Thursday, October 12, 2017

A recent Letter

I think everyone should get letters like this!

Dear Elliott,
I wanted to recognize the hard work you have been doing recently.  I know that what may seem like a simple task for most can be very challenging for you. I know You have been through times in your life that pressed you so hard you only thought suicide would give you relief.  I know that you used to dread participating in the human experience. You cursed your body mind and soul.
Now I see a new light in your face. You are fundamentally the same man, yet you smile now because you're happy not because you’re hiding.  Where you once looked at everything as a burden that had to be endured. Now you approach life as the amazing journey that is a reward in itself to live. Hope has replaced hopelessness. Courage has risen from the fear. The struggle has been met with determination. You have transformed the entire world the hidden and the seen. Congratulations!
I want to remind you that you got to where you are because you worked hard. You accepted your life as it is. You let go of the things you wish you had and you embrace what and how you are. You embraced the idea that you would never have an easy life but you could have a rewarding, even happy life. All this in essence set you free.
In parting, I want you to keep in mind that you will fall. You will fail. You will lose your temper. You might even lose your shit and make a royal mess of things. If this happens brush yourself off. Stand up and go back to doing what you know is effective. Learn what you can from your setbacks, but don’t beat yourself up. Just rest, regroup and drive on. I have all the faith in the world that you can continue to have the fulfilling life you have worked to cultivate for yourself. Thank you for all you have done for me.
Always forward,

Elliott Smith

Monday, September 4, 2017

I want to change but I don't know where to start? or What I learned from the Winter Warlock

Every journey starts with a stop at the convenience store for snacks. -Elliott C Smith

How does one get started? I don't care what it is. Changing your life. Starting a new routine. Whatever. I don't care what it is. How do we stop thinking and planning, and Start doing?
Well as a 5 year old I was shown the secret for starting anything for the first time. It is wise and it has served me well over and over and over. You may laugh but this is the secret to getting shit done. Simple but true. Watch it, then try it!

Always forward!
Elliott Smith 9/4/2017

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Goals, Goals, Goals!

Any person who knows where he’s going and what he’s doing is a success.
-Earl Nightengale

Contrary to popular belief, you can't just announce something about yourself create a Facebook page claiming the same thing and it's suddenly true. For years, I refused to make goals. For years, I was never positive if I was successful. People will misinform you and say “success means different things to different people”. That is not true. Success means “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose”. People have different goals. So people have different aims. But success is basically just doing what you set out to do. So what are your goals? They don't have to be huge, life transforming feats. It might just be getting out of bed or talking to a stranger. It could also be world domination or build the biggest Lego tower ever made. Your life, your goals. If you could give 0 fucks if you are successful (notice I didn't say that the world thinks you're successful) don't set goals.  Remember just because you say you don't give a fuck doesn't mean you don't give a fuck. We all want to feel some level of success in our lives. But by definition to do that you have to have goals.
Not sure how to set a goal?
  1. Start simple. Just because a goal is obtainable doesn't make it any less of a goal. This is about you, not others.
  2. Write them down somewhere and share them with others. Accountability is a great way to keep your eyes on the prize.
  3. Once you reach the goal, recognize the accomplishment. Make a new goal and move on.
  4. If at first, you don't succeed, try again! Don’t dwell on the setback, just keep reaching.
  5. Be positive. Believe in yourself!
  6. Start today!
If you want to exact change or improve your life use goals to get there.

Always Forward!

Elliott 9/2/2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

My Story

My Story was first shared on the Worth Living blog at

Drugs and Mental Illness go together like infants and loaded firearms!

Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes along with your self-esteem. They're no good at all. -Kurt Cobain

I am not talking about medicines prescribed by a medical or mental health professional to treat or reduce physical or mental health symptoms. I am talking about Alcohol and Street Drugs. Don't get it twisted!

Okay, I am not a Doctor or a scientist. I am an experienced and well-traveled user of mood altering substances. You know Drugs! I am from the “Just Say No” generation. Nancy Reagan told me over and over all through my preteens and teens that saying no is the answer. PSA’s by McGruff the Crime Dog let me know that users were losers and losers were users almost every time I turned the TV on.

That was not a deterrent in the least. In fact, it probably fueled the specific flavor of rebellion that I cultivated for myself in my teens. You know fuck Nancy Reagan don't tell me what to do. I am not saying it was the best course of action. Just the course of action I took, since 1984 I have used (in no particular order)
White Crosses
And some shit this guy had at a party, and he gave me some!
(I never used needles. It never seemed necessary.)

The reaction and focus for years was, Oh he's a drug addict we will get him clean, and he will be fine so for a point in my life, I was an active and focused Member of AA I saw the Big Book of AA for what it was a textbook for getting and staying sober. A proven and tested method that worked for alcoholics and addicts. It didn't promise paradise it just offered relief from a hopeless state of mind and body. And for a time it did. But even with the rigorous action of the 12 steps (yes they are actions not words on a wall) I still had these Demons. The AA big book actually covers this. It clearly states that there are those we cannot help. It basically says that some people need a doctor's help for Mental Illness and that it isn't addiction at all (read the book. It's in there. I read it twice)
So after exploring addiction as the source of my “problem” I eventually came to grips with the fact that I did indeed suffer from Mental Illness. (Alcohol and Drugs were not helping though.)

