Archive for March 2012


When somebody–particularly someone that you’ve been dating for a while–tells you after a long absence from each other that they have news for you…don’t panic.  That’s rule number one.  Pay no  mind to the fact that they just happened to leave out the word good in front of the word news.  Relax…it still might not be bad news…well not that bad anyways.  Maybe it’s just general news like the upcoming weather forecast for instance….nothing to lose sleep over…wishful thinking.

Rule two…if this person decides to ask you, after informing you of this impending news, if you prefer the good or bad news first–always…and I mean always…choose the bad news first.  There’s nothing worse than getting all jacked up on euphoria from spectacular news, then all of a sudden being shot back down to earth feeling like oh woe is fucking me.  The anxiety then depression from that alone could cause serious damage to your psyche.  I’d much rather take the not so pleasant news first, get it out of the way, and perhaps end the conversation on a high note.  Anyway…that’s just me…

Rule number three…quite possibly the most important rule of all…once you get the news–both good and bad–stay calm and think before you act.  I can’t stress this point enough.  Do not…I repeat do. not. fucking. panic…take a few minutes to digest the information at hand.  Try and analyze the situation and think it all over before you flip the fuck out and end up saying or doing something you will regret later on.  This type of behavior is not a good look.  It leads to rash impulsive decisions.  From what I’ve learned over the years, irrational behavior leads nowhere good…and fast.  So please try and stay calm for Pete’s sake…or fuck it…flip the fuck out and throw shit…that’s what I did.  I had to learn all of this the hard way………

I decided to let my girl drive us home.  Well…she might have insisted that she was driving actually…I don’t really remember.  Either way it was fine by me.  I would have walked if that was my only option.  I just wanted to get as far away from that place as possible…and fast.

The moment I got in the passenger side of my car, I immediately smiled again.  I noticed a box with a clear top revealing my favorite carrot cake from Whole Foods resting comfortably on my seat.  I forget what the frosting inscription said word for word…but I remember it was really nice.

*BTW…if you’ve never had the absolute pleasure of tasting this particular carrot cake that I speak of…you are seriously missing out.  What the hell are you waiting for?  Click the little X on your screen.  Put down your handheld devices…and drop whatever nonsense it is that you might be doing and hightail it over to Whole Foods…like right now.  Not later.  Not tomorrow.  Right fucking now.  Yes, actually it is that good.  Don’t worry…the blog will be here when you get back.  In fact, you might enjoy it even more now that your taste buds have been fully satisfied.  That cake is nothing short of spectacular…I promise you…why wouldn’t you trust the guy in prison?? GO!

Back to the story…….

I remember thinking….wow, this day can’t get any better…I’m finally free…it’s a beautiful night…I have my best girl with me…carting my ass around for a change…and I have my favorite carrot cake, which I may or may not share with her.  Life is pretty fucking good.  I should have done this whole rehab thing a long time ago.  Shit, maybe I should play the lotto tonight…never know, if things are going this good I just might win.

Boy was I fucking right.  The remainder of the day couldn’t and wouldn’t get any better.  Just the opposite actually.  It was about to take a turn for the worst…

She drove while I showered her with the expected thank you’s, the you’re so thoughtfuls, and the ever popular goo goo ga ga I love you’s.  I make myself sick sometimes…they don’t call me loverboy for nothing.  Hey, I really loved that carrot cake…don’t hate.  I would have serenaded her with a song if it got me that cake.

The conversation soon shifted to my experiences in rehab.  I told her about the different (and I use the term loosely) people I met and how I thought I discovered a new species that slept two beds over from me.  I told her about all the crazy shit I saw and how the whole set up reminded me of a prison.  Then I made it really dramatic and told her about what my mind and body went through while I came off drugs.

I laid it on really thick.  I spared no details.  I told her all of the good stuff.  To be honest I was probably playing the sympathy card a little bit…like awwwww…poor Matthew…you get the idea.  Anything to perhaps make her forget, or at the very least forgive me for all of the bullshit of the past.  Works every time…lol.

