Going Cold Turkey

It's been too long since I've posted anything here. To be honest, there was a period that I was suffering the detested "writer's block" and that eventually turned into laziness. I'm hoping that phase is now behind me. Anyway, that's not the point of this post. The real topic here is that I'm going cold turkey starting today with one of my biggest addictions – Facebook.

That's right, I've deactivated my Facebook account as of this morning. There are many reasons I've decided to log off (hopefully not to return anytime soon, if ever again), but it basically boiled down to reclaiming some freedom. Facebook has a way of taking over. Like any addiction, it doesn't happen all at once.

At first, Facebook was a great way of staying in touch with friends and family throughout the world. Then over time it evolved. It grew new limbs, started getting larger, found it had power over others, and morphed into a social experiment that shows the worst of being social.

I wish I was like a lot of people I know. These people are able to simply overlook the horrible and focus on the good. They ignore the racists asshole trolling people who are speaking up (cause it doesn't involve them), they overlook the news reports of our country being destroyed (either cause they are too scared or simply do not care), and/or they simply don't think that having a voice does anything (which shame on you). These people are not necessarily bad, I'm just not one of them.

I feel the need to speak up for every injustice I see. I'm not afraid to speak my mind or my truth. This alone has alienated me from some so-called "friends." I'm okay with that. I don't need a lot of friends. In fact, if you know me, really know me, you know that typically I have a very small group of people I'm close with. But because of Facebook over the last few years, I've pushed more and more people away.

I don't blame the site obviously, but I've become aware of its impact on me. I started to think about life before FB and I realized a few things. Before FB, I was actually more social in person. Because I couldn't send messages or see what someone was up to everyday, it created a will and want for me to hang out and catch up with them. This went away with FB. Before FB, while I've always been an angry person, I was at least hopeful of the world we live in. FB shows all the worst of humanity and makes it hard to hope.

Now if you've been on FB for any amount of time over the last two years, you should understand that someone who can't turn an eye, who isn't afraid to call people out, and who may not love humans a lot to begin with would struggle to breathe on the social giant. I found myself too many times arguing with people who would never change my mind, or I their's. I tried to ignore these situations but I can't. I don't have the will power too.

This is what FB has been for me for over two years. It's taken too much of a toll and I'm done. I've signed out and deactivated my account. I expect, like an addict, to have difficulties with this. I'm sure I will go through withdrawals and possibly even relapse. However, I'm determined to remember what life was like before, and find some hope again.


Lonely vs. Loner

I feel like a tennis ball being hit back and forth on the court.  Except it’s not two sisters competing to win a trophy that has me feeling this way.   It’s my own neurotic self that is causing me to feel emotional whiplash.   What subject is causing me this internal strife?   Well it’s the subject that causes all of us or most immature but deepest struggle – love.

Now my turmoil isn’t over one person.   I’m not still stuck on an ex (sorry boys!).   In fact, it’s quiet the opposite.   I’ve grown too accustomed being by myself.   That mixed with my overall anxiety (especially when meeting new people one on one) has me feeling like Rhonda Rousey’s face after it met Holly Holm’s fists.   Bruised, swollen, and bleeding.

It’s not that I don’t want to find love and be with someone.  That’s far from the truth.  I’m lonely a lot of the time, but at the same time I love my alone time.   I need my alone time.  Being around people for too long (on some days being around them at all) drains me completely and requires time alone to recharge.   So how do I find someone when all I want is to be left alone?   

Maybe that’s the question of my life.   The lesson I’m supposed to learn.  Hopefully somewhere a long the way I’ll find “the one,” but I don’t think it’s as easy as going to the humane society and adopting a cat or dog (you all know I’ll be choosing a cat!).   If you happen to know of a place like that, let me know!   Meanwhile, I’ll continue the back and forth of feeling lonely and not wanting anyone near me till I figure this shit out…

Work Day Anxiety 

I suffer from anxiety.   I have since I was a pre-teen.  Back then I didn’t call it that.  I just remember constantly feeling exhausted. I learned to live with it.  Through high school, college, and early adult life I kept myself so busy that the anxiety was just part of being busy.   Then it got worse, especially after turning 31.   Things I used to be able to do, like my job as a trainer or going to the grocery store, became more and more difficult.   If you don’t live with anxiety it’s hard to explain why spending ten minutes in a store can send you into a full on anxiety attack.   But it can.  Imagine you’re scuba diving and your tank starts to lose air.   Your body tries and tries to maintain normal function, but with lack of oxygen your vision grows blurry, your body drips sweat, and the whole time your brain registers all that is going on but doesn’t know how to attack each individual threat (or I should say, precieved threat).  

