Day 11 (The Feel of Psychosis) – 30 Day Writing Challenge

Psychosis, when you’re a shadow of what you once were.

Hesitation on the edge of perfection while the wind whips back past the lips of despair and a trajectory that ends splatted on the rocks below. A momentary pause for God knows what reason, soliloquy rattling like unquenched armor inside a skull aching for reasons and meaning.

No jovial tone to be found other than the laughing hysteria that comes choked off with a seemingly endless parade of tears. Coughing, bawling, howling, begging, giggling into the yawning darkness and discontent of a reality set to dissolve beneath the weight of a mind misfiring badly.

The beautiful tableau awash in sunlight and a fucking million possibilities all riots against that creeping sensation that “all is not what it seems”. A centipede who can no longer walk because he thought about how he did it. Natural instinct sold out into chained slavery inside the boundaries of nothing and infinity. Conjured by poisons and released by fears it’s set loose as a hungry behemoth on the landscape of mind, the carvings of soul, the sculpture of heart.

Hesitation on the edge of perfection with the barest sliver of hope overcoming resignation. Nothing is ever as it seems, and the worst of the world today may become the most redeemed beauties of tomorrow. Shake off the terror and walk into the fire to be forged anew.

The edge of perfection recedes against hope. Time slips forward into the next scene.

Day 10 (Owning a Demon)- 30 Day Writing Challenge

Strummed beat, matched march, dirges as a throwaway tune,
deviancy is salt to bear rubbed tight inside a weeping open wound.
If you haven’t heard the music yet then swallow down your pride.
The life we lead is the life we get and you’ll know it deep inside.
So stagger or crawl and jog or sprint or fly,
the Devil is inside your soul today, just like it is for I.


I thought it would be a fun way to go today with a little poetry of sorts to begin with. This damn challenge thing has me trying to think on my feet about what to write and I seem to be coming up dry, or at least feeling like I’m grasping for straws about what to say. The goal was to just put fingers to keyboard everyday, and I’m happy to say that I’ve pretty much managed to do just that.

So, with that said, on my mind today is the nature of our own personal evils, our devils, our drive to do the untoward and vicious. For me, that takes the form of drinking or drugs, pumping my body full of as much poison as I can stand in whatever way I can get it. It’s always surprisingly shocking when after a bout in the ring with that particular demon suddenly the quality of life I’m experiencing diminishes rapidly and dramatically. I don’t know why it’s surprising is the thing, we truly do generate our own decisions, and those choices play out in the overall feeling of our life and how well we are able to experience the highs and the lows.

That seems like really common sense knowledge, and despite that I have sat remaining in, then feigning ignorance of it. Life truly is what you make it, trite and cliche as the saying may be, there is a huge degree of veracity to it that I somehow missed. It’s like I wasn’t there at school that day and somehow managed to keep missing that lesson for the next 20 years.

With that in mind, addiction is a doubly baffling fucking ailment to explore and endure. You find yourself superseding every survival instinct and rational or logical awareness you have in lieu of chasing further inclement weather, misery, and chagrin–all done for a momentary rush that has faded into boring monotonous repetition long, long ago.

I get that there is a re-wiring that happens internally with addicts. If you show an image of a crack pipe to a crack addict, before the frontal cortex is triggered the pleasure center rings in and says “great times to be had”. That means that addiction literally steps around the “smarts” part of the brain that makes decisions and can bring a logical or determined drive to bear on any dangerous ideas. Which in many ways makes it seem scientifically hopeless to recover.

But people do, in a myriad of ways. Some manage to just go the harm reduction route and drastically reduce their intake, or they transition it to new forms of addictive tendencies that are less damaging, or they actually well and truly get sober. The fact that there is a narrow band of success and the penalty for failure is horror without refrain followed by an early death doesn’t always make a sufficiently motivational case it seems.

Today, I continue the struggle, moving forward one foot at a time, continuing to believe and search for answers or solutions to something that has stymied me for the vast majority of my life. It is my heaviest wish to somehow overcome and share that success as a lesson to my children about what is truly possible as one of the strangest species on the planet.

People are weird, and when we carry monsters in our back pockets, we only get weirder. Part of me wants to just plain rejoice in that insanity and the multitude of characters that are created by the imps at our door, but most of me is just plain done reveling in a well trod and predictable path leading nowhere but an early grave.

Time will tell, as it always does. Plus hey, I still have getting poisoned by frog secretions to look forward to in a short number of weeks!

Day 7 (New Ideas) – 30 Day Writing Challenge

Have you ever sat back and tried to just come up with an original thought? When you really look at the way all our experiences, from the most mundane to the most intense, shape our perspective on the world and how they get filed away for future access points it becomes a daunting task to disassociate from all that information to find something new.

