Second Story Syndrome

Howdy All.

I hope everyone is well.  We’re a month into 2018 and things are crazy!

This is just going to be a quick update about me…exciting I know, and then I’ll follow up in a couple weeks with more interesting fare.

I received my novella back from the editor and it turns out it’s just a complete mess.  I’ll admit I was less than focused last year, but that’s really no excuse.  I haven’t put out a novel in almost 3 years and I was truly hoping to get something out this month.

Evidently it’s not too uncommon to have your second novel suck balls so I’m not completely devastated. However, I am just devastated enough to hunker down and really focus so I can truly deliver something that will in fact not suck.

I take solace in knowing many writers suffer from “Second Story Syndrome” I just figured because of my years of experience I wouldn’t.

No one wants to hear their second attempt is a steaming pile of terribles, but it is what it is and she’s right…it is.  I do love the premise and potential so I will eventually go back and fix it, but my editor has almost 20 years experience so I’m taking her advice and leaving it aside for now.

I will now, be concentrating on my next two novels, Blood Rebellious and Night Mage that I will be aiming to release later this year and early next.

This will be followed by the sequel to The Geek entitled STILLWATER. And then, after the fixing I’ll release my novella.

Or I won’t.  We’ll see.

I will however be doing less podcasts and YouTube because I simply must concentrate on writing. If I’m not focused it’s all gonna suck and it is what I love to do more than anything.

Not suck, I don’t love that, I mean writing.

I am going to be taking this week to go over the chapters I’ve written so far for each novel and then choose the one I feel confident I’ll be able to flow with over the next month/month and half and finish it in time for a late spring/early summer release.

So while it’s unfortunate about the podcast and the youtube channel I will be uploading, but very sporadically.  And I’ll let you all know when new episodes are up.

However we currently do have a new podcast up on Podbean and ITunes all about time travel and the John Titor story.  I’ve also uploaded the video version of the podcast on YouTube, also about John Titor.

All links are below.

I hope everyone is getting their 2018 off to a good start and I’ll see you all very soon.

Best,

Jonathan

Perilous Podcast http://bit.ly/2och5LE  John Titor, Time Traveling Sex Maniac.

Perilous Vlogcast  http://bit.ly/perilpod Same guy, same sex mania.

Instagram http://bit.ly/1XgDJfc Stupid pictures I post of me doing stupid life stuff.

Twitter http://bit.ly/1YIWqZA A place to troll and be trolled.

Facebook http://bit.ly/fnbrjwp Probably pictures of me getting beaten up.

Goodreads http://bit.ly/1XpMF4k Read my reviews before you buy my novel.

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Hey look at me not giving a fuck.

Amazon http://amzn.to/1MwzPG6 Buy my novel already!  Jeez!

If you’re in Los Angeles head on over to Skylight Books in Los Feliz and pick up a copy there. They’re a great independent bookstore and it’s a nice way to show support for them.  We need all the independent stores we can get.

2018 An Attempt At Balance.

I just wrote that title and my first thought was yeah good luck with that.

We’re only five days into the new year and one quick glance at the headlines shows that balance may be a problem considering the absolutely amazing shit show we’ve seen thus far.

But, when it comes to my personal life, balance may be an achievable goal.

As a country we’ve certainly lost our balance, our ability to have nuanced discussions on a multitude of topics from politics to social issues and everything in between.

This is unfortunate but perhaps if we can find the balance in ourselves we can begin to apply that to the world.

Yeah I won’t hold my breath.

For me the new year weekend was a time of reflection.  I decided, instead of doing my usual eating pizza and watching movies thing, that I would do a 3 day fast/cleanse to truly reflect on my past year and think about my goals for the upcoming year.

Really I learned a lot.  Mainly however I learned that it was a really stupid thing to do.

No one should be sitting on their couch on new years eve thinking FUCK I’M HUNGRY!

But there were some positives that came out of it.

A) Most importantly I learned that if you are going to do a cleanse like this, don’t do it over a holiday when you should be shoving food into your cakehole.

B) It did seem to reset my sugar craving which had been very high as of late.  I’m sure it’ll get back up there eventually but to not actually be craving donuts and other things has helped in resetting my eating habits.  Which can only be a plus.

However the biggest benefit was the insight I gained during the time I was fasting.

Before I got sober a little over four years ago I was an incredibly aggressive and self destructive person.  Not to say that I was an asshole…though I certainly was more of one than I am now; I was fairly quick to anger and that anger was never channeled in a positive way.

Anger rarely is.

But, since getting sober I’ve really tried to better myself and to become a better person in all aspects of my life.

One of the keys to this new path has been meditation.  Meditation is wonderful and I do think its benefits far out way any detriments. However, it is possible (in my opinion) that I may have been meditating too much.

I was meditating every day for about 20 minutes, but sometimes on Saturdays and Sundays when I had a lot of time I would meditate for up to an hour or even hour and a half.

Now of course on the surface there’s nothing wrong with that.  It’s certainly better than drinking or using and of course it’s not hurting anybody.  However, I do think I have gone too far to the other side of who I was before.

I have found that perhaps there is a greater timidity to my personality than there used to be.  I am less driven than I used to be, because I am simply happy living in the moment.

I have found that, while I do not want to be overly aggressive, I may in fact not be aggressive enough in my everyday life.

It’s hard to describe and when I say aggressive I don’t mean just going around being a dick, I simply mean feeling that fire, that passion that drives people and can even contribute to your self worth.

And I want that back.

I don’t want the fire to turn to anger as it used to.  I want that fire to feed my passion.

Passion is the engine of the creative and that fire needs to be stoked constantly and evenly so that the engine neither dies nor explodes and I am determined to find that again in 2018.

The middle ground, the center path.  Able to bend without breaking.

To run through the forest without setting the fucking thing on fire in my wake.

This I believe is not only attainable but will in fact be incredibly positive.

So that is what I learned, this is my goal for 2018.

I’m not calling it a resolution, my resolve was set when I got sober.

It is simply a reminder that we all do better when living in balance.

Okay that’s all the hippie bullshit I have time for folks.

I do hope everybody had a great new year and that you are moving forward into 2018 in a positive way.

See y’all next week.

Jonathan

Hey look, links to crap:

Perilous Podcast http://bit.ly/2och5LE  A quick end of the year conversation.

Perilous Vlogcast  http://bit.ly/perilpod Are we living in a simulated universe?

As usual you can follow me on twitter, Instagram and facebook.

Instagram http://bit.ly/1XgDJfc Stupid pictures I post of me doing stupid life stuff.

Twitter http://bit.ly/1YIWqZA I say stupid stuff in small snippets.

Facebook http://bit.ly/fnbrjwp Probably pictures of me getting beaten up.

Goodreads http://bit.ly/1XpMF4k Read my reviews before you buy my novel.

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Amazon http://amzn.to/1MwzPG6 Buy my novel already!  Jeez!

If you’re in Los Angeles head on over to Skylight Books in Los Feliz and pick up a copy there. They’re a great independent bookstore and it’s a nice way to show support for them.  We need all the independent stores we can get.

 

 

 

Sobriety and BJJ. It’s a game changer.

Hey all,

Happy Monday!  There’s actually going to be a ton of pics in this post for a change so that’s fun right?!

Recently I had an odd one year anniversary.  Odd in the sense that one does not usually celebrate an anniversary of this nature, but I’m going to.

Just over a year ago I left my regular gym and joined a MMA gym.  No I am not suffering from delusions of grandeur and have no plans to go pro.  In fact I make it very clear that the pros who go to our gym are training there.

Me, I’m taking classes.

See the difference?

Anyhoo, when I first started I was doing combat conditioning along with Krav Maga and it was great.

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We take Combat Conditioning very seriously at Gabe’s gym.

However, while I enjoyed Krav I wasn’t getting as much out of it as I had hoped.

Like all kids from the valley I did Tae Kwon Do and later Tang Soo Do, when I was growing up.

I boxed in high school and studied Karate when I lived in Japan.

Not to say I was a badass or anything, but they were fun and I enjoyed them all.

However, I didn’t seem to be learning anything in Krav Maga that I hadn’t learned before.  I was just learning it in a new way.

Then about six months ago I got tricked (yeah that’s right tricked!) into trying the no-gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class, and that was a real game changer for me.

I instantly realized two incredibly important things.

  1. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the perfect martial art for a sober person.
  2. I suck at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
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This is Sandy. She’s very sweet and one of the fitness instructors at the gym. She’s also incredibly terrifying.

BJJ is completely different than anything I’ve ever done before, and as a sober person it has absolutely changed my life.

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I honestly don’t know why I’m smiling in this picture, I was frickin’ exhausted.

It’s hard to describe and possibly hard to understand, but alcoholics wrestle with a lot of cognitive dissonance in the sense that we tend to be filled with a lot of self destruction and self loathing and at the same time incredibly over inflated egos.

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Me annoying Sha, who does administrative stuff at the gym and as usual Sha very patiently putting up with my shenanigans and bullshit.

Sobriety and ego don’t tend to go hand in hand.  And keeping your ego stripped is incredibly important.  And let me tell you something, nothing keeps your ego in check like BJJ.

If you go in with ego you’re doomed.  You need to leave that shit at the door man.  Also, nothing keeps you humble like having the shit choked out of you by a 12 year old girl.

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Not in this picture, the evil little 12 year old girl who keeps beating me up.

In my defense, she’s really good.

There’s an odd mindset in BJJ that I compare to skydiving.  If you’ve never been skydiving, A) you should and B) there’s a strange thing that happens in the jump plane as you take off and head to 15,000 feet.

Everybody sort of looks around the plane and there’s this silent conversation that goes something like Oh, you’re an idiot too and about to do something pretty dangerous and foolhardy?  Cool.

That’s the basic attitude I’ve found in the brotherhood/sisterhood of BJJ.  Because quite frankly, BJJ is a really bad idea.  It’s an insane way to spend your time and if you do BJJ you’re going to get hurt.  It’s inevitable.

My first class I bruised my ribs.  Since my first class I’ve bruised them again on both sides, sprained my wrist, broke my pinky toe (it healed sideways and I’m pretty proud of that), torqued my knee, pulled a calf muscle and am generally in constant, dull pain.

You will never hear from a practitioner of BJJ “It gets better”, in relation to the pain.  The only thing you hear is “You get used to it”.  And the great thing is, you actually do. Which is a plus.  I think.

BJJ is truly a journey with no end, which means for the next 30 years or so I’ll be learning and having my ego kept in check which is great for a guy like me.

But when it comes to BJJ and the school it really boils down to the guy running it.  I thought all gyms were like the one I go to, but I’ve heard horror stories from guys who go to our school about other schools, where things are not as chill.

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Class time is serious time, picture time is fun time. This was the day I bruised my ribs for the third time so I wasn’t smiling but I was still happy.

I say “chill” to mean that there are absolutely no attitudes at our school.  And that all comes from the top.  Even the pros who train there are really patient and gracious.

We have some great professors and coaches at the school, but everything stems from Gabe Ruediger, the owner.  He’s never come right out and said it, but I really think Gabe would rather not have the money than have an asshole at the gym.

Supposedly this is pretty rare, so I am incredibly lucky.

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The day Professor Ruediger gave me my first stripe. Probably not gonna get another one of these for a looong time so I really savored the moment.

But our school is more than just a school really.  I’ve become good friends with some of the guys there and we all hang out…a lot.  This may sound hokey, but it’s tough making friends the older you get, so for a guy like me, it’s been a really nice experience.

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Grabbing some lunch at our favorite all you can eat vegan restaurant.

Gabe is also one of those guys that actually cares about his students and really works hard to foster a community.

I was incredibly busy a couple weeks ago and wasn’t able to get to the gym for class.  I was only out for a week, but that Friday, I got a text from Gabe just checking in to see if I was okay.

Who does that?!?!

Now, it’s not like I’m his favorite or anything he checks in with most students if they disappear for any length of time, and that is all down to his character and again that permeates the school.

Instead of just charging your card once a month he really makes it clear that he wants you to get better and that you’re a part of the community.

For a guy like me, that’s pretty much everything.  It’s more important than AA.  More helpful than a sponsor.  It is the place that I feel welcomed and inspired.

Even though I’m the worst student there.  Seriously that’s not me being self deprecating or shitting on myself, that’s fucking science.

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Paintball in the day, Professor’s Bday party in the night.

But, I have a breakthrough at least once a week when in class and I suck a little less each time.

The training keeps me focused, the rolling (sparring) keeps me humble and my fellow students keep my ego in check.

By beating and choking the ever loving shit out of me.

No person can do sobriety the way another person does.  Each person has their own path to walk, their own journey.

For me, the new journey on my path is BJJ.

You have to face a lot of fears when doing BJJ and that’s a good thing too:

The fear of injury (you’ll get used to it).

The fear of inadequacy (you’ll overcome it).

The fear of humiliation (humility comes from the loss of ego).

The fear of being claustrophobically smothered with someone’s nuts on your face (gonna be honest here, you’re probably not gonna get over the Arabian Goggles but you’ll work through the claustrophobia).

Plus the workout is damn incredible.  I’m in the best shape I’ve been in, in about 25 years.

Give it a shot, you may suck at it, but you’ll suck less the more you do it and it will keep you humble, keep you focused and could very well help keep you sober.

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Just a reminder that my band Three Penis Death Punch. We’ll be at the Pickle Box in Austin on November 5th so come check us out.

And if you’re really lucky you’ll end up at a place like my school where it’s more than just professors and students.  It’s a real community.

Have a great week everybody and I’ll see you all Friday.  Friday I’m gonna start a series of micro-stories and poetry posts, so that should be really pretentious.  Yay!

Instagram http://bit.ly/1XgDJfc Stupid pictures I post of me doing stupid life stuff.

Goodreads http://bit.ly/1XpMF4k Read my reviews before you buy my novel.

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A new day a new challenge, got to work on my posing though.

Amazon http://amzn.to/1MwzPG6 Buy my novel already!  Jeez!

Twitter http://bit.ly/1YIWqZA I say stupid stuff in small snippets.

Perilous Podcast http://bit.ly/2och5LE  Current episode is about The Philadelphia Experiment.

Facebook http://bit.ly/fnbrjwp Probably pictures of me getting beaten up.

Perilous Vlogcast  http://bit.ly/perilpod It’s the video version of the Podcast.

Sobriety is Great! And It Sucks Balls!

Hi there, how are you?  Welcome back and I hope everyone is surviving the week.

So this is going to be a 3 part series of blog posts to get off my chest things that are, well, on my chest.

Don’t worry, it’s not about the current political climate I guess we’re all sick of that, though now more than ever we must be paying attention to what is going on around us.  But again, I’m not going to get into that here…today or for the next week or so.

I have a couple of anniversaries coming up that are pretty important to me.  One of which I will celebrate on Friday and the following Wednesday.

Today though I’m going to bore the ever loving fuck out of you with my tale of continued sobriety and my ever constant failed attempts at “adulting”.

Though I suppose I shouldn’t say failed, because that would be too harsh, however I do feel that I have somehow failed, but this has more to do with my own insecurities and bouts of self-destruction.

Unfortunately I can’t really go into detail too much.  I mean, I suppose I could but I’m trying to protect someone I care about…still care about.  Though at times I wonder if they actually deserve it.

It’s hard for most people to understand the mind of a degenerate alcoholic.  Especially if that alcoholic looks and acts like I do.  I tend to be a bit of a goofball and am usually in a good mood.

However, this also stems from decades of using humor as a shield or a way to deflect from feeling a true deep emotion.

But, and there’s no way to say this without sounding cocky, I am actually pretty damn funny.  That’s not an assumption, that’s fact based on rigorous research.  And I do get much joy out of making others laugh or in some way brightening their day.

A spoonful of sugar and all that.

But, what happens most of the time is that people think everything is always okay, but most of the time, if I’m not really on top of it, my mind is basically trying to kill me.

When I was drinking, my mind found many ways to lead me down the besotted path.  Drinking and the liberal use of other substances, coupled with my ability to deflect with humor usually kept me in a numb, very shallow (emotionally) state.  This is great for an alcoholic as it allows you to go through life not really giving a fuck.

Not giving a fuck about work.  Not giving a fuck about yourself.  Not giving a fuck about life.  Not giving a fuck about love.  Really just not giving a fuck about anything other than the real basic needs.

The need to eat.  The need to sleep.  The need to drink.  The need to fuck everyone stupid enough to let you into their bed.

It’s not a healthy way to live, but it’s good if you don’t want to feel.

A relationship ends?  So what.

Someone hurts you?  Hurt them back out of “honor” and then move on with your life.

You abandoned a friend when they needed you?  So what, it’s their fault for being stupid enough to think you’d help.  They really should’ve figured you out by now.

My last drink was on December 23, 2013.  Since then I’ve been doing a lot of work on myself to keep the self destruction at bay.

There are advantages to being sober of course.  Not waking up in a panic.  Not having to piece your night together through the trail of the receipts you find in your pocket.  Not feeling the need to run downstairs and check your car for dings, dents, blood or dead hookers in the trunk.

These are all positives.  But there are also positives that can be negatives too.

I do have days where I miss not giving a shit.  Where I could flit from relationship to relationship or hook up to hook up and not care, simply because I was numb.

However, for the most part, the ability to feel, to really feel, outweighs the negatives.

There really were no highs before I got sober.  There was just the appearance of it, the faking happy, the faking fun, the faking anything and everything to keep people away.

My mind was an absolute shit show.  The thoughts that ran through it were a daily parade of self loathing, clever ideas about death, supreme inadequacy and even darker shit that was a glorious mélange of bullets, knives, blood, general fuckery, anger, hate (at myself and everyone else) and the occasional full blown fantasy of the entire world going up in smoke.

Now though, I do feel.  I mean truly feel.  The highs, the good days, the good times are epic.  However, the lows, the lows can really get you.

I had a run in yesterday with someone who I feel I helped through an incredibly serious time in their life.  I let all my guards down, I put aside my needs and wants for the most part and tried – and I think succeeded – in making the selfless choices over feeding my own needs and desires.

Again, not getting into too much detail, but quite frankly I don’t know where this person would be right now if it weren’t for me.  And of course part of me feels like a total shit for even thinking that thought.  But it is what it is.  I wont apologize for still being human and wanting to be acknowledged for putting someone else’s needs to the point of my own hurt, above my own.

I don’t really know if that’s petty.  It’s hard to say, since this is still kind of new for me.

So, this person has really turned their life around recently and I’m so grateful for that.  They deserve to be happy and I truly want that for them.

But, this run in I had on the phone with them made me feel like an absolute fool.  Like I meant nothing to them, that what I did for them didn’t matter.  I was faced with the realization that if they had to choose between making a sacrifice to help me or leave me to wallow in darkness, they would choose darkness.  Which I doubt is true, but it’s how it felt.

I certainly hope it’s not the choice they’d make.  That would really piss me the fuck off.

I don’t think this person wanted to make me feel like shit on purpose, I really don’t.  But, I feel how I feel and I won’t deny it.

So this sent me into a tailspin of shit.  Of not being able to work, of being heart sick and really wanting to drink.

But, then I told myself what I’ve been telling myself for the past 3 1/2 plus years.  Nobody forced you to do this.  You made your choice to help.  You have to embrace the fact that you were able to do this because you were sober and because you are sober you’re going to feel things.  So dipshit, do you want to feel or do you want to be numb?

I made the same choice I’ve been making.  I choose to feel.  So I took the day and readjusted myself.  I meditated for a good two hours (more of that on the next post), had a nice light lunch and then went to the gym.

Of course, through the rest of the night every time the phone rang or the text buzzer went off I thought It’s them!  They do care and they’re reaching out to let me know they’re sorry.

But it was never them.  Now, I say all this knowing full well the basic tenet of our society is that being self centered is wrong.  However, most people are benignly self centered.  Every single one of us lives in our own solar system that we share with many other solar systems in the galaxy of life.

We are the sun, the center of our solar system, the world always revolves around us.

Another thing most people don’t want to admit is that pretty much every alcoholic or drug addict (or both if you’re a multitasker) is a frickin’ narcissist.

It’s my world, my solar system, my pain, my loss.  Etc.

So I sat there a little butt hurt that this person didn’t realize they’d left me in pain, that the tone of my voice when we spoke didn’t come through or they didn’t pick up to the fact that I was not actually fine.

This is no ones fault but my own.  Look folks if you don’t communicate your feelings you can’t expect the person you’re talking to, to pull an Indiana Jones and decipher the hieroglyphics of your soul.

Communicating true feelings still make me very uncomfortable and it’s something I have to work on, I know this and quite frankly it’s not the other person’s fault I let it drop when I really wanted to keep talking at the expense of their own personal comfort.

So it’s not on them, it’s on me.

However, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hurt, or that this person’s inability to put my feelings first didn’t sting.  But it is what it is and even though I may be wrong, I continue to believe that this person is truly good and did not mean to hurt me.

But it still pissed me right the fuck off.

So what’s the point of all this?  Well, if you’re not an alcoholic, I suppose the point of this post was just to bitch and get some shit off my chest.

However, if you are an alcoholic and you want to stop I can tell you that sobriety is pretty damn spectacular.  You will face challenges, you will face urges and the occasional shit storm.  However, being brave enough to walk away from the self destructive numb, you will experience life, I mean truly experience it.  You’ll get all the best highs and all the worst lows.

But you will feel.

If you’re in recovery, just remember, no one is worth your sobriety.  Your mind is going to constantly try to kill you and you’re never going to be perfect. And it’s going to be the little thing that really tempts you.  It’s not going to be the death of a loved one, or losing your job.  It’s not going to be that heart wrenching break up or the argument with a family member.

The thing that will tempt you the most will be the tiniest thing.  It’ll be something insignificant that blows up inside your mind like a seemingly insensitive text or phone call.

But remember two things:

  1. No one is perfect, humans are flawed and if you want to live amongst the normals you have to cut them and yourself a lot of slack.
  2. No one, no one at all, is worth your sobriety or sanity.

Okay so that was pretty whiney and cuntish, but that’s the mood I was in and sometimes this blog isn’t about entertaining, hawking my wares or even shenanigans.  Sometimes it’s really about me and my need to clear the bad shit out of my mind so I can let the good stuff in.

You wanna bitch, then start your own blog.  On Friday I’ll be changing to a much more positive tone to discuss the value of meditation in sobriety and why connecting with your spirituality is key.

But look, let’s go ahead and cleanse the palette from all this seriousness.  Here’s a random dick pick for ya:richard-nixon-9424076-1-402

There, isn’t that better.

Now, here are some links to crap.

Instagram http://bit.ly/1XgDJfc Stupid pictures I post of me doing stupid life stuff.

Goodreads http://bit.ly/1XpMF4k Read my reviews before you buy my novel.

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Hey look at me not giving a fuck.

Amazon http://amzn.to/1MwzPG6 Buy my novel already!  Jeez!

Twitter http://bit.ly/1YIWqZA I say stupid stuff in small snippets.

Perilous Podcast http://bit.ly/2och5LE  Current episode is about Charlottesville.

Facebook http://bit.ly/fnbrjwp Probably pictures of me getting beaten up.

Perilous Vlogcast  http://bit.ly/perilpod It’s the video version of the Podcast.

Oh and if you’re in Los Angeles, The Geek is available at Skylight books in Los Feliz.

The Fragility of Sobriety…and some other horse shit.

Hey all,

Thanks for stopping by.  Wednesday I’ll be getting back to the micro stories, but today I felt like I should post something a little more serious.  Just for today then it’s back to the usual.

I had a bit of an odd weekend, but before I get to that I think I should fill you in on who I am and where my life is at.  For those of you who are new to my site and for those who may enjoy my posts but not know what’s up with me.

So the long and short of it (and we’ll get to the long) is that I am sober.  On the 22nd of May I will have exactly 3 and a half years of sobriety under my belt.  While I’m extremely happy with that and really can’t believe on a daily basis how much better my life is now than it was, I am also very conscious of the fact that when it comes to being sober I am still in the very early stages and don’t know shit.

I try to keep this in mind daily while not letting it overwhelm my life and thoughts.

When I first got sober I was incredibly embarrassed about it.  Hell, when I got out of rehab I told my neighbors I’d been away at a writer’s retreat for 30 days.  Over the course of my journey I’ve become very comfortable with it.  Who I am, what I was and of course what and who I’ve become.

I really try not to be that guy. You know the guy that just talks about his sobriety all the time…I hate that guy.  I’m sure I bore the ever loving fuck out of people sometimes, but I really try to not let it define me as much as I let it define my life.

And it should define my life, and of course it does.

Sobriety is a tricky mistress.  No two people can do their sobriety the same way.  I know people who never go to meetings and they’re doing great.  I also know people who hit 3 AA meetings a day 7 days a week and they too are doing great.

The main point here is what works for one person definitely will not (or more accurately will probably not) work for someone else.  For example, the thought of hitting 3 meetings a day every day really makes me want to drink.  I don’t know why but that’s just how it goes.

I’ve come up with a routine that brings me much peace, keeps me humble and more importantly helps me live a happy life as a sober person while not simply being sober.

The gist of that is that there is a difference between living a sober life and just being dry or “white knuckling” it through the day.

I have joined a great gym called Systems Training Center that really fosters a sense of community.  I do combat conditioning twice a week and Brazilian Jiu Jitus twice a week at STC.  The professors, instructors and fellow students have become friends and for a guy my age that’s a really nice bonus.

I meditate almost every day, do a little yoga once a week or so and do a very mild workout at home on the weekends usually just hitting the heavy bag for about 20 minutes.

I don’t go to meetings often but I know they’re there if I need them.

BJJ has been a really important, new aspect to my sobriety.  Staying humble is one of the best things for a degenerate alcoholic.  And nothing keeps you humble like getting the ever loving snot choked out of you on a regular basis.

Having said all that I also need to be careful that I don’t replace one addiction with another.  My body has been telling me for about a month to take a little time off but I haven’t been listening.  Which is stupid.

So this week I’ll be skipping the gym to let my body heal up, while still concentrating on my spiritual development.

This isn’t all for my sobriety though if I’m being completely honest, though it just happens to work out with the timing.

I’m in the last stretch of finishing my novella The Eastern Road, which I plan on releasing in August and it is hard to lose yourself in writing when you know you have to be somewhere…like the gym.

So this week is a double bonus.  I’ll be finishing the novella and let my body rest so that next week I can go back in full bore.

Now, I know what you’re probably thinking.  You’re thinking “Wow Jonathan I do not give a fuck about any of this boring ass, self aggrandizing horse shit!”

Fair enough, I get that but now we get to the point of the post.

So, this past weekend (Saturday to be specific) my friends Ben and Keith came into town.  They’re two of the nicest guys anyone could ever meet and I’m grateful they came into my life.  Plus we’re all just massive nerds so hanging out with them is always a total hoot.

We met up for dinner and it was just a great fun evening.

I got home and there was an email waiting for me from an old friend and drinking buddy who wanted to let me know that he was giving up the booze and wanted to live sober.  He even stated that I was partially responsible for this change in attitude.

I was humbled by this and reached out to him, just to let him know that I was here for whatever he needed.  We’re exchanging emails and hopefully I will be able to help him.

But, after I read this email I went to Facebook and there was a post about a friend of mine who’d been found dead in his apartment on April 28th.  I met this guy in rehab and we became good friends.

He’d struggled with his sobriety and I’d received maybe 5 or 6 drunken phone calls from him over the past 3 and a half years when he would relapse.  Some of the relapses were singular events but some lasted a month or more.

But, he would always get back up and recently seemed to be doing well.

The odd thing about this is, we had been playing phone tag over the past month or so.

I actually called him a few times in early April and he never returned the phone call.  Then, a few weeks ago he called me back but I selfishly didn’t pick up.  I was working on my book and part of me was annoyed that he took so long to call me back.

I didn’t return his phone call until early last week.  Not knowing that he’d already been dead for two days when I finally returned the call.

This hit me pretty hard last night.  Not the death itself which is heart breaking.  He was a young man and a father.

No, what hit me was the guilt. Did I let my friend down?  Did my selfishness contribute to his death?  Questions with no answers but a lot of blame.

I know enough to know that in all likelihood no, my not taking his call and not calling him back for a long time had nothing to do with his death.

But then again, maybe it did.  I wasn’t his sponsor but I was the one he seemed to call when he was in trouble.

These thoughts in and of themselves may seem selfish to you.  The fact that I’m making this about me and not about my dead friend.  Well, if I’m being honest with you dear reader, drug addicts and alcoholics are a selfish, narcissistic lot.  That’s one of the defects that tends to contribute to alcoholism.

But to be way more specific, I am fully aware that his death is far more important than my guilt.   But my guilt is what’s important to me, as selfish as that may sound.

I believe 100 percent that a person’s sobriety is their responsibility, but no one can do it completely alone.  A good support group be it AA or family, friends, gym mates is incredibly important.

But routine, humility and honesty with yourself are just as important.

I keep to my routine but don’t let it rule my life.  I have a great support group but don’t rely on them to keep me sober.  I stay humble as much as possible and at times can be a bit too honest with myself.

My sobriety is my responsibility.  Should I fall it will not be anyone’s fault but mine.

However, I will always wonder how different things would be at this very moment had I picked up that phone.

Did I help bring someone who thought of me as a friend to his death?  I just don’t know.  I’ll never know.

But I’ll live with it.  Try to make peace with it and move forward trying to be better, and more understanding of my friends who suffer.

If you think you have a problem there is help out there.  If you’re sober, remember to work your routine without letting it rule your life.

Stay honest, stay humble and live.

No self promoting links today, no plugs, just a weird post by someone trying to be a better man than he was who may or may not have failed a friend in need.

Best,

Jonathan

Spring time in winter

Hey All,

I hope everyone is having a great week.  Things with me are well and life keeps chugging along.

It’s near perfect here in Los Angeles, like we’re heading into summer already. Which quite frankly is a bit terrifying since it’s early February and we should be drowning in rain and freezing our collective butts off…well what we consider freezing, but it’s all relative so don’t judge.

I’ll be heading to Las Vegas for a few days next week which honestly I’m a bit nervous about.  I’ve never been to Las Vegas sober and the last time I was there I was still drinking and as usual shit got crazy.

For the first time ever I’ll be staying in a hotel with no casino and far off the strip just to hedge my bets.  I’m going in taking care of business and getting the hell out pronto.

I’m quite happy and secure in my sobriety but why make things harder on myself by visiting old haunts and tempting fate.

Well let’s get on to the fun stuff.

I had the tremendous pleasure of sitting down with Ben and Keith of the Two Gay Geeks podcast recently.  We spent about an hour talking and it felt far less like an interview and more like a conversation you’d have with old friends.

We talked about my pulp novel The Geek and also nerded out on various topics from Dr. Who, to Blake’s 7, comic books and more.  It was a lot of fun and is available here for your listening pleasure http://tggeeks.com/blog/2016/02/08/tg-geeks-webcast-episode-59/

They also took the time to review my novel and quite frankly I’m a bit overwhelmed with how much they enjoyed it.  Many kind words from two very kind gents.  If you haven’t picked up a copy and would like to read their review it’s available here http://tggeeks.com/blog/2016/02/08/the-geek-violence-death-and-geeks-oh-my/

As for my usual shenanigans, there’s a brand new post up on my blog Reluctant Joy.  This week I have written the most incredible, politically correct, love story ever told.  It’s called 42.6 Shades of Tumblr and you can give it a read here http://bit.ly/rljywp

The current episode of Stuff N Stuff is up and available for download or streaming.  You can catch it on iTunes or go straight to the source at podbean.  There will be a new episode next week about things that should be mandatory in relationships, but if you’d like to spend a half-hour listening to two morons complain about toxic food that’s all right here http://bit.ly/1KOLDsH

I’m always stopping by goodreads where all the cool book nerds hang out so swing on by, ask a question and browse the virtual stacks http://bit.ly/1XpMF4k

My novel The Geek seems to be making readers happy which is great.  We’re just about out of first editions and will be going to a second printing which is very cool.  If you’d like to pick up a first edition paperback you can do so on amazon.  It’s of course also available as an ebook pretty much everywhere.  We’re also going to be expanding and making sure that the book is available as a paperback in both the UK and Canada due to the demand. http://amzn.to/1MwzPG6

I have a small collection of short stories that is exclusive to amazon called D’jinn and Other Stories.  It’s only 99 cents, but free with kindle unlimited.  HOWEVER!  The ebook will be free for everyone on Monday February 15th in honor of Presidents Day.  Why Presidents day?  Mainly so I can use the tagline “Hail to the Cheap”.  What?  That’s clever I don’t care what you think.  http://amzn.to/1MwzPG6

Of course you can follow me on twitter if you’re so inclined http://bit.ly/1YIWqZA

And don’t forget the old facebook http://bit.ly/fnbrjwp

Well thanks for stopping by.  I hope everyone has an excellent rest of the week and a super fun weekend.

See y’all next Wednesday.

Best,

Jonathan

The New Year is upon us.

Hey everybody,

Thanks for stopping by.  I’m desperately stretched and trying to clear my schedule so I can enjoy my new years eve celebrations and relax.

This will be my third sober new year, the first one was spent in rehab, last year it was amongst other degenerates who were trying to stay out of trouble.

This year will be the same. We’ll eat some great food, play some gin rummy and then I’ll be in bed by five after midnight.  It may not be exciting, but it’s better than most of my new years used to turn out.  Usually drunk, missing a shoe and with a swelling eye from a random punch up, because I’m an idiot and that’s how I used to roll.

Sometimes I miss drunkenly howling at the moon, but not as much as I don’t miss seeing the red and blues in my rear view mirror or out of the corner of my eye and then that awkward conversation where I’m sure I sound totally sober but really don’t.

So over on the podcast there’s a year end spectacular as my bro-host Rob and I reflect upon 2015 and look forward to the coming year.  There’s also the usual juvenile ramblings involving bodily functions and boobs.  You’re welcome. http://bit.ly/1KOLDsH

If you’re interested in my other shenanigans from this week just scroll down a little to Monday’s post there are links to the blog and my appearance on TV Campfire.

And if you, like me, will be taking it easy  this new year eve, why not head on over to goodreads or amazon and pick up a copy of my pulp novel The Geek because, well I don’t really have a good reason but people seem to be enjoying it and quite frankly my Hyundai needs a tune up.

amazon http://amzn.to/1MwzPG6

Goodreads http://bit.ly/1XpMF4k

I do hope 2015 didn’t completely suck for you and no matter how good of a year you had I hope 2016 is even better.  Please be safe, and if you’re going to drink either uber or get a cab.  Trust me I know from experience.

Happy New Year!  I’ll see you all in 2016!

So yeah, basically see ya next week.

Best,

Jonathan Latt