Thursday, June 19, 2014

Blogophilia 17.7 Please Say It Isn't So

[Please] Say It Isn't So

Say it isn't so, that
I can no longer see the lust in your eyes.
My heart yearns for the time
when my merest touch was enough
to set your body alight; 
the merest whisper from my lips enough
to fill your soul with greed for more.

Say it isn't so, that
I can no longer see the love in your face
as you witness my transformation;
the swallowing of my pride
to become the man you wanted,
free from the gluttony of the needle,
free from the wrath of my past.

Say it isn't so, that
our paths cannot continue,
you must go your way, and 
I must go mine.  I envy
the person you have chosen in my place
even as I wish you happiness.
Bitterness threatens to engulf me.

Say it isn't so, that
you never loved me in the first place;
that your choosing me was a result
of spiritual sloth that made it OK
to settle, until better came along.
Those words, meant to sting,
did their job.

Copyright Steven Clark 2014 

"And I, the last, go forth companionless,
And the days darken round me....."
~~Tennyson's Morte d'Arthur

Written for:
Topic:  Please Say It Isn't So
bonus points:
(hard, 2 pts:  use a line from Tennyson's Morte d'Arthur)
(easy, 1 pt:  mention one of the 7 deadly sins)

Bonus picture guesses:
windswept, runaway, gone with the wind, pretty as a picture, waiting, leaving, loss, traveling, moving on

Topic submission guess:  Tyler
Picture submission guess:  Violeta

Monday, June 2, 2014

Blogophilia 15.7 Fire And Ice

Fire - Sassysue King.  Flaming red hair, spicy personality, short but never, ever underestimated.  A sure spitfire.

Ice - me.  Dead inside.  Seeking numbness from emotion.  Given up on life, always looking at the negative.

I didn't want to do a write for Blogophilia this week.  Even after I promised Sue and Marvin that I would try harder.  The news of Sue's death has devastated me.  But I feel I owe it to Sue, to honor her, by putting this out this week.

I met Sue as most of you did, through Blogophilia back in the Myspace days.  From the start she was always encouraging me to write, even if not for an audience, but to write for myself.

Most of you Blogophiliacs know of my struggles over the years with drug addiction and my journey to live a sober life.  For those of you that are new - well, there you go.

Some of you may not know that at the time we met, Sue did volunteer work with a needle exchange where she lived in London, Ontario.  She worked with addicts and the police force, and I guess because she read my writings of my struggles with drug abuse, it caught her eye and we became fast friends.  We communicated by email and instant message, never met in person or spoke over the phone, but that didn't diminish the depth of our late night conversations or our friendship.

She told me of her nephew who also struggled with drug addiction and coming to terms with his own dark demons.  She told me his story and I told her mine, and she would give me advice about, oh, everything.  Most recently I was asking her advice about therapy.  And always, always she kept at me to write out my feelings, whether by blog or by personal journal.

She was always there to hold me up through the dark times, with an encouraging word or a funny tidbit to make me laugh.  Lots of times over the years I've been unbalanced - no equanimity there - but even when I went silent for months at a time in the depths of my addiction, every week she would message me encouraging me to do that week's Blogophilia prompt.  Or to just write, "just fucking write it out for god's sake!  No matter the subject, Just Write."  And if I did write, she would always message me with an ,"oooooh, you wrote, good for you!!!!! :)   "   Often, she would be the only one to comment on my blog.  She was recently encouraging me to branch out with my writing, to try some of her flash writing groups.

The last time we communicated was Thursday, May 29.  I knew she'd been fighting a cold/flu for weeks but she said she was hopeful to find relief at her accupuncturist's, who at the next appointment was also going to give her some natural remedies to try.

I'm still stunned that it happend so quickly.

I hope that she knows how much she meant to me.  I didn't tell her nearly enough.

So Sue, in answer to your unspoken question, yes, "I did Blogo" this week.  For you.

Blogophilia Topic 15.7:  Fire and Ice
(Hard, 2 pts:  incorporate the opposite meaning of "equaniminty")
(Easy, 1 pt:  include dark demons)

Topic guess - Sandy Glenn

bonus pic phrase guesses:
red hot
too hot to handle
on fire

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


I came across a great analogy recently, from a support site for male survivors of childhood sexual abuse:

"It occurred to me that Superman is a great allegory for what we are, who we are forced to become. We are forced to become Supermen, or die.

Our home planets were destroyed by disaster (our childhoods were ripped apart from us).

We had no identity (we are aliens), and we're forced to hide (Clark Kent) behind a self imposed veneer of ridicule and shame and embarrassment. We stumbled around mankind attempting to awkwardly fit in by mimicking others. Interestingly, we're seekers of the truth (news reporters @ the Daily Planet).

But we discover, sooner or later, that we have super powers. We have incredible insight. Incredible empathy. Incredible understanding of the depths of the human soul. We'll see things about humanity that most people will never see (X-ray vision).

Unfortunately, we must battle all these evil creatures, and endure through them. We must fight, we must be Supermen. It is our destiny.

I proudly claim this as my own heritage. I AM SUPERMAN!

I Survived Hell. My little one made choices the resulted in my SURVIVING. I'm alive, and now I'm waking up to who I really am. The incredible strength, the incredible passion, the incredible insight.

I spent most of my life thinking I wasn't human. I was sub-human. Now I'm starting to see it -- because of my abuse, I am destined to become a Superhero.

I forged through the depths of hell alone, and came out ALIVE! I'm HERE! I somehow navigated through the psychological labyrinth of mayhem and confusion and can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I CAN CHANGE! I HAVE POWER!


I've been working through my "issues" for several years now.  Well, sort of.  Mostly I've been giving myself permission to acknowledge to myself, and a few others, what happened to me......and then either trying to forget it via drugs/alcohol, or allowing myself to wallow in negative emotions over it all.  Or both.  

I've struggled greatly with seeing myself as a survivor, rather than as a victim.  Survivors move forward, not backward.  Survivors don't try to kill themselves rather than face the truth.  

My perspective has been changing lately though.  Maybe I had to go through all of that to get here now.  I did what I had to, to get to this moment.....even though I almost killed myself in the process.  I survived the only way I knew how.

Knowing that I have the power to choose how I move forward from here on out is humbling.....and scary.  I've done a lot of bad things in the course of my "survival".  I've hurt people, irreparably.  I've stolen from people I loved.  I've committed crimes.  I've debased myself and let others treat me like shit they've stepped on.  I've treated others like they were shit I stepped on.  I blamed all of my problems on everyone else....and to some extent, I had every right to blame my parents for screwing me up so badly.  But for so many of the choices I made, I only have myself to blame.  So, I don't really trust my judgement too well.

