Back with the Ill Behavior

For anyone who’s been sitting on the edge of his or her seat with anticipation, eagerly awaiting my next blog post, I would foremost like to extend my deepest apologies for keeping you waiting. Secondly-let’s be honest here-you don’t exist, so POOF, vamoose, son of a bitch!

I think the only person who actually knows me, already knows the struggles I’ve had. No, I’m not talking about Jesus. This affords me the privilege of being honest with myself and you folks reading this. Since we’re talking honesty here, I’ll be direct–I managed to get off the needle, but I have slipped up a time or two without using the needle. They say relapse is a part of recovery, right? Although is is not a necessary part of recovery, it is an option. I don’t recommend it, my fellow addicts in recovery, for obvious reasons. Any addict always has another relapse in him or her, but not always another recovery. For a lot of you, that is about as cliche as it gets, but who knows? Maybe I just turned someone around with that sentence.

I’ve been told that it is a smart move to embarrass your sin before it embarrasses you–so that’s what I’m going for here. By publically tattling upon myself, I can help get this here monkey off my back and share it with ya’ll. I’m ready, people, I am so ready to be done with this ever-present demon that I allowed into my life, and tell him to hit the fucking road, Jack! But I’ll be damned if he doesn’t keep finding increasingly clever ways to try and sneak back into my life-straight up Hannibal Lecteresque type methods! But I have an Ally with me now, friends. I have a Friend that has been dealing with these kinds of assholes for millennia.

Don’t worry, I’m not gonna get all preachy, because for me and others like me, that’s not what it’s about. I simply like to provide some insight on my current condition because I hope others find Him on their own path. I can’t sit here and say you gotta do this, or He wants you to do that, because the truth of the matter is, everyone is given the free will to find it on their own. I dare anyone to defy that statement, because is a undeniable fact. Shit, actually, I heard an argument somewhere from a great intellect that free will is an illusion, and as I recall, the way it was explained sort of made sense. Either I am too stupid to wrap my head around that concept, or I just refuse to accept it because I KNOW I have the will to choose because I did! I was about as devout an atheist as there ever was. But guess what? I fucking chose to believe! Some really smart guy is gonna say ‘well there were situational forces which were outside the realm of your control which compelled you to believe in a Higher Power, therefore you didn’t really choose to believe and free will doesn’t exist.’

To that person I say you’re an asshole, because I chose that choice. Just like the rest of you can. I’m not completely sure if this post came out coherently, because I’ve been typing it on my phone, and my thumbs have had about all they can take for the time being. I’m gonna wrap up with this question: Are you choosing what you want in life, or are you letting it be chosen for you? Please comment your thoughts, I’d love to hear them, thank you!

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The Quintessential Downward Spiral and the Crushing Grip it Commands

Yes, that title was unnecessarily wordy and perhaps even- dare I say- pretentious. Here you are reading it, however, so maybe there’s something alluring about the word quintessential – a word I don’t think I’ve ever spoken aloud, even through the host of presentations given in a previous life which aimed to impress my audience, but often fell short of that mark. Maybe if I’d used words like quintessential more often during my visually pleasing, yet admittedly dry PowerPoint presentations, I would have progressed further in my career and not became the miserable “Smeagol-esque” creature whose words are temporarily occupying your attention.

That brings me to the topic I ponder for the evening; though, truthfully it’s been dragging me down more and more lately. The “downward spiral”- and I’m not referring to the NIN album which ironically catapulted Trent Reznor’s musical career to a whole new level of success. I’m talking about my own personal downward spiral, and how it is so very difficult to escape. It’s a phenomenon which is one of the cruelest tragedies fate has to offer. Painful as it is to experience, it can be equally as hurtful to sit by and watch helplessly as your loved one is caught in this vortex. Your words, the strongest of your efforts, your tears, and love which would otherwise move mountains is often not enough to save the ones unfortunate enough to be caught in the grip of this nightmare.

Now some of you may be thinking to yourselves Dude, do you think you could be any more overdramatic? Shit happens, bro! Activate your testicles, and drive on- emo was so 2000’s! To them I say, Dude, do you think you could be any more simplistically judgemental? Shit- as the bumper sticker has indeed plainly stated- clearly happens to all of us humans; but sometimes some particularly difficult shit hits us at a time when we are vulnerable, which leaves us exposed and prone to even more shit, which before you know it has snowballed into a pile of shit which has become hopelessly unmanageable! Now if you don’t find yourself aligned with the former reader’s line of thought, then I would imagine that even if you haven’t personally gone through a downward spiral yourself, you can identify with my words because you have been unfortunate enough to watch a friend or loved one struggle through such an ordeal. I think there is nothing so painful as being unable to steer the one you care so deeply for away from their demise, as they knowingly plummet to the bottom. Sadly, the only person who ultimately holds the reigns in that situation is… well, the person in the spiral!

Great so I’ve exposed a phenomenon which did not need exposing, since it’s some fucking unstoppable force or whatever. Perhaps…. but why does this happen though? I can only accurately speak for myself in this matter.

