Less than 2 weeks out from my biggest surgery yet (of 11 MAJOR surgeries!), I choose to no longer look at myself… think of myself… as the guy on the left below, near-death from infection and left to treat it on my own, and freezing in a rented room. Instead, from here on in, I commit to re-introducing me to the guy on the right, and becoming even a better and stronger version of THAT person.
HOMELESS. ALONE/ABANDONED. DEPRESSED. ADDICTED. DEATHLY ILL. IN EXTRAORDINARY PAIN.
that absolutely could have described my reality, just 2 short years ago.
And this could have too…
HOPEFUL. ALIVE. MY BEAUTIFUL PUPS!
If I had given in to the former, I’d likely not be writing this today. I did write a couple of years ago… “please let there be no greater depth to this seemingly endless pit of rock bottoms.” Maybe the simple act of writing that indicated I was just not ready to give up. I did have my pups to take care of after all. And SO MUCH more to do…
With no one to BLAME other than MYSELF –for the choices I’ve made—I’ve oftentimes found myself living close to the edge. This has resulted in a myriad of “challenges,” including Stage 4 cancer –which I’m now convinced I gave to myself– being shot, stabbed, bitten (numerous times!), hundreds of fights, the circumstances I first described at the top of this entry, and so much more.
The flip side has been travelling the world, forming real friendships with some of the most amazing and beautiful people alive, owning all kinds of cool things, like a night club, a modeling agency, a security guard company, world-famous pro wrestling and MMA companies, being an evil Hollywood agent, putting on big name concerts, being a high-ranking Disney guy, and so many adventures, riches and blessings.It’s been a life of polar opposites, that’s for sure.
Like this… every month, I’ll get at least one awful piece of hate mail (or e-mail, FB message, whichever) accusing me of ripping people off for the Kickstarter campaign I launched to fund my autobiography. Just as regularly, I’ll get a message from someone –oftentimes someone I don’t even remember!—describing in detail an encounter when I apparently made a big, positive difference in his or her life (and despite whatever “lows” I may be experiencing, I strive to do this daily, with people and dogs). No one knows about these small triumphs, because I’ve felt I’d be disingenuous if I were to publicize my good deeds. (exactly like a special someone we all know, who says he doesn’t want anyone to know about HIS good deeds, despite media hyping each to the nth. But that’s a story for a different day)
Ok, I digress. The point is, we always have a choice, about how we look at, and treat life…
I’ve followed people on Facebook who are dealing with life-threatening illness and truly debilitating physical challenges. Some –who I will not name—complain. About EVERYTHING. About being let down by others. About being on their own. About physical suffering. About EVERYTHING. Others, like Anne Lower, Tyson Reasby and Pamela Metzger Dietrich —appreciate all they DO have, and… they run with it! I hope my mentioning you doesn’t embarrass you; please know I’m naming YOU only because you inspire me.
I am 11 days out from a very major surgery… and…
–It could go sideways, and put me back in as bad, or even worse shape, than I was before. Or, as my surgeon says, it could put me back at 100% for the first time in years. I choose to focus on the latter…
To run on the beach in the wave break with my beautiful pups again. Now, THAT is something to think about ~sigh~ So, I am mentally, physically and emotionally psyched up for this.
–I could worry that the stability of our situation at the house that me, Ramone, GoGo and Eos live in, is tenuous at best. That we could find ourselves “outside” again. Or I could say that we have a HOME. A beautiful home! A peaceful sanctuary, really.
–I could say that I am alone, “on my own.” But how could I ever even think for a moment I’m alone, when I have my 3 babies at my side?!? That as I convalesce “on my own,” THEY will give me the reason to get up and into action every single day.
So –and although I know the moments will come when things weigh heavily—I choose to go forth with enthusiasm, excitement and expectancy.