I also informed her about the theft of my pants.  I went on for about twenty minutes about guy code and how you just don’t steal another man’s pants.  It’s fucking unethical and immoral.  She laughed at me hysterically.  Like it was some sort of twisted joke.  Like my pants didn’t matter….whatever.  I guess I got no sympathy there huh?

The two of us ended up stopping for food somewhere on Route One.  It may have been Carrabba’s or the Kowloon.  I honestly forget.  It was take-out of course.  I was in no mood to run into someone I knew…which around my way is very likely.  Picture that convo…
Random:  Hey Matty, long time no see…how are you?
Me:  Hey what’s up…I just got out of rehab an hour ago.  Those fucks stole my pants!
Random: (awkward blank stare) Oh…um…that’s too bad…um…well my table is ready…good (awkward pause) to see you..
Me:  Yeah, you too…pfff

I definitely wasn’t ready for any public places or interactions, so me going in to grab the food…not so much.  She ended up running in the restaurant.  I figured then was as good a time as any to start hitting a few people up and telling them I was out…so I looked around my car for my phone…which I found chillin’ in the glove box.

The phone was off.  So I powered it on.  It was kind of weird to hold a phone.  I hadn’t been gone that long, but it still felt strange.  I was actually a little nervous to start hitting people up.  Like what would I say?  Remember, I said in rehab I was in this little bubble.  Now it was like I’m back out there…it was real life again…and it was about to get real, really quick…

I had a little inconvenience when my phone powered on.  My blackberry was password protected…just not with the password that I created.  I remember thinking…fuck.  This can’t be good.  She must have found something and didn’t want to give me a chance to see it and come up with an elaborate defense as I normally would have done.  I had a million thoughts running through my mind…all bad.  I cursed myself for leaving my phone with her…mistake number one….

This is when drugs would have come in handy.  I could have sniffed a pill or twelve and this lil’ problem would be nothing.  I’d laugh it off.  That is…if there even was a problem.  I still didn’t know.  My stomach was back in knots.  Anxiety kicked in again.  It’s not that I had a guilty conscience…cause at the time I had no conscience at all…I only cared about myself.  I just think, looking back, that without drugs even the littlest type of conflict felt like it was epic.  You have to realize I was on those pills for almost two years…numb…not giving a fuck.  Now it was like a changed password was about to be the end of the world.  Drugs are bad…

Instead of working myself into an absolute panic, I used some breathing exercises I had picked up a few years prior.  Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth, slowly, while counting back from five to one…repeat if necessary.  I calmed myself down.  I shut off my phone and stuck it back in the glove box as if I never took it out in the first place.  Out of sight out of mind…at least for the moment.

I came to the realization that there might be a perfectly reasonable explanation for the password change…and if there wasn’t…fuck it.  I would just make up some bogus excuse for whatever accusation was about to come my way.  It worked so much in the past, I figured it would work then.  Old habits are hard to break…

A few minutes later she got back in the car.  She handed over the bags containing the take-out, which smelled amazing btw…and we started back on our journey home.  More small talk ensued while I snuck bites of the carrot cake.  Hey can ya blame me?  That cake is awesome.  She’s lucky I didn’t eat the whole thing while she ran in the restaurant.

I noticed the mood in my vehicle had kind of changed.  No, it wasn’t because I was eating my cake.  However, I’m sure that didn’t help.  I couldn’t really put my finger on what was up.  It wasn’t a hostile mood, it was something else.  I looked over at her, she’d stopped conversing, and she had this expression on her face….not anger…perhaps deep thought.  She looked as if she was contemplating telling me that the world as I knew it was about to come to an end…

I tried to pay it no mind.  I certainly wasn’t about to play the whole what’s wrong/what’s on ya mind game.  I had just left rehab…I honestly didn’t want to hear what might have been wrong.  Selfish…sure…but it was sadly true.  I was focused on me and my feelings alone.  Notice how I didn’t mention that the ride home conversation had been about her or what she had been up to the whole time while I was in rehab.  I kept it all light and all about me.  For all I knew, she might have already gotten married to someone else while I was inside…or god knows what else…the possibilities were endless.  But at that particular moment, I didn’t want to hear it.  So I did as I always have done, I avoided the obvious problem on her mind.

