🎧 Music Saved My Life! 🎧

🎧 Music Saved My Life! 🎧

Notorious B.I.G. spoke to me when he said It Was All A Dream on “Juicy”. Wu-Tang Clan taught me at 10 years old to “Protect Ya Neck”. My first cd 💿 purchased was Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise” as I began walking through the valley of the shadows of death. Bone Thugs N’ Harmony only left Charles at life’s “Crossroads”. P.O.D. paved my way of being the “Youth of a Nation”. As I grew older Nirvana made me rebel, “Smells like Teen Spirit”. Eminem knew me to well when I was at my “Rock Bottom” but I will never fail “Til I Collapse”. DMX how did you know my path was “Dark and Hell is Hot”? Snoop Dogg knew I liked to sip on “Gin and Juice” but Tool told me it was time to get “Sober”. Metallica had me wake up with nightmares after watching “Enter Sandman”.

Fabolous told me just “Breathe”. Mobb Deep calmed me down with the “Quiet Storm”. Prince, I guess this is how it sounds like “When Doves Cry”. Bruce Springsteen screamed it best, I was “Born in the U.S.A. But Clint Mansell showed me I was living in a “Requiem for a Dream”. I began smoking “Purple Haze” while listening to Jimi Hendrix. Cassidy had me crushing “My drink N’ my 2 Step”. But Billy Joel said they’re sharing a drink they call loneliness. But it’s better than drinking alone as I slur “Piano Man”. I was sloppy drunk when I played “Musical Chairs” with Raw Commitee and my 2.0 Boys. I’m “Uncomfortably Numb” while “Crawling” in my own skin thanks to Pink Floyd and Linkin Park. Jay-Z designed the “Blueprint” how my life shaped up. Change will come “If I Ruled the World” just as Nas envisioned.

Hey Kanye, women hate me because I was “Heartless”. Kings of Leon told me their “Sex is on Fire”. I’ll leave my past in the past I’m no Big Pun “Still Not a Player”. I believed Papa Roach this is my “Last Resort”. How could I have “Fallin” Alicia Keys? Evanescence answered my prayers to “Bring Me Back to Life”. Where was Lil Wayne’s head at to make “I Feel Like Dying”? Breaking Benjamin must know because we’re “So Cold”. Keith Urban I won’t take my own life because I’m a “Fighter”. 50 Cent had me on the ledge so “Don’t Push Me”. This wasn’t my “End of the Road” after hearing Boyz II Men sing. “Blessed the Broken Road” that lead me straight to Rascal Flatts. I’m alive Rick Ross because everyday I’m “Hustlin” to make it happen one day at a time. I was directed to throw dem bows by Ludacris so you better “Roll Out”. So everybody “Get Your Roll On” because we got Big Tymers in the house. Andele andale moma “E.I. E.I.” uh oh Nelly what’s poppin tonight? Don Omar got me salsa dancing to that “Danza Kuduro”💃 oi, oi, oi. This all might seem foreign but its my “Ebonics” throw one up for Big L. If you don’t act right there will be “Big Things Poppin” ain’t that right T.I.

My musical idol Joe Budden rapped about being suicidal like me because we’re “Only Human”. When I stopped drinking and drugging I thought that was my “Downfall”. The struggle is real Michael Jackson told me just “Beat It”. I once was the life of the party with “All Eyez on Me”, a social butterfly like 2pac. Slaughterhouse handed me a “Microphone” to spread inspiration and hope. I don’t need the “Money, Power, Respect the Lox once said I needed. I changed my life around because I didn’t want to live “Under the Bridge” in a “Cardboard Box” kudos to Red Hot Chili Peppers and ANoyd for showing me a way out. The Fugees asked me am I “Ready or Not”? There’s also love around me Phil Collins I can feel it “In the Air Tonight”. I love my daughter so much Will Smith showed me it’s “Just the Two of Us”. Live today like its your last because Usher said just take it “Nice & Slow”. Drake and Weeknd Take Care and thanks for reading this was for my “Crew Love”.

Keep listening to Music on those Beats by Dre 🎧

Lost to Addiction

I had lost a whole decade to Addiction. Late nights into the early mornings, I was snorting Cocaine or Adderall alone or with others. Crushing pills or cutting cocaine was a pretty, mouth watering sight. I was looking down at a line of powder on the table. It was my second or third 8-ball of the night, at a time when I was snorting 20 or so lines in a day. With the dollar bill in my hand, I considered a couple of truths: I’d stolen the drugs from dealers; I’d eventually be caught; part of me wanted to be caught; part of me hoped I’d die before that happened.

“We really have a problem,” I said to myself. When things got really bad…when I couldn’t believe the things I was doing…I’d start referring to myself as a group.

