The Fun Begins…soon (Kicking, day 0)

No ceremony, no ritual. Little more than a momentary pause as I looked at the small white pills in my hand this morning, but in that pause I thought of the nine years gone to the past, and the days or weeks of torture & agony immediately coming as I took my last dose of morphine. Ever.

I took the two half-full bottles out of my nightstand drawer, grabbed the near-full “emergency” pill container that I have kept for three years and moved them across the room to be placed somewhere clever later. Out of sight, yes – but I think out of mind isn’t very likely, at least for a few weeks or more.

If I could figure out the technique that always seems to work when I “organize” things so that they’re easier to find, only to end up lost for months when I actually *do* look for them, then that would be perfect – but I don’t think that will work. If I actually *want* to lose something or forget where it is, it seems inevitable that I’ll find it, even in the least likely of places.

I should figure out that backwards science & write a book about how to use & control it. I’d make millions.

It’s a strange feeling, kicking morphine after so long, so many years of depending on it. So many years of letting it control me.
I was half-expecting a huge mental fanfare – streamers popping out of my head, flame effects shooting out of my ears and little tiny balloons dropping from my nose, but alas, nothing of the sort. It was almost as exciting as putting my pants on.
Okay – as exciting as putting a freshly washed pair of pants on that have yet to acquire any dog hair on them, but still, not much more than that.

The exciting part – well, that will most certainly begin tomorrow, most likely as I race to the bathroom desperately trying not to crap myself in the 20 feet from my bed, or stopping in the middle of eating something for the same reason. It never ceases to amaze me how food can go through an entire body’s system almost as fast as dropping it – as if during withdrawals everything moves around and there is just one direct line from the mouth to the ass.

I think there should be an “Opiate Withdrawal Olympics”, with challenges such as ‘The 10 Meter Toilet Dash’, ‘The Cold Sweat Pool’ (judged by the amount of sweat the body produces in one night of attempted sleep), and ‘The Snot Sprint’, won by producing the most water-like mucus out of the incessantly running nose in an hour. Of course there could be many others – the most sleepless nights, muscle spasm gymnastics, distance or quantity vomiting, most creative screams of agony… it could be fun! Well… at least for the spectators.

And now, off to do some final preparations – give Ruby a *really* good walk, enjoy some of the last sunshine I might be seeing for a few days, clear a direct path from bed to bathroom, send letters to my Mother & Father thanking them for their birthday cards (finally) – whatever else I can think of.

I’ve decided to document the fun with pictures. Here’s one I have titled “Before the Descent” aka “Keep the fog outside of my head” aka “oh, shit.”

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See you all in hell. Be grateful you’re just looking through the window.

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A life for a life

 

I look at this page & it stares back at me, a subtle, defiant edge to the font that would likely go without notice if I wasn’t looking for it – but oh, it’s there.

WriteGunPic

Some reading this may think that it’s my imagination, that I’m creating it in my mind, that the certain lean, the extra hint of teasing, judging serif in the font is something I’m making up so I can blame something other than myself for the distracted words that my fingers put on this page, but I know different, and besides, what you may think of my sanity has no consequence.
On with it.

I part the dense fog that has surrounded my mind ever since I began working on my Kickstarter campaign, the words listening for the passage that will allow them to avoid the sharp rocks in these treacherous waters & lead them safely to this page. From the tattered pages of past writings I tear away the tangents I had followed when the Sirens of Kickstarter took away my will & made the words whine and shove those in my ears, muting the songs of the campaign. I prepare my mind to find itself again, to write what’s been pushed back – but never forgotten. The thoughts still storm, and it’s time to dance in the rain again.

SingingRain

I will succeed. I will triumph. I’ll do a happy dance!

As profoundly important as the success of this campaign is to me & my life, as much as I know it can and will change the lives of others, I need to remember that somewhere not far behind the ever-present thoughts of dong all I can to make my campaign succeed, there is a soul, forgotten & forlorn, who still has things other than the thoughts necessitated and consumed by Kickstarter to say.

And that being said, there is only a little more than a week left of my campaign – and this book needs to be finished, published & given to the world!

Please – pledge, SHARE, and understand the profound importance that this dream holds for me – I have never done anything that has meant more, including saving my life.
The goal of writing & publishing this book is what kept  me alive – what gave me something to fight for.