I honestly don’t think I was ready for real life again.  Relationship issues, problems, solutions, bills, family, shit like that.  I didn’t really have the patience for any of it on that ride home.  I almost longed to be back inside my bubble.  That might sound fucked but it’s true.  That’s how I felt at the time.  If you saw the look on her face that night you might have longed to be anywhere but in that car….

There was what I call an awkward silence for what seemed like forever.  You could have cut the tension in my car with a knife.  I remember thinking what the fuck happened in a matter of 20 minutes?  We were just talking and laughing about my pants and such, and now all of a sudden it’s like everything’s changed.  I guess the closer and closer we got to my apartment…the more real it got…for both of us.  That’s the only way I could rationalize it.

So then, out of nowhere…she looks at me with this look…it wasn’t anger…it was something different…and decides to break the silence and says….I have some news for you Matthew…

And before I could even muster up a word or an excuse or anything….

She hits me with–while you were gone….two of your friends were arrested…….
and there’s more…..

To Be Continued…

Posted 03/28/2012 by Matty McDonald in Uncategorized

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I remember the night I got released from rehab as if it were yesterday.  I think it’s such a vivid memory because the overwhelming feeling of anxiety I had experienced that night was like no other.  Don’t get me wrong, the moments right before I was about to be sentenced to an unknown amount of time in prison were pretty fucking nerve wracking as well, but that night was completely different.  It was epic.  It was the very first time in my entire life when I wasn’t absolutely sure of myself…or what I was going to do.

While I was stuck in rehab I was kind of in my own little world.  A bubble…if that makes any sense.  The real world went on without me…as it always does and will…but I didn’t have to pay it any mind.  The only things I really had to worry about were getting clean from drugs and learning how to stay sober.  Real life nonsense such as relationships, social life, bills, work and whatnot were probably the last things on my mind.  Now as I was about to exit rehab…stage right…all those real life issues were about to hit me full force.

This usually isn’t such a big deal.  I mean everyone has these things to deal with.  It’s part of life.  But for me it would be the first time in several years that I would have to deal with such life issues and make them priorities, without drugs to fall back on and help me cope with any stresses caused.  It was like I was about to be tossed back into the deep end…this time with no floaties.  Truth be told, the thought of this scared the fucking shit out of me.  This is my story…….

It was a rather warm evening in September.  Almost too warm…considering that October was just a few days away.  The sweats and zip-up hoodie I was sporting were probably a little much, considering the weather, but I didn’t care.  I was just happy as hell to finally be getting discharged from that hellhole once and for all.  I was about to be a free man and I liked it…

Before I left…while I was waiting for the staff to draw up my release papers…I was sitting around with a few of the guys joking around and shooting the shit.  One of them asked me innocently enough, “Yo Matty, so what are you going to do when you get outta’ here?”  I paused and tried to play it coy.  I responded with, “I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I’m going to do something.”  Honestly, I really didn’t know what the hell I was going to do, but  I played like it was nothing, like I had a ton of options when I got out of there.  Perhaps I did, but I didn’t know.  Until he asked I hadn’t even really given it any thought.  Like I said before, I was in a controlled bubble world…no worries.  Now this kid asks this simple question and I start stressing.  That’s right about when the anxiety started to kick in.

