Lighting a Fire Under My Ass to Get the Lawn Mowed, Literally

The weather has finally been decent around here the last week, so I’ve been enjoying my time outside and just unwinding a bit after finishing my latest book project. I haven’t heard anything from the publisher yet about a serious timetable for release, but I’m hoping late June/early July.

My wife returns to work later this week and I’ve been working with her to get her list of housing improvements and projects done. She probably hit at least half her list, both inside and out. I’m glad one of us makes living in a nice looking house a priority. I really appreciate it, but when it comes to doing the hard work, or even knowing what looks nice, I fall way short.

I’ve only got about a half-acre, but was able to buy a new riding lawn tractor a few years back for $500, so I took it. It probably cuts 70% down on the time to mow the lawn vs. the push-mower, so it was well-worth the investment. Of course, cutting it was also about a week overdue as the wildflowers were starting to grow and the grass was looking like it was 8 or 9 inches long.

I tried to get the thing started last week, but like the pool pump, snow blower or just about anything electrical or mechanical that I use seasonally, it of course, wouldn’t start. I checked the gas and oil, but knew that wasn’t it since it would even begin to turn-over. So, I backed into my driveway, grabbed my jumper cables and hooked up the lawn tractor battery to my Jeep’s battery in hopes of jumpstarting it.

For those unfamiliar with riding lawn tractors, mine has its battery under the seat. The small leather chair rests on a couple of coiled springs that act as shocks to allow for a less bumpy ride. If you flip the seat forward, between those springs, recessed into a hole, is the battery. It’s like a mini-car battery, about two-thirds the size.

I was able to get the lawn tractor going with the jump start, but whenever I took my foot off the throttle, it would die. I tried jumping a few times and noticed that there was a little bit more life in the lawn tractor each time, but it still wouldn’t turn over. I thought it was just a matter of holding my foot on the throttle for several minutes to really get the charge, but it’s hard to keep it down in a standing position. So, I put the seat back in place, making sure it didn’t touch the jumper cables or battery, then sat on the lawn tractor and started her up.

It was much simpler keeping my foot on the throttle in this position and I figured I’d give the whole thing three or four minutes and if it didn’t keep a charge at that point, I’d buy a new battery. I was listening to my Spotify playlist for about 30 seconds when I started to smell something funky. After a couple more seconds it smelled like burning, but not traditional burning. I looked down and to my left and saw a flame coming out just a few inches below my ass. That was my cue to get off the seat.

I jumped off and flinged the seat forward. Apparently, when I sat down one of the jumper cable claws, or whatever you call them, pivoted enough so that along with touching the battery pole, it was also touching the spring. The spring was coated in something black and that something was flammable. So was the plastic cap that covered the battery’s pole.

I was able to blow both the small flames out with two gusts of mouth wind.

The next day, I bought a new battery at Home Depot.

We All Make Mistakes. Some Are Just Bigger Than Others. I Can Relate.

You probably don’t remember what was on cable news the day before Coronavirus went around-the-clock. Same goes for 9/11, but it’s easy to understand how once the terrorist attacks took place, whatever was on CNN disappeared and was forgotten.

Arguably the biggest story in the world of justice on 9/10 was the first day of the trial for many people involved in the rigging of the McDonald’s Monopoly Millions Sweepstakes.

The what?

As it turned out, between 1989 and 2001, while McDonald’s customers were saving game pieces from the French fry boxes and drink cups hoping to match them up and win a prize, almost every major winning game piece was sold by a small group of people with access to the winning tickets. The FBI estimated that more than $24 million in prizes were diverted to this criminal conspiracy.

Then the planes hit the buildings and people largely forgot about the trial.

I don’t recall if I heard anything about this story when it was happening. In 2001, I was in my first big-deal lead editor job at a newspaper, which for a man-child of 24 with no college degree was impressive and rare. I was also living on my own, recently out of a long-term relationship, and was at a point in my life when I partied much too often, much too hard. When the owner of the company sent us home around noon on 9/11, I spent the next four days in front of the TV doing very little other than smoking weed, drinking beer, looking at porn and sleeping. There were probably harder substances or prescription pills mixed in that I just don’t remember. It’s easy to understand why I may have missed that story. I missed most of the first half of my 20s.

