Sunday, September 9, 2012

It´s Over 9000

Actually it´s pretty well over 9,000. Over 13,000 to be precise. Since I´ve started this blog back in December of 2008 I have had over 13,000 hits. That might not seem like much but to me thats pretty sweet. Factoring in about a year absent: I´m including the 6 months in the sober home, rehab, and long periods of downtime cause I was too drunk to write anything. Technically it should be over a year but for simplicities sake we´ll leave it at that.

So without going into the math that I was so bored to actually figure out ( and I hate math!) I concluded that over 2 1/2 years of on and off again, a large percentage of views came from this past 16 months I´ve been sober.

That is awesome.

Before Blogger didn´t have a means of tracking views and such. Or maybe it did and I was too drunk to notice. The latter would not surprise me in the least. Looking over the numbers since it´s birth I would get about 15-20 views TOTAL per blog. Nowadays we´re looking at more around 90-100 on JUST their initial posting. That´s pretty solid.

This information means a lot to me considering the subject material. Not a lot of people are as open about their recovery as I am but as long as I am reaching people and they are getting something out of it, then I´m going to continue. I love hearing from the people who contact me about their own addiction problems. I was a coward that hid from everyone because I didn´t want my ¨Precious¨ taken away. I wish I could have made the decision to get help on my own but I was too weak.

Jesus Christ... I am just now realizing that I was Gollum. It took me 16 months but it literally just hit me as I was writing this. Wow....

 Thank god for my friends and family.

Well I´m going to end on that realization. Ewan McGregor just acknowledged my sobriety on Twitter and I think my heart just stopped...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sober Home Living #1

The other day my friend was encouraging me to download a song she thought I would like. I knew I wasn't going to like it, I even told her so, but she insisted. No surprise, I hated it and took great pleasure in rubbing it in her face. It was a techno song that I don't even remember the title to but it reminded me of some things from my stint in the Sober House.

For six months I lived among 15-25 people at a time. Those that know me are more than aware that I can't stand people so this was a true test of my patience. The first 3 months I had a great group of friends but once they all left I still had 3 more months myself with a bunch of new people I really did not care for. As someone who tries to stick with the "winners" I found myself becoming more friendly with the staff then the actual clients themselves. It wasn't anything personal, but I can read people really well and the majority of them I felt weren't taking the program seriously.

This one younger dude Alex killed me. He was 22 years old and this was his second time in this house. The first few days Alex was without a phone so he was constantly asking to use other people's. That's fine and all, but after lending it to him twice and he proceeded to have a 20 minute conversations I banned him.

"Not cool bra," he would say.

"I am not an undergarment, sir," I would explain.

The moment Alex got a phone was a glorious day for him apparently. That was the day he became a music producer.

Say what?

We were in our house meeting and had to go around the room and talk about the things we enjoy doing that keep our mind focused and distract us from addiction. When it came around to Alex he responded with a straightforward answer, "my music" and leaned back with a cocky grin.

"Your music?" the counselor asked.

"Oh you don't know?" a random girl exclaimed.  "Oh man, Alex is a producer! He makes all sorts of great music!" Alex is pleased by this girl's reaction and smirks even more. Borat's "King of the castle" rang through my head as I looked at him.

The counselor was impressed, "I had no idea you had such talent Alex. Do you play guitar? Drums?"

Alex scoffed, "No. I can do it all from my phone."

"Well that's very impressive!" the counselor said. I looked around the room at the wide-eyed addicts, all impressed that the young man before them was an honest to god music producer. Right here, in our very home, and at the ripe age of 22. Clearly, this kid was the shit. I tried my best not to roll my eyes at the ridiculousness of it all and just went back to what I did best. Ignoring all of them and hanging out with the staff.

But sometimes avoiding would only get em so far. At this point I had seniority in the house so I had my own room to which I could retire and get away from the insanity. There was one major problem. There was a couch in the hallway of the Men's Floor. That couch was strategically placed near my door so that I had to pass it anytime I wanted to go to my room. Alex had taken it upon himself to make that couch his "studio" instead of the privacy of his own room. To the untrained eye anyone who saw him would think he was just sitting on the couch with headphones on playing with his phone. When in reality he was creating art.

The art of techno music.

Each day I would return home, exhausted from work, and just want to go to my room and relax before dinner. But Alex was always there making his music. But why should this bother me if he's not really hurting anyone? Simple. Every single time anybody would walk by he'd act "surprised" like he didn't see us, and then pull of his head phones and insist we "check out his latest track." Now, I had witnessed this happen to a bunch of people since he was perched right outside my door, so I used that knowledge to form my own strategy. Every day I came home from work I would have on my sunglasses and be listening to my iPod. This was as I walked down the hall to my room I could keep my eye on Alex while pretending to listen to music. He would call out my name as I passed but because of the ear buds I couldn't "hear" him.


That worked for about a month until he started pulling late nights at "The Studio." I came out of the shower one night, right before bed, and there he was on the couch. With no tools at my disposal to hide from him, I sucked it up and charged into the storm.

"Sean! Dude, you gotta hear this track I just layed down," he insisted, shoving the ear buds in my face.

"Alex, you should know I'm not really into techno so I'm probably not the best person to review your music," I told him.

"Oh man, you say that but I bet this shit changes your mind," he gives me the ear buds and I reluctantly put them in.

As to be expected the track starts with a few techno beats. Not getting into it I give him a look and he says, "Just wait for it." I continue to listen and sure enough after 60 seconds an additional "noise" is added into the mix, a sort of "ting" sound. So now he have 3 different noises. I reach to pull the ear buds out but he stops me, "it's not done yet. It gets better!" After another 60 seconds a 4th noise is introduced, another 60 seconds a 5th, and so on...

It all just keeps building on itself. When it's all said in done I am very polite about the whole thing considering he's forced me into a situation I didn't want to be in and I'm also still in my towel from the shower.

"That's great man. Really."

"You don't sound that impressed," he replied.

"Like I said man, techno is not my thing. I warned you I wouldn't be the best person to judge this."

"You just don't know good music"

"You're right, I have terrible taste in music. Can I go to bed now?"

As I closed the door to my room and let out a sigh of relief. Not five seconds later I hear Kevin, one of my older house mates scream, "Holy fuck Alex! I told you I don't like that techno shit! Leave me alone!"


Monday, September 3, 2012

Bad Thoughts

A few months back it was brought to my attention that out of all the friends I had made in rehab, I was now the only one who hadn't relapsed. That was a tough pill to swallow as it only proved to me how much the statistics are stacked against us. The hardest was hearing about my best friend relapsing. Luckily, he immediately went back into treatment as is doing fine now, but it was still rough to hear.

I hadn't heard from him in months until this morning. He went into more detail about his relapse and what all had happened. Apparently he had gone to a wedding. He didn't have anything while he was there but it had put ideas in his head. That maybe, just maybe, things would be different now that he had a year of sobriety. That maybe he could handle just a few drinks. Here is a summary of what he said to me...

"It was so fucking stupid man. I can't even believe I thought it was possible. You know how they say alcoholism is a progressive disease? You really don't consider how accurate that is until you relapse. After all the time I spent sober I stupidly thought maybe a few drinks wouldn't hurt me but fuck man, I couldn't have been more wrong. It was like nothing had changed and I was back to EXACTLY where I left off. Only worse. I'm fucking disappointed in myself, dude. Don't you EVER think you can handle it because you can't. WE can't. I had to learn the hard way..."

The timing of his phone call was impeccable. Last night during the Breaking Bad season finale there was a commercial for Ciroc vodka that just made my mouth water. All it was was a bunch of celebrities partying and having a great time. It just looked like so much fun and made me miss those wild and crazy times. Plus, Diddy was in the commercial and as everyone knows I, as a fellow Sean, have an enormous respect for Diddy. Who doesn't want to be like Diddy? He calls him self Diddy for Christ's sake, I mean, what could be cooler? Diddy is the epitome of cool...

*end sarcasm*

Where were we? Ah yes. So the commercial really did make me crave vodka. As I sat and watched my mind began to wander and my thoughts became just like my friend's thoughts...

"I am doing so well! I have never felt better in my life. Maybe things will be different now. Maybe, say, in a few years, I'll be able to drink like a normal person again. And have fun partying like my good friend Mr. Diddy."


Sure, these were just thoughts and I would never act on them but it was incredible to me that the night I have these thoughts I get a call the very next morning basically slapping me in the face and saying, "No. Don't even think it. Bad." But I do like how my brain was smart enough to say "maybe in a FEW YEARS." Like you aren't really ready now but in a few years you'll be strong enough.

What a crock of shit.

This made me take a look back to when I was first sober. Back when mom was sick. I stayed sober for 20 months, the difference that time being I didn't go to AA Meetings as I always knew I was going to drink again. I was absolutely shocked that first night I started drinking again and became aware that my tolerance had not changed in the slightest. I still needed copious amounts of alcohol in order to even feel a buzz, even after not drinking for over a year! So when my friend mentioned today alcoholism as being "progressive" my mind immediately went back to the last time I was sober. It's true what they say and I've already experienced it without even knowing.

I have to always remember...

"Alcoholism and addiction are progressive diseases, and unless the user stops completely, the disease will always worsen in severity over time. The intensity of this progression varies considerably, and while some people may drink or drug for many years before things get noticeably worse, they ultimately always do."

