The last couple posts I been talking about failure a lot, and one thing I am glad I failed at was committing suicide. I am not going to lie, I kinda half assed it. I didn’t follow any of the the Gravediggaz advice from “1-800-Suicide.”
I didn’t run to the zoo and lock myself in a lion’s den, didn’t confront an alligator and let it eat me raw, or even just hang myself with a fucking barbed wire. Nor did I even follow the plan I had thought of before. To be honest it just kinda happened- it was very passive. I just got to the point where I didn’t want to feel, and didn’t care if that meant not waking up the next day. It started with mixing Ativan and a pint of vodka. That combo proved too weak- it just left me feeling sober. My existence was still on fire- my skin a vampire in the sun. So I added a big bottle of wine to the mix. And still nothing. My brain was still firing missiles in all directions; a kamikaze bombing of my consciousness creating a maze out of doubt, fear, and self-hatred. I was blinded, lost, and just wanted out so next I found an almost full bottle of gabapentin and those easily found their way down my neck into my belly. And finally a handful of sleeping pills to blot out the rest of my existence. Then I found the peace of my bed. I laid down and enjoyed the high I was finally feeling. I had no fear left. I was weirdly at peace that maybe the next morning I wouldn’t wake up; a feeling I wish to never have ever again. The morning did come and I was grateful as hell to see that sun. You see I don’t want to die, and I sure as hell don’t want to live in a world of numbness. My brain loves to trick me into that existence, but today I fight it with the guerrilla warfare that is mindfulness. It is with ruthless aggression I fight for my existence. I am dropping nuclear bombs on the tricks my mind uses to play on me, and embracing the love that surrounds me. Today I want to fucking live, and that feels pretty damn good.
My dear readers you can rejoice for I have returned. I apologize for the delay but my brain’s been a bit foggy these days. The words scattered in my skull; my thoughts a jigsaw puzzle floating through outer space as I desperately fly to each piece to sort them together. The aftermath of my last post led to a stay in the hospital where I came off a cocktail of 8 meds to a new lean new two piece of a mood stabilizer with a shot of antidepressant. So far I feel decent- not too high, not too low. So of course for me that means I feel uncomfortable. It’s funny how we get so comfortable in those undesirable emotions such as turmoil, depression, fear, or pain. Those feelings are like a warm blanket to me compared to contentment, and well just the fucking normalcy of the day. I also hadn’t been able to write so I thought I would cure it with a drink. I figured the drink would spark everything back and break me out of the void I had falling into. In reality it was just my brain tricking me into a return to an old comfortable feeling- the numbness and escape that first sip brings. The fleeting myth you chase every time you succumb to your poison. So I embedded myself into the alcohol, like a journalist in a war town country to a squadron, and gave in and drank. And of course James Baldwin did not enter my soul and come out through words on my paper. In fact the only words that did were lies to myself and others. The lie that alcohol can somehow make me whole- while in reality it’s just making the hole inside me even bigger. The hole of self doubt, hatred, insecurity, and fear. The hole you fall into where lies become the safety net. The hole you know you will eventually be buried in if you keep down the path that the drink wants from you. And a hole dug so deep I didn’t want to tell anyone I had fallen into it again. So I just pretended it didn’t happen, and let the halo on top of my head fashion into a noose. That noose got so tight I needed a drink to loosen it- and since I hadn’t shared my shameful secret from the night before the alcohol slipped right in like a Viking from the shore. His battle-axe a pint of vodka to my heart. I know my defense now is just being honest. Being vulnerable letting everyone know I failed another alcohol test. I gave in like a chump. But through failure comes knowledge. A loss is the best way to learn how to win. So I woke up early determined to write words. To prove to myself I don’t need alcohol to write. To prove to myself I don’t need alcohol to live. And to prove to myself finally I don’t need alcohol to survive. So today, July 15th, I declare my goddamn independence from that demon alcohol. And already I feel that noose loosening from my neck as the sun gently rises on a new day ahead, and I embrace this new journey where getting really fucking uncomfortable is going to be me striving for my new norm.
