why i won’t go out with you

lonely, in pain and a brilliant mindalcohol3

Secrets, incredible acting and a magician’s ability to divert attention.  My ability to lie took so much time to develop and gain the confidence to do so, but eventually lying could not mask the pain anymore.  When I was drinking, I thought about alcohol all the time.  I wanted drugs all the time.  My drug of choice was always ‘more’ (I did not invent this phrase, but I believe it to be brilliant in the ways of an addict’s mind).  So many people walk around every day and the idea of a drink or a drug never even crosses their mind.  How different we are.  This feeling never completely goes away, I still have numerous moments where somehow the idea of drugs or alcohol enter my mind, but over time I have built up a defense system equipped with support.  Nevertheless, sometimes, undeniably, crazy thoughts can pop into my head.  Now I mean fucking crazy thoughts.  Please remember, as an addict I have a brilliant mind.  I am somehow smart enough to know I couldn’t have a drink even if I wanted to.  When I drank, I was sloppy and obvious and it was undeniable.  So I’d never get away with it.  Hear that?  “Get away with it.”  That’s my first consequence on the chart.  Get away with it how?  Not go to jail?  Not die?  How insane it can be to be this way.  I recall these type of thoughts:  “So I drank a fifth of vodka alone in a night, so what?  I didn’t do anything stupid this time.  No one even knew, all good.”

-Yes I did this and yes, I thought it was “cool”.  It is not cool to drink a fifth of vodka, especially alone.

That is the point here.  My mind works differently.  Liver failure, DUI, jail time, killing someone, killing myself.  So many people look at those consequences and decide to avoid the things that could allow these items to happen.  Some of these items don’t even enter certain people’s minds.  Why would they?  Well the honest to God’s truth is that NONE of them EVER stopped me from drinking.  Some nights I prayed one or the other would not happen to me out of fear, but I still kept going.  The instant that first drop of alcohol hit my lips and then my stomach, the feeling was pure bliss, I thought.

The very second I felt that alcohol, that fire hit my belly, I was gone.  I was happy (sure I was).  Start the race.  My new goal until I passed out was to find and pour as much of that liquor down my throat as I could.  I do not have the best ears in the world, but I could hear a bartender call last call from a mile away.  Last call at a bar for me involved three completely necessary tasks.  Task 1: Get to the bar quickly and order myself two drinks, usually each a double (unless on the off chance they had cut me off, which happened a few times see addendum A – Finding a friend to get a drink for me).  Task 2: Figure out the plan to drink more after that bar, even if it meant at home alone.  Task 3 (optional): Hopefully find someone to take a shot with (on top of the two doubles I had ordered).  If you wanted to see me frustrated and quietly angry, you should have seen me on days, where Task 2 had no prospects and my wife insisted I come home and go to bed.  This meant drinking time was over (see addendum B – Convincing the wife to have a drink when we got home.)  Yet this was all my normal world and it made sense somehow.


i am insane

This blog is my place to speak my truth.  I don’t speak for alcoholics or addicts.  I find these pieces allow me to stay honest and are just another piece that helps me not drink today.  I have had some amazing people support me and talk to me after a piece and I am eternally grateful for that response.  I love to hear from people on either side of the fence and welcome a discussion.  Pardon my language here, but those who have never experienced addiction have no fucking clue what it is like.  I make jokes that I still do tons of things alcoholically, like eating a full sleeve of cookies or exercising as much as possible for a few weeks.  These things are true.  However, that is not true addiction.  Addiction is being late to an important meeting because you have to stop home and get high.  Addiction is using money you need for dinner but using it for drugs instead and consciously making that decision and feeling as though it was the right one.

I was poor as fuck in college, but I was still stoned every day and blackout drunk often.  Waking up in strange places not knowing why you are there is a feeling you keep with you.  A rooftop comes to mind.  And it’s ok to smile or laugh about that but also realize that there was pain and problems with something like that.  Laughing about some of the stupid stuff I did is also helpful.  But as much as I hated the idea, eventually, the party had to end…


the end of the party

This is the part where they put the disclaimer up ‘Viewer Discretion Advised’.  I do not presume that April 2010 was my rock bottom.  I PRAY that it was, but in this world of addiction, filling my head with grandiose ideas of never drinking again is a very unhealthy and, at times, overwhelming way to feel.

My body wants more and more and more of everything.  I did not handle traveling home after vacation very well.  On vacation, I went all out, all the time.  I blacked out and do not remember entire evenings.  I puked so much I literally could puke no more.  Even alcohol poisoning, or as close as one can get, two nights in a row, in Vegas and vomiting blood everywhere didn’t even make me think for one second that I should cool it on the drinking.  After the first night of walking the line between passing out on a bathroom floor and being takin to the hospital, I went with my fiancé to breakfast.  Well, I could not even eat.  All I could do was drink straight vodka out of a water bottle while holding back the spits with a hotel hand towel.  Even then, there was ZERO thought of quitting or that I had a problem.  The only thought was of getting enough vodka back in my system that I could function and be normal.  That is the truth of the matter.  I really believed that if I could just drink a full water bottle of vodka at 11am on an empty stomach, that I would feel normal again and thus, it was ok.  Many hours later I could be seen walking through Old Vegas with a full wine bottle in hand.  You might be thinking that after drinking for another 20 hours and coming severely close, again, to death, this must be the story of the end.  Unfortunately, that story happened two years before I quit drinking.  I was hung over for a month though.  Seriously.  One month, yet I did not give it up.