I first read the entire story about the McDonald’s game rigging in a magazine a few years ago. I remember it was convoluted to read because of how many people were involved, and the fact that the two guys most responsible were both named Jerry. But it was a crazy story because it was not a story of organized crime by well-connected mobsters. There may have been an element of that here or there, but it was mostly regular people in varying circumstances justifying getting themselves involved in a scam unlike any other in history.

The entire story, from its genesis to where people are today, was recently chronicled in the excellent HBO documentary series McMillions. If you have HBO, or you cable system is giving limited access to HBO during the pandemic, as many are, I urge you to watch this series. Unlike Tiger King, which was entertaining in a car-crash way, this is actually a well-told story with a beginning, middle and end. Sure, like any six-hour documentary, it drags in places, but I believe the final episode is one of the best hours of TV I’ve seen in years.

While I was convicted of a very different crime that was all of my doing, I drew many parallels to the situations of many of those who were part of the scam as depicted in McMillions, both as they were participating in and how they now look back on the ordeal years later.

There’s the single mother who always had trouble making ends meet or the LDS foster father who wanted to give his foster son a leg-up in life. There’s the crazy wife of the one guy in organized crime too scared to leave or disobey him and his oblivious flight attendant mistress who was just along for the ride. The show is rife with characters who are concurrently deeply flawed, yet sympathetic; smart and cunning, yet dim-witted and convincible.

I’ll try not to provide too many spoilers, but it’s my guess that most people watching will say that, depending on how the participant was presented in the documentary, the justice system was either too lenient or too harsh in its sentencing.

I heard a lot of that after I was sentenced, when my book came out and when I first started sharing my story on podcasts. For unintentionally, yet negligently engaging with a teenage girl in an online chatroom in 2013, encouraging her to behave sexually and taking two screen captures, I served six months in jail and three years of probation. I obviously never wanted anything like that to happen in my life, but I caused the entire thing to go down. While my mind was clouded by addiction, it’s not any excuse for my heinous behavior. I just was not of a mindset where I saw it happening to me in real time, nor one where common sense overrode my poor choices. All of these years later, I bet I still actively regret my decision a minimum of five times a day. It stays that front-of-mind, always.

There were people who openly called for decades-long sentencing for my transgressions and others who thought I shouldn’t have served a day based on my clean history, mental illness at the time and rehabilitation prior to sentencing.

What is the proper sentence for someone who convinces a teenage girl to expose herself online and takes a picture of it? There was no physical contact and I couldn’t actually make her do anything she didn’t want, right? But I was also taking advantage of a situation and manipulating it with depraved indifference against someone who was still a minor, right?

McMillions shows that even when people are doing the wrong thing, how they should be dealt with is not always a matter of black-and-white. If the “ringleader” gives a million-dollar winning game piece to his friend that will help pay for healthcare he wouldn’t otherwise receive and that friend cashes in the ticket with a phony story, is he any better than the former drug dealer who is given a winning ticket by the same ringleader, and is going to tell a similar story, yet spend his winnings on a yacht? What about if the ringleader sends a million-dollar winner to St. Jude Children’s Hospital? That actually happened.

I understand both sides of these kinds of debates. Instead of wading into the debate whether I got a lenient or tough sentence, I accepted it and tried never to question it too deeply. The judge decided what was proper, and radical acceptance was the fastest way to deal with it. I see both sides of the debate. You cannot get away with what I did, but did six months in jail teach me anything three months, or two weeks, wouldn’t have? Those questions can never be answered, so why waste energy asking? Because it makes for an interesting debate, I guess.

The most important theme for me in McMillions, though, was forgiveness and understanding. No matter how you feel about my ultimate punishment, I think we can all agree I made a mistake worse than most people ever will. Ignoring my professional life and the fallout there, my mistake was the kind of thing that echoes throughout relationships with family and friends, causing them to face introspection over what I did. Many friends dropped me and will never give me the chance to prove I’ve changed. Some family members are just starting to talk to me after 6-7 years and some still won’t. It’s nothing I can control, but it certainly is a situation I created, not them.

My transgressions caused a world of embarrassment and shame for my close relatives. My daughter had to switch schools. My wife was released from her job under BS circumstances. Emotionally, those close to me felt a lot of heartache seeing me in such dire straits, not knowing my legal fate. I’m sure it caused anger, pity and scorn that they hid well. My crimes, and the attention brought to them because of my community stature at the time, rocked a lot of people’s worlds. I didn’t really care what happened to me through most of it. I cared about what happened to all of the people who didn’t deserve the pain and inconvenience my horrible decision making caused because I knew none of them would ever do that kind of thing to hurt me.

