A Quick Family Visit

Think of it this way when you can. Close your eyes.
Think of the faces at the table.
Imagine them all smiling. This is your family.

Think about your Continue reading

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About Our Behavior And The Ability To Improve

More and more, I have become interested about how the brain works. This is especially so when it comes to my own and my own life. So in an effort to learn more about me as well as my mistakes and behaviors and in order to understand more about the self-made roadblocks we often find in our way, I took a deeper look into the definition of what sobriety means.
According to dictionary.com, there are nine different definitions. However, a few of these stood out to me above all. According to the dictionary, to be sober is to be free from excess, extravagance, and exaggeration. To be sober is to be sane or rational, and to show self-control. Although I am some of these things, I am certainly not all.

I thought Continue reading

From Bedtime Stories For The Insomniac: A morning I will never forget

It wasn’t long before the realization set in. I felt foolish. I was stupid. I could feel the weight of the handcuffs and of course, I could feel the discomfort of steel tightened and cinched to a tight setting around my wrist.
It wasn’t long before the nerves shook and the fear took hold. I could not show this however, else, it would be obvious that I was afraid and seen as either weak or timid.

Of all places, this was no place for me to appear either of the two. As it was, I had been picked up for a simple foolish mistake.
I was not heading in for any hard crime. No, I was in my pajamas, however, and picked up on a bench warrant after being pulled over with expired registration tags on my car.
Continue reading

prose for the child that was

I know you feel afraid sometimes. We all do.
I know that there is this thing inside you that want to protect because you don’t ever want it to hurt again or suffer or feel so vulnerable that something could come along to hurt you and in one swoop, this would punish you beyond repair.

Little kids are afraid of the dark. I have heard of children that shut the lightswitch in their bedroom and then they run to bed and try to get underneath the covers before the lights go out. I used to do this too. Continue reading

And Love

And love . . .

Love is always changing, transforming, and emerging in new ways like an early sun before it takes over the sky, and I’m like, “Ah, here it comes.”
My love is always changing, always seeking and always yearning. It is always looking for the next level of awareness. And I say awareness because I see it like this:  I see love as something with its own view. I say love has its own way of seeing things —so I don’t agree when I here people say love is blind. I just say my love sees things differently and what you might call Continue reading

Life Volume 1: The Ability To Recover

There are no guarantees in life.I know this the same as I know that tomorrow will come and so will the next day after that. I know these things are on the way, but yet, I have no idea what they will bring with them.
I have no idea who I will meet or say goodbye to. I have no idea what successes are in store for me. And just the same, I am not sure what failures I will have to overcome. All I know is I have a path to travel. I won’t know where the wind will come from or which way it will go. I just know the wind will blow in whichever way it chooses.
And if I play my cards right . . .
Continue reading

To Be An Advocate

I suppose a lot of things are intimidating in the beginning. I remember my first class I needed to take to start gaining my certifications to help in the recovery world. They went around the room and each student had to introduce themselves to the class. Each person had a title. They all had credentials. Some in attendance had been in the clinical world for a long time, some of them held master degrees, and me, well, —I was just me, intimidated Continue reading

Always Keep Going

If I could I would love to go back to when I was fresh on the job and new in the business world. I would love to go back and say to me, “Be careful with the way you measure yourself.” I would say be mindful of the people you speak to and yes, be careful with the friends you choose because there is no moderation here in the business world. Friends are friends and business is business. I would caution me to be aware of this. If I could I would tell me just because someone might have the same dream as you, it doesn’t mean they have the same drive to achieve it. So don’t give in and more importantly, don’t allow yourself to be intimidated.
I would explain money has a way of changing people. So do titles and job positions. People can become drunk with these things and they buy into the lies of their own ego. Continue reading

In The Classroom: Know-it-all-kids

Damned kids . . .
They know it all. You can’t tell them anything. They don’t listen and I swear, it’s like talking to the wall, only, the wall listens better and the wall doesn’t talk back.
I never thought I would say these things. Then again, I never thought I would be an adult either, —which is not to say that I never thought I would grow older. I guess I just assumed I would always see be the Continue reading

A Brief One From Sessions From the Balcony

Scene One:
set the stage, edging from summer into the fall, the scene is quiet and peaceful.
Ready . . .and action!

