Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Admit the Worst Thing You've Ever Done and Be Happy

Most people have done some pretty bad things in their lives. Most people wouldn't admit the bad things they've done. I think that most people wouldn't believe the terrible and sick and pathetic things others have done in their lives before - all the while not wanting to admit their own evil deeds... 

But those admissions make great reading. 

Unless, of course, you are like someones prudish grandmother. In that case, tales of hair raising schemes and being chased by the police will just cause shock and disgust. Stories like that, when told to prudish "church-lady-types," are kind of like when W.C. Fields asked the old bitties who complained about his behavior, 

"Do any of you ladies have any empty gin bottles?" 

To which the insulted women replied, "Do we look like we drink gin?"

And W.C. Fields retorted, "OK, then. Do you have any empty vinegar bottles?"

W. C. Fields: "Don't say you can't swear off drinking. 
I've done it a thousand times."

I've done some pretty bad things in my life that I am ashamed of telling anyone. But today, for some reason, I've decided to admit some stuff because I feel that things aren't going as well as they should so maybe I need to get this stuff off of my shoulders. Think of this article as a sort of catharsis for Mike Rogers today.

I've done at least several very stupid things so far in my life that I have only admitted to just a few people because they are embarrassing. They are so embarrassing and so dumb that I've been reluctant to admit them before. 

Not that I didn't want to. I do want to admit my wrongs.  Why? Because I don't think you can be truly happy unless you admit your wrongs and your shortcomings and then move forward. Don't Catholics and Christians think this way, too? Aren't we supposed to ask for forgiveness?

Aren't we supposed to love ourselves first?

Not admitting bad things you have done is having skeletons in the closet. Maybe I am anal retentive, but I don't want any skeletons.

That's why I write a blog. I've been writing a blog, or writing for another blog, for nearly 8 years now. That's a pretty long time as far as blogger lifetimes go, I reckon.

I like writing these blogs and these blogs posts because they allow me to spill my guts and cleanse my soul. It's sort of like confession sometimes and I get to admit some of the bad things I've done to people before in an attempt to clear my conscious and, perhaps, start from a clean slate.

I've posted to this blog and others about stupid things I did and some of the bad things that happened to me. You know, they say "What goes around comes around!" So, I figure that if I tell the truth and admit my wrongs and shortcomings then good things will come back to me. It's worth the risk, no?

So, don't think I'm being magnanimous in admitting my wrongs. It's actually selfish. If I admit my wrongs, then maybe so many bad things won't happen to me or my family and friends. 

Or are these thoughts that I have the thoughts of someone suffering from delusions of grandeur?

All of us have things we'd like to hide. Especially if we are looking for a job.

Have you ever had the police pointing guns at your head and yelling for you to get down on the ground? I have. More than once. The first time I was only 17-years-old. Have you ever been arrested? I have. More than once. But I have never been convicted of a crime and have no criminal record (so don't tell me that there's no God!) I was never a criminal, per se, never stole anything or shoplifted or robbed or beat anyone or anything like what goes on today.... I was a prankster... My calling card was hijinks and playing tricks on people.

Have you ever drank so much that you couldn't walk? I have. Far too many times to count. I used to like drinking myself nearly blind. If you don't believe me, ask my friends. I'd get so drunk I couldn't hardly stand up (and being so drunk once that I actually forgot my own then 5-year-old like a piece of discarded luggage when I got off the train and walked away).

How about getting divorced twice and married three times? Yeah. Been there, done that. 

In Japan, a very conservative and proper society, people who have these experiences will usually never admit them publicly. I used to host a very popular FM radio show and admitted these things freely. That garnered me lots of fans. I even admitted to going into drug rehabilitation on the radio before and that in a country that will lock you up for possessing even a minuscule amount of marijuana. That was a shocker. The program's ratings skyrocketed.

The ratings skyrocketed because I believe that people were ready to hear from someone who wasn't perfect and had all the same flaws they did (I don't have perfect pearly white teeth, slicked back hair and a pink cadillac either).

My 5 weeks in drug rehab happened in the late nineties. Thanks to that experience, and my wife saving my life, I've been off drugs with no desire to do that ever again... Though I will admit that, looking back, drug rehab was a lot of fun and I met some of the wildest people there. 

Please refer to Drug Rehab for George from Lew Rockwell:

Like the time I put myself into drug rehabilitation for speed addiction. The little voice was right about interning myself — I just about had no choice. But darned if that little guy didn't change his mind and start telling me to plan an escape within the first few days of being there; Which is it? Get high or stay straight, make up your mind, will you?

Everyone else who found themselves trapped in drug rehab seemed to be hearing voices too. One day a guy, I'll call him "George," (not his real name) came up to me while I was secretly planning on tunneling out of the hospital complex using a tea-spoon I had stolen from the cafeteria to dig through concrete floor — à la that World War II movie The Great Escape (The little voice was also playing the theme song from that movie in my head for special effect). George sat down next to me, looked around to see if anyone was spying on us and then he whispered, "Are you a foreigner?" Sheesh! Duh! This is Japan. Do I look like a foreigner? I answered, "Yes." He said, "I thought so." He looked around again and then he went on to explain to me how he spoke to God and that a scar — shaped like a star — on middle of his forehead proved that he was the Chosen One. Well, he did have weird star shaped scar on his head and it's not often that I get to meet the second coming of Christ so I listened in. He explained that they had him interned because he knew too much — and had too much power. I would find out later that they interned him because his mom put him in there. It seems that he would wake up in the mornings and pour Vodka straight onto his cornflakes and eat that for breakfast and then not go to school — Funny that. I guess he'd been doing this since he was in 5th grade. When I met him in the hospital he was 18 or so.