When I was going through the legal process, I met many officials who I could tell thought I was just a piece of shit, didn’t give me a second thought and saw the world in black-and-white. I was a statistic, a charge on the docket or just another inmate. These are the kind of people who have helped make this world so divided. They refuse to see nuance in situations that deserve it. Thankfully, I also met a lot of deeply decent human beings in both the justice and law enforcement side of things. They understood I made a horribly rotten choice, but it didn’t make me a horribly rotten person. I just made a mistake I’d have to pay for, but it was not a reason to condemn me for life. It’s telling when a stranger working to prosecute you knows this, but someone close to you refuses.

Understandably, the web of people – dozens and dozens – who were involved in the McDonald’s Monopoly game scandal, saw many fractured friendships and relationships, but one of the final montages in the documentary showed that nearly two decades later, many bonds can be mended… some can even be forged. The lead federal prosecutor is now good friends with the first person to ever cash in a game piece, the stepbrother of the ringleader. That made me smile.

Speaking of the ringleader, he understandably got the longest sentence, and predictably, some thought it was appropriate and some thought it was far too short. He refused to participate in the documentary and is now living out his remaining years (he’d be around 80 now) with his seventh wife in Florida.

They show the horrible fallout of his choices. Companies went under. Many people lost their jobs and reputations who did nothing wrong. His lapse in judgment hurt so many people.

I thought about if he should have got more time and I thought about if he should have participated in the documentary as he is clearly the antagonist, but I respect the fact he did his time, has not reoffended and wishes to be left alone. It’s his right.

I’m guessing I enjoyed that last episode the most because it’s where I find myself now and where I’ll be the rest of my life: trying to live with a choice that hurt people both close to me and who I will never know, having to live with the consequences, fallout and limitations created by that choice and still trying to believe things can be better than they were before any of this happened. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s never black-and-white. Nothing ever is.

 

 

 

I Dream Different Than You and It’s Not Fun

I’ve made a few references to my sleep/dreams in the last few months and I’ve got more feedback on that than anything other than porn addiction. So, since we’re all holed up in our homes, probably take more naps and sleeping in, I figure I’d talk about it more in-depth.

I am a very lucid dreamer. For most people, lucid dreaming means that you can pause in the middle of a dream and recognize that you’re dreaming. Usually, that derails the dream, which can be frustrating if it’s enjoyable.

My lucid dreaming is different. I can largely control my actions and the action of what’s happening in the dream. I do not create the premise of the dream, nor do I pick the characters. I know this is not technically true, because it all comes from my subconscious, so really, it is coming from inside of me. However, once the subconscious sets the characters and plot, my conscious usually takes over about 75% of the dream.

There are some upsides, lots of downsides and a handful of just weird-sides to being able to be an active participant in dreams:

Upsides:

I don’t have nightmares – If anything starts going awry, I simply remind myself none of it is real and that I should enjoy the ride. For instance, the other night, I had a dream where I was driving my car through my parents’ neighborhood at night. There were fires burning everywhere and tigers were running around. (Thanks, Joe Exotic.) As I was driving, the thought occurred to me, “This could never happen, but visually, it’s amazing, like a velvet painting from the 1970s…I wonder what else I’ll see.” It was like a safari through hell, but you can’t tell that’s not a fascinating premise once you realize it’s not actually happening and you’re safe.

I can continue dreams – Have you had that moment when you’re enjoying the dream, but you wake up and wish you could go back to it? I can. I can be awake for probably 2-3 minutes, including getting out of bed to go to the bathroom, as long as I don’t fully wake up, and return to the dream and it ends up being 85% the same.

I’ve purged grudges – I don’t have a lot of strong emotions in dreams, but when I do, they aren’t often positive, but they are cathartic. Do you know how you often wish you would have had a snappy comeback, or told somebody off, or quit a job, or whatever in the moment, but you just didn’t have the words? There are a lot of people in my life I’ve had anger for who I have reconnected with during a dream and I’ve let them have it. This might seem negative, but when I wake up, it’s like the part of my mind that was holding on to that has let it go.

