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Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

Really Struggling with Social Stuff

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Recently, interacting with other people has become so laborious, anxiety inducing and frankly depressing. I just don’t feel like talking to and interacting with most people, not even my friends, outside of my wife and kids in fact, I am starting to dread and loathe having to interact with people. I simply have no desire to have conversations or listen to people or really be around them. Even at my meetings, I tend to sit or stand apart and alone before and after and not talk much and at work I started timing my breaks so that I go smoke alone instead of with anyone else.

This is an old problem, I hate it and I do not really understand where it is coming from.  It makes it difficult to want to go anywhere, the gym or work or gatherings. Work is the worst, not just because of the inherent social nature of offices, but because I ride into work and back home with another co-worker and I hate the entire idea of the car ride, feeling obligated to make conversation when I am really not into it. I hope this passes soon. I will pray on it and continue my step work with the hope that that will help it pass.

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Written by jamesjanus

June 13, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Bored, distracted and thinking about sex

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There is so much I could be doing at work today, tried praying for concentration and motivation, but that isn’t helping today. I have Friday-itis and Spring/Summer Twitterpation, every image that flashes through my mind is sexual and I am dreaming of beautiful muses, thinking about my sexy wife and wishing we were somewhere laying naked together, doing terrible naughty things. If I linger on the thought of sex, my whole body starts tingling and I can’t sit still.  Like Iggy Pop says “I need some weird sin, to relax with” 🙂 Or as the wife says “I wanna fuck stuff!” 😀  Wish Kim wasn’t too busy at work to text and play with me, would be fun to at least banter about it.

Talk dirty to me, for fun if you dare!

Written by jamesjanus

June 8, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Posted in Kim, Sex, Work

Tagged with , , , , ,

Three Years, Five Months, Many Adventures, Misadventures and Some Divine Intervention Later…

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“Advance, and never halt, for advancing is perfection. Advance and do not fear the thorns in the path, for they draw only corrupt blood.”

– Khalil Gibran The Prophet

Today, is a rather nostalgic day, because it is a dual anniversary of sorts. Three year and five months ago, I got sober. and Three years ago, the event that put the final nail in the coffin of my first marriage occurred.  I have wanted to write about it, but I feel like the details hardly matter at this point and certainly aren’t required to get to the truth of it. I can say what matters about both in few sentences and it occurs to me as I sit here, that it is what came after each that truly matters and is better to write about.

3 years and five months ago; I was an active alcoholic, my life was unmanageable and I was on a downward spiral. It was nearly everything you might think of when you picture alcoholism, though because I worked from home and wrote for a living, it had not yet cost me my job, though that was certainly coming very soon. It had ruined my marriage and my then wife, Lucy, openly disdained me and I felt verbally abused me. As she left for a research trip, I quit drinking and headed to AA, with the intention of determining that it was a joke and leaving it behind to try and stay sober for a few months on my own before I returned to drinking.

Having been an alcoholic from the time I was barely a teen, I had never known hope, happiness or real, honesty and faith. Rather than finding AA to be bullshit, I found myself to be. All that I pretended to be, all that I had built to keep drinking and keep others from seeing the real me, was a lie. I found hope first, then a taste of happiness. I looked for more and I found that I loved my sobriety and would go to any lengths to keep it.

3 years, 5 months ago, I realized that in order to protect and keep my sobriety, I had to leave Lucy and that is what I did. There were mistakes and missteps involved with all of that, including another woman, some clumsiness and other errors that I am still paying for today, but really, I just knew I had to leave. I left and I moved home, with a dream of how wonderful and easy it was all going to be.

The first six months were perhaps that easiest, after that being sober became a little tougher. Living back here in Detroit got harder too, tough to find work and my dreams crumbled slowly. But I did my best to stay sober and to keep putting in the work.  There is a certain order to the universe and way in which the powers that be work, whatever you might think those are; and hard work pays off even if it is not in the way you might anticipate.

So, not long after I moved here, I met Kim, she was beautiful, older than me, so strong, smart, kind and hilarious. She was entirely, out of my league as far as I was concerned. She could be the life of the party, but I could also see a sadness in her, a vulnerability and  a loneliness and I was drawn to her. I am an idiot when it comes to women, so it took a really long time, but we started seeing each other.

I confess, I was seeing someone else at the time, but Kim knew that. Though, I thought I was madly in love with the other woman, my heart turned and drew itself to Kim and I feel so, deeply and madly in love with her that it seems we were always together, for lifetimes even. Here was this magical woman, who not really knowing me, having heard all of the terrible stories about me and all these descriptions of that false persona I had crafted, looked at me and saw right through it, to the person that I really am, to the man I have been protecting all of my life and it was like she gave him permission and assurance to walk right out and live in the sun.