When I think about that now, I get very angry at myself for allowing it all to have so much power over me, for so long.  I know there's no point in staying mad at myself because (see above) I was doing what I had to survive, the only way I knew how.  Does that justify what I did?  Yes and no?

Not really sure where I'm going with this, if only to say that I'm still trying to figure all of this out.  One step at a time, I'm getting to know myself, and the man I'm trying to become.  Superman?  Not really, but I'll settle for just a better man.  


Friday, May 16, 2014


*interviewer cautiously taps mic, warily looking at Steven for any signs of snapping*

"Uh yes, hello there listeners, we are here once again with Mr. Clark, who, the last time we checked in, wasn't too thrilled at us doing so."  *clears throat*  "And so, tell us how you've been doing Mr. Clark.  What have you been up to these last few weeks?"

"Well Bob, I've been contemplating the meaning of life and my existential role in it.  Who am I?  What does all this mean?  Where do I go from here?  I've also been eating a lot of Cheeze-Its.  And yogurt."

"Cheeze-Its and yogurt.....yes, I see."

"Not at the same time, you understand.  Separately.  When the feeling hits."

*looks uncomfortable*  "Go on.  Does this help you think about your purpose in life?"

"No.  I just like them."


"I feel as if there must be something more out there for me, I just don't know what it is yet."

"Granola bars are nice."

*stares at Bob*  "No, something more meaningful in life."

"Oh yes of course.  What about going to school?"

"I don't even have time these days to blog, when would I do homework?"

"Yes, that would be a problem.  How about traveling?"

"No money.  I just want to find something I can really sink my teeth into."



*crickets chirp*

"Mr. Clark, do you want to do something with your life, or do you just want to eat?  I can't keep up with you."

"Can't I do both?"

"I've got it.....go to cooking school!"

*crickets chirp again*

"You are out of your bloody mind.  I'm done here."   *walks off*

"And there you have it folks, an update with Mr. Clark.  Have a fantastic weekend."

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Blogophilia 7.7 Slightly Past Tipsy

He sat at the corner cafe, at a table by the curb, slowly sipping a cup of steaming hot tea.  People chattered like birds all around him, sharing details of their lives and not caring who overheard.  In five minutes time, he knew that Pam was seeing Gary and that Jeff had broken his hand from punching a snack machine.  Oh and did you know that if you drink green tea it helps your liver detoxify?  He inwardly chuckled at that remark; his liver was probably beyond any help that green tea could give it; he would stick with his black tea, thank you very much.

The voices receeded into the background as he watched the people walking along the street, busy with their own problems and thoughts.  Did they feel as asleep as he did?  Did they go about their day looking at the world around them in wonder, confused about how they had gotten there?  He had been slightly past tipsy for the past 20 years it seemed, and now that he had been persuaded to put down the bottle....and everything else....he felt like a tourist in a foreign country.  Everything was familiar, yet different.  Time had passed him by, and he no longer recognized his life.  Or himself.

“A man who procrastinates in his choosing will inevitably have his choice made for him by circumstance.”  That was for sure.  He had hidden from the harsh realities of life and in the meantime, life had gone on....uncaring that he was stuck in time.  He couldn't reconcile the fact that getting sober wasn't going to let him live the last 20 years over again; he was going to have to move forward from this point in time.  Or stay put, and forever feel lost.  It was his choice.

He brooded as he stared at his tea; the clouds above were reflected on the surface.  What a fitting metaphor, he thought.....light fluffy clouds dancing on top of the depths of darkness.  Put a happy, sane face on for the world, while inside, the darkness threatened to consume him.  When he looked at himself in the mirror lately, he wondered who it was that stared back....he surely didn't recognize this middle aged person.  "But I'm going to have to get to know him," he whispered to himself.  "It's the only way."

He downed the rest of the tea and stood up.  He felt as if stepping out onto that sidewalk was a symbolic gesture of moving forward with this new, strange life.  Then he laughed at himself....he took life way too seriously.  Just go with it, he thought.  Remember, “Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why.” 

Smiling, he stepped forward.

Copyright Steven Clark 2014

Posted for Blogophilia 7.7 topic:  slightly past tipsy
bonus point (2 pts, hard):  quote Hunter Thompson
bonus point (1 pt, easy): incorporate a snack machine

Bonus picture guesses:

get down, play that funky music white boy, crazy, twist and shout

topic guess:  Colleen Breuning
photo guess:  Sassysue King

Thursday, April 3, 2014


Forcing myself out of the haze that has settled over my mind is like forcing myself out of bed from a sound sleep after the alarm goes off.  I don't want to be awake.  I don't want to feel.  I don't want to move.  I just want to burrow back down into the comfort of the blankets and drift back to sleep.

Which is basically what I did every time I did drugs.....hide from the world in my cocoon of warmth and oblivion.

I haven't used; "haze" is not a metaphor for anything here except the haze of depression.  It weighs on me and makes me immobile in thought and action....breaking through the cloud seems too much effort to be worth it.  I read something today that says depression can actually lower your IQ.  That makes total sense, it's hard to gather my thoughts to even string a sentence together.  But everyone keeps telling me to get my thoughts out and stop isolating, so here I am.

I'm tired of trying to stay positive and hopeful all the time, and then feeling like a failure when I can't be.  So I tell myself to just "sit with the negativity" until it passes.....only it doesn't pass.  Then trying to control myself to not act impulsively on my urges wears me out.  I'm tired of the litany of thoughts that go round and round in a rut.  I'm tired of the platitudes well meaning friends tell me.  I'm tired of the god talk at meetings.  I don't know how much longer my sponsor is going to be willing to put up with me. I'm tired of people telling me "it only works if you work it" like I'm not trying hard enough.  This can't be the only way.

It's so easy to let myself fall into complacency and let my guard down, let old thoughts creep back in, old behaviors manifest.  Which is what has been happening the past several days.  It's exhausting keeping that guard up, and frankly I'm just fucking tired of doing it.  But that's me giving in.  I try to distract myself, but nothing I used to enjoy is enjoyable anymore.  I don't want to read, I don't want to write, I don't even want to watch TV.  The weather has been shitty so I can't get outside to walk, my car is unreliable so I can't go on the long drives I used to take.  I feel like I"m drowning in a pit of negativity and my first instinct is to pull away and remove myself from everyone and everything because who wants to be around that?  And if I'm honest, I don't really want to be around others telling me to "do this, try that."  I just fucking want to be left alone.  But, that's the disease and the depression talking.  I'm fully aware of this even as I stew.  And it just makes me even more down and determined to self destruct.  How fucking mature.  I just want it all to end.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

20 Years

20 years ago tonight was a turning point in my life.  20 years ago tonight, I was in a car accident and my girlfriend, Larissa, died.

It was a turning point for me because I could have gone another way.....I could have dealt with the trauma and grief in a healthy way and went on to lead a productive life as an adult.