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Using Dreams

I´ve been having a lot more ¨using dreams¨ this past week than I have in awhile. At first I had no idea why but as I sit here at work, stressed, it made more sense. I´ve worked more this week than I have in awhile which is not good for me physically or mentally. I didn´t get to go to my normal amount of meetings this week because we are understaffed and my co-worker and myself were basically the only two people able to work. Only having two guys doing this at our job is fucking ridiculous and it´s starting to take it´s toll.

What I´m concerned with was my lack of sleep. I am not used to working the hours that I did this week because as I stated I am physically unable to do so. Also, I don´t work afternoon shifts so that I can get to the AA Meetings I so desperately need for my sanity. So while preparing myself for the busy work week I had ahead of me I figured I would at least be so exhausted from physical labor that I´d at least get some good sleep when I got home.

Apparently that wasn´t the case.

Now this isn´t even counting the fact that I started this crazy week going into the store at 2am for an installation process that took 3 hours, the night before I´m supposed to pull an all day shift at work. But thats a story for another time.

So let me first explain what a ¨using dream¨ is like for the unfamiliar. It´s exactly what it sounds like. A dream in which I ¨use¨ my drug of choice, in this case alcohol, and the experience is so vivid you actually believe you have failed. It´s the absolute most horrifying thing for me in recovery. I don´t know how realistic other peoples using dreams are but mine can be intense. Luckily they don´t happen that often. Maybe once a month, if that.

But this week was different. I had 3 in a row, which is a new record. Maybe that doesn´t sound too bad to some but let me go a little deeper. My dreams are so vivid that I wake up in the middle of the night, scurrying around in the darkness looking for the empty bottles of vodka that I finished drinking and hid... in my dream. Because Dream Sean actually hides the bottles. He´s covering his tracks so no one will find out he´s drinking again, which dives into how realistic the dreams are. Dream Sean isn´t out partying and going crazy. He´s doing exactly what I used to do during ¨The Downfall¨ which was hiding in his room, drinking in secret and disposing of the evidence and eventually blacking out. Its at this moment reality kicks in and I jolt awake believing everything I just experienced was true.

To give you an idea of the anxiety this brings on I always compare it to when you are napping during the day and you wake up at say, 8:00pm, and you have the quick panic attack where you think you´re late for work so you scramble to shower, get dressed, etc only to realize, OOPS, it´s night time. Whew! Crisis averted.

Take that feeling and multiply it by about 50. The reason it´s so painful to experience is because during that moment, however brief it is, you really do believe you failed. You were weak and you caved and you threw it all out the window. I don´t wish that feeling on my worst enemy...

As painful as these nightmares are they are few and far between. This is not a regular occurrence. Sure, it sucks total asshole, but although my subconscious still latches on to the disease while I sleep, I´m in control when I´m awake.

I fear The Disease. Downright fear it. The Disease knows that it´s at it´s weakest when I am awake and in control so it lays dormant during the day. For the most part that is. He sends in his associate, ¨The Craving,¨ every so often to fuck with me at random times. The Craving is a dickhead, plain and simple. He´s the obnoxious friend you have that always chimes in at inappropriate times and you wish would just shut the fuck up. ¨Hey look at that beer on TV. Remember when you were able to do that? Remember that? Huh? Huh? You remember? Remember?¨ He states the obvious just to get under your skin.

But it´s when the lights go out and I´m at my most vulnerable when The Disease creeps out of hiding and begins whispering in my ear as I sleep. I never want to go back to the way things were during The Downfall. If I shared all the stories from those times, which I may some day, you wouldn´t be surprised as to why I am so terrified of succumbing to The Dark Lord´s will.

Sobriety has it´s ups and downs but the positives far outweigh the negatives. At the end of the day I´ll take the occasional nightmare over the ACTUAL nightmare that was my life just a short time ago...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fun at work

So today I knew I had a long day ahead of me at work so I mentally prepared myself to have a lot of fun albeit at the expense of one of my new employee's. It's nothing mean or rude or anything like that towards him. No, what's fun to me is just fucking with someone without them even knowing that I'm messing with them.

Often times when there is a new employee, usually a younger high school kid who doesn't know any better, I slip into a certain "character" when I work with them. This character doesn't have a name. This character is me. The only difference is that it's an extremely ignorant version of myself. I love pretending I'm ignorant. Don't ask me why, I just find it incredibly hysterical. Luckily I have acting skillzzzz which enable me to keep a straight face even during the most ridiculous of conversations. What follows is a series of vignettes of my time today with one of our new hires, Danny.

Listening to Black Eyed Peas "Tonight's Gonna Be a Good Night"

Me: You know, tonight IS going to be a good night!
Danny: Oh yeah?
Me: Of course. There is a special on Doctor Who tonight on BBC America at 9:00. Then after that is the Nerdist Show on Time Travel. I'm fucking pumped. *singing* Cause tonight's gonna be a good, good niiiight!"
Danny: I thought you were gonna say you were gonna have sex tonight.
Me: *serious* What the fuck did you just say to me?
Danny: That's what this song is about. It's about people having sex.
Me: I do believe you are wrong, sir.
Danny: What?! You don't think the song is about them sitting at home watching Doctor Who, do you?
Me: Of course not, don't be ridiculous! The Black Eyed Peas are smart enough to enjoy the genius that is Doctor Who.... No, I'm sure they're singing about watching themselves on MTV Cribs.
Danny: "Let's live it up. I got my money" That's about buying whores.
Me: Noooooo, it means they are going to splurge and indulge in some Pay-Per-View. A Boxing Match, perhaps?
Danny: Are you kidding me?
Me: Are you kidding ME? I think you have sex on the brain, my friend. You are reading way to deep into this.
Danny: Why would anybody write a song about staying home and watching television?
Me: Why wouldn't someone write a song about watching television? It's peaceful, it's relaxing, it's a fucking delight!
(Break from arguing to help customer and as soon as the door shuts I get right back into it.)
Danny: Movel Tov!
Me: What's your point?
Danny: How does it fit in with your "watching TV theory?"
Me: I'll have you know I have a number of Jewish friends that love to watch television.
Danny: You're serious, aren't you?
Me: Danny, if there's anything you'll learn from working with me, it's that I'm always serious.

Some Selena Gomez song...
Danny: You can't tell me you like this.
Me: Selena Gomez has the voice of an angel
Danny: The voice of a--
Me: Shhh! You don't speak while Selena is speaking...
*For you Seinfeld fans, I basically acted like Elaine's boyfriend Brett who was obsessed with the song "Desperado"*

And here are just the random things I would spout out in response to his criticisms...
"Vanessa Carlton has more talent in her pinky than all the tool bags of Linkin Park combined"
"Colbie Caillat is a dream! How dare you!"
"Demi Lovato is the Pat Benatar of this generation!"
"This is the original 'rapcore!'" In reference to "Bye Bye Love" by The Cars
"You are out of your fucking mind if you think Linkin Park is better than Carly Rae Jepsen."
"Who doesn't go GAGA for Lady GaGa?"
"I'll have you know listening to JoJo got me through some really difficult times in my life."

There were more but I can't even remember. I had about 2 extra large coffee's today and an Energy Drink so I was pretty off the wall. Poor kid was stunned I had a response for everything he threw at me but hey, I gotta get my kicks somehow, right?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Day Sean Met Horshack... and Boba Fett!

Yesterday the actor Ron Palillio passed away. The show Welcome Back, Kotter was before my time but I had seen reruns on television with my mom when I was a kid. Growing up my mom would always do this ridiculous laugh just to annoy me and when I asked what it was she explained it was "The Horshack Laugh." It was sad to hear about Ron's passing for me because even though I don't even know the guy, he gave me one of my favorite Mom Stories ever.

This was about 15 years ago on my mother's birthday. It was a Saturday or a Sunday morning and my mom was laying in bed with the paper. I remember going into her room to ask her what the plans were for her birthday. I know for a fact she wanted to do something special but til this day I will never actually know because before she could answer me she read me the something from the morning paper. She said that Jeremy Bulloch was going to be at the County Fair right down the street from us signing autographs.

Name doesn't ring a bell? Well it did for me. Big time. That my friends, is the actor that played Boba Fett in Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

And my mom knew this.

She encouraged me to go and see him because as she said "It's a once in a lifetime opportunity." And she's right, it was. A completely random but unique opportunity. Ever since I was a kid I was obsessed with Boba Fett and never being able to go to any sort of convention growing up this was my first ever chance to meet somebody that had anything to do with Star Wars. And of all people that could have been there it was fucking BOBA FETT. I kept asking my mom if it was okay for me to go and she kept pushing me and pushing me to go. I felt guilty being her birthday and all but she was insistent. She also noted that the actor who played Horshack was going to be there as well and all she said was that if I do meet Horshack to "ask him to do the laugh." That was it.

 So I called up two of my friends and told them the awesome news. I don't even remember if I was driving yet at this point. I think my buddy Doug actually had to drive us which would put me at about 15 years old or so. My mom warned me ahead of time that it would cost money to not only get in but also to buy a photo for Mr. Bulloch to sign. I had absolutely nothing to my name but remembered I had a bunch of 2 Dollar Bills saved up that my Nana gave me every year. Not wanting to pay for a photo I decided to grab a Boba Fett action figure for him to sign. When we arrived I'll always remember paying the lady for my ticket with the 2 Dollar Bills and her just laughing at me. Not in a mean spirited way, but over the fact she never actually seen someone use them before.

