It started about 3 years ago. I opened a door so to speak that allowed my disease to place its root. It felt very good when I first let it inside and it wouldn’t be long till I had nothing to hide.
The Tommy I had known was getting ready to say goodbye. What I was going to become and what anyone who knew me was going to witness was not going to be easy for me to feel or them to see.
The door I opened served the meaning of my childhood beliefs. I had covered that part of me up with many different attributes, traits, experience, knowledge, travel and fame. Under it all though was the foundation I believed was who I really was. It called to me through out my life. I never knew anything else but it because its who I believed I was from my earliest day. I didn’t blame anyone or ask for help. I didn’t know their was anything to fix as all I knew is, that is who I was.
When the door opened and my disease could feed off of the thought that lived so close to my heart. The roots grew and spread on the inside till I had nothing left of me. The Pretense I hid behind grew smaller and smaller as my disease feasted off the leaves off the tree I looked too for shelter.
Its not going to be easy to admit what comes next and I am not sure its that wise to do it but the voice who I will talk about later that spoke to me several times in this last year or two, told me today to start writing this.
I’m sure that sounds contrived and self absorbed speaking about some voice or what have you. It is what it is. From my perspective that is what it is. I wasn’t too happy hearing a voice asking me if I was willing to fall. I wasn’t happy either about starting to write this as I know how some or a lot of it must sound. I was even more dismayed about the times I will mention in awhile about the other times it spoke to me and none of them except maybe one time did it make me feel good but that good was fleeting and not what I expected so the good was not exactly good. The word “good”, “bad” and “the voice” are misnomers anyway so they don’t mean much.
I find it very fitting the phrase, “if you ask God to do his will, expect to be inconvenienced”. That inconvenience can be somewhat more then you expected.
My story is going to shift from a perspective of observation to that of Tommy looking out. I’m curious how this all will sound as it makes sense in feedbacks of thoughts going through my head but out in the open it can all be a delusion of some poignant meaning.
It was about 6 years ago that I had what I would call a change in perspective. I spent many, many, many hours exploring that perspective for quite a few years. It is a window I can look through from any situation and see a completely different perspective, free of my original one. This is gonna sound somewhat ego driven and maybe even blasphemous but I am not on any pedestal saying it so take it as you want. The only way I know how to explain the “window” is by giving a example.
When Jesus Christ said to the people who cared about him in regards to the ones torturing him “forgive them because they know not what they do.” He said it without a thought of judgement and the subsequent emotion that follows the thought of judgement. So by him forgiving them he didn’t have any thought of being better then them. He did not forgive them from a feeling of looking down on those that threw stones and spit on him.
Mans understanding of forgiveness is based on feeling superior to another and in that feeling inspired by thought, forgiveness is misunderstood and used as a tool to enable one to have contempt while supposedly letting go of the insult. Jesus knew in the face of his suffering that the people who inflicted it didn’t know that they were controlled by a thought that allowed them to do what they did and believe the lie of the thought that created the emotion of their hate. He was able to forgive without judging them.
Most all Man forgives with a perspective of doing so to overcome a emotion of hate(or what ever adjective you find suiting). We forgive to overcome our emotion and in doing so we enable it. Most of us cannot not feel the insult without a thought of resistance that creates a emotion we need to defend.
That may not make much sense to many but oh well. For the stories sake this is the one example of the window I can point too, to try and show what I can see when I look to it. I don’t continually stare through it. I have to look for it to see it. I use Jesus as many people recognize his words but understand them from a perspective of “I”. He spoke without a perspective of “I” and it was that perspective of no “I” that was his message and by understanding his message you own “I”. The way your able to give up “I” is by believing in him and then you don’t look to “I” for the answer. In that surrender oneness is achieved and God is. Be still and know.” It is the thought of “I am” is what separates me from “what is”. “What is” is everything. God which cannot be understood is everything. Just as everything is God and everything can’t be understood. So the thought of knowing God separates me from God. To be still is nothing but not thinking. Thinking is Mans handicapp and not his tool. The best inventors of our time “Einstein; Edison and The wright brothers” all spoke of ways they escaped thought to find the answer to what was in front of them.