NGG THUMBNAIL8.8

This book kept me alive – and now, it’s time to let my book live!

Click the link below, contribute & share – please – and thank you!

http://bit.ly/NGGKickass

back in.

 

It’s hard for me to accept. Impossible to foresee what the outcome will be.

Either all I have worked for comes to fruition and my life changes entirely, or… it doesn’t.

Like the 1st letter I sent to the person who, after searching for 25 years, I knew was my birth mother, and the wait after that. Like fighting so hard and so long to make a dream come true that the final act of jumping into the unknown is the only direction to go anymore, I need to take a deep breath, and believe.

It’s time to let go.

Let go of nearly all of the control I had, and just do my best to aim away from the rocks and trees as I soar past them, faster than I’ve become familiar with over the years of lying immobile in a hospital bed and then my own, planning for this time as life passed me by.

It’s time to join life again. To jump back in the game.

It’s getting closer. It’s what I have worked so hard for. It’s what I have studied far too much for – and I’m terrified. I need to remember how to love being afraid, because I *sure* as hell have forgotten – and I recall not that long ago when being afraid, when doing something I had NO idea how to do was like a drug for me – a euphoria. Where the hell did that person go?
I need to do some digging around inside of me & find him again. Maybe he’s just sleeping – feeling unloved and under used.

This will light a fire under his ass.

Very soon, it comes to the point where I have to release this to the world, and see if they approve. See if they are interested enough in me enough to support my project, and hope that they are.

Will they see me? Do they want to know me?

Will they love me?

Sure, I’m frightened – but I also believe that it’s time to light a fire under MY ass, and which-ever way this goes – in some way, it will be successful.

Closer…

 

I can feel it getting closer.

What began as something that I thought would be easy over a year ago quickly revealed itself to me that it wasn’t when I got down to the work involved. This wasn’t something that I could take lightly – and I was far from prepared to deal with the way my own fears made me stumble along the way… but I kept at it.

It’s all I had.

Now, what I perceive as the hardest part – the part that tested me, made sure I had what it takes as I read, studied and re-wrote every work on every page in every part about 20 times is nearly over, and soon I get to do what this has all been buiding up to – write my book.

It’s amazing what I have learned over the time I have been putting the first part of this project together, and there have often been times where I think that I learned *too* much, as with nearly each new discovery came a new change that need to be made and what I thought might be alright before simply wasn’t anymore. Not for me, at least…

But soon it will be over – I’ll be able to focus on what it has all been building up to – and just as importantly, I’ll be able to quit being consumed by the emotional walls it is necessary to get through every time I need to ask for help for the herbs I need to stay alive, and, at long last, be able to support my SELF and the things I need.

NGG.DreamersLoveLetter

I’m not going to pretend that writing this book is going to be anything even *close* to easy, and the process of it – rough draft, re-write, editing, design, promotion, etc. will be quite a task – as well as the rawness of emotion that I will need to re-live will at times, I’m sure, rip my soul apart… but the exciting thing is that it WILL get done, each & every day a bit more – and it will help someone else.

It *will* help.
And I can feel it getting closer…

Getting out of the way of myself

(Begun)Saturday night, roughly 12:30am. GrassFish 2016
Post laydown recharge –
(Semi-completed) Monday, 5.17.16, the early waking hours before my feet hit the floor…

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I’m tempted to say that I almost didn’t make up here, but now, ultimately, I know better. Some things are simply *meant* to happen, and we end up using more effort to ignore and fight the call than we would simply listening to the ‘Verse and accepting that it will *always* know what we need.
Of course, it’s simple to ignore or simply not notice, to have what *you* thought remain true to your expectations. It’s safe to remain in the bubble that we’ve created and go on with our daily lives, digging for any excuse available to remain in our world of woe-is-me. I never was like this before. Before the hospice.
I’ve let fear take over my thoughts.
A few months ago when this event was announced, a week of camping on a sublime campground 3 hours north of San Francisco, at that moment I resigned myself to most likely not being able to join.
All of the reasons and rationalities ran through my head in a valiant attempt to justify my decision: Finances, first & foremost. I had already asked for and received, in my mind, more than I deserved. Even though it was to help keep me alive, it still felt – will always feel – like I am asking for too much. If I asked for something simply to *enjoy* life instead of not dying, that would be abusing the kindness that has already been shown – and could possibly take away from the assistance that I actually *need* in the future to not only stay alive, but in the effort to get well.
Then of course there was Ruby, my dog, my companion, the one, who with her smiles and snuggles and dependency on me takes the sharpest edges off the loneliness that is an ever-increasing part of my world… and of course, the book project. Losing myself in the work & words & all of the things that need to happen so *it* can happen… no. I need to work. To dig my way out from under the poverty that keeps me stuck here, to finally be able to give back.
In my mind, it was settled. I simply couldn’t go to GrassFish.

