Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Bravery

The Bravery - Time Wont Let Me Go
Found at

"Whenever I look back
On the best days of my life
I think I saw them all on T.V.

I am so homesick now for
Someone that I never knew
I am so homesick for
Someplace I will never be "

-The Bravery, "Time Won't Let Me Go"

I was reading Sean Anderson's always stellar blog the other day.

A topic he touched on struck me: "I am not a victim, I refuse to be one..."

I'm glad he mentioned that and discussed that concept, because it is always a valuable thing for me to revisit.

I've only, in the last year and a half of my life, even considered that concept; really, truly considered it. The concept of playing the victim.

I know that blaming someone else for our problems and thus wallowing in self-pity stops us from living a healthy, happy life. That's just a fact. No arguments, none. Period.

What I never used to see was how easy it is to do just that.

I never knew how closely my romanticising of various things in life were just self-pity, victimization, and martyrdom masquerading as poignancy, art, and feeling.

I listened to the song at the start of this post a lot in the winter of 2008 I think, while I was struggling with my weight and other issues of the time.

The song is nothing particularly special, musically or lyrically, but it spoke to me then. The lyrics combined with the music made me feel. The song, like so many others have, evoked a lot of emotions for me: loss, hurt, anger, regret, etc.

Above all else the message I chose to take from that song, without even realizing it, was:

"You're a victim. You've fouled up. Others have fouled you up. Mourn the past and the present. Mourn your future.

Mourn your future, because it is nothing but a consolation, a silver medal (at best).You'll never have what you truly want. You'll never be who you could have become."


I've always liked to think of myself as a romantic in a broad, pretentious, Renaissance-style sense. Someone who relished the gritty truth about life and all the complex feelings it brings. Someone who saw life for the intricate shades-of-grey reality it was, someone who read books, listened to music, and watched films that spoke deep truths and moved me powerful ways.

I know now that I've been nothing but a coward. A coward who tried to substitute a real life (one that actually comes with the various ups and downs, but one where I have have power, responsibility and accountability) for a bullshit life where I pretended I had no power and so could thus play the martyr for any consequences of my reactionary lifestyle (all the while romanticizing this "beautiful, but oh so painful" thing that was "life" - which was not really much more than thoughts, dreams, lyrics, quotes, books, films, and disowned actions.)

I don't want to romanticize life. I want to live it honestly, completely. I know I own my actions and choices. I don't need to hear poignant lyrics or see a moving film to taste reality, I want to envelop myself with reality everyday, standing up for my responsibility in every moment. That is life.

People screwed me up.

Yep. So what?

I've screwed up a lot.

Yep. So what?

Until I stop letting either of those two facts have any hold on how I make decisions, I'll never be able to succeed in righting those wrongs and I'll never become the person I am here to be, for myself and for others.

When I'm honestly and completely free from any victim mentality, it's all possible. And I can do it. I don't have to be a coward, I can be strong.

And I will.

There's nothing romantic about it, but it's real.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weigh-In: Moving Forward

I had a pretty significant relapse around food for a few weeks in October. I even relapsed with drinking at a point.

It sucked.

It alllllll sucked so much.

I take full responsibility for eating all the crap I ate. I take full responsibility for ending up drinking.

I gained back almost 40 lbs.

I have said it before, but let me say it again: I did not get to 667 lbs earlier this year by always being selfless, self-assured, open, honest, even-keeled, moderate, etc.

I got there by being, in general, a guy with a lot of unresolved issues.

Well, I have been working on dealing with issues for the past 6 months.

I have been working on creating change from the inside out.

And, I've fallen down a few times along the way.

I've made mistakes.

I've had failures.

I've made some very poor choices.

BUT, I am trying.

AND, I am succeeding.

I will right the wrongs long term.

I will continue to lose all this weight. Not because I'm dieting, but because I'm working on living in the moment, choosing as best I can with what I can control, letting go of what I can't; I'm loving myself and being good to my body, mind, and soul.

I will slowly continue to build up trust with myself. I will slowly continue to build trust with others. I will repair relationships and make reparations as best I can.

I will ultimately succeed because of this bottom line: I am working hard, through simple, fundamental actions, to become a better person in every single way.

After two weeks back in the saddle, I weighed this morning: 534.

I lost 28 pounds.

So, despite my missteps and failures, I continue to move forward.

I know what I have to do.

My path will not always be easy, but it could not be any more clear.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Coming Alive

I'm getting back on track, day by day.

It's slow going here at first, but well worth it.

I just wanted to write this as an update to let folks know that my recent post wasn't my last gasp before my head fell back under water for another undetermined length of time.

I'm working at changing my life for the better again.

I did not know how apt my blog title would be when I started, but it has been. And that's fine.

Life is a journey - ups and downs.

I'll ultimately succeed. I know that.

I'll write more soon.

I hope everyone has a great day full of positive choices.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

That's Life

I suggest starting by pressing play on the music player immediately below.

Frank Sinatra - That's Life
Found at

That's life,

that's what all the people say,

you're riding high in April,

shot down in May.

But I know I'm gonna change that tune,

when I'm back on top,

back on top in June.

I said that's life,

and as funny as it may seem,

some people get their kicks,

stompin' on a dream.

But I don't let it, let it get me down,

'Cause this fine ol' world, it keeps spinning around.

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king.

I've been up and down and over and out, and I know one thing:

Each time I find myself,

flat on my face,

I pick myself up,

and get back in the race...