So it grew serious with Kim and I met and fell in love with her two sons, who by another blessing from on high, also love me and slowly we became a family. And almost a one year ago, we married, making it official and I cried, because I had a family. Here, a gift that three years ago, my would never have allowed me to suggest I wanted and therefore I couldn’t possibly know that my heart was crying out for it.

Serious wonder and serious lessons, be yourself, put in the work and the reward comes, let go and let the universe do the steering and you will wind up someplace you need and want to be. Things get better when I relinquish control, when I remain humble and worry only about doing the next right thing. I learned all of that over the first two years that I was sober. It is the curse of an alcoholic though that we cannot learn a lesson just once, we cannot say “there, learned that and will never have to learn it again!” No, because we will forget, we will backslide and will have to learn things over and over again. It is just our way.

So, I stopped doing the work, quit the meetings, stopped praying and reading and reaching out. I started worrying, thinking of myself, trying to take control. Then things got tough, things in and out of our ability to control and I lost faith and I started shielding and guarding myself again, putting up that false persona more and more. I grew selfish again and have been struggling to find my way back ever since, not yet through really doing the work though, because I am an alcoholic and finding my way to do the right thing, the right way is hard, though it shouldn’t be.  I did damage with Kim and I, not ruin, though it could have been if she were a different person. She is still there, still I believe, loves me fiercely and I love her with all that I am

Today, as I look back on the last three years, here is what think.

Thank Heaven for her, for the boys, for the huge heart of hers and the forgiveness that runs through it.

Thank Heaven and earth that even not putting the effort I should into it, I haven’t drank.

Thank Heaven that when I am ready to roll my sleeves up, there is a program and tools to keep me both sober and SANE.

I am so happy to be so blessed and to know that no matter what, if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other, if you just keep advancing and putting in the work then the rewards will follow, even if they are not what you might think. Often, as in my case, those you were not expecting are the best!

3 years, 5 months, sober. Thank you friends, Kim and special thanks to Bill and Bob.

Written by jamesjanus

December 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm

Life and work

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For about a year now, there have been two of us writers at the office, myself and this woman, Nina. She was here before I was and rather thought of herself as in charge, gave me a bit of the cold shoulder when I first came on board, very jealous of the immediate relationship I had with the executives and the projects they entrusted to me. Not many people seemed to like or respect her, she has a very off-putting and passive agressive nature. Her attitude left me with an immediate decision to make; I had to either start working right away to exploit her outsider status and get rid of her, or win her over and try to help her settle in and gain people’s respect.
I have always been at my most, impersonal, direct and even ruthless at work, so my usual choice would have been to find a way to get rid of her and in this situation it would have been easy, the VP I originally worked closely with asked me directly if he should keep her. However, in keeping with my new self and struggle to find my humanity last year, I decided to win her over and to champion her with the bosses. It made things difficult for me but I felt pretty good about it. We would have lunch and talk about work, how to improve things around the office and with our projects etc..
A few weeks ago her attitude toward me shifted entirely again. I was handed a vital project and after that she was cold to me again, she started acting petty and stopped talking to me except to make passive agressive comments. Now, I have discovered that she was informed a couple of weeks ago that she was being let go, she said nothing to me, no one did. As of last week all I knew was that she was leaving, so I brought it up to her, she made it clear that not only was she not leaving voluntarily she somehow either blamed me or is angry that she is being let go and I am not. People around the office have organized multiple lunches with her this week (her last week) and no one has said anything to me about them. Their silence and my exclusion has left me paranoid, wondering if I am next and they are distancing themselves, or if she has been spreading some sort of poison around the office about me and my having some role in her being let go. Any way you cut it, it has made work nothing short of uncomfortable.
But it all begs another question. In nearly every respect, I have tried to go about this job in a way that is different from how I normally would, a better way some would say. I am less aggressive, more flexible, nicer and have even tried forming some sort of bond and relationships with my fellow co-workers. Given that this job has been harder for me to fit in and excel at than any other, I have to wonder if it has been the right choice. If not, can I be that wicked, sort of “bad wolf” self at work and not at home? It is clear to me that I chose at work and in my personal life to be, for lack of a better all encompassing word, “evil” because it is easier, no need to bother struggling to figure out the right thing to say or do or the right way to behave is when you don’t really give a damn and just do what suits you and achieves your objectives.
I hated it, I have always hated being that guy. I have loathed the corporate environment in general because I know being ruthless and self centered is the only way to win this game and I don’t want to be that guy at work or at home. At the same time, what is the incentive to be any other way, at work anyway, if this is how it is going to turn out? Why bother being the nice guy if I am going to get burned and end up paranoid, making me cranky and depressed at home? The whole point of taking the other approach was because I believed you cannot be one way at work and another at home. I feel trapped, either be miserable because I am behaving like a ruthless jerk or be miserable because I am being the way I want (kind, compassionate, good) and getting hosed for it.