For my loyal readers sorry for the lack of writing. I am trying to clear my overloaded platter of prescription drugs and dropping them down until I can be on one or two that truly address my needs. A basic detox or prescription meds and alcohol ain’t ideal. I have felt like a kid on a backyard trampoline without that net fence. Some weeks I am jumping higher than I can imagine kissing the clouds with no worry. Then the next week I jump the clouds are too high, and fall onto the freshly mowed grass with a thud- my body imprinted into the land forever. Last night was the worst I mixed Ativan and a full bottle of wine and two beers. For some reason that was not enough to shutter out the suicidal thoughts I was having. So I decided to drown those feelings with a little less than three fourths of a bottle of gabapentin, and baker’s dozens of trazadone. And I honestly at the time wouldn’t have minded staying in a slumber forever. Luckily I awoke- still messed up a bit- but alive. I am headed to the hospital for an inpatient stay. But I will have a lot more writing coming when I get out. And most importantly if you need help for suicidal or harmful thoughts reach out!!! Reach the fuck out!!! Because I really wished I had.
Saturday my mind played one of the greatest tricks on me yet. It’s terrifying what lengths it will go to give me an excuse to drink. I was doing my morning meditation which was a focused hypnosis on clearing subconscious negativity. However, I allowed it to imprint a false so-called repressed memory to throw off my whole balance and well-being. As soon as I latched onto this awful thought it became for that moment real, and the only way to get rid of it was to drink it away. My brain was a terrorist who hijacked my common sense, and knocked down my defense system as easily as if it was a tall tower in the N.Y. skyline.
What followed was a drunken stupor of a maze of falsehoods that I tangled myself up in as if it was a comforting cloak of barbwire. Fallacy turning into fact. Hope trampled beneath granite boulders busting my spine. Leaving me paralyzed in thought with hopes there was a dagger resting on my heart. Or an ice pick to silence my brain. Luckily neither was close by.
I wonder how long I am going to stay on this path of reacting and writing versus writing then reacting. There is a big difference between knowing and understanding. Knowing means you can decipher the proper course of action for prevention. Understanding means that a course of action is in use prior to stop the maladaptive behavior before it occurs. It’s why some of the smartest people in the world can be so goddamn dumb sometimes.
This distorted logic is like seeing a chess board two steps ahead of your opponent, but moving your pieces one step behind. It’s ludicrous yet I do it; staying a pawn instead of the goddamn queen. It’s not fate because my own actions cause it to occur. My mind might be playing tricks on me, but I am supplying the ammo to make sure the shots stick. A country rube in a world full of carnies. Allowing myself to be conned every step of the way.
Monday night was brutal. I was at true lost; I finally succumbed that I had lost the ability to be truly honest with myself. I had once again invited in the poison that is the numbness of alcohol, and my brain was debating whether it was a wise choice to end it all. I woke up Tuesday angry. A righteous anger at myself for not doing enough to get myself out of this situation. Yes I suffer from severe depression, alcohol abuse, and mood swings, but I wasn’t even getting out of the corner to box it anymore. I had a game plan in place, but I was abandoning it as soon as I got hit. And when I felt good I wasn’t doing enough reps to maintain it. I was the boxer who got fat and lazy after his first championship, and didn’t train hard enough for his next defense. I don’t want momentary wins anymore- I want to put a full nelson on success. Gripping it as tight as possible as it tries to struggle out of my grasp. So to do this I have developed a stringent new routine for the summer. Simple ideas that have created success for me in the past, and a rugged routine to keep me focused and not swimming in the Dead Sea of emotions in my mind. This will be my bootcamp for the summer, and if anyone sees me slacking call me the hell out on it.
First thing I am doing is remixing the Miracle Morning(use the google machine to look it up.) Basically the premise of the book is to start each morning off with a six pack of mindful activities. So today I put this plan in action. I first woke up and immediately picked up a pen and in my journal wrote ten things I was grateful for. Gratitude lists are the foreign object I like to punch my depression in the face with. It immediately always knocks them back because it forces the power of positivity to the forefront. I feel if I start everyday with a sucker punch to negativity my brain will thank me.
Next is mediation. I used to meditate first thing in the morning in my bed, but now I lie on the floor. It changes my perspective, and signals to my brain the day is beginning. Mediation is a way to calm and workout my brain. I am trying to create new pathways to positive and productive thinking. This eventually leads to my brain’s ability to be more abstract and elastic to complex thinking of consequences and long-term rewards, rather than the monkey brain desiring immediate pleasure.
Next we get to affirmations. Those reps for achieving your goals. Self sabotage has always been an Achilles heel in my life. It stems from a combination of self loathing, fear, and loss of confidence. To counteract those bullshit voices in my head that fear success I combat them with simple phrases that push forward my goals in life, and mental health. It’s definitely corny as hell, but truly effective. Sometimes I just need to remind myself that I love myself, I will write my book, and I will fight forever.
After that we get good ol’ fashioned prayer. Now prayer to me has nothing to do with organized religion, but rather setting out intentions into the big blue sky above me asking for help, and promising to take that aid and use it to assist others in need. By praying it makes these desires and intentions real to my world. For this I humble myself on my knees each day, and ask simply to become a better human being.
