If you can dream, and not make dreams your master…..
The day that we stop wanting, needing, wishing, and dreaming is the day we stop walking the warrior’s path, and begin to take that long dark road towards disappointment, despair, and death. I know some people who seem to have no dreams, and I know a few people who are living in a dark nightmare. People with no dreams often also seem to be hell-bent on self-destruction through drink, drugs, gambling, self-harm, unsafe casual sex, suicide attempts….. I can recognise those people because I used to be one of them.
Some say that being negative, depressed, filled with character defects, is a condition to be pitied and that we should try to understand without condemning or blaming.
You know what? I don’t agree with that idea at all. Unless Life has thrown at you some terrible calamity, like having to live in a war zone, then if you’re an addict, an alcoholic, a hopeless gambler, chain smoker, depressed, suicidal, and hell-bent on being unhappy on the road to self-destruction ~ it is mostly your own fault.
There seems to be something in the subconscious mind of most people that says; ‘if I am really suffering I will get attention and love…..’ This is understandable because when we were at our most impressionable, young and vulnerable, then if we were suffering we would most likely get extra attention and love from our parents / principal carers. Angst and shelf-harming practices such as alcoholism are learned behaviours.
On the other side of the coin, if as a child we were always bright, happy, full of inventive play and dreams, then mostly our parents would leave us alone. They would leave us alone except for their own horrible negativity when we told them of our dreams, and they said; ‘you can’t possibly do that…..’
Dreaming of doing bigger, better, more exciting and more adventurous things, of meeting the partner of our dreams, or dreaming of having a wonderful life, is often driven from our own subconscious mind by the things we were told as an innocent child.
I know all this because it all happened to me, up to and including until a few weeks ago, when I had one of those revelatory moments we sometimes have in life, and I realised I could dream, and make my dreams come true.
So don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t think you are a hopeless case. You can be who you want to be and do whatever you want to do ~ stop believing that you’re trapped, and start wishing and dreaming again.
I’m dreaming of sunshine this Christmas
Every form of addiction is bad, no matter if it’s alcohol or marijuana
In yesterday’s post 10 things successful people do, I said that successful people stay healthy and overcome their addictions ~ well, it’s impossible to stay healthy in the long-term if you have a drugs habit, drink too much, or smoke. Alcoholism, drug abuse, and smoking will all kill you, especially if you are prey to all three. Most addicts have multiple addictions. Add gambling into the mix and you will die a horrible death, after you have lost everything you have.
There are NO exceptions to that rule.
You may think that you drink a little bit, use pot or coke just now and again, take a few too many of your prescription drugs, smoke the odd cigarette when you’re feeling stressed or happy, go to Vegas to gamble every once in a while….. It could be you have a problem you’re not admitting to yourself, and lying about to everyone else.
Denial is not a river in Egypt. Denial will kill you.
The very first step in overcoming an addiction is to admit that you have a problem. The first step in all 12 step recovery groups is to honestly admit that you have a problem. Your problem with booze, drugs, smoking, gambling, unsafe casual sex, erotica, pornography, dangerous pastimes, sugar, food….. may not be so bad ~ YET. Let me tell you, your problem will only get worse, unless you do something about it. And what you have to do is STOP drinking, smoking, using drugs, gambling, or whatever.
There is no such thing as controlled drinking, drug abuse, gambling…..
And, if you cannot stop, and if you still lie about it to yourself and others, then you are a true alcoholic, drug addict, compulsive gambler, long-term chain smoker, and you’re going to lose everything you have, and die horribly. Things may only be a little bit rocky now, but that’s ok for you, missing work once in a while isn’t so bad. Let me tell you, it is going to get worse if you do not completely stop drinking, using, smoking, gambling…..
No matter how bad thing are now, they will get worse.
What to do? A good start is to go and see your doctor, and tell him / her that you have a problem. But, the chances are that, unless you have an exceptional doctor, they’re not going to be much help. Do Not just accept more medication from your doctor ~ drugs in any form are bad for you. Also, the chances are that if you have a propensity to addiction, then you also have an underlying psychological problem. What you probably need is ‘talking therapy’ to deal with your underlying Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD……
Admit you have a problem, and talk to people who understand.
From bitter personal experience I can tell you that there are only two things that work when it comes to recovering from the problems of an addiction;
- Completely stop drinking, using, smoking, gambling, binge eating…..
- Talk with people who truly understand. Ask for their help.
If you are an addict, then you will never, ever be cured, all you can do is begin to recover from your addiction. You will never be able to go back to drinking, or whatever…..
