Screw Tony Robbins, I’ll take Tyler Durden…

2 06 2013

When you go through something like divorce, you do what you can to make sense of everything that is going on.  I wanted to put things together, to figure out exactly what to do with my life.  I started browsing the self help sections in Barnes and Noble, reading a lot of self help books, even thought about going to some seminars for “becoming a better you”.  I wanted guidance, I wanted reassurance, I wanted something meaningful.

I found what I was looking for in my stack of old DVDs.



I found reassurance in Fight Club.  No Seminar, no self-help connect the dots pamphlet, no Best Western conference room with stale donuts and coffee.

Fight Club reminded me of a few things I had forgotten.  First and Foremost…


We get so wrapped up in our lives that the thought of death takes a back seat to  things like “I have to mow the lawn”, “I have to take little Suzy to ballet practice” or “I really should buy a lottery ticket”.  Every day, we have meetings, calendar appointments, faxes, email, workshops, soccer practice, fencing lessons – but is that really living?  Yes, I know I may be a tad over dramatic.  Just remind yourself sometimes, “I know Someday I will die” – it will change your perspective and give you a chance to re-evaluate your priorities. Remember:


The next tidbit I took from Fight Club directly relates to my breakdown, my divorce, everything that was “devastating” in my life.  When you go through something like that, the one thing that you need to stay focused on is “getting through it”.  My mom has a saying that goes “There has to be a pony in that pile of horse shit” and it is pretty damn true.    The sentiment came through, loud and clear in the following quote:


I lost everything.  My wife, the child that I raised like she was mine, my friends, money, sanity – All Gone in an instant.  As terrifying as it was, as scared as I was, I was something that I had never been before – I was free.  I was the most free in my entire life.  It was such an intoxicating feeling, that I knew (after a few months) that I was going to be better than I was the previous 14 years.

quote-tyler-durdenI have been given (even thought I didn’t realize it at the time) a very special gift.  I got to be who “I” wanted to be.  No longer was I “Erika’s Husband” – I was me!  I could look like I wanted to look, fuck like I wanted to fuck and I could be EVERYTHING that I was told I couldn’t be!   It was like I was a blank canvas and I could paint my own picture.  I was 21 when I had gotten married, so I didn’t know who I was.  I took on the identify of what people wanted me to be, not who I wanted to be!  I AM FREE!

So In Closing – Fuck Tony Robbins, everything you will need to know to have a great life is in Fight Club!!!

The importance of friends (especially after divorce)

27 03 2013

When it comes to divorce, you are going to loose people in your life. In some cases, your married friends may start distancing themselves. Which is understandable, since your divorce will potentially expose weaknesses in their relationships. Some may simply choose your ex over you and some may just be assholes.
What matters is the friends that stick with you after the dust settles. I’m lucky, I have found some people who are willing to give me their shoulder when I need it, their ear when they I need someone to listen and strength when I’m weak.
This isn’t some drunken mushy post (though the whiskey has been flowing) but it really comes from the heart.
When you get divorced, your life gets turned upside down. You don’t know which direction is up. But, its those people that are there for you that make it easier. When the chips are down, and you feel like everything sucks – you can always get a laugh, a hug or some straight forward advice you can count on your friends to lift you up.

So if you’re going though a divorce, and times are getting unbearable, turn to your friends. You will have ones that shrug you off (they are the ones you should ditch) and then the ones who will joke, cry and care for you.
The secret, is that all the friends that aren’t there take up space on your “friend plate”. The ones that don’t care just take up valuable space on that friend plate. Its like going to a buffet and loading up your plate with the chocolate pudding that tastes great in the beginning but gives you the runs 2 hours after. Better to load up your plate with some solid food and be fulfilled..

First Post… Laying it on the table

11 02 2013

If someone had told a 20 year old me that the “girl of my dreams” would rip my heart out, hand it to me, and expect me to eat it with a smile on my face – I would have thought they were crazy.  Yet, after 14 plus years of marriage, that is exactly what happened.  I came home to find her cleaning out her stuff from the house she wanted in the tiny town she wanted to live in.  I guess you could say that right from the start the balance of power in our “marriage” was in her favor.  Lemme rephrase that, I was completely whipped – simply because I thought I couldn’t do BETTER…

That mistake cost me 15 years of my life that I won’t get back.  I’m looking ahead.  I know I can do better – which is exactly why I started this project.  For the last 15 years, I was scared.  I was scared to “upset the apple cart”.  I was scared to stick up for myself.  I was scared to be alone.  I was scared she would leave.  I was scared I wouldn’t have any friends.  Scared, scared, scared!!!!

You have to hit bottom to realize that fear, isn’t that big deal.

So there I was, she had left.  I had drank 1/4 bottle of whiskey and I was thinking “exactly how many of my anti-depressants could I take to end my life”.  I had spoken to people on the phone and someone called the police.  I voluntarily committed myself to the hospital because I really wanted to die and I knew I would do it by morning.  I remember as the police officer drove me to the hospital,and how he was telling me how he was going through his second divorce.  Divorce?!?  No one said anything about divorce?!?  Erika and I are just having a “misunderstanding” and I am just going to sit down when we are calm and smooth things out.  Divorce isn’t going to happen…..

They checked me and automatically, I realized that my life was about to change.  Being put in a room where things are bolted down for “safety” really changes your perspective on life.  The on-call counselor was a “straight shooter” in my recollection.  She basically told me that she thought I was a danger to myself and that it would be better if I got some rest and be evaluated over the weekend.

I wrote 3 letters to Erika that night, pleading with her to come back.  I still have one of them, and I shake my head whenever I read it because it was written completely out of fear.

That night was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Now dear reader, you may think “how could being institutionalized be the best thing that ever happened to him”  Well, I’ll tell you.  While I was there, a few things changed.

  • Perspective:  My life was not as bad as it could be.  I met people with traumatic brain injuries, schizophrenics, severe violent out bursts..
  • Fear:  I was alone.  I was in a mental institution.  I hit bottom.
  • Christian Rock Karaoke:   Yes, as if it is the punchline to a really bad joke – Mental Patients singing Christian Rock Karaoke made me want to live my life to the fullest!

I met with the social worker and the psychiatrist on-call.  Oddly enough, the preceding day I spent making arrangements with  various psychiatrists to work on my abandonment and rage issues.  I was diagnosed as having Borderline Personality Disorder and after learning about it, I believe it is a pretty accurate diagnosis.

I called Erika several times but she  didn’t answer the phone.  It turns out she was busy cleaning out bank accounts, clearing out the rest of her stuff from the house and changing her mailing address.  Divorce was imminent, even if at that time, I didn’t want to accept it.