Yet on the flip side I wanted to be that person in control and I wanted to be the authoritarian,
I wanted to be the teacher and the policeman and politician — the person that told others what to do.
Growing up was a bit traumatic. Growing up was not comfortable. Growing up was really scary. Living, living in general, was scary. From as far back as I can remember I felt strange.
I looked at . . . I looked around and saw other people, people seemed to have their stuff together, happy and comfortable,
and there were things that were told to me and things that I had grown up with that made me feel unlike these people.
I can remember from a really small age being told: “Why can’t you be as good as Jimmy down the street?” or “Why can’t you be more like them?” or “You’re not supposed to think that way,” or “You’re not supposed to feel that way, you’re different. Something is wrong with you.”
I believed it. Tell a kid, a small child, something and they believe it. So I grew up thinking I was different, thinking that there were things about me that weren’t right, and that the things that I thought and the things that I felt were wrong. So I learned that it was best not to talk about how I felt and best not to talk about how I was doing or what I was thinking.
Or if I should talk about those things I would lie and say the opposite of the way I felt. I was definitely a person that you might meet and feel comfortable with and all that but even after quite some time of being with me you might still feel you really didn’t know me at all.
I grew up with a lot of fear, really scared. I feared people and dealing with people and relating to people and feared authority and people in control. Yet on the flip side I wanted to be that person in control and I wanted to be the authoritarian, I wanted to be the teacher and the policeman and politician — the person that told others what to do.
I felt funky, my family life was — I certainly believe that I am a product of my surroundings and I was certainly surrounded by my immediate family quite a bit growing up and didn’t feel comfortable with them. They were same of the main people that told me I was different and that I was strange and that the things that I thought were wrong and I clammed up around them. I learned it was best not to make waves.
I guess with all the craziness and internal pain going on the exterior, on the outside, I kind of led everybody to believe that things were cool that way. I wouldn’t make waves and wouldn’t have people question me checking me out.
I found some things that allowed me to feel kind of okay, allowed me to feel a part of and to fit in, sort of get high from. I learned that if I lied I could get over, I could fit in, I got kind of a rush from it. It felt good. Same kind of thing if I stole something. I could impress people and fit in and feel cool. I always wanted to feel cool.
I looked around at other people and there were certain people that were definitely cool heroes that I looked up to in the movies who had their shit together and they were cool, drank beer, smoked cigarettes, hung out, got laid, fit in. Everybody idolized them. Everybody looked up to them, Everybody said, “Yeah, they got it.” I wanted that. I wanted to be the person on the screen. I wanted to be it in everyday life.
So I did these things and they worked for a while. After a while the thrill wears off, the thrill is gone. I had to find something else. All that sort of idolizing people who drank beer and smoked joints and looked cool and had their shit together kind of led me right to those substances.
And it didn’t take too long after they were put in my face for me to pick up some drugs. It wasn’t a whole lot. There was experimental stages, but it was more like, man, this thing is it. This is what I’ve been looking for. I got high, I was there. I was feeling the way I thought everybody felt. That’s what I wanted, feeling a part of, feeling cool. That was all right, that was cool.
So I took off, spent several years trying to hold onto that feeling, trying to move that pain and keep those things that I felt for so long suppressed and out of the way and just trying to have a good time. Just trying to feel good, trying to feel okay. And it worked, it worked.
Well, drugs were a solution to all the craziness and problems and the fears and pain that I felt for so long. Drugs were it. The thing is that they worked the same way stuff that I had done earlier, like the lying and stealing, worked.
After a while it was not quite there anymore. I mean, it worked, but I began to use up the friends that I had. Trust was kind of broken. People had to watch me, for fear that I might take something of theirs. I began to sense that yet again I was apart from and I was not being accepted like I had for a brief period. All those feelings of fear and the pain, insecurity and being rejected, being apart came back full force and you know kind of shattered me.
There were a lot of things, incidents and particular things that happened when I was using drugs that we used to call “war stories.” I guess if I sat here and thought hard enough I could come up with those. They are far from dazzling and far from impressive. So it probably wouldn’t impress those who can talk about putting needles in their dicks and shit like that. That’s pretty impressive, huh?
I can remember growing up, being inadequate, being told that I was inadequate — that’s real obvious, It was some¬thing that was not right — spending eight years in counseling, probably about four of those years before I even used anything, just because I had convinced myself that I was different, that there was something not right about me, but yet sitting through eight years of counseling, getting almost no further than, “How do you feel?’‘
I don’t know. Until I cleaned up I was not capable of telling anyone how I felt honestly because when I had — when I was really small — I was told that it was wrong, you’re not supposed to feel that way, shut up. I shut down. Of all the friends that I had there was no one that knew me, no one that really knew what went on inside, because outside everything was cool, everything was easy going, and life was all right. And inside it was fucking just crazy, real scared, real alone, real isolated.
