Sunday, February 27, 2011


while we're here in eilat, i won't be able to post these on my blog. so they'll all get posted at once, with timestamps, which gives an idea about how long my thought process trends. 

in any event, i feel better about tonight after writing the previous post. the fact of the matter comes down to this: i am lonely, and have been for quite some time. i am not your average guy in the fact that i will not pursue something physical with a girl unless i am interested in her - ie. no drunken hookups. i mean, i have, but really, in the long run, it wasn't worth anything to me. 

i really have no idea what i was planning on saying in this post, but whatever it was, hopefully i got my point across. i don't think i did, but then again, i don't care if i did or not. you're a visitor with insight into how my mind works, i don't cater to anyone but me. 

of "bad decisions" and late-night hookups

i am pretty certain that i've made it clear here, and of course, in my head, that i am not the type of guy that executes random hookups. that being said, there is still a boat load of jealousy that i harbor towards guys who do, and the girls whom they hook up with.
as i continue to wade into social life, and navigate the waters, i am overwhelmingly aware that i have no idea in which to act toward a girl whom i might have a physical attraction to. i mean, sure, i could just act like any other guy, but deep down, i know that is really not what i want, nor who i am. so instead, i do nothing, and feel jealous of others who do.
this of course, is said with the assumption that a girl wants me. of course, my cynical, sarcastic self says 'fuck no, that's impossible.' but maybe i'm wrong.
anyway, i'm in the same place i've been for a while. just don't know what to do. i guess deep down, the whole "bad decision" tuesday/february/birthday etc. is my excuse to do things i wouldn't normally do, but i really haven't. so i'm nowhere.
also, apparently some people do read this blog. congratulations for them. i have not, do not, and will not use this blog as a means to be pissed about an individual, nor talk shit about them. i also don't use this blog as anything toward anyone around me. this blog has been, and will continue to be, a means for me to continue my recovery. if this is funny or humorous to anyone, congratulations. i'm glad you find humor in it. may you never have to walk in my shoes. if you decide that this is fuel for jokes, go for it. i hope it empowers you and makes you feel better than me.
in the end, i will continue to get better. whether you are with me or not, is solely up to you.

originally written 26 feb 0325

Sunday, February 20, 2011

real reason i'm angry

i think that i've come to the underlying cause of my anger tonight. it wasn't a simple problem of being woken up or by people being loud and obnoxious.
there's a girl in our program who "went missing." she left and noone heard from her. she's been heard from now, after almost five days, and she's fine. apparently she "ran away." and i've had to hear all the people around me conjecture about why she did it, what she was thinking, how stupid she is, etc. i heard it characterized as "there's no reason to do that." "she's crazy. why was she even on this trip at all?" "if there was something wrong, she should have said something." all of these statements and questions are so ignorant, i don't know if i can actually get through the layer of bullshit and stupidity to get my point across.
now, i don't know this girl that well. what i have are my assumptions and conjecture. i have my experience and thoughts. i think she was/is depressed or in some other mental state which is stressful. having been depressed for so long, and with my panic and anxiety, there are absolutely days in which i have thought about running away. i am going to be thirty tomorrow, and mental issues and stress have no chronological barrier. it doesn't just get easier because your body is now another calendar year older.
as to rationalizations like "it's stupid because she's gonna have to pay all this money" or "she loses her MASA grant" - they're fucking worthless. if you are that stressed and fucked up mentally, like I have been, in that moment I could care not one fucking bit about money or repercussions or logic. there's no logic in emotional distress.
in terms of stupidity or intelligence, mental and emotional distress happens to the most intelligent and the least intelligent of us all. the idea that undergoing this type of stress make you "stupid" is more than a little problem. it makes the person who is in distress not want to tell anyone about it, and it allows those who aren't to marginalize the distress in a veil of "stupidity." the same goes for the statement that mental distress is a weakness. Depression and mental distress is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign that you have been trying to be strong for too long.
if everyone would shut the fuck up about why this girl left, and whether it was right or wrong, and maybe think about how we can all work together as a group to take care of each other, maybe this kind of shit wouldn't fucking happen.
i have lost friends due to depression and stress and PTSD so bad that the only way to "run away" was suicide. the fact that not one of the people here have asked a fundamental question: "could i have helped?" saddens me. i worry about what would happen if i ran away. would i be talked about like this? would people think i'm crazy? weak? stupid?

of loud people and stupidity

after really enjoying the wake-up of one of my roommates talking LOUDLY to a girl who doesn't even live in this fucking apartment, also talking LOUDLY, I am royally pissed.

add to that the fact that these fucking children are ignorant and worthless, well, i'm in a bad fucking mood.

if i could beat people, i would be beating them all with a spiked club. repeatedly about the head.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

End of Shabbat thoughts

This weekend was definitely one of the best I have had since being here in Israel. It was spent with good people, and I really enjoyed it. Some random thoughts, in no particular order:

Encouraged overall about my race. I definitely have much to improve mentally, but I'm pleased with my abilities so far.

