not all in your life will be a beautiful sunrise
A few years ago I was having a really bad time; alcoholism, anger, anxiety and depression….. I felt as though I hadn’t a friend in the world, and the truth was that I hadn’t. I was suffering from insomnia, taking midnight walks, drinking all hours….. Things were bad. There didn’t seem to be any way out…..
Something prompted me to go to my bookshelf, and at random I read the first sentences of the first book that came to hand.
Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult ~ once we truly understand and accept it ~ Then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters. ~ The Road Less Travelled
From time to time some things have been bad since then, and Life hasn’t always gone the way I would have liked. But the whispers in the night have never been as dark as they were back then. I’ve stopped drinking, I have a very few very good friends. My footsteps are leading me to good places now.
It took a lot to drag me away from the slough of ultimate despond and pain, but that small passage in a book has helped me ~ it’s been with me ever since that black night.
May you find your own small light in the darkness.
choose your own guiding light
’emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which individual liberty has been eroded
the only casual sex allowed is phone sex
Here in England it’s Day 380 of the national coronavirus lockdown, and now that there may be some signs that some of the restrictions may be lifted in the foreseeable future, it is worth remembering just what has been taken away from us.
Just to focus on three of our inalienable rights;
- Freedom of Association. All through this lockdown we have been prohibited from meeting our friends and families. Two women sharing walk and a cup of coffee were arrested for ‘breaking the spirit of lockdown’. A lady was arrested just for being outside the care home of her elderly father. And while the Black Lives Matter ‘protests’ were allowed to go ahead, every other public gathering of more than six people was treated as a riot by our increasingly heavy handed police. Schools, Universities, and Churches have been closed, as have all other possible meeting places. Extramarital sex is out of the question unless you are part of the ‘governing elite.’
- Freedom of Movement. We have been told not to to go anywhere unless it was absolutely essential, not to leave home, not to travel more than a dozen miles from home, not to go to work unless you couldn’t possibly work from home….., and our increasingly Gestapo-like police force have happily arrested anyone seemingly breaking the rules. Airlines have been grounded, Wales and Scotland closed their borders, and do not even think about attempting to travel to the USA.
- Freedom of Trade. Apart from some ‘essential’ food stores and pharmacies, everything has been shut. Factories have been lying idle because nobody could buy anything they made. Agriculture has been badly hit because farm workers were told to stay at home, or in the case of ‘foreign casual labourers’ weren’t even allowed into the UK. And, of course, any business where people could gather together has been closed for the duration. Forget getting a pint with your mates down the pub.
Some say that losing our freedom was a necessary part of staying safe and protecting the Health Service. And that those who complained should be gagged. (Well, there goes Freedom of Speech.) All I know is that we have all lost more than just our basic liberties to combat a mild ‘flu epidemic.
all doors have been firmly closed
by order of some power-mad unelected officials
first, find the peace within yourself
Not that anyone would believe it, but The Lighthouse Family are an English band, from Newcastle upon Tyne. That’s not why I chose this song, it’s because I feel the need to be lifted from the slough of despond I’ve been suffering.
I believe that I’ve driven that road, just out of Death Valley, California.
Probably in a Mustang Convertible.
sometimes, only a Mustang convertible will do
I am not a number, I am a free man
basically, I can build anything
subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood
what’s behind you doesn’t matter
There’s another definition of mercurial which is someone who is clever, confident, lively, and quick; the archetypal Type A personality. Both of the above are pretty accurate descriptions of who I am. I am also an Ares; passionate, intense, instinctive, aggressive, physical, unpredictable, a black-and-white, here-and-now, straight-line thinker. You might gather that I don’t like settling for second best. You might not think that I have a great sense of humour and a wicked laugh.
In the past I used to like things quick and dirty, but that was because I had no inherited wisdom, no role models to look back on, and very little fear of failure. I learned the hard way that walking blindly into the swamp to slay a dragon wasn’t always the best way to go about things. I learned very fast that casual sex is sordid. Acting on impulse has usually ended in big trouble for me.
I used to have an uncontrollable and sudden temper, which fortunately always passed just as quickly as it came upon me. These days I’ve learned to count to ten, and then ten again, before letting anger and frustration get the better of me. (Actually after counting to 20 I’m usually bored with being annoyed.) However, one hangover from those bad old days is that to this day I never forget and never forgive.
My standards are very high, some would say impossibly so. I am judgmental, I measure myself harshly and I judge others just as severely. Perhaps that’s because I am intelligent, dynamic, quick, and confident enough to see the slow mediocrity in others. Because I am utterly honorable and honest I despise liars, especially those who lie by sly omission.
Why am I telling you this? Because my birthday was just a couple of days ago, and now we are into my star-sign of Ares it seemed a good moment to remind myself of just who I am. A man who likes the passionate joy of the chase as much as the conquest. A man who lives a great life to the fullest, even during this fucking lockdown. (BTW, I get very upset if a woman ever used the ‘F’ word in public.)
I know about astronomy
and astral navigation too
I get knocked down and wrecked, I get up again
time to get off my knees
things are never as bad as they seem
I’m ready to live my dreams
the wreck at the end of the road?
or the start of a new journey?
first of all stop being a willing victim
if that’s you then perhaps you need to change
The first step in my total makeover plan New Age ~ New Me is giving up alcohol; or to say it a better way Living a Sober Life. If you misuse and abuse any substance; alcohol, drugs, prescription medication, over the counter medication, sugar, tobacco….. then your life revolves around that and it’s almost impossible to do anything else that matters a damn. And trust me, if you drink, smoke, or take drugs ~ then whatever you think or believe you are an addict. The same goes if you gamble, are promiscuous, steal, cheat, lie….. you are an addict and a victim of your own need for instant gratification.
If you ever want to be better, to become self-aware, self-controlled, self-disciplined, empowered, and truly happy, then first of all you have to give up your addictions. No that’s not true, first of all you truly have to admit to yourself that you have a problem. Only when you really believe that you need to give up hanging around in bars, or drinking a bottle of wine at home every night, or smoking a pack of cigarettes a day can you begin to become a better version of yourself.
And giving up isn’t easy. For years I was a binge-drinker ~ every time I got upset, unhappy, or dissatisfied I would retreat into a bottle of booze to make myself feel better. It never worked. And yet I haven’t touched a drop since Christmas last year.
Here’s how did I did that;
- I came to believe that booze was ruining my life.
- I made a decision to stop drinking alcohol.
- I stopped buying and drinking booze.
It was an instant decision followed by instant action; and I believe that it has to be that way. There has been no help, no 12 step group, no counselors, no complicated programs, no tricks, no searching the internet to find an easy way to be sober, no anything ~ just me and some self-discipline. It’s easy; decide to stop whatever destructive behaviour gives you instant gratification, and then stop.
Except we know that it isn’t easy at all ~ it’s fucking hard.
But what would I rather become? A drooling incontinent who lives just for the next drink? Or a self-aware Renaissance Man who lives a very full and rewarding life?
So, every hour of every day I stay away from that first drink.
the things you think you like the most
are the things that will ruin your life
and then kill you
you get nothing without hard work
hanging out in bars is self-destructive
It was my birthday a couple of days ago ~ another year older and deeper into lockdown. Given the premise that this is a new age for me I’ve decided to give myself a complete makeover. And I mean doing it all for myself because there’s nobody to do it for me ~ and anything someone else does for you never lasts. Any real and beneficial change I want to make has to come from within.
This makeover will be directed at significant improvements of my body, mind, emotions, and spirit. It’s also going to include looking better and having a much nicer, kinder, more effective, and more likable persona.
The truth is that I started this big self-improvement programme just after Christmas when I gave up alcohol. If you drink, smoke, take drugs, gamble, or suffer from any of the other life-destroying addictions, then the first step on any self-improvement / self-development / makeover is to quit your addiction(s). And trust me, if you do drink, smoke, take drugs, (including stuff like Xanax), or gamble ~ then you are addicted. (The list of life-destroying things people can become addicted to is long and inclusive.)
My plan for becoming the very best version of Jack Collier that I can possibly be is very simple;
- stay away from alcohol
- have a good daily exercise routine
- eat and drink healthily, (mine is a Paleo / Mediterranean diet)
- get enough good sleep, retire and rise at the same time every day
- cut out a lot of mindless, time-wasting stuff; TV, internet, social media
- look as good as I can all the time; bathed, shaved, hair, decent clean clothes
- study and learn interesting challenging stuff, from proper books by real writers
It should be easy, given some self-discipline and determination.
none of this crap
who could like that guy?
drinking alcohol is very bad for your brain
beer still gets you drunk, but it also makes you fat
For a lot of people alcohol becomes a crutch to allow them to handle the feelings, situations, and people they encounter in daily life. Lots of people I know use booze to become more outgoing, manage stress, combat depression, relax, and as an aid to sleep. However, alcohol isn’t a cure for shyness, stress, depression, anxiety, nor insomnia ~ except in the very short term, and if you only drink in moderation.
Taken in larger quantities, and over longer periods, alcohol does exactly the opposite of the things that you drank for in the first place. Add to that some worse effects of too much drink; recklessness, loss of morality and ethics, severe anxiety and depression, complete emotional immaturity, using other drugs, promiscuity, criminality ~ and one can see that drinking a lot for very long is a bad idea.
If you drink too much, for even one evening, the alcohol will affect your memory. Memory loss is a sure and certain effect of too much booze. You might not remember the night before at all, or only vaguely remember bits of it, and you might not believe it when your friends tell you what you did. Your brain will even invent false memories just to let you fill in the blanks.
Drinking to excess over long periods means the memory loss becomes permanent, along with nastier things like wet brain and dementia. Luckily most people die from alcohol related causes long before they lose their mind. Even better, if you stop drinking the memory loss and cognitive dysfunction will slowly reverse itself as the fog of booze clears and new brain cells grow to replace the ones killed off by alcohol.
I stopped drinking just after Christmas 2020. Now, instead of being a high-functioning binge-drinker I am becoming a Modern Renaissance Man with a near eidetic memory.
Which would I rather be; a drooling incontinent drunk, or a very cool guy, living a really great life to the fullest?
Alcohol has left the building.
people do things under the influence
that they would never do sober
23 March 2021 ~ my birthday ~ one year of lockdown
trust me; howling at the moon doesn’t help
The British Government’s draconian response to the coronavirus crisis starts its second year today. We begin another year of lockdown. None of the numbers surrounding COVID-19 are either real and nor do they make any sense. In particular the alleged 126 thousand people who are said to have died of this virus in the United Kingdom in the last year is a completely false statistic.
There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. ~ Mark Twain
Here, as in most countries, anyone who has tested positive for the coronavirus in the 28 days before their death is deemed to have died from COVID-19, no matter the true and real cause of death. Even using the false statistics fewer than 2 in 1,000 who have caught the disease have died from it, (0.2%), and of those who have allegedly died from coronavirus, the vast majority have been over 82 years old, (which is older than the median age of death here).
A real statistic is that because of the coronavirus lockdown the UK is broke, and getting deeper into penury with every day that passes. The cost to the UK economy of this lockdown is said to be £521 million a day, ($730 million), although our government is actually borrowing a billion pounds a day, every single damn day.
And the lockdown just gets more and more severe. From next Monday, March 29th, taking a foreign holiday is illegal ~ in fact I would be fined £5,000 for just turning up at an airport. It’s like living in East Germany under the yoke of communism.
All I can do is wish myself a happy birthday ~ hoping and praying that things get better for us all very soon.
after we’ve been vaccinated
why do we still have to wear a mask?