Finally, when we lost Dave in January of 2010, I could no longer stop the train racing towards the cliff.  The last normal for me was secret drinks at work, snorting anxiety medication just because and smoking weed as if it were a second job.  But mostly, my normal was unhappiness.  I did not genuinely smile much during those few months.  I am brilliant so I made the best appearance of “I’m getting through it all.”  But deep inside, I wasn’t.  In my thoughts, I was too cowardly to kill myself, but I secretly hoped the booze and medication might eventually do it, especially if I used them to excess.  And I am talking a level of excess I had yet to achieve to this point because I had some genuine fear of death.  But take away that fear of death and mix it with an alcoholic’s downward spiral and you’ve got a recipe for one serious disaster.  I don’t mind meeting friends at a bar occasionally, I like a good party for a few hours, I’ll even entertain my best friends sometimes until midnight or so if I’m feeling generous.  But for me the party has ended and I couldn’t be happier about it.  I love a cup of coffee and a conversation any day over watching people trip over themselves or try to tell me, in slurred speech, that they are proud of me.  Avoiding a given event or party isn’t about the fear of relapse, it is about the desire to not go back and visit the prisons I once inhabited.

I was lucky.  My disaster was pretty big.  It was very hard.  But I survived it and I am here today and writing about it and you are reading it and still talking to me.  You must understand how insanely impossible this reality would have been to comprehend back then.  It could not happen, yet it did.  If you wanna talk about addiction, lets talk.  If you wanna know more, I’ll buy you a coffee and tell you more.  If you hate this blog, well, luckily there are other options out there.  But most importantly, I just want to say to anyone reading, thank you.






a bad day drunk

the truth help is in the details

Let’s dive deeper and deeper into this world I speak so highly of.  This is that lonely, sad yet, at times, slightly exciting world of the drinking problem.  This is my world.  This is not your world or your alcoholic friend’s world.  This place was designed by me and for me.  For those of you who may not understand this life, this way of stumbling through, literally and figuratively, perhaps my stories shine some light on your confusion or possibly intrigue.

Maybe there is one of you who wonder if you are like me or know someone who might be like me.  Let me warn you.  If it is you who are curious, if it is you who wonder, fear you are like me, the door is always open.  The communication line extends from you to me directly and has no people or hurdles in between.  But if you are curious because you fear you know someone like this, I’d suggest you be quite careful how you handle that.  I’m not a therapist, I’m not here to diagnose or reach out to someone you know.  If my stories resonate inside you, I am someone who can relate and talk.  But I only got to this place on my own.  No one could tell me to change or stop.  All I am saying is if you suspect someone you know has a problem, please explore your options before making a move, because you could be in a danger zone you don’t even realize or understand.

Well…..sorry if that got weird.  So how about I tell you about a really bad day.


the bad day starts yesterday

When it came to drinking, my bad days couldn’t be contained or qualified to one actual day.  They started long before the stroke of midnight.  In fact, they were usually still going strong when midnight hit.  The main question of whether or not to drink on a given night would sometimes be decided by a few, very important factors.  First question, what do I have to do tonight – probably nothing scheduled.  Second and more importantly, what time do I have something to do tomorrow and how critical is it.  Once I had the answers, the determination would be made.  Drink or not drink.  If we had reached this questioning period, the answer was most undoubtedly going to be – drink.  The third question would be, who can we drink with (sub-question – who will I have the best chance to stay out with super late).  Then it was time to get to it.

Grape vodka and cranberry juice, stiff as you can make it and I’ll meet you for a cigarette on the front porch (I was speaking to myself in this scenario).  When I would make drink #1, the adrenaline rush was significant, but I don’t want this to sound cliché.  It wasn’t glamorous as if it were a movie.  Tarantino would have quick cuts of ice in glass, drink mix and lit cigarette and it would make you want to have a cocktail right then and there.  In my picture, there was adrenaline filled with anxiety engulfed in self-doubt and self-loathing while still maintaining the internal vision of somehow this is all normal and maybe even….cool.  Then we were gone.

Once that first drink makes it down, once the fire is in the stomach and I am off and running, it isn’t going to stop.  One drink is all I need and then I can’t tell you what happens next.  But the idea of ‘tonight I need to take it easy’ or ‘I’ll just have a couple’ isn’t going to ever enter my mind.  Fundamentally, this is probably the top reason I no longer drink.  That list is five miles long, but this concept, in my opinion, is the root of my problem relationship with alcohol.  I can’t, I won’t, and I hate to stop drinking once I start.  The human body will, eventually, make you stop.  You will either pass out, start vomiting or die.  But ‘having desire to stop’ is not on that list for me.

Yes, you read that correctly.  ‘Dying’ is on the list of reasons a person can be stopped from physically drinking more yet ‘me wanting to’ is not.  That is not a mistake.  If you haven’t seen what this disease can do to a person, perhaps now you are starting to.  So maybe by 2a or 3a everyone has gone home.  Depending on how I answered question #2, I may just stay up alone and finish things off.  But you came here to hear a BAD day story.  So that’s when we introduce the second part of the story – next day responsibilities.


how being responsible and being an out of control alcoholic mix terribly

Responsibilities are the worst when you’ve been up until 3a or 4a drinking heavily.  Work, family obligations, basically anything that isn’t sleeping or drinking more really got in the way of my alcoholism.  They ruined everything.  “Who the fuck has a kid’s party at 11A on a Saturday without booze?”  I’ve come to learn that, surprisingly, a LOT of people do actually.  “I’ll go out to breakfast if they have a bloody Mary bar.  Wait, you’re not going to drink WITH me?”  Also I’ve come to learn that this is not uncommon for people to drink a little at night and then NOT want to drink the next morning.  “Fuck work for having me as an employee and having to be in at 9A.”  I don’t even have a response to this one, but I do remember feeling this way A LOT.

So I define “bad” for me as waking up when I needed to for something, usually work, and still being hammered.  Hammered meant no hangover (yet) and feeling like the world was ok and somehow I was still ok.  You won’t like this or understand it, but towards the very end, this feeling when I awoke and had to work meant only one thing.

I will tell you in this alcoholic’s mind the reasoning I’m about to share actually made sense and I felt it was somewhat rational. 

I had to drink more, at work.  This way, I avoid the hangover completely (no) and can be normal (no).  I remember the face of the liquor store worker when I would walk in and grab a bottle of red wine at 830 in the morning.  It was not a judging face; it was just a face of indifference.  Yet it also had an awareness and, I believe, he made assumptions about what was going on.  It is possible that a lot of that description was in my own mind and fueled by my own anxiety, but I still felt that way.  You may have glanced over it or you may be asking “did he say red wine?”  Yes.  I did.  Also important to note is that I never really drank much red wine in my drinking career.  If I drank wine, I liked white.  So why did red wine become my ‘go-to drink of choice when I was still drunk from the night before and had to go to work so I’d stop by the liquor store at 830A and pick up something drink for the day, while at work – drink?’  I guess the first time it felt right for that very common, relatable scenario.


didn’t quite think this one out…

There is really only one slightly small problem with waking up drunk, not really eating and then filling your stomach with red wine at work to ‘stay normal’.  Time.  Have you ever seen basically ANY food at a sporting event and thought “well the best idea of the day is me eating that right now”?  Most of the time, hours later, it wasn’t the best idea of the day.  Well what seems like a good idea at 830a, even 1030a when you’re really in a groove, is going to eventually have to end or get worse.  You may think you’re creative, talented or superman at this point and think everything you are doing is pure gold.  It’s not.  You may think you’re talking normally to people, clients, and dogs.  You aren’t.  You may be getting away with it, and at the time that fact keeps you going somehow, but it simply can’t last.

Remember, the human body is going to win out somehow.  I recall one specifically bad day where I really felt good about where my drunk level was, not super obvious, but enough to keep myself happy.  I played ‘normal guy’ and planned an evening happy hour with a buddy near work.  The thing is, again, you can fool your mind, you can fool other people, but your body does not respond to this type of communication.  So you have a severe buzz going on and have been drinking now for 24 straight hours, minus the 3 hour nap you’re calling “sleeping last night” and havent eaten much at all.

Your body, which is the only part of you telling the truth these days, is a river about to overflow its banks.  A tiny bit more rain and the flood is coming and it will affect everyone in its path.  So you hit the bar at 5P, like a ‘normal person’.  You start the conversation and its fine.  I got this.  So….time for the usual – vodka and cranberry and perhaps, we suggest, a shot, to toast friendship or some shit like that.

Oops, we were afraid a small drizzle would overflow that river and instead hurricane just showed up and it’s coming on strong.  The conversation quickly diverts.  Uh oh, he notices that I am not seeming right now.  My brain can’t make words normal anymore.  This is a blackout’s beginning.  The world is now a movie I am watching from afar.  Time is disappearing and I don’t understand things.  I can sense the confusion in my friend.  He must be thinking how did one drink and a shot do this so quickly?  He knows something is wrong.  I stop caring and realize that exhaustion is upon me and I can’t think of anything except my bed and sleep.  It must be 10 o’clock at night.  (It is actually closer to 5:30)  I must leave.  I recall the idea of ‘let me take you home’ being thrown out, but I quickly say no to that.

I’m not proud of any of this and this part is hard to even type so many years later.

But I drove home.  I don’t know how I did it but I did.  This is something I thank God for all the time, that I never injured anyone doing something so reckless, selfish and beyond dangerous.  I recall even more confusion from my wife when I got home so early and obviously severely drunk.  I knew she must have been doing the math in her head.  “How could he have been out for such a short time and come home wasted?”  I passed it off.  I knew the pain was coming; physical, emotional and psychological.  That had to all wait while I passed out.


the bad day after the bad day

So that was the Bad Day.  However, as you can imagine, the next day was no peach.  When that alarm clock goes off, the true terror begins.  I know there are so many out there who are the ‘drink everyday’ type alcoholic.  Well, I just couldn’t be that.  Not because I lacked desire, but my body took these things very, very hard.  I wanted to die.  I knew I had to be at work again and I actually usually went on these days.  But they were very, very bad.  The nausea was so bad that every moment I feared I’d throw up but it was also so terrible that I couldn’t even force food into my stomach.  My anxiety and pain made me feel afraid that my heart would explode in my chest.  I would spend time sending texts or emails saying how sorry I was and trying to make excuses.