One of the problems was that I was too smart. Everything that happens comes in up here, comes into my head, stays up there, get processed, figured out, questioned and analyzed, tossed around, bounced back.
I was still really fucked up. It was crazy, because everybody always said, “You know, you’ve got to do well in school, because if you don’t some day you’re going to look back and you are going to regret it. You gotta do this, and you gotta do that, you gotta do that because one day you’re gonna look back and you are going to regret it if you don’t.”
I did. I fucked around in school and I didn’t do anything. And now today there is a lot of that back-wash, feeling like I fucked up, feeling like a lot of my life was a real waste. Although I don’t — I mean, it happened and it can’t be changed. It is important that it happened because it got me to where I am today, but still there seems to be so much waste. Just sort of wasted the gift of life.
I didn’t look at it then — I didn’t want to be here, I didn’t ask to be here. I resent my parents a lot. I can’t hang around my parents today more than fifteen minutes before I have to leave, before I go fucking nuts. They drive me crazy. They are exactly the same way as they were as far back as I can remember.
Drugs, man, drugs. I used drugs, I used drugs for six years. Let’s see — if I got clean when I was eighteen, that means I started using drugs when I was twelve. By the time I started using I was gone. I was gone. I stole a lot of money. I beat a lot of people. I stole a lot of drugs and I stole a lot of other peoples’ stuff and I got caught a lot, I lied a lot, I got caught in my lies a lot and I owe people money today. And I hide from them today still.
I am real afraid of people. I walk into a room of people and, all right, who’s here and who do I have to be? Who am I going to play tonight? What’s the game? What am I going to wear? Women are strange birds, truly strange.
So I have to be famous — that’s one thing that I believed for many, many years. From the time that I started playing music I really believed that I was going-to be famous and that would be it. And once that I got famous and I got lots of money and I was rich, I would walk down the streets and people would look at me and say, “There he goes.”
That’s what I wanted, that’s what I want. I still want that. I still don’t doubt that that’s possible. A lot of it is total ego, though. Total ego. And it’s amazing, through all the . . . all the craziness and the feelings of total inadequacy and being insecure, not being as good as, I still thought that I was totally better than everybody on the other hand, one step above everybody else. Now I am different.
Basically, I just hurt a lot and what I did is, I spent most of my life looking for a way not to hurt. It wasn’t until I found a sort of spiritual way of living that there was any possibility for freedom from the pain. Freedom from the walls that I put up and the . . . all the bad feelings. Everything that I tried lasted only so long and then wore out because everything that I tried was on the outside — lying and stealing and cheating and conning, manipulating — were all things that I did on the outside. They were . . . they weren’t internal. And using drugs was yet another exterior, self-destructive thing.
It was stuff from the outside, it wasn’t an internal healing.
The path that I am on today is all about basing my life on spiritual truths, spiritual principles, simply good things. The good feelings, the things that I knew way, way, way back were probably good that I suppressed for so long are what I am getting back to now. The recovery process, the recovery from the disease that I have, the disease of addiction, is about basing my life on spiritual principles. Things like honesty, things like hope, belief and faith, and caring, and willingness and reciprocity, and love. Love.
These things, when they are in my life today, feel good. I can get the feeling that I have looked for all my life today by just trying to walk a spiritual line. There is nothing to do with any religion or crazy, whacked-out stuff. It’s really pretty simple. It’s being the best person I can be today. It’s being the most honest, caring, most loving person I can be. It’s opening up my heart to good.
And I believe in an energy force, I believe in a power that’s far superior to me than myself. I get that energy, I get that power through a lot of people, people that today I am willing to accept into my life. People that I am willing to feel and to accept their love and their light. I’ve found it real important to have good people in my life, because I push people away, I pushed people away most of my life, out of fear and self-centeredness and obsession with myself, that if I can’t do it by myself, well then fuck it, because then it’s not going to get done. You don’t have anything to offer me. I’m not like you.
And today it’s all about turning that around and taking people in and loving them and being loved and caring and being cared for. The total hundred and eighty degree turn that my life has taken since I have stopped using drugs and found a Higher Power and good people — the change is unbelievable. The way I live today is better, quite honestly, is better than any way I had even thought possible.
And I have no idea what’s going to happen in the future, and for the most part that’s okay, that doesn’t matter.
I in turn have no regrets about the past. I don’t regret anything that I have done, because I really believe that all the things that have happened to me and the experiences in my life and the feelings that I have felt and the pain and the joy and the sorrow and all that were necessary, brought me to the point where I am at today. I don’t regret any of that. I look to the future, to hope, which is a lot more than I used to.
I used to dread having to wake up in the morning, knowing that I was going to wake up in the morning and have to deal with life or not deal with life or find a way not to deal with life. The fact that my life is not so totally run by fear today is a real gift, a real gift that I am grateful for. I am living and enjoying today. And that’s pretty wild. That’s a trip, definitely a trip, no doubt. A hope for the future and a prayer for peace.
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