Now we get active with some exercise. That way we get the dopamine up and running before we start our day. That little boost is the coffee my body needs. Today I did some push-ups, and tomorrow will be a quick ten minute yoga session with my home girl Adrienne. I like doing ten minutes because it gets a little kick of adrenaline in, and it’s just a warm up for the exercise I will be doing later today.
And finally I make the bed, and read. Making the bed is always important because it gives you a sense of accomplishment that is simple and easy to do. It corrects one potential messy thing in order to kickstart your day to accomplish overcoming the obstacles that will face you in your day ahead. Reading comes at the end as a quick way to wind down and get focused for the day. I like reading at the end as a way to bookend my last activity of the night of reading before I zoom to the slumber of the stars.
Boom the first hour of my day is complete, and I already feel energized and ready to go. A half hour later from 9-12 I am in IOP connecting, sharing, and empathizing with others; all why reviewing and building up my skills of combat against negative and destructive thinking. Then I take an hour to decompress and eat lunch.
From there I will dedicate 1-3 daily to write whether I want to or not. This post itself is being written during that time. I been searching for what the fuck purpose do I have right now, and decided that all signs lead to writing a book so I am going to put the bullshit aside and go with it. I think the fear has always been in the way, and feeling pretentious for saying that’s what I am working on, or is my goal in life. But fuck that I am a damn good writer with a story to tell, and I might as well go all in while I have the time. And this ain’t going to be no self-published vanity book either because I am shooting for whatever fictional planet Space Jam was on.
From 4-6 will be my exercise time- get my Keith Sweat on. That way I can be as much as hunk as he was to the ladies.
Exercise also comes with my lifestyle of good food choices cause you are going to need both for success. Around 7 or 8 I will have my accountability call with a friend. It’s a way for myself to stay accountable, honest, connect with a human, and learn to reach out early before it’s too late. And finally before slumber I get to educate my eye lids with some words in a book.
So my loyal readers if you are wondering what I am doing all day now you know. A bootcamp for my non-disciplined, lazy ass to finally get back into fighting shape. After awhile you just get sick of being knocked down all the time, and you realize instead of complaining or drowning in excuses you just need to punch that motherfucker right back in the mouth knowing both sides are going to bleed, but that you damn sure know you ain’t going to end up on your back anymore.
Lust for death surrounds my heart. An orbit of sorrow, despair, and a heartbroken sun beaming down on my faith. Burning off all the hope, joy, and fight left in my soul; as a melancholy moonlight beams off my wrists. Outside a few stars mourn for the night as a broken streetlight struggles to be bright. A pint of vodka, blood thinning pills, and headphones with a playlist called “Stale Milk and Hearses” adds to the delight, with razor sharp blades waiting for their turn being ever so polite. I delight in the ecstasy of these final minutes of silence, knowing soon sweet emptiness will fill the rest of my life. The bottle is almost empty, and the headphones are reaching out to finally be touched. As soon as they are on I waltz towards the end, and the climax to the finale finally ascends. The razor is picked up and with trembling hands embraces the skin; the pain from the slice my last saving grace. All that is left is the beauty of the symphony of blood flowing below. An end to grief once and for all; as I lose all consciousness and descend to below.
“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.” David Foster Wallace
This will be the last post for a bit- I am checking into an inpatient facility today. The suicidal thoughts, and the drinking have become too much to handle. I was thinking about jumping out the window of my second floor house last night but wrestling has taught me that won’t work. I would either land on a car, or a wooden fence that would break my fall and just leave me with an insane bump that would break my ribs among other body parts. I also thought about taking all my meds with alcohol but knowing my tolerance I would survive that too and end up full of charcoal. My brain tells me to do this but I can’t. I don’t want to put my family and friends through another loss. So I drink to numb these thoughts with alcohol- a slow suicide in itself. I have so many people that care about me yet I don’t reach out unless I am in a blackout and god knows what I say then. For anyone out there feeling like I do fucking have hope. Do whatever you can to get help. I am not preaching, but I just don’t want anyone to go through every day feeling like I do. I survived one attempt before- I don’t think I can survive another. Honesty will cure you. If you don’t think anyone cares I do. I started this blog to be honest with the world, and the honest truth as much as I want to end my life I really don’t. Hey if this saves just one person and allows them to get help I will have succeed. I showed my dad this blog yesterday- it hurt his heart. He can’t understand my suicide desires and it hurts his stomach to think about. It’s weird how a naked piece of paper can be the canvas to expose are sins, flaws, and fears to the world. How when the ink hits the page, and the innocence of the lines those words fit in are corrupted, that from this exposing to light of the world they lose the power they once held over us. We all can sin, but not all of us can be honest. I am hardheaded and pain is my best motivator, and after hitting so much of it I got to admit this faith thing works a lot better. Better to be free of my sins and suffering than living a lie and flourishing. I hope one day from my trust in god I will be able to find that balance. Until then I drudge onwards to spiritual enlightenment with an honest heart as my compass. With an honest heart as my only beacon of hope to ever arrive there. And With an honest heart as the only way to fight off those demons of self-destruction for another day.