These were the days where the very small, subtle voice in the back of my head would try to suggest to me that this was not normal and that maybe I had a problem.  These are the days I would find that young voice that would say ‘I am never drinking again’.  My body, my mind and my soul had been run over by a steam roller and there was very little left.  My being felt 200 years old.  All I wanted was to get home and get in my bed again.  I would often think ‘if almost any other person I know felt this way ONE time due to drinking, they’d never touch that stuff again’.  I actually still think that’s true.

Well, here is how I leave you on this post.  After all of that, after all of those feelings and horrible ups and downs, eventually I’d get to the end of the day and back in bed.  This would be the end of a three day roller coaster ride.  3 days!  And the worst part about it was when I awoke the next day, it was Day 1 again.  Question number 1 – what do I have to do tonight?  Looks like its Friday…..so I’ll plan on seeing you again Sunday….if I make it through this one.

Gobo Fraggle – An Alcoholic’s Savior

fuck cancer

So, I will admit this might appear to be all over the place.  It’s not.  Surprisingly this all fits together rather nicely.  Or horribly, depending on how fucked up you are.  If you are this thing called normal, you’ll find all of this to be rather insane and maybe even freak you out.  I guess I’ll just explain these items individually and then I think you’ll see how they fit together.

the alcoholic stuff

In case I haven’t mentioned this enough in my posts…  I was an out of control, seriously fucked up, practicing alcoholic for a very long time, pretty much from the first day I tasted the stuff until the last time I did, close to 7 years ago.  This post is about getting real.  A year ago, I went through the whole ‘alcoholic thing’.  Now it’s taken a year but I need to get out with stuff.  I didn’t stop being fucked up at that point, I just stopped drinking, but, hey, I’m still workin on it.  I loved the stuff at 17 when I tried it and I wanted more the very instant it started working.  More, more, more, more.  That’s me.  I don’t care if gin tastes like crap, I’ll take a gallon.  Towards the end there a handle of vodka would be gone in 24 hours.  I turned 30 in March of 2010.  For my birthday party in late March I got probably 10m bottles of vodka as presents (not a sign or anything).  All but the final one were left by April when ‘it’ happened.  That final bottle had maybe enough for one of your normal people to have a nightcap, whatever that is…. So, the world in which I lived was sad, lonely and filled with self-loathing, jealousy, anger and so much doubt.  It was filled with fear and anxiety.  You see, I gave all the power to alcohol and drugs.  I say drugs because first of all, it’s true, but secondly it wasn’t just alcohol.  But in the end, that WAS the drug of choice.

Nothing else gave me what I thought was control like it did.  I lived for drinking.  Even though I didn’t drink every day.  I didn’t drink most mornings.  However, everything I did was based around either drinking, thinking about or planning my next drinking or being so hungover from drinking that I became an extremely unreliable person.  It’s a world that some understand, some do not and some are in right now.  What is interesting is that you probably don’t know which category most people fall into.  If you want more details, perhaps I’ll make a post called ‘puking blood: my bachelor party in Vegas’, that ought to really entice people to read my shit.  The other interesting thing is that there are some people who read that title and are so shocked and in awe that they say things like, “I never knew, I can’t believe that, that’s crazy, must be an exaggeration.”  There are those that will say, “Ya, it can be like that.”  Perhaps the third group is so disgusted they stop reading, I don’t know.  Again, perhaps whatever normal people are, deny the existence of such things or think that is just “so sad”.  Well, you’re right, it is sad, it IS fucked up.  If you couldn’t handle that, stop reading, it gets worse before it gets better.

Oh, the last night…. people ask, it’s so dramatic, it’s such a story…. Ok so no one really asks, they don’t care, want to know or even know there is such a question to ask.  It’s not so fun though.  It involves a ton, and I mean a ton of vodka.  I’d put good money on the fact that you’ve never drank this much vodka in one night.  The blackout started probably 75% into the evening, as it did a lot.  Then, it involved a knife and an arm…  This is where I stop for the moment to rewind a bit.  I must dive into topic #2 – fuck cancer.

the disease I didn’t have

My sister’s former fiancé passed away in January of 2010 from cancer.  The battle was long and was fought very hard.  My sister was an inspiration due to her strength during the battle and after the end.  I’d rather not go into detail, but we were with him on his last day.  He was 26.  His name was Dave.  As a lot of alcoholics do, I used any and every reason to drink, but this was the most difficult thing I had to deal with, for the most part, in my life to that point.  It was so hard and it fueled my drinking like nothing ever had before.  It pushed me off the deep end and brought me into a world of not caring about much of anything anymore.  I drank because I was sad and I was sad and I drank a lot.  There were not many good days those few months after that event.  One never truly gets over it, we just thank God for each day we had with him and for every day we are still here we treasure.  So, out of respect for my sister and Dave, I’d rather not go into much more detail about the situation, but you get it and I hate the fucking disease.

the alcoholic’s savior part II

So…that plunge into the deep end.  That night.  I didn’t think of suicide, nor did I feel the option was one I considered.  I was too scared, I’d rather feel sorry for myself, hate myself and have more reasons to drink.  But it got to be where I no longer cared about anything and just to feel something, anything, I took a kitchen knife and began to cut my arm, my hand, just to feel something, but I couldn’t.  I even knocked over a glass stumbling around.  I used the shards of glass to make more damage.  I was lucky, my wonderful Bailey was still around and somehow knew to make enough commotion downstairs to my wife that she figured something must be wrong.  She found me, bloodied, delusional and out of my mind.  I had reach surrender mode.  Off to the hospital.  I was no longer in control.  This was the end of it.  Admit me, put me in the psych ward, my decision.  The end.  Well, so much more but for the story, drop almost 7 years down next.  Not 7 easy years.  Ups and downs but no alcohol, that one thing I can say with 100% truth.  I’m not perfect, not even close.  I just got lucky that I was able to get out of the life.  But I am here to tell you, that stuff can put its grip on you and sweep you away.  You have no idea the power it can have on some people.  If you are lucky to never know that feeling, cherish that fact.  I still have to take care of myself every day, fill my life with positive things and, of course, not fucking drink.  But I never think, not even for one day, that this is a given.  I cannot.

So, the savior.  I haven’t completely addressed that, nor the most confusing part of all, the main title, GOBO Fraggle.

GOBO FraggleGobo-fraggle

As I stated before, Dave’s passing created a world that was hard to navigate or understand for me.  I drank so much after that.  I used alcohol as such a way to escape but yet then as soon as I was loaded up, it was my way to cry and be sadder than ever.  When I quit drinking I realized that, I believe, on of, if not THE main reason I got so bad was because of his passing.  In this regard, I look at him as one of the people who eventually helped me in possibly direct or indirect ways.  For me, he was my savior in so many ways.

On the one year anniversary, my family and I visited Dave in Chicago.  I’ll never forget my father, crying and standing in front of Dave’s resting place.  Among other things, he said “thank you” and turned to me as if looking for affirmation that he was, indeed, a serious catalyst to my new life.  He was correct.  It was one of the life moments you never forget.

The rest of our trip, my sister, wife and my parents, traveled to Galena, a favorite place of Dave and my sister’s.  My wife was pregnant with our first son at the time.  One thing we did while shopping was to buy a handful of stuffed animals for the baby.  We found a store that carried a few Fraggle Rock characters, a show I grew up loving.  We found a terrific GOBO Fraggle doll and we knew immediately what to call him – Dave.  So, years later when my son, Finn, started to speak, we told him the stuffed animal’s name was Dave.  Well, now Finn is 5 and a half and enjoys Fraggle Rock and knows the character’s name is GOBO.  He asked me the other day why I keep calling him Dave and I told him about the special person in mommy and daddy’s life that the doll represents.  He represents so much more than I can tell him right now, but that, too, is for another day.

I’ve felt compelled to write this story for a while now and I hope you know it comes from the heart and a place of truth.  Life is a crazy ride and frankly, I am emotionally drained now from getting this all out.  If you read this whole thing, I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.  Feel free to re-post or share with anyone who may be going through anything like this.  I’m here and it’s been 2547 days since I drank alcohol.  That’s at least a good start….

the day after christmas

Living in a constant state of anticipation would make a person go mad.  So, we have the long buildup to a holiday or celebration, then we have the payoff, the big finale!  But what’s that feeling after it happens.  That day after when we are standing in a pile of trash and the sun is coming up and we’re tired?  The same holds true for going on vacation or selling a house.  (I just so happen to have done all of these things within three months.)

For now, I’d like to focus on my recent move.  Let’s dissect the insanity, if you will journey with me down another road inside of my psyche, otherwise known as the scary place, mostly to me and anyone out there who may be actually paying attention to these riffs I project into the cosmos.

moving, what a dumb thing we do

Life is a constant state of moving on.  One grade to the next, one friend to the next (if you’re lucky you hang on to some) one house to the next.  We move from one year to the next.  That one goes a lot quicker than I realized when I was younger.  Let’s focus, a hard task for me.  Stay on point and understand we are trying to talk about moving from one house to the next right now.
Well, it took about a year from start to finish when I think back.  The conversations started about more space, better neighborhood and so on…  so let’s go for it.  What they forget to mention is that selling your first house isn’t like buying your first house.  (Ok, our wonderful real estate agent not only DID mention it, she stressed it and asked if we were certain we wanted to do this.)  So, you spend time and money and you make your house so nice that you question why you’re selling it in the first place, at least wondering why you didn’t live this way in the first place.  Then the ups and downs.  Then the offer and counter offer and counter offer and inspections and why the fuck are we doing this I’m losing my fucking mind part…


when you see a gun, and other emotions that are super!

I believe in signs and I try to listen to them when I believe I see them.  Before we moved I saw a sign that gave me pause.  I never felt in danger or scared where we lived, but I am also aware of the world around me.  As I was enjoying one of our last Sundays in our house with my children, I noticed a neighbor’s teenager in his car, outside my house, holding a gun.  He just had it.  Had nothing to do with me.  But that was it.  It scared me.  I’ve had a gun pointed at me before and it is not something I particularly prefer.  So, I walked outside, pretending to clean up or something, just to show them that I was aware of their presence, and these kids, mostly politely, decided to move on from that location.  But I decided in that moment that we had made the right decision.