It was around sundown on an evening, midweek, and on the Eastside in Midtown Manhattan. I took to the 29th floor roof of my employer’s building after a long day at work. I was high above Lexington avenue and facing west at the new construction of a building, which is Continue reading

Life Volume 1: About Our Source

I believe in the word energy. I believe this is us and that we are energy in which, exactly like Einstein said, “Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. I can only change forms.”
I believe the body is a container and the rest is us, how we live, how we think, eat, and breathe. I believe with all my heart in the energy of the soul, which is us down to the core.
We are born this way, like this, born as a vessel that stores our energy, which is always constant. I believe the mind and the body and soul is always constant; therefore our energy is constant. We are a sum of this, always, and because of this we have the personal responsibility to choose the direction in which we direct us. 
Continue reading

Life Volume 1: For Those In Mourning

The hardest part of loss, especially when it comes to the unexpected loss, which happened out of nowhere and the one who passed away, is gone, but to us, we feel as if we have been left behind to wonder if they knew who they were and what they meant to us. This becomes the weight we carry. This is the heavy hearted pain we hold; and we hold this as if to acknowledge our loss, as if to prove our love, and we hold the feelings of our loss because whether the Continue reading

From In The Classroom: Victory

I believe that yes, we do have to fall sometimes to learn what it feels like to get back up. We need to know that we can endure. We need to know that we can overcome and that in spite of our mistakes and regardless to our own inner defects or outbursts and regrets, we can still go forward if we choose to.
We can still move forward as long as Continue reading

The Path

I agree when you tell me life is a journey. Along the way, we learn about various disciplines of thought. We go through different phases of our character, we shed our skin as we grow to evolve and we encounter different experiences. We meet different people with paths that match our own; in some cases, we part ways, sometimes we split  temporarily and then we reconnect at another point in time. We run parallel with other people living their life, and sometimes, we overlap, somehow cosmically, and we find ourselves back where we began in an almost deja-vu state. We move and we grow and we go on our own way. Then suddenly, almost miraculously, we come to the understanding that we always had exactly what we needed and that everything we ever wanted was always right there, right in front of our very own eyes. Continue reading

Friends and Family

I started a long walk with my longtime, best friend. I am at the age now that I realize the company we keep is important because this helps become accountable for ourselves. The people we choose to have in our lives are important because they have a direct effect on how we act, perform, or choose to improve. I passed the junction in my life where I thought differently about the crowds and popular opinions and I’ve grown beyond the times when I was lonely, even in crowds, and now I have come to the realization that life alone is Continue reading

From In The Classroom: About The Game

We have this reward system in our mind, always hungry, always looking, and always crying out like a kid looking for a cookie.

This is how I see it:
When the good news is in and when things are right, the kid is happy. When everyone is friendly and everyone is supportive, when the votes are for and not against, the kid thrives. But take something away, throw in an insult, throw in fear, throw in anything you can think of that would be unsettling for a kid to hear; throw in an uncomfortable turn or an unexpected stream of bad news and take away the reward. Suddenly, the Continue reading

Life Volume 1: about my education

Back when I was living at 60 Meadow street when my Aunt’s house was home to me and the ideas of adulthood were still pretty new, I remember resigning a few of my fears about school and agreed to take the steps towards getting my high school diploma. I have always been uncomfortable in classroom settings. I always felt intimidated by teachers. I never liked taking tests. Most of all, I never liked the anxiety I felt when taking tests, which is why I always steered away from the ideas of going back to school.
Plus, I never wanted to Continue reading

Life Volume 1: The Music

And the music, God, I swear there has to be something about the music when heartache comes to town. Somehow, in some crazy way, out of nowhere and in the random deep moments, the most painfully sad song comes on the radio to signify the moment and capitalize the pain. You feel every note that plays. And every word to each part of the lyrics coincides with everything that beats in your heart.