Downsides:

I rarely sleep deeply – I know when I sleep deep because I’m not able to control the dreams or I have no dreams at all. The norm, however, is that every little sound, jostling in bed by my wife, or unrelated thought that dances into my head can cause me to be woken. When I’m in a manic cycle of my bipolar, it’s even worse.

I often can’t tell when I’m awake – You know how you sometimes have trouble falling asleep, but eventually you do and then when you look at the clock and it’s hours later, you just assume you slept? Like the rest of you, I can’t tell when I fall asleep, but it often takes me a long time to recognize I’m awake, unless someone else is waking me up. Since I’m able to always have a running dialogue with myself in my head, there’s a fine line between dreaming/sleeping and talking to myself/being awake. My wife has said that I can speak in full sentences, usually making sense, yet it’s clear I’m still mostly asleep.

I sometimes can’t tell what memories are real – Since my dreams are so realistic and I have so much control, I have memories of them, and I often can’t remember if something actually happened to me or if it was a dream. I think this is partly due to the fact that for so much of my life, I’ve had a detachment issue in that I’m not fully mentally present when a lot of things are happening during my waking hours. This leaves me with very hazy memories. So, if I have a flash in my head of something like ducks sitting on a picnic table, I don’t know if I’ve actually witnessed it in real life or it’s something that is in my head from a dream. I’ve travelled a lot in my life, and many of my dreams are about travel. There are things like restaurants, people I’ve met and other experiences that I remember…but am not sure ever happened.

I fall asleep, and dream, for a couple seconds at a time – It’s never behind the wheel of a car or anything like that, and I’m not sure it’s full sleep and maybe it’s not sleep at all, but for just a couple of seconds, I’ll nod off and the dreams start. It makes me wonder if there is a line from totally detached daydream and actual sleep. Usually, these quick-hit dreams have something to do with what’s going on around me. Most of the time it’s just me being up late sitting in a chair watching TV, but it’s happened in waiting rooms and other places I’ve been tired and able to daydream. Having a two-second dream about the environment you think you’re awake in can be very jarring because you’re not sure what’s reality and what isn’t. This is happening more and more lately, and coupled with the other downsides, I’m starting to think I need to see a sleep specialist because an increasing lack of being able to tell what’s real and what’s not sounds fucking crazy and in the moment, when it happens and I’m not in bed, it’s a little scary.

Weird-sides:

Learning the rules – I have never done any research about dreams, despite having taken part in two studies and I firmly believe that dream interpretation is about as precise as astrology. People believe in all kinds of things they can’t see, so whatever, I guess. Anyway, I recognize that everything comes from inside your mind in dreams, so here are just a few rules I’ve noticed that govern the world of my dreams that may not be the same for everyone:

  1. You can’t control light. Try turning a light on or off in a dream. It’s impossible. Screw a lightbulb in a socket. It will never go on.
  2. Those aren’t words. While I can read a sign, or a headline, if I’m able to quickly look at words off to the side in a dream, I notice they’re not really words. It’s like scrambled characters or blurred letters. I’m guessing the brain can’t provide that level of detail.
  3. You must keep moving. I can’t just sit still in a dream. I’m either always going from one place to another or if I’m sitting still, I’m involved in some other activity with my hands. Any time I’ve tried to just stand still the dream comes to a halt and dissolves into nothingness.

Sleeping in a dream – This is really messed up because it will throw me off completely. There are times when I’m in a dream and I “wake up.” I don’t often recognize that I’m still in a dream, which for someone who almost always does, really is disconcerting. It isn’t until I wake up for real that I usually recognize I’ve had the dream-within-a-dream situation.

Alcoholic dreams – While they are fewer and farther in between than when I first stopped drinking six years ago, I still have dreams about drinking. I can’t tell that I’m dreaming – ever – in these dreams. They are all the same. I see a pint of beer, I say no, then all of a sudden, I’m thrust forward in time and I see several empty pints. And I always wonder how I messed up and drank them without registering I don’t drink anymore. They’re ludicrous and I have no idea why I can’t control them at all. And the most frustrating thing is I don’t actually get to drink in them.

Closing credits – I can’t control this part of things, but I’ve only ever heard of one other person having this happen. You know how they say dreams don’t end? Mine sometimes do. And I know this because there are closing credits. Like I mentioned above, I can’t read them all, and it’s just small white words moving up on a black background, but that means the end of the dream.