That feeling can happen at anytime, or any place.   Even my own house.   Lately, I’ve found ways to address it and not let it run my whole life.   Through medication and meditation I’m doing better, but I still have moments and days that it comes roaring back.    Work days are typically the worst.   Now I work from home and don’t have to interact with anyone in person so you’d think that would help, but only so much.    On work days, I feel like in waiting for something bad to happen.   I know that is a stupid thought but it takes over my mind.   I find it hard to concentrate on much until work.   I’m jittery.  Waiting.  Checking the clock.  Checking my phone to see if something bad has happened or that I’m in trouble somehow.   It makes the work days start off in the negative, which at times can be insurmountable.

Now I do stop and mediate during this time, which is helpful, but the anxiety is always there.  Tapping away at my chest trying to find it’s way back into taking over my thought process and attitude.  I wish I didn’t spend time worrying so much about something that at the end of the day doesn’t really matter (I know that even if I have a bad day at work, I’m still okay overall).  I wish I could wake up, get things done, go to work, and not have a million thoughts smashing into each other and fighting for my attention until I simply can’t focus at all…  

34 with Daddy Issues

I was born into this world abandoned. Before my first breath, I knew what it was like to be unwanted by someone. I grew up knowing and understanding that I was the result of a brief fling between my mother and the man who fathered me. I knew that this man wanted nothing to do with his “mistake.” But growing up, it didn’t really bother me. Sure there was the fact, I couldn’t really be involved with Boy Scouts (remember the 80’s version was all about father/son bonding). Or that I didn’t really have anyone to teach me how to do “manly things” like throw a ball or change oil in a car (my brother taught me the latter). But my family did a good job of not making me feel different or less than. My grandfather, my brother, and my uncle Jim all played parts in making me the man I am today. I learned from all of them what it means to truly be a man – that is someone who is there for and supports the people they love no matter the situation. Even with all these positive role models and the fact my family’s love for me was absolute, I was still lacking a vital piece of me. Confidence in love.

I didn’t learn this at an early age. In fact, growing up I was so bitter towards the man who left me that I didn’t really spend much time thinking about his absences or the impact it had on me. People would always ask me as a kid if I wish I had a dad or if I felt like I was missing something. At the time, and still to an extent today, I didn’t know how to answer. How is someone supposed to know what they are missing from a relationship they’ve never had? I saw other father/son relationships and I could sumise only so much from those interactions. Typically my response was, “nope, I’m good without him.” But what I was hiding from them and even from myself was that the biggest thing I was missing was knowing fully I was loved.

Again, my entire family never made me doubt they loved me. In fact, I consider my mom, my grandmother, and my aunt all my mothers. They showed and continue to show me love all the time, no matter what. Yet I have never been able to shake this feeling (I’m just starting to come to terms with) that by being abandoned (even by someone I never met), my ability to love and feel love has been compromised. There is this whole side to me that is unknown. It’s a mystery. I don’t know anything about the other half of my family. I don’t know what type of medical conditions I may face due to that side. I don’t know if I have other siblings who may be more like me than my brother is. It’s just this dark void. And nothing I could’ve done as a child, except for having a father, would’ve avoided this hole from growing and infecting all of me.