I will freely admit that I’m like hella chronically depressed. I have some theories on what the root cause of that depression is, but maybe I’ll explore that another time. For the time being, that is a factor which comprises my being- for better or worse. That, in and of itself, may be the short and simplified reason as to why I’m caught in a spiral. My brain doesn’t currently produce the right combination of dopamine/serotonin or whatever to be resilient enough to bounce back from failures and adversity; as such, each setback in life prevents me from moving forward.

I wasn’t always like this though. So my own state of “not-giving-a-fuckness” was brought on by circumstantial factors. By the way, feel free to throw the term circumstantial factors out there in your day-to-day conversation just to see what kind of reaction you receive. It’s bound to raise an eyebrow or two during your routine dialog with peers and such.


*** Two days later… ***


So what was I rambling about? My downward spiral? Yeah, it simply represents a lack of resilience in one’s character. I believe I am being objective in saying that it is also a byproduct of low self esteem or confidence. There’s no one size fits all formula for this problem- at least Google hasn’t gone public with it yet- but generally it is those factors (depression, lack of resilience, low self-esteem) married with a series of unfortunate events which result in the person losing any and all hope in life. I used to care about my appearance, how much money I made, what kind of car I drove, you know, all that materialistic bullshit that is indoctrinated into American children’s lives from the moment they can be plopped in a stationary bouncer in front of a glowing screen, on through until they die of cardiovascular problems brought on by McDonalds and insurmountable credit card debt and student loans.

But hey, if anyone’s actually reading this, please share your thoughts! Have you been caught in this downward spiral phenomenon, but live to tell the tale? If so, how did you escape? Have you been unfortunate enough to see a loved one go through this ordeal? Please comment below, so your misery can be distributed amongst us.

Commitment Issues

I will resume that whole developmental psychology thing eventually- it’s just I’ve been coping with some personal problems that have really wreaked havoc on my relationships, career as an IT professional, my educational goals, my reputation, my health, my looks, my marriage, and last but certainly not least- my finances. I wake up every morning, not recognizing the person in the mirror- if I can even bring myself to see my reflection. My eyes are sunken, my complexion muddled. If ever there was a poster child for the “drugs are bad, mmm’kay” campaign, I could be a contender, I’m sure. Perhaps I haven’t hit the absolute rock bottom, but I’ve come within a stone’s throw of it, no doubt. I’m on the cusp of losing everything, but I am fortunate enough to have people in my life who care enough to fucking slap me in the face enough so that I can look up and meet my own gaze in the mirror long enough to see how far I’ve fallen.

Some say addiction is a disease. I’m on the fence about that one, since this is a disease I welcomed into my life with open arms and with sound cognitive ability. It wasn’t too long however, that it took over my willpower and demanded I make it the one and only relationship I would sacrifice all others for. Of that aspect of addiction, I do see how it is a disease. I’ve heard that free will in general is an illusion that everyone mistakenly views as their’s to control. Perhaps I’ll explore that topic further another time, but this much is true for everyone whether they’d admit it or not: we are all slaves to our vices. Whether that be booze, gambling, running, self-mutilation, gluttony, starvation, plastic surgery, tattoos, or what have you. Most people are haunted by an insatiable need for something. Whether that something would benefit us or destroy us seems to me to be a roll of the dice. I, like many others, was and still am drawn to that artificial bliss on tap. Instant relief from all my worries, and the ultimate cheat code for nearly any dilemna, the right combination of hardcore drugs will get anyone hooked. I believe that’s why the US has taken the antiquated- yet effective on a very basic level- stance on treating these psychoactive substances.

Substances like the ones that I’ve allowed to poison my mind alter the brain in such a way that it will eventually take priority above all else. Those drugs that have a well deserved stigma associated with them. While under its influence, you will make any excuse or tell any lie to make sure that shit finds a way into your bloodstream. To a non-addict, the lengths to which an addict will go seem absurd, selfish, even downright sadistically evil; but for the addict, those actions become second nature, and are just par for the course of a lifestyle that typically means living fast and dying young. Some are fortunate enough to escape its iron grip; many are not, and struggle for years like a fly in the web, only to eventually get consumed by a predator with no face, no body, no weapons, and no weaknesses.

I’ve seen documentaries on the subject, and one concept sticks out in my memory which makes perfect sense (apologies,I can’t recall specifics for a citation). Doing drugs like opiates, meth, coke, or MDMA for long periods of time eventually rewires the brain so that acquisition of the drug is equally, if not more important than other survival instincts. Over time, getting your fix becomes more important than material possessions, money, shelter, relationships, and even food. I’ve encountered several different women who ended up losing their children to drugs, yet that loss was not their ‘rock bottom’. They continued to use, despite losing what many mothers consider to be their most precious gift in life. That should speak volumes as to how insidious this trap can be. My wife- who has stuck with me through the worst challenges I’ve had in life so far- put it brilliantly by saying “you didn’t make that choice, the drugs chose for you“.

Of course all of this is subjective. There are those who say addicts chose their lifestyle, and they have no one to blame but themselves for their problems. To a certain extent that is true. I would think it inconceivable (like Vizzini) to throw away the things I hold dearest to me… had you asked me a year ago. Now I find it impossible to live for anything else besides my next fix. It has consumed my life.

I started writing this like a week ago, but like everything else in my life, it’s sat and festered with nothing to show for it. I guess I’ll post this now, I don’t even remember what my original point was…

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.