…………………………………………………………………….

I don’t know if all of this connects together. I don’t know if it connects to my bipolar disorder, detachment issues or battles with addiction. I don’t know if lucid dreaming has anything to do with nodding off and immediately dreaming. Ultimately, I consider my relationship with sleep to be more of a curse than a blessing because sometimes, sleeping is more exhausting than being awake for me.

I don’t remember what show it was on, but recently I saw a story about a guy who took part in a college study in the 50s or 60s and he was able to stay awake for 11 consecutive days, which for most people is physically impossible. When they examined this guy’s brain after this amazing feat of longevity, they found he was able to shut down pieces of his brain and give them the rest they needed while others stayed awake. By rotating the different parts of his brain that were resting, he never needed to fully fall asleep. That’s stuck with me as I wonder if I do that but haven’t yet learned how to control it.

As I reread this in editing, I recognize just how insane how most of this sounds. Kind of makes me want to skip my afternoon nap.

 

No, It’s Not The Coronavirus That’s Making Me Depressed

The thing that sucks about heading toward a depressive/anxiety episode, as my body is telling me that I’m doing is that there is very little I can do to stop it. It’s just part of the deal with bipolar disorder. I can call the doctor and ask them to up my meds, which I may do in the coming days, provided they don’t demand an office visit. I refuse to pay $152 for something they can just do over the phone. When they insist, I usually just tell them “Never mind, I’ll try to get by” and then I get my way.

I have to make sure that I’m also not helping along some self-fulfilling prophecy. I don’t want to feel shitty and I have to constantly make sure that I’m not overblowing it. My grandmother left me scarred as far as knowing when I’m actually sick or not, so I constantly have to assess the situation and make sure I’m not telling myself that I’m better or worse than I actually am. It’s a little easier with a physical ailment, especially if it’s bleeding, but with a mental issue, I have to double-check that I’m being honest with myself.

One of the slightly annoying things is that I don’t feel like I have the manic upswings I once did. If I have to have the lows, the trade-off should be the highs that I experienced when I was younger. Maybe it’s a good thing they don’t happen now that I think about it.

I’m off to see my therapist in about an hour. I only visit her about once every three weeks now, but I’m going to suggest that we make the next appointment a little sooner. I really hope she doesn’t ask me what my mother and wife have: “This doesn’t have to do with being scared about the Coronavirus does it?”

I wrote about it last week and may have dismissed it a little more than I should have, but no, it’s nothing to do with that. I do think if Tom Hanks dies from it, we should rename it Tom Hanks’ Disease, like we have Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Maybe that’s morbid. No, that’s definitely morbid. The thing that hit me last night was that my uncle who died in late January has no idea that any of this happened. I don’t think his death has actually hit me yet. Maybe it won’t.

Mother Nature can be a bitch, but I think it’s important that humans are reminded now and then that we don’t have the power we think we do. We still can’t control the weather, nor natural disasters and we still can’t control pandemics. The world has had its share of volcanic eruptions that destroy the ecosystem or floods and fires that wipe out huge swaths of land. We’ve seen hurricanes and tsunamis take hundreds and thousands of lives and yes, there have been many diseases and plagues that took the lives of even more.

All that said, the human animal is resilient. We’ve gone 200,000 years and we’re going to go a lot more. In the coming days, you’re probably going to hear a lot more negative news and a ton of new cases, which is going to cause some people to have fatalistic, “the sky is falling” attitudes. To this, I say, “I don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.”

It’s interesting how people who haven’t experienced depression or anxiety think it works. When most people hear depression, they think sadness and when they hear anxiety they think scared. While I do get helpings of each, it’s more about a physical and mental paralysis with me. I physically feel both a tightness and a sense of detachment from my body and mind. For those who have smoked marijuana, it’s a little similar to that high. I just can’t operate at normal speed as I feel impaired.

Last year, I had a horrible bout of this, but I don’t see this one being even half as bad. I think what may have made it worse last year was that I didn’t recognize it soon enough and get the necessary rest to help move things along. I’m not going to make that mistake this time. I’ve cleared a bunch of my work for the next couple weeks and aside from a major radio show this weekend (if you’ve got Sirius XM, I’ll be on Sunday at 6 on Channel 131) I’m stepping back from marketing the book.

Anyway, I think I just needed to get this babbling out of my system before I see my therapist. I hope everyone has a good day. Wash your hands.

