Like Its Your Last

Mortality. We think we have an understanding of it. But, do we?
I had a terrible relationship with my father, from the time I was a boy. He was abusive to both me and my Ma. He was an absolute monster.
At 18 y/o I wrote my father a letter, telling him to never speak to me again. Time passed. I grew older. And the resentment I felt towards him, corroded me. Like mercury, flooding my veins. All of the pain, disappointment, and sadness ruled me. In 2011, I received a call from my dad’s niece. She told me that he was very sick with bone cancer. Beyond treatment. And, he was being released from the hospital, to hospice. Something in me shifted. That little boy in me, who always wanted to hold his father’s hand, resurfaced. Past the pain. Past the hatred. To the truth. And, the truth was, that I loved my father with all of my heart. And, my father was going to die. I desperately wanted to see him before he passed. To look into his eyes and forgive. Hug him, and let all of the years I’d wasted, sitting in hatred, melt away. I immediately booked a flight from San Diego to White Plains. But time waits for no one. And, my father left this world before I could get to him. The pain I felt…the pain I still feel, is immeasurable. No forgiveness. No closure. And it haunts me to this day. Yeah. I know what you’re gonna comment and say..”He’s watching over you now from Heaven.” And that’s great.  But, it doesn’t console me. That’s my truth. I live with it.
Most of you know, my ex lover, Tony Serafini, took his life. After almost 3 years together, we broke up. Due to my addiction. I had relapsed, after he and I were having problems in the relationship. And after we broke up, he emailed me. He begged me to get sober, so we could be together again. And, in my sick addict mind, I believed I would get sober again. “Just a few more weeks of partying.” I told myself. Then, I would get sober. Tony and I would resume our relationship, and everything would be better. But, I couldn’t bring myself to answer his email. Not while
I was still high. I told myself that I’d respond to Tony’s email once I was clean again. Just a few months later. I awoke from a blackout. I had been on a crack cocaine binge for about 5 days. My friend Chris was blowing up my phone. I answered. He told me solemnly, that Tony was dead. By his own hand. My baby was gone. Gone from this world, forever. And, there was no closure. No last spoken word. And living in the knowledge that I will wait ’til the day I die, to see my love again..it breaks my heart.
The message I’m sharing is not only for extreme cases, like the ones I just wrote about.
How many times in a day does that little voice within, tell you to text an old friend you haven’t seen or spoken to in awhile and say, “I’m thinking of you.” But, you disregard the notion because you’re “too busy”? Or, you see an associate at work..just in passing.. and it occurs to you to smile at them. But you quickly disregard that notion, because you aren’t in the mood to smile? Or, you have a petty argument with a friend or lover, and ice them out for a few days, weeks, because you “need space”? And yeah…sometimes, we do need space, when we are angry, or feeling frustrated.
Just remember:
That moment…when you’re finally ready to reach out..it may be gone. Life is fragile. Someone, who is perfectly healthy, living their life, can be taken. Here today. Gone tomorrow.
So, my advice:
“Never let the sun go down on your anger.” If you’re “beefing” with someone you love, because they did you so wrong. Take a look at your part. In my experience…unless someone has held a weapon to me, I’ve had a part in the problem, as well. So, make the amends. Get over it. And love each other. Reach out, when you get the vague inclination to hug a friend.
Smile at your work associates, Or,even at that stranger in the gym. If you’re in a crap mood. Get over it. The power of a smile is stronger than you know.
If there is a person in your life, whom you haven’t spoken to in forever. And you’re waiting on them to reach out. Pick up the phone, and initiate.
It’s such an easy concept to discuss. But more difficult to put into action. The ego is a formidable opponent. It tells us to seek revenge. To ignore kind gestures. My ego even tells me that I’m less of a man for doing these very things.  But honestly, I’d rather feel like a moron, for attempting to do these things,,,than live in the pain I have felt, for not doing them.
Treat every moment you share with a person, like it’s your last.IMG_8913