I didn't do that.  I chose the easy way out by seeking solace in numbing drugs.  It started in the hospital with the morphine I was on, and contiued with painkillers after I was released and still recovering from my injuries.  I had learned from an early age how to escape from my [other] pain using chemicals, and I relied on that knowledge then to help me cope.  I eventually made my acquaintence with heroin, and the rest, as they say, is history.

20 years later, I've learned to let go of that guilt a little.  I know now that her fate was not in my hands that night, according to the police report.  It was the other driver's fault.  But because I was drunk, I still thought it was my fault.  If I'd taken another road, she'd still be alive.  If I'd let her drive, she'd still be alive.  If I wasn't drunk, she'd still be alive.  If only, if only, if only, to infinity.  It's a lesson of acceptance that has taken me 20 years to learn.

I often look at the world as it is today and wonder what she would think of it if she were here.  I think about how my life, our life, would be, if she were still alive.  Would I have still gone down the path I did?  Was that my fate no matter what?  Would she be happily married to someone else with kids all around her?

I can't change the past, and like I said in my last post, it's up to me to choose how I the light, or the darkness.  I've lived most of the last 20 years in darkness.  It's time I try the light.  If not for me, then for my Lissa.

I always think of her when I hear this song.  So, I think of it as our song.

Blogophilia 4.7 Remember When....

Remember when...... you thought anything was possible?

Before fate, that twisted thing, came along and had life take you down a peg or two and left a bitter taste in your mouth.....

Remember when...... you trusted authority?

Before those you looked up to broke your spirit and made you question everything you'd been taught....

Remember when..... you gave someone your heart for the first time?

Before having it stomped on and handed back to you with scorn.....

 Remember learned that life had beautiful things to offer you, too?

After fate, that twisted thing, came along and showed you that out of the ashes, hope arises?

Remember learned to love again?

After you received love from others unconditionally......

Remember woke up glad to be alive?

After you learned that you are capable of more than you realize?

Life is comprised of both good and bad, light and dark.  It is up to us to choose which side we dwell in.

"Happiness depends upon ourselves"--Aristotle

Posted for Blogophilia 4.7 topic:  Remember when anything was possible?
Bonus points:
(hard, 2 pts):  quote Aristotle
(easy, 1 pt):  include a "twist of fate"

Bonus picture guesses:   blending in, fading away, asymmetrical, rearview, pale beauty, faded beauty, polar opposite

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Blogging Lounge #5: Turmoil

A word spoken.....a tone of voice.....a facial expression.

Smells.....sounds.....standing too close.

Triggers that flip the switch in the brain into panic mode and all of a sudden I'm 12 years old again, knowing what is coming for me from the other side of the door.

My heart pounds and a sheen of sweat that stinks of fear covers my skin.  My mouth is dry and I can't swallow.  My eyes nervously dart back and forth, checking that nobody is looking at me to witness my distress.  I feel like anyone that looks my way must know, know ALL of my secrets, it's so obvious, just look at me, look at that hideous freak!  But no, no one is watching and even if they were, probably wouldn't guess the inner turmoil my panic attack is creating.

I stand still and close my eyes, try to control my breathing.  I wipe my hands on my jeans - dammit they're shaking - and try to remember where I'm at.  I'm at work, and I'm an adult.  That bedroom is long gone, I'm not 12 years old anymore, and HE is dead.  Stay in the present.  Stay in the now.  I am safe here.

No one will be raping me today.

No one will be beating me today.

No one will be telling me I deserve to die today.

I open my eyes and look around; a handful of minutes gone by feels like an eternity.  The urge to disappear into chemical oblivion overwhelms me....there, I can forget.  There, I don't have to feel.  But there....I almost died.  I'm not ready to die today.

Am I?

A phone rings in the distance, people pass me by.  A voice near me, eyes looking at me now.  "Hey Steve, you OK?"

That's the $64,000 question, isn't it?

"Yeah, I'm fine," I answer back, because it's expected of me.

I take a deep breath and walk away, back to my job, back to my adult life.  I wonder if I'll ever really be OK.

Not today, no.  But maybe someday.

Posted for the Blogging Lounge prompt #5: Turmoil.

Friday, March 7, 2014

RIP Kyle

Beautiful boy,

you wove dreamscapes from your hands,
colors and inks and charcoal blending into
places everyone wanted to escape to.

The pain in your heart manifested
into a nightmarish existence that you embraced
all while trying to flee.

No one could dismiss the beauty of your soul,
beauty tainted by the ugliness of others
and the harshness of reality.

Beautiful boy,

You made me laugh, and cry,
and wish that I could be more like you.
I hope your spirit is free...dancing.

My heart hurts to know you're gone,
the times we shared are forever seared on my memory.
Be at peace my friend.

Friday, February 28, 2014

An update

Meanwhile, in the Middle of Nowhere......

The last time we checked in with Steve, he was going through some major life changes.  Let's see how he's faring.

Speak into the microphone please, yes that's it, thank you.  How are you doing Mr. Clark?


Tell us how you are feeling today.

"Like I'm going to punch the next person who asks how I'm feeling."

Oh.....right.  Well, how are those choices you recently made working out?

"Fuck you."  *walks away*

There you have it folks, an update from Mr. Clark.  Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.


Ok, so lame attempt at humor.  I've been in a foul mood all day and am trying to get myself out of it.  It's when I'm in cranky foul moods like this that I have to try and remember why I'm doing what I'm doing.  It's so easy to say fuck it and just impulsively give in.  But, that's what I've always done.  And I'm not doing that anymore, right? 

Actually what I want to do is kick and scream and punch things like a kid having a temper tantrum melt down in the middle of Walmart.  The kind where the kid is red faced and screaming 1,000 decibels and deadweighting on his mother who is dragging his limp body along the floor, her own face red with mortification.  Yeah I know, real mature Steve.  Just being honest.

And across the webz just now comes the news that the drug combination that killed Phillip Seymour Hoffman a few weeks ago was heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepines and amphetamines.

That should be enough to scare some sense into me right?  Knowing that I was playing with fire with a few of those combinations myself, I could have miscalculated the dose at any time like he apparently did.  Not even veteran drug users are immune to overdose.  By sheer dumb luck I'm still alive to have another chance at life.  I should feel relieved, grateful even.  Instead I'm whining like a child that can't have a cookie.  God I am so sick of myself.  I want these feelings to pass, I want the cravings and the sickness and the restlessness and the hopelessness to pass.  I know they will if I stick it out long enough, this ain't my first time at the dance.  It's sticking it out that has always been the hard part for me.  But I will do this, this time.  I have no other option.

