Addiction

“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery–isolation.

Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”― Charles Bukowski

Too many moons have passed.

To the folks who’ve been here, reading since the beginning and supporting me… my sincere apologies (sigh). Every now and again life gets out of hand, and unpredictable, and reining it all in can be a struggle. One day can blur to the next, to the next, to the next.

Sometimes our focus shifts, attention is drawn elsewhere, and we can get lost along the way.

My problem is, I allow myself to get lost. I intentionally put myself in those mindsets and predicaments. Some may say, “everyone needs an escape. A recharge. We all need distractions,” and while I agree, I’ve now become accustomed to different distractions. Those distractions once provided for my enjoyment and pleasure, don’t cut the mustard anymore.

I have my own methods of escaping. My interests have changed… radically.

When I revert back to my old distractions, and the vices I once enjoyed, my current addiction can’t be satisfied and I feel unfulfilled.

When I ignore that thing which I enjoy to the core of my being, I feel empty inside. An addict, looking frantically and desperately for his fix. My stomach becomes a hollow pit. When I battle my addiction, and try to sever myself from its influence, I can physically ‘feel’ the after effects.

It’s a thirst that must be quenched, and I indulge.

Chatting with a friend recently I said, “I sleep, eat, breathe, work, socialize, and partially exist in other universe. I live there. A universe I can’t escape.”

(And no… that’s not meant to be interpreted as, “oh wow, he thinks he lives in…”)

To bottom line it, I have an overactive imagination.

A few years ago, sitting in silence after work one afternoon, in my office chair, slowly spinning, thinking, questioning and wandering around my brain, I came to the conclusion through a personal epiphany of self-awareness, that I was lacking in an abundance of skills. Skills I wished to obtain, and I had no choice but to seek that knowledge on my own time. I own that fact about myself.

I’m high-school educated, have had brief stints in higher education over a period of years (not going back), worked multiple jobs since graduation, and I currently grind through my 40 hour work week; and to my credit I’ve been called a ‘people person.’ I have decent people skills, and that’s probably why I did well in retail and middle management. I have life experiences. And the buck stops there.

OK… that’s cool and all. But what else do you have? Look around…

I have “things”. Material possessions, objects, books, mediocre technology.

I have a good job, a good roof over my head. I have a family, a wonderful wife, decent caring friends, a loyal dog…

Fantastic… but what else?

I don’t understand the question.

What else do you have that determines who you are? What are you good at?

My job. Being a good dad, husband, friend…

Stop running around the circle. Does your job determine who you are?

I don’t think so… I can’t think of anything I’m ‘good’ at. Mowing the lawn? Shoveling snow? Driving a car? I have what I need and want in my life. What else is there?

That’s your problem.

Then I stepped out of my box, closed it up tight, and attempted to break it down for myself a little further.

Go below the surface and name one thing you can say definitively, is all yours.

My feelings, my thoughts, my responses and actions…

A little deeper…

My consciousness, my dreams…

You’re getting warmer.

My imagination.

I have an overactive imagination and its easy for me to get lost.

And boy oh boy, do I get lost.

Something once compelled me to get my imagination down on paper. I had to start, create a foundation on which to build, and that foundation has crumbled more times than I care to admit. But I couldn’t stop. I had to somehow, someway, exercise that singular thing I felt I had to my advantage. I had to do something within the realm of my imagination… somehow.

The process has been a blessing, and a curse. More work than some can imagine. Meals skipped, sleep lost, missing time, bloodshot eyes, snoring at the desk, endless reading, researching, and attempting to apply the knowledge garnished along the way. Scrolling through countless threads, browsing hundreds of articles, weighing options, and generating lists of pros and cons. Comparing, contrasting. Guzzling gallons of coffee, muttering, and pacing the room. The weekend gone in the blink of an eye. Added unforeseen challenges to claw and scrape through, worry, anticipation, doubt, anger, frustration, and all the other feelings that accompany following a passion.

Wow… that sounds like hell.

It’s the greatest experience I’ve ever had. Watching my imagination take shape and form, through my own efforts, hard work, and assistance from others, and seeing a vision once trapped in my head becoming animated with words… despite the daily struggle and the labor entailed, has been the most amazing adventure of my life, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

That’s where I disappeared to for a time. My editor sent a batch of edits and then life got to a point where I had to step back… and escape from my escape for a bit. I was a little overwhelmed. I had to find my focus and footing again, return to the manuscript with fresh eyes, and the only way to do that was to retreat into my old distractions. It had to be done. I had to reassess.

If I’m going to do this, I have to go all the way. I can’t look back, or second guess, and allow those splinters of fear and intimidation steer me away from what I want to accomplish in my world. I have to tackle it head on. I’ve found something I’m passionate about and despite the idea I may only be a drop of water, in a vast ocean of billions of ideas, I still wish to pursue that dream regardless. Without those individual drops of water, there wouldn’t be an ocean to swim in.

(Shameless plug) I’ve reached a point in the process now where I have to consider and develop marketing, self-promotion, and navigating areas I’m unfamiliar with and perhaps even a little uncomfortable with. However, if I’m going to do this, I have to go all the way. The finish line is in sight now.

I still have some work ahead of me, but I can say with a hint of pride and a beaming smile, I have something I’m proud of which is near completion, and I can’t wait to share it with everyone. I couldn’t have done it without those good people who have supported me since the beginning and have been there for me during the process, whether personal or professional.

I’m convinced now. As long as ‘one’ person believes you can do it, and is willing to stand at your side, then you can indeed do it. It only takes one. Fear is the only enemy. I know that sounds a bit cliche, but I don’t care.

So, I want to say to all the readers and anyone else who may stumble upon this along their journey, I believe in you. If you decide it can’t be done, or its too much work, or its work not worth doing, and adopt a self defeating mindset… I’ll never try and change that mindset, that’s not my place… but “I” believe you can do it, with all the sincerity of my heart… even if you can’t believe it. I really do. When I struggled to believe in myself, a heart full of doubt, one person stepped up beside me and said, “bullshit. Of course you can do it.”

All we have to do is start, commit, then decide to go all the way. Never be afraid of tripping up, stumbling out of control, and falling. Be afraid of what might happen if you stay down.

It feels good to be back, and I’ll keep you posted.

Thank you for reading Tales of the Chronicles and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang. I’m fairly new to the platform but you can find me here on Instagram jeremy_morang. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

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