Life Altering

The past couple months have been life altering for my wife and I. I have a son from a previous relationship that lived with his mother. She, (my child’s mother) was going on 5 years of continuous sobriety – as far as I am able to verify. She was a heavy IV cocaine user and would occasionally shoot up heroin to control the cocaine come-down. I wrote about her in my memoir.
She is now dead.
Another person added to the never ending list of addiction related deaths. Another, so close to home. A family torn apart. A daughter gone forever. A mother gone forever. A son, forever without his mom.
My wife and I have made all the necessary adjustments and changes to be the permanent care takers and parents for my son. The transition has been going really well considering what the poor boy has been through.
I quit my full time job and will be a stay-at-home dad for the near future. I want to build a stable bond with my boy. He has had so much change and disarray in his life that he needs a great deal of consistency and care from a stable and sober role model.
My wife has been completely amazing and flexible through this life direction whiplash. I have so much to learn from her generosity, love, and her unshakable companionship. She never ceases to amaze me.
My son’s chances of becoming dependant on drugs and/or alcohol are very high. Both parents’ were drug/alcohol users which covers the gene side of addiction and he comes from a single mother household, now a deceased mother, and already has an ACE (adverse childhood experience) score that is higher than his age. Individuals with an ACE score of 5 or more are 7 to 10 times more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs. That covers the environment and statistical side of things.
He has a huge mountain to climb and many obstacles in his path. We will do everything we can to get him through this with only minor bumps and bruises. It will take a lot of work and a lot more luck. Of course I am not a determinist, so I know everything I mentioned does not determine his life outcome, however, for us NOT to look at these things would be cowardly, and very dilatory parenting.
I will try to post another update on things within the week. I know I haven’t been consistent with my posts but things are beginning to mellow out here at home. More to come soon.
Any thoughts or comments in general would be great. 🙂

 

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Drugs and Tampons

I had experienced a very short, yet rather disturbing dream last week. It woke me in the middle of the night so I knew I needed to remember the dream. I replayed each deranged and confusing scene in my mind until I knew I would remember it the next day. Because of the strange and disturbing nature of my dream, I wanted my therapist to help me unravel its hidden metaphorical meaning. Here is the dream, and the conclusion we came to.

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The Dream:

I was in my parents basement. I used to live in this part of their home when I was young. It isn’t the damp, unfinished type of basement. The floors are carpeted, walls painted and there are small, half windows towards the top of the ceilings. This particular room looked identical in the dream as it does in real life. The only comparable difference with the room in my dream was this lonely mini-refrigerator against one of the walls. There was nothing else in the room except for this plugged-in appliance.

As I started to walk towards the mini-fridge, I noticed I was not alone. I was being trailed by an old friend of mine that I used to do drugs with, before my addiction took a firm hold. In real life, this friend had gotten sober but later died from an aggressive type of brain cancer.

As we approached the fridge, I told him “don’t worry, I have one for you.” I was assuming he was asking me for drugs or I at least thought he was wanting drugs.

I knelt down on a knee and opened the door on the mini-fridge. I reached in the fridge and pulled out a neatly wrapped tampon. I handed my friend the tampon. He then carefully peeled the wrapping off the tampon but there was no tampon in the wrapper. It was a syringe. He pulled the plunger back on the needle until the black rubber grommet came out of the clear cylinder. “POP!”

He then put the plunger into his mouth like it was a thermometer, or a sucker stick.

This was the end of the dream…

Breakdown:

Possible meanings:

Parents’ basement – Unresolved issues; deep, dark secrets.

Old friend (now deceased) – A quality of the friend that stands out most in myself. Not necessarily about the friend himself.

Tampon – A tampon is a solution to a problem.

Taking something out of a fridge – Is a continuation of a situation(s).

Syringe – Influence/drugs.

Syringe in the mouth – Drugs as a solution.

Analysis:

My friend putting a tampon/syringe into his mouth in my parents’ basement represents either a latent or former desire to turn to drugs as a solution to my childhood/familial issues. The issues remain, therefore the desire remains. It suggests that if the unresolved issues remain unresolved, I may be at risk of relapse. This dream may have been a warning from my subconscious brain.

