recent experience I endured to help anyone else who finds himself thrown into this situation unwillingly. Yes, this may only be beneficial to those who dread the thought of going before a hundred or two drunken, yet acutely judgemental pairs of eyes, each attached to mouths that can emit laughter, or remain painfully silent, which in turn determine whether your toast speech is quick and painless, or dilated into what seems like an eternity.

Although I wouldn’t say either of my best man speeches were a resounding success, the latest one I did for my brother seemed to go better. I’m unsure if this was due to experience or simply because it was more heart felt than my first one. The first time I did it, I was more or less ordered by a commissioned officer while I was enlisted in the Army the night before, so I wasn’t exactly enthusiastic about the task. I wasn’t really enthusiastic about it this time either, but it was for my brother, and I have a terrifying phobia of letting my family members down. He has been there for me when I needed him, and not once judged me for any one of my numerous shortcomings.

So if you’ve been given the task of being the best man, I can only really advise about giving the speech, as I have managed to shirk the other duties in both instances, being the typical bag of slime that I am. I tend to be very critical of myself, so I don’t really see it, but I’ve been told I’m a decent writer. I wrote my speech out the day of the wedding, which is something I would most definitely advise against doing. I think it would be a good idea to get a second set of eyes on your speech so that they can catch any absurdity before it irreversibly passes out through your lips and into the ears of your audience, never to be unheard again. That’s right, you can’t put a cork in it after it’s already out, so at least limit any damage to a close ally, who will be blunt enough to tell you “Hey, maybe this wouldn’t be the best time to admit your life long lust for the bride you’ve barely kept under control all these years.” Not a bad idea to get someone you trust to point out any idiotic notions before you drunkenly blurt them out to all your family and friends. That brings up another point- unless you are a hardcore alcoholic, don’t get sloppy drunk. I did both my speeches under the influence of a small does of opioids, but that was only to avoid getting sick from the crushing weight of my addiction. On the other hand, I didn’t shoot enough shit in me to kill an elephant and start slurring my words like a buffoon, nodding off in between sentences. For most of you, the same applies for alcohol. A drink or two will help you relax, but if you start slamming shots, you’re only going to embarrass yourself. The odds are not in your favor, so don’t chance it by getting wasted.

So I’ve been sitting on this incomplete draft for a couple days now, and I’m just going to say to hell with it and post. Not my best, but you know what they say…

Swing and a Miss

Nothing more gratifying than spending an inordinant amount of time and effort on a project that will ultimately crumble through no one else’s fault but your own. It … And by it, I mean everything, is so much easier when there is a scapegoat within earshot. Pointing your finger at someone unsuspecting is all the more satisfying. I challenge you to do it, if you haven’t already. I’m willing to bet you’ve already tasted that bitter, low-hanging fruit, yeah? What am I even talking about? If I heard myself talking like that, I think I would feel obligated to beat the shit out of myself.

I fuckin fell off the horse. Or did I get back on the horse? Or is it a wagon? Do those terms only apply to AA? Is my ignorance showing?

I haven’t really even started treatment yet, so I guess none of that shit applies to my situation quite yet. Maybe if I publicly admit to my incompetence as a normal human being, I can shame myself into sobriety. That’s a legitimate method to living a normal, healthy lifestyle, right? I mean, it seems to be working out pretty well for Scientology- and we all know how prestigious and credible their dogma is. If some 19 year old kid can show me the path to enlightenment by having me put my hands on his magical thetan detector, and he throws in a convincing sales pitch to buy L. Ron Hub’s impressive library of choose your own adventure books; well I’d be a fool not to fork over all my earnings! That’s like one step from being a Jedi! Paying taxes? That’s for mere mortals. If you ask me, I think the word “cult” is thrown out there with a little too much prejudice. I think of them as a club that is perpetually engaged in a LARP session that never ends, but without any of the magic, or medieval weapons, or smiling… and you aren’t allowed to quit. Ever. If you break character there will be some helpful rehabilitation sessions to assist with maintaining the proper thetan levels. All hail Zenu.

Yeah so I guess my counter resets to zero now. FML.