It makes me question whether I’ve ever before had a unique idea or whether I’ve been following some intangible labyrinth of stimuli of my own generation internally to lead down pre-trodden roads. Reducing it further back, it strikes me that if that’s the case then the initial filtering mechanism that we put in place to process the incoming data points might be where originality occurs. In the values, the beliefs, the morals, the ethics that we choose to ascribe our viewpoint on the world and as the lens through which we perceive it.

If that’s the case, it stands to reason that having unique values and beliefs would in some ways lead logically to having a more unique capacity for thought generation as the pieces would connect in more abstract formats. Do that to such an extreme however and you’d find yourself completely ostracized outside the realm of acceptable societal standards and awash in the lonely seas beyond. Not the end of the world, but certainly a challenge.

Alternatively, I suppose it’s possible that there are so many variations on popular concepts that there is room for nuanced navigation of their boundaries as constraints to actually finding new ideas, truly new ones, that are compatible with a larger subsection of the world. Are there enough variables to the belief that “honesty is important” to allow for new concepts to form, or is there a rigidity inherent in any belief system that prevents it from expanding conscious thought or creation beyond a certain degree. Do we have to play out the scenarios sufficiently that we can form an experiential backlog of data points from which to construct or are we stuck forever in a sequenced arrangement? Is further elaboration a mechanism to create more niche thought processes that might stand out as truly original? What if we said, “honesty is important because you should match actions to words in order to be a responsible and trustworthy individual.”?

Of course even that statement can start to get broken down further and further as you seek to define responsibility or trustworthiness and why those are important factors to consider when going to through your day to day existence.

So pulling it back to the beginning…what does an original idea feel like? Something generated from within that is ahead of it’s time, or stands out on the curve as beautiful in its further question inducing qualities. Shouldn’t any new idea beget other new ideas? Are we all just vacuumed into a state of static accepting the status quo of our lives and the world around us, how it works and the mechanisms of it’s action in our lives or are there roads out to pursue?

I guess this whole thing is getting pretty esoteric out there, but apparently that’s what today’s writing is going to be about since it’s on my mind and I can’t seem to generate anything truly outstanding or new, so instead I just keep questioning and looking for answers. Thanks for reading.

Day 5 (Frog Poison) – 30 Day Writing Challenge

Self care is always one of those mysteriously challenging yet o’ so crucial aspects of day to day life it seems. More often then not the prospect of going for a walk, reading a book, meditating, exercising at home, journaling, or any of the rest of the litany of options available to each of us, seems like such a long stretch after the necessaries of the day are taken care of.

Sometimes, it takes a totally different form.

In roughly 3-weeks, I’ll be joining in with a ceremony circle and spending 9-days engaged in holistic medical practices from (mainly) South America. There may be opportunities presented to partake in Ayahuasca, Peyote, and a host of other intriguing substances like Kambo–essentially frog poison–to attempt a system reset.

Whether or not you would qualify sitting in shack with a shaman and ingesting quantities of herbal and animal toxins mixed to unknown strength and potentially lethal consequences as self-care or not I guess depends on who you’re talking to.

For me, it presents a unique opportunity to stretch my acceptance and belief system to try and encompass something that many would consider “woowoo” kind of pseudoscience magic and embrace it as something more. It also provides a chance, depending on the validity or hell, even the placebo effect, to help me disarm some of the more disagreeable parts of my psyche and behavior patterns (like addiction or smoking cigarettes which I still struggle with) that have remained reticent and resistant to all other forms of treatment at this point. I don’t believe in magic bullets, but I do believe in the prospect of rewiring connections internally, both mentally and physiologically if resetting parts of the DNA or bodily interactions which may have become messed up over multiple decades of drug abuse.

So there we have it. In the meantime, I’m getting out to ride my bike more regularly, and had a dog not chewed off the top of my thumb recently, doing some more general exercise while attempting to practice better health practices overall. It’s a multi-stage process I suppose, every little bit helps the whole to develop and grow.

While it may see strange, this is not intended as just another story to put in the bank, taking 9-days to really focus on healing, nutritional changes, not bringing any smokes or being in a location where they will be accessible (nor will drugs and alcohol) cannot help but be beneficial in the long term. In the short-term, it buys me a period of time away from my normal day to day where I occasionally flounder and struggle for direction or conviction to stay the tried and true pathway to life, love and happiness.

So bring on the frog poison, bring on the dream tea, and bring on open-mindedness to something which is beyond my normal ken. Time to expand that awareness a bit.

Day 3 – 30 Day Writing Challenge

Nearly ever morning my girlfriend and I sit outside on the back patio and sip coffee while shooting the shit. There’s something wonderful about sharing the early morning moments with another living being, it puts us in tune with each other and sets the pace for the day.