It has helped that I've cut ties with my connections in town, it lessens the temptation to give in.  Actually they're all very pissed at me right now and a couple of nights I wondered if I was going to get the shit beat out of me coming home but that hasn't happened yet.  I have had C ("Dear _____" from my last post) banging on my door late at night a couple of times this week, that's always fun.  I'm tired of dealing with it and just want it all to go away.

I might have a lead on a new place to live, on the other side of town.  It'd still be a trailer court, but not as sleazy as the one I'm in now.  The problem with finding new places is finding one that is willing to let me bring my cats with me.  Thank God for my cats, they keep me somewhat sane.  I take better care of them than I do myself, pampered little fuckers. 

I'm amazed that I haven't missed any work in the last few weeks, considering what I've been going through.  They're used to me always looking like shit though, ha. 

I've been spending my free time walking when the weather allows it, reading when my mind is quiet enough to concentrate, watching DVDs, playing on facebook and the internet, and journaling when I have to get stuff out that isn't appropriate to put here.  And going to meetings.  I'm still not sold on the whole 12 step stuff but it's helping just to be around other sober people.  Gone out to lunch with some of them a couple times.  Mostly I'm just desperate to distract myself from my thoughts.  I'm not at a place where I can think too far ahead into the future as far as making any plans for myself, I'm still in just trying to make it through each day mode.  To those of you who have messaged me suggestions, thank you, it is appreciated and I hope I'll be able to seriously consider them in the future.

And that about sums it up at Casa Clarkster's.  I know I sound like a broken record saying this but thank you for all of your support.  You have seriously helped me stick this out for 19 days now.  To infinity and beyond....or something like that.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Some Things To Get Off My Chest

Dear ________,

I thought you loved me.  I thought you cared about me.  Once again I have been played, allowed myself to fall for the old lie.  All this time you have just been using me.  I admit, and regret, that sometimes it felt like I was using you too, to feed my own addictions....but I did really care for you.  I still do.  I wish we could still spend time together, I miss our jokes and our hugs and the things only the two of us understand. 

When we first met and you started paying attention to me, I was so lonely and starved for affection that I took your attentions as genuine feelings.  I held your secrets and you held mine and even though we didn't always make the most healthy of choices, I felt safe with you.  You said some things to me last night that  shattered that illusion.  At least I know now that I made the right choice in breaking ties with you, even though it killed me to do it.  Was it all a lie from the very beginning?  Did you ever care, at all?

I could tell you that taking advantage of my vulnerability like that has left me bitter and so fucking depressed that I want to give up and get wasted right now, but that's exactly what you want isn't it?   Because that's what I always do, run right back to you and what you have to offer, and fall for the lies of love and affection.  It's so classic-me it's fucking pathetic.  I said that day that I was ending the cycle, and I didn't just mean the drugs.  If there was any nugget of hope in my mind that I could still see you, it's gone now.  I need to stay far, far away from you or the pattern of abuse is just going to continue.  Because that's what it is - me, broken, seeking love in the wrong places from the wrong people and letting people control me and use me.  And thanking them for it, and asking for more.  You know exactly which carrots to dangle in front of me to suck me in, just the right words to say to set me off.  No more.  Fuck you all.  I'm not gonna be your floor mat or your fucking rent boy any longer. 

A Survivor

Monday, February 24, 2014

Blogging Lounge #4 "Dear Younger Self......"

When I saw the prompt this week, I said, "Duh, that's obvious:  Dear 21 year old self:  don't take that first hit of heroin!"

But is that the only thing I have to say to myself, in all of my 41 years?

It's easy to play the woulda, shoulda, coulda game.  But if we really could go back in time and change things, or prevent ourselves from making mistakes, where would that leave us today?  Wiser?  Better off?  Maybe possibly worse off?  There's no answer to that, and no end to the mistakes made over a lifetime that ended up being strong lessons learned.  Would we have learned those lessons some other way?  It's a circular question that has no end and no answer.

It can range from the comical.......

Dear 10 year old self:  it's really not a good idea to try and jump your bike off Kevin's shed roof.  (One of my front teeth is still crooked from the faceplant I took that day.)

Dear 14 year old self:  you may want to rethink the leopard print underpants.  (don't ask)

Dear 17 year old self:  weed and hair dye don't mix.  (I may have to repost that blog write some day.)

Dear 4 hour ago self:  that spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy's you had for lunch is going to give you some wicked heartburn.  (self explanatory) the tragic......

Dear 21 year old self:  please, please don't drive home tonight. (Lissa would probably still be alive today.)

Dear 23 year old self:  please, please take this first stint in rehab seriously.  (you will save yourself years of pain and wasted opportunities)

Dear 27 year old self:  take this suicide attempt and psychiatric hospital stay as the wake up call you need to get help.  (Instead of going right back to the same lifestyle that prompted it in the first place.)

Dear 33 year old self:  you're doing a great job of staying clean and sober, but if you just believed you deserved to be happy, you'd be.......happy.  (Instead of miserable and white knuckling your way through sobriety, ever on the edge of relapse.)

I could go on and on in the tragic vein for a long time.  I've lived a lifetime in regret mode, wishing "If only I had done this.....if only I hadn't done that."  But somehow it was never enough to really make me change my ways.  Maybe that's what I needed to go through, repeatedly, to get where I'm at today.....finally willing to end my love affair with drugs and destructive behaviors.  If I had the opportunity to actually talk to my younger self about these things, it would have fallen on deaf ears.  I wasn't ready to learn the lesson.  Even at my darkest, most desperate moments, I wasn't ready to learn that goddamn lesson. 

Do I like that I've wasted the last 20 years of my life buried in a pit of my own making?  No.  I'm fighting against the waves of panic that tell me it's too late, there's no point, why start now, etc.  But I also realize that there must be a reason why I'm still here, against the odds.  And to keep moving forward, I can't play the "woulda, shoulda, coulda" game.  I've been through and seen a lot of things in my life that have shaped who I am today.  Some for the worse, but some for the better, too. 

There is one "shoulda," that stands out though, that I do honestly regret not making and wish I could go back and remedy.......

Dear 8 year old self:  it's OK to tell someone about the abuse going on at home.  (Maybe the trajectory of your life would have taken an entirely different turn if you had lived elsewhere.)

Posted for The Blogging Lounge, prompt #4:  "Dear Younger Self"

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What Is It Like

Woke up this morning with this in my head. 

What is it like
to wake up
and not dread the coming day

to be glad the sun is shining

to not wonder how to get through the day without chemical cocktails

what is it like
to wake up
and not flinch at your lover's touch

to relish in the warmth of another's embrace

to feel that you can love and be loved unconditionally

what is it like
to wake up
and be happy you're alive

to welcome the challenges the day brings

to look forward to the love and laughter of others

What is it like
to wake up
and feel comfortable in your own skin

to want to grow and change and feel and live

to be content just to be

What is it like....