Once I signed myself out of there, I said my goodbyes and good lucks to a few of the guys…then it really started to hit me.  I was actually nervous…nervous fucking nervous.  I was about to see the world through sober eyes for the very first time in God knows how long.  No drugs.  No alcohol.  No steroids.  Nothing…well nothing other than the short-lived cigarette habit I picked up while in rehab.  That would have to do.  I was practically shaking…not to mention I was sweating my balls off.  I don’t know if it was because I was really nervous to go back out there or because I was dressed for January in September…

Regardless, I managed to push my nerves to the side.  I tried to snap the fuck out of it.  I remembered that I was free…I was still handsome…lol…and still had money.  I’d be just fine…I hoped…so I strolled out of there with a smile on my face and my luggage in my hand.  I was still short a pair of pants, but I didn’t give a fuck because I was a free man.  This was my first taste of losing my freedom by the way, even though it was partially voluntary, so that’s why I was stoked when I was getting out of there.  At that moment when I walked out the doors, I felt as if I was ten years wiser.  At the very least, I knew I was about ten pounds lighter (hence me wearing a hoodie and not just a t-shirt).

Despite all of this anxiety that was building up inside of me, on the whole, I felt pretty fucking good…a little skinnier…but good.  I was free.  I can’t stress enough how good it feels to be released after being stuck somewhere for so long.  There would be no more shitty food served on a tray.  No more uncomfortable mattresses that hurt my back.  No more random bodily sounds of patients to deal with…both human and wildebeest alike.  No more being told when to eat, when to take my meds, and when to sleep by rude and obviously underpaid staff.  I could go on…you get the point.  Little did I know that several months later I would have to deal with the same shit in the same type of setting all over again…this time while wearing an orange jumpsuit…and I’d be behind bars.  Life’s a trip huh?

And there she was…my then soon-to-be bride.  She was leaning against my car which she had conveniently, yet illegally parked right out front of the rehab entrance.  As soon as I laid eyes on her, my smile that I was forcing a few minutes prior became real…very real.  Shit…I was probably beaming ear to ear…I was smitten.

She smiled back.  I won’t get into the details of the lovey dovey dramatics of that evening outside of the rehab.  Let’s just say that if this was a movie…this would be the scene where the cheesy music kicks in, the guy drops his luggage, the girl drops whatever she’s holding, and the two lovers sprint toward each other in slow motion until they reach each other in a loving embrace.  Use your imagination if you must…that was us in a nutshell.

For a brief moment, it felt as if the world had stopped.  All of the anxiety I was going through completely vanished, as if it were never there (but nothing like that lasts and it would be back, tenfold…).  I felt truly happy for the first time in a while…actually it was the first time in the longest where I felt my own feelings of joy, and not the artificial feelings of happiness caused by the pills I was consuming.  However, I can’t really pinpoint the cause of this new found feeling of happiness.  Perhaps it was because I was free from what felt like prison…both from rehab and drugs in their own ways.  Maybe it was because she was actually there like she said she would be.  Despite all of the bullshit I had put her through during the time we were together, I mean with the drug dealing and the drug using among my many other pains caused, she was still there, on time, with a smile on her face as if she were actually happy to see me.  Better yet…maybe…just maybe…I was happy for new beginnings…a fresh start with her…my family…and my friends.  I could leave the past in the past and the pills in the rehab.  I was 25 years old and I had gotten my life back.

At the time, despite all of my doubts and insecurities of what was to come, I guess you could say I was pretty optimistic about everything.  The way I saw it, everything–the wedding, job, new lifestyle, etc–would just work itself out like it always has for me.  Kind of like a cosmic reward for me getting off drugs.  I honestly felt that since I was technically clean from drugs, I would be a completely changed person.  Like it could happen overnight…as if the lies, the infidelities, and all the other bullshit would be over…I was dreaming apparently.  I was wrong…so very wrong…yeah, life was going to change, damn sure of that…but little did I know that it wasn’t going to change in the ways I expected.  I had no idea what I was in for…and it started on the ride home…….

To Be Continued…

Posted 03/05/2012 by Matty McDonald in Uncategorized

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