I have a few of these songs myself. They are Continue reading

Random

They call it a foxhole prayer. These are the prayers that come out in times of great stress. This is when people pray because their back is to the wall. They’re afraid because it’s a life or death thing or they’re afraid to be caught.
Sometimes, prayers like this come when slumped over a toilet, the room is spinning around and no matter how you grab the walls; the room just won’t stop.  Sometimes the foxhole prayer is quick and it comes Continue reading

Life Volume 1: Recovery

I cannot say when the switch happened or how. I am not sure if I ever have one of the falls to the knee moment and felt embraced by the warm light of God because of a near death experience. I am not sure where the change began, or how, or what took place. In full disclosure, I did not believe in my process nor did I ever consider that I would ever find me straight or drug free. In all honesty, I believe my change came after a combination of events.
I suppose my first Continue reading

Early morning Walks

I love early morning walks. They give me time to separate the nonsense on my head and allow me a moment to redirect my energy. And it’s best at sunrise when the town is still sleepy and quiet. For me, sunrise means the sun comes up above an old Church, otherwise known as Old Wesley Chapel which is across from my home. For me, the sunrise comes up and sheds light on my small town on this side of the mountain. The Continue reading

About A day On The Farm

It was my last day on the farm. I was about to embark on a new journey and about to enter into a new, unknown chapter. It was a morning like any other. Like usual, the sun came up over the mountains the same way it did for the 11 months of my stay. I was a dorm supervisor. I was a leader and senior member. I was someone with a respected name and position, a friend to many, and a brother to some. It was strange to think how this would be the last morning I woke up in the dorm. This would be the last time I had breakfast with my housemates. This would be the last time I had to answer to the daily regiment and follow the house rules. It was strange to think that after this morning, I would be released to a Continue reading

Life Volume 1: Perception

Ah-ha!

The following is about the deception of my perception. This is about the way I saw myself and the inaccuracy of my interpretation of life’s events. The paragraphs to follow are about moments when a light turned on in my head. This is about the moments of clarity when I saw life around me and realized that not everything is as it seems.

Up late with my usual Continue reading

Quick Prose: To Be Young

As grown as we might be or as grown as we might become, there will always be among us, the young one within us.
There will always be the young thought and the young soul inside our spirit that still maintains a love affair with wonder.
There will always be this inherent need to laugh and play and to smile. And ah, the smile of this child is like no other. This is us in our truest Continue reading

Letters From a Son: On This Day

The hours of the day have a way of changing quickly. The summer just began and yet, here we are at the close of September. The sunrise is later now and the sunset comes earlier too. Pretty soon the canopies will change and the tree-covered mountains around my home will take on the colors of autumn.  It will be October soon, which means pumpkins and things like that. It’s pretty around here. It’s peaceful too.

I have always viewed Continue reading

Relaxation Script

First, find a place to sit still and shut everything off. Find a comfortable position where you not be interrupted or feel the need to move. Shut off the world. Shut off the technology in your mind and turn off the switches that connect to stress and tension.
Lean back and breathe. Allow your head to rest. Allow your body to fit comfortably into position. Do not cross your legs or your arms. Find a Continue reading

Life Volume 1: The Early Years

I go back to a time when I was young and in front of a friend’s house. Maybe we were 10 or 11 years-old. Maybe it was the kids I chose to hang around with at the time or maybe it was me just being me.
This is one of my first memories where my life began to switch. We were in a small group and not doing much else but being kids and talking about whatever it is 10 or 11 year-old kids talk about. I cannot say I remember the conversation at all because I don’t. I only remember Continue reading