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Blogophilia 52.6 Follow Your Bliss

"Bliss" by Tori Amos

Father, I killed my monkey
I let it out to
Taste the sweet of spring
Wonder if I will wander out
Test my tether to
See if I'm still free
From you

Steady as it comes
Right down
To you
I've said it all
So maybe we're a Bliss
Of another kind

Lately, I’m in to circuitry
What it means to be
Made of you but not enough for you
And I wonder if
You can bilocate is that
What I taste
Your supernova juice
You know it's true I’m part of you

Steady as it comes
Right down
To you
I've said it all
So maybe we're a Bliss
Of another kind

Steady as it comes
Right down to you
I've said it all
So maybe you've a four horse engine
With a power drive
A hot kachina who wants into mine
Take it with your terracide

Steady as it comes
Right down
To you
I've said it all
I said a Bliss

Of another kind

'The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph."  ~ Thomas Paine

Most of you know what is going on in my life at the moment so I'll spare you the details, suffice it to say that it's only by the support of awesome people that I'm hanging on.  I had to get out now from a lifestyle that was killing me......and now I'm learning how to follow a bliss of another kind.

Submitted for:  Blogphilia 52.6
topic:  Follow your bliss
(hard, 2 points): Incorporate a quote from Thomas Paine
(easy, 1 point): use the phrase "get out now"

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Breaking Up

My mind has been on a rollercoaster the last couple of days and I must get my thoughts out, or my brain will explode.  Excuse the mind-dump.  It may be long.

Positivity is waning.  No wait, it's increasing.  No wait, there it goes again.  Hold on, it's back!  Nope, no it's not.  Ad nauseum.  It's that back and forth that is maddening, and makes me want to scream and do anything to make it stop, to get on an even keel.  I know to expect this, been through it a thousand times.  I either hold on, or give in at this point.  I am holding on, and riding it out.  I don't have a choice.  Well I do have a choice......but not really.  That choice I want to be over and done with.  But not really.  But really.

See what I mean?  It makes no sense to be so attracted to something that makes my life miserable and is going to end up killing me.

Many addicts refer to their drug as a lover.  It's kinda cheesy, but there it is.  Bear with me here.

If the drug is the lover, the addiction cycle is like a bad abusive relationship that is hard to leave.  You love your lover, and love the relationship.  Your lover makes you feel happy and alive. There are periods of calm when everything runs smoothly, then out of nowhere, they turn on you and smack you around.  You think it's your fault, and hide in shame and guilt.  You love them, but also fear them at that point.....maybe even hate.  You decide to leave, the only way to save yourself is to pack up and leave.  

But where do you go?  You have no place to stay, no money, and no job.  You lose your resolve to leave.  Then the person you love/fear/hate comes crawling back to you, remorseful about what happened, and promises it won't happen again.  They love you again, and you gratefully fall into your lover's arms, back to where it's familiar, and safe for the moment.  You forget about the bad times, and when your lover tells you it will never be bad again, you believe them.  

Things are calm and steady again, but then..... bam.  The punches come.  Blindsided again, you make up your mind to leave.  This time nothing will stop you!  But.....the same difficulties face you.  Where do you go?  What do you do afterwards?  You decide to stay, just to see if things will change.  Again.  You don't want to give up on the person you love so easily, so you give them chance after chance (after chance, after chance) to makes things different.  You go more warily now, tip toe through the rough patches, but stay you do.  It is, after all, the only thing you know.  Familiar.  And don't they say, better the devil you know, than the devil you don't?  You carry on with life, and hide from others this painful secret you have.  You lie that everything is fine, make excuses for this bruise or that.  You can't tell anyone the truth (but fear that they know already....this just makes up your resolve to try and hide it better).  

You have this gnawing feeling at the back of your mind that you really would be better off without this person, but fear of the unknown holds you back.  Your lover no longer makes you feel happy and alive.  Maybe you have other reasons for staying, even though you're miserable.  Maybe you stay for years, jumping from one calm period to the next....until the calm periods get fewer and farther between.  One day you realize that the calm periods have stopped altogether....or maybe never existed in the first place.  You feel like you're drowning, but still cannot fathom actually leaving.  Until one day you discover a tiny spark of hope.  The thought of leaving is still scary, after all, you and your lover have a long history.  You've shared a life together for many years and you're so entwined, you feel like your right arm would be cut off if you no longer weren't.  But you know things will never get better if you stay.  You see that now, after years of denial.  The seed has been planted.

You start to make preparations to leave.  You feel out the waters, weigh your options.  You change your mind a million times, tell yourself it's not so bad.  Maybe it takes a few more years and a few more bruises to finally get the resolve to break up with your lover once and for all.  There are painful decisions to be made, leaving scares you to death, but for the first time in your life, you're trying to put your health and sanity first.  It feels weird.  Alien, almost.  Your lover has a strange hold on you and the call to come back breaks your heart.  "Can I really stay away?" you ask yourself.  You know you've made the right decision, but regret it at the same time.

Wow, I really jumped the shark with that analogy, didn't I?  But I can't think of any better way, cheesy as it is, to describe addiction to anyone who has never lived through it.  Maybe I'm also using it as a way to explain why I haven't been able to leave for good.  Some people can break up and get the hell out of dodge without a look back.  Others find it more difficult.

I've made the decision to break up with my lover, for good.  My lover has gone by many different names.....heroin, oxycontin, hydrocodone, dilaudid, cocaine, ecstasy, valium, crystal meth, and others in between.  

The last time I used was Saturday.  

I'm on the fence about alcohol.  I don't have nearly the problems with alcohol as the others....perhaps I'll leave room for the occasional one night stand with that one.  I don't know.  But the more.  I know I know, one day at a time, don't think of it as forever, just don't use today.....I know all that.  But you and I both know that's just a smokescreen for reality.  It's what we have to tell ourselves because the stress of thinking about NEVER USING AGAIN FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES is too crippling. 

I have been here so many times it's embarrassing and disgusting.  My timeline is thus:  I started using heroin and other hard drugs in 1994 following the car accident.  I got clean for the first time in 1996.  Stayed clean for two years, relapsed in 1998.  Got clean again in 2001.  Had some small slips, but for the most part stayed clean 2001-2002.  Stayed clean AND sober from 2003 - 2007.  Relapsed big time the latter part of 2007.  Made another attempt at staying clean in 2008.  

Then from 2008 until now 2014 (!) it's been just one big blur of jumping from binge to binge.  Periods of sobriety lasting anywhere from a couple of days to months at a time.  Binges lasting anywhere from a couple of days to months at a time.  Binging.  Stopping.  Binging.  Stopping.  