My twenty-ninth year comes to a close on Monday, and I turn thirty. I'm excited for it, and I have an optimistic, less cynical and dark outlook on life these days.

My time here in Israel is just about over. In two weeks, I will be home. There's much to do, much to decide.

I am applying for colleges still, and not necessarily limiting myself to Long Island. We'll see what goes on, and how it works.

I'm learning new things everyday, and adjusting to new situations and environs. I am not always good at it, nor graceful or tactful, but I am adjusting.

I am a strong individual. My mom and dad instilled this quality in me when I was young, and my dad has supported me in later years, so I could re-learn this fact. Without my family, I am nothing.

I am blessed and truly favored.

Ein Gedi: Results! A-MAZING

So, we're back from the race in Ein Gedi. It was a fantastic experience overall. Down at the Dead Sea, it was quite warm. It was around 80 degrees this morning. I've been running at night here in Ashdod, somewhere around 60-65 degrees. So the change in temperature was a factor. It was also the first time that I have ever run with so many people, so that was a new experience. Overall, I am thrilled that I did it.

My time was nothing to write home about, but I did it. I remember back to my first exercise night when I started this blog, here. As I read that now, and think of where I am, the fact that I even ran is A-mazing! I'm also pretty sure that this won't be the last race I run. I really enjoyed training with a goal in sight, and it's amazing being on the other end of achieving that goal.

There's more to write about, but now I have a skype date with my dad, so I'll talk to y'all later.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

of hallmark holidays, disappointment and the day after.

i feel fantastic this morning. when i get drunk, the next morning i wake up early and refreshed. it's kinda the exact opposite of what should happen. but anyway...

i've already relayed my disappointment and it's coincidence with this years most worthless hallmark holiday. it is now time to move on. in that area, tonight is another Bad Decision Tuesday™- only three more left! so tonight there is a necessity to make all the things happen that should before i am no longer here in israel.

i'm still of two minds about returning home. i miss home and being around my family. but i really like it here and it's still pretty amazing. it's kinda sad to see it end. but when it ends, it ends with a check in the "successfully completed" box. which is awesome.

i have to continue the application process for college. i am applying to Adelphi and SUNY Stony Brook. I'm also going to look at other SUNY schools and other NY schools as well. Might as well look to branch out a bit.

anyway, i have to make some progress on looking productive.

Monday, February 14, 2011

ein gedi race!

link here:

my first race since high school. i say race, but i'm basically racing myself. i'm excited about it. it should be a stepping stone to more weight loss and achievement.

in other news, we're under three weeks away from me returning to the states. i am not so thrilled the program is over, but i will definitely welcome the simple conveniences of home:

* being knowledgeable enough of the area to find anything i want easily.
* having a car.
* not having to try and speak a language when i am in a hurry
* not carrying around insane amounts of change in my pocket as currency
* name brands that i am aware of
* certain foods that are not readily available here
* not seriously marked-up american brands
* wally world!
* electronics at decent prices
* smart phones
* some other shit that drunk me doesn't understand

אני שתוי

happy valentine's day

valentine's day, which never held very much significance for me, is another hallmark holiday. however, it does serve to remind me that i am single, and have been for a loooooooong time.

what makes this valentine's day different is that i am (was?) kinda interested in this girl. she made it clear that she wasn't interested in me like that, and i of course accepted that. that didn't change my feelings or interest. but it was really good that she was honest with me.

but now the thing is how i deal with the current situation. we are friends, and i value her friendship and don't want to fuck that up. it's just i haven't been in this type of situation in quite some time, so the chances are good that i will fuck it up somehow. which is a shame, because she is really someone i want as a friend.

so the answer to my previous post, "disappointed?" is yes. I am disappointed.

but still i grow and learn.

originally written 2025 14 Feb 2011

disappointed? i don't know yet.

so i talked to this girl tonight and she told me that she thinks that i have been sending signals that i like her and she wanted to make sure i knew that she likes what we have now, which is a good budding friendship, with the ability to talk about almost everything and be there for each other, and doesn't want that to change. i told her that i don't know if i like her, and also like what we have. i said i wasn't in it for more than that, and i didn't know what i wanted. but now, after hearing that, i think i wasn't honest with myself, and i actually do like her. i'm kinda disappointed with it right now, and that sucks. but i do need to sleep on this and let my mind work itself out.