Some say that being an addict means that you are a morally weak degenerate lunatic. And, that all addicts are hopeless cases who will just die sooner rather than later. All I know is that it is possible to begin to recover from Borderline Personality Disorder and Alcoholism.
addicts are not lunatics,
but they may well have a psychological problem
Life can take us down unexpected and difficult paths.
Through painful experience, I have learned that to be very successful in your life, there are some things we must do. Most of them are difficult, bordering on the impossible, but all of these 10 things listed below are actually achievable.
There are two types of people who will tell that you cannot make a difference in this world; those who are afraid to try, and those who are afraid you will succeed. ~ Ray Goforth.
I firmly believe that these are the most important of the rules we must follow in order to overcome life’s challenges, and ultimately win out:
- Stay Healthy. It’s almost impossible to be successful if you’re often ill, spending time in bed, or in hospital.
- Overcome Addictions. Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, Gambling, Smoking….. to name perhaps the most dangerous of all possible addictions. If you drink too much you will lose almost everything. If you drink and gamble you will lose everything. If you drink, gamble, smoke, and take drugs, you will lose everything, and then you’ll die ~ horribly
- Stay Within the Law. If you get involved with illegal activities, including taking drugs, drink driving, illegal gambling ~ sometime or other you will have a run in with The Police. A criminal record does your chances of living your dream life no good at all.
- Say Goodbye to Toxic People. Toxic relationships will make you unhappy, corrupt your mind and soul, and prevent you from realising how much better things can be.
- Seek Out, and Take, Good Advice. If you’re physically ill see a doctor, if you’re suffering mentally see a counsellor, and if you’re just struggling seek out your closest and wisest friend. Whatever advice you’re given, really take it to heart.
- Do Not Waste Time or Money. Too many people throw their money away without thought. Almost everyone wastes their time on unimportant activities. A fool and his money are soon parted. Time is the most precious resource we have.
- Stay Romantically and Sexually Faithful. Affairs, casual sex, multiple partners, using sex-workers, are all going to waste your time and money. You will get into trouble, and if you’re married, you will be asked for a divorce.
- Keep Learning. Nobody can know everything, but most people don’t even try to improve their mind and knowledge once they finish their formal education. The internet and a million books are out their, and something you learn may just give you the edge you need to become successful.
- Focus On Things You Can Control. God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. And, don’t let me try to change people, because that never works.
- Follow Your Dreams. Dreams are the fuel for your success. Without dreams there can never be any meaningful and lasting success in your life.
Some very smart people can ignore some of these rules, some of the time, and still be successful. But you can’t ignore all of these rules, all of the time, and still have a hope in hell of making a success of your life. And, never worry about failure, just make certain that you pick yourself up and start again.
Marmaduke is a success,
and he loves Bentleys and Jaguars
Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman ~ As Time Goes By
In Casablanca, Rick never said; ‘Play it again Sam’, but he should have
Women can drive a man to remember, and to think
all that may make a guy so take just one more drink
and booze does no good, but his love is treacherous
he can do better, and he will always have memories
I never truly told a friend how much I loved her, and I should have.
jack collier firstname.lastname@example.org
Knowing that you’ll push everyone away is tough to deal with.
Some people suffer. Some people are in constant mental, psychological, and spiritual pain. Those people may find themselves doing crazy and impulsive things, drinking too much, using drugs, getting into inappropriate and dysfunctional sexual relationships, pushing away everyone that truly cares for them, isolating themselves….. Those people may be suffering from a serious mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder ~ they may need professional help. They may act like a lunatic.
People with even mild Borderline Personality Disorder, (BPD), do very strange things; they test the people who care for them by doing things which are really socially unacceptable ~ for example constantly being late, flirting inappropriately, expecting and needing gifts lavished upon them. They have extreme reactions to the thought of being abandoned and / or rejected.
People with BPD have a propensity to enter into dysfunctional and unstable romantic and sexual relationships / have casual sex / cheat / commit adultery with monotonous regularity. They tell themselves their sexuality is normal. They are impulsive and have intense, highly changeable moods. Paranoia, anger, ennui, and emptiness all come easily to those who have even the mildest touch of BPD in their psyche.
They tell themselves that they like being alone in their comfort zone
Suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder is difficult, but the situation isn’t hopeless. Recovery is possible, growth is certain, becoming a better person is the eventual reward for all that suffering. I should know, I have been at the very Gates of Hell because for most of my life I suffered from undiagnosed and untreated BPD.