I haven't been clean these six years and relapsed hundreds of times, I've been in relapse all these years and just stopped occasionally.  I saw it from that perspective for the first time this morning.  And it is, pardon the pun, a very sobering thought.  It actually took my breath away, once I'd realized that.  And once again I am humbled, mortified, and ashamed that I have allowed this to go on as long as it has.  

I've written some pretty brave words here over the years about stopping, and analyzing parts of myself and why I do this.  I've talked up a storm about it.  Lied that everything was fine and made excuses.  Said that I was clean but really wasn't.  I've lied to myself that I was fine, because I was still "functioning."  Hey look at me, I have a job -two even- and a roof over my head and cats and I write and participate in blogging groups and joke around on facebook and read books and buy groceries and go bowling with friends and ok I might pick up once in a while but I'm fine and I appreciate everyone's advice but really I'm normal.  

Let me tell you, from my personal experience, that "functioning" is the biggest lie, and the hardest to come back from.  I have been so down and low at times that I was the stereotypical junkie living on the streets selling myself for drugs.  I've talked about "the dope whore years" elsewhere but yes, that happened.  Is selling myself for a fix worse than white knuckling it between pay periods and driving 150 miles on my day off to the big city because I can't get the drugs I want in my small town?  The addiction is the same, either way.  I think it's easier to delude yourself about it, and thereby harder to admit that it needs to stop, when you're "functioning."  

I've exhausted myself writing this and I know no one reading this has any reason to believe that I'm sincere this time around.  I said on facebook the other day that I felt like I'd just taken a flying leap off a cliff by making this decision......and hitting the publish button on this feels like another leap.  I've disclosed things here that I'm nervous for people to see.  I just know I can't go on the way I've been going.  The cycle needs to end.  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A New Direction

I thought it time to spruce up the old blog here, the blackness was wearing on me and if I'm trying to make more positive changes in my life, it should be reflected here, yes?  Ok so the dark blue I chose is still dark, but it's not black-dark.  I'm starting to come out of the fog a little.

I messed up last night.  Big time.  But instead of wallowing in self-loathing over it today (and justifying continuing the mess up), I said "No, I'm not playing that game this time.  It happened, it's over, and I'm moving forward again."  

And damned if I don't feel like there's actually hope for me yet.  

I'm fairly sick of myself, the constant back and forth between sobriety and binges.  I can't do it anymore, physically or mentally.  I'm tired of feeling unworthy and less than human.  Something seemed to wake up in me today that I haven't felt in a very long time....the urge to thrive.  The desire to actually BE happy instead of putting on an empty smile.  

I know that I'll backslide emotionally at times but today, at least, I'm feeling more confident in my ability to not use the backslides as an excuse to use drugs.  I need to start nurturing myself and that little boy inside that desperately needs to heal.  I need to stop letting the motherfuckers win.  (Thanks for that reminder, Ileene).  

This is me at age 5.  This is the only childhood photo I have of me smiling.

Now if you know me, you know that I despise posting photos of myself online.  I'm stepping way outside my comfort zone here and will probably regret this later, but I'm doing this as a pledge to myself to start making some serious changes in my life.  No laughing at chipmunk cheeks, please.  

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Keeping It Real

I'm filled with rage over the most simple, petty things.  I recognize it, but have trouble controlling it.

Someone slights me, I want to smash things.

Someone ignores me, I want to do something that makes them take notice.  Even if it hurts me in the end.

I seek privacy, while at the same time call out for attention.

I reach out to others, and immediately feel ashamed and regret it when they respond.

I take proof of one good day, and use it to sabotage myself into thinking it's never going to happen again.

Hell, I sabotage myself into thinking anything, as long as it leads me back into using.

I question why I even bother trying.  Everyday.

I question why I bother writing this out, it's just another shameful ploy for attention, right?

I read back on what I write and realize that I have the emotional equivalency of a toddler.  Holy shit.

Posting anyway.  Fuck it.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Blogophilia 50.6 - The Colors Fade Away

The Colors Fade Away for Blogophilia 50.6

This bleak frozen landscape;
my life stretched out before me
neverending in its wanting...
the colors fade away, laughing as
they recede into the night.

What am I supposed to do now.....without you?

Beyond the veil I hear you whisper,
"come join me"
but I turn away from that temptation;
despite my heart breaking...
the wall is back in place.

When it hurts, you know it's the right thing.

I'm waiting for the colors
to fade back into my life,
for you, to fade back into my life.
The wall begs to be tumbled down
and breached.

But all that's left is a blind reflection.

copyright Steven Clark 2014

For my virtual reality effect (the ability to share digital files effortlessly via the internet), here is a youtube video of the song that inspired this, "Michigan" by The Milk Carton Kids.

My guilty pleasure.....I think you all know what that is.

Topic:  The Colors Fade Away
bonus (2 pts):  include a virtual reality effect  
bonus (1 pt):  mention a guilty pleasure  

Friday, January 31, 2014


As if I needed another reason to stay clean and sober.....I have some health issues that I've ignored for a long time, that I have to stop ignoring.  And actually address.  Unless I want to die young, or have a miserable disease-ridden rest of my life.

I've spent most of my adult life not really caring whether I lived or died, and sure did my damnedest to self-destruct.  Turns out that ingesting large amounts of illegal chemicals and alcohol do quite the number on the internal organs.  Who knew?  Ha.  I mean when you're young and indestructible (another ha) the warnings of "you're going to kill your liver" fall on deaf ears.

Now that I've (miraculously) made it to the age of 41, relatively intact, topics of health that used to not concern me are now occupying my thoughts.  Cholesterol?  Triglycerides?  Heart disease? Liver damage?  I actually have to think about this stuff now?  And do something about it?  Fuck.

Part of something I've struggled with in sobriety is a loss of identity.  It's warped, but my whole identity, for so long, has been wrapped up in the fact that I'm a drug addict.  Without the drugs, who the fuck am I?  What is the point of me?  Why should I care?

I guess where I'm going with this, is that I have to start caring about myself enough to want to take care of myself better.  And there's a part of me that is really fighting that.  It's stupid, but it's almost like the straw that broke the camel's back......"I quit using drugs, and NOW you want me to eat healthier and exercise?  That's going too far man, too far."

Even though I know I'll feel better if I do it....maybe that's part of the resistance.  Part of me doesn't want to feel better, because if I feel better, then I have to admit that it's possible to feel good without drugs.  Fucking brain.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Deep Roots Blogging Lounge #2

The old man pushed the wheelbarrow up the hill towards his destination.  The hill was not steep, but even a slight incline will seem like an effort when you're 80, he thought to himself, as he puffed slowly along.  The sun was shining, and the whole world seemed young and green and vibrant.  A perfect day to plant deep roots and feel the dirt between your fingers.

