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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HTDY p. 2: Misery’s Love/Hate Relationship with Company

Whether you purposely sought out subject material of this nature- I’m terribly sad for you if that’s the case- or you just happened to be browsing through WordPress and decided to take a gamble by clicking the link that brought you here, I would like to say welcome, and a happy new year to you. Now that we’ve got that obligatory statement out of the way, let’s be real for a moment and come to the terms of reality about the new year. New Year’s day is perhaps one of the most arbitrary of holidays; I mean what are we even celebrating? The human race survived another orbital rotation around the sun without erasing its own existence via nuclear weapons? Well shit, maybe that is a cause for celebration. Aren’t we due for another mass extinction within the next millennia or two? I like turtles.

Without providing a logical or even slightly meaningful segway into the topic I’ve decided to ramble about publically- much like the mentally disturbed vagrant I’m surely destined to become- I’ll just jump right in! Please take heed of these idiotic thoughts, as you could find yourself in my position someday. Sure, there could be worse outcomes in life; but when I contrast this version of me with the motivated, intelligent, hopeful, and financially independent version I was not too long ago, it’s enough to make me want to take a very long nap on the railroad tracks.

But not all is lost, and I can still turn this course of action in the direction of success! At least that’s what I told myself at the beginning of 2018. What makes 2019 different? nobody but myself is asking, and the answer is absolutely nothing. If anything, the odds are stacked against me even more. But this positive delusion I indulge in from time to time has kept me going, and is going to give me the strength to grab 2019 by the neck with the tenacity of an applehead chihuahua and hopefully only repeat the same mistakes like once or possibly twice at the most. But ladies and gentlemen, I digress…

Aside from the many things that addiction has stolen from me, Lady H has been kind enough to supply me with a plethora- yes I said fucking plethora– of shifty, villainous characters with questionable morals I am unwillingly pushed to cohort with. I’m talking straight chaotic evil type sociopaths who will smile and look you in the eye just long enough to distract you from the knife that they have skillfully shoved in your back. Most of them are afflicted with the same curse I allowed into my life, and there’s some who were born to capitalize off the demanding nature of this addiction. I have met some assholes who I believe downright relish in the despair and misery of others- and what better place to find an outlet for feeding off the pain (and bank account) of your fellow man or woman than in the presence an addict searching for his or her fix? Now I’m not saying all dealers are like that, some are simply trying to put bread on the table or feed their own addiction; but at a certain point every drug dealer has to come to grips with the painfully obvious destruction being caused by the wares they peddle and either turn a blind eye to it or embrace the sadistic nature of the game they are a part of. Let’s be honest and recognize how comparatively tame this level of malevolence is at this level of the supply chain to those who provide these substances and the people they work for. Can you imagine beheading being a very real possibility for the cause of your death? For some of those further down the line, that is a way of life.

All that murderous mischief is miles away from my daily routine, but addiction has swayed me to associate with people who would step on your face to get their next fix. Dealing with people of this nature can be thoroughly exhausting. I constanty need to be aware of how others can exploit even the slightest weakness on my part. For one to take up that kind of lifestyle, one must be emotionally damaged to start with, and therefore have many such weaknesses to exploit.

When I was in recovery, I learned a common behavior among addicts is isolation. That kind of makes sense since the destructive pattern of binge using/drinking addicts engage in isn’t typically seen as socially acceptable. So who else is left to interact with but those of a like mind, who share similar emotional injuries without a contructive means to repair them? Indeed their coping mechanisms only further distort reality until “normal” is so fucked up that any sane person has abandoned all hope of swaying the addict back into the realm of normal normal, instead leaving them in the turbulent waters of fucked up normal. There comes a point when the sane person must save themselves from drowning alongside their once esteemed friend. This scenario is common enough that almost every seasoned addict will tell you the same story- the details differ, but all the variables are there. So who does that leave? A bunch of fucked up people doing fucked up shit, in a fucked up world, that’s who.

How to Destroy Yourself Part 1

It just dawned on me that my current WordPress plan is about to expire. That does not really mean so much as a puff of rat flatulence to the world at large, but for me I think it means my already dwindling audience will dwindle even further. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe I will no longer be able to receive donations either whilst using the free version of WordPress. Again, this doesn’t really amount to a fraction of an atom’s quiver on the webz’s Richter scale, but it will give me even less of an incentive to spew my garbled thought processes unto this “blog” for your amusement. Not that I’ve really received a single donation anyways during the past year, but then again I can’t complain, given the irrelevant content I’ve provided the WordPress community. What I’m getting at here folks, is that Breakaway’s days are numbered. So unless any one of the half a dozen or so kind souls that read this can find it in his or her (or they, is that PC?) heart to dig deep into those pockets and help out one of society’s downtrodden, then I’ll most likely jump this flaming pile of excrement and leave it for the vultures. That doesn’t mean I’ve given up yet, though! I would like to part with some words of wisdom- well maybe not wisdom so much as common sense.