What started to happen with the onslaught of my disease of addiction and the door I opened and the awakening or the “window” so to speak was that “I” began to become undone with the root I allowed in and the disease of my addiction brought me to a place were the window was no longer something I looked through. I crawled through the window and was in the awareness on the other side yet able to communicate to the illusion of “I”. I found the term “I feel like I am coming undone and together at the same time” suitable. Granted if I attempted to say that or explain it to anyone, it only made sense to me but it was very fitting at that.
My personal and professional life was falling apart at this this time. I was staying high for sometimes weeks at a time. The image I saw in the mirror, I wanted to hide. I felt it comforting to think I will die.
I found a sight called E.P, where I could play with both my disease and the window I had went through with fascinating self felt awe and amusement. As I played with my disease and the window on E.P. I knew I was being watched by the people on the other side of the screen, I could feel it. Losing more and more of what ever Tommy was.
I was coming to a place that what ever God is, it spoke to me and told me something I didn’t want to hear.
When the window first appeared about 6 years ago and I was studying all aspects or religion, self help and philosophy, I spoke with Sherry at the hospital on a quite weekend day. I tried to explain the window and show her a little of how it appeared. She seemed to be intrigued by it and maybe even saw a little bit of what I was pointing at. We talked for probably a hour or so. We were both kind of quiet at the end and I looked at her eye to eye and smiled and said, “it kind of scares me a little bit as I’m worried what might happen down the road”.
I also was going to be contacted by someone I didnt know named Sean who is the executive in NBC who created E.P. and at first when I saw her note in my message box with her cell number; telling me who she was and that she wanted to speak to me, I was excited because I finally had someone who I thought saw how I could look inside people and see who they really are from just a few words that they typed in a note or a picture they posted. In fact I knew I was being watched and purposely opened people up and showed their insides to who ever I felt was watching me interact with who ever on EP. I wanted to let them see what I can do. It was comforting to think that at last the awerness i had gained was not a secret anymore. Something only i could perceive. On EP I would have fun with some who were just out to play with their dark needs and comfort others who were wounded by lies they believed were real from their past. I opened doors for them to see inside them selves if they dared to look and see that the ghosts in their closet weren’t there.
“You have to be assessed as crazy if you get to close to God.”
I learned to keep discussion about “The Window” to a minimum as its not a Topic most people can embrace. If I did approach it, I did and still do from a angle and not head on as most people aren’t to excited to realize that everything they believe is important in life really is not and fact what everyone “thinks” is important, is not real. So instead of looking like a fool I would attempt to come at it in a gentler way that would not undermine someone’s sense of purpose, identity or belonging so to speak. I spoke to Heather; a friend of mine at the hospital, who I met for a drink at a place called the wine bar about 3 years ago on the beach and I did take her for a journey close to it. The word “Sutra” has some different meanings, to me though the idea of using words to allow the mind to come to a place of no thought and be one with everything is adequate to me. Heather was curious and was willing to follow my words or “Sutras” and after a 10 minutes or so I paused when I felt she was close and I looked at her in the eyes and smiled a almost devilish grim. She looked at me and said something very close to ” I don’t know what just happened but that was fucked up”. We both had a good laugh.
My self esteem was suppressed; to put it mildly as a kid. I was more often then not a “craphead” or a “shithead” from my Dads mouth. I lived in fear of him the 13 years of my life he was alive. Many a day, I wished to God he would die. Thirty some years later, the only wife I ever had, filed divorce after 5 years by my side. I never knew loss like that before, as I did at that time. No one before had I allowed to be that close to me inside. I knew I was broken before I got married and I prayed to God alone in a room in the church on my wedding day telling him i promise i will not give up and walk away. i will continue to try no matter how bad I feel.
I did not know how to love or care for someone else as I didn’t love or care about myself. As all I knew about myself deep down was that I was a shithead who wasnt worth much. So when I opened the door that let me enjoy demeaning myself. I came to really enjoy not liking myself. I drank Jim Jones Koolaide day in and day out. As “I” continued to die, Tommy started to leave himself more and more and more till he was looking outside of “Id” looking in at myself and who ever I was talking or chatting with about this or that. “I” wasnt there. What was their could care less about what someone thinks as I know the meaninglessness of thought so it was just fun to play with what people thought, as they believed what they thought was real. I could see past the thought as it didnt keep me in a cage as it did those who believe its real. That awareness allowed me the ability to know what the thought someone else showed me was covering up and I would play with what was behind the curtain of what they think.