Never Let It Be Unsaid

I think of all things I miss, the one thing I miss is the thing I never really had. Now, of course, I remember what it was like to be young and I remember what it was like to have a father. Of course, we had tie together but my memory of The Old Man is vague and hazy.
I remember him teaching me how to throw a football. I remember him teaching me how to snap my wrist to get a better spiral. I never played much football though. I was never big, strong, or fast enough to play on the field. I did play in the peewee leagues though.
I played a little Continue reading

From A Lost Kid’s Perspective

It was long ago but then again, long ago is where all of our old memories come from. We were much younger, of course. And this was me. I was young, crazy, and wild, which, with all three ingredients being equal, the combination was dangerous. I was one of the loud ones from the town. I was one of the mischievous and the troubled, anxious to live as fast as I could, and ambitious to dare it all and defy the odds. And his was fun to me. It was fun to defy the Continue reading

Life Volume 1: Love and The Curious Kid

Just around the time when life moves from youngster to adulthood, I found myself lost but wondering if there was a reason I felt this way. I was wandering in a sense and searching, like always, and trying to find this thing we call love.
Of course, I knew what love was. At least, I knew a little about love. I knew that I had love for people in my life. I knew I felt love before but this was different. I knew love was a feeling. And I knew that I pretended to love. But love I was searching for was different.

In previous Continue reading

Life Volume 1: First Entry

I am a searcher. For as long as I can remember, I have been searching for the meaning of life, which is why I will call this new section of journals, Life – Volume 1.
I am a young man. Yet, at the same time, I am not so young. In some ways I am grown and in others I am still an infant. But yet, I am still a searcher. I am still learning and still seeking to find the different meanings of life —and I say meanings to pluralize the word meaning because to me, I believe the meaning of life is infinite.
Life as defined by the dictionary is the period of our animate existence.
But no, life is more than that.
According to the dictionary, life is defined as the condition which distinguishes organisms from inorganic organisms. But no, life is much more than this. I have also read definitions Continue reading

About a flight

I was sitting in seat at a North Carolina airport and awaiting a new flight because my original flight was delayed for several hours. I was on my way home after a crisis intervention trip that had been difficult from the beginning. At best, I was tired. I was spiritually, physically and emotionally drained. Allowing myself to exhale, I took in another deep breath to rinse myself of all that happened in the last two days.

In an effort to Continue reading

Written For The Stuck Ones

You want to run away, but you can’t. And you can’t because you’re stuck in your own skin. You’re trapped in your own head and no matter which way you turn, no matter where you run, and no matter how you try to get away, you just can’t seem to escape yourself.
 
This is your search for the exit door—
 
When you feel trapped, you look for a source of light in any form possible because when you feel trapped, it’s like being scared of the dark —and even if you knew where the light switch is, it doesn’t matter because you feel too small to reach it.So you reach for whatever seems closest even if it pulls you farther away

Continue reading

This Is About The Other Side Of Things

There seems to be a lot of public outcry for different awareness programs, but before going forward, I want to be very clear that the details that I am about to express are very real to me. However, I also want it to express that the ideas and emotions I will be sharing are not the same thoughts and emotions I have now.
Please understand that while going forward, I am writing this to help shed a different light of awareness and to help others understand depression and the struggles with suicide. Keep in mind; this is Continue reading

Written Out Of Frustration

The sameness between most is the attitude you see in any punk kid off the street. They all think they have it. They all think they’ve found the edge, which makes them an outlaw of some kind or a gangster in their own mind. And you can tell when the attitude is real or just an act from a rookie. You can tell by look in their eyes and the things they say.
It goes back to an old saying about tough guys which says, “Those that do, don’t and those that don’t, do.” What this means is a tough guy never has to warn anybody.
A gangster doesn’t have to brag or draw attention to himself; instead, the real outlaw sits in silence enjoys the wealth of his anonymity. The real ones are the ones you would never know were Continue reading

