Sunday, 2 March 2014

Character Defects Entry #28

We all have defects of character. Mine have been; lying, infidelity, tunnel vision, indecisiveness and selfishness just to name a few. I always thought that without alcohol things would be perfect and as a person I would be some sort of superman. However a lot of the defects that I have still remain and they are things that need to be worked on individually in order for me to become a better person. When I delve deeper into myself I realized that things may have been advanced when I was drunk or I can use being drunk for an excuse when I exhibited these defects but what now? Over the past 4 years of sobriety I still lied, I still didn’t use good judgment in things I did in my relationships, still have tunnel vision and am still very selfish. I can’t beat myself up though because we are forever evolving and making these realizations are the first step in correcting them just like when I had to admit I was an alcoholic. I also had to look at all my accomplishments and be proud of myself. For the first time ever I worked for someone besides myself and I’ve held my job for 2 years. I was finally able to focus my energy and make my first full length album of which I’m very proud of.Mistakes were still around every corner though and I did things in relationships to shatter the trust and I blame myself for that. I found myself lying again and I became very indecisive on the future. Ultimately being sober didn’t make me perfect and truly no one can ever be perfect that’s God’s job. While talking with my sponsor I realized that my evolution and maturity stopped over the past 2 years. I accomplished so much on a material and superficial level that I totally ignored my inner growth. I hurt people in a lot of ways that are un-repairable. One of my defects that can be mistaken as a trait is my sociability and the ability to bring the best out of people. Don’t get me wrong, these are good traits. However when there is a lack of humility and lies, it can be a lethal mixer, especially since I’m aware of the power it can hold. This can make people put their guards down easily and if you betray then it can and will bring out the worst in them. This made me realize that I didn’t have control of my thoughts and emotions which is another character defect. I also learned that in sobriety my character defects actually grew because my focus was on alcohol in the past and not my inner self. When your drunk you never truly face yourself because alcohol takes the focus. Without it though I have to face my problems and tackle them rather than run away from them. I’m working on it though. I made it 4 years sober, the end of my parole is right around the corner and I plan to right my wrongs and learn even more about myself post parole. I have tried to be more attentive to others around me and not be so self centered. I have been trying to do even more for my mother with her illness to make sure that she is okay. And also I have been reconnecting with myself physically and taking care of my body by eating right and working out again. There is always more though and every once and a while I need to step back and do a moral inventory on myself to see if I’m being the best I can be to myself and the people around me. Evolution never ends and when you feel that you have made yourself the best you can be that is where you fail and start slipping because no matter what there is always room for improvement. Bless

Monday, 2 December 2013

Drunken Racing Entry #27

So at this point all my loyal readers of this blog are pretty familiar with my mission. For any new readers welcome and I hope reading this helps you as much I gain therapy from writing it. Anyone who knows me personally knows my story. I am a well known (semi) artist/manager in the Toronto/Canadian hip hop scene. As well as a recovering alcohol and full blown grindaholic. Most of my friends know me as a guy that's always been driving and I have gone through numerous cars over the years since my first one back in 2001. In 2008 was my first driving while impaired charge. I caught this driving drunk off a mickey of vodka after the cops witnessed me make a slight swerve on the highway. At the time I was trying to light up a blunt while driving. Being an advocate of responsible marijuana consumption I don't feel the weed was the problem. However taking both hands off the steering wheel to light said blunt wasn't the brightest idea especially with liquor on my breath. Just another amazingly dumb ass drunken idea. I blew over in the breathalyzer, did a night in the drunk tank and received a court order and temporally suspended license. I was actually fortunate to beat that charge but almost a year to that night I caught another impaired charge. This time after hitting the median separating oncoming traffic while being followed by police again. This time I was twice as drunk and refused to take the breathalyzer test. Refusing to do the test is just as good as an admission of guilt and a few months later I was convicted. My license was suspended for a year and I was required to take a workshop called back on track and get an interlock breathalyzer system to be able to drive any vehicle. After all my other legal woes I have I have been on the tedious task of getting on the road again. The back on track workshop cost $578. I've had to start the graduated license process all over again. I can only move on to the G2 level if I bring in a car with a breathalyzer for the road test. I couldn't get a breathalyzer put in my car without insurance but I couldn't get insurance with only a G1 license. Needless to say this has been a process with a lot of twist and turns. Thank God for good friends that have been helping me overcome these obstacles. By the way the interlock breathalyzer cost around $400 to install and $128 to rent for whatever the duration is and probably another $400+ to uninstall. It asks you to blow and retest at random times sometimes just 10 minutes after you start your journey. In the end taking cab on those 2 nights would've cost me way less than the money I've been bleeding until now to get back on the road not to mention having to take public transit after driving every day for 10 years. So with the holiday times among us with heavier police patrolling looking for impaired drivers, my advice is to leave your car at home when you go to the Christmas parties. Save yourself the money, headaches and embarrassment and drive safe and sober. Bless

Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Sober Emcee "Stay Secure" Entry #26

It is always a good thing to stay secure. A lot of people do not prepare themselves before they go out for a night of drinking for the things that can happen when we are in party mode i.e. designated drivers, having good friends around etc. I have been a victim to this many times. I’ve gone out solo on many occasions and woke up in strange places with strange people, I’ve almost passed out in the club and I’ve driven drunk and caught 2 impaired charges in the space of 1 year. I wasn't doing it right and I had to learn the hard way over and over again. This is a message to all my people out there getting ready to get their party on during the weekends and some during the week. First of all I believe you should always travel with good friends that you can trust. To me this means the ones that will drink with you but will also let you know if you’re getting too drunk. They are the ones that will recommend that you drink a little water when they see you stumbling or slurring and if need be they will be the ones that are willing to leave if things start getting out of hand. For the ladies getting their pre-drink on and hitting the clubs the same rules apply. Make sure that you always have that one level headed friend with you that’s a good judge of character but not a hater though. This friend will be able to use her creep radar when you’re too drunk to realize you’re willing to go home with anybody. She will be that voice in your ear to tell you “Hey that dude is mad ugly.” and not just say it because she actually wants the guy. Always remember that if a guy is going to buy you a drink be at the bar with him when he buys it. Don’t just wait for him to bring it to you while you wait on the dance floor. He can drop a molly in your drink between the bar and getting back to you and in the words of rapy oops I mean rapper Rick Ross “You won’t even know.” To all my thugged out brothers out there who love to get smashed while wearing a lot of expensive jewelry. You’re in the club enjoying yourself in the VIP popping bottles. You have all the ladies around and now you’re beyond buzzed; now you’re smashed. With all that going on you’ve attracted a lot attention some of that being the shady characters who look for wealthy victims in the club, the stick up kids. Eventually you’re going to have to piss out some of that liquor that you’ve been drinking all night and that’s when they are going to pounce. Always bring your craziest goon on those bathroom breaks with you or set a mental timer with your people. Tell them if you’re not back from the bathroom in 10 minutes to come looking for you. Also never roll solo if you’re planning to get drunk while shinning. That just makes you an easy target. These are just a few tips to make sure you have a safe night. However the best ways to do so is to drink but not to the point that you have no control over what you’re doing. It’s the worst when you blackout and one of your friends have to tell you how your night was because it was all erased from your memory by drink 15. Pace yourself, have a meal before you go out, drink some water in between drinks and make sure to pre-plan your way home without driving. That way you will have good memories and be ready to party another day. Bless

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Sober Emcee-Dear Mommy Entry #25

To the parents, I’ve heard in a lot of my 12 step meetings about parents being alcoholics and it being a big part of their own alcoholism. I completely understand that but fortunately I can’t relate. I grew up in a single mother household and my mother never got married or had random men coming into the house. I saw her get drunk but not on a regular basis. Usually it was around the holidays and sometimes she would have some brandy and milk before she went to bed. She’s from the old school so she believed that if you put a spot of brandy in a child’s baby bottle that it would help them go to bed faster. By no means can I ever blame her for my alcoholism though. Sometimes parents try to raise their kids to the best of their abilities but in the end of the day there is only so much they can do. I started clubbing at 15 and that’s when I started drinking. She had no idea when it started getting out of control because I was hiding it as much as I could. Around the holidays I would go buy a 24 case of beer and drink more than half of it. It was the holidays so that was my excuse to be drunk without having to hide it. That was when I was allowed to drink rum and brandy with the family instead of by myself or with my friends. A lot of time has passed and a lot of things have happened and I am now in a position where I need to take care of my mother. She has been suffering with Alzheimer for the past 3 years maybe even more. I found out when I was incarcerated and it helped me to realize that I need to stay sober and responsible for her and myself. With all the bad news and stress that I have been through over the past 3 years the old me would’ve ran to the bottle. At this point I know that alcohol wouldn’t make things any better. Between her medical expenses, things for her home along with my own bills if I was still a drunk I would have totally messed it up by now. Every time that she shows serious blocks of her memory being gone it breaks my heart. She has looked at me a few times and didn’t know who I was. That just killed me but I need to stay sober for her and for my own sanity. To this day I still don’t know what made me an alcoholic but I know I can never drink again or everything in my life will fall apart. My mother raised me well and I lived a lie in front of her to the point that she has always been in denial to all the wrong that I have done. She gave me everything she could and anything a child would ever want and it is my responsibility to make sure she knows I appreciate it and that I will give back and take care of her in her golden age. Anytime that I feel close to the edge the thought of her brings me back to earth, so essentially she is still raising me. I’m not a parent so I don’t feel like I have any authority to give advice. However from my own experience I can say that my mother did her best and it was me that made the decisions to be an alcoholic. If she was reading this right now I would let her know how sorry I am for the path I took. My mother is a great and strong woman and I am proud to be her son. Now that I see clearly I can soak in all that she has taught me to enrich her life and my own. Thank you mommy! Bless