I Can Sense the Next Bipolar Spike is About to Begin

When my mind starts to really wander into metaphysical, philosophical and quantum mechanics areas of thinking at all times of day, I know that either a bipolar high or a bipolar low is about to make an appearance. I’ve made the decision to track some of these thoughts over the next few years so I can see if there are any trends in the content of the thoughts so I can predict which way things are going to go.

I tried to explain this to a woman at rehab once. I know people get songs caught in their head. That happens to me all the time, but a lot of the time it’s as if they are songs that aren’t in a language I can understand. It’s just background noise, like when you leave a fan running at night so the room isn’t quiet.

The best way I can describe this is as getting a really complex – yet utterly pointless – song caught in your head, and then getting like two or three songs caught at the same time. It’s like I’ve stumbled across an idea and I can’t just let it go. If you’ve ever binged at something, whether it’s a TV show or video game or something else, you might also understand this. For instance, when Tetris first came out 30 years ago for the Nintendo Gameboy, I played it so much that I was rotating blocks and hearing 8-bit classical music even in my sleep.

 

Here are a few examples of these things that get stuck in my head…

 

Almost every religious text references the end of the world. I was flipping through the TV channels the other night and one of the religious channels had a guy preaching that the coronavirus was the signal of “end times.”

Then, I was driving in the car and the song “In the Year 2525” by Zager and Evans came on the radio. It basically talks about mankind moving toward an unknown future and considering it was written in 1968, it probably makes more sense now than then. It got me wondering if mankind will still be around in 5,000 years.

Let’s say we do something stupid and we’re not around in 5,000 years. I think that’s entirely possible. Our ability to develop technology far outstrips our ability to recognizes consequences. Disregarding our similar, yet different, relatives, the modern human has been on Earth for 200,000 years.

If we have less than 5,000 years to go, we are 39/40ths of the way to extinction. If you’re on vacation for 40 days, don’t you consider the 39th day the end of the vacation?

Maybe end times aren’t coming. Maybe we’re living in them now.

Is the head technically a body part? The head is a collection of body parts, but is it a part itself? Is it more of just a concept? Can a part be a collection of other parts?

You could say that the ear is part of the head, but the ear is just a collection of other parts – the eardrum, the tiny bones, etc., so is the ear truly a part? I’ll admit I know nothing about the eardrum, and it’s too early to go researching, but it’s possible that’s made up of other parts.

So let’s say, yes the head is a body part. Does that make the body itself a body part because it encapsulates everything or does it stop being a part because it’s a whole? If I am in an accident and lose a finger, my body is still a whole…or is it?

If you take a piece of pie, the rest of the pie is still the pie. But when there is less than half the pie left, we talk about it in the past tense, “How much of the pie is left?” It was once a whole but is now less than that. If it’s less than a whole, it should be a part.

In this same vein, what would it take to officially exhume the Titanic and not just parts of it? At what point would we say we have the boat from the ocean floor? A lot of stuff has just rotted away and is gone. How much of the boat had to come to the surface of what’s still left to be considered saving “the boat” and not just pieces?

But, if things like head, pie and boat are concepts just as much as they are actual things, what isn’t a concept. Aren’t words just concepts used to codify and identify things? If that’s true, why dwell on this?

 

Anyway, that’s just a tony look at the kind of stuff that’s clouding my head right now. I’m also thinking a lot about the fact that every person I see has a complete, complex life and if there are any types of ranking systems to determine what a good life or bad life would be.

Sometimes my head doesn’t buzz with this kind of nonsense and other times it feels almost debilitating. It’s kind of exhausting, which I guess is why I’m drinking more caffeine than I have had in a while. I’m also sleeping a lot, which makes me think things are on a downward slope, but there’s nothing concrete signaling depression on its way.

I’ve been like this forever and I know that part of my addiction was not just to cope with trauma, but to escape this kind of thinking that is just loud random chatter happening in my head. I’ve talked to doctors and shrinks about it and none of them seem too considered, so I won’t be either. The addictions helped slow my mind. I know there are things like meditation that is supposed to help, but I can’t get there. I’ve tried many times. Meditation is either me going deeper into these crazy thoughts, or falling asleep altogether.

Don’t worry about me. I can cope with this stuff. I just wonder if anybody else has stuff like this happen.