Them bible folks say god rested on the seventh day- on my seventh day I got drunk. I hoped by putting my drinking out there in this blog world that would keep me sober-so I wouldn’t let down the tens upon tens of people who read this. But what it really boils down to is I still hate myself. This is not looking for self-pity for this is a reality I need to fix. I can use music, girls, the gym, or even writing to mask over this hatred, but deep down inside me there is an evil I can’t get rid of and it wants to destroy me. It’s the evil that stops me from calling someone before I go to the liquor store. It’s the evil that tells me lies about my self-worth. It’s the evil that wants me to self destruct because I feel that’s all I am worth. It’s an evil that makes suicidal ideation a norm of my daily life. It’s an evil that wants to push every and away anyone that cares for me because I don’t deserve love. I am more honest with these words here than I can be to anyone in real life. Who would trust me anyway when I told so many lies about my drinking before. I have became so good at being a chameleon I don’t know even know who I am anymore. I am Don Draper wishing just to be Dick Whitman. I worry I am too fucked up to be helped- the damage to severe. The tortured drunk artist is a myth. Bukowski did his best work sober. And I have no idea what it means to be happy. God I wish I could be sober. God I wish I knew what it meant to be happy. Until then I bitterly trudge on hoping to find something to cure me from this evil that has invoked my brain.
As night falls on Day 2 of sobriety, and the wind grows as cold as my soul has felt these last few weeks drowning in liquor, I am not feeling my normal detox symptoms. My usual extreme anxiety, tremors, creepy crawling skin, and a brain that feels like it’s on loop as if it was a air ballon lost in a hurricane hasn’t happened-well yet. The mental obsession is here of course- but weirdly the cravings haven’t had me figuring out ways to sneak to the liquor store. It could be that I am on high alert, and finally went to a new IOP that I thoroughly enjoyed this morning. Or, maybe, this blog thing is keeping my anxiety in check because I am not keeping any secrets from the world anymore. Being vulnerable is terrifying because it opens you up to emotions which can paralyze you in fear. Fear which makes you settle for a comfort zone that makes you miserable. But misery can be a safety blanket from that fear. The catch 22 of pain because it’s all you know. I have lived for so many years in a haze of anesthesia numbing myself with anyway I knew just so I didn’t have to feel life. Emotions terrified me. And from that fear I ruined so many relationships, friendships, and opportunities for success. But I finally realized my greatest strength is vulnerability because it makes me feel pain so I can experience joy again; a freedom to connect with others, and break down my wall. A freedom to pursue my dreams and realize even if I fail I am growing. And most importantly a path to the peace I have always been searching for under those bright stars that hide in the sunlight. Never had failure looked so tempting because on the other end is the journey to the joy of success.
Emotions are terrorists to our brains. They are grenades that shatter reality and destroy rational thought. It’s funny how depression can take everything beautiful in my life and distort it to all I see is ugly. How it can make everything wonderful in my soul- in my heart- and in my life become a weapon of self destruction. Ohh how many nighs I fought it off-did what I was supposed to became the Hulk Hogan of recovery- I said my prayers, took my meds, followed the steps, and helped others- everything they told me would keep that pain away. But then the pain resurfaced- disguised in a new garb- not thrift-shop but a fancy outfit this time. I didn’t see it coming. Slowly the pain started to distort my view- the beauty of the forest disguised by a dead tree-diseased and pock marked like an old man whose only joy is being the proprietor of sin- never realizing the so called the whores at his disposals where actually angels lusting for their wings. I don’t know why god needed me to hit so much pain again- but he did and I hit it. And I hope it’s the last time he asks me to do that because I am not sure I can overcome it the next time. My soul is getting tired- and I just want to be free someday. So maybe if I tell someone it will relieve it. Maybe if I confess I am tired god won’t see fit to have me trudge through this misery anymore. Cause god am I tired- so fucking tired.