Later on George explained to me that, even though they had never met, the heavy metal rock band Mettalica had written a song about him. I think the song title was Master of Puppets (makes sense). The song was something about George being the second — or would it be the third — I didn't bother to ask — coming of Christ. I told George that if he really were The Chosen One, then he could just wiggle his nose like Samantha in Bewitched (Even though I liked I Dream of Jeannie better) and get us out of there. But he couldn't do it. Damn! And I had my hopes up there for a minute, too. You know, usually I'm a pretty good judge of character, but George had me fooled. What a big liar. Oh well, back to the spoon escape plan, I thought.

Now, a lot of you folks reading this might think, "Why did Mike sit there and listen to this nutcase?" And I might have to agree. But let me defend myself by saying that I was in a hospital full of screw-balls, so George's conversation was just as interesting — if not more than — anyone else's. I had nowhere to go, so I'd listen intently on what George would have to say and usually wound up thinking the same thing over and over, "How in the world did I wind up in this hospital full of these crazy people? Get me out of here!"

That was over 14 years ago. I don't do drugs anymore. There's no way in the world I'm ever going back to play my part as Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest again. By the way, at least the hospital in the Nicholson movie had background music playing all the time. Mine didn't, yet we still had two or three people dancing all day in the hallway all the time.

The other reason I don't do drugs anymore is that drugs make you forget what you were doing. It was quite a shock one-day when my then 12-year-old daughter walked up to me holding my speed pipe and said "Daddy? What's this?" "It's my, er, asthma medicine, Stay away from it." 

I know she didn't believe me.

But even though rehab-hospital was a living hell, I'm glad I went to that hospital. You know why? Well, at the time I hated it. But now, looking back, it was a great (and funny memory) — but never again. 

The other thing about it that I am thankful for is that I was put through a rigorous method to break my addiction at the most famous rehab hospital in all of Asia — Matsumoto Clinic. And I did it. The doctor told me leaving Matsumoto and never returning was as tough as getting into the world famous Tokyo University and graduating. He said that the chance of retuning to drug rehab was about 96% for first-timers. If they re-enter after the first time, the chances for a full recovery are 1 in 10,000. Three times in and out of drug rehab means that the patient will usually spend the rest of their lives going in and out of the hospital (usually in secret). So now you know where guys like Rush Limbaugh most probably go when they claim to be "on vacation."

....I never went back, even once.

I hope that the above passage doesn't shock dear reader too much. There's lots more about that place that I will write about someday. Also, someday I will work up the courage to write about events leading up to drug rehab that will really blow your mind...

Like the time I rode my motorcycle ala Hell's Angels through the double front glass doors at a big building in the middle of the night and revved the engine in the lobby as I sat upon the bike waking up the entire neighborhood.

But not today. I'm saving that one up for a movie script.

1/2 of my reason for living... I see that I need to 
take a photo with all 4 of my kids and us together too!

I'm not perfect, and neither are you. None of us are. That's why we need to ask for forgiveness from our god and from our loved ones. We've all done stupid things and made mistakes. We've all done things we regret and hurt people we loved... Every time I do this, I feel better about myself and more positive about me and my life.

Admitting these things, like an alcoholic admitting that they have a drinking problem, is the first step towards a cure. And that first step is the first step towards true happiness.

Pray or meditate for a moment on a past wrong. Give a friend or a loved one a hug or a phone call and say, "Remember the time?...." and ask forgiveness. 

Today is a wonderful day. Like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, you can spread your wings and shed some weight from your shoulders but just being honest and open and saying "sorry" (if even just to yourself).    

It's an easy way to spread love, share the light and to sooth the mortal soul.


Andrew Joseph said...

Hi Mike... I had written a long message here about a minute after you posted this... and then my computer froze after my wife went on-line on her laptop. Regardless... after doing a quick review on the Miss Universe pageant on The Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife blog... I thought I would just say - Christ, Mike! You were pretty effed up! I am so glad you got your life back together. My own life has been in turmoil for the past year - but aside from few drinks to get me buzzy, I've been facing life sober. It hurts more, but it has enabled me to at least attempt to move forward.
I'm glad you had the sup[port of your wife, and I'm glad we have you around to help provide some great advice and food for thought in your blogs.

mikeintokyorogers said...

Thanks Andrew... Yeah. F'ed up. But I don't regret anything. It's been a fun life and I've done some really wild sh*t and am still here. I was a hard core atheist in my youth but am no longer....

I believe in God, dog, Buddha, nature, the sun, heaven, Tom, Dick and Haryy, the spirit and the big electrode in the sky... Why? I've had lots of fun and am still here and happy about it.

Anonymous said...

The bit about the motorcycle, that was wild,... you were Animal House.

Also, coincidence or not, my computer froze and disconnected from my ISP a few minutes ago too. DOS attack?

Jimbo said...

Wow Mike, shocking indeed! I never would have pegged you for a former rehab patient. I suppose that's just a testament to how much it helped you. Thanks for sharing with us all. It does feel good to get these things out in the open. I think the best I have is when I was in 6th grade and tried to make the D on my report card look like a B with a pen. Needless to say, it didn't work.

Raindance Film Festival: Confessions of a Sandwich Sign Man

I was hoping my parents never found out about this... But I can't live like this anymore; I can't live with hiding who I really am....