originally written 0100 8 Feb 2011

Sunday, February 13, 2011


i have major insecurity issues. this shouldn't surprise me, and it really doesn't, but insecurity is a definite part of my adjusting and becoming more social. it's a part that bothers me, and i want to go away as soon as i can. unfortunately, as far as i can tell, it's just going to go away with time and experience. which in no way helps me today.

i'm impatient.
i'm eager.
i'm afraid.
i'm tired.
i'm still trying.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

my reality

I've realized that while i tell people that i am just getting back to being involved socially, after my recovery from PTSD and TBI, the actual reality of it is not clear.

i returned home to the US in October 2005. I left the US to go on this trip in October 2010. That's five years. Five years of being so removed from life that it's hard for me to understand sometimes. I had a girlfriend for about two weeks, two different times. I went to a handful of parties. I made no new friends, and stopped communicating with most of my old friends. I spent more than three months as an inpatient in the VA hospital twice.

These facts mirror the fact that I was broken and unable to function. I was unable to be social, to talk to people, to get along in situations outside of my house. I literally had dropped off the face of the planet. I looked normal, save for gaining a huge amount of weight. But I was anyone but me.

So these things that I am going through, are absolutely foreign to me. I cannot even compare them to what I went through pre-Iraq.  This girl that I was/am/could be/who the hell knows interested in, was in reality the first girl i was really interested in in many years. The previous girl, written about two months ago, I was interested in for different less serious reasons. (Boy could that sound less ominous or what?) Anyway, I had no idea what my mind was telling me. I really still don't.

The issue for me now is to continue to get to know her and be friends and hang out without me making things awkward. Because I kinda think I'm already making it awkward.

Oh well, it's an experience. It may be difficult to go through, but it will help me in my recovery, and my ability to continue being social and making friends.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


i am not an eternal optimist.

but i have my moments.

this is not a revelation for me, and certainly isn't for anyone who knows me. but as i was told this tonight, i was forced to reflect on this. the truth is, i am absolutely more pessimistic than optimistic, in the final calculation these days. but the numbers are much closer now than at any time in the past couple of years. and that in and of itself is a reason to be optimistic.

as i continue to journey into life each day, i encounter situations that are difficult. situations in which i don't get the things i want, or feel the way i want. situations where i don't know what i want or what i feel. situations that i don't really like to endure, but know that my personal growth would be stunted without enduring. i constantly choose to continue into the muddy water of life, even though i know how easy it would be to slog back to shore and watch the waves crash and the waters move and not participate. i've spent my time on the shores of life, and it's now my time to be in the water, swimming. even though there are rough currents, and sharp rocks in some places, i'm in it.

somewhere along the way i decided it was ok to stay away from life, because staying away meant not getting hurt. somewhere i lost the impetus to live and grow and feel. i realize now that i am not that person anymore. i am growing, and changing, and transforming myself every day. it is not a fast process. i have a lot of things i am dealing with, and they are not simple. but i am here. and i am dealing.

i am optimistic.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I had another short chat with a good friend of mine. I love talking to her, because even in a passing conversation, she has such wisdom to give. I absolutely have potential in my social and relationship abilities, and I should focus on that, rather than worrying about something not working out right away. She's so damn smart!

looking through a positive perspective

so each day i am in more and different social situations as i wade back into "normal" social life. some are disappointing and some are great, but all are experiences that i am learning from. it's taken me quite a while to adopt an attitude like this (and it's not all the time that i have this great view on life) and i am grateful for the good and the bad at this stage.

i'm learning, i'm moving forward, i'm living.

Monday, February 7, 2011

rain can't hold me back...

went for a run, even though the weather sucked. it actually was nice, because the rain stopped when i started running. I ran 3 miles today, at a 12:27 pace, which is pretty damned good. I feel really good. I had a light dinner tonight, after a heavy lunch and a nap in the afternoon. I guess my body finally took over, because I just sat on the couch, and was totally out for 4 hours or so. a-mazing.

there's quite a bit i want to talk about, but i am going to go talk to some people and hang out, and i hope get to sleep early tonight. if not, i will probably be back on here later tonight.

oh, and in another note. I APPLIED TO COLLEGE TODAY! Looking to go back to school for the Fall 2011 semester.

social, part 231

so i've been going out more often lately with the new group of people here. there's just over three weeks left here and i am trying to enjoy as much as i can while i'm still here.

i'm still doing more social things each day, and wandering into situations which i haven't been in in a while. there's this girl i might like. and it's really kind of nice. every now and then i feel like a kid again, not knowing what to do or say, but i'm still trying it. if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. i'm putting no pressure on myself.

the program here is winding down, and i'm going home to the united states in a little over three weeks. i'm not sure how i feel about that right now.

more to come later.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

not worth it.

some people just aren't. it took a good friend telling me that about a girl the other day for me to let that sink in and accept it. and it's not just girls. it's friends who betray you, friends who fail in their obligations, people who exist only to treat others poorly.

i used to get so angry about this, and from time to time i still do. but the truth is, some people just aren't worth it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

more random writings

A mom is supposed to be there. She is there for the small bumps and bruises. She dries the tears and let's you know that it's safe now. She is there to teach about love and compassion, about the safety and security of always being there.