I think if I was more aware of this from an early age, my life would’ve been different.   I would’ve opened up more to people.  I would’ve probably had my first relationship before the age of 23, and maybe that relationship would’ve ended differently.  Why you wonder.  Well how is someone supposed to really love and allow someone else to love them when they spend the entire relationship worried about being abandoned.  I feel bad for my first ex.  He (we won’t even get into the gay thing in this blog) had to try and love someone who couldn’t love himself fully.  I think this relationship brought up so many of my daddy issues I wasn’t even aware of.  From early on in that relationship, I was petrified that he would leave me.  After all, I was easy to abandon.   That caused all sorts of unhealthy relationship issues, and now that I look back on that relationship I’m shocked it lasted as long as it did.   I think that it is a testament to fact that people can love me, and me not fully trust it.  I mean trying to spend seven years convincing someone that you love them has to be exhausting…  and I was oblivious to all this.  I was focused on how not to be me, so that he wouldn’t want to leave me.
Time has passed since that relationship and there have been a few more here or there.  None have lasted long.   I question if it was more the fact we just weren’t right, or was I unaware of the fact I always push people away.   That’s it.  Isn’t it?   The lasting effect of not having a father.   I can’t trust anyone enough to stay with me.   If my own father couldn’t stand the thought of even trying to stay, how can anyone else?   So I built up a wall.   I’ve reinforced it over the years.   Abandonment doesn’t scare me anymore because I won’t allow anyone close to me.

This doesn’t just effect my romantic relationships, but my friendships as well.   I’m not a great friend.  I’ve cut so many friends out of my life because instead of working on a relationship with them, it was easier to cut then out before they eventually did me.   That’s how my brain works.   Instinct will always outweigh rational thought.   Instincts are bread into us.  They are taught through all our life events.   Thus when one instinct has been so unconsciously reinforced and strengthened by one’s self, it’s gonna be a bitch to undue.

Here’s the thing though.  I’m more aware of this than ever before.  I understand I’m a 34 year old man with a shit ton of daddy issues, and I’m working on it.   In the meantime, I may still instinctively push people away, but I’m hopeful that one day I’ll meet someone who simply will push back harder.

Pride My Way

It’s June! Temperatures are rising across the country and summer is finding her groove. Along with the rising temps, bring a few other traditions. First is that clothing gets shorter and shorter! I long for the first hot shirtless guy I see of the season running down the street! Another tradition is the yearly gathering of the LGBTQ+ community at Pride! As cities all across the country get set to throw their own unique Pride parade and parties, I find myself for yet another year having no desire to attend at all…

Let me stop you there.

Before you get all, “but like it’s like so fun, and everyone is there just having a good time, and it’s all about love…”.

I get all the reason why Pride is important and why it attracts so many people of the sexual spectrum. I see how some people would consider it fun, and I don’t judge anyone who attends. The plain simple truth is it’s just not for me. I wish it was. But it’s not.


I wish the answer was simple. I could simply blame it (and honestly most of the time I do) on my anxiety. Nothing sets it off quiet like the thought of being surrounded by hundreds and thousands of people. Hell there are days, weeks, and even months where the thought of having a 1 on 1 with a stranger sends my anxiety soaring. Needless to say, going and celebrating with a thousand strangers (even accompanied by people I trust and am comfortable around) is not something I want to run out and do.

But come on, James, it’s one time a year!
Yeah yeah yeah. I’m aware. I do get the concept of time and how it works! But I also don’t feel the need to celebrate every holiday or celebration every year. There have been years, I’ve skipped Christmas, Thanksgiving, My Birthday, even Halloween! Not skipped really. I’ve always celebrated or marked them in a special way but often alone. Like the year in Russia, I had McDonald’s on Christmas even though the entire country had invited me to an “American Christmas,” or that time for my 32, 33, and 34 birthday where I spent the entire day alone high off my ass watching movies, listening to music, and partying with my cats! It’s not that I didn’t celebrate those days. I chose how I wanted to and was comfortable with celebrating them.
Same goes for Pride!

I’m gay. I’m proud of it. I’m proud of all the men and women who are brave enough to stand up in front of a very hateful, judgmental world and be who they are!!! I celebrate it everyday. And I will celebrate in my own special way this June. Be it with watching Moonlight again; jamming out to Madonna’s Vouge, Express Yourself, Human Nature, Papa Don’t Preach, or Rebel Heart; or simply taking a moment to realize how lucky I am to have been blessed to be a gay man. It has taught me love, compassion, understanding, and that no one wants to be hated for who they are. So love each other. Be proud! Have fun!! Celebrate you the way you want!

Thanks for stopping by!