Addition by Subtraction

Hopefully, I sleep tonight. I’ve got Melatonin and Benadryl. I feel like I haven’t slept in a very long time. I don’t know anymore. I suppose growing up, getting older, and learning what we learn; it’s all just tragedy. All I know, is that I was born, and that’s when the suffering began. I don’t really know anything above that.

I’ve pretty much given up on God, I have definitely given up on people, and I have given up on medicine. I’m just pretty much along for the ride anymore. I am done trying to fix, manage, and control. I’m exhausted. Most nights I fall asleep hoping I don’t wake up. I don’t even know why I write anymore. Me writing the first book is one of the things that I’m proudest of, but concurrently regret the most. I never asked for any of this. The recognition, the notoriety. I just thought that it would be valuable to others, to hear the struggles and things that I went through, and perhaps it would help them in some way. But humans are vicious and ugly creatures, especially where I come from and live. As long as you’re doing well, and making people look good, and doing what they want you to do, you’re golden. But the second you start to show signs of struggle, or fall- like vultures they come to pick you apart. They gossip, they slander, they defame, they judge, they message your wife in secret, hoping to gather what they believe you have spilled. Even some of the men you have helped in the past, are doing their best to collect your spoils, to bed your wife, and to slander your name. Life is such a beautiful and sad thing. Not the concept of life itself, but the people. The people are what make and ruin this thing called life. Me being one of them. I hate myself at times for the wrongs I have done. I hare myself for the people I have hurt. And I am so truly saddened, and sorry for the wrongs and acts committed compulsively while I was again waging war on myself. When I meet my maker, that will be my deepest regret and my heaviest remorse.

But how can that even be? How can the helper of so many, the provider, the keeper and the peace maker be in such a position? Betwixt wanting to live, push through, and overcome yet again; and wanting to just vanish into obscurity? It is such a shitty feeling too, being an addict, because I know exactly what would shut all of this off, albeit temporarily. But I also know how that would end. So that is no longer an option. So now I’m just stuck. Drained. Numb. Tired. Sleepless. Hated. Targeted. Resented. Broken. A burden on the world is what it feels like most days. I do and did so very much for the people of this world, and for this region, and when shit hits the fan, the only phone that rings isnt mine and its someone I once trusted and believed in, And he’s trying to fuck my life up even more. Or it’s dudes who I have helped get clean, and get back on their feet, trying to violate my home, and steal my family. Or it’s the never-did-nothings on social media, the Haters blasting me with, “See, I told you that dude was a fucking loser.” I never wanted any of this. I just wanted to not smoke crack and shoot heroin anymore. All of this, really truly started because all my life I have suffered, all my life all I ever wanted to do was help people. And do my best to make some kind of positive difference. Because I know and experience on a daily basis, and have for years the feeling of mental unwellness, residual effects of trauma, depression, anxiety, lonelieness, sadness, fear. And if I could do something for someone else, to help them lessen their own pains, to help them find some hope and spritely life, I would do it. When Kurt Cobain said, ” I wish I could eat your cancer.” I felt that. And I would. I suppose that is why I have always had the affinity for the under dog. For those forgotten ones, the throw aways, the misfits, the misunderstood. Because I understand them. I am them.

And I suppose that is and always has been one of my most fatal of flaws. People pleasing. Pouring from an eternally empty cup.

Growing up, It seemed like I was always being shuffled around from pillar to post. I never felt wanted or loved, so in response to that, I always felt as if Love, friendship, and the like was something to be earned. Like it was something that I had to win. And because there was little demonstration of what true love, boundary setting, self discipline, friendship etc was, I ended up gravitating towards those who also had the same flawed senses of these principals as I did. I was shown fake, I was shown chaos, so I was attracted to fake, and to people who only used me and treated me like shit- like it was some kind of task or mission to try and win people over so they would love me, knowing deep down inside that they never would. And as soon as they got what they wanted or what they needed, I was tossed out. Discarded, and I was left wondering why I wasn’t good enough. Yeah. I had no idea about who to trust, who to love, or who was worthy of those things from me, because I myself couldn’t measure my own self worth, because I always used how people treated me as my measuring stick.

And that leads me to my following thought. Through all of the suffering and pain, through all the turbulence that Life has thrown at me, I still somehow managed to come out of it with a big heart. My head and mind may be utterly fucked, but my heart remained in tact. It actually may have grown in size as a result, seeing and feeling how humans are, and what this world can do to people provided me with such great empathy, sympathy, and understanding of what I call the Human Condition. But there is also a double edge to this. Big heart equals big emotions. And couple that with a traumatized and fractured mind, and emotional dis regulation and distress intolerance and you get the entire spectrum of emotions, sometimes in one single day. Sometimes I wish I could just be cold hearted, selfish, and greedy like so many people that I have come to know, and turned loose. But I just cannot do it. I think about it, and sometimes threaten it, but when it came down to it, I could never really turn my back on someone. Even the people I absolutely despise the most, if they were to reach out and ask for help, I would still do all that I could to try and make their lives better. And that will always be something that ends up fucking me over again and again.