When she isn't there what happens? Dad does his best, but dads have their own things to teach. Nana tries to do her part as do aunts and uncles but there's no replacing a mom. Only poor unsuccessful attempts to fill the void.

When my mom died I was ten years old. I had yet to play a hockey game, score a goal, hit a home run, kiss a girl, fall in love. She's never seen me in my cap and gown at high school graduation. In my dress blues graduating boot camp. In my desert cammies returning from Iraq deployments.

She couldn't comfort me when I was heartbroken over my first love. Couldn't console me when my best friend was killed in combat or another friend committed suicide. She wasn't there.

She wasn't there and I am worse for it. I will never be whole. I'll never learn the lessons she would have taught and never feel the love she would have given.

And I miss her every single moment of every single day. 


What might have been. 

Try not to think about what might have been
Cause that was then and we hav taken different roads
We can't go back again there's no use giving in
And there's no way to know
What might have been. 

There are moments in my life that have forever and irrevocably altered the course my life was on. Some were monumental and shared by many. Some were so inconsequential at the time that it is almost hard to pinpoint them as catalysts for change.

The easily identified are unforgettable. Sights and sounds and smells are unforgettable. From the images of airplanes exploding into towers. The smells of diesel and hydro and flesh burning in the desert air. And the staccato rhythm of a .50 caliber machine gun.

The death of my mom from cancer when I was ten. The abandonment of my grandfather thereafter. My nana's death on the eve of college. My pop's death shortly after I returned from my first tour in Iraq. My best friend's death in combat. Other friends burned and broken and maimed. My brain rattled enough times to forever change me.

These are the easy ones. There is no question the impact was deep and permanent.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

midnight musings

i miss my mom.
i miss getting tucked into bed.
i miss big hugs.
hugs that can make any problem no matter how big go away.
i miss the safety and comfort and love only a mom can give.
i miss my memories of her.
i am so angry and disappointed and jealous sometimes because i was deprived of her for the last 19 years.
i needed her while growing up.
i needed her when my friends died.
i needed her when i came home from iraq.
i needed her when i couldn't handle it anymore.

i've never stopped missing her or needing her.

i love you so much mom. i hope you're not too disappointed in me.

random writings

religious conversation around me
canada and thailand too
too many people at my table
wanting to smoke my hookah too
i can't understand what's going on with me
i don't even know how
i really hate being crazy
that's just the way it is right now




of imbibing alcohol and long nights

last night was a bad night overall. there are long stretches in which i do not remember anything. i definitely let myself get away from anything resembling responsibility. i apparently got into a heated discussion with someone about the things posted on this blog. she knows who she is, and i don't have the mental energy nor the recall necessary to write about it now. suffice to say i am not pleased with my actions. i got into a cab and came home, but i don't know when or with who or how i paid for it. i really have a bad feeling from last night and it reminds me of nights in which i would get that drunk by myself.

i guess it is a step up that i was in the company of friends last night and didn't do anything stupid, but really, i don't know if i said anything stupid to other people. this is embarassing and i think the Bad Decision idea has now become something that truly is bad for me.

on the one hand, i'm not doing anything anyone else isn't doing. all four of the people i've spoken to so far have told me that last night was a blur for them as well, so why should i feel bad about my actions? of course, if everyone jumped off the brooklyn bridge ... also, why shouldn't i have a good time with my friends and people my own age? it's been too long since i have been in a position with good friends and the ability to party hard.

on the other hand, this isn't the first time i've gotten drunk lately. it's not even the 5th time. i've been drunk way too often. it started with the new group of people coming in, and i got to know everyone and we were all drinking. and then it has now morphed into a constant thing.

i was an episodic alcohol abuser. but that doesn't make me safe from becoming a full blown alcoholic. i know this. i know that this actually makes it easier for me to become an alcoholic. i kinda threw out all real responsibility and good decision-making the last week or so. hell, i've been calling tuesday nights at pigal 'Bad Decision Tuesday™' for a while now. then we all went out last thursday, so that was a new bad decision night, and i was drunk over the weekend. the going joke now is it's 'Bad Decision February™' because it's our last month here in israel. so it's been 'cool' and accepted to make bad decisions.

i am so depressed and disappointed in myself and my actions and this has to stop. but i am almost certain that i won't stop because i want to be around everyone and enjoy my ability to be part of a group of people who want me to be there.

it's amazing how fucked up i am.