Things get fuzzy here as I was in full on Boba Fett mode. From what I recall this was a very tiny event. There were no lines and it all took palce in a small room in one of the buildings. Apparently Boba Fett and Horshack aren't big enough names to bring out the big crowds.

But I was in heaven.

I remember my friend Ron and I standing in front of the table with the name plate "Jeremy Bulloch" on it. He was no where to be seen but there were glossy Star Wars photos strewn all over the table with price tags ranging from $20-50. Wowzers. Ron made a comment about one of the pictures with Fett and IG-88 and suddenly, out of nowhere, we hear a British voice come up from behind us, "That was an odd day, filming with IG-88..." or something along those lines. We started freaking about as Jeremy Bulloch told us tales of wearing the Boba Fett costume, Lucas being annoyed that IG-88's head wouldn't turn properly, and so on. Major geek revelations here. Afterward he tried to sell us on buying a photo so that he could sign it. I told him I didn't have enough money to buy one but that I brought a Boba Fett figure for him to sign. This is where I would love to say Jeremy was super awesome and gladly signed my figure. But he didn't. Something about a strict policy on only signing the photos that are purchased.

I was heart broken.

But Ron never took no for an answer, God bless him, and he explained to Jeremy Bulloch that I was the biggest Fett fan out there and that I was even missing my own mother's birthday to be there. He hesitated a bit but then graciously took the figure from my hand. He wrote "Jeremy Bulloch" on the inside of one of the legs and "Boba Fett" on the other leg. My dream had come true!

As we were walking by we saw Ron Palillio sitting at his booth, kinda chilling by his lonesome. I didn't really know what to say to him but figured it couldn't hurt to say Hi. He was super nice to us and was surprised someone my age had any sort of knowledge on Horshack and Welcome Back, Kotter in general. I explained my mom had shown me episodes as a kid and would always mock me with the Horshack laugh. My friend Ron pointed out that today was my mother's birthday. He looked around and asked where my mom was but I said she stayed home with my brother but that I should ask him to do the laugh. He searched through his bag and pulled out his cell phone which, back then, was like "Wow, this dude has a cell phone!" and he looked me dead in the eye and said, "What's your phone number?" I was dumbstruck but I gave him the number to my house and he dialed away. Holding the phone to his ear he gave me a quick look and asked for my mother's name.

"Patti," I replied.

His eyes perked up as my mom had obviously finally answered the phone and in his best Horshack voice said, "HELLO? Is this PATTI?"


"It's HORSHACK! I'm with your son!  Happy Birthday!"

He proceeded to do his famous laugh over the phone to my mother. My friends and I just kinda sat back and watched. The conversation was brief and I don't remember all the details but I was so happy that he did that for her. Plus, as a teenager, this gave me bonus points for not spending the day with her. I couldn't afford an autograph but I thanked him endlessly for what he did. Returning home my mom was in hysterics, laughing, absolutely dumbstruck by the phone call she received. Her immediate thought was, "What did you do to that poor man?" as if I had to blackmail him or something to call.

He's not a huge celebrity by any means but when I heard of his passing it brought back this memory that I hadn't thought about in awhile. And it's a fantastic memory of her that shows what our relationship was like. I love Star Wars and she went out of her way, on HER special day, to make sure I got to meet one of my heroes. And 15 years after this event happened I STILL love Star Wars. Christ, I photoshopped myself into a picture with Boba Fett not even two days ago which now serves as my Facebook Banner.
The autograph itself has long faded away and as a teenager that drove me up the wall. I stupidly made it into a key chain that I hung out of my pocket and strutted around school showing it off. Cause ya know, there's nothing a high school girl loves more than a man with an action figure dangling from his pants.

But while the autograph is long since gone the memory remains and it's one of my favorite stories to tell people.

Midnight Massages

I'm still alive people and no I didn't forget about Reminiscing on Rehab. I just haven't had proper time to sit and write about it and sometimes looking back on my time there, even though I had a great time, can still be tough.

So anyway, for the past month or so I've been babysitting my friend's cat. Now I haven't had a cat in well over a decade so I'm not accustomed to cat behavior. This cat, Midnight, loves to knead and I mean LOVES it. While watching the television or playing video games he will always jump on my lap and start kneading my legs. Which is fine, for awhile, but eventually it can start to hurt.

Given my major back problems I figured I would take advantage of Midnight's kneading abilities and trick him into giving me a back massage. On a day when my back was feeling particularly shitty, Midnight had been kneading my leg so I decided to lay down on the floor to see if he would hop on my back and start kneading. Alas, this was wishful thinking and much like the Seinfeld episode I couldn't trick a house cat into submitting to "forcible massage." Who knew...?

That all changed one night at around 3am as I tossed and turned in my bed. I heard a loud "purr" and felt a sudden weight on my mattress. I opened my eyes to see what was going on but trying to find a black cat in darkness is, well, hard. I turned my body to lay on my stomach and my head on it's side. Lo and behold, the cat stepped up onto my back and started kneading away! He has magic paws, there is no question about that. While the majority of my pain is centralized in my lower back region the cat tended to favor my upper torso. Disappointing yes, but I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. A free massage is a free massage.

After about 10 minutes of this I opened my eyes to realize the ridiculousness of the situation. Being the summer time I had on just my boxers and a thin white sheet as a blanket. The sheet was only covering my legs so just my back was exposed. I realized if anyone was to walk into the room at that moment it would seem as if I had opened up my own little massage parlor and trained a house cat in the ways of the Masseuse. This has become a regular routine between us and while some nights he jumps on the bed and drives me up the wall so I can't sleep, the majority of the time I embrace it.

Now if I can just train him to get my lower back I'd really be in business...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Reminiscing on Rehab #3

"The Carolina Incident" was the big moment in rehab where I realized just how idiotic the people there truly were.

When you hear the name "Carolina" what do you think of?

If your first thought is a 250 lbs dude that looks like Jay-Z on steroids, then clearly we aren't on the same page. But that's who Carolina was. His real name was Joseph, but he preferred Carolina. If a teacher called him by his real name he wouldn't answer. You know when a child decides they want to change their name, so when you call on them they wont acknowledge your existence unless you call them "Captain Poopypants" or whatever? That was Carolina. A grown man at around 6'5 who would stare at the ceiling or the walls and refrain from giggling while the teacher called "Joseph.... Joseph..." until finally she would cave in and call "Carolina?" His head snapped at attention, "Oh yes mam? Were you speaking to me?"

This always resulted in fits of laughter, knee slaps, and high fives from his fellow comrades. Boy they got the teacher good, let me tell you. There was more giggling coming out of that group of men than a room full of prepubescent Justin Beiber fans. This is the age regression I mentioned before. I was right back in high school and it drove me up the fucking wall. In fact, comparing them to high school students might even be giving them too much credit.


Janessa was one of the few female Yellow Tags in the program. She was appointed "Class President" or whatever for our opening class every morning where she would get up, make the morning announcements and all that jazz. Janessa was referred to as "Janessa the Hutt" by her fellow Yellow Tags due to her size. Every morning, EVERY MORNING, for the 27 days I was in attendance, this poor girl would stand up and walk to the podium to make her announcements and every time she would walk she would be treated to loud "Moooooo's" from the Yellow Tags as they stomped loudly on the floor to make the room shake. It was clear that it was happening before I got to rehab and Im sure it continued on well after I left.

So maybe best to compare them to 8 year olds...

While the Yellow Tags were cracking jokes that Kindergarteners would find to be absolute gold, I was sitting back and laughing at the sheer absurdity of everything they do. Carolina, the self imposed "Leader" of the pack, would casually "stroll" into class late EVERYDAY with that "one foot must be cased in cement" kind of strut, grab a chair, drag it all the way to the back wall away from the rest of the class. And every single time the teacher would have to tell him "Put the chair back where it belongs and sit with the rest of the class" and every time he would act like a child who's just been told he has to clean his room so all his actions  become slooooow, heavy, and drawn out. Watching this once a day would be annoying enough but we had 7-8 classes a day so you do the math.

If I didn't mention already Carolina was in his late 30's to early 40's but I'm sure you already put that together.

My other favorite thing about Carolina was his constant bitching outside of class.

"Man this food tastes like my asshole" "Man, it's so boring here" "Man, it's too fucking hot outside"

Nobody, myself included, ever had the balls to just tell him the reality of it all. That he should be rotting in a prison cell for 9 years instead of being outside playing basket ball every day in the beautiful weather like he was. But whatever...

There was only one time he and I actually interacted one on one and it's when I denied him a cigarette. Much like prison, cigarettes are like gold in rehab, and since the Yellow Tags think they run the joint they don't feel the need to buy cigarettes like the rest of us do. They can just bum them off of all of us because everyone is scared to say no. Everyone, that is, except me and my friend Big Dan, a 60 something Vietnam Vet.