But now I know. I know what caused me to push people away from me all my life; it’s a symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder. If you don’t get close to people they can’t hurt you, and if you push someone away hard enough that they leave you, well that just means you were right about them all along…..
Knowing Exactly what’s wrong with you is very liberating. Knowing Exactly why you have suffered and are still suffering is even more liberating. And, I know Exactly why I developed Borderline Personality Disorder.
When I was about four-and-a-half years old, the woman who loved me most, the woman who cared for me, got sick and died. She was my nana, my maternal grandmother. And nobody told me that she’d died, my parents didn’t explain, there was a wall of silence, and I thought she’d abandoned me because I wasn’t good enough.
That one event blighted my whole life ~ until now.
Some say that it’s good to be mean to the one who loves you, because if they stay with you it proves that they love you. And, that if they leave you it proves that you were right to be mean to them all along. All I know is that only the mentally ill can like being alone and lonely.
You can get so that everything seems normal
even crazy, vicious, evil mood swings
even turning into a Mr. Hyde
Insomnia turns an earthly paradise into a place of torture.
If you don’t fall asleep within 20 minutes of getting into bed and turning off the lights, if you toss and turn and wake up several times in the night, if you don’t wake up feeling instantly refreshed and ready to hit the ground running, then you are not getting enough good sleep.
Scientific studies show that for good health almost everyone needs 7 or 8 hours of good sleep, every single night of their adult lives. Not getting enough good sleep does really bad things to you.
Just some of the bad effects of lack of sleep are; depression, diabetes, fatigue, heart diseases, heart attack, high blood pressure, poor immune system leading to illness, impulsive behaviours, irritability, paranoia, stroke, suicidal thoughts, and Death.
All of us know exactly that some of the things some of us do from time to time will prevent us from sleeping well at night; not getting enough fresh air and exercise during the day, drinking too much booze, eating late at night, using social media late at night, not going to bed at the same time every night, staying in bed late at weekends, having unresolved issues that prey on our mind, having an untreated mental illness, having our bedroom too warm, too noisy, and not dark enough, being in a dysfunctional relationship, hanging out in bars, casual sex…..
I’ve got a bad case of the 3.00 am guilts ~ you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do right? Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm glass of regret, depression, paranoia, and self-loathing. ~ D. D. Barant.
Some things that most of us do will disrupt our internal body clock, our circadian rhythm, and prevent us from getting a decent night’s sleep, for night after night after night. Who knew that our internal body clock is so important to good sleep and good health? If you do stuff that
fucks up disrupts your internal body clock, resulting in a lack of good sleep, you will seriously damage your physical, mental, and spiritual health and fitness.
All the things that will help ensure that we will always have a good night’s sleep are so
bleeding obvious that a child of 5, or 6, or 7 already knows them, instinctively.
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, including weekends and vacations.
- Get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Get out and walk for an hour a day, (10,000 steps), but not too late in the day.
- Get plenty of sunlight during the day ~ tricky if you live in northern England like me, (or Canada, or Alaska, or Scandinavia…).
- Avoid caffeine later in the day. It’s a stimulant, and the caffeine in a cup of coffee will take about 6 or 8 hours to wear off.
- Do not smoke. Nicotine is a stimulant, smoking affects your breathing, you will get nicotine withdrawal through the night and wake up, you will have nightmares for years after you stop smoking. Smokers never sleep well.
- Booze. Don’t drink to much, especially late at night. A glass of wine / hard booze just before you go to bed will stop you from getting a decent night’s rest. Trust me, people who drink late at night, most nights, are three parts of the
smeggingway to being an alcoholic.
- Do not eat late at night. Don’t eat anything much for a couple of hours before bed-time.
- Don’t take a nap after three in the afternoon.
- Have a relaxing hot bath just before bed-time. Light some candles, play some relaxing music, turn off your racing mind.
- Have a dark bedroom, quiet bedroom, cool bedroom, gadget free bedroom, and no
fuckingblue light from your phone / tablet / computer shining all night.
- Forget all the bad things from the day, especially the ignorant
son of a bitchperson who cut you up on the freeway on your way to work.
- Finally, if you just cannot get to sleep, then don’t just lie in bed fretting. If you really cannot sleep, get up and do something else instead, (but none of the bad things listed above).
One thing that some doctors say will result in a restored sleep cycle and better sleep is using marijuana, pot, cannabis. There are some serious downside risks to the cannabis user, such as; anxiety, breathing problems, poor coordination, damaging a child in the womb, hallucinations, heart attacks, impaired thinking and cognitive functions, nausea, road traffic accidents, smoking anything is a known health risk, suicide, paranoia and schizophrenia, being arrested, losing your job, and Death. All other drugs you can take to help you sleep are worse than marijuana, especially in the longer term. (Anyhow, I would never sleep with anyone who uses drugs. Come to that, I wouldn’t have lunch with a drug user.)
Some say that going without sleep for night after night is dangerous. And, that eventually going without sleep will kill you, after 11 days or so. All I know is that not sleeping is very, very unpleasant.
you may be able to tell that I didn’t sleep well last night
the angst of solitude, where you’re alone with the cosmos.
I have just been through the Dark Night of the Soul.
Last evening I felt very strange ~ for no readily apparent reason.
Mentally I was quite depressed and melancholy, with a feeling of deep angst thrown in.
My thoughts were wandering into dark places I didn’t want to go ~ places that in the past would certainly have driven me towards strong drink as a way of escape from my own tortured mind.
Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life. ~ George Bernard Shaw.
Physically I felt weak, my arms and legs were as heavy as lead, and I had severe peripheral neuropathy in my hands and forearms.
It is said that our feelings are kept in our body, and that if we don’t deal with those feelings they will surface as physical symptoms ~ particularly if those feelings are causing undue stress.
Overall, this was extremely painful and mentally uncomfortable ~ I had to reach out to a close friend for support.
I believe that what is going on with me, both mentally and physically, is due to all the introspection I’ve experienced through diligently working through the Hay House World Summit programme. And let me tell you, twenty hours of this in a week is a lot of work.
This is all to the good. It means that I’m not wasting my time with all these audio lessons and films. It means that deep down in my subconscious I’m turning over the dead earth of my past traumas, character defects, and negativity. It means that I am creating a new and better view of myself, my relationships, the world, and the cosmos.
It may be that I am truly walking the warrior’s path.
At least I sincerely hope and believe that’s what is happening to me.
Spiritually, mentally, and physically I still feel like crap today. However, sometimes there has to be a little pain along the way before we get to those sunlit meadows of inner peace.
From time to time the darkness would overwhelm me.
It turns out that I am an emotional being, which is an unwanted paradigm shift for a taciturn and repressed English guy like me. And yet, for much of my recent life I have been completely defined and driven by powerful emotions.
From time to time my psyche would spiral down a dark hole into a place where I became angry, jealous, manipulative, paranoid, resentful, unreasonable… filled with negative thoughts and feelings.
These emotions would hit me out of nowhere, coming from deep within my subconscious mind, usually when my conscious guard was down ~ because I was tired, stressed, had been drinking, or someone close had lied to me, or perhaps just because something had gone slightly wrong in my life.
And these intense, darkly negative emotions could often drive a complete change in my personality, turning me from a rational and sociable man into an irrational and dangerous Mr. Hyde.
One thing you can’t hide ~ is when you’re crippled inside. ~ John Lennon.
The reality is that intensely negative and darkly dangerous emotions are driven by fear, and in my case probably a paranoid fear of abandonment created by the Borderline Personality Disorder I have suffered from for most of my life.
Fear is powerful, deep, affecting the most primeval part of our psyche, what Freud calls the id. And fear generates the equally powerful fight or flight reflex. At my darkest I would fight by attacking people verbally and in writing, and run away into a bottle of booze. Neither of these reflex actions was in the least useful to me.
What I needed was a strategy which allowed me to accept my negative emotions without allowing their destructive power to ruin my relationships and my life ~ wanting to find a suitable way to check out of life is not good.
What I needed was to be more emotionally stable and resilient.
It turns out that emotionally resilient people have some important things in common. Emotionally stable and resilient people;
- Are Realists. Grounded. Optimists are soon disappointed and easily lose hope. Realists make the best they can of the ‘Now’.
- Have Faith. Believe in something greater than themselves, something greater than whatever bad situation they may find themselves in.
- Are extremely and radically creative.
- Have a support network of close friends, doctors, counsellors, 12-step groups…
- Have a great, but usually weird and warped, sense of humour.
These are all things that I could invent for myself. I can grow and develop these character traits that actually exist in all of us. Each day I have been able to further manifest these character traits within myself. Every hour I have become more emotionally stable and resilient.
One ought to hold onto one’s heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche.
Life goes on, and I do not have to allow my emotions to control me.
Although my emotions are an important part of me, I AM NOT MY EMOTIONS.
Some say that negative emotions have an important role to play in a happy life. And that negative emotions are telling you that you need to change and transform yourself. All I know is that you can turn things around and control how your emotions affect you.
Life does not have to be perfect to be good.
Hay House World Summit.
Following my recent return from a vacation in California, it was obvious to me and my friends that there was an empty darkness in my soul.
I made a half-hearted attempt to escape from this by drinking ~ and as usual that didn’t work. Trying to escape into booze and / or drugs never works, not for anyone. Booze is usually a bad idea, and taking drugs is always a very bad idea. Both booze and drugs create more problems than they solve, up to and including dying from alcoholism and drug addiction.
What I really need is help to find a new way of living, new values, a new psychology of friendship and love. I need to find a way towards real spiritual growth. I need to accept the pain of confronting and solving my problems, and I know that I cannot do that through my own sheer willpower, self-control, and self-discipline.
My first impulse was to go and see my doctor, confess my problems, and ask for help. But, you know what, most doctors are very bad at dealing with psychological and spiritual problems, together with the booze that has gone along with mine.
A very close friend then pointed me towards the Hay House World Summit, which is a 16-day journey to self-discovery, health, and success. In 2018 this runs from May 5th to May 20th ~ the timing is ideal for me, and it’s free.
I’ve registered for this and I’m very much looking forward to exploring the 100 lessons and 15 videos.
From time to time I will let you know how this is working out for me.
Only I can change my life ~ no one can do it for me.
Life is about change. Without change, without variety, without some stress in Life, all will stultify and diminish. Without change there can be no growth, and without growth and development all things will wither away and die.
I will not meddle with that which I cannot mend. ~ Thomas Fuller
But, as the Serenity prayer tells us, there are some things that we cannot change, some things that have to be accepted, and the wise learn to know the difference. I can think of a myriad of people, places, and things I cannot change. In reality no one can change another person, unless that other absolutely wants to change. This is why it is mostly pointless trying to talk to most addicts in an effort to make them change their ways. This is why many relationships, and many marriages, end in failure and recriminations. This is why there are wars.
A while ago I resolved to stop trying to change others and instead decided to work on myself to become a better person. That is now my lifetime’s project, and it doesn’t always go smoothly. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all. Sometimes I make progress, and sometimes I go backwards a couple of steps or more ~ it’s like a man walking into a gale, sometimes he wins and sometimes the storm wins. In the last few days I think the wind won more than I did. In the last few days I went with the wind and my negative emotions, and that meant I really staggered in the wrong direction. In other words I totally fucked-up, again. For me, going with the flow is usually the wrong choice.
Life will do it’s best to deceive you. You may get knocked down, but you must always get up again. The mark of a really great boxer is not that he never gets knocked down. A really great boxer can get knocked down, but he will always get up again. And that’s up to and including Mohammed Ali in his all prime and pomp.
Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.’ ~ Thomas Edison
The English language is filled with wise sayings, allegories, parables, and proverbs. As you would expect a lot are by Churchill; ‘To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often…’ Then from Scotland we have the allegory of Robert the Bruce and the spider, which gave us the saying; ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, and try again…’ But we also have almost the converse of that saying…
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. ~ Albert Einstein.
The Goddess knows I have been there often enough ~ every time I took a drink I expected it to be different from the last time, and it never was. But, somehow I usually got away with it.
Back in my illustrious career in banking I once went into a meeting on Madison Avenue with no ideas and nothing but blank pieces of paper in my briefcase. I had got good and drunk in the Plaza the night before, so I both looked and felt far from my very my best. But I stood up in front of the board of the world’s biggest advertising agency and tried just one more time. I told them not what they wanted to hear, but what I wanted to make happen. It worked. The thing is I didn’t give up, and I didn’t try to change anything except myself.
After that almost debacle I resolved to make a big change by giving up banking for good. It was the wrong change ~ I should have given up booze for good. Back then I didn’t have enough serenity within me to even think about being sober for life.
Right now, today, all I try to do is be the best Jack Collier I can be, sober. That is difficult enough for anyone. I realise that life is difficult and painful. I know that the causes of my problems and pain are my own cravings, lusts, and the blaming others for my faults. I now know that I can’t change others and I can’t change what happens to me, but I can change what I do, and how I react to people places, and events.
I know that the warrior’s road to freedom from continual distress, pain, and suffering is through self-discipline in body, mind, spirit… and that’s a hard road to walk in honour, honesty, and truth. I try to always walk that road, and often I fail. But, at least I try, and perhaps not one in ten men even do that.
The world and the sky is ours if we want it enough.