Written by jamesjanus

October 26, 2010 at 6:46 pm

Posted in Life Pains, Work

There is more than one way to break a heart

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For most of my life I have had two best (maie) friends, they were the closest people to me, I never let anyone get as close as them. I am now, with Kim and we will discuss that sometime. Four years ago, one of them, call him Roy; he shot and killed himself, seemingly without warning. Perhaps it is understood that it was drug and alcohol related. I came so close to shutting down entirely at his funeral. Then I crawled into the bottle deeper and stayed there for years and the grieving continues and is still intense when it catches up with me.

I am coming up on two years clean and sober, which I think plays into my anguish over my other best friend we will call him Duncan. He had a problem with IV drugs and has been clean, but not sober for the last three years. Since the revelation that his wife was pregnant last year, he has been hitting the bottle hard, even when sober he is moody and unapproachable about serious topics, walling himself off. His beautiful daughter is several months old now and though he loves her, he is a mess.  He gets drunk and belligerent, just this weekend verbally attacking me and Kim and only half joking with threats of physical violence. He gets to rambling and slurring and saying cruel things, then simply angry but not making any sense at all.  His wife, whom I also consider a good friend, has been patient with him and stood by him through some serious misbehavior and she is being taxed to her limit. Duncan has always suffered from a self-loathing put there by his father, now I am sure he is certain that his wife and daughter would be better off without him and he is doing everything he can to self-destruct and push them away and it is breaking my heart to watch it happen. I am no idiot, I know if he succeeds in pushing them away what comes next. He will start using again and either overdose or purposefully end his own life, the very thought hollows me out and then fills me with pain. I have no idea how I could weather another dead friend, much less another suicide. So, I am heartbroken and at the same time angry. I am coming into a wonderful time in my life, one that should and could fill me with joy and peace, one that I have looked for and always anticipated sharing with him and his wife. Although my new life, sober, with Kim and the kids does provide me those things, the worry and heartache of Duncan are never far from my mind and when I try to share my joy he simply spills his misery on it.  We are supposed to be happy now, he has an amazing wife and career that can go places, we have cobbled together a giant family that enjoys one another’s company and looks out for one another. Instead, I stand here happy with my life, which in spite of some challenges has many more blessings than I probably deserve, while he pisses on what he has and tries to throw it away. So there is that heartache that often distracts me from my happiness.

Then there is the little farmer, Kim’s eldest, who is struggling for acceptance not only from his peers, but from adults too. He is a beautiful and unique child and in spite of circumstance and lacking unconditional acceptance from his peers and many adults, I suspect including his father, he still has his mother’s warm and wonderful heart and there is still time to make sure he keeps it. I see a powerful creative energy bouncing around in him and just waiting to be directed and unleashed. We will find the right thing and he will thrive, but for now, his largely unfulfilled quest for acceptance and praise causes him pain, which causes her and I pain, her of course to a much larger degree.  My tribe, my family is almost entirely comprised of people who in their childhood were just like the little farmer boy, different, struggling for acceptance and uncertain of their place in the world. I know I didn’t prepare most of them for him, but I figured they would just see it, like I did. He wanted so badly to have them see him this weekend and embrace him. Duncan, who should know better, seemingly with direct intention, showed him nothing but rejection. To my embarrassment and shame my people, all of whom should be able to empathize with the young man, did not behave as I would have expected and did little or nothing to give him what he was looking for. This also breaks my heart.

The truth be told though, in spite of these pains and other challenges, like finances and my own quest for job security, I am happier than I ever have been and while I don’t know the details of how to pull it all together, I am excited about Kim and I’s future. Funny how the places I rejected and was certain would not bring me joy or fulfillment are exactly where they are ending up coming from, kids, family, home instead of work, peace, quiet. I must find a permanent job, a secure job. I want to ask Kim to marry me, but I want that security first, without it I feel like I am constantly a hair’s breath from being an albatross instead of a partner.  And be it large or small I want to provide the best wedding possible for her and to go somewhere after, whether just her and I or with the boys. I pray constantly for some opportunity to present itself and I search constantly for it on my own. So, if you are listening universe; I am grateful for Kim, for the boys, for all of my blessings, but I could do much more for them and others if the right opportunity came along, so if you can make that happen, that would be great.

Well, I should get focused on work. By for now!