About My First Climb

We set forth on a walk outside and up the mountain during the early hours of the day. It was me and my closest friend. It was at the hour of daybreak in the midst of a heatwave. The journey had hardly begun and already the air was thick and the sweat was building up. There was little to say at the time. There was only the incline ahead of us which picked up quickly.
The trail led us in Continue reading

About Mom

Written for L.K. and Family

The dictionary defines the word, “Mom,” as the informal version of the word, “Mother.” But I think there is more to it than that. A mother by definition is the female parent. Mother is a term of address for the woman regarded in status and the functional role of the female parent.
But a Mom; to us, a Mom is everything. Mom is the Continue reading

From In The Classroom: A New Plan for Parents

There needs to be a change. We need to find a new angle, but more importantly, we need to work together in order to find it. Above all, we need to become a community again and understand what it means to have a sense of civic responsibility. We cannot look to blame or find fault anymore.
I would like to see a change in the dynamic when it comes to the way we treat mental illness. More accurately, and more importantly, I would like to see a change in the way we Continue reading

Below The Bar

It was the last winter of my former self. I was in the basement of a corner bar in a little strip mall next to the 7-11 store at the corner of Front Street and Merrick. It was late and somewhere after 1:00am during a cold, mid-winter rainstorm. I was not too far from my home where my mother and father slept. My brother, the hall of fame athlete, the rock star, the hero, and a name that was amongst the most popular of my town was elsewhere in the world. He Continue reading

The Weight

There are several things that can weigh us down. This is true. There is more than just the weight of the body and sometimes, the weight of the mind can be the heaviest weight to bear.
There was a place somewhere up along Route 17 and far away from the city life, far from the places I knew, and far from the people I knew and the things I did which kept me sick. I call this place The Farm. It was here on a farm in the upstate New York Mountains that I underwent a change for the better. This is where I was stripped of my image. I was removed from my Continue reading

A Different Kind of Math

What makes us tick?
There is a very real reason why we act, think, and respond the way we do. This is not a case of right or wrong, good or bad, but moreover, this is simply a matter of fact that regards why we act think and respond the way we do.

Last night, I was put in a situation where I thought, maybe it’s me . . .
Maybe it’s the way I see things or maybe, just maybe, the way I see things is a result of my past history and my brain is wired to respond in a certain way. Maybe it’s like I said to you: the mind is nothing more than a computer, which simulates and calculates the mathematics of past history and it combines this with assumptions and the main stressors, which we hold on to like a mathematic theorem, which in all honesty is only a theory, but i Continue reading

About Being Kind

The truth is we might not always know the effect we have on others. But still, we intertwine as human beings and we move along and we grow, we wake up and we go on about our day, and sometimes without notice, we come across an opportunity to do something so incredibly simple —like say, to shake someone’s hand or simply talk with them or listen, and then almost unbeknownst to anyone, a simple act of common courtesy was enough to help someone stand up when otherwise, they wouldn’t have the strength to stand on their own.

I spent Continue reading

About Me Leaving The Farm

It was not until my last days on the farm that I was able to process the change that was about to take place.  Close to my departure, the feeling was very surreal to me. The place that had been my home for the last 11 months would no longer the place where I lived. The people I depended on, the routine I became accustomed to, the scenery, the groups and the counseling sessions, the rules I had to follow and the place where I slept, showered, ate, and worked was about to change.
This is when the reality set in. At last, I could Continue reading

From The Book of Firsts: Loves Me and Loves me Nots

People say you never forget your first love. Maybe this is true.
I’m not sure if anyone ever forgets their first of anything when it comes to anything important. I can say that I remember my first kiss at sleep-away camp.
I can say I remember the first girl that I called “My girlfriend,” which lasted for about three to maybe four days. I remember the first girl I ever had the chance to play Continue reading