Today, stepping outside into 55F degree air and feeling that cool Fall-esque weather wash over me was incredible. It’s always been a point of question for me as to whether other people experience what I coin as joygasms since I was awash in one this morning. For me, it’s that moment when everything seems to line up just perfectly, usually with music accompanying it, where sight and sound and feel all mesh in a bucolic fashion and leave me tingling with excitement or peace head to toe.

It’s so rare to find those moments in life, particularly considering the seeming catch-22 where if you’re looking for that moment it seems to move further away. Only in the unexpected and spontaneous times when we are to be caught unaware do they sneak up to wrap you in absolute bliss.

Of course, most of my life has been spent searching for the opposite, mired in drugs and alcohol to the point that there seemed to be a morass of misery punctuated only periodically with small glimmers of stolen happiness. It is very possible I have this whole thing backwards and in reality it is possible to take control of this life situation and legitimately hunt those special moments done.

I suppose, actually, if I were to take that logic leap in general it might help restructure and redesign my interaction with the world around me as a whole. There’s a reasonable chance that that belief might guide me down some better roads. Well shit, look at that, a weird epiphany moment 3-days into this writing challengemajig.

This comes at a time when I’m mentally trying to prepare myself for a 9-day shamanic healing retreat in the wilderness in Oregon. I have been graced with an opportunity to work with a healer who uses plant medicine to address a myriad of issues, including addiction and the struggles that materialize from it.

While I’m thrilled at the chance, it will be the longest I’ve spent out of touch with my significant other since we got together and there is of course apprehension since it’s been such a wild ride up until this point. That said, the risk, any concern or latent fears based on insecurity, really much anything, falls by the wayside to the looming possibility that maybe this time I’ll land on something that can genuinely help heal the madness and wounds inside that so regularly lead me back down the darkest of paths.

Either way, an early October camping trip onto a beautiful property with good people and communal living sounds like one hell of a way to start wrapping up what has been (much as for everyone) one madcap year. I’m eager to start anew and continue finding those things and people in life that bring me a spark.

Maybe I’ll even find some joygasms along the way.

Day 2 – 30 Day Writing Challenge

There’s a brush fire burning not so terribly far outside of town. With the wind yesterday and today the smoke moved in and the air quality took on that most questionable of feels to it. When every breath tastes like cigar smoke should you really be outside moving around at all?

The raining ash finished answering that question.

While fire season sucks, there are a few moments that always stand out. The way the Sun turns into a brilliant red ball behind the smoke screen, the ongoing smell of wood burning as though the whole world was joined in some weird form of camping together, and the silence–that eerie crazy silence that happens sometimes like yesterday.

No birds, no animals, barely any cars, and aside from the breeze, just stillness to the air.

If anyone happened to be in the total eclipse crossover zone a few years back (happened to be at one of the main spots for it myself accidentally) and remembers what the world was like for those few minutes, shockingly similar.

I’m not sure why I like the silence so much. On some level I know it’s because the animals are afraid and their habitats are being destroyed, so it should have a mournful or lonesome quality to it. Despite, it grabs the happy spots inside my brain and milks them with something so surreal for me that I always find myself questioning its existence to begin with.

True unadulterated peace.

The only other time I seem to be able to find it is in a sensory deprivation tank, floating like a child in the cosmos across massive fields of stars and nebulae instead of inside a water filled coffin creation. If you’ve never experienced one before, I highly recommend it.

Isn’t that the end game we’re all pursuing in some way? A feeling of peace? Is it so wrong I get it when the world is on fire enough that the birds stop chirping and the crickets are silent at last? To be fair, the landscape of raining ash and a red son also bespeaks a darker place to be sure, but we all find our joy where, when, and how we can right?

Heated Gaze

All credit for image to https://mothergoodsmiles.wordpress.com

Summer becomes the tone of fresh and old love mingled.
Of exhilaration, fascination, inspiration,
all put in skin sacks, given names.
Each heat riddled day the sun bakes us,
we are entwined in passionate reverie,
where no mere words will penetrate the sanctum.

Addiction is a Beast

To highlight the feeling of insanity that comes from active addiction.
Feels about right.

A sense of calm resignation is starting to settle in. So often shunted aside still for madcap panic and desperate flailing as this faltering shell of a body which carries an acidic sonofabitch that wants out while refusing to take pleas, no’s, or prayers as a hint to get lost. It’s there on the outskirts as the magnitude, the absolute fucking magnitude of how colossally I’ve screwed the lives of those around me up, while trying to ruin my own existence..

It always sat there just on the outskirts, even when it should have been blatant. The self concocted cocoon of ignorant bliss I had woven around myself to keep the realities of life and the need for growing up at bay made sure that even if I was looking at it head on, I wouldn’t see. I’d spin it internally, sometimes to deflect the judgement and actions needed, sometimes to punish myself further and feel so amply deserving of it while begging confusion to those closest to me.

God help me. I sat there blind to love, affection, nurturing, opportunity, friendships, my children, the actuality of LIFE itself. 

All in favor of an endless repetition of the same monotonous actions. Awake, chase, get high, drink, crash, rinse and repeat ad infinitum, The same rhythm that most humans are going through their awake, cabinet, coffee, drink, functional, productive, competent portions of their day to day.

What has it cost? 

I’m sitting in the mountains which are my peaceful place, body too exhausted to hike or sleep. Dimly aware that I’ve imploded yet another beautiful person’s life, tucked mine into an 18’ trailer, and spiraled into oblivion while desperately fighting a battle that can’t be won on my terms. Beginning to come around the edges of what that actually means–to be so viral, so toxic and caustic in someone’s life that you can literally see it reshape their entire being from what they were prior–knowing that even if it wasn’t intended, that’s what happened. 

To know that the fiber of your being is so saturated in selfish self-hatred that it closes you off to the possibility of trusting and believing that anyone could actually love you for a person you don’t even know any longer, yourself? Knowing that sounds like Narcissistic Personality Disorder and digging around to see if there’s ways to be less of a screaming manchild asshole only to find that if it’s really the case, there ain’t shit to be done?

To realize that I don’t even fucking know what things I actually enjoy in life? To have focused so many countless hours on a single destructive course that it has literally obliterated all remnants of understanding about what joy means. How love is shown. What fun is. How to treat others or myself in any sort of a humane way laced starkly with the deep confusion of always being at odds with myself to begin with. That I have erased inborn gifts, destroyed my mind, poisoned my body wildly–that I will die younger than I had to and may never have the chance to see my children again. That my children have been growing up without their father.

Being aware now of the wreckage and turbulence behind my passing from those unlucky enough to have had me walk into their life “chaos incarnate” as I used to joke. To not even be able to apologize in any sort of a meaningful way yet because time and action is all that really will matter, could matter at this point. To not be able to say thank you sufficiently where I mean it within such limited scopes as I’m tooled to have the capacity for. The endless dreams that have died in lieu of one more hit, one more drink.The beautiful dreams that staggered onward beneath the weight only to have the carpet ripped out from under them again. The smashed hopes that held them aloft for so long.

It is seriously time for a change. So for the first time in YEARS, I’m throwing in the towel, surrendering, and just going with it. I have a bed at a program starting in a few days, a kennel for the dog, a storage spot for the trailer/home, and a hiatus from school while I straighten myself out and make some so critically needed changes. Peter Pan with a crack pipe and a 100u shot–fuck it’s old. 

The next time I write will be on the back end the next 30+ days probably, so until then, thanks for everything and all the kind words, help, camaraderie, and digital awesomeness that is everyone else out there. Addiction’s a beast. Mental illness is a beast. But neither gives any permission to keep perpetuating that cycle endlessly or to inflict them on those around you.

Time to give up the fight and go back to the drawing board, starting fresh all over again.

Gigi

Dogs love grass.
Friends until the end.

Crazy dog on a leash nipping the beak of an Alpaca,
a little bundle of terror–so damn happy.
She’s out on four paws in the noonday shade,
fucking with a goat-kid we saved from the grave.
Throws herself carefree in the still biting grass,
rolls until she can finally hit that perfect spot in need of a scratch.
No shame in her game as those jowls go flapping,
smiling like the devil inside,
bounds off into the hills,
roaming free now,
ignoring all but her truest calling.
Glinting light off one scarred eye,
covers up the mysteries of whats come to pass,
it’s always in the past,
and we’ll know not why.

A Tiger in a River

Chalk dusted finger tips with an adrenaline jolt, zip-lined neuroses adjudicated by the moment. Lost in torn pants with a carabiner thread, socially anxious and awkward but alone and without the dread. Gripping on with rubber soles to shaky rock faces that feel so full. Flashback moment to a Tinsel strewn river, if I could take it back I wouldn’t pause though time chases me forward and I don’t know how to abscond from it’s endless quiver. I’m still fletched after return though I know somewhere I missed a target, if wishes were fishes I would have at least saw it. Easier to murmur the words to myself, ride the curve up where it’s simpler to stare down at the gulch. I know that it’s basic to stay on a track, ask not the questions that are staring right back.

Creature comforts exchanged for a soul, I suppose that’s one lesson I never learned right when I was out in the cold. It’s wicked out there, in the beauty and grease. Amidst all the foragers of life, love and what to wear while we bleat. If the greatest of tokens was untouchable sadness with no way to atone, then here on a hillside covered in muck, I’d whisper to the shadows that flicker “thanks for giving a fuck.” Without their whistled movements to cast contrast to light, the trees would feel lifeless, faded out, make for a lackluster sight.