07 Apr

My new book, CATCHPENNY, is going to publish in less than 48 hours. It represents a conscious effort on my part to embrace emotion and hope. I wrote most of it while I was depressed, suffering panic attacks on the reg, and drinking. As of the current moment, I am none of the above.

Getting sober was the most important single choice that helped me to feel better, but the real heavy lifting has been done since I got sober.

It's work to shift from being habitually pessimistic and hopeless to being optimistic and hopeful. I'm using the word "habitually" because I don't think it was my nature to be without hope. I believe that I seized on a despondent state of mind and heart out of fear. I was terrified of wanting what I wanted, scared shitless of failure if I tried to accomplish things that I held deep in my heart.

It was safer to assume failure and turn away from hope. Booze and drugs will reenforce that kind of fear and despondency in a hurry if you're not careful or moderate. I was neither. I am a lifelong user and drinker. I have used drugs and booze since childhood to cope with fear.

Not getting high and drunk hasn't freed my of fear and other dark thoughts. But it has helped me to understand those feelings, let them roll through, and not try to erase them. This, ironically, has opened space for me to feel better about myself, the world, and being alive.

Like I said at the top, I wrote CATCHPENNY while I was still drinking, but it is an expression of my desire to hope, feel joy, be honest about my worst choices, and see a path to feeling better.

There is ample darkness in the book, lots of twisted action and warped characters, but the overall emotional effect I was aiming for bittersweet hope. And some laughs.

I'm really proud of this sucker. It's big and fun and full of stuff I love. It is unlikely as hell. A small chunk of magic that I didn't know I had in me.

I feel good today and I hope you do, too.