Monday, 3 June 2013

Entry #24 Grown Man Business

Some of us men take longer to grow up than others. Even though our age number might be raising our maturity levels can stay in our teenaged stage. I was surely guilty of being one of those men. I spent a lot of time chasing girls and material things all while being a drunken fool and it only landed me in a lot of trouble. In my warped perception of reality I feel that I caused a lot of damage: I’ve cheated on many ex girlfriends, I squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars with nothing to show for it and caused a lot of heart ache for my family. Ultimately I can’t blame it all on the alcohol because essentially I was at the root of the bad choices I made. Maybe the alcohol made it easier to go all the way or numb the guilt that came afterward. In my old life I thought people who worked 9 to 5 were chumps. I thought why would I work for someone else to make in a week what I can make in a day hustling. I learned the hard way that slower stable money is better for ME than fast risky money. I no longer live with that lump in my throat everyday from worrying if today will be the day that the cops come get me. Don’t get me wrong though, I have met a lot of mature hustlers but as far as I am concerned, I was out of control. I remember getting bottles at the bar just because it was the “cool” thing to do and going home after blowing almost all my profits that I risked my freedom to make all day. Being an alcoholic made me very irresponsible even when I thought I had it all under control. Only an irresponsible idiot would catch not one but two driving while impaired charges. Even as a manager in the music industry, many conflicts could have been avoided if I wasn’t so drunk while handling the business. Now I’m the one doing the 9 to 5 and life is actually good. I have a stable income, a great girlfriend in a growing relationship full of potential and the feeling of ease that I get from not having to worry about being locked up on any given day. I was very eager to move back downtown when parole ends in 2014. Now I think to myself that it might not be such a great idea to move back into the madness that downtown can bring. Yes it’s where all the fun happens along with the easy shopping and clubbing but I’m starting to realize that it might not be the best thing for my life and continued sobriety. Maybe it’s time to consider places that are more quite and closer to schools where I can raise children, the whole picket fence philosophy. Oh my God could it be? Is the sober emcee finally growing up? I know I’m not getting any younger (Insert old guy jokes here) I know I owe it to myself and the people I love to continue making the right decisions. This includes hanging up the microphone once I finally release my first solo LP at the end of the summer. I’ll always be an emcee because I will always have the will to write but hip hop is a young man’s game and I have so many other ways of expressing myself through writing. In conclusion, the grown man in me is finally starting to shine and that man would have still been suppressed if I was trying to drown him in a bottle of Vodka. I would like to thank all my regular readers as well as the new readers for supporting this blog and rest assure that there will be more to come. Bless

Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Sober Emcee Entry #23 "Changes"

A lot of people are afraid of change. Most of the time we get dependant on our comfort zones. Some of us are afraid of moving, some are afraid of getting a new job, some are afraid of break ups the list can be endless. My motto is making the changes before it’s too late and my hand is forced or I regret not making the changes I should have. I hate feeling stuck and dealing with the consequences of not making the changes when it was needed. I dealt with that during my incarceration and it was a really shitty feeling. Even though jail helped me to make positive changes, it was a real hard way to learn and make those realizations. Either way we have make sure that we’re making these changes for ourselves first and not for other people. Don’t make a change because your parents want you to, or a girlfriend or you want to be cool for your friends. You have to do it for you first or the change won’t stick we can end up bitter with regrets. I have a cousin in Montreal who has been hooked on crystal meth for more than a decade. My family has been trying to get in his head forever and he has been in and out of jail and rehab with no results. I’ve always told them that he will always be hooked until he gets fed up of being homeless or the voices he hears in his head. Essentially he has to decide that he wants something more for his life and only then will he be travelling on the road to recovery. I remember when I tried to stop drinking back in 2008. Back then I tried to stop for a woman. She hated my excessive drinking and was seeing my downward spiral. I decided to go to AA but I was still hustling at the time. Within a month I was leaving a meeting and going to the liquor store. In hindsight I realize it wasn’t just the alcohol that needed to change but I needed a whole lifestyle renovation. I learned the hard way but at least I learned and now I’m sober and it’s for me first. Even now with 3 years of sobriety under my belt there’s always unforeseen changes happening, some good and some bad. Between financial adjustments, breakups and the huge responsibility of dealing with a mother with Alzheimer. Along with positive changes like the constant job promotions, musical achievements and even the success of this on-going blog series. Shit I went back to the pen for 3 and a half months after frivolous accusations that I was completely innocent of. I could have easily used that as an excuse to give up and go back to my old friend Mr. Smirnoff. But because of my initial decision that I wanted my life to be different, I kept hanging with my new friend Miss Evian. If I ever make the decision to change sobriety back to drinking again, the changes that will follow will definitely be negative and destructive to me and my loved ones. If I didn’t make the decision 3 years ago to change my life and cut alcohol out of my living equation then I would’ve had numerous reasons to drink whether out of pain or celebration. To sum it all up changes start from inside our own hearts not from the outside. It’s better to make the changes, not let the changes make you. Bless