Mr. Mackey was onto something with his simplistic outlook on psychoactive substances; drugs, as it turns out are in fact bad, mmkay? Paradoxically, drugs are the most wonderful experience allowed by the limits of human pleasure. But that’s what makes them so bad- you get it!? What I’m saying is that this portal to Nirvana is so amazing that it comes at a price. Remember that anti-drug campaign in the late 80’s/early nineties with the frying pan? The sequel to the original “this is your brain on drugs” schtick was a bit more comprehensive, and we’ll say intense. Part two featured a girl with the same opening lines, but this time…. oh Nelly, does she rattle off some things and what happens to them on drugs. She enthusiastically starts smashing all manor of plates, dishes, and other things within her reach, and well… I can’t really do it justice, check it out, and take a stroll down memory lane- or take heed of this time capsule sent from an archaic age, when land lines ruled telecommunications, and people would speak to each other at the dinner table: https://youtu.be/dAHoxaphbEs

Delightfully well done, yes? However, this young lady’s performance was so completely over the top crazy, that it really distracts from the underlying message that government officials were futilely trying to pump into the skulls of our youth of America. That message is that drugs- and I like how she specifically names heroin in this one, I can’t think of a more suitable substance- really do take everything from you. Every one of those things she angrily screams to the audience will eventually be taken from you. Foremost, when you are on a good dose of H, your ability to do anything aside from nod off into a coma is severely handicapped. Have you ever had a conversation with someone on H? It’s about as gratifying as masterbating to a JCPenney’s full-page advertisement in the Sunday paper- frustrating to say the least. So yeah the whole brain-on-heroin-being-mush-frying-pan analogy rings completely true in my eyes, I’ve experienced it both first and second hand. Check.

What else does she list- money? If that shit grew on trees, and everyone could just walk around all fucked up on H and whatever else they so desired, well then none of this shit would be a problem now would it? But because life, and the universe in general operates on the principal of tradeoffs, making heroin is a somewhat complex process that not everyone can do and the people that can do it charge a handsome price for their service. Adding to the monetary value of this substance the extreme demand held by this product, and the fact that it is considered contraband by 99% of the world’s government entities- and you’ve got yourself a drug that is thankfully somewhat hard to come by for the average Joe or Jane. Can you imagine if that shit was like caffeine, and everybody and their mother was hooked on the horse…? Complete and utter pandemonium, I say.

I think during this striking young woman’s performance – admit it, her fervent passion for expressing her thoughts through violence with kitchen utensils was arousing on a level you’ve never considered until now- she blurts out friends and family or some shit. This is one of the more tragic prices paid to have heroin as a companion. Because of the previously mentioned debilitating financial situation many find themselves in because of this demon, relationships will assuredly be tested, strained, and eventually broken given enough time. There comes a point in every junkie’s existence that they will presented with that metaphorical fork in the road with a loved one on one side, and the big H, or whatever on the other. Unless the addict gets help, the demon will make the choice for the junkie, putting a gun to the addict’s temple, and saying, “You’re coming with me, buddy, I’m the only thing in your life that matters now!” Sad but true.

The last major conquest left before one’s addiction is the addict’s self-respect. Having already been beaten into submission financially and taking precedence above all other interpersonal relationships, there really is no other purpose to exist other than to act as a vessel for consuming the drug. When this milestone occurs, there is nothing that the addict would not do- no actions too shameful- to acquire the drug. You can kiss self respect goodbye when this happens.

Sure, I get to escape into a state of bliss when it suits me, but it has taken so much from me in exchange. To the outsider, it looks completely insane. Even as I write this, it’s painfully obvious how selfish and idiotic I’ve become. Hopefully someone in need finds these words and decides to take back his or her life.

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.

Another Day… No Dollar Though

That’s right, another day of existence is added to the growing collection of days which will be forgotten and meaningless. I have nearly lost my “Mojo”, or if it isn’t gone already, it’s on life support in the ICU, being cared for by Dr. Kevorkian. I’m having a hard time seeing the glass as being half full lately, because I’m seriously struggling with doing anything more than existing. I have been on/off with maintaining sobriety- which considering my circumstances, is pretty fucking commendable, I’d say. To elaborate, my significant other has kinda picked up one of my nasty habits, and fucking took off with it on her own, at a speed that has more or less surpassed my usage. So there’s one thing that I can etch into my legacy’s stone tablet of significant life accomplishments: pusher of addictive and dangerous substances, and sharer of misery. My point is that it’s damn near impossible to quit anything addictive, if the person you’re living with has the same habit. So I suppose it’s the circle of life, or poetic justice, or fucking whatever that I would afflict that curse on a loved one, only to have it come back and gingerly goose me while I’m trying to get my ish together! If I had a nickel for every time karma shot me with its painfully righteous darts, I’d still only have about a half dozen nickels. Yeah, I’m not a bad guy who goes around screwing people over, but when I fuck somebody without the lube, it will most assuredly come back later to fuck me unmercifully, harder, and with even less lube.

All metaphorical sex acts aside, I am fighting with the vigor comparable to Ben Stein’s voice to get my life back on track. Sure there isn’t much enthusiasm there, but I am droning through at a flat, continuous pace, slowly and painfully making it through the day and looking back to say “at least I didn’t off myself”. For some that may not seem worth writing in a blog that few will even read, but these days I try to celebrate even the most pitiful of deeds (or ‘non-deeds’ as it were), because what else do I really have?

I would like to believe that my worst years are behind me- but honestly I would probably being doing myself a disservice, as they could be much worse. I’m kind of hoping to at least keep this streak sub-mediocrity, anti-accomplishment behavior going just a bit longer. As long as nobody expects anything of me, I will not disappoint!

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…

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.