He reached the top of the hill and stood quiet for a moment, looking out at the view.  Behind him lay a grove of trees, bending and swaying in the spring breeze.  The effect was mesmerising, and the old man stood lost in his memories for several minutes before coming to.  With a deep sigh....not a sad sigh, per say, but a resigned sigh.....he took the shovel out of the wheelbarrow and started digging a small hole.

He slowly bent down to his knees, hearing them make popping sounds.  He took the hosta he had wheeled up, removed the plastic pot, and set it into the hole, breaking the root ball up a little as he did so.  He settled it firmly, and patted the soil he'd dug back in around the stem, softly and lovingly.  He then took a bottle of water he'd carried up and poured it all around until the soil was nice and moist.  "There you go, little fella," he whispered, "you'll do nice here, I think.  You'll both be good for each other."

He took more time standing back up again, the same joints moaning, and then dusted the dirt off his pants and hands.  He stood back to check his handywork.  "Could be just a little more to the left, but you don't mind, do you?"  he said.  He reached his arms up towards the sky, stretching as far as his 80 year old body would let him, making more joints pop.  He stood for a few more moments, let out another deep sigh, and made ready to go.  "I hope you enjoy it, Ella," he whispered, and patted his late wife's tombstone with his gnarled hand.  "I dug it up out of your garden, it's one of them you planted just last year."

He wanted to say more, but he knew that his Ella understood.  He put the shovel and water bottle back in the wheelbarrow, and slowly walked back down the hill of the cemetery, remembering years gone past.... and Ella young and green and vibrant in her sundress, working in her garden.

copyright Steven Clark 2014

Photo Prompt for week #2

Monday, January 20, 2014

Have You Ever Seen The Rain, Blogophilia 48.6

"Have you ever seen the rain?  I mean.....ever seen it rain this hard, before?"  said Rita, looking out the window of her hotel room.

She could see the room behind her in reflection, two double beds, astrewn with clothes, suitcases, and other travelers' refuse.  What their suitcases contained was different than the average woman's, though.  Most respectable young women didn't travel with thigh-high boots, nipple pasties, and dildos.

Rita's friend Rose looked up from what she was doing, and huffed a reply.  "Eh, so what?  It just rain.  You afraid of getting wet, honey?"  Rose laughed, a course sound that grated against Rita's ears.  "You should be used to gettin' wet, it's yo job.  You gettin' wet, making the men wet.  You make evy-body wet, evy-one is happy.  The happier evy-one is, the mo' money you make.  That's why we here.  Look, come away from dat window, help me sort this shit."

Rita moved away from the window and sat on the bed.  She knew this was a great opportunity, to be seen by Tad Falcon, the most infamous adult movie producer of the day.  She was under no illusions that "Tad Falcon" was his real name.....nobody in this business used their real names.  She also was under no illusion that she was a shoo-in.....she knew that if she were to get this job, she'd have to got to lengths she'd never gone to before.  And that scared her.

"Tad's a hard guy to please, ain't he?" asked Rita, trying to feel Rose out.  Rose had worked for Tad in the past, but she never talked about it.  She didn't talk about it now.  One eyebrow flicked up at Rita's question, but that was the only response Rita was going to get.  All Rose would say was, "You jus' need to remember, you'll be alrigh' in the end.  You do what he say, you be fine."  Rita didn't ask anymore questions, but went off to the bathroom to sort out what makeup she would wear the next day.

Tad Falcon was staying in the same hotel as Rita and Rose, but on the top floor, the penthouse suite.  His mind was occupied by business letters and questions about taxes....the very unglamorous side of running an adult media empire.  He needed a distraction, and was welcoming the audition of Rita leFay....or as fans and the industry marketing regime nicknamed her, "Rita leLay".

Rose escorted Rita up the elevator to the penthouse floor.  But after Rita stepped out, she said "God be with you, little one, you remember what Rose said.  You do what he say, you be fine," and the elevator doors closed, leaving Rita all alone in the hallway.  She stood there for a few minutes, gathering her breath, and caught a look at herself in a hallway mirror.  "I can do this," she whispered to herself.  She didn't know why she was so scared; she had been in the industry for a couple of years now and knew how to conduct herself in front of new producers.  Still, Tad Falcon had a reputation....girls, and guys, would do anything to become a part of his production family.

Rita walked up to the door, knocked, and waited breathlessly for it to open.  When it did, a squinting man ushered her into the foyer.  "Imagine having a hotel room so large, you have your own foyer!" thought Rita.

"Wait here," the squinting man said.  He shuffled off through another door, and Rita was left alone.  She could smell something like chicken soup wafting through the corridor, with hints of rosemary and thyme.  Her own stomach rumbled; she hadn't eaten any breakfast.....she thought whatever she had to face, she could face it better on an empty stomach.

Soon, she heard a door open and Tad Falcon himself was walking across the foyer towards her.  Rita felt a little weak-kneed and breathless; still, she kept her professional cool and spoke to him as she thought an industry pro ought to.

"Rita!  So nice to see you dear, please tell me they are treating you OK!" beamed Tad, his face nothing but polite concern as he kissed her cheek.

"Yes, it's been lovely here, thank you.  And....I'm so glad to be able to meet you," Rita said, coyly looking at him from under her lashes, her hand slowly caressing her breast.

"The pleasure is all mine," he said, taking her hand in his and kissing it.  He gently massaged her fingers for a few seconds, before placing her hand on his crotch.  Rita's eyes stayed locked on his, and after a moment, cooly unbuckled his belt and trousers, ever aware that the squint-eyed manservant was still present, watching them.

"Ah yes, let's just go inside here, shall we?" Tad said, gently pulling her up by the arm and guiding her into the suite living room.  With a sanctimonious glance at the manservant, Rita swept into the room.

No sooner had she stepped into the room did Tad have her on her knees, her face hovering in front of his crotch.  "You have quite the reputation for satisfaction, Rita.....prove it to me,"  Tad said.  His voice still sounded menacingly gentle, as if he were inquiring after a favorite poem or opera.  Rita wasn't scared, not yet.  This wasn't anything she hadn't already experienced.  Still, she was a bit pissed off that she had to prove herself this way, hadn't she brought in a million dollars for other producers and even won an AVN award?

******here, dear readers, is where I have to stop.  This went in a much darker direction than I had originally intended, and these days I'm trying to stay out of the darkness.  So, instead of deleting it and starting over, I will leave it up to you to finish the story in the comments.  Tell me your take on things......does Tad rape Rita and hire her for his movie, or discard her like trash?  Does Rose rush in and save Rita from making a dreadful mistake?  And just what is Tad's and Rose's history?