I know. It’s embarrassing. Herb’s a big softie. A total pushover. But it also leads to another double edge. Resentment and anger. Because I have and seems like will always sacrifice myself for others happiness, it causes me to stuff down my own needs and wants to make sure others are cared for and provided for. And that is scary sometimes. Big heart, empty cup, Big emotions, big reactions, big problems. People close to me tell me that I am one of the most authentic people they have ever known, and most people, when they hear this automatically assume this is always a good thing. Believe me, it is not. Because you get all of me, 100% of the time- good, bad, ugly, and indifferent. I just haven’t learned how to truly compartmentalize things in real time, change masks from moment to moment and blend into the riggamaroll like the rest of the world seemingly does. I wish I could sometimes.

People say that Hell exists. That Hell is some scary place full of fire and brimstone, where there is wailing and gnashing of teeth. But all of those things exist right here, and right now. So maybe Earth is Hell, but we humans just haven’t identified where were really are. And that’s why they say “The Pursuit of Happiness”, because we have to consciously strive to find beauty and the goodness in this place. And its like sifting through sand dunes looking for one little break through of goodness to hang on to, and to keep going. And even when you think you have found something beautiful and special that’s yours and yours alone, or that you can share with someone, you still have to fight to protect it, cuz the wolves are coming. And they want what’s yours. Sometimes, before you even know it, it’s taken away, or walking away.

I don’t know, my Spirit is so tired anymore. I just feel so foolish half the time. And the other time I feel nothing at all. I have overcome so much, created so much good, accomplish some pretty amazing things, experienced some beautiful and powerful stuff with a wife that’s crazy about me. And here I sit. Broken and alone. Again and again. I wish I wasn’t born this way, or made into this thing, however it happened. I just wish that I was “Normal”. But the truth is, I wake up most days, about 90% of the time, pretty damn optimistic about where the day, and life are going to go. But usually by lunch time I have already thought about suicide. It fucking sucks. And it is not environmental or anything like that, it’s just these automatic thoughts that keep planting themselves in my mind. I hear them in my own voice, I feel them, and deny them, and I flush them away. See, I know that this world is and can be beautiful, I know that I love my family and they me, and we need each other, but my mind just wont leave me the fuck alone. And perhaps its all a response to the decisions, relationships, and all of the etcs. that have actually manifested these things. Like they have grown and festered out of the little dark places in my mind. “Oh, this person who you thought was your best friend fucked you over?” Shocking. Oh this person stabbed you in the back? This person left? This thing happened? Well, if all of these things took place, and the one common denominator is me, then I must be the reason that these things keep happening. Maybe I am the piece of shit that my mind tells me I am. Maybe I am better of gone. Maybe this world would be better off with out me…Every single person that I have ever loved or gotten close to has fucked me over in seriously major ways. Why? Because I have always people pleased, tried to win over, tried to overcome, people who were not deserving of such effort. Water seeks its own level, And the people that I had aligned myself with for so long, were a direct reflection of the self worth that I possessed. And the scary part about it, is that deep down inside I could feel that I was entering into the Lions’ den, that I had absolutely no business going into places and spaces like this. But there was something pulling me to do it, that if I was just a good enough person, that they wouldn’t do “That” to ME. But Tigers can’t change their stripes, and I was always left devoured, hurt, chewed up and spit out, and then would be left worse off than when I entered. Perpetual self emotional harm. And that is not hyperbole.

And as a result, but also from the beginning, which is mind boggling- I have fallen into this horrible self sacrificing pattern of people pleasing and putting my own truest desires, needs, and wants dead last. Giving of my time, my friendship, my money, my heart, my resources, and my energy to so many of the wrong people. Just to get used, stomped, and fucked over. Completely discarded.And I wound up a 20,25,30,35 year old traumatized, naive, and broken little boy trapped inside a grown mans body. Just trying to figure shit out on my own, as I went. And the only thing that has saved me thus far, is that deep down inside I am a good person.

I don’t know man, the mind is the most elaborate and interesting place in the known universe. Because this is a very bleak and sad entry, but tomorrow it could be the brightest and most uplifting thing ever. And at the same time, it could all be over and gone tomorrow. No one knows what the next 5 minutes can bring, and that is so exciting and scary at the same time. When George Jung’s father, Played by Ray Liotta in the movie Blow said something like “Sometimes your flush, and sometimes your bust. It will work out, it always does. This is the way it goes, and when you’re up it’s never as good as it seems, and when you’re down, you feel like you’ll never be up again.” That really stuck with me. Because its true. All we can do is all we can do. Sometimes the only thing getting us through this crazy worm hole called life, is our moral compass, good intentions, and our grandmother’s prayers.

I do know this though, no matter how bad I am feeling, I am truly grateful that I know that smoking crack and shooting heroin will definitely not make things better. And for every season, for every valley, there is a reason, and a peak to come. My God do I hate the swings though.

And as I go to wrap this thing up, I think about how God, the universe, Karma, whatever it is out there that’s driving this whole thing really works. And one continuing thought in my mind is “Addition by Subtraction”.

In order to find our increase, in order to upgrade, in order to over come; often times we must: decrease, downgrade, and succumb to the things and people that were only there to take and hold us back. that way we can truly understand, process, and turn loose those things, to make room for better things and people in the future.

“If we don’t get rid of the wrong things and people, We will never find the right things and people.” Sometimes it is incredibly difficult to do these things on our own, so God intervenes on our behalf and painfully shows us the true color spectrum of the world, and then things just fall away naturally.

Addition by subtraction. We may think that we lost this thing or this person, but the fact of the matter is, they lost us.

Know your worth, then add tax.

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