Back to the sold sign on the door.  The date is set and now it’s time to hurry. Find a new place, pack it ALL up, everything.  Figure it all out, and oh don’t forget to, well, live your fucking life and take care of your everything else during this process too.  Kid starts kindergarten, sure, why not throw that in.  Then the date draws closer and you forgot you had other emotions besides frustration and anger and anxiety.  You have sadness. You see the spots where things happened.  You see the spots where kids learned to walk, talk. You see where you grew up and had late nights and fun days.  You see the summer projects you worked on together that you hope the next people appreciate on some level.  You see where you last said your goodbyes to your puppy.  (I still miss him so much.)  You begin to feel everything, maybe even question again, but for another reason…  but it’s time to move on, as we started this saying.  It is hard for me because I see the memories in the places they happened and, however crazy, fear that when I leave that place behind that the memories may stay too.  So we moved.  That last day I believe fate gave me the last moments alone in that house and I took them.  I walked the rooms and I wept like a baby.  Oh, it was an ugly cry for the ages.  But it was necessary.  I couldn’t have let go without it.  And that’s that.  Besides the redesigning your entire life in a new place.  But that’s moving for me.  I hope your tougher than I am if you take on this adventure.

the post for my son

your dad

As I sit here feeling compelled to write this letter to you, I also feel the need to tell you I love you more than you could ever know.  You are 5.    Someday you may read this.  You need to understand what an extraordinary person you are.  You have a perspective on life that I am in awe of, which I am blown away by.  You roll with the punches like I have never seen.  I’ve seen you deal with situations that would devastate my sense of self and yet, you focus on the one or two moments of enjoyment.  I don’t want you to lose that, ever.  It will take you places, places you’ve never dreamed of.  You have inspired me once again to finally get back to something I love to do and put my thoughts out into the world.  So, I want you to know some things about your dad as he is today, as I am today and who I was.


the awkward kid and meaningless phrases

I’ve lived my entire life knowing that I am awkward.  It’s incredible that I latched on to the friends I did in high school that I still talk to every day.  People say cherish each moment in life, hold on to them, hold on to time.  This phrase, this concept is meaningless to me.  I shouldn’t say meaningless because it certainly provides me with anxiety, stress and probably an over exaggerated sense of questioning and failure.  So maybe not meaningless, it is more so infuriating.  “Did I do today right?  Did I create the best day for myself and those around me?”  Excuse me if I ever say this bullshit to you, son, because I hate it.  I’m not going to fly to fucking Mars every second of the day.  (Sorry for cursing)  This concept of cherishing and maximizing each moment is unrealistic and, in my opinion, impossible.  So don’t say shit to people that you can’t even follow yourself.  (As a side note, I probably say this crap too….and here it comes)

The truth is you really won’t believe how quickly it goes.  But you need to enjoy the ride.  Perhaps that is just another way of saying cherish each moment, but I believe my point is that instead of trying to live up to the world’s expectations and posing for the cameras, make the whole picture something beautiful.  When you take on a task, you will mess up, you will fail, you will get frustrated, but stay with it, finish it.  In the end, the result should be something you’re proud of.  I believe life works this way too.  Whatever you do, do it with passion, integrity and respect for others.  You do not have to worry about how you will be perceived.

Be odd, be silly, be goofy and don’t ever stop.  You’re so amazing at it now, don’t ever stop.  Let someone else be normal.  I’m not going to be, I never have been.  I don’t even know what normal would be.  I don’t want to be normal; I want to be the least normal person you know.  I am not saying I wear it as a badge of honor, I am saying I am odd, I am goofy, I am silly and I am almost 37 years old and I am not going to ever stop.  Normal sounds like a fate worse than……well it just sounds boring.  People don’t stop and notice someone ‘being normal’ on the street and say, “Boy, that is one normal guy; I wish I was more like him.  He’s memorable.”  They don’t say that.  People, that is.  Anyway….


it’s not weird to be weird

As I have grown, the reality has stayed the same that I am still the awkward kid who doesn’t think he can talk to people or make new friends.  That hasn’t changed, I just know how to make myself look good for the cameras and I can typically fake it enough to get by.  Early on in life I found ways to combat my fears and turn them into positives.  I found an ability to make others laugh and I quickly latched on to this skill and used it often and to deal with just about everything.  Later on, when the self-imposed pressure to keep the façade going of being normal, outgoing and funny got worse, I realize my addiction to acceptance became greater.  Eventually alcohol and drugs became the go-to tools that would allow me to be the perceived life of the party that I desired so badly.  You see, what I hope you never have to truly understand is that while your dad has been addicted to a lot of bad things in his life, there has always been an underlying reason, perhaps the actual addiction.  Acceptance.  But not only acceptance, I require affirmation.  When I am faced with rejection and denial it’s very difficult to handle.  Let’s just say I am workin on it….But you see, this is where you come in……


your light

You aren’t like me when it comes to this stuff.  You don’t react with pain, sadness or being unhappy when the world might get you down.  There is such a beautiful light in your eyes, in your heart; it’s so incredible to me that I cry even thinking about it.  I pray that you hold onto that, that you keep that forever.  I thought I was pretty good at looking on the bright side, but you make me look like a grouch compared to you.  I know you will grow up, you will change, the world will hit you many times, but I know you will get back up.  You are the greatest person I have ever known and you are only 5 years old.  I want to be clear that I mean that last comment with the most sincerity and truth I can offer.

You need to know that you are special; you must know that you are a true gift from God.  I want you to know that it is ok to be different.  You don’t have to be what others tell you to be.  I am 36 years old and I am still awkward.  When I take you to school I say hi to other parents and teachers, but on the inside I still have fear and paranoia.  I want them to like me; I want them to want to talk to me.  I have always been an irrational, socially anxious person and yet I recognize it and know how ridiculous it is.  I can produce the pictures, proofread posts and filtered profile information for everyone so the circle sees me as person with everything, who does everything and is always in pure bliss.  But that just means I can make the fiction better than some others can.  It’s not real.  ‘The real’ is about fun and sad and happy and not-fun, it’s life with all the good and bad.  What makes me so happy is that you are so much better at that.  You are so much better than all of it.  Which brings me to my next point…



i learn from you more than you learn from me

All you want is to enjoy.  If life or the world gets in the way, you pass it off like it is no big deal and you tell me things like “hey, at least I got to play with that kid for a little bit, and a little is better than nothing.”  You do things at 5 that melt my heart.  You go out of your way to give your sister your favorite toy or stuffed animal because it makes her happy.  You care so much about her it is inspiring.  You spent your time outside cleaning up the leaves in the yard just for your mom because you thought she would like to come home and see a clean yard.  You were so quick to ask if you could make daddy’s friend who is in the hospital a card when I explained he was sick.  You believe in a world I wish I could tell you is waiting for you when you get older, but don’t lose that sense of happiness and wonder and an ability to see the good everywhere.

You are the book that I can’t wait to read each day, the movie that continues to get better each minute and I just know I will walk away from each scene with something else to try and implement in my own character.  I never dreamed 5+ years ago that you would change the world the way you have for me.  I said earlier people will throw phrases as you that don’t mean anything.  One that I actually do like is “You can change the world.”  A lot of people do this every day.  You do this for me every day. Changing the world doesn’t have to be monumental or something you read about in a book.  Change your world.


if I may just say a few last things…

Do something in life that makes you happy, but not something that does so at the expense of others in any way.

You are very intelligent and this can be a great strength.  Do not let this lead to arrogance or it can quickly become your weakness.  Use it to lead, use it to teach those who need guidance.


Recognize your weaknesses and don’t pretend to know that which you do not know.  There are other intelligent people out there and they can recognize when someone is bullshitting them.

Recognize a bullshitter.  They might be intelligent, but not wise.

In my opinion, at least in 2016, social media can be a tremendously dangerous outlet for our society.  The creation of fake realities is playing on everyone’s anxieties, fears and doubts on a daily basis.  The number of suicides among younger people has increased dramatically in the last 4 years.  Just remember the phrase now more than ever ‘don’t believe everything you read or everything you see.’  {This being said, sorry for all the picturesque photos of you and your sister that I posted.  Moving on from this tangent….}

Hold the door for the person near you.  Every time.

Don’t be mean.  When you are mean, apologize.   Own your mistakes and learn from them.

Relax.  It is going to be ok.  I promise.

Eliminate the idea of multitasking from your mind.  It does not exist.  Finish one task then move onto the next one.

Stress is in your mind, it is not something tangible that exists outside of your brain.  This one is very hard, but believe me, it’s true.

Be careful when you drink alcohol or try drugs, if you do.  I pray you don’t have my disease, but if you do I am always here.  Always.  You will never receive a judgment; you will only receive a hug and a hand.

Laugh at yourself and be awkward.  Be the beautiful person you are today.

personal life block


we are all thinking the same shit

I’ve been wanting to get back to writing so badly but there has been such a mental block and such a personal life block that it has been difficult.  Personal life block should be the title of the book I’ll say I never have time to write because of my personal life block.  I’ve had some really amazing conversations recently with some incredible people.  I find so much inspiration and accomplishment around me.  Of course the anxiety sets in, but I need to push that away.  But the first thing I want to say is that it amazes me that people I highly respect, learn from and think of as people who “have their shit together” or “aren’t always an emotional mess or ball of stress like I am”, actually are just like me inside.  Obviously we are all vastly different human beings with our own everything.  However, when you put us in any given situation that may be out of our element, we all feel somewhat uncomfortable and have anxiety.  Take a class at the gym or some sort of workout program, for instance, a truly vulnerable experience for most of the population I’d suggest.  It doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like, we all walk in there hoping we don’t do something stupid or hoping someone won’t think we look ugly or inept.  These types of experiences are good for anyone’s mind and soul, in my opinion, and should be sought out.

keep moving, I’m trying to stand in my way

So that personal life block really likes to get in my way.  Exhaustion, disinterest, anger, laziness and many more like to creep into my world and they can turn into an excuse or rationale pretty quickly.  I can write out pages of reasons why I can’t or don’t have time to write pages of the non-sense I have been spitting out here for a bit.  I’ll spend the 30 minutes of time it would take to go for a run and tell you why it’s hard to find 30 minutes of time to go for a run.  This isn’t a very productive skill.  It doesn’t yield many positive results.  The best part is, when I just get up and do the thing that I am going back and forth over, 10 out of 10 times, I feel better.  So why do we do it?  Because it’s easier to complain than to improve.  It’s easier to find support when you bitch than it is when you succeed.  Because we all compare ourselves to each other, at least a lot do.  Having a benchmark is a good thing.  Having goals based on what you perceive as success is good too.  What I know I am guilty of is basing my level of success on what others are doing.  This is dangerous for me because no two people have identical skill sets, histories, families, friends, and brains, bodies on and on and on…..  So why do I do it, why do we do it?  I wish I had an answer.  Really I wish I had an opinion because none of what I write or put out into the glorious world of the internet is more than just my thoughts, ideas and opinions.  I make no secret that I have zero factual data in these blogs nor do I have any degree that gives me any sort of semblance of a professional take on any topic.  But if I had to say something to tie this portion up with a mediocre, halfway done old bow, I guess it is just that we are all thinking the same shit at some point.  We compare ourselves to one another, we judge one another but we also can be incredibly insecure and fear that those around us don’t accept us or perhaps they may think badly of us.  So I guess what I am working out now is, why would that even be a bad thing?  Or, perhaps, more importantly, why do I even care?

HELP might be easier

Let’s attempt to pretend that I follow this next line of thinking.  I actually do sometimes.  Maybe you’ll have better luck with it.  But just remember, it’s never too late to surprise yourself.  Become who you want or even try.  Consider for one second that you are not perfect and then be open to suggestions.  Know that so much love surrounds us (this one can be hard, but it’s true) and that everyone can work together to improve.  Remember love exists and it makes great things happen in a world dominated by stories of hatred.  Just because those stories clog our many flowing streams of information, there are always touching, inspiring stories out there.  Read those, watch those videos.

Be better.  Just be better.  Be what you want to be.  Be a better everything.  Don’t settle don’t give in to excuses, and then don’t give into anger.  Stop wasting energy on building up your potential change and just do it.  Believe you can help yourself.  BELIEVE YOU CAN FORGIVE YOURSELF.  Picture yourself after the task at hand is completed and make that come to life.  I don’t follow my own words well.  It took me weeks to finally get this stuff out at all.  We are all guilty of it.  We need to go easy on ourselves, slow down and just take on one of the fifty things you THINK you should be doing.  When you feel like you are on an island and you don’t know how to get off, try a different solution than you’re comfortable with, and try something you’ve never tried before.  It may be harder, it may be uncomfortable, but it may be the change you’re looking for.


finding love in the hatred of pride

pink is a girl’s color

The idea that one human being can be violent towards another human being just because of who they are is truly a concept that my mind cannot comprehend. Being mildly intelligent I can attempt to understand it. I’ve certainly been angry before for whatever reason at the time. Yet to loathe a human to their core just because you disagree, dislike or disapprove of their way of life confuses, upsets and scares the hell out of me. So why would I start off with the color pink? The level of hatred that hits the top of the charts has driven people to murder others because of who they are, whether that be skin color, sex, or even because of one’s choice of love.

-Digression- Love is the purest form of happiness for us humans. A feeling unmatched by any other. The positive of the positive. To feel love is the greatest gift we can have. The idea that someone could feel such disdain, such anger towards someone for loving someone else is just a fact that I really struggle to understand.

SO, that color pink. My son has been told pink is a girls color by another boy in his class. (Remember he is not quite 5). He was told he cannot like Frozen because it is a girls movie. During playtime at daycare they have dress up parties sometimes. My son and some other boys tend to enjoy putting dresses on occasionally. When catching wind of this the boy’s father brought up a few fireMAN and policeman outfits and instructed the school that his son was to dress up in those outfits from now on, no more dresses. Now I am not going to sit here and suggest that it is because of these things that kids grow up to hate or become violent adults. What I am suggesting is that these things paint a picture of the world at a young age where there are limitations and rules about who you can or cannot be and that is not right.

So when I ask my son what his favorite color is, now he says blue or maybe orange. That’s fine with me. But I ask him, “I thought pink was your favorite color (which it once was)” His response is that pink is a girls color. So I explain to him that he can pick any color he wants, but his reason cannot be “because it is a girls color”.

to protest another person’s pride

When I started this blog it was because of love. I believe in love and feel it wins out plenty of times. Those with such hatred in their blood sometimes speak louder, but they speak with empty, sad hearts. When I think of the energy invested for someone to actually protest an event with the word Pride in it, it just scares the hell out of me. What pride does a protester feel when they scream at a stranger? I honestly want to know the answer. I don’t really want to bring religion into my blog at any point, but the irony of using God as justification for your ignorant disgust of another person make me want throw up.

I feel as though my desire to put these words into the universe is so strong that I will be cutting this post shorter than most. But I want to say that I dedicate this post to all of those who lost their lives in Florida this weekend and that I love each and every one of them. We can never remove hatred or ignorance from our culture but we CAN strive to educate our younger generation on the benefits of acceptance and love. I know that my son and daughter will grow up in a household that is full of tolerance and love for others.  That love will live on forever and I hope you feel that in your heart as well.