Blogophilia Week 48.6 Topic: Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
Bonus Points:
(Hard, 2 points) Use the name of two magazines - "Look", an old publication , and "Penthouse"
(Easy, 1 point) Incorporate rosemary and thyme

Friday, January 17, 2014

Letting Go part 1

You know the old adage that "like attracts like?"  Or maybe, "trouble attracts trouble."

In 2011, I was putting a brave face on things, but was a wreck inside.  And how is that any different from my normal state of being, you ask?  Well, there are wrecks, and there are wrecks.  

I began a relationship with a gal I'll just call R.  I kept it quiet, because it wasn't the type of relationship one brags about.  We met at a meeting, both of us there for reasons that didn't include real recovery.  

I guess I was lonely.....desperate is probably a more accurate description.  Imagine two co-dependent addicts using each other as an excuse to use drugs.  Throw in lots of binges and sex, fights, and broken windows, and that pretty much sums things up.  Until we discovered that R was pregnant.

All my adult life, I've been meticulous in a very paranoid way about using protection in my casual encounters. Because of my own abused past, damned if I was going to allow a child of mine to be brought into the world and have the cycle continue.  But this time, I got careless.  When the pregnancy was confirmed by the doctor, both our worlds turned upside down.

We talked.  And talked.  We both had delusional pipe dreams about staying clean, getting our shit together, and raising a child.  Maybe get married and pretend to be normal. But deep down we both knew it wasn't going to happen.  

When she started talking about getting an abortion, I have to admit that my  liberal, pro-choice values were sorely put to the test.  I panicked.  Shit just got real.  For a few weeks, we both stayed clean and talked some more about what to do.  It seemed, for a while, that she was keen on keeping it.  I remember feeling baffled about how to feel, if that makes sense.  Part of me was angry, part of me was scared shitless, and yet another part of me was a tiny bit hopeful.  Maybe, this was what we both needed to get our lives back on track.  If we couldn't get our shit together for ourselves, maybe we could get our shit together for this little being.  

I made plans, looked for a second job to bring in more money.  I stayed clean.  I thought about how to rearrange stuff in my trailer to have R move in with me, and where we would put this little being when it was time.  We talked daily, and for a brief few weeks in 2011, I was almost a father.

R came over one day shortly after that and I could see that she was high.  She said she had made up her mind to go ahead with an abortion.  Stunned, I asked why.  She got angry and defiant, and I got angry and defiant back at her.  She left, and I broke shit.  The next day I went to her place and begged her to change her mind.  She was adamant, and in a moment that seemed to encompass eternity, I realized that she was right.  Even if I was willing to get my shit together.....she wasn't.  There wasn't going to be any happy ending to this, even if she kept it it would be born drug addicted and faced with a lifetime of health problems.  

The appointment was made, kept, and we parted ways shortly afterwards.  I knew she was hurting, but I was hurting too and wasn't feeling generous.  Sobriety was a joke after that.  I binged and went back to hiding from the world.

I told what happened to only a couple of people in my private life, and none of my online friends.  It was a kind of pain that I had never experienced before, and I didn't know what to do with it, couldn't explain it to anyone, so I didn't tell anyone.  The closest I came was quietly alluding to it in this post from August 2011:

One of those people in my private life that I told was Kelli.  For those of you who have read me longtime, you know that Kelli and I had an on again, off again, relationship for years.  She desperately wanted a family, and for years tried to 'fix me' so I could be that soulmate, perfect partner to provide her with one.  In 2005, when we were "on again" and living together, (and also during one of the longest clean and sober periods of my life), she underwent fertility treatments to try and get pregnant.  It was a time of anxiety and endless waiting, and of me feeling like nothing more than a stud bull.  At that time I didn't want to be a father, but how could I say no to a woman I loved?  I never admitted to anyone, not even myself really, but every pregnancy test that came back negative I breathed a sigh of relief.

When I told Kelli (even when off-again, we were still close) what had happened with R, her reaction was horrific.  The fact that I had fathered a child on a woman that wasn't her, after her endless attempts to get pregnant, was too much to bear.  It forever fragmented our friendship and while today we still call each other 'friend,' the closeness we shared is gone.  She is now married and she and her husband are looking to adopt.  I wish her nothing but happiness, but I regret that we no longer share that closeness.

I've kept this experience so close to me that it feels strange to share it now, but things we think are buried and dealt with have an unfortunate tendency to remind us that they have never been dealt with.  

Part 2 to follow.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


I hadn't logged into this blog since last summer, until I decided to write something recently for the new Facebook writing group "The Blogging Lounge," and before last summer, it had been 2012 since I'd logged in.  Wow.

Four whole posts for 2013.  I think that's the longest I've ever been MIA from my blog.  

It hasn't felt like that long to me, but then, 2013 has pretty much been a blur.

Since logging back in a few days ago, I've read over a lot of my old posts and found nuggets of writing that I'd completely forgotten about.  A few are worth sharing again, but I'll wait until the time is ripe.

So what has been going on in my life all this time?  Or in other words, "where the hell have I been?"

When I first started blogging waaaaay back in 2008 in the Myspace days (Jesus, that's a lifetime ago it seems), my life was an open book.  I wrote about anything and everything and didn't hold much back.  Now though, I don't feel comfortable sharing that much of my private life to the world.  It's like I stripped down and exposed myself, and now I want to put my clothes back on.  The last few years I've written some really soul-bearing stuff, but it's still "mylife-lite".  I've written alot about emotions and thoughts, but not a lot about what is really going on in my life.

I think I'm ready to share some of that now.......but not in this post.  Soon, though.

I know the burning question on everyone's mind is "Is he still clean?"

Yes, I am clean today.  Taking it day by day, and it's only today that matters.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Who Am I? Blogging Lounge #1

Who Am I?

"You're a pathetic waste of time."          No, I'm not.

"You're nothing but a failure at everything you touch.        No, I'm not.

"You know you'll give in sooner or later, you always do."          Not for today, I won't.

"Your father was right, you're weak."           Sometimes, yes.  But I'm also strong.

"You know you want it, you dream about it all the time."          Sometimes, yes.  But I also know it's just a dream.

"Your veins are salivating right now just thinking about want to get high."          Sometimes, yes.  But I know it's just a lie and a false happiness.

"You'll feel better if you do it."           Perhaps briefly.  But I know now that the consequences aren't worth it.

"You've never been able to succeed at staying clean long, because you're a such a weak failure."        And yet I keep on trying.

"You're a disgrace to manhood, you even cry at night."           Embracing, not burying, my emotions makes me stronger.

"Your father wished you'd never been born."           And yet I'm the one still here, alive and kicking.

"You're such a loser."             No, the fact I'm still alive after all these years makes me a winner.

"Who the fuck are you?"         I am a survivor.

Submitted for the Blogging Lounge topic #1, "Who Am I?"
(Thank you Ariana Browning for continuing the work of GBE under this new incarnation!)