You see, with every passing day my mind became more and more clear and I felt like a million bucks. After a few "test runs" with some of less threatening Yellow tags (they often looked like skinnier versions of Eminem), I found I could "train" them much like I trained my dog. Through repetition. I only kept a few cigarettes in my pack at a time, the rest were stashed in my room. So whenever someone would ask to bum one I'd open the pack to reveal the few. As the days went by I would be asked less and less til it reached the point where not a single person ever asked me for a cigarette my last week and a half there. It was bliss.

So anyway, back to Carolina. One day I hear, "Hey yo Steve. Lemmie get a cigarette."

I know he's talking to me but I don't turn around.

"Steve what are you deaf? Im talkin to you"

I continue talking to my friend.

He grabs my shoulder and spins me around, "STEVE let me get a cigarette."

It's at this point I become genuinely scared since he's a full head taller than me but I still don't say anything. I just look down at my name tag. He reads my name tag and says, "I said what I said STEVE. Now give me a cigarette."

Now I have no idea what was going through my head. Maybe it was a combination of feeling so amazing for the first time in over a decade mixed with the inner anger of being in my late 20's and I'm actually being bullied like a high schooler but whatever was going through my mind I CLEARLY wasn't thinking.

All I said was "I don't think so... Joseph."

Mere seconds after his name left my lips I was slammed up against the wall, my head hitting the brick.

"What the FUCK did you call me?"

"Nothing," was all I could whisper as he pressed harder against my chest, immediately regretting everything I did leading to this point.

"The fuck nothing, WHAT did you call me??"

At this moment I am holding in tears with every fiber of my being, both emotionally and from the pain. I don't know what would have happened next but lucky for me "The Missing Link" (our nickname for the counselor Joe) came to my rescue and broke us up. What felt like an eternity being pinned against the wall was barely even a few seconds. Needless to say my whole body was trembling for a solid 20 minutes or so afterwards. I asked The Missing Link if I could go to my room and calm down which he was cool enough to allow and had me excused from class. In the privacy of my bunk I clutched my chest and tried my hardest not to cry. It was one of my weakest moments in rehab and the first time I truly missed home.

I debated on whether or not to even mention that part of my experience because it doesn't exactly make me look particularly good, but I feel if I want people to get a real taste of what my experience was like I gotta tell it like it is. Just typing it out made me relive the whole experience all over again and I still have NO IDEA why I would even talk back to someone like that. It was so stupid and no matter what sort of issues I had with Carolina I should have just kept my mouth shut. But I can't go back and change what I said.

All I can do is thank Carolina for his OWN moment of weakness because that brief encounter he and I had took place the day before "The Carolina Incident."

(I know I know, "That wasn't the Incident??" Sorry, but I get side tracked. A lot happened in rehab)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Reminiscing on Rehab #2

So where did we leave off? Oh yeah, "love" letters.

The majority of the notes I received read exactly this, "DO YOU LIKE ME?" and simply had two empty boxes. One to check off YES and the other NO. That was it.

Deep. I know.

Of course there were variations of the notes ranging from the classic "DO YOU THINK I'M PRETTY?" to "I WANT TO BANG YOUR BRAINS OUT BEHIND THE TOOL SHED." (That was the PG version).

I was lucky enough to befriend older, wiser people who taught me the ways of The Force since they had been to rehab already. The easiest way to get kicked out of rehab is to get caught with a note. My mentor, Anthony, instructed that any note I received from a girl, no matter now tempting it was to respond, must be destroyed.

"It's evidence...," he would say dramatically, as if we were speaking of a dead body.  "It must be disposed of..."

"But if I don't respond, how will she know she's pretty?!"

"Go back to the dorm, tear it up into tiny pieces, and flush it down the toilet..."

This became the norm for my buddies and I. Collect notes in class, go back to dorm, flush, repeat. Everyday. It's reasons such as this that the majority of people kicked out of rehab were women. Not for sneaking drugs in or having sex (though it did happen) but for getting caught with notes. While men destroyed the evidence, women did the opposite and held on to their "mementos of love" to cherish forever. Ultimately, this would be their downfall. Don't get me wrong, the guys were no better. Well, the White Tags like myself were fine, the Yellow Tags on the other hand were not.

Yellow Tags were the biggest hypocrites around. Let me paint a picture here for you. Every day around 9:30 or so we would have what was called a Men's Rap. This was the only group we had that wasn't monitored by a counselor and it consisted of just us guys. Half my stint in rehab the group leader of the Men's Rap was a dude named Lavertis. Did you guys know that Lavertis went to jail for 15 years for killing a man? Cause he did. I only mention that not to scare you but because he brought it up every day at group, sometimes several times within the hour. Don't get me wrong, compared to 90% of the other guys, Lavertis actually had a good head on his shoulders. Voluntary manslaughter aside... not a bad dude.

At the beginning of each Rap, Lavertis would be tasked with announcing the messages from the counselors. Every. Single. Day. The same topic was brought up. "Stop disrespecting women." Every day! Which would lead to Lavertis' "Scared Straight" tactic where he would yell at us about disrespecting women for 15 minutes of our hour long Rap. This worked in my favor the days I didn't feel like talking but also usually left me with a splitting headache the rest of the day (Only 12 more hours til lights out!). It did however give us some fantastic material. Imitating Lavertis became a favorite game for my friends and I, along with counting how many times Lavertis would say "man" in a rant. Top score was 67 "man's" in 14 minutes tallied by yours truly.

So in these rants Lavertis would scream at us for shaming women and all the while his fellow Yellow Tags sat back nodding their heads in agreement. When Lavertis was done, they would all take turns chiming in with the same bullshit "Yeah man, Lavertis is right. You guys can't keep doing this shit. It's disrespectful. I don't know about you, but I want to get back home to my wife and kids." This grew tiresome to me because the ones getting lectured were not to blame for these acts.

Do you know who were the one always getting caught in bed with women? I will give you just one guess.

Surprise! The Yellow Tags. I know I know, it doesn't make sense, right? I mean, they said they loved their wives and children. They said their family was the reason they were getting better. Their reason for living, even. They said they didn't want their kids to grow up with out a father. They said they would do what ever it takes to NOT go back to prison and to just finish their remaining months in rehab and go home.

And 80% of them threw it all away. Some guys had only been there a few days before they caved. Others broke down mere weeks before going home. Now I know their experience was much different than mine. They had to stay 8 months longer than I did, plus they had already been in prison for a set number of years before arriving at rehab, so that is a much longer time to go without female interaction. But every day they would talk about their families, show us pictures and the like, making it really hard to feel sorry for them once they cheated on their loved ones and got thrown back in jail. Their families on the other hand I really felt bad for.

Yellow Tags came and went during my 27 days there but no dismissal had a bigger backlash than the one that simply became known only as "The Carolina Incident"...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Reminiscing on Rehab #1

Awhile back I posted the letters I had wrote to my friends while in rehab. Going over them brought back a lot of memories of my time there and I wanted to share more about the experiences but I wanted to let some time pass after the letters before continuing. Last night got me thinking about it again while I was watching the movie 28 Days. Yes I'm talking about the Sandra Bullock movie and YES I wept like an infant while shoveling mounds of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream down my throat...

O.K. those last two things aren't true but I DID watch the movie. I noticed it was on Netflix Instant and a lot of people in recovery recommend watching it. So while I watched Sandra cope with her demons I took a little trip down memory laaaaannnneee.... (cue wavy flash back effect)

In my Letters From Rehab it was pretty evident there was one thing constantly on my mind at all times. Another addiction that stared me directly in the face daily and taunted me at every moment possible. It wasn't locked up and hidden behind closed doors, oh no my friends, it was constantly just out of reach like a carrot dangling before a horse.

I'm talking of course about women.

Sure, I was battling my inner demons when it came to alcohol every waking moment (sometimes even in my sleep) but bottles of vodka weren't strutting around the grounds in short shorts and tank tops. They had a strict dress policy for women in rehab which meant all shorts had to be below the knees. Something Katie, whom I mentioned in the letters, and some of the other ladies either didn't comprehend or didn't care which was both a blessing and a curse.

When people ask me to describe what rehab was like it's fairly simple. It is a cross between prison, summer camp, and Middle School. Strange combination, no? Surprisingly it's the least like prison. I only say prison because you are not allowed to leave the grounds and you have scheduled meals. That's about it. The Summer Camp aspect of it is that we were up in the mountains, beautiful outdoor setting, and there were games and activities. We were outside an absurd amount of time looking back on it and it was probably the longest I've been outdoors since I was 11.

So where does the Middle School part come in? Both men and women, no matter what age, seem to regress in age significantly. As if puberty had just struck the whole campus in unison. Every day we had to read the Rules and Regulations in class and the one thing that was stressed more than anything else was NO FRATERNIZING. For each class, men sat on one side of the room and women sat on the other with a gap down the middle of about 3-4 feet. Now you can only imagine most of us gathered towards the aisle of our respective sides in order to be as close as humanly possible to  the opposite sex. I was one of them as noted in my letter where I mention getting to class early to secure my spot near my future wife. There were a few exceptions of course, the "cool guys" who sat in the far back alone leaning their chair against the wall acting tough. I found myself laughing, a lot, at these guys because I thought the whole Judd Nelson from the Breakfast Club act was pretty dated. But they were "cool" and from prison so they could break me in half with just their pinkies so I kept my snide remarks to myself.

I guess I only mentioned these guys briefly in my letters and didn't really give much detail on what their deal was. There was an entire group of people who had come from prison, hence why I referred to them as "The Convicts" in my letter. They had been to court and scored a deal where they would have their prison sentence reduced if they came to rehab for 9 months. Pass the 9 months and you can go back home. Break any of those rules, and your ass is right back in prison. Think you could go 9 months without flirting with the opposite sex? Few could.

So the prison people were referred to as "New Horizon" which was their group name or just "Yellow Tags" as their name tags were yellow. Clever! Mine was the standard white (complete with Spider-man and anime drawings scribbled around my name) which the majority of us had and the last group was "Safe Harbor" or the "Pink Tags", who were the women either with child or had recently given birth.

So anyway, back to fraternizing! (I will be constantly jumping around so just bear with me.) Now when I say all our minds regressed in rehab I have to specifically call out the girls a bit more because they were the ones that acted on it most AND the most obvious about it. Have you ever had both a 35 year old and a 19 year old pass you love notes on the same day?

Cause I have.

But what could a love note in rehab possibly say to someone who you have not only never spoken to once but has been in your life for a maximum of 48 hours....?

... oh shoot. Look at the time. I'm gonna have to leave off here. Guess we'll get more into the rehab romances in the next one!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I'm just gonna type and see where this goes...

Having one of those moments where I just need to get my thoughts down on paper (computer?) as it calms my nerves and allows me to vent. This whole Colorado Batman Shooting just hit me in a strange way. I constantly bitch and moan about the obnoxious people I see every day blocking handicap ramps with their cars so the old lady in the wheelchair can't get up the curb or the jerkoff who drives into oncoming traffic because he's was texing on his phone. But that's just plain stupidity, and sadly, we often just shrug it off because stupidity has become the norm. "Why did he just do that?" "Because he's an inconsiderate idiot." "Ohhh yeah..." But what happened in Colorado is something I can't really wrap my head around. The latest news I read about the shooting mentioned the youngest killed in the attack was a 6 year old girl and my heart just broke. 

6 years old. And she was shot and killed. Cause she went to go see Batman. 

It was nauseating to just type that. 

The girl's mother was shot in the throat and abdomen, was paralyzed in critical condition and was not informed of her daughter's death until later.

I guess when I first heard of the shooting the thought of small children being involved didn't enter my mind considering the movie was at midnight. Then I thought back to the experience at my midnight premiere. People of all ages, shapes, and sizes had all gathered together for a common love of something. I remember staring at the snake-like mass that seemed to wrap itself around two floors of a lobby and being overwhelmed at how awesome it was that we were all here for the same reasons. The "Sean of Old", as he will be referred, would think they were all a bunch of phonies, Holden Caulfield style. "These people don't like Batman like I like Batman," he'd shout. "They're just hopping on the comic book bandwagon!" Because back then I was a geek before being a geek was considered "cool." But I don't view things that way anymore and that night for me, seeing Batman on the big screen hit me on an emotional level for several different (personal) reasons which I will go into more detail in a future post. 

So who would have thought that a theater of people doing the exact same thing I was 1500 miles away would have such a tragic experience?

The moment it all became REAL to me was a screenshot someone posted of a woman's Twitter feed expressing her excitement to see Batman. A similar picture next to it was of a man, a friend of the woman, tweeting to her to see if she was OK. He had heard about the shooting, knew his friend was at that theater, and she was worried because she wasn't answering her phone.

There's reading the news articles of the people involved and then there's reading their actual Twitter feeds. The last thing the girl posted was "MOVIE DOESN'T START FOR 20 MINUTES." That was 3 days ago and it hasn't updated since. 

As a means of remembering her name, or seeing if family would post on her behalf, I added her to my Twitter even though I knew she was gone. The next day I saw actress Marlee Matlin recommend we all "follow" her on Twitter to show our support. Having already been following I was aware she had a decent number of followers but that number skyrocketed the past few days by 20,000. Even going from 27,500 to 28,004 just while typing this. Incredible. It doesn't seem like much but if I were one of her family members and I saw those numbers it would show me how much people actually cared.

Doing a little research, however, I found something rather disturbing and made me feel sick all over again. This woman, Jessica, was shot and killed in the theater just a MONTH after narrowly escaping another shooting at her local mall! What in the hell is going on here?! She's been in not one but two horrific gun incidents in the span of a month. Here is the link to her blog about the first shooting and her thoughts on the aftermath...

Jessica's Blog

Could you imagine surviving an experience like that only to have it happen all over again? 

I will never know what possesses people to do the things they do. All I know is that I live my life every day knowing I surround myself with great friends, an amazing family, and that no matter how bad life can get I  always have someone to turn to.

Not someone to turn on...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Phone Test

So this is a test. I have acquired a Blogger App for my Droid and am typing this to you from work.

Since Im at work I will post a work related picture of my coworker with an extremely tall individual...

Monday, July 9, 2012


I've decided to keep a log while I'm taking care of my friend's cat...

9:57 AM
Friend drops off cat at my house along with food, litter box, treats, and other assorted cat goodies. The cat, Midnight, casts cold, dark stares in my direction. His fur, as black as the cape off a Sith Lord, shines from the rays of sunlight creeping through the nearby window. I am assured by my friend I have nothing to worry about and that we will have a "great time" though I am skeptical. A quick glance into Midnight's yellow eyes tells me to feel differently.

10:07 AM
Friend asks what my plans are for the day and although my back is in crucial pain, I jokingly mention the cat and I will play "Circle of Life." A slight chill ran down my neck as soon as the words escaped my lips as Midnight shot me a look that could only translate to "The fuck we are." It was so quick I couldn't be certain and just chalked it up to my imagination.

12:02 PM
My "decorative" Spider-man pillow mysteriously moved from the couch to my bed. Cat is unfazed but seems to relish in my confusion.

12:46 PM
Spider-man pillow now flipped over from Spider-man Red side to Spider-man Black Suit side in what I can only assume is some cryptic message foreshadowing my future downfall.

3:47 PM
While playing Fallout: New Vegas I left the Playstation 3 paused for a moment while I visited the restroom. Upon my return, a save file had been deleted and my character had lost 15 karma points for detonating a rocket. Midnight, perched on the television set, rested peacefully...

6:01 PM
I return home from the grocery store to the aroma of freshly baked.... something. As I rounded the corner I was surprised to find a warm pizza waiting for me on the kitchen table, a Monster Energy Drink can, already opened, sat next to it, beads of condensation dripping down the sides. Assuming my room mate had returned home from work and had cooked himself a nice dinner, I was shocked to immediately hear the front door unlock and my room mate stroll in behind me. I asked him if the pizza was his and he explained he had been at work all day and was just now arriving home. Not wanting to sound crazy, I admitted to making it myself, and introduced him to our new house guest Midnight, who was playfully batting around the Spider-man pillow on the couch.

The same Spider-man pillow that is normally upstairs...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Amazing Spider-man

People keep asking me what I thought of the new Spider-man movie and I have no idea why *eyeroll* so I figured it be easier to share here. To put it simply, I loved it.

Ohh surprise surprise! Sean loved a Spider-man movie, no shocker there. Well, let me explain something first. I don't know exactly how to put it into words to be honest, but I view things differently in sobriety. I've become less obsessive over things like this. In the past, I would be counting down the days til a new Spider-man movie was coming out. Or watching the Avengers trailer 100 times a day analyzing it until the premiere. But I didn't do any of that.

Yeah, I grew up. Who knew?

It's weird right? But don't let that scare you. I obviously still love all these things, that will never change, I am just now enjoying it on a more normal, healthy level. Ya get me? Though if my Facebook/Twitter is any indication, Star Wars is still a daily part of my life. So that said, I went into Spider-man with only seeing the trailer about 3 times. I didn't read all the articles online, leaked photos, magazines or anything. I went into the theater knowing as much as the Average Joe. Well, maybe above average (truth.)

What I did know going in was there would be a lot of Peter Parker over Spider-man as they decided to do some new, revamped origin story involving his parents. That's all well and good and all, but did we really need the origin story AGAIN? Even people who don't care about Spidey know his origin.

Spider bite, powers, great power, great responsibility, etc...

But from here on out there will be SPOILERS regarding the new film...

Not many people can say "I can jump from here.... and live!"

Alright, now let's get into this. Like I mentioned, I didn't think another origin story was necessary but their take on this was enough to grab my attention. Peter's parents, Richard and Mary, aren't spoken of much in the comic books so here they are trying to give us some "untold story" into their past, their connection with Oscorp, and their mysterious death. This movie is the first in an already planned trilogy, so here they are merely planting the seeds of mystery. I wasn't "wowed" by these scenes, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little curious on this take in the Spidey mythos. Discussing with a friend of mine, he mentioned he doesn't remember this from the comics. That's because it's not. Like Batman Begins, it's a different take on the origin which for me, I'll accept because, to put it simply... it's different. It's NEW and it's different. I don't need an exact retread of the story all over again. Change it up. Keep me on my toes. 

The wrestling match from the comics/original movie? Not here.

Mary Jane? No sir

Gwen Stacey? Oh god yes..

The biggest plus for me is having Gwen over Mary Jane. While not my ideal candidate for the character I do have to admit Emma Stone nailed it out of the park here (knee highs and that hairband? Dear lord...). It is impossible not to fall for her in this flick as she's infectiously adorable. Her scenes with Peter are some of the best in the movie. But I'm sure most are wondering why Gwen over Mary Jane Watson. Simple. Gwen was Spidey's first true love. MJ was chosen for the original trilogy because she's the most recognizable. It's a popularity contest, really. You have to give the audience something they are familiar with or they are going to be confused. Which leads us to the biggest and most fantastic change over the original films...

Mechanical Web-shooters.

This single-handedly made the movie for me because not only did it show him with the mechanical web-shooters (like it's supposed to be) but it portrays Peter as the genius he really is. So why did they make the web-shooters organic in the originals. Simple. It's an easy sell. People need the simplest answer for why something happens. I had talked to MANY people who had no idea Peter actually created his web-shooters himself. To them, it doesn't make sense. Why should he have to build them? He was bit by a spider that gave him super powers so logically he should be able to shoot webs, right?

This is why it was done in the originals as organic. It's easier to accept. For some reason it makes perfect sense to tell someone all these things are possible because he was bitten by a magical spider. But if you say that Peter was an incredibly smart individual and crafted the mechanics himself, then suddenly that's too much for ones brain to handle.

So as a fanboy, this was a joy for me. Watching him build them, seeing the web cartridges, having the Lizard crush his wrists and breaking them (!!). That was key for me because running out or fluid or having them break is what made Spider-man more vulnerable. 

Oh man, and there's a scene in the sewer where Spider-man actually creates a web formation that he perches on (and plays games on his cell) while waiting for the vibrations in the webbing to point him in the direction of the Lizard. Bloody brilliant.

For now, I will leave it at this. It's getting way too hot sitting here at the computer but I will continue this another day, preferably after seeing the film again which I plan on doing soon...

Friday, June 29, 2012

This Job Would be Great if...

Here is where I will share some of the daily interactions my staff and I have with our customers...

This one is in regards to the glowing neon OPEN sign we have in the window...

Customer: I came here the other day and you guys were closed.
Coworker: Yeah we had to do maintenance on our machine for a few days.
Customer: But I saw the OPEN sign in the window.
Coworker: Wait, are you saying my employees left the OPEN sign ON over night?
Customer: No, it wasn't on. I just saw that it was in the window.
Coworker: It''s always in the window...

This one happens way more than it should...

Customer tries opening the door to the store but we don't open for another 30 minutes. They look at the store hours on the window sign, check their watch and notice they have 30 minutes til we open, yet continue to try to open the door.

(Try opening the door before the open. They will continue to try and open the door until I go unlock it and tell them we aren't open yet)
Me: I'm sorry, but we aren't open for another 30 minutes.
Customer: But your sign says you open at 10.
Me: Yes, and it's 9:30 right now.
Customer: *Stares blankly*
Me: That's in 30 minutes...
Customer: *stares blankly*
Me: You're 30 minutes too early...

This is a more recent one that has been occurring and probably one of my favorites because it just proves everything my coworkers and I have been saying for years...

A few months ago they had to take down the sign above our store. We still haven't received a new one so there's just a blank wall above our store. We put up a giant custom made sign in the window AND we still have the glowing neon open sign. And yet, I still get calls like this from the corporate headquarters...

Corporate: Have you guys just been not opening your store? Or opening late or something? We've been getting a lot of calls saying the store is closed.

Me: Alright, let me break this down for you. First and foremost, my coworker and I are here every single morning and we've never opened the store late. The reason people THINK we are closed is this. The sign above the store is missing. Instead of parking the car and checking to see if we are open they just ASSUME we are closed because there is no sign. ALSO, the majority of people who are calling you that we are closed are most likely people who arrive at the store an hour or 2 early when the store actually IS closed. So I can assure you that anybody who has complained that we aren't open is either too lazy to get out of their car to check if we're open OR doesn't grasp the concept that the store doesn't open upon their arrival. We have set hours.

That is one of my biggest pet peeves with the store. These people really, truly believe the world revolves around them and are downright befuddled when I explain the store does not open just because they want/need it to. This is not the way the world works...

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Letters from Rehab #5 Finale

So this is the last of the letters I had written but no worries. Reading over these has reminded me of a whole bunch of stuff I can share about in future posts.

Day 8
Welp, I've made it a whole week! Feel fantastic. Finally got to move into the dorms with a sweet lounge area and TV. Could have used that tv on Friday for the Smallville Series finale but no such luck. Still very bitter about that and will probably be pissed for quite sometime. I know it's silly but I love what I love and I love Smallville.

I got to use Star Wars quotes in one of our small 5 person groups the past 2 days in a row. Yesterday a guy said he would "try not to relapse when I leave" and I of course said "Do or do not there is no try." Hahaha My counselor was pleased with my response. Then today a woman mention her fear of relapse to which I said "fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering." God I love being able to use Star Wars quotes and it actually has meaning. Now I'm just waiting for someone to say they wish they could play the Bongos again. In due time...

Day 9
Holy fuck. Last night the girl of my dreams joined the program. Ahhhhhhh. I'm telling you seeing these girls and not being able to touch flirt is criminal. Another really hot girl came in as well and in the first night she all ready got in trouble for flirting with some of the criminals. Now she has to stay 10 feet away from us guys, can't talk to us, for a week. 24 hours and she's already started crap. Luckily "my girl" (haha) doesn't seem like trouble. I know I can't even really talk to her but at least I know I have eye candy for the next few weeks. Somethings gotta give. I feel like I'm going to erupt like that dude from the first Scary Movie.

I just received Doug's # today so I will be giving a call tomorrow to chat real quick (10 min limit) and get ur address so i can send this novel.

-From the pee pee soaked heckhole,


-And there we have it. I should note I'm not referring to myself as a "pee pee socked heckhole" but that the location from which I am writing is a "pee pee soaked heckhole." Which is of course another Simpsons references that perfectly bookends the letters. Aaaaand scene!

-I remember being genuinely upset that I had missed Smallville. I had really wanted to try and sneak into the dorm to watch it but I didn't want to skip class. Cause skipping class is WRONG!

-What you can't see from these blog transcriptions of the letters is all the scratched out words from the original writing. One of the really noticeable ones is when I'm obviously trying to think of the word "context" when mentioning using the Star Wars quotes and all that comes out after several scratches is "and it actually has meaning." I knew what I wanted to say, but I couldn't get the right words out.

So that's all we have for now. I will continue to share stories that I've now remembered through reminiscing. Basically an overall better feel of what the program was actually like, what we did, and all that stuff. So be on the look out for those.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Letters from Rehab #4

Almost for got to type this up. Though I'm glad I waited because now I'm downloading The Newsroom and this gives me something to do...

Day 7
Last day of detox! Tomorrow morning I move into the dorms, finally! I am so fucking pumped. During my downtime today I saw Jennifer goodbye (hot stuff!) and met her 6'4 huge ass husband. Good god he was scary. Later me and some of the crew sat by the lake and just chilled. We saw all these turtles, frogs, gophers, and the meanest bunch of geese you'll ever meet. The first day I got here the baby geese were so fucking tiny. 7 days later they are getting huge! Interested to see how big they get by the time I leave. We also caught a snapping turtle. Fucker was vicious!

I saw this line in my Alcoholics Anonymous book that I thought I would share...

"The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others: hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead"

I hope I have in no way hurt any of you. I got out of control. Alcoholism is truly a disease and I hate it.

But in other news, tonight was pretty damn depressing. The night before people leave we have a class where we have a send off. It's really an emotional experience. Everyone gets up and tells their stories and some will just bring you to tears. I'm losing 4 of my good friends tomorrow and my best friend Anthony the day after. they are all older dudes which sadly I relate to more cuz these young kids are fucking punks. Talking to them is like talking to every kid I hated in high school. All they talk about is one-upping each other on who has done the most drugs. Fucking pathetic. And the criminals walk around like they own the place like the jocks did in school. Loud, obnoxious, get the fuck out of my way attitude. Not much you can do about it though! I feel bad for them, really.

We actually had 2 people escape yesterday! They made a break for it and haven't  been seen since. Funny thing is 5 minutes after they bolted we got hit bu a HUGE storm. Those poor bastards were running down the street in the pouring rain. I'm having a great time so I don't see why someone would want to leave. But as Anthony (Yoda) said "When your an addict and you need your shit you fucking will do anything to get it"

They were both coke heads who needed their fix. Craziness.

I'm sure I've mentioned at certain points the giant spider that's outside my condo EVERY year in the same place, who I dubbed Shelob (Lord of the Rings). Well I think she followed me here because she is perched outside my door as we speak. Right next to my bench I sit on every morning. My room mate suggest we find Samwise Gamgee and have him use Sting. No such luck..

-So her name was Jennifer! Haha! I knew I'd remember. (See last post)

-Finding all those wild animals was a cool experience. Reading it over now doesn't do it justice. My typing sounds childish, again, but this time it's fitting. Because at that moment I was seeing the world in a way I hadn't seen in two decades. With wide eyed enthusiasm and innocence.

I watched those baby geese grow everyday I was there. It was like some sick metaphor staring us right in the face the whole time, almost TOO perfect and TOO cliche. As if the staff had planned it all along because as they grew, we grew, and so help me God they actually took to the sky for the very first time the day before I left. Again, super cliche but 100% accurate.

-Yes, there really was an enormous snapping turtle and YES I did say "caught." My buddy Jason took it upon himself to pick it up, shortly after watching it snap a think stick in half in the blink of an eye. Yeah, bad idea.

-That "tornado" line from the AA Book still sticks with me today.

-The criminals really did walk around like they owned the place. And why shouldn't they? Going to prison was the equivalent to being on the football team in high school, ergo, they were "better" than us. Bear with me here as the dynamics of rehab are ass backwards. More on this in a future blog.

-Ahh the escapees. Yes this did happen, more often than not unfortunately. You have to understand that this place was in the middle of nowhere up by the mountains. We were not fenced in and could leave at any time. But there was NO PLACE TO GO. So if someone made a break for it, there wasn't anywhere for you to go for miles and miles. I do not envy the poor guys who escaped that day and got punished by that rain cause it was terrible.

-Now I'll explain Shelob. This is the spider that for many years, parked it's ass right outside the front door of my condo. Every year, when the weather started to get warmer, that monstrosity of an arachnid was blocking the very entrance to my home. MY HOME! (Seinfeld whine) In rehab, when I saw a similar spider in my heavily medicated state of mind, I was absolutely certain the beast had hunted me down to torment me.

That's all for now.

Monday, June 25, 2012

On The Interwebs, Nobody Can Hear You Scream...

No worries all, I will still be posting the latest Letters from Rehab later this evening but first there's something I wanted to share with you. Now that I'm back in the blogging mood, and I will be updating rather frequently as I find it very therapeutic, I was looking through all the new options that Blogspot has to offer. Something that always bothered me in the past is that I had no idea how many views I was getting and if anybody was really listening outside of the few comments on the blog itself and responses to the link on Facebook and Twitter.

Turns out, a lot more people were listening than I thought.

Blogspot added a counter that tallies all the views not only the site gets, but each individual post. Now before I had just added the "Cluster Map" function (which you can see on the right hand side of the blog) that shows where around the world people are "tuning in" to hear me ramble. Which by the way, was a real eye opener when I first saw that map. If you haven't seen it, check it out for yourself. If this was a game of Risk, I would be dominating.

Now where were we, ah yes, the new Page Views. I took it upon myself to scroll through old blog "data" and my jaw literally dropped at some of the numbers. Now remember, most of the old entries were courtesy of our old friend "Drunk Sean" and I'm glad he didn't have access to these numbers because I fear for what the world would have to hear from him. Not that it would have been anything really terrible, but I'm sure people would have had better things to read about then why "Haruhi Suzumiya is the greatest anime character" or how "Empire Strikes Back is clearly the best movie known to man" (The latter mainly because it's true and everyone is aware of this.)

So looking over the charts I see that the number one ranked blog I have written clocked in at just under 2,000 page views. It was about the Voice Actor Dee Bradley Baker, you can read it HERE, and his awesomeness on The Clone Wars series. Reading it now it's clear I'm just having fun and never really expected it to be seen by that many people, let alone 2,000. Had I been aware of this I probably would have found a more appropriate opening than "I have lost a total of 12 lbs in the month of April. Who wants to touch me?"

I can only assume those numbers exist because I took it upon myself to tag Dee Bradley Baker in the post on Twitter and he retweeted it. That's the only logical explanation I can think of. Which is an honor, truly, but dear lord I wish it had been a post actually worthy of a retweet. He probably thought it was praise from a wide-eyed, enthusiastic 14 year old. (Which, during my drinking days, I basically was. In mind not body).

But let's flash forward now shall we? Almost two years on the dot. With alcohol out of my life, and in a clear state of mind, I am now able to continue writing and sharing about the things that I love. Besides the blog, one of my favorite gigs is always writing pieces for my friend's website Fanboy Comics. They have given me more opportunities than I could possibly imagine (and I can imagine quite a bit) but I believe the happiest moment in my sober life was the chance to interview my voice acting hero, Mr. James Arnold Taylor.

And that is no exaggeration. I was beside myself. What I had thought was going to be a simple interview via the magic of email turned into a 13 minute audio response from the man himself. The girlfriend still makes fun of me for my initial reaction to listening to it for the first time. She said she had to check for vital signs and make sure I was still breathing.

But none of that would have been possible without the help of James' publicist, Consetta, who I have personally dubbed "The Sweetest Woman on the Planet." That's not even a joke you guys, she is literally the nicest women ever. We talk almost daily now on Twitter, so she's already aware of all this, but like I stated in my Kevin Smith/Jason Mewes blog, some people really don't know the effect they can have on someones life until they just come out and say it. It sounds cheesy but honestly, saying one nice thing to someone could completely change their day.

That's why I like to take the time out on the blog to do just that. Thank those who have helped me and inspired me to be a better person, whether they are aware of it or not.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Letters from Rehab #3

Alright, we are on to part 3. This one was fascinating for me to read again because it triggered a memory of someone I completely forgot. Which I will explain more afterwards...

Day 5
Normal morning, had breakfast, got my meds, and then there is a meeting. Everyone on campus had to take a piss test! (due to the girls getting kicked out last night). That took a few hours and made us miss a lot of class time so i don't give a shit. Overall has been a bizarre day because the schedule had to be shifted around so much. We got a lot more free time which fucking rocked. I'm in Study Hall right now as I write this because I finished all my homework. Go me!

Day 6
Woke up, got meds, and stood out on my balcony at 6am looking over the lake. It was beautiful. I've become very comfortable with this sleeping schedule. The day itself was fun/depressing. In the morning I noticed the cute girl running around the lake so I made my way down there and sat by this rock til she passed. We chilled and talked for a bit which was fun. She's married and has SEVEN fucking kids. Though it's a Brady Bunch situation, she only pumped out 3 herself. She's 35 too but she looks fucking 25. Unfortunately she leaves tomorrow so I'll have to find some other eye candy to look at during class. For someone I barely talked to and only knew for 5 days I'm really bummed she's leaving. I forget the term they called it in class but it's something like "Rehab Attachment." I'm also really upset because most of my "crew" is leaving in a few days, mainly my best bud Tony (Hey, Tony, hey). But everyone is already talking about exchanging numbers and emails. That way we can help each other through our addiction problems if need be.

Honestly guys, I'm so glad you organized this. It's just what I needed! The people are great, staff is awesome, and the scenery is pretty sweet. I wish we were allowed cameras though. You need pictures!

I'm pissed though because I should have been done with the detox building by now but they are saying I have two more days. Fuckers. By the time I move into the dorm 2 of my "best friends" will already be gone. 

It is absolutely mind boggling that I have gone this long without Facebook, Twitter, the internet in general, my PHONE, and video games. I finally have pay phone priviledges so I will be giving calls soon. I can only call on even days (Boys days) for 10 minutes at a time. Plus I need to call some other friends outside of "Our Group" who have no fucking clue where I am.

Wow, this one really surprised me. The girl that is mentioned in this entry and the entry prior is completely different from the girl I was thinking about. In fact, I had no memory of this girl until the moment I read "cute girl running around the lake" and everything came flooding back. I think her name might have been Jennifer but I'm not sure. As stated, we only knew each other 5 days but those 5 days feel like 5 weeks in rehab. Not in the sense that time drags on longer, but because you spend every waking hour with the same group of people from dawn until dusk. Depending on the people you decide to spend your time with this could be either really awesome or incredibly nauseating.

Looking back I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that my friend Tony left after only 7 days. It really, truly felt much longer than that at the time.

I described my writing in the previous entry as almost "child-like." As I read this letter I was reminded I was still on medication at the time. Even after being there several days we were still working hard to get all the poisons out of my body. So coupled with the medication, I remember being happy and feeling great, but also being emotionally damaged. There were so many things going through my head I'll probably share more about those times in a future post.

My "moaning" about having to stay in detox an extra 2 days only proves to me now how much I really needed it. 8 days in detox is NOT common. I realize now that their comments about missing my "winning personality" and explaining "we just don't want you to ever leave us" was their polite way of telling me, "you still need more help." Bless their hearts though, they really did make me feel welcome.

And for those who couldn't pick up on what was clearly a "Hey, Tony, Hey" Seinfeld reference, here it is...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Letters from Rehab #2

Wow, I am overwhelmed with the positive feedback I've received from just the first entry! I had a feeling people would dig it and as soon as I posted it I couldn't wait to starting typing up the second one. I need to point out in the last one, the only time I wrote an actual date I ended up writing "11/12/11" which is completely wrong. It should have been 5/12/11. I don't know if that was just a simple mistake or if my recovering brain really had absolutely know idea what date it was. I wouldn't put it past myself if I truly had no clue, but it was enough for me to sit back and think about it.

Also, I don't know how accurate the "Days" are. Everything is kind of a jumbled mess of thoughts so don't put too much thought into when exactly these events happened.

Some of this is hard to read again. I come off as a child a lot (more so than usual) in the sense that I seem so incredibly innocent. Like a kid writing his parents from summer camp. Everything is very "to the point" and you can tell there are things I am trying to express but I can't find the words to properly say it. I think this is when I really start you just let it all out.