I’ll tolerate the daily drudgery because the daily drudgery is easier than actually changing the ways that have been set for me – but that is *NOT* me. I wondered who this person was that I had become, wondered how this fearful bastard took control.

I looked back to the time before the sickness took hold of me, to that very moment I gave everything that I was *supposed* to do up and ran with a smile & wild look in my eyes to the edge of the cliff – and jumped – not even knowing if I even had wings but hoping that they might unfold… and if they didn’t, if my body & soul was shattered on the razor-sharp rocks below, then so be it.
I was done being someone else’s pawn, someone else’s work-horse.
I wanted to remember who I wanted to be, and become that person who I dreamt of as a child.
And I was more than willing to pay any cost to find him. To find, for the first time… me.

And I fell. I lost my car, had to sell off everything that I could simply to feed my dog & me in-between the odd-jobs I took – at one point I couldn’t help but laugh as I was surrounded by over $7,000 worth of original French Art-Deco lamps to rewire & had $3 & change in my pocket… but even though I was broke, hungry, and days away from getting the eviction notice on my apartment – something felt more right than it ever had before. With the odd-jobs I was helping people, and the stain left on my soul from my last “official” job was fading. I was absolutely terrified of what might happen next, but I had never felt so alive. There was a strange feeling inside that I remember then, hidden behind the terror and uncertainty, but at certain times it was much stronger and edged its way out to the front. The closest I can come to naming it is genuine happiness… the kind of happiness that begins at the core of your soul and makes your entire mind & body tingle, adds a vibrant light behind your eyes and a peacefulness in every motion you make.
I was doing something right. I was becoming me – and it was noticed.

From that moment on, it was easy to compare, in a way, to Alice falling down the rabbit hole. Things started falling into place. A dear friend hooked me up with a band that I had performed with before called The Dresden Dolls, and I started working with them – organizing performers for their shows around the world from wherever I could find a place to sleep after I was evicted – from a fetish dungeon (with rooms for all types of fetishes) to artist warehouses, friends couches and gods, the stories…
From being flown out to Boston, coming back to San Francisco, deciding to move there and being re-routed in route… just going wherever I was pointed, making the best of wherever I ended up.

I can’t say I wasn’t afraid, but I didn’t let the fear control me – and the world just kept opening itself up to me, as if everywhere I went there was the proverbial red carpet laid out on the roads and in my mind…

I created an online magazine, produced events, and even won an award. There was no stopping me…

and then I got sick.

Even though I somehow lived through that, the fear was so unknown & intense – knowing that at literally any moment I could die – that I don’t think I was ever able to shake it.
I still carry that fear, and only when this camping event came up and it came to the point that it would have taken more effort to hold onto it like a child’s security blanket and not go to GrassFish1 did I realize that the fear that I had worked so hard to move through in the past was now, again, acting as a barrier against living the life that I wanted.

When Tanya Mia offered me tickets, a place to sleep, and food when up there at the last moment, I still fought it. I couldn’t find someone I trusted enough to watch my dog, Ruby, with so little time to spare. Hells – I only had 1 day and with my mind battling me, couldn’t think of anyone… but wait, maybe? I sent a message, and the first person was busy. Good. See? I was right. I can’t go, but thanks.

But then there was another person I thought of. A long-shot as they’re usually busy and active, but… and then the reply came back. They can watch her but won’t be available until late Friday after work.
Okay. Now, a ride…

Ultimately, it worked out, and I was a fool for fighting it so hard – but through it all, I learned what I needed to –
1) that I need to let go of this fucking fear that’s been clinging to me ever since I was dying in the hospice. For nearly six years it has been controlling me, weakening me, and I have been losing me. It’s time to come back.
2) that this book is going to be terrifying to write – but I’m more familiar with fear than most, and I will do it. Hell – I’ve already begun. It is the greatest thing I can give. I lived a life that I couldn’t even imagine at the time and became who I wanted to be. I went (and continue on) a great journey, one that has taken me from the shining top of life to the depths of watching my own flesh decompose but I wasn’t willing to go I had to live and… and as I did what I swore I would do and danced out the door of the hospice, called a “miracle” by the nurses and nurse assistants who (understandably) pegged me for dead…
If I can help or inspire even one person with this book, that’s all I need.