It was not a mystery to me that I was self-medicating for years. I wanted a solution to the way I constantly felt. In lieu of a solution, I would accept relief or at least a reprieve. Enter drugs.
Arguing that drugs and Mental Illness are a good combination is about as fact based as arguing that climate change isn't a thing. But like I said I am not a doctor. I am a Mentally Ill man who has a shit load of experience with using drugs. This isn't a medically based opinion. Sure ask and an overwhelming number of Psychiatrist, Psychologist, and MD’s, and they will agree with me. But I am talking about effectiveness.
Using Alcohol and/or Drugs may feel good. It's quick it's easy to down and dirty. I really get the appeal. I went for it every time for years. But it's an Illusion. The relief, joy, happiness, oblivion. whatever the payoff comes immediately. Then fades. So it is not a solution. In fact, it starts to create more problems.  That's really the trap of drugs after all isn't it? They are a shortcut.
As usual, I am getting away from my point. The point the reason I started this rambling was this.
If you want your life to change with real meaningful change. That creates a quality of life you have to WORK. The kind of work that takes a clear mind. Sound judgment. Motivation and determination. In my experience, that combination is impossible to maintain while maintaining a high.  Furthermore, I believe that the things that bring true Quality to life are the exact opposite of how drugs and alcohol affect us. Drugs and alcohol immediately give us the euphoria the bliss the high. But over time the use of drugs and alcohol becomes more difficult. In other words, you get the payoff up front and the struggle comes later. But real Change that creates a quality life up front is difficult painful quite often a true struggle. But after time comes reward the high as it were and it lasts much longer. It is a real by-product of effective action in one's life as opposed to the result of a wake and bake consisting of a bong hit of Super Lemon Haze. Masking one's symptoms isn’t a long term solution. Reducing, coping and managing Symptoms is*

Obviously, people are going to do whatever it is that they are going to do. People believe what they want about their lives regardless of the facts. I didn’t just make this up to be a dick but if you have a Mental Illness Drugs and Alcohol are not a sustainable path to overcoming your iIlness. But what do I know?

*We are all doing the best we can with the tools we have. If this is how you cope and it gets you through the day then play on. I am not saying don’t do it. It would be hypocritical of me to even imply. What I am saying is if you are using this path and it is just getting you by and you want more. There is more but it’s on a different path.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

You cant take that away from me.

Happiness is an inside job
Don’t assign anyone else
That much power over your life  -Anonymous

People don't steal smiles from you.
They don't shame you.
They may act like a total fuck nugget towards you.
They may go out of their way to be unthoughtful or unkind. Maybe even downright mean.
But when you say they are making me _____ because they said I was ____. Or they called me _____ and they are shaming me.
I have to call bullshit. Here is why I say this.
(Feel free to disagree)

We are responsible for ourselves.

If someone calls me a mentally weak cuck piece of shit that can't hold a job that will never be loved by anyone.
If that was said to me I have not been shamed. Someone is merely sharing their opinion of me with me. That's it.
Taking my smile away. Nope. That is all me.
Shame? Nope. That would be me generating that feeling inside my self.
If shame were actually something that we could generate and then force inside others the U.S. military would have weaponized that shit years ago.
I know it is much easier to externalize our thoughts and feelings about ourselves.
It means we don't have to take real responsibility for our negative thoughts. It lets us focus on something else it's more comfortable that way if you can blame others for why we feel bad about ourselves.
In the end however the old saying “No matter where you go there you are.” holds true. You are the constant. You are the master that makes the grass green. You can steer the boat into Shame Harbor or you can head for the open Waters of Fuck em Bay. It's really up to you.

Fuck 'em Bay

Friday, May 26, 2017

Bruce Lee

Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own -Bruce Lee

Bruce Lee

I like to quote Bruce Lee. He was funny, smart driven and wise. His entire trip was about martial arts. Not just martial arts but effective combat Martial arts. See as Bruce was learning and mastering Kung Fu he saw things that were very ineffective when it came to actual effective combat. He also learned very effective moves kicks and strikes. So Bruce adapted what was useful rejected the useless and added what was specifically his own and created his own Martial Art Called Jeet Kune do. He combined Wing Chun Kung Fu, Western boxing, Okinawan Karate, and EppĂ© Fencing  and made a fighting style and a philosophy. Pretty bad ass on multiple levels. Am I right?
In our lives we can take Bruce Lee’s example and apply it to just about anything we have before us. Do what is useful. You know do the stuff that really works in your life. Reject what is useless. Get rid of the shit that Just does not work. Finally, (and I think this is the most Important part) add what is specifically your own. We all bring something to the table so when creating your own personal Jeet Kune do add what makes it yours. Bring your own flavor and mix it in with what you have learned from others and add it to whatever it is you are passionate about.
It is very apparent that Bruce applied this to everything he did and he packed a lot of success into a very short life.
I can't see how adopting this little philosophy could do any harm and if it's not useful you can always reject it. Right?