I snorted each line. The burn felt like pain and ecstasy and shame. But no matter how high I’d get myself those days with the dripping sweat, heart jumping in my chest, and ringing in my ears, I couldn’t shake the feeling of loneliness. And later in the evenings after b work, I’d start drinking whiskey to slow down my body. Rinse, lather, repeat.

It wasn’t always that bad. Like many addicts, things were great for a while. I’d spent a good five years clubbing and doing drugs casually; I was a weekend warrior, I was in my mid twenties, and I was thrilled. I thought I’d connected with people and there was something more real about being high than there was about not being high. But my drinking/drug life was incompatible with my work life. I couldn’t go out partying on Sunday night, coasting home at 2:00AM on Monday morning, and hope to be productive at work, though I tried. I remember one of these Mondays, falling asleep while a coworker was talking to me.

I had lost a whole decade to Addiction. Every aching year it progressed more and more until my brain was on overdrive. Addiction was Charles. Charles was Addiction. I couldn’t fathom a life without a substance in my system. I combined alcohol, drugs, gambling and sex mixed them all in a pot and the outcome was harmful.

#Destruction #Addiction

Dear Self,

(An Open Letter)

Dear Self:

It’s me, You.

How have you been? You and I have been on quite a journey the past few years. We have hugged our knees praying, cried for hours till the tears dried, the throat hurt and the nose blocked, yet we continued crying. We have sat there on the shower floor, just in daze at that stormy situation that surrounded us. We have drank so much alcohol to numb that pain. That heart wrenching pain is real.

You and I, we also pushed ourselves to use different drugs and try different alcoholic beverages. I have seen you have everything you probably wanted. I have also seen you losing it all, suddenly and perhaps in a cruel way. Life is not a straight line, there are ups and downs. It is a series of twists and turns.

I am sorry for all those times where I wanted to tear you apart. I am sorry for all the times I let you hang your head down low, for all the times I let you win, and beat myself up because of those insecurities. I was not strong enough to encourage, support and appreciate you.

I know life has been tough for you the past few years but you have done quite a good job to stay alive. I have seen you plummet to the state of despair and depress. Thank you for not giving up. You know, I am extremely proud that you managed to survive through that suicide attempt. Depression and Mental illness is a struggle.

Have you noticed lately how much you have changed? I did. You have improved much more. You are now much confident to speak up on things on your mind and rise up to challenges. You are now able to sleep soundly without drugs or alcohol. You have a gorgeous daughter, who is thriving. She will benefit from all these lessons you are learning, so although it is a tremendous strain, remember she will learn from your strength to get through this.

As I am writing this letter, you have not fully figured out how your life will be yet. Let’s make a pact. Come back to re-read this letter 5 years later, and update me how you are doing. I truly hope that by that time, you have found your happiness and that you have followed a path that you are proud of. Remember, behind those dark clouds, the sun is still shining.

You have got through this far. Continue to be strong. Do not stop loving. Do not stop caring. You are always loved, by me. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am the tunnel.

Above all else, be true to Yourself.

Hugs & Kisses

Love you,

Me

Open Letter to Me

(An Open Letter)

Dear Self:

It’s me, you.

I have been writing to other people who are significant in my life, but I realized I have never ever written one to myself.

How have you been? You and I have been on quite a journey the past few years. We have hugged our knees praying, cried for hours till the tears dried, the throat hurt and the nose blocked, yet we continued crying. We have sat there on the shower floor, just in daze at that stormy situation that surrounded us. We have drank so much alcohol to numb that pain. That heart wrenching pain is real.

You and I, we also pushed ourselves to use different drugs and try different alcoholic beverages. I have seen you have everything you probably wanted. I have also seen you losing it all, suddenly and perhaps in a cruel way. Life is not a straight line, there are ups and downs. It is a series of twists and turns.

I am sorry for all those times where I wanted to tear you apart. I am sorry for all the times I let you hang your head down low, for all the times I let you win, and beat myself up because of those insecurities. I was not strong enough to encourage, support and appreciate you.

I know life has been tough for you the past few years but you have done quite a good job to stay alive. I have seen you plummet to the state of despair and depress. Thank you for not giving up. You know, I am extremely proud that you managed to survive through that suicide.

Have you noticed lately how much you have changed? I did. You have improved much more. You are now much confident to speak up on things on your mind and rise up to challenges. You are now able to sleep soundly without drugs or alcohol. You have a gorgeous baby, who is thriving. She will benefit from all these lessons you are learning, so although it is a tremendous strain, remember she will learn from your strength to get through this.