Now, time to write a book.
We are ALL going to win.

1- GrassFish is a mid-year campout that has been going on for… I don’t know, 5-7 years? Born from a Burning Man
camp created by Lord Huckleberry & Opal Essence a long time ago named DustFish. By FAR, the best camp on the Playa.

 

 

 

 

Home.

The quiet white hush of the electric fan, the occasional car horn or siren coming in through the window… these are the sounds of the past two nights; the sounds that remind me that, without question, I am *home*.

No more 3am blood draws, no more moans of pain from my room-mate and yelling for the nurse throughout the floor, no more random, incessant beeping or not so hushed conversations between the workers on the 5th floor, the patients… and the pain, not letting me stay in one position for any length of time before it was unbearable & I had to try something different
During the past month, there may have been a total of three times where I was able to accomplish getting five straight hours of solid sleep, with the rest being small chunks of two, maybe three if I was *very* fortunate.

All of that is done, now only the past – and now it is time to allow my body & mind to catch up to all I have been missing. I lay on top of one slightly torn comforter, drape the heavy one I’ve loved for many years & many cities across my body. It is now beyond repair, this wonderfrul patchwork comforter, and as much as it saddens me it is time to let it go – perhaps one evening find someone on the street who it will offer its warmth to.

I slowly, softly wake up 7,8,9,10 hours later, Kindle still in hand & a subtle & serene grin on my face, lay there for a few minutes as I think about the day, and do a quick meditation focusing on how beautiful everything is.

It seems as if I still have some rest to catch up on, as I find myself nodding off now & again – but I’m fine with that. Lots to do, but these are easy days – I do what I can when I can, cleaning up my apartment, having fantastic people come & help me with cleaning out my fridge & making certain things are well & good, & that I have healthy food.

I am in perpetual awe at how blessed I am – how blessed we ALL are to have such a loving family of friends – and in that, we will always have everything we need.

I only wish life could be like this for everyone.
Maybe someday, it will.

I love you all – and thank you, so very much, for calling me yours.

Day 4 of 1500

Day 4 of 1500

Still the constant pain, nausea, and feeling like there is a colony of ants burrowing under my skin when I am adventurous and tired enough to try to sleep, but… it’s getting better. *I* am getting better.

I have tried before to do this. Tried, and failed. This time I am winning. The halfway mark has been passed. I WILL win, I will come back from over four years of the numbness, the absence, the nonexistence, the empty shell of who I was, the man I remember who was burning with passion and fought for dreams.

It was well over four years ago that I was prescribed my first bottle of morphine, and then it made perfect sense. The pain was bearable but still got in the way of most things I wanted to do, so when my doctor recommended the opiates, I warily accepted. I knew what would come of it as I still had clear memories of the agony felt over twenty years ago when I was kicking heroin for the first and final time after a daily two year habit. I knew what would come of it but the alternatives were weighed and the decision was made.

Twice over the years it appeared as if I wouldn’t need to wrestle with this, that everything as far as the morphine addiction goes would be well taken care of by simply dying, but appearances can be deceiving, and here I still am – one year and one month after my last hospital stay, and getting better as the days progress. Better, but only in some ways. Everything was still blunted, vapid, uninspiring. With the help and inspiration of incredible people, I had conquered death  – but only to come out on the other side still a ghost.

I want to give you more than that. I want to give ME more than that, more than haunting memories of seeing how high I could fly, how big I could dream.

No more. No more wishing I was here.

I’ve gotten over what I hope and believe to be the hardest part, last night was actually able to sleep for four hours after being awake for thirty six, and though I am still days away from “better”, this time I am NOT going to give up the fight.

There is no way in hell that I am going to go through this again.

In a week I’ll get my monthly ‘disability’ check for the impossible-to-survive-on $380, and hell – I just may celebrate by spending some of it on a nice dinner, seeing as it will actually have time to digest after all of this is over.