This is a reflection of what was inside me. I am not attempting to make anything sound good or bad. The outside; though, doesn’t come across to well. I am going to insert examples now and then of the storm going on outside me as I speak about the quiet I enjoyed inside me. I am going to mention things that are graphic, maybe even vulgar and quite possibly offensive. I’m not going to do this to create any drama or self induced fantasy. I’m only telling it as it is from my perspective on the inside and out. Which from a society’s standpoint is going to be seen more often then not as bad.
It however isn’t any of that. It simply is what God had me do to come to terms with what I was suppose too.
The subconscious runs a a continual manuscript into our consciousness. Most of our reality is dictated by the subconscious script. Granted we make conscious decisions to turn right and left dictated by our perception if good and bad. But the emotion of what is good and what is bad is programmed from the subconscious so “I” takes credit for right and left but the good and bad emotion that created the impetus to veer one way or the other; from the subconscious, isn’t recognized. The ability to reprogram the subconscious soundtrack playing over and over in our head is to become aware of the emotion that is controlling our thoughts and rewrite the emotion with conscious thinking.
Example, I feel uncomfortable, distressed, concerned, irritated, excited …. Because of what so and so said or this person thinks or my job is threatened or someone does or doesn’t like me. I over ride the emotion of my subconscious programming by telling myself “I am making the correct responses to life from what life is telling me not what I am feeling. Thus I look not to my thoughts or emotions for the answer but to the circumstance of life. I have to ask myself am I doing what is appropriate to life or am I doing what my thought and or emotion dictates. By following my thought I am limited to the intelligence of what I can think. When I respond to life I am directed by the intelligence that creates it.
“I” overrides the subconscious script. not by thinking over it. It does it by talking to itself out loud or writing as I am doing know in a public spectrum and not a diary of sorts which is impersonal and does not break the grip of the subconscious. Its by breaking the grip of the subconscious through conscious intent that the subconscious is rewritten.
I was given a ultimatum at work to seek treatment for my addiction which I reluctantly agreed too. I was fortunate to have people from work contribute to pay my way through it.
I quickly decided my first day in treatment that if this is where I was going to spend the next three weeks then I was going to give it my all. Which I did. I flourished in their. I grew self confidence and a belief in myself to be someone I liked. I embraced that part of me and began to realize that the part of me that I had always thought was a hoax, the caring, sensitive and compassionate side of me I thought was a part I only played was actually who I really am and the part of me that I thought was a shithead and a craphead was actually the hoax. I left that place feeling more alive and comfortable in myself then I ever was.
I wasn’t maybe a few days till I was high again. I been up for quite a few days and cleared my head a little before I had to go to work. I was empty and shell pretending to be whole. I went into the handicapp restroom at work sat down and started to cry. I held my head in my hands and asked God why are you doing this. Why can I not stay clean. I asked “God what do you want from me”. As I did I heard a voice; although heard is not the right way to describe it but its all that I know what to say. The voice said “Tommy will you fall for me.” I picked my head up and look straight ahead in the air. I think I smiled when I said “of course I will”. I didn’t smile because I was happy. I did it because it seemed like the answer “Yes” was obvious. I did not feel any better and I was just becoming numb I guess. Their would be many times after this that I would be up for weeks at a time and I would pass out for a few hours and wake up in agonizing pain. Everything hurt. I don’t know why. It would hurt so much to stand up and try and walk. I would get on my knees in front of my couch. Tears would be coming down my face asking God. What happened to me. Where did I go and why do I have to go through all this physical and emotional pain. I couldn’t stand myself and I had very few people I could call a friend. Life seemed pointless to me. I didn’t want to do anything. Nothing seemed fun. I had no desire other then to turn off the pain. The pain although physical was also what was in my head that I couldn’t stop, until I took another hit.
I had been high for over a week maybe two, I started to have muscle spasms in my neck that made my deluded concept of reality think I was going to die. I attempted to drive myself to the ER but ran out of gas and a ambulance and the police brought me to the ER where I was Baker Acted and put in a locked ward with people who had true physchological issues. Not that I didn’t but I actually felt sorry for them as many of them were truly nice people who I thought had been dealt a bad deck of cards and I felt like I was just a idiot who had more then I deserved but was to stupid to use it well.
I think I will always remember Johnny from the insane asylum. I first saw him in the recreation room and I asked him if they had soda or something to drink in the place. He had hair like Michael Landon and he was about 22 and very handsome. His almost ghostly white face looked at me with such a compassionate stare as said the machine has them for a buck I think it was. I said something like ohh never mind I don’t have any cash and he took a 5 dollar bill out of his pocket and started to hand it to me without saying a word. I told him no thank you but I really appreciate it. He had a empty state about him. Like it was almost hollow inside him. I never knew what he was going to be like when ever I saw him next as he was never the same. Never violent though just sometimes he was completely empty behind his eyes and other times he was like a old soul in a young body that cared about the world in a dreamy way. I felt so bad for the kid and wondered what made him turn out like that. Why does a kid not get to enjoy being a kid and taking youth for granted as most all of us did. It bothered me then and still does now to know he is never going to be well left alone. It made me feel like my extravagant life was way to much and I wanted to give him some of what I took for granted and enjoyed a lot more then should have. I left that place thinking I was scared straight as I honestly could see that place as “One Flew Over The Cukoos Nest” It was probably less then a week before I was lost again Smoking Coke. I was about to go further and farther into oblivion then I had been, which I didn’t think was possible.
I was splitting in two. One part of me was killing myself while looking at pornography and engaging woman on E.P. in dialogue that destroyed me. My perception of who I was had no meaning or concern. I could care less about who, you, what or how anyone thought. “Thought” I know it isn’t real. So the foundation; I thought was me, seemed pointless and not worth the house it stood on. So destroying it did not mean that much.
I’m not sure exactly how much money I spent but from April 2013 to Sept. 2013 I believe it was close and more then likely in excess of $80,000. I had stacks of $100 bills in my cabinet and I had drug dealers delivering my supply day in and out. I could go on about how dark and ugly that time was but I don’t think it would do anything purposeful to explain it further then it was miserable. I will say that I continually prayed but towards the end it felt like I was heading for the edge of a cliff and no amount of will power was going to put on the brakes and let me stop before I crashed over the edge and fell to my death on the rocks. I would sometimes drive to McDonalds after being high for weeks. I would go through the drive through and get many cheeseburgers and a coke. I would park in the empty parking lot behind it as it was always around 4am when I went. I could not swallow any off the burger as it was stuck in my throat as my stomach was so tight from the drugs and small from not eating for moe then a week. I would sit in the parking lot; beside the gym I had trained countless hours in chiseling my physique, crying asking myself what have I become.
I don’t remember the month but Sean from NBC who ran The Experience Project left me a message in my box on the sight as I was on EP at the time. She told me who she was and gave me her cell. She asked of I would call her now as she wanted to talk to me. I wasn’t surprised to see the message from her. I am not saying that about not being surprised she messaged, to try and make me sound a certain way. I was expecting it for some reason. I told her it wasn’t a good time for me to talk now but I would be available tomorrow afternoon and she could call me when ever. I think we actually set up a time around 2 or 3 in the afterrnoon. I was high at the time When she left me the message and wanted to talk. I wouldnt be able to communicateh is why I didn’t want to chat then as I knew I wouldn’t be able to have any meaningful dialogue. I’m not sure how I knew I would be straight the next day though as I never could tell when I would stop but somehow I knew I would.
I was in the CVS parking lot down my street that afternoon when she called and we spoke. I’m not exactly sure of the times or what we specifically said but I do know what the topic was and what she thought and said to me. I also knew she had spoken to a clinician about how to broach the topic of her discussion with me. I also knew and know she has a big heart.
Somehow we had or I guess I had mentioned “The Window” to her messaging the day before. I was excited about talking to her. It felt so good that someone knew or could see what I could never explain to anyone.
When she said to me “okay, so tell me about this window”. As she said it, the demeanor she used told me before she finished the sentence that she thought I was “out to lunch”. To say I was crushed was beyond even close. It was like being lost at sea for months and months. Not seeing anything or anyone and then watching a boat come your way and as it approached your waving, screaming and crying with joy. Finally your saved. Someone knows where you are. Someone is going to take you home and to your dismay they drive past you. Never knowing you are their.
Sean asked me if I would be willing to be on a show on NBC that was addressing mental illness. I think it was OCD to be specific but I’m not positively sure though. I felt like a flat tire. I told her that I probably wouldn’t be good for her show as I felt my problem was more about addiction then mental illness. I felt a feeling of aloneness that is beyond words when I said good bye. That feeling stayed with me for a long time.