The Beast

The Beast

We all know it. We all live for it. And we are all completely enslaved by it. Social media. Before I proceed, let me preface by saying that when I write “we”, I am including “me”.
This thing we all live for. Pass our time with. Whatever you want to call your involvement with social media. It’s a swirling, pixelated, perfectly edited reality show we have all created for ourselves.
I can barely remember what my life was like when I just lived for myself. And not for what the world thought of me.
Today, I can take a picture, edit the picture , write any narrative I choose, and project an image of myself that I want the world to perceive as my truth. And maybe…just maybe..if the bullshit I’m projecting is believable enough, I can start to believe it, as well.
OK. So, you’re getting a little uncomfortable right now. That’s ok. Take a breath. Relax. Cuz there’s more!
How many times during the day do I grab my phone to check my different social media pages? If I actually counted and told you the number..I’d probably cry.
For me…an addict. Social media is the perfect playground. I can be validated for any random emotion I’m experiencing..24 hours a day! “I’m feeling sad!” Retweet me, so the world knows just how sad I am.” CONSOLE ME!!
 If I’m feeling sexy, tell me how sexy I am! “Like” and “favorite” my sexiness!!
And the information I disclose…the most random, silly shit! Then I am sooooo shocked when a stranger comes up to me at the gym, asking me if that hemorrhoid I had last week is better.
And let’s not even touch on how social media has completely destroyed social graces. Ok, ok…let’s talk about it!
Can we get through a nice meal at a restaurant without “checking in”, updating our status. or photographing our actual meal??
I CAN’T!!
My boyfriend told me, “You spend so much time invested in that fantasy world. And, I found myself feeling really defensive. I am far enough along in my sober journey to realize that anything which makes me feel defensive is usually true.
And let’s not forget about the ongoing “nighttime soap operas”  we create, in the form of social media wars. WTF is that?? Today’s answer to addressing a “beef” with someone is to completely humiliate them, saying the most malevolent, vicious remarks on social media that we can think of. Involving innocent people with our “beefs”. Rallying troops. All over something that could be settled with a simple one on one conversation with a person.
I’ve been guilty of this. Admittedly. And it never fails. EVERY SINGLE TIME I engage in a social media war, I feel darkness. Like, I’ve utterly failed in my ability to grow as a human being. Aside from the fact that I feel like I lose IQ points when I participate in this childish behavior.
I don’t get it. I’m from the back east. And, I was also raised by 2nd generation Italians.
I was always raised to believe that if I am hurt or frustrated by a person’s behavior, confronting them face to face is the most healthy way to resolve it. Or, you can agree to not agree. And respectfully go your separate ways. But, at least you’ve handled it.
But again, I know people who feel empowered by social media wars. I think they are pussies. People who are too afraid to confront a person, and would rather strike out, whilst hiding behind their computer screens. Grow a pair!
So, what’s the solution to the fascination and addiction we all have with social media?
I honestly can’t give you a solution. We are all drawn to it for different reason. To promote our businesses. To validate ourselves. To be seen. To criticize and rip other people to shreds. To simply pass time. To live vicariously through others.
Social media isn’t something I plan on abstaining from. It is  something that I’m learning to put into perspective.
When I’m hanging with family and friends, keeping my phone in my pocket and being present for them…that is a start.
Continuing to share my experience, strength, and hope with addicts and alcoholics  who have less clean time than I have, helps.
Am I going to stop posting gratuitous selfies. Probably not!
I’m not that spiritually fit yet, either!
Let’s face it. Social media is here to stay. It can be a brilliant tool to promote yourself and inspire others. Or, it can be grossly thrown out of balance and consume a person’s life.
I hope I didn’t ruffle anyones feathers, considering I am posting this piece to my social media. HAHAHHAHA..
And If I did, that certainly wasn’t my intention. This is my experience. And whats mine isn’t necessarily yours.
Life is short people. And this isn’t a rehearsal. Live every moment like its your last.
xoxo
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