As I am writing this letter, you have not fully figured out how your life will be yet. Let’s make a pact. Come back to re-read this letter 5 years later, and update me how you are doing. I truly hope that by that time, you have found your happiness and that you have followed a path that you are proud of.

Remember, behind those dark clouds, the sun is still shining.

You have got through this far. Continue to be strong. Do not stop loving. Do not stop caring.

You are always loved, by me. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I am the tunnel.

Above all else, be true to yourself.

Hugs & Kisses

Love you,

Me

Love Metaphor

Rapper DMX once taught me, “If you love something, Let it Go. If it comes back to you it’s yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.”

My First Love: Mary Jane. Started out so young and innocent when that smoke hit my lungs. Inhaled. Exhaled. I was hooked. It was love at first sight. It was the beginning of a love triangle. You took my virginity. I wanted more of you. You’re all I think about…

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My Second Love: Alcohol. My threefold disease: spiritual, mental, and physical. I loveeee youuuu so much. I can’t live without you. I would die for you. I would lie, cheat and steal just to have you in my arms. You bring me to dark places. You make me warm and fuzzy too. I’m so comfortable with you. I’ll fight not to lose you. You broke my heart time and time again. We cry together and share our deep darkest secrets. Why are you so two-faced?…

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My Third Love: Snow White. You’re that gum numbing novocaine love. I’m up all night paranoid. You inhanced my drinking consumption. An expensive love I Blew right through you. Funny thing you’re keeping me alive but killing me at the same damn time. You cause me to be depressed. But nobody understands that I’m depressed. I’m sort of feeling represed. You hear and see me less. Like has anyone noticed the regress lately?

Yea I got a LOVE problem but better yet I got a DRUG problem. You call it complaining, I call it explaining.

#WhatIsLove #3sides2aStory #LoveMetaphor

Writing is My Outlet

Writing is an outlet, it keeps me healthy, it gives me power, but if I had to choose between illness and outlet…I wish I had nothing to write about! I’m just kidding, I know I’d still write about other things. My Bipolar Disorder doesn’t make me a better writer, I just write about it because it’s a part of my life that I need to process. Being a writer is part of my identity, having Bipolar is not.

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Here’s the thing, the reality is that my Bipolar is not going away. I’m completely aware that it’s a chronic illness that I’ll always have to live with and manage. It’s a perpetual up and down, side to side, too high or too low. It’s all about pushing past the rough times and dedicating my life to the pursuit of balance. I’ve had to learn how to take care of myself which means understanding my illness, finding the language to talk about it, and figuring out how to achieve my goals despite my shitty brain chemistry.

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That’s been a significant part of my journey and I’ll always have these challenges. I cope by doing everything in my power to de-glamorize my illness, to take it out of the spotlight, to value myself by focusing on my accomplishments not as someone with Bipolar but as the kick ass dude that I am. Mental Illness takes a back seat.

#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth

Stop The Stigma

SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 was my set date I planned to leave this earth. I was sick of crying, tired of trying, yes I was smiling but inside I was dying.

Sometimes, the most difficult and painful subjects need to be addressed head on. Failure to do so can result in loss of life occurring in such a way that the lives of others are altered forever. Yet, we still hesitate to bring up the subject, perhaps out of some understandable but misguided fear that the words alone might result in our greatest nightmare becoming a reality. Nonetheless, difficult as it is and truly frightening as it may be, there comes a time when a light needs to shine in those darkest corners where the fear often resides.

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Framing suicide as a method to get attention paints those who are sick as manipulative, when in fact, they are simply really ill. In addition, even if a suicide attempt is a cry for help, it means they need help–so let’s help! My depression and bi-polar overtook my mind to think lower of myself.

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The despairing emotions that lays the groundwork for suicidal thoughts: Hopelessness, Helplessness, and Worthlessness. Hopelessness says, “Things will never get better. This will go on forever. Don’t even bother trying.” Helplessness is paralyzing: you see no control over your own life—things just keep happening to you that make you feel worse and worse. Worthlessness says, “And you’re a total failure of a human being. anyway. Your life is a waste.”

This unhappy trio shouts so loudly that any whispers of hope, efficacy, or worth get drowned out. Many individuals who commit suicide truly believe they are doing everyone around them a favor.

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When I became clean and sober I wasn’t numbing these thoughts away. I wasn’t the “life” of the party anymore. I felt friends and family turned their backs on me.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2017 I found out I was going to be a father. It’s funny how a week before I would’ve been a mourned Husband, Father, Son, Brother and Friend. I receive the help I need to continue to move forward. God wasn’t ready for me standing at the gates of heaven. Depression and Suicide can affect anyone. You Are Not Alone.

Thank You for those that Read this Post. It’s not about Me. It’s about being Aware. #Stigma

#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth