Back to Bama (for a minute)

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Why in the world would I ever want to mimic a bunch of people who don’t have what I want in some perverted belief that it will provide for me what I do want?

I’m sitting in the boarding area at LaGuardia headed to Alabama. I had said I wasn’t going back until I had the apartment we (my dogs and I) would move into. But the process was moving a lot slower than I thought and the place where I was staying had become unacceptable. I’m trying to stay positive. It’s not easy. The level of self-care that I’ve been willing to see as acceptable has plummeted over the past few years. I must make changes in that area. The things I’ve allowed people to say to me has become more and more in keeping with the guidelines for living for a man who doesn’t give a shit about himself. I must make changes in that area as well. The man who rents the place where I was staying while I looked for an apartment made me feel very unwelcome today, said some very unkind things. I don’t fault him. He is a simple man and riddled with PTSD. I am welcome at my friends in New Jersey’s place but round trip into the City is $20 each day. If I’d gone back out there, I’d be flat broke in no time. I was supposed to come back to Alabama in a couple of weeks. It became obvious this morning that flying back today was the right choice. My goal is to be back in New York within a month’s time.

I deserve nice things. I deserve to live well. I deserve to be treated well. I deserve to be treated kindly and respectfully, especially by myself. I deserve to be paid well for work that not only feeds my soul but make a substantial difference in the world. In New York, I was living in a filthy situation looking at shitty apartments to rent. That’s not the way this next section of my life is going to go down. I’m flying home to Alabama today to organize my stuff for my move back to New York in as short a time is as reasonable. I have to sell the RV. I’m even considering selling my truck and my motorcycle. I have to have some money to get started in New York.  I have held on to some possessions that need to be liquidated– even if that means giving them away. I have held on to things out of the erroneous belief that there is an essential scarcity in the Universe instead of an essential abundance, which is at the core of my true spiritual belief. I don’t have to live in squalor for any amount of time to prove myself worthy of living well. I deserve a clean, safe, well-lit, secure, and cheerful home and that’s what I’m going to have– in New York and I don’t plan to take the rest of my life creating it. I’m going back to Alabama today to sleep in my nice, clean bedroom and start packing. I’ll keep shopping for the new place in New York from Alabama while I’m packing with my new, renewed idea about what I deserve and (therefore) what I’m on the market for. I’ll also go back to New York with more money so I can live like a human being while I continue to find my more permanent home.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon with one of the best looking men I’ve ever been on a date with. His apartment in the Financial District is clean, spacious, beautiful, and abundant. His standard of living appeals to me. I actually thing God took me there to show me what it looks like. That is going to be my new focus in my life: Abundance, demonstrating the overcoming of oppression and poverty consciousness as a testament to the power of a loving God Force. I’m sick of living like a pauper. I’m sick of begging to take a piss. I’m sick of coming to the world cap in hand, shuffling my feet, looking at the ground and, as one great Civil Rights hero put it, “scratchin’ when I don’t itch.” I’m sick of being sick. That’s not me at my core. That’s not the essence of me. The real me is a talented artist with a penchant for helping people. If sons-of-bitches can make billions for starting wars in perpetuity, by God I can live abundantly for bringing what I have to offer to this world. And in the meantime, living like a homeless person no longer serves me. I’m going to Alabama to regroup and head right back to New York with a better plan. And without going into details, I have been doing a lot to change the way I have been living for– well, for a very, very long time. Actually, fuck it, I’ll go into details– because I know from your sweet messages, comments, and emails that there are several of you taking this journey with me. I want you to benefit from my process at every step along the way. The only wasted pain is pain that doesn’t benefit others or me in the long run– learning how to do it better and different.

On September 1, 2014, when I had come to an emotional bottom that led me to feel like the only way out was to check out permanently, I knew I had to take some serious actions. The things that were not working in my life where not working to the extent that the psychic pain (which I had become a master at hiding) was about to consume me. I was living smack in the middle of a lot of grief and rage, which was the result of years of bad decisions on my part. To cut myself a little slack, those bad decisions actually reflected less-than-mindful responses to a lifetime of fucked-up shit that had happened to me. Here’s hoping that I learned a lot from all that (I believe I have) and that I’ll respond to future challenges in ways that do not destroy my life. So after posting an “amends blog” to follow my “I’m gonna commit suicide in a year blog,” I began to pray for answers.

A word about prayer and “God:” If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve likely heard me rant about my abhorrence of conventional ideas about God and about organized religion. How then can I start talking about praying and about God as the solution to the mess in which I found myself? Good question. I do know that I believe prayer works. And while I do not believe in the kind of God touted by most world religions, I do believe in the collective consciousness and I believe in some mysterious power that can be directed by my thinking be it constructive or destructive. There is nothing about my belief in “God” that needs to exist outside of Science. The phenomena I describe however may function outside Science’s ability to explain it at present but look at all that is possible and explainable today that would have seemed like magic to people a hundred years ago and heresy a hundred years before that. This Power is, I believe, the Source of the help I began to receive after I began to beg for help in September. Almost immediately, solutions started to appear. The next right indicated action has presented itself pretty consistently throughout this process. That’s not to say it is easy. In some ways, this has been the hardest period of my life. I am making changes to thoughts and behaviors I have had since my childhood. Here are some of the things I’ve been doing to move in a positive direction and away from the dark place in which I found myself in September:

  • I have been reading up on PSTD and CPTSD to see how these have contributed to my underearning and under
  • I have done research and am taking steps toward being able to sustain myself financially by using the gifts that my creator gave me rather than enter into some “do it for the money” anti-vision profession.
  • I have sought out the wisdom of others who have solved their underearning problem.
  • I have admitted publically that I have a problem that I can’t handle on my own.
  • I went online to find more resources for people recovering from compulsive spending, underearning, self-deprivation, and debting.
  • I have attended (in person and via conference calls) support group meetings for people recovering in these areas. (Incidentally, I should mention that out of respect for the traditions of some of the groups that address such issues, I do not mean to suggest or imply membership in any specific groups or organizations.)
  • I am blogging daily.
  • I am doing morning pages daily.
  • I am seeking out therapy through the Vets Centers.
  • I am seeking medical help through the VA.
  • I am praying with the Sacred Pipe.
  • I am refraining from drugs and alcohol.
  • I am checking in daily with a partner with regard to the action items under each of my goals on my goals list.
  • I have written down my goals and am reading them aloud daily.
  • I have asked someone has what I want to mentor me through this process.
  • I am keeping track of where and how I spend my money.
  • I am keeping track of where and how I spend my time.
  • I am moving toward a saner budgeting of my time and money.
  • I am taking steps to improve in the area of self-care.
  • Together with a partner in Canada whom I have never met in person, I am working through guidelines that take a spiritual approach to recovering from underearning.

This list is not exhaustive. I only put it out there to remind myself that I am working hard to get better (I have had a tendency to beat the shit out of myself and that changes now) and also in case any of you who are on similar path might find any of it useful.

To remind you who are supporting me through this process (and to remind myself) of my goals as they currently appear on the list, I’ll post them here now:

  • I live in New York City. ACTION ITEM: Continue to look for apartment.
  • I have a reasonable spending plan to which I abide. It covers my basic living expenses, self-care, savings, investment, tithing, and entertainment. I have a positive cash flow and spend less than I make. ACTION ITEM: keep a record of all money coming in or going out for the next 30 days, use this to formulate an accurate spending plan.
  • I incur no unsecured debt. ACTION ITEM: incur no unsecured dept.
  • I lift or do CrossFit six days per week. ACTION ITEM: go to the gym today.
  • I drink a gallon of water a day. ACTION ITEM: drink a gallon of water today (that’s 8 water bottles)
  • I abstain from all nicotine products, excessive caffeine, compulsive sex of any kind, and unhealthy foods. ACTION ITEM: for now, abstaining from nicotine is going to have to be enough. As soon as I’m in the new apartment, I’ll go food shopping.
  • I don’t drink or do drugs and live with a general sense of happiness and serenity. ACTION ITEM: meditate at least ten minutes every morning.
  • I write for four hours every day. ACTION ITEM: bookend the writing with action partner.
  • I have a prayer and meditation practice, at least 15 minutes morning and evening. ACTION ITEM: start with the 10 in the morning and we’ll move up from there.
  • I attend one recovery support group meeting daily, in person or via conference call. ACTION ITEM: keep a record of the meetings I attend
  • I have a three month prudent reserve. ACTION ITEM: put 10% of all I earn in savings.

Long term goals:

  • I own a residence that I love in NYC. ACTION ITEM: Start visioning around the place I’d like to own.
  • I have a healthy body that serves me well. When I look in the mirror I’m pleased with what I see. ACTION ITEM: go to the gym, don’t eat shitty foods, and drink water.
  • I have written 25 movies, 10 TV shows, and 25 plays. ACTION ITEM: Stay true to the four hour per day writing commitment.
  • I am the man of my dreams and I’m married to the right and perfect husband for me. ACTION ITEM: ask a hot guy to coffee this week. (there’s no shortage of them in New York)
  • I head a successful production company. ACTION ITEM: research Disabled Veterans Business Alliance to see what resources are available to me to start my business.
  • I make $110K or more per month. ACTION ITEM: write four hours each day. Spend at least one hour per day focusing on the business side of the operation.
  • I live off 10% of my income and direct the rest to do good on the planet. ACTION ITEM: keep accurate financial records as I move toward this goal.
  • I head a successful nonprofit that helps Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. We teach Pure Peer Support techniques, host weekend retreats, sponsor creativity workshops, and offer paid internships in the entertainment industry providing the veterans employment that fulfills them and sustains them financially. We have big, beautiful workspaces and in New York City and Los Angeles.  ACTION ITEM: call about the website
  • I have a six months prudent reserve. ACTION ITEM: move at least $100 to savings at the beginning of each month.

I love New York. I love being in New York. I am sad that I have to be away from New York even for a short time but this was the responsible, mature choice. Please, Dear GOD let this be a brief sojourn and take me back to the city I love as quickly as possible. If I die in the South, scatter my ashes in Times Square.

See y’all tomorrow.


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