It was Sept., when I had a feeling of some kind that told me I had stopped falling. I somehow felt I come to a place of where God had wanted me to be. I don’t like saying that as it doesn’t feel good to me admitting that but I am.
I thought I had reached a point of being clean and staying that way. That was not what happened and what this “I’s” little mind entertains is that I was put in the place I needed to be to do something I had no clue I was going to do. In fact “I” did not do it.
One of the few people who still called me and actively cared about me was going to help me set the framework up for something I never thought I could ever do.
My friend Leslie started taking me to church. I fell in love with it the first day. The pastor was engaging and real. He made practical sense of the words. I could connect to his message. I got to “his message” from a different route but thier is only one message and it points to the same place. So if downtown is where you want to be. It doesn’t matter if you walk, drive a car or run. Your still downtown. I believe what helped me most in mass was hearing the same vision in my mind that was being spoken at church. Weather you realize “I” does not exist or your willing to give up “I” to a belief. Either way you Let Go of “I” and be one with God.
I did not feel crazy in church. Life seemed to make sense and I went from feeling helpless to hopeful.
As we were driving home from church in late Sept, Leslie asked me “what would I enjoy doing if I could do anything”. I said be a writer.
I spent some time learning the ABC’s on writing a book. I had titled the chapters before writing them as was outlined to me in a lecture I watched. I had this plain syllabus in my journal and I relapsed into my oblivion after a few months sober. I was distraught and overcome with self loathing. I had established a relationship with God, I thought. This wasn’t suppose to happen. I had stopped falling according to this internal voice so to speak. I was feeling much like a fool and a helpless tortured soul again.
It was in Oct I believe that I was beating myself up after being high for some time. I felt empty, alone and without a meaning. I hate saying it this way as it sounds so grandiose, but nothing about it felt that way when The Voice told me “write the first chapter”. I actually said out loud “you have to be kidding me”” here I am paralyzed by fear and this voice in my head is telling me to write a book about overcoming fear. I kept thinking or saying to myself this is the stupidest thing I could do. I reluctantly sat down at my kitchen table with a journal in front of me and not a clue what to write.
As I sat at my kitchen table with a pen in my hand and not a thought what to say, I gazed out the window as I started to see “fear”, “I” and “what is”. “I” never thought what to say next I just looked at the fear, I and what is and wrote the first chapter. Once I started writing everything came to me very quickly. It was not any labor intensive process although I did feel drained.
When I finished writing I did not feel much besides empty. I read what I wrote and as I did I was amazed at what it said. I was amazed to see how everything I had wrote made such sense. So many scrambled thoughts, perceptions and intuitiveness had seemed to be put together in a perfect stance. I was filled with gratitude to see that something so amazing could come out of me.
I went through about three weeks of riding this see saw of up and down. I would be feeling like dirt and following this voice in my head telling me to write another chapter. I would have a apprehension every time before writing that the first chapter or the one before was a fluke and I could not step up to the plate and hit the ball again. Each time how ever I sat in my kitchen and looked out the window I seemed to see what I was intended to write next.
When I was finished I was elated. As I thought anyone who read this would see the divine meaning in the words and know that “Tommy” did not write this as Im a fool. But the thing I could connect to outside the window did write it. I felt like the book was proof and everyone would see what was on the inside of me.
Again things did not go as I had planned.
We always want a equal sign or a period to end the story or find a meaning. Somehow it is suppose to make sense. “Ohh, I understand”. In that understanding what is, is lost to what I think.
I think of this guy named Jesus who stepped through the wall of thought and could share “what is”. Which since everything is a reflection of God. He was sharing God. The more he showed the message of letting go the more many wanted to know.
This winter I had no electricity and I would pray while taking a cold shower sometimes with the temperature at 15 or 20 degrees. I would think of this guy Jesus who knew God clearer then anyone has. I would imagine him walking to his death knowing he will be tortured and meet the most painful end to life. He still walked into it knowing it didn’t do any good to try and explain to these people what they were doing and “what is” as they all held a thought so tight that only his death might let some of them eventually let go. In the life of thought he was living and preparing to leave to let others awaken from the dream of what they think amazes me. Knowing he was willing to let go of life so others could awaken in life from what they think and know fills me with awe.
It made me feel the sting of the cold water without a thought of how it feels. I was closer to one or now in those moments then I ever have.
The cruelty of getting close to God is that in the face of fear you have to let go of knowing God in order to have God.