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Entry #22 Dirty Little Secrets

We all have our secrets, some of them harmless little ones and some of them can be big horrible ones. It’s no secret that I’m a recovering alcoholic and an ex drug dealer, part of the reason for this blog is to purge my secrets as a form of therapy. It all started when I was still a teenager living in my mother’s house in Montreal. I used to drink a beer called Red Bull that would come in the 710ml tall cans. At the time I had dropped out of junior college, I would pretend that I was going to school and go to my weed base where I would sell weed all day and drink multiple cans of Red Bull. When I was home I would sit in my room drinking beer while watching TV. I would keep the beer can next to my chair out of sight from my mother when she would come into my room. In hindsight I think to myself she must have smelled the alcohol in my room but when you’re a drunk you think that you’re real good at hiding when in reality I wasn’t fooling anyone. I remember the amount of times that I hid my drinking from my fiancĂ©. Sometimes I wouldn’t let her come and spend the night at my apartment because I wanted to stay home and drink by myself. I would try to make my time in the liquor store as quick as possible just in case she called while I was in there. I didn’t want her to hear the cash register because I knew she would ask where I was. When she did spend the night and I was supposed to be drinking just a little bit, I would be drinking a lot. Before she got there I was only suppose to be buying a mickey of vodka and drinking only half of it. Instead I would buy a mickey and the bottle one size smaller. Then I would drink half of the mickey for show and finish the other bottle on the low. Some nights when she stayed over and I wasn’t supposed to be drinking at all I would have a bottle stashed somewhere and sneak sips when I was in the kitchen or when she went to the washroom or fell asleep. There was so many times when I was supposed to be sleeping and I would sneak out to the afterhours so I can drink until 7am. When I had my first try at Alcoholics Anonymous I had secrets at a place where we are supposed to not worry about our secrets. I was still dealing back then so when I went to the meetings I would keep my phone on silent or vibrate but not out of general respect but because I had customers that would make it ring more than the average person. While we were sharing and I would listen to people’s stories of alcohol and drug abuse I had current drug abusers trying to get in contact with me to bring them drugs. It made me feel like such a hypocrite that after a month I left the meetings and started drinking worst than before. Things got worst in my last year before sobriety. I was even hiding from the liquor store staff, I would go to about 4 different liquor stores throughout the week so that the cashiers wouldn’t see me buying liquor every day. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of upper class people that hit the liquor store everyday in their business attire. The difference is that it’s “okay” for them because they buy wine and they’re upper class so it’s suppose to be socially acceptable. Now I meet some of those same types of people in my 12 step meetings telling their stories of drunker times. While I was drinking I was also what people affectionately call a man whore. I would drink and girls that where 5s would turn into 9s. Every girl that I ever had a serious relationship with I cheated on multiple times. I would have no inhibitions when I got drunk and I thought I was quite the charmer. I had to always make up a story and keep lies going because of my whorisms. Things would just happen while out on the scene partying and I would find myself bring home a straggler or end up in parts of town I never planned on going to before I left for the party. Then I would have to tell my girlfriends some story of where I was or why I wasn’t answering my cell phone. One Carribana weekend back in 2001 I met this girl while I was driving my truck and we exchanged numbers and made a plan for later that night. My girlfriend at the time stayed home, mainly because I was an asshole and didn’t invite her out to party. I met up with my new fling and by the end of the night I was at the Days Inn on Jarvis. The whole time I was doing the dirty deed my phone was blaring. When I finally left I got in my truck and called my girlfriend. She was freaking out asking me where I was and why I couldn’t answer my phone. I told her that my truck got towed and my phone was in it. I came up with that lie right on the spot and I thought it was the smoothest lie in the world. Now when I think about it, my story was paper thin. What hustler leaves his phone that makes him his money in his vehicle? Thank God times have now changed. Now when I go to meetings I have nothing to hide. Now when I share I can tell the whole story. I have been able to be a guest speaker at people’s sobriety anniversaries along with important functions like the F-You (forgiveness) project. I hide nothing no one and I’m able to tell you the readers the whole truth. When I was out there getting drunk I thought I was good at hiding things but now that I’m 3 years sober I realize I was only hiding from myself. Bless