Disclaimer:

Dream analysis is not science. It’s not proof of anything. It could be complete nonsense. I am fully aware of this. However, I have found this extremely helpful and absolutely mind blowing. I also believe there is utility in analyzing the complex and complicated world that is our subconscious mind.

Have any of you analyzed one of your dreams?

Thank you all for taking the time to read about my strange tampon dream. 🙂

 

thera-Peas’

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I have been seeing a therapist the last four weeks. We’ve been discussing why I have so many issues with food. Because food is the fuel that keeps us alive, this was the first issue I needed to address with him. For the majority of my life, I have been the type of person who sees food as a hassle – a waste of valuable time – a pain in my ass. I have never enjoyed the action of eating food. Very seldom have I been “excited” to sit down and eat a meal. Many times I would go most the day before realising I had not eaten anything. When my dad passed away in 2013, my issue with food became worse.

Being an addict, I often wonder if being addicted to food would be a nice change of scenery. I find that thought so far out of the realm of possibility though. Maybe not. Who knows.

My unconscious is holding the key to unlock my food issue and I am going to find it. My therapist has helped me understand some important factors that contribute to this. As a child, the majority of memories I have about food were quite terrifying to me. Weather it was the notion that I must clean off my plate before getting up from the dinner table or being forced to eat something I knew I would dislike – as a youngster, these were scary situations for me. Do my foul early memories of food contribute to today’s eating habits? Maybe. Maybe not. It’s all very interesting and I will eventually understand it more in the future.

Oh, and I chose the title because I can’t stand the taste of cooked peas. Nasty squishy bastards.

With my food issue typically being backwards from the typical food issues, does anyone else find eating to be such a burden or am I alone on this one? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

“Ill” Legal immigration; or what I like to call “moving”

This post is not my typical genre but it does have a direct and lasting affect in my life – so I will talk about it. 

It doesn’t affect me in the typical, mainstream-political-race-bating-American exceptionalism-xenophobic-vote buying-potential terrorist kind of way. No – it’s much more subtle. And by subtle, I mean not at all. 

When my wife moved to America (from Finland) in 2012 to be with the coolest guy ever, we chose the non traditional form of “immigration”. I think it was called following the law? Something like that. Anyway, the hoops that we had to jump through were oblong and smaller than a cheerio. They were literally that small. Squeezing through them was extremely difficult. Actually jumping through it was impossible. 

The dump trucks that delivered the paper work arrived months behind schedule and they just dumped them all in one big pile on our front lawn leaving large gaping tire tracks into the sunken grass. The wind had picked up and the papers scattered through the breeze like a massive blast from a confetti gun. Then came the rain…

My terrible metaphor is rediculous, but it does describe how government bureaucracies function. When competition is not allowed, there is no need to focus on customer satisfaction. 

When I hear about massive swarms of 3rd world illegal immigrants getting direct access to the government tit, I am astonished. I distinctly recall having to sign papers stating that I alone, was responsible for 100% support of my wife and she MAY NEVER take even a single slice of moldy government cheese and if she was not able to be fully supported by me, she would be on a plane back to her country of origin. Oh, and she is restricted from working in America for the first two years because…we say so. 

I’m not saying I wanted or needed any of the governments stolen money to support my wife but the double standard made an involuntary but audible dry heave sound from deep within me. 

The process to legally move my wife here was not only extremely expensive, it was also unnesassarily complicated. The language on each document was in Sanskrit and wing dings. Because I failed in those two language courses, we had a hell of a time answering what should’ve been simple, basic questions. 

The constant mistakes made by the receivers of our paper piles were simply idiotic. These people do this for a living and they were the dictionary definition of incompetent. When we finally received my wife’s first Green card – which took years to acquire, they put the wrong last name on it which meant we couldn’t acquire a matching social security card which meant no traveling back home for my wife. We complained to them about the typo And they respond with “you must pay $450.00 for a new green card.” Isn’t that lovely! After some internet searches, I quickly noticed we were not an exception to the rule. This was a problem for many applicants. 

One mistake I can understand. But it’s now 2016 and we are still waiting for her properly named Green card. We received a letter yesterday stating they wanted more proof that we are actually married. Seriously? Would a sex tape suffice? Or how about one of your little workers come down, set up some cameras in our home and make a reality TV show about how married we are because we have proven it beyond any other measure possible. 

The incentives to do the right thing are backwards in many aspects of our governing bodies. I don’t have a pull to break the law by any means but many people do. There are a lot of people who have zero moral lines or boundaries and they will do whatever they can get away with. This is even more true for people coming from the third world. 

My book is finally finished!

 


I wanted to write a quick post about what has been going on over the past few months. I haven’t been consistent in posting on my blog….consistent or non-existent? Either way I haven’t posted here in a long while. Here’s what has been going on in my life-

I have stayed sober. Sobriety, or rather, the urge to use drugs has not been a problem. Of course I think about it from time to time still but there hasn’t been an emotional or psychological mind or body reaction to my thoughts. They have all been more of a “look-back” at the past. No stomach-turning roller coaster drops of drug induced fantasies. Nothing like that.

My wife and I have grown a passion and love for reptiles. We have acquired a lot of beautiful ball pythons over the past 6 months and if someone had told me that snakes each have their own personality, I would have told them they are insane. Sure enough, snakes are pure awesomeness. Some are cuddlers while others like to pretend they are a rock. “You can’t see me! I am a rock!” Some people don’t consider “being a rock” as having a personality but I have met people with far less statuesque ability. I don’t want to make this a blog about our pets so I’ll end this with a picture of our snake named Wanda.


Shifting gears a bit, I found myself hesitating on completing my memoir. My father and I started the book almost 9 years ago. We had countless meetings together trying to flesh out each other’s work, coordinating his chapter with mine; which we wrote in separate homes at seperate times by discussing important talking points. It was a large amount of work but at least we were in it together. After my father passed away I felt extremely lost. I felt lost because I knew I would never be able to talk to my father but I also felt lost with the book project. It was so close to completion. I did have our editor’s help and my family members, but it still made me feel empty and alone. The project seemed to lose its meaning in a way. I felt we had built a special bond during his last years here. Maybe realizing that my dad did all that work to never get to see it completed made me feel that pain. I don’t know exactly why it became so difficult to finish. We had so many great discussions about what it would be like to have seen the book completely done, bound, and in our hand.

I finally finished the book. Despite what my false self was yelling in my ear. I knew it was mostly lies and fear. I can’t blame the fear. After all, My memoir don’t paint me as a shining moral hero. I titled the book – A Walk in His Shoes.  It released on Amazon and Kindle on December 3.

I will write a more thorough post this weekend detailing more of what has been going on. If anyone is still interested in reading my memoir, you can get it as a hardcopy or as an ebook. If you are wanting to read it but don’t have the funds to purchase the book, let me know and we can work out a trade. Thanks everyone!

Hard copy—>  CLICK HERE!

Ebook——-> CLICK HERE!

A Walk in His Shoes

Facebook page—> CLICK HERE!

On the Facebook page, I am giving a free signed copy of the book away on the most recent Facebook post. If you are interested in winning a signed copy of the book, click the Facebook link above. Thanks everyone!


			

Road Trip to the West Coast

DISNEYLAND

DISNEYLAND

To receive my wife’s passport, we have to drive to the Finnish Embassy in Los Angeles next month. We have decided that since we have to make the trip to the west coast, we will turn it into a fun and exciting vacation. I plan to do a blog post on our trip when we return home. It will include pictures and maybe one or two short video clips. If any of my readers who have never (or have) been to Vegas or California would like a picture or short video of anything specific, let me know and I will see if I can make it happen. Also, if you know of any awesome or amazing places that are a “must see”, I am open to suggestions! Please give your feedback and comments!

Here is our current route for our trip.

We will drive to Las Vegas from our home in Utah. Spending the first evening absorbing the views and dining under the lights of The Vegas Strip. We will be staying our first night at Caesars Palace (No, the REAL Caesar never lived there). see clip—-> http://youtu.be/526QUiYPgt0

"Is this the REAL Caesar's Palace?"

“Is this the REAL Caesar’s Palace?”