Written by jamesjanus

July 7, 2010 at 3:11 pm

sometimes, just to remind you he is still out there

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the Impending Doom makes a couple quick passes at your life. By and by things are fine, a little stressful but we are getting the house we want, signed the boys up for a great summer program that should benefit them in an untold number of ways, I have Kim and the boys and I am busy and feeling useful at work.  But, there are things, this week I have been:

  • Crazy Sick with a horrid case of chronic bronchitis, complete with bronchial spasms which has cost a ton of money we didn’t need to be spending right now
  • In one auto accident that was my fault (don’t cough and drive) and accelerated the need to have my car looked at and repaired
  • Had to run all over Troy, Livonia and places in between
  • Gotten very little sleep and still not accomplished the bulk of what needs done

And then, there was yesterday. I called about the summer program for the boys and found out there was a mandatory orientation coming in the evening and it would be our last chance. The plan had been to get to the clinic for my lungs and go do laundry or pack. Instead I made my way over to Troy to meet up with Kim and go to the orientation. On my way, on the freeway not far from my exit something fun happened.

I was cooking along at 70 in the right lane, a couple hundred yards ahead of me was a white work van, attached to it was one of those small trailers that you can haul a car or boat or something on. On each side of the trailer, covering the otherwise exposed tires are two car tire sized, heavy fenders. I watched as the van hit a bump and one of them tore off, at first I thought the entire wheel had come off.  With myself traveling at 70 and I suppose the heavy metal fender hurtling toward me, bouncing and jumping off the concrete, time froze and I watched considering the trajectory which was going to have it slamming into my windshield, directly in front of my face. A single thought, my usual singular thought in these moments was “Oh, this is a stupid way to go out“.

I was on the phone with Kim and when time unfroze, I yelped out something, looked to my left, there was a car next to me, so I veered left as far as I could, hit the brakes and braced for impact. The fortunate maneuvering left the fender striking the upper right corner of my hood, then glancing on the windshield, leaving a nice spider crack, but me still breathing and my car still operating. The van drove on like nothing happened and I just resigned myself to heading to Kim’s work.

We made our way to B&G orientation and that went fine, very good and encouraging in fact. We followed up with dinner where we talked about how wonderful it was that everything was falling into place.  After that it was off to the clinic, I will skip the stupid details there but suffice to say it was under staffed, busy and we were there two hours. Another hour wasted at the pharmacy left us near home at close to midnight, Kim was in her car directly in front of me and suddenly driving uncharacteristically slow, then Hazard lights.  Fuck, all I could do was laugh about it for a while, then I got very frustrated and angry with the universe, her car was dead, either from lack of oil or from the oil turning to sludge. We left her car there, but I am certain I didn’t sleep until 2 or later last night; anger and brief outburst and (wonderful) sex came first.

So, we were up and out the door early this morning so I could drop her off at her companies Troy office, got her there, headed to work in Livonia myself and was about half way there when she called and asked if could come back and get her. This is where the story starts to get incredulous, some fucking belligerent knuckle-head made threats against the office she works at! What the F. I have to admit Doom, even for you this getting creative. So, it is turning around and heading back to get her, wondering the whole time if I will get there before this maniac. I did and who knows if he is actual going there at all, but none-the-less I wasn’t gonna leave her there to find out.

Finally, I got to work, she went to her companies nearby office. I am exhausted, sickly and have been trucking from arrival until I paused to write this. What a damn week~

Written by jamesjanus

June 18, 2010 at 3:27 pm

Busy, Busy

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Tired, sick and really too busy to be either; but I would rather have stayed in bed with my lady this morning than do pretty much anything, much less drive an hour to work.

The heart, mind and body agenda’s are all so full right now. Responsibilities and projects keep piling up at work, which ultimately is a very good thing, provided I actually accomplish all of it.  Kim and I are talking vacation destinations, which is fun and I hope we can pick a place and plan it out, I really want to travel with her, get away from our daily lives and see someplace cool, do some fun stuff.

We are also talking about marriage, which is exciting, though I don’t think she believes I think so.  I put the date out there a little farther than perhaps she wants. I have said it is because it the one place I am traditional, but I realize this morning that that is not really accurate, even if true. The reality is that I place great importance on the process, the rituals involved and what each of them says, the pace, the rings you choose, the way you propose, the ceremony all speak to who you are as a couple and as individuals and set the tone for your life together. Ritual, is incredibly important to me. I want to do it right, all of it, the right way, not at the expense of doing it at all, but I would like to take the time to do it the best we can. She is important enough to me to want to take the time, in this process and the rest of our lives to get it right.

Anyway, that is my gushing for the day. We are also packing to move, started that in earnest last night and I have an upper respiratory infection that is killing me, I am exhausted. I wish I could afford a day off of work, I could use it.

Written by jamesjanus

June 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Posted in Love, Work