Travel well!

Elliott is Smith


Friday, April 21, 2017

We are not all awesome!

Ok here's the deal.
We are not all awesome.
If that were truely the case
the word awesome would
mean unimpressive.

That doesn't mean we can't
do awesome things or, enjoy
awesome moments

Odds are you aren't:
A King
A Princess
A Baller
A shot caller
A rock star
A Superman/woman
you get it...

Most of us will never be the
full definition of these terms.
No matter how
we try.

I know I'm a DICK for being honest.
But I am stuck in the same boat
as all of you.

We can be
Goal Reachers
Truth Preachers,
and Real Fucking People!

Give yourself a break.
Be honest with yourself.
We are not all awesome.
But that's okay.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Being Mentally Ill is Easy!!

Pain is inevitable suffering is optional -Anonymous

BEING mentally ill is EASY!
Just standing around letting your symptoms ruin your quality of life.
letting your symptoms ruin relationships.
That is very EASY.
It took zero effort. When I would lay in bed for 10 hours a day every day, dreading going out into the world. EASY, no expenditure of energy or effort. It was fucking miserable,
but it was as simple as just laying there.
Drugs, are easy.
Isolation, is a cinch.
Blame, no sweat.
Self loathing, simple.
Shame, no problama.
Missing out, piece of cake.
Giving up, effortless.
All of these things so very painful.
They are however eazy peezy lemon squeezy to do!

LIVING with mental illness that is DIFFICULT!
Getting up every day working for a quality of
Life. Taking your medication. Tending your relationships.
Everyday, I fight to the best of my ability.
I can't just take some pills and go see a MD/PHD talk a bit and I'm good. That just won't cut it.
My Mental Illness is going to fight me every step of the way. I have to meet force with force if I am going to win more than I lose.
Being mindful, is difficult.
Being brave, is difficult.
Asking for help, is difficult.
Emotion management, is difficult.
Owning my behavior when I go off the rails, is difficult.
Doing all these things over and over is difficult.
Rewarding as hell. But difficult to maintain.
So I fight.
There is no cure for this.
But I am not alone. You are not alone.
Fight every day for your life!
Live that life!
Make that life worth living!
When you grow weary of the fight. Call out to your fellow warriors, to your support system, to your family and friends. Ask them to help. So that if you are tired they can help you fight. Should you fall don’t for one minute dwell on it. GET BACK UP!
Find what is effective for YOU.
Do what is effective for YOU.

You got this.

Elliott C Smith

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Change: Hey where did you go?

If I exorcise my devils
Well my angels may leave too
When they leave they're so hard to find
-Tom Waits

If you make REAL noticeable, positive changes in your life don't be surprised when people notice.  Don’t be surprised if those who do notice, start talking shit to you or about you to others. Or seem less than supportive about your “New Thing.” You might find that people like the “old” you better.  You might even find that people don’t like the new you, AT ALL!  On the flip side - you could find that people who didn’t care for you before might really like you now.  It wouldn’t be change if everything stayed the same.  

I’m sure you have heard stories of alcoholics and drug addicts mourning the loss of the people in their lives as they fight to get clean.  The people they lose are the ones still dominated by their need for chemicals.  These people are cast aside not because they are no longer loved by the person in recovery, but because they are standing in the way of recovery.  

Why would other aspects of making change be different? Food, sex, habits, and laziness. The list is endless. If you and your best friend used to go out every Friday night to get shitfaced and attempt to score a little strange. Imagine what it would be like when you tell your friend that you need to go to bed at 8:30pm to get ready for your big 10k on Saturday morning (and also to avoid the hangover, the shame, the Herpes or whatever).  Your bestie or wingman may feel a little energy when you abandon the tradition - they could feel that you are rejecting them on a personal level or “breaking up the band.”  They have every right to feel whatever it is that they feel.  Their relationship with you is changing and change is most often difficult.  

There is no way I can guarantee that what I am about to say next is true. But I am currently testing this theory out in my own life so I am willing to put​ my money where my mouth is.

If you make REAL noticeable, positive changes in your life, you WILL lose people and things like traditions and lifestyles. But you will GAIN so much more in return.  The ones who really love us will still love and support us and the ones that aren't ready for the new us for whatever the reason will fall away.  If we are lucky they could come around again. We can remember the good that came from the relationships that we lost. We can grieve the loss and learn the lessons to be had. We can then return to the struggle of making real, noticeable, positive change in our lives. Come what may.

No real noticeable change in life is simple. Do it anyway!

Elliott C Smith

I Stopped Fighting My Mental Illnesses.

 To everything (turn, turn, turn) There is a season (turn, turn, turn) And a time to every purpose, under heaven. A time of love, a time ...