The next day we plan to continue on through the Nevada desert into Southern California. We are staying 5 nights in Anaheim. We had a difficult time choosing our hotel because there are about 300,000 hotels surrounding the fence line of Disneyland. But at the same time, we don’t want to drive more than we have to. I will let you know how the hotel is when we get back. I think it will work out well.

We are going to do both amusement parks that Disneyland has. Disneyland Park and Adventureland. Because the resort is so large, we are going to do Disneyland Park one day and Adventureland the next day. My wife, being from Finland, has never been to Disneyland and she has always wanted to go. She is an avid collector of Disney movies. I am anticipating an overflowing waterfall of joy and happiness pouring from my wife’s entire body upon arriving to the park. I must admit, I am feeling a bit whimsical myself. We both deserve a carefree week of fun and enjoyment and I am looking forward to our trip.

The 3rd day we are going to Universal Studios to test out their “front of the line” passes. Nothing better than a passive-aggressive “haha! sucker!” to all the sun-baked people who have been patiently waiting in line for 2 1/2 hours. As long as we avoid any smirking or eye contact everything should be okay.

What is your favorite thing to do and see here?

What is your favorite thing to do and see here?

The 4th day will be mostly open for sight-seeing, great food and exploring. Walk of Fame, Museum of Death, sandy beaches, city roaming, things like that.

Day 5  we wanted to drive to the Sequoia National Forest and get up close to those monstrous sequoia trees. I am a little concerned that too much of the forest will still be closed from winter snowfall. If that is the case, we will have some more free time to roam around Southern California.

Later that evening we will drive back into Las Vegas and spend the night at Treasure Island.

The next morning we will drive back to Utah. A part of my back story while using heroin and other drugs took place in Las Vegas. Being homeless and walking the streets of Vegas is a much different place than it is when you are sober and have purpose. Another distant reminder of what my life was, to what it is today. Making fresh, bright and sober memories from a past that is all but forgotten. I am truly grateful for the chance to rebuild my life from the solid ground up.

!!! Please comment if you have any requests for specific pics or footage; or if you have any suggestions on specific sites, places, rides, diner’s or areas that are in proximity to our destinations !!!

Relationships, Sobriety and Love

Virtue is under the skin

Virtue is UNDER the skin

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, a post about romantic relationships should be appropriate. The majority of “love-based” relationships I have witnessed (and a great deal of my own past relationships) are based on lust, co-dependancy, lies, hedging, projection, insecurities, manipulation, bickering, and outright abuse.

All of these relationship problems can be solved on the first or second date, saving you energy, money, time, and the possible crotch-rotting disease that feels like you sat on a hot cactus. Not to mention having children with the wrong partner which is a complete catastrophe no matter how civil the split-up/divorced parents chose to be.

How can all of this be eliminated from the start?

“There was no way for me to have known he would have changed! He was so charming and funny at first. Then he started to turn into a real asshole!”

Before I continue any further, I will put forward my definition of love. There are many arguments for this definition but I wont go into too much detail on how this definition is valid.

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Love- Love is our involuntary response to virtue, if we are virtuous.

In America, the word love has been completely stripped of any real context or meaning. I hear radio broadcasters telling complete strangers who call in to the radio show “I love you.” Completely empty of any real value or meaning. In todays culture, the word “love” is thrown around as a shaky platitude. Sorry folks, the word “love” has specific and direct purpose.

Of course you can say that you “love” chocolate cake but in this context that is a completely subjective opinion. Love between a romantic couple has to have objective and rational attributes. Having utility for one another is not love. Love is love; and only if you are both virtuous. If you claim to love someone who is an obvious abuser or sadist, I would argue that loving that person is not possible. It may feel like love, but it is more like a dysfunctional parasite that needs a host for survival.

The definition of love that I mentioned above (first brought about by Ayn Rand and slightly modified by S. Molyneux), is very powerful. If you break it down syllogistically, an evil person can neither love, or be loved. To love, you must have virtuous qualities and the person you are loving, must also have virtuous qualities. Therefore, if you and your partner are virtuous, you will both INVOLUNTARILY respond to each other with love.