It was really hard not to correct the spelling errors, now matter how much Spell Check egged me on.

That said, I bring you part 2...

Day 4:
Wake up feeling great today. Busy as fuck though. I've realized these past few days how out of place I am. I think I'm the most innocent person here. Although I have a bunch of friends, almost every single person here has done every fucking drug known to man. Seriously. I'm the only one who has JUST an alcohol problem. They sit and talk about the times they had been in prison, all the heroin, crack, LSD, and all that shit. I've even seen some of the most disgusting track marks on people's arms. 

I am so out of my element. Ha ha.

Oh man the stories I could tell you. I've had to leave the group sometimes because the stories are just too gross. Abusing family members, car crashes, overdoses, you name it I've heard about it. Luckily I hang with the crowd that "isn't as bad" as any of that. Whats funny is in out group we have a guy that looks like Sam Rockwell, another Seth Rogan (complete with laugh) and the new guy that looks like Jerry O'Connell. Scary! It's kinda sad though cuz a lot of my buddies are checking out soon. It feels like I've known them forever. The cool news is that I've been doing so well they might be giving me a "little brother" How cool is that?

-So we are in Study Hall right now as I write this. BORING! And my "girlfriend" just walked in. Just kidding. Boys and girls aren't allowed to interact here at all. Everything is kept separate. My guess is to no distract us.  Doesn't mean I can't look "WINK WINK" but this girl is sooo beautiful. They even split the class room in half but I always make sure to get to class early so I can sit accross the aisle from her. Girls are an addiction too!

Today we had a class about Family Disfunction. She described the 4 types of children. Tell me is this seems familiar...

Family Clown- Takes others before him. Is fragile, needs attention, suffers from lonliness and depression. Doesn't handle stress. Always goes for the "good girl" type. Uses alcohol to either "get off stage" or to "improve his act"

The other one that struck me was...

Lonely Child- Lives in a fantasy world. Very quiet. Day dreams a lot. Very artistic talents such as painting and music. Has a unique interest in animals. Uses alcohol for power and confidence, esspecially in social situations.

And fuuuuuuuuuuuuuusion!

-Today I gained a new room mate here in the ol detox room. I thought the dude was dead for a while because he slept all fucking day in the same position. 

He has finally awoken! Apparently he's a heroin addict. I SMELL A SITCOM!!

We had a brief conversation, he passed out again for awhile, wake up and introduced himself again like we had never met before. Craziness. Best part, he snores. Just when I was started getting good nights of sleep.

UPDATE: Later at night before bed we heard all this comossion ( I cant spell) while me and some guys were chilling on the bench outside my room smoking. Apparently the new girl brought PCP onto the grounds and her and two other girls got busted! 10 minutes later an van pulls up and hauls their asses out. They were kicked out of the program. Which leads us to...

Did I really end this on a cliffhanger? Who leaves a letter with a cliffhanger? Major props to myself for that one.

I'll make a few comments before I wrap this up...

1) Those guys in my group really did resemble those celebrities, it was almost uncanny. Especially "Seth Rogan", I mean the laugh alone was a DEAD ringer. And although I didn't mention it in the letter, I'm assuming it was implied that I was the other celebrity in the group, Edward Norton.

2) My "girlfriend" was super hot. Cutest little heroin addict you ever did see. I haven't thought about her until I read this again. I might have said 5 words to her the whole time we were there. 4 of those words were when we were in the same van together leaving the grounds forever.

3) I talk about my room mate looking almost dead and not remembering us talking. Sadly, I would have been the same way had I not been thrown into a room all by myself because I needed "special attention" I was told later by the nurses that I never remembered anything they did or said, which isn't surprising.

Well that's all for now. Part 3 will probably be posted tomorrow...

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Letters From Rehab #1

While I was in rehab I had planned to write back home to my friends as often as I could. Once I became aware of just how busy they kept us in rehab I kept putting it off. So instead I wrote a journal of sorts which I would compile into a big letter to send my friends. Since I have been expressing myself more openly lately about my sobriety I thought it might be fun to share some, if not all, of the letters. Instead of typing them all up at once I figured I'd share a few "entries" every few days or so. The damn thing is 11 pages long so I doubt anyone would sit through the whole thing at once.

These are unedited. Spelling errors, slang, and all. I can't even quote Simpsons properly which saddens me.

And with that, I give you Rehab Sean...

NOTE: If I repeat things it's cuz I've been writing over several days.

Dear Toolbags,

I hope this letter finds you well. I will never have to see hell because I have been to Kamp Krusty.

Just kidding. But in all honesty please forgive my handwriting because I'm still going through detox. My hands are still a bit shaky but it was MUCH worse the first day. I'm still getting Valuum which is rad. Day 1 I spent 18 hours in a room alone with no technology at all. And I mean NOTHING. The only reading material I had was the bible. It was a fantastic 18 hours...

Day 2 still in detox but I was able to finally go outside granted I was in a wheelchair and under supervision at all times. Gee fun fun. Good news is I was feeling better. Later once I had enough energy I was able to wander on my own. I was in no mood to talk to anyone and just sat by a lake a stared. (Side note, just now this dude came to my door to check to see if I was in my room because it's "Lock Down." Mind you, it's 10 fucking 30! Lights go out at 11) You also can't bring in outside electronics so no Nintendo DS, ipod, NOT EVEN my books and magazines! You can imagine the insanity it's been for me.

11/12/11 Day 3 (today) Woke up feeling much better. I was able to go off on my own. And since I didn't feel like shit I went off in search for some friends. And I found a bunch. It was also the first day of my class. That's right, 6am-10pm is all work with few breaks for food and down time. I even have homework. Gyuuuuuhhhh....

They have plenty of activities, none of which I care about (basketball, vollyball, horseshoes). So me and my new friends sit and watch the "jocks" act gay and laugh at them. Also, no one told me I would be staying at a place with recovering convicts! I swear! lol But it's cool, they have their own little area to chill (the floor under mine). But to be serious, as of today things have gotten so much better. Also, I don't have my cell phone so I the only number I have is my aunts. I can't make a call til tomorrow so all have her forward the message to you so I can get ur address and actually mail this thing to you guys.

Fuck, time for lights out (11:00). Talk to you guys soon!

                                                                                                           The Hat

P.S. They set alarms on the doors at 11:00 so I can't escape! ha ha ha

It's bizarre going back and reading these. My friends were happy to read that I was able to keep my sense of humor through all this. Reading it now there's stuff I want to edit and change but that would take away from this. This isn't just for me. This is for anyone reading who feels they have a problem too.

So that's all for now. Probably post another one tomorrow. Hope you enjoyed...


This is why I love the internet. Last week a friend of mine was retweeting an obsessed Justin Beiber fan on Twitter. This girl is an absolute riot. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and this is not a jab at her liking Justin Beiber, I'm just posting this because it's hilarious and at times, even a bit scary.

If I had to choose between killing my family or Justin Bieber, I would probably kill my family... 

Justin Bieber is much bigger than Kurt Cobain, so shut up. Did Kurt Cobain ever have the biggest fanbase on Twitter? NO.

My World, My World 2.0, Believe and Miley Cyrus' I Can't Be Tamed are the only iconic albums released in the last 10 years. RIP music.

Believe is a masterpiece and if you think any album by Michael Jackson is better than Believe, you're delusional.

WHO THE FUCK EVEN IS KURT COBAIN? Stop spamming me, idiots. As if you even knew who Kurt Cobain was before Bieber mentioned him... -__-

LOL at people saying Freddie Mercury was a great role model and Bieber is not. You know Freddie was gay and had AIDS right?

Kurt Cobain (some rock singer) died in 1994, the same year Justin Bieber was born. RT if you think Bieber is Kurt reincarnated!

I love Michael Jackson, but saying Michael was bigger than Justin Bieber is now just makes you look dumb.

This is why I HATE Kurt Cobain and his flop band. So fucking unprofessional, I'm happy you died! 

And that's only a handful of her posts. But that was last week. Turns out word has spread and now shit is intense.

Somebody leaked my number. I'm getting tons of texts. Great, gotta change my number and my dad will probably kill me.

I'm trending in Singapore, they hate me. They suck! :)

I have to deal with e-mails like this EVERY DAY. Thank God my swag can handle it! I get more fan-mail anyway :)

And then my personal favorites. I'm not religious by any means but wow...

Jesus ain't real. If he was, cancer wouldn't exist. Bieber is real and he donates money to cancer funds all the time. Such a hero <3

I hope Illuminati are real so they can kill all the brainwashed Christians and muslims in the world. They just spread hate anyway

Christians really annoy me. The Bible is some science fiction shit about a fag with superpowers. HOW can people even believe it's real?

Great, now religious people are mad. GOD IS NOT REAL. Idiots. If he was, then explain why cancer and poverty exists?

God doesn't care about starving kids in Africa, or people with cancer. Justin visits hospitals and donates money to help them. Who's better?

All in all, in a few years, this poor girl is going to be a complete mess. I'm embarrassed of some of the shit I liked when I was 13, but I didn't broadcast it online for the whole world to see. And while I don't give two shits about Beiber, I'm interested to know what he thinks about deranged fans such as this.