This definition runs into a big problem in our culture because we are taught as children that family is innately virtuous. Philosophically- or factually, family is nothing more than a conceptual category placed on a group of individuals that were accidentally placed in geographical proximity to one another. Each person in the family is responsible for his or her own virtue or lack there of.  Because of this truth, the ideology of the voluntary family; I believe is valid. I will publish another post on the voluntary family at a later time. (If you have never heard the ideology of the voluntary family, you can find many online articles by an internet search.)

We are also taught to love ones’ country which is also impossible and irrational. A country is simply an imaginary boarder drawn on a piece of paper. Lines on a map. A country is a concept in our mind that doesn’t exist in reality. In other words, the relationship between myself and my country is a relationship based on manipulation and lies.

WHAT IS VIRTUE?

Nothing that is accidental or material can be virtuous. Not families’, not religion, not countries, not beauty, not height, not intelligence (IQ), not silky-soft lustrous hair, not bedroom eyes, not a ripped six-pack, not a houseboat, not a 6-bedroom home, not a Corvette, not a lawyer, not a doctor, and definitely not a blogger.

To maintain virtue, we must have honesty. Honesty is the first prerequisite for virtue. If we have honesty, integrity to our virtues is at least a possibility.

Integrity to virtue must be the fundamental principle in all of our relationships. Having integrity to our virtues creates security which is necessary but not sufficient for love. Other virtues include:

Genuine courage

What are you full of?

What are you full of?

Empathy

Moral perceptiveness

Curiosity

Negotiation

Ability to reason

Personal growth

Emotional receptivity

Intimacy

Adherence to the non-aggression principle

Clear and open communication

Self Knowledge

There are many other virtues of course, but if some of the basics are not present in your relationships, your relationships will cause major problems and most likely end in disaster. This post is focused more towards romantic relationships. However, all voluntary, personal relationships should be put through a virtue check in the same way. Ask your closest relationship some self-knowledge questions and see how open, or closed off they become. The majority of relationships I have experienced have been a thinly sliced piece of sentimentality covering over sarcasm, angst, vane utility, exploitation, with a side of sports, weather and empty minutiae. Any time I brought up an important or meaningful topic, the uncomfortable silence and nervousness from the other person would quickly stab through me like a knife.

I believe that if there are topics of discussion that are “off-limits” in a relationship, stated explicitly or implicitly- you are headed for a failing relationship. If you are walking through a field where there are buried land-mines, eventually, you will step on one! Together, you must dig them all up. Play in an safe and open field. If you claim to “love” the person, would you allow them to run freely into a field full of exploding land-mines? What topics are “off-limits” in your relationships?

Because of our biological drive to create more humans, we often confuse our biological drives of sexual lust, for love. This is tragic. We know that (biologically) females trade their eggs for resources and males trade resources for monogamous access to the woman, allowing a continuation of the bloodline. That of course, is a very basic and shortened explanation but none-the-less, when we allow our sexual relationships to be based on our biological drives they will turn out disastrous. This is because we are basing the entire relationship on economic status, beauty, Alpha male/female characteristics, and not on virtue. I have heard people talk about the word “chemistry” or “having chemistry”. Chemistry is a bullshit word that is used in the place of lust. There is no such hocus-pokus nonsense called chemistry. There is virtue and there is vice.

When on a first or second date, asking important questions can save you from making repetitive and very common relationship mistakes. If all your previous relationships died out or ended, you know that either one of you, or both of you were not adhering to virtuous principles. If you are single now, but have dated in the past, all of your relationships were a failure. I know that is obvious but why did they fail?

This is why it is so important to find out in the beginning if your date will be at all compatible; that you can both be fueled by virtue. Ask your potential romantic partner what kind of childhood they had. If you notice they have unprocessed childhood trauma, that is a red flag. If they have been through counseling and done a bunch of self work to repair their past, then you know they have self-knowledge and are more compatible (If you are virtuous). If sexual innuendoes are constantly being thrown around or if sex is offered right up front, you know this person has a low self-esteem and thinks that sex is all they can offer the relationship. Another red flag.

I used to believe that none of these “red flags” were visible in all my past romantic relationships but now I know that is very untrue. When I look back, I can see every single one of them, screaming at me to run in the other direction. Unfortunately, I was blinded by giddy lust and counterfeited virtues. I justified all of my own vices as virtues and I avoided confrontations by not expressing my own preferences. Completely avoiding topics that I knew would be volatile. I thought thats what love was. Not understanding what love was cost me 20 years of my life, thousands of dollars, many broken hearts, health issues and drug use.

I believe by the time we are old enough for the “birds and the bee’s” talk, we already know how to place a round peg in a round hole. I wish I would have been taught about parasitical women when I was 13 or 14. I found out by allowing them to destroy years of my life.

The “sex talk” should have been something like “DO NOT mistake accidental beauty for virtue. Resist your biological drive for sex by making sure the woman you are interested in has value outside of her curves and ocean-blue eyes. Picture her as a mother having to wake up at 4 in the morning to a crying baby and a sick husband; then if you can believe she would handle that situation with love and empathy, you can go forward from there. And of course the same holds if reversing the genders.

The moral of the story is if you are not virtuous and you do not strive for honesty everyday, you will never meet a virtuous partner. You are what you attract. This is absolutely true. If any of you are saying that you cannot make absolute truth claims about anything, you just made an absolute truth claim by stating “there is no such thing as absolute truth.” Which is itself, an absolute truth claim. 🙂

This is why it is absolutely vital to hold off on dating when you first get sober. You may think you are in a good enough place to get romantically involved but you are not. They say you should wait at least a year. I would say even longer. If you have recently become sober, please get some therapy and look into your childhood objectively.

Were you spanked? yelled at? abused? did your parents divorce? family member in prison? alcoholic family member? parents using drugs? were you breast feed? were you held often? taught how to negotiate? were you put in daycare before age 5? sexual abuse? how were conflicts resolved in your home? were you always told no without an explanation? were you allowed to have preferences? were you drugged instead of reasoned with? did your parents fight often? All these things have a significant effect on brain development and are correlated to addiction. Getting answers and working through your childhood trauma; no matter how justifiable or “normal”, is absolutely necessary for future growth, sobriety and self-knowledge. You will never know who you are if you don’t understand why and were you came from.

Before you can know anything about the world, you must first know yourself. Like the great Socrates said “know thyself”

A Better Me

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There are some changes I will be making, as well as some personal goals I am setting for myself starting January 1, 2015. These are not empty resolutions that get thrown out after the second week of January. These are life changes that need to take place and continue on throughout the course of my time on earth.

Now that my life has settled into place and the unexpected tremors of early sobriety have long dissipated, I want to focus a bit more on my success and purpose as a human being. This does not mean I will stop doing what I need to do to stay sober. It just means that, on top of staying sober, I want to achieve other goals. There are also things about my life; as well as myself, that I am not okay with.

1- My weight. When my father died in October 2013, it affected my eating habits. I linked the death of my father to the foods he ate over the course of his life. Already having eating/food issues from a very young age (me), as well as very similar eating habits as my father, I started to despise eating food. As far as I knew, food killed my father and I hated it. Now, whether or not food is to blame for the death of my father; it doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is that I gain back my weight. I am not bulimic or anorexic. I just get pissed off at food and a lot of food textures gross me out. Some of my issue goes back to when I was a young child. I am still trying to figure it out and I plan to see a nutritional counselor. I guess it is also possible that I have Sensory Processing Disorder. I hate soggy, gritty, slimy, chunky textures and putting any of those in my mouth sounds about as fun as sliding naked down a huge razor-blade into a pool of rubbing alcohol. Any of my readers deal with this hyper-sensitive full-body-gagging experience? Same with folding a piece of 80-grit sandpaper in on itself but I’ll save the goose-bump hypersensitive touch stories for another time. Ugh!

GOAL- I will gain the weight back to my average size. This means I need to gain 15 pounds. That may seem like a small task but…I am a small man and will have to eat a massive amount of calories.

NUTRITION

2a- Drinks. I have been drinking waaaaay too much Mt. Dew, Pepsi, Red bull, Coffee, and other sugar loaded drinks. January 1st I am done. Well, one cup of coffee a day. No other soft drinks or sugary soda crap. Gotta have the coffee jump-start! Creamer, no sugar. 🙂

2b- Candy. I eat too much damn candy. I eat candy every day. milk duds, reeces pieces, M&Ms, Red licorice… I devour that shit. Willy Wonka would be jealous of my candy cupboard. Where is all the slimy soggy candy?! I guess that would be too easy. January 1st, DONE.

3- Work-out. I have started a work-out routine but they always stop. I always do it for the wrong reasons. This time, I am starting a workout because- well, I am getting older and I don’t want to die any time soon. I have been extremely rough with this body the last 20 years and I need to show it some love. I want to be healthy, strong, agile, headache-less and alert. January 1st, it’s on.

BUSINESS

4- My wife and I both work but we have opposite schedules. She works days and I work nights. We have worked this terrible schedule long enough so we are going to fix it. We have been talking about our plan to start our own business doing something we both enjoy. We know what direction we are going to go and have worked out the base decisions. Our business plan will start taking shape objectively on January 1, 2015.

5- Aside from our personal business goal, I am also setting a completion/publish goal for my book. I haven’t had any luck with agencies and I can’t just sit on it forever. My book will be getting published in 2015. If that means self-pub, so be it.

I’m sure there are many ways I can become a better person but I know the topics I listed above are the most important to me currently. Maybe when I wipe all these out I can work on some others. I am glad I have a precise starting point. Its time to walk the walk.

Thanks for your continued support my friends! For more great reading, stop by a fellow bloggers site at http://afterthepop.me/2014/12/26/hope-for-2015/

-Dustin

The Fork in the Road

Admitting defeat against an opponent isn’t a simple thing to do. After-all, competition seems built in to humans on some level. The moment we stop sucking on our toes, the sibling rivalries begin. Early youngsters being taught to compete on the soccer/football fields before they learn how to read.

American football is where high paid, steroid and triple bacon cheezeburger infused men are allowed to beat their wives and children, abuse animals, commit other immoral crimes and still continue their over-paid, brain damaging profession. Because here in America, competitive sports are more lucrative and entertaining than protecting abused woman, children, and animals. Being on a winning team is the outstanding moral excellence we strive for and hold as the highest of values. So what happens to me if I admit defeat or if I lose to my opponent?

School is set up on a grade scale where there is also competition. War is competition for power and dominance. Everywhere you look, there is competition.

I don’t think all competition is bad. Competition in the free market is what grows economies and infrastructures. Competition also yields better products and more efficient ways of living. It also pushes human limits to phenomenal places. My point is that from a very young age, we learn that being defeated against a competitor is not valiant or accepted with pride. Maybe there is a small amount of it directly, but the indirect message is clear.

Is this part of the reason I couldn’t admit defeat from my opponent? Did I have to get so badly beaten before tapping out?

Me VS My Opponent

All my bones had been completely fractured, like a botched skydiver splatting against earth.

My 130lb frame, in the ring with the athletic prowess of Mike Tyson. my eyes swollen shut, ear dangling by a small piece of skin.

It was like having a guitar solo against Eric Clapton. I can’t play a guitar. It was over before it started. My fingers bled for weeks.

I was fighting a hungry lion with my arms tied behind my back. I gave it all I had.

When I first started using drugs, there was no way possible for me to admit I had been defeated. In my eyes, I hadn’t. In the beginning, drugs made my life seem so much better, and far less painful. Admitting defeat before the drugs had made a significant visible impact would have left me empty, depressed, and horribly miserable. If I was powerless, I sure didn’t feel it.

As time went on, so did my justifications for any visible impact of my drug use. Within a couple years I was homeless. I went from a $150,000 house to a half a million dollar overpass bridge. Not a bad swap, right?

This is a much nicer set-up than I had.

This is a much nicer set-up than I had.

It wasn’t until I stood at the fork in the road that I knew I had been completely defeated. If I go left, I go to prison. If I go right, I die. This is when I finally admitted I was powerless over drugs, and that my life had become unmanageable. This fork in the road was where I began to build a foundation for sobriety. It wouldn’t have happened had I not admitted defeat.